whim-wham

No philosophy of mind is trouble-free.

Is sexual orientation a life choice? This is often asserted in connection with homosexuality, bisexuality and transsexuality, but never in connection with heterosexuality.

Can a child choose his or her own sexual orientation? For example, can a child decide to be transsexual? For that matter, did you choose your own sexual orientation? Of course not.

Understanding one’s own sexual orientation is not at all like choosing items to add to one’s own shopping list. You can’t shop for sexual orientation; you’re born into it.

Someone who comes ‘out of the closet’ to others is not choosing his or her sexuality, but declaring it.

If neuroscience identifies a brain signature of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, does the signature thereby replace Beethoven’s Fifth with a scientific explanation, as though Beethoven’s Fifth had never even existed? Of course not! The reduction explains the personal experience of listening to Beethoven’s Fifth by reducing it to the level of a brain activation pattern. It is not a denial of the existence of the particular experience. Now, is it possible for neuroscience to actually produce a neural signature of the Fifth? In the future – maybe.

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