Apologies for falling behind on the comments - I've been away in Prague on business. I'll catch up next week. As a partial reply to Scott's concerns about behavioural reductionism I would like to share this quote from a recent article in The Guardian (Saturday 27/12/08), by neuroscientist Stephen Rose:
However, it is not brains that have concepts or acquire knowledge. It is people, using their brains. To paraphrase the anthropologist Tim Ingold, I need legs to walk, but I don't say “my legs are walking”. Similarly, I need my brain to think, but it is I, not my brain, who does the thinking. Indeed, [Semir] Zeki gives the game away when he quotes Kant as saying “The Mind does not derive its laws... from nature but prescribes them to her” and goes on to say “he might as well have been writing about the brain”. No, no; the mind may need the brain, but it is not reducible to it, and we neuroscientists need to recognise our limitations. Of course, such reductionism is not confined to my trade (think of The Selfish Gene), but it is currently rampant among neuroscientists – as in the title of a recently formed Society for Molecular and Cellular Cognition.
To put it another way: you and your mind may be inseparable, but your mind and your brain are not the same entity. Your brain is the biological system you use to think, and the organ that co-ordinates your behaviour, but it is you that acts and not your brain.
Have a great weekend everyone!