User Tag List

First 1234 Last

Results 11 to 20 of 67

  1. #11

    Default

    I apologize if this has already been said, and it was touched on a little by SW.

    But here are my thoughts about consciousness.

    Consciousness(and whatever associated sub-conscious and non-conscious processes are required to support it) is to the brain as what computing software/firmware is to hardware. Or is shorter form consciousness:brain::software:hardware.

    I think eventually, we will figure out how to transfer a mind from our body to another "vessel" of sorts. The correlations between brain activity and the thoughts the brain user has may eventually lead to an understanding of how to store "mind" as a running process of electrical impulses.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  2. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    MBTI
    INFP
    Enneagram
    5
    Posts
    1,672

    Default

    To be clear, I only disagree with a few things here. Most of what is going on is a large misunderstanding.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    What is your derivation of this conception of the Hard Problem of consciousness as it does not strike me as at all intuitive or common. Typically the thinkers who believe in the Hard Problem of consciousness hold that it is either very difficult or impossible to explain the root cause of conscious activity. Merely stating that no physicalist theory has provided a successful explanation of consciousness does not make the problem seem hard, at best it shows that the current physicalist research is in a rudimentary stage. In fact, many materialists would not disagree with the thesis you've framed, however, they'd attribute this fact to a lack of current accomplishment rather than the nearly insurmountable nature of the 'Hard problem'.
    Irrelevant. (semantics)

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    No, actually the latter requires more evidence. All the former requires is more sophisticated technology that could trace all mental activity to neural activity. The latter requires showing that such technology is in principle impossible and the same is to be said for virtually all other efforts that purport to show that all mental activity is reducible to the physical. At the very least, it is conceivable how the physicalist hypothesis could be vindicated, yet no nealry as of a support for the dualist position is even conceivable.
    I've already said my position is not dualist as you conceive it. It could be, but it is not a specific enough claim to fall into such a precise category.

    Secondly, you are missing a very basic point here. The first claim is that Physicalism is wrong, that every theory that falls under Physicalism is wrong. The second claim is that out of the small amount of theories so far, none have managed to completely explain consciousness as we understand them.

    It is clear the latter is a much smaller claim. It needs far less evidence that the former.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Could you cite a professional philosophical passage that led you to define the Hard Problem in such manner or at least provide a rationale for your interpretation?
    I'm not going to debate semantics. If you must know, I got the impression from near all philosophy I have read on the manner. I thought your definition was called something like "the impossible problem".

    It's irrelevant to the debate here.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    That leads to only as much baggage as the claim that there are no alien creatures residing on other planets who reproduce sexually. We cannot be certain that this claim is true, but we do have a compelling reason to believe that it is true as our current knowledge of the universe offers us no reason to suppose that sexually reproductive creatures exist outside of planet earth. Nothing short of a revolutionary breakthrough in astronomy will be necessary to shatter this hypothesis at the foundation. I contend that the same holds for the dualist hypothesis, a revolution in neuroscience of Einsteinian magnitude shall be necessary to subvert the view of the physicalist orthodoxy.
    Here's the parallel:

    You are suggesting it takes more evidence to show that sexual life has not been found off this planet.

    I am suggesting it takes more evidence to show that sexual life is nowhere to be found in the entire galaxy.

    The former is a parallel of my position, the latter of what you seem to think my position is.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Do we need to reject all evolutionary explanations of how all species emerged on the basis of the fact that evolution has not yet explained how all of life has come to be? After all, it is too much effort to prove all evolutionary explanations unsuccessful?
    This is not a successful parallel. Evolution has much evidence to support the parts of it that are complete. Physicalist explanations of consciousness have no evidence whatsoever.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Idealism is the thesis that only mental entities exist or that they are somehow more real than the physical, solipsism is the doctrine that only I exist. I don't see the relevance of either one.
    The point is, you assume my position is dualist. Since my position is that your position has no evidence, mine could turn out to be any position. From solipsism to reductionism, provided further evidence comes to light.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    That is precisely what the dualist must accomplish in order to refute physicalism or to to show that all attempts to show that consciousness is caused by neural activity cannot be successful.
    That is a much larger task than the Physicalist, as I have already said.

