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Re: Mode of action unknown / MAO Larry Hoover

Posted by Chairman_MAO on May 11, 2005, at 20:30:21

In reply to Re: Mode of action unknown / MAO Chairman_MAO, posted by Larry Hoover on May 9, 2005, at 9:59:45

Yeah, I dig it. I think you're referring to what philosophers also like to call a "virtus dormitiva" explanation. That term originates supposedly from a professor hundreds of years ago who, when asked by a student why morphine induces sleep, explains that it is due to morphine's "virtus dormitiva" that it is sedating.

Virtus dormitiva, of course, means "sleep-inducing property". The best neuroscience currently can do--and it never does this one hundred percent--is tell us whether a given neuron or neurons will or will not fire. This has nothing to do with consciousness whatsoever, and so in a sense, the closer we get to a neurological explanation, the farther away we get from what we are trying to treat, which is in consciousness.

Aah, philosophy of mind, my sweet, sweet paramour! ;)


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