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  1. #11
    I drink your milkshake. Thessaly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst View Post
    SGCS (Second Generation Cognitive Science) informs me that abstract ideas are constructed from concrete ideas, somewhat like molecules are consruced from atoms.

    Primary metaphors function somewhat like atoms that can be joined into molecules and these into a compound neural network. On the back cover of “Where Mathematics Comes From” is written “In this acclaimed study of cognitive science of mathematical ideas, renowned linguist George Lakoff pairs with psychologist Rafael Nunez to offer a new understanding of how we conceive and understand mathematical concepts.”

    “Abstract ideas, for the most part, arise via conceptual metaphor—a cognitive mechanism that derives abstract thinking from the way we function in the everyday physical world. Conceptual metaphor plays a central and defining role in the formation of mathematical ideas within the cognitive unconscious—from arithmetic and algebra to sets and logic to infinity in all of its forms. The brains mathematics is mathematics, the only mathematics we know or can know.”

    We are acculturated to recognize that a useful life is a life with purpose. The complex metaphor ‘A Purposeful Life Is a Journey’ is constructed from primary metaphors: ‘purpose is destination’ and ‘action is motion’; and a cultural belief that ‘people should have a purpose’.

    A Purposeful Life Is A Journey Metaphor
    A purposeful life is a journey.
    A person living a life is a traveler.
    Life goals are destinations
    A life plan is an itinerary.

    This metaphor has strong influence on how we conduct our lives. This influence arises from the complex metaphor’s entailments: A journey, with its accompanying complications, requires planning, and the necessary means.

    Primary metaphors ‘ground’ concepts to sensorimotor experience. Is this grounding lost in a complex metaphor? “Not at all.” Complex metaphors are composed of primary metaphors and the whole is grounded by its parts. “The grounding of A Purposeful Life Is A Journey is given by individual groundings of each component primary metaphor.”

    The ideas for this post come from “Philosophy in the Flesh”. The quotes are from “Where Mathematics Comes From”
    This reminds me of an article I read that discussed how we are hardwired to find purpose in everything -overly so (kids for instance will believe rocks are created with a specific purpose). This combined with our inclination to view the mind as separate from the body makes us perfectly programmed to believe in god.

    article: Brains 'are hardwired to believe in God and imaginary friends' | Mail Online

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst View Post
    Is basic consciousness in early animal forms?

    That is to say that his evidence indicates that core consciousness is centered about the brain’s physical areas that developed very early in the evolution of life on our planet, i.e. human core consciousness is directly evolved from early animal forms.

    Many non human creatures have emotions—“human emotions however have evolved to making connections to complex ideas, values, principles, and judgments”—thus human emotion is special—the impact of feelings on humans is the result of consciousness—a distinct difference between feeling and knowing a feeling—“neither the emotion or the feeling caused by the emotion is conscious”—these things happen in a biological state—there are three stages here; emotion, feeling, and consciousness of feeling—consciousness must be present if feelings have an influence beyond the here and the now—consciousness is tooted in the representation of the body.

    The biological function of emotions is to produce an automatic action in certain situations and to regulate the internal processes so that the creature is able to support the action dictated by the situation. The biological purpose of emotions are clear, they are not a luxury but a necessity for survival.

    First, there is emotion, then comes feeling, then comes core consciousness of feeling. There is no evidence that we are conscious of all our feelings, in fact evidence indicates that we are not conscious of all feelings.

    Humans have extended consciousness, which takes core consciousness to the level of self consciousness and the awareness of mortality.


    Quotes from The Feeling of what Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness by Antonio Damasio
    hmm this is quite interesting to me mainly because of the implications it may have for our treatment of animals. Animals appear to display a fairly sophisticated consciousness in their social behaviors such as cooperation and they may even have their own moral codes within their species. For example, some study I read held an experiment where rats refused to push a lever for food when they discovered their actions would deliver a shock to another animal.

    Many people disregard a notion of animals having moral codes because they believe that their actions are purely related to survival and instinct. Morality should require some sort of reflection they suppose - what this article refers to as "feeling". However, there is evidence of sociopathic animals so we can't assume that animals don't have some sort of conscious ability to choose their actions.

