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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    I denied the irreducibility of mental experiences to neural items or merely posited that 'phenomenal consciousness' is caused by brain activity. Much of the discussion of qualia refers to mental states that are irreducible to physical phenomena. That is what I assume for the term to mean when it is mentioned within the context of discourse of dualistic metaphysical presuppositions. In a more general sense, qualia refers to mental experiences altogether, however, I use it in a more restricted fashion.

    "Other philosophers (e.g, Dennett 1987, 1991) use the term ‘qualia’ in a more restricted way so that qualia are intrinsic properties of experiences that are also ineffable, nonphysical, and ‘given’ to their subjects incorrigibly (without the possibility of error). Philosophers who deny that there are qualia sometimes have in mind qualia as the term is used in this more restricted sense (or a similar one). " (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Qualia)

    I only mean to deny that there are mental experiences that are altogether unrelated to or uncaused by physical occurences. I deny qualia only in the restricted rather than the general sense by saying that mental experiences exist, yet they are all reducible to neural items.

    No, I didn't, not even eliminative materialists like Dennett or Churchland went so far as to assert something as absurd that people don't have mental experiences. Dennett's Intentional stance refers precisely to those mental experiences, however, he deems them to be illusory representations of reality and Churchland regards mental images as equally misleading. Materialists of our persuasion deny the probity of qualia by suggesting that it is not a reliable source of knowledge, less fundamental to the nature of consciousness than neural activity or not as ontologically autonomous as physical parts of a person's identity. Holding to a position of this nature is one thing yet asserting that there are no mental experiences is another.
    Can you be more specific in what properties associated with qualia that you are denying?

    Specifically, how one can "reduce" them to non-mental properties, without denying their existence (since they are mental)?

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    I understand the tenets of dualism and idealism just fine, it is you who misunderstood my position and by extension that of materialism in general. You've equated materialism with a denial of all mental experience in your first reply to me, that is a very sinister error.
    We'll see where this goes based on the above question.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    How do you go about corroborating that claim? Arguments? Citations of authoritative commenatry on Plato? If Plato was not an Idealist, how do you interpret the salient implication of the theory of Forms which suggests that the conceptual entities are less corruptible than the material? Even more significantly, how do you interpret the famous Allegory of the Cave?
    I've never met anyone who seriously claimed Plato was an Idealist after studying him.

    He's usually purported as a Dualist or a Pluralist. Precisely because, from his view, all we experience is physical, all we can do to know the forms are to look through the physical, and most importantly, that the forms themselves are not mental (not conceptual) or material. Instead they can be accessed mentally just like they are accessed physically by the material world.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Berkeley expressed his skepticism regarding the existence of matter in the Dialogues of Hylas and Philonius. Idealism was a metaphysical belief that he embraced in order to undermine doctrines that take the existence of matter for granted.
    Exactly. That is his reasoning around Idealism, that taking physical matter for granted and using it as a foundation was strongly undermined by the quickly arising scepticism around that time.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Where did I doubt that Berkeley was an idealist? Can you quote a single passage of my post that even implies that?
    I didn't mean that. Merely that the sceptical form of Idealism I proposed a few posts ago is exactly what Berkeley supported.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    You need to work on your reading comprehension. Nowhere did I say that idealism denies the existence of matter, it merely regards matter as less fundamental to reality than the mind. Idealists often doubt the existence of matter, however, this is means to the end of suggesting that matter is less fundamental to reality than the mind and not an effort to show that physical entities do not exist at all.
    Exactly. Hence the chair does exist as matter (according to most Idealists), hence the shared/consistent experience, but matter is of the mind ("mind-dependent").

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    If one was to assume that the chair was a consistent mental object incepted within the mind alone and was not inspired by a reference to matter, one would be led to question why other objects that were incepted in the mind were less consistent than the chair. For example, I can imagine a wizard and this image will change in mind in the next few days as my perceptions eventually distort the images conceived in the past. Furthermore, I'd also notice that other people do not have the same experiences observing the wizard that I do. Yet the case with the chair is different, every time I look at it, it remains the same and other people report perceiving the same image every time they look at the chair. This should compel one to believe that the chair is a physical entity that the mind respodns to rather than an entity that is created by the mind.
    So again, the chair is matter (an object) according to, say, Berkeley. But to say it possesses a non-mental existence with certainty is to leave the tenets of such Idealism.

    As for Idealists who claim mind is merely more fundamental than the physical, I am unaware of any. Examples?

  2. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    How?

    Your acting like the meaning of phenomenal consciousness is made up by the person speaking. It has a definition like any other word does, yet you are treating it like a special case. Why?
    I say its semantics because it feels like semantics.

    When I use what I think is the definition of phenomenal consciousness, it seems easily measured (nurses can crudely measure the pain a patient feels by the facial expression for instance, or simply by their capacity for empathy), but you say PC is not easily mesured...the only way I can see that you can get away with saying that it can't be measured is by defining it as having the property that it can't be measured.

    Please present me with one example as a way of defining PC (without referring to more vague terms) that does not in itself entail that it cannot me measured.

    I really am just trying to understand your point of view, but so far, I can't even pin down what you are saying. You use vague terms to define vague terms--that does not make the situation clear (no offense).

    Perhpaps you can present it in a formal argument--you are philosophically trained.



    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    I am seeing no semantic issue here. Also, you've not suggested a way of measuring phenomenal consciousness, but a way of measuring brain chemistry. To correlate that with phenomenal consciousness, one needs to determine the most accurate measure of phenomenal consciousness itself