Brain and Mind (and a return from silence)

People are often mystified that I find currency in Freudian and Lacanian thought.  The ground/warrant usually revolves around "Psychoanalysis is not scientific."  The backing to this warrant is usually the simple minded "Science is the Truth."  What I say in response is, "No, science is your prefered flavor of the truth." What these people are in effect saying is "Your ice cream is not vanilla, therefore it is not ice cream."

Re-encountering Gadamer has me thinking about the role of rhetoric in the act of "interpretation" which I think is central to the act of "arguing." Imagine an argument without interpretation, and you have what TV news passes as argument - what Deborah Tannen does a lukewarm job of identifying as "The Argument Culture."

Interpretation is, it seems, what modern scientific work, at least in the way it is communicated by lay people, is to remove interpretation from fact.  Facts without interpretation seem more stable, they require less of us, but they are a mirage.

Check out this great article I read this morning, it's fantastic. Here's the best quote, although long:

"The most irritating (to us lay people) aspect of philosophical and scientific attempts to reduce the mental to the neural, and to squash down human beings into being on all fours with other physical things, is that their proponents nearly always say that actually they are just putting the truth about consciousness more clearly and taking nothing away from our experience. Like politicians deviously withdrawing privileges, they expect us to be quite happy about this. Some developments of identity theory, however, are more upfront. They force consciousness into equivalence with lightning and water by impugning the ignorance of us ordinary people. The way we talk about sensations, memories and beliefs is, say eliminative materialists, hopelessly antiquated, a form of ‘folk psychology’ as hidebound and superstition-laden as talk about witches, or about epileptics being possessed by devils. ‘Folk psychology’ is a theory about how humans function, they say, that is pathetically inadequate in both describing and predicting. In time, a more scientifically sophisticated vocabulary will replace it.
Really? So we were wrong all the time about our memories and our passions? What sort of a world, I wonder, do these eliminative materialists envisage with their revised vocabulary about mental (or rather neural states). What exactly would be doing? What would be the point of training ourselves, or being trained, to report on our brain states?

What is the difference between brain and mind? It is the difference between the human and the object. It's the difference between a subject that can account, justify, attribute motives, and hold attitudes toward the world, judging the recalcitrant responses, or an object that is of the world with no culpability for its actions. And it is the reason that I find Freud and Lacan so fascinating is that they attempt to account for the subject, not explain it away with machines.

(Sorry about the long gap in posting, I've been quite busy with finals and other projects, but I'm back now!)