    This article does seem to imply though that we are of course just another animal who is extremely biologically successful and that we are subject to instincts perhaps more than we realize as opposed to being thorough reasoned deciders. Very interesting.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thessaly View Post
    This reminds me of an article I read that discussed how we are hardwired to find purpose in everything -overly so (kids for instance will believe rocks are created with a specific purpose). This combined with our inclination to view the mind as separate from the body makes us perfectly programmed to believe in god.

    article: Brains 'are hardwired to believe in God and imaginary friends' | Mail Online

    I think that we believe in God because we cannot tolerate the fact that we are mortal. Belief in God equates to a belief in eternal life.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thessaly View Post
    hmm this is quite interesting to me mainly because of the implications it may have for our treatment of animals. Animals appear to display a fairly sophisticated consciousness in their social behaviors such as cooperation and they may even have their own moral codes within their species. For example, some study I read held an experiment where rats refused to push a lever for food when they discovered their actions would deliver a shock to another animal.

    Many people disregard a notion of animals having moral codes because they believe that their actions are purely related to survival and instinct. Morality should require some sort of reflection they suppose - what this article refers to as "feeling". However, there is evidence of sociopathic animals so we can't assume that animals don't have some sort of conscious ability to choose their actions.

    This article does seem to imply though that we are of course just another animal who is extremely biologically successful and that we are subject to instincts perhaps more than we realize as opposed to being thorough reasoned deciders. Very interesting.

    Extended consciousness is the one factor that distinguishes humans from the other animals. With exended consciousnes comes abstract thinkng which, while budding in our animal ancestors, became truly possible for humans because we began to speak and learn language.

  5. #15
    I drink your milkshake. Thessaly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst View Post
    I think that we believe in God because we cannot tolerate the fact that we are mortal. Belief in God equates to a belief in eternal life.

    Belief in a mind separate from the body (i.e a soul) is more what equates with belief in an eternal life. A god is not a necessary nor sufficient condition for that belief.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst View Post
    Extended consciousness is the one factor that distinguishes humans from the other animals. With exended consciousnes comes abstract thinkng which, while budding in our animal ancestors, became truly possible for humans because we began to speak and learn language.
    So my questions is: does an extended consciousness validate our treatment towards animals? What is it about this consciousness that makes using animals for our own resources ethical? Most people don't appear to question our treatment of animals and seem to find it intuitively acceptable, but upon closer inspection the arguments do not appear to be as strong as arguments against such treatment.

  7. #17
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Into It View Post
    I read the other day in a respected psychology book that animals don't develop abstract concepts. So, as we say we have a concept of 'green,' and though we can recall on cue many green things, things within this category, any lesser animal could not do the same. I looked at my dog and frowned. I have not formed a solid opinion on this, so I would really like anyone else's opinion on this subject.
    Why your dog is not human?

    We human beings have language. Therefore abstract thought.
    Our language consists of less than twenty words.

    One two.. Green red..

    Human derives from the concept of sameness.
    The Indo European origin is the root word SAM. It means one.

    It means you differ from your dog.
    differ > differre > disferre. To carry apart. dis = apart.
    ferre = to carry, to bear. Corpus Callosum is a kind of a ferry. A uniting thing.
    A unit, again, is one. Something that bears the idea of sameness.

    You have two hemispheres. So does your dog.
    But your left hemisphere is differantiated. A late development in evolution.
    There you have your language. The seat of abstract thought.

    Your dog has two right hemispheres.

    They say N is of the right hemisphere, and at the same time they say N is of abstract thought. There is something amiss here.

    Green is not a concept. A concept of green is not green.
    Your dog understands the essential thing.
    We humans often do not.

  8. #18
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildcat View Post
    They say N is of the right hemisphere, and at the same time they say N is of abstract thought. There is something amiss here.

    Green is not a concept. A concept of green is not green.
    Your dog understands the essential thing.
    We humans often do not.
    (They say J is left hemisphere; P is right hemisphere.)
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  9. #19
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    Where is consciousness in homo sapiens?

    It is in the cerebral cortex.

    So do other animals have a cerebral cortex the same as homo sapiens?

    And the answer is no.

    So animals are not conscious.

    Of course some animals look conscious because they have emotions similar to ours.

    However animals are not conscious of their emotions.

    We do, though, project our consciousness into animals, and so treat them as though they were conscious.

  10. #20
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    (They say J is left hemisphere; P is right hemisphere.)
    Yes.
    Left: S and J and T
    Right: N and P and F

    They are perfectly correct.

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