    That is by your definition of dualism. I've already stated that reductionism is dualist by my definition.

    It's not relevant to my position.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    This is a non-sequitur, replace reductionism with non-reductionism and the conclusion above would follow from the premise you've started with in your last point. A non-reductionist has to attain more evidence than the reductionist because he is required to show that even if at some point researchers are to know everything about the brain's causal power, they will not be able to show how the brain causes mental activity. This is an additional step to the task of understanding the full causal power of the brain.
    Irrelevant. Hopefully you understand my position enough now to see that.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Yet they have been replaced by other laws of nature and science invariably emerged with empirically documentable explanation of how the world works. I suspect that the same will happen in neuroscience. In other words, when neuroscience sophisticates, it will be possible to see exactly how physical entities cause the rise of consciousness. An alternative explanation amounts to causation altogether independent from the physical world. Thus far such explanations have been unsuccessful in both biology and physics, I suspect they won't be successful in neuroscience either.
    The bolded is in full support of my position.

    An alternate explanation is not limited to something separate from the physical. I've already suggested Idealism as one. I can suggest denial of consciousness as another.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    That is not necessary to do just as it is not necessary for evolutionists to prove that there are no creators or for astronomers to prove that there are no sexually reproducing aliens just as truly as it is unnecessary for zoologists to prove that there are no angels, demons, fairies or dragons. In other words, we have no reason to attempt to refute a hypothesis that has no basis in rigorous research. Precisely that is the salient problem of dualism, it has failed to vindicate the existence of a single mental entity that exists outside of a neural network and is not caused by it.
    Here's what I meant:

    Proving that consciousness is correlated with the brain, or that consciousness is produced by the brain, does not prove that consciousness is limited to the brain.

    Just like proving that stars give off light does not prove that there is no light elsewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    That is not a good reason to reject a theory, it is only a reason to conclude that it is incomplete. However, the proper response to this outcome is to pursue physicalism further in order to render the current theory complete in the future. In other words, if your claim is such, it offers no support to the non-reductionist position.
    My position, for the final time, is that Physicalism has no evidence as a solution to the hard problem.

    I agree that it is not good reason to claim that Physicalism is false, which is precisely why I NEVER made that claim.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    In that case, why should we believe in dualism as opposed to materialism?
    I've been saying we shouldn't believe either until they get evidence.

    My position is to acknowledge ignorance where it is due.

  3. #13
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    MBTI
    INFP
    Enneagram
    5
    Posts
    1,672

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Consciousness(and whatever associated sub-conscious and non-conscious processes are required to support it) is to the brain as what computing software/firmware is to hardware. Or is shorter form consciousness:brain::software:hardware.

    I think eventually, we will figure out how to transfer a mind from our body to another "vessel" of sorts. The correlations between brain activity and the thoughts the brain user has may eventually lead to an understanding of how to store "mind" as a running process of electrical impulses.
    This seems more related to the soft problem than the hard one.

    Think of it this way, why is software conscious? Is computer software conscious?

  4. #14
    morose bourgeoisie
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    MBTI
    INFP
    Posts
    3,859

    Default

    I hate this place.

  5. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    This seems more related to the soft problem than the hard one.

    Think of it this way, why is software conscious? Is computer software conscious?
    I don't believe software is conscious.

    I am unclear on what the hard problem actually is. You said it is related to phenomenological consciousness.

    Are you simply asking whether it exists or it doesn't?

    That seems like purely a matter of semantics. It depends on what you mean by "exists."

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  6. #16
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    MBTI
    INFP
    Enneagram
    5
    Posts
    1,672

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    I don't believe software is conscious.

    I am unclear on what the hard problem actually is. You said it is related to phenomenological consciousness.

    Are you simply asking whether it exists or it doesn't?

    That seems like purely a matter of semantics. It depends on what you mean by "exists."
    My only solid position on PC is that it does exist. Other than that I have no idea, and I acknowledge that.

    The hard problem is simply why consciousness exists. In explaining software we don't need to posit consciousness, and I am looking for an explanation as to why this isn't the case for the human mind.

