Gerald Edelman

Gerald Edelman
Second Nature

Brain Science and Human Knowledge
Yale University Press 2006

I will argue that the number of important consequences ensue if we show how consciousness is based in brain action. In doing so, I shall assume that we do understand this basis, and I will lay out the implications of such an understanding. I will then describe some of the essential features of the brain and the concepts necessary to understanding how it works
If this picture of principles underlying brain-based epistemology is correct, then early formulations of thought are by nature associatively rich but relatively imprecise. How then do we come to form more precise concepts necessary for scientific pursuits? What about logic and mathematics, both of which involve precision that is essential for enlarging our knowledge and understanding?
Any attempt to answer these questions must confront the issue of language. This is certainly the case for traditional epistemology, which deals largely in prepositional or sentential terms. It is also an unavoidable issue in considering the actual development of knowledge and concepts during human history.
I argued that the brain is not a computer and that the world is not a piece of coded tape. The brain must, in the absence of unambiguous signals, establish regularities of behaviour under constraints of inherited value systems and of idiosyncratic perceptual and memorial events. In human beings, such systems and events necessarily involve emotions and biases.

How Matter becomes Imagination
Basic 2000

Edelman Universe of Consciousness