|Neuroscience or philosophy of mind?|
A nice example of a rudimentary confusion, which I'm happy to clear up:
Commentor bachfiend, who asserts that he understands neuroscience (unlike moi):
Neuroscience a branch natural philosophy that deals with the nervous system. Colloquially, it is the scientific study of the nervous system. It entails the usual methods of science-- the systematic study of nature using the scientific method.
By neuroscience, I mean the field of knowledge that uses evidence to produce a picture of reality,
and makes the perfectly reasonable statement that the mind is a product of the brain,Neuroscience certainly makes no such statement, which is a assertion proper to philosophy of the mind, not natural philosophy of the nervous system. Neuroscience can identify correlations between brain processes and mental acts, but causation between brain and mind is simply not in its purview.
In fact, it couldn't be in its purview, because neuroscience is the study of material processes. The mind is not material.
To publicly affirm that neuroscience disproves the existence of the soul is to publicly affirm that, on that topic, you are an idiot.
and if you affect the brain you will alter the mind.Sometimes you do, sometimes you don't. Your brain is affected by myriad things. Not all affect the mind in a discernable way. Having an MRI of your brain profoundly affects your brain-- it changes the spins of gadzillions of protons in your brain and causes the emission of gadzillions of photons. Yet your mind doesn't change during the scan (unless you're claustrophobic!).
Of course, some things-- like ethyl alcohol-- do alter your mind. There's very much we don't understand.
The actual correlations between brain changes and mind changes are very poorly understood. We have no idea-- none whatsoever-- what thoughts are, in terms of chemicals and action potentials and cells.
Whereas, you adopt a bizarre philosophical argument that assumes that the mind and brain are separate.The relationship between the mind and the brain is an issue addressed by philosophy of the mind, and there have been many solutions proposed. Some philosophers propose that the mind doesn't exist at all, or that only behavior matters, or that the mind is the brain, or that the mind is what the brain does, or that the mind is a separate substance from the brain, or that the mind is a property of the brain, or that the mind is one aspect of the soul, which is the Aristotelian form of the body.
The debate rages.
I think that Thomistic dualism is the most satisfying paradigm-- the mind is a power of the soul, which is the form of the body. It is a view normally filed somewhere between substance dualism and materialism.
People who are interested in these questions discuss and debate them all the time.
None of this is neuroscience, which does not have metaphysics in its purview.