Written by Joseph E. BOGEN on . Posted in Special issue: Brain Asymmetry, Guest Editors: Joseph B. HELLIGE, Joseph E. BOGEN, Volume X, Nr. 2


Reviewed are some of the dramatic experimental results and penetrating analyses characterizing the career of Roger Sperry. These require that we seriously consider his opinions regarding matters not yet testable, especially regarding the brain\mind relationships. His opinions include first, that a worthwhile understanding of brain function requires a biological explanation of consciousness; second, that mental properties described by him as "overall pattern effects in brain dynamics" can govern neuronal traffic at the cellular level by virtue of "mental forces'; and third, that further development of this outlook can provide a scientific basis for moral values. Discussion here is restricted to the first two of these points, urging that most criticisms of them arise largely from semantic confusions inherited from our past. Particular emphasis is placed on distinguishing mind from soul, thus totally separating the brain-onto-mind mapping problem from the nexus problem inherited from Descartes. Taken here is a physicalist position regarding mind, together with agnosticism regarding the nonmaterial.

Keywords: consciousness, split-brain, epistemics