An interesting observation mentioned in Philica runs as follows:
Note: The following quote is not by me, but by a scientist working on the antidepressant Prozac.
“If the human brain were simple enough for us to understand, we would be too simple to understand it”
This seemingly paradoxical statement has deep truths in it. If our
brain were simple enough to understand, wouldn’t it also mean that we
are “simple-minded”, and in turn mean that we will never understand our
own brain completely, since understanding requires the use of our brain.
On the other hand, if our brain were complex enough to understand
complex things, wouldn’t it also mean that our brain is difficult to
The debate generated has the following elements:
1)What is understanding ? Does understanding mean the understander is> the understood ?
2) Why not understander=understood ? The assumption is that here understanding cannot take place.
3)if “understander is =understood” is excluded ,then there are only two possibilities : Increase understander’s power or reduce the complexity of the understood. To increase the understander’s complexity build super computer or an artificial intellegence much larger than the human brain’s capabilities.To decrease the complexity of the understood ,work on the brains of the lower forms of life e.g.rats
4)There is no clarity on the issue of whether understanding presupposes a higher mind than the understood thing.Can we say that a simple mind cannot understand a complex mind?
5)If cognition turns out to be a small part of the brain ,understanding the rest of the brain may be possible.Here it is assumed that cognition is distinct from other faculties and can understand itself.
6) Godel’s theorem says that mathematics is inconsistent and if consistent ,there must be things mathematically true that cannot be proved using mathematics.
What strikes me is that there are several things in my mind which are independent of what forms my thinking .By way of elaboration let me state that my dreams happen entirely independent of my data base of memories and thoughts. I believe that the lack of coherence (of the type one would find in a real life situation ,)in my dreams ,is suggestive of a higher logic of things than the “normal” human logic system we have been using all these days.I believe that I do not know my brain enough and actually there is much more inside than what helps to understand the world and make sense out of it.
If that were true ,the brain is not capable of understanding itself . http://philica.com/display_observation.php?observation_id=23
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