[LINK] electromagnetic fields effect brain activity

Karl Auer kauer at biplane.com.au
Thu Jan 11 11:00:05 AEDT 2007

On 11/01/2007, at 10:21 AM, Stewart Fist wrote:
> > The problem here is the old one of causality.  Surely, unless you  
> > believe the 'mind' is something non-physical -- eg a soul -- then
> > it is the body that effects the mental state, rather than the
> > other way around.

None of this requires a "soul" to explain. As soon as you admit the
existence of a "mental state" you are allowing a distinction between
body and mind.

The two things can affect each other - both directions. I'm happy with
the idea that physics causes and supports mind, but that doesn't mean
that mind is "just" physics. When you think of something, the thought
can be described independently of the fabric it resides in - and in fact
regularly is, we call it things like "speech", and "writing". Your mind,
via such means, can affect my mind and body (shout "fire!").

People can calm themselves down, fire themselves up, make themselves
happy, angry or sad - it seems entirely reasonable that there are more
subtle ways that the conscious or unconscious will can make changes in
the body.

I therefore disagree that the placebo effect is "only" about perceived
well-being, though I'd be very reluctant to claim it could cure cancer
or whatever. That said, it may well be the edge that a body needs to
defeat some illness.

Regards, K.

Karl Auer (kauer at biplane.com.au)                   +61-2-64957160 (h)
http://www.biplane.com.au/~kauer/                  +61-428-957160 (mob)

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