The Things We Do: Using the Lessons of Bernard and Darwin to by Gary A. Cziko

By Gary A. Cziko

The amazing achievements that glossy technological know-how has made in physics, chemistry, biology, medication, and engineering distinction sharply with our restricted wisdom of the human brain and behaviour. a big cause of this sluggish development, claims Gary Cziko, is that with few exceptions, behavioral and cognitive scientists proceed to use a Newtonian-inspired view of animate habit as an organism's output made up our minds by way of environmental enter. This one-way cause-effect process ignores the real findings of 2 significant nineteenth-century biologists, French physiologist Claude Bernard and English naturalist Charles Darwin.Approaching dwelling organisms as practical platforms that behave to be able to keep watch over their perceptions of the exterior surroundings offers a brand new point of view for figuring out what, why, and how dwelling issues, together with people, do what they do. Cziko examines particularly perceptual keep watch over idea, which has its roots in Bernard's paintings at the self-regulating nature of residing organisms and within the paintings of engineers who built the sphere of cybernetics in the course of and after international warfare II. He additionally exhibits how our evolutionary prior including Darwinian methods presently happening inside bodies, comparable to the evolution of latest mind connections, offer insights into the speedy and supreme explanations of behavior.Writing in an available sort, Cziko indicates how the teachings of Bernard and Darwin, up to date with the easiest of present medical wisdom, provides options to yes long-standing theoretical and sensible difficulties in behavioral technology and permit us to improve new tools and themes for examine.

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Additional info for The Things We Do: Using the Lessons of Bernard and Darwin to Understand the What, How, and Why of Our Behavior

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These are all examples of the one-way, input-output causality of Newtonian physics in which a physical cause has a direct physical effect. But Bernard pointed out that living organisms can and do react quite differently to such physical events. If I inject 200 milliliters of a 50% sugar solution into a vein in my arm, my blood sugar concentration may increase for a short while, but the activation of beta cells in my pancreas will soon produce enough insulin to restore my blood to its normal level of sugar.

To a being with this knowledge of initial conditions, together with the now-understood laws of motion, “nothing would be uncertain and the future as the past, would be present to its eyes” (Laplace 1814/1902, p. 4). Laplace’s materialist theory of the universe’s behavior, based entirely on the idea of moving particles of matter interacting with each other, is clearly reminiscent of the classical materialist views of Leucippus, Democritus, Empedocles, Epicurus, and Lucretius. But one important difference is that he had mathematics and empirical results to back up his claim, at least with respect to the regular behavior of inanimate matter such as the motion of planets around the sun.

Driesch admitted that laws of physics and chemistry applied to living organisms and their behavior, but he found such mechanistic principles insufficient to account for an organism’s stages of development. The development of a fertilized egg into an embryo and then into a viable, independent organism could be explained after the fact by laws of physics and chemistry. However, such mechanistic laws by themselves could not determine this development, but only put limits on the range of possibilities.

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