    Some even say that because we can imagine humans who are identical to us except lacking in PC, so they even falsely claim they have PC like us, that PC is not necessary to explain the human mind either. I think this very discussion proves that PC has a causal effect on us, so I believe it is necessary to provide a full explanation of the human mind.

  7. #17
    AKA Nunki Polaris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Enneagram
    451 sp/sx
    Socionics
    INFp Ni
    Posts
    1,373

    Default

    The hard problem is simply why consciousness exists.
    You've take a noun (consciousness), paired it up with its verbal form (to exist), and then set these two synonyms (to-be-a-noun has the same meaning as a noun stated simply) against each other as though they have separate meanings. To ask why consciousness exists is like asking why water is aqua; the question is a tautology that provides its own answer, making it a drawn-out way of saying the same thing as the simple word "existence."
    [ Ni > Ti > Fe > Fi > Ne > Te > Si > Se ][ 4w5 sp/sx ][ RLOAI ][ IEI-Ni ]

  8. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    My only solid position on PC is that it does exist. Other than that I have no idea, and I acknowledge that.

    The hard problem is simply why consciousness exists. In explaining software we don't need to posit consciousness, and I am looking for an explanation as to why this isn't the case for the human mind.

    Some even say that because we can imagine humans who are identical to us except lacking in PC, so they even falsely claim they have PC like us, that PC is not necessary to explain the human mind either. I think this very discussion proves that PC has a causal effect on us, so I believe it is necessary to provide a full explanation of the human mind.
    I still think you need to make clear what you mean when you say something "exists." Does the color red exist? Does time exist? Or are these just constructs? Do unicorns "exist" in our imaginations? Does anything exist? I think the answers you give depends on the ontology you use. This is a matter of semantics, but an important matter if we are to answer why something "exists" or does not.

    You say PC exists. So I think it is important to answer in what way it exists.

    Also, two of the choices you gave for the "usual positions" are positions regarding whether or not something exists, and does not address "why." The "why," in both those cases is simply "because they are axioms of the positions held."

    If by PC you mean the "experience" of consciousness, and if the experience itself is enough to establish the existence, then we need to answer why we experience consciousness.

    The next place of ambiguity in your query is in what you mean by "why." Is "Because gravity pulls things to the ground" a valid answer to "Why do things fall to the ground?"

    You can perpetually ask "why" to any such answer, and eventually you will reach an end of understanding. This is not special to the experience of consciousness. You would have a "hard problem" for any query.

    Are we asking about what is the proximal cause of consciousness? That seems like a wise choice.

    I am personally open to many answers. Though I do not believe the question to be out of the realm of science.

    We have already made great strides in reading what we experience based on what is observed from the outside. That is the first step in establishing why we experience consciousness...IOW, establishing the proximal cause of experience. In this sense, I believe the answer to the soft problem is also the answer to the hard problem. The rest is just semantics.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  9. #19
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    MBTI
    INFP
    Enneagram
    5
    Posts
    1,672

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    I still think you need to make clear what you mean when you say something "exists." Does the color red exist? Does time exist? Or are these just constructs? Do unicorns "exist" in our imaginations? Does anything exist? I think the answers you give depends on the ontology you use. This is a matter of semantics, but an important matter if we are to answer why something "exists" or does not.
    This question of existence is not put forth when I ask if or why the country of China exists, why is it being put forth now?

    I really don't know how to define existence without limiting the scope of responses. I'd rather the answerer (you) did that.

    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Also, two of the choices you gave for the "usual positions" are positions regarding whether or not something exists, and does not address "why." The "why," in both those cases is simply "because they are axioms of the positions held."
    That does not change the fact that they are usual responses.

    Why does PC exist? It doesn't. It resolves the "why" in a simple manner.
    Why does PC exist? Because it is existence. It resolves the "why" by turning it into a tautology.

    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    If by PC you mean the "experience" of consciousness, and if the experience itself is enough to establish the existence, then we need to answer why we experience consciousness.
    What's the difference between the experience of consciousness and consciousness itself?

    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    The next place of ambiguity in your query is in what you mean by "why." Is "Because gravity pulls things to the ground" a valid answer to "Why do things fall to the ground?"

    You can perpetually ask "why" to any such answer, and eventually you will reach an end of understanding. This is not special to the experience of consciousness. You would have a "hard problem" for any query.

    Are we asking about what is the proximal cause of consciousness? That seems like a wise choice.

    I am personally open to many answers. Though I do not believe the question to be out of the realm of science.

    We have already made great strides in reading what we experience based on what is observed from the outside. That is the first step in establishing why we experience consciousness...IOW, establishing the proximal cause of experience. In this sense, I believe the answer to the soft problem is also the answer to the hard problem. The rest is just semantics.
    Yes, now this is an important issue.

    What you are claiming is by reducing consciousness to its correlations, we solve the hard problem. I believe this position is similar to epiphenomenalism.

    This position, however, has some heavy criticism. Some that I can think of:

    1. That because one has difficulty measuring PC, one cannot determine if a system is conscious.
    2. Specific in these difficulties is that, what is being experienced consciously can only be measured in any sense through the communication of the experiencer. Presumably the experiencer has what are essentially preprogrammed responses that need not have consciousness in order to be made. E.g. you will not be able to get a robot to tell you it is conscious without programming it to, when you didn't know if it was conscious at the time of the programming.
    3. That the causal direction is not being determined. It would appear that our own references to PC strongly suggest it is PC itself causing us to reference it. Yet mere correlation does not answer any questions about such causation.
    4. As you said, it is a scientific explanation (a circular one or a broken linear one), where eventually the "why" twists back on itself or reaches ignorance. Not much of a problem, but worth remembering.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nunki View Post
    You've take a noun (consciousness), paired it up with its verbal form (to exist), and then set these two synonyms (to-be-a-noun has the same meaning as a noun stated simply) against each other as though they have separate meanings. To ask why consciousness exists is like asking why water is aqua; the question is a tautology that provides its own answer, making it a drawn-out way of saying the same thing as the simple word "existence."
    As I suspected from your previous response, your position is Idealism. Equating consciousness to existence as you are.

    However, one still needs proof as to why the other possibilities are not the case. Rather, one needs to prove that consciousness is the entirety of the existence.

    This is close to my position. Mine simply has the added clause that one has only known consciousness and cannot infer existence outside of that. So I don't rule out existence without consciousness as you seem to.

  10. #20
    AKA Nunki Polaris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Enneagram
    451 sp/sx
    Socionics
    INFp Ni
    Posts
    1,373

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    As I suspected from your previous response, your position is Idealism. Equating consciousness to existence as you are.
    I can understand why you would think that, but I'm not an Idealist. An Idealist is someone who claims that everything is the mind (or ego), whereas I'm someone who recognizes a relationship between the mind and its opposite in which one defines the other without completely separating itself. This relationship is normally signified by the word "consciousness," which stands for both your thoughts in a personal sense and the world that you behold on a more objective level. If by consciousness, you specifically meant the "ego," the answer to the hard problem is that by asserting itself, a thing also makes-other, so that without an ego, there could not be a non-ego any more than there could be a non-ego without an ego.
    [ Ni > Ti > Fe > Fi > Ne > Te > Si > Se ][ 4w5 sp/sx ][ RLOAI ][ IEI-Ni ]

Similar Threads

  1. [ENFP] My Friend Learning the Hard Way...AGAIN!
    By Turtledove in forum The NF Idyllic (ENFP, INFP, ENFJ, INFJ)
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-15-2012, 07:38 PM
  2. The hardness of a job actually commensurate with pay?
    By Venom in forum Academics and Careers
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 07-02-2011, 02:36 PM
  3. The Easy to be Hard problem
    By onemoretime in forum Philosophy and Spirituality
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 06-16-2010, 06:52 PM
  4. The "Easy" Problem
    By ragashree in forum Philosophy and Spirituality
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 06-09-2010, 12:09 PM
  5. [NT] Face of the Hard
    By entropie in forum The NT Rationale (ENTP, INTP, ENTJ, INTJ)
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-02-2008, 03:08 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO