|Hi Eddie and Fountain Head,|
This statement: An idea may be understood as a complicated process within the nervous system in which many extents interact with each other, is based on the emergent theory of consciousness, which equates consciousness, as well as the rational and volitional of consciousness in humans, to merely physical processes.
Life, itself, is a physical process, but it is not the physical aspects of life that consciousness, reason, and volition pertain to, but the living process itself. No doubt, there are real physical (chemical/electrical) events associate with those mental process involved with forming ideas, specifically, concepts, but that there is any particular physical event associated with, or that can be described as "being," a particular idea, is extremely unlikely.
As far as Objectivism addressing the "problem" you suggested, it does not, because it does recognize any such problem. It is possible I do not understand exactly what you are getting at, however. Out of curiosity, have you read Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology? (This is not a quiz, you do not have to answer the question literally. It's none of my business.) If you haven't, it might answer some of the questions you have.
Also, my post, "Cause, Determinism, and Life" on the Has life always existed? thread addresses the relationships of the physical and psychological, from another viewpoint. The question is essentially the same, however.
Now Fountain Head:
I have been remiss in answering you.
First thank you for the interesting comment. I have not been trying to convince anyone, and certainly hope if you change any of your views it is because you are convinced by your own best reason, and not by my bad influence. (Mr. Danger, aka Lindsay Perigo, calls me, "the anal Mr. Firehammer, the Saddamite." I am certainly a bad influence, so be careful.)
Q: In what sense do I take ideas to be physical?
A: I’m not sure? I just can’t get over the idea that an idea is, in some way, shape or form, not physical. My reasoning: if it exists, it’s physical :-). I take it that ideas exist, as I do have them.
Ayn Rand says that ideas, (or more specifically, concepts), exist, but they exist psychologically, not physically. Ideas cannot exist independently of the human consciousness. But ideas certainly exist.
The distinction is very important. Physical existents have physical qualities, and their identity is in terms of those qualities, such as their mass, size, shape, chemical make-up, pH factor, etc. Ideas or concepts have no physical qualities and are identified by psychological qualities, which are fully delineated by Ayn Rand in the chapter, "Concepts of Consciousness," in Ayn Rand's Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology.
The whole subject of consciousness is a very large one. The Objectivist, David Kelley, wrote an entire book on just one small aspect of it. (Entitled The Evidence of the Senses, it is actually about the essence of consciousness, which is perception.) My point is, it is a subject to large to address adequately in this forum, probably.