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An overwhelming amount of evidence points to indirect realism being true. This means that all perceptions are spatio-temporally located throughout brain processes. Therefore the body you perceive is an illusory homunculus which actually exists throughout processing in your 'real' brain. There is no problem of infinite regress (ie; who is inside the brain of the homunculus?) because the homuculus or the 'you' is an illusion smeared spatio-temporally throughout your 'real' brains processing.

Does the illusory homunculus affect (will, or control) the 'real' body or are we merely marionettes?

If we are marionettes with no control or will over the true body, what would be the evolutionary benefit for the marrionettes existence (even if it is illusory)? How could consciousness be evolutionarily selected if it makes no difference to the organisms survival?

I think this is satisfactory evidence that the illusory homunculus exibits some sort of control over the true body. As if the illusory homunculi that we are, have the role of some sort of control function over our 'real' brains.

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    An overwhelming amount of evidence points to indirect realism being true. Give us some examples... – draks ... Jul 16 '12 at 20:34
  • Hallucinations, illusions, stars we see may no longer exist, phantom pain, etc, etc. Light from this computer screen is converted by your retina into a neural signal which is transmitted from your eye to your brain. Therefore the first instance of this computer screen that you could possibly experience is the information at the surface of your retina. The computer screen lies beyond the surface of your retina and therefore must be beyond your direct awareness. – Frank Jul 16 '12 at 20:49
  • Welcome to Philosophy.SE and thanks for your question! Is there any chance I might be able to persuade you to tell us a little more about the context and motivations behind your concern here? What might you be expecting by way of an explanation and what have you found out already? By the way, I have tried to reformulate your headline as a question; I identified what seems to me to be the key question in your post – Joseph Weissman Jul 21 '12 at 22:53
  • About the headline: please feel free to change or develop it further! (I might just mention in passing it helps to logically structure the flow of reading the site if questions have 'questiony' titles; it doesn't have to literally be a question, but it should try to identify a specific problem or concern on a particular issue.) – Joseph Weissman Jul 21 '12 at 22:54
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An overwhelming amount of evidence points to indirect realism being true.

That's an unsupported claim.

This means that all perceptions are spatio-temporally located throughout brain processes.

This, too, is an unsupported claim. Not everyone is a physical reductionist when it comes to mind.

Therefore the body you perceive is an illusory homunculus which actually exists throughout processing in your 'real' brain. There is no problem of infinite regress (ie; who is inside the brain of the homunculus?) because the homuculus or the 'you' is an illusion smeared spatio-temporally throughout your 'real' brains processing.

Similarly, when I look at the house across the street, there exists an "illusory" image of the house somewhere spatio-temporally in my brain, even though the house is larger than my brain. So?

Does the illusory homunculus affect (will, or control) the 'real' body or are we merely marionettes?

What you are really asking here is about free will vs determinism. There's no need to bring in illusory homunculi or marionettes.

If we are marionettes with no control or will over the true body, what would be the evolutionary benefit for the marrionettes existence (even if it is illusory)? How could consciousness be evolutionarily selected if it makes no difference to the organisms survival?

What would lead you to believe that consciousness has been selected, or that it offers any evolutionary benefit? It could just as easily be an epiphenomenon, a "spandrel" (to use Steven Jay Gould's term).

I think this is satisfactory evidence that the illusory homunculus exibits some sort of control over the true body. As if the illusory homunculi that we are, have the role of some sort of control function over our 'real' brains.

What you are therefore claiming is that we possess free will, and that mind has a causal effect on matter. Both of these claims are difficult to reconcile with your initial stipulation of physical reductionism.

I'd suggest you take a look at Raymond Tallis's recent book Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis and the Misrepresentation of Humanity which nicely lays out the problems of physical reductionism, and of superficial appeals to evolution.

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If we start off with our body, we have no control over it when we are born. As we develop our brain processes and creates subconsciously the ability to think movement and create movement and we continually push what we can do physically as a child to see what our limits are. As we fall and hurt ourselves the brain sets limits on what we can physically achieve without hurting ourselves and we consciously begin to know what we can and can't do physically. Everything becomes second nature as we get older and we do not think about controlling our movement, it is done almost instantaneously by the neural connections made. The subconscious mind is the daddy! That's where all the real work happens and it does it whilst you're asleep. (what happens whilst we sleep is a huge topic!).

Anyway, as we go through life our observations, actions, reactions, events create perceptions of what our reality is and that reality is subjective. Humans can look at the same object but give different views of what it is. Rather than seeing is believing I like to think Believing is seeing. If you truly believe something you will see it. The brain receives over 2 million bits of sensory data and these are interpreted via your senses. In the interpretation process those 2 million bits are reduced significantly into about 7 bits and this is done by deleting, distorting and generalising. So through this reduction in bits we don't actually see what we are looking at.

You do not exist. The you I am referring to is the ego. You think thoughts, you can observe your thoughts, you "experience" them but you are not them. Thoughts arise from the mental conditioning you've received throughout your life. Your reality is based upon that conditioning. What would be real if your ego was reset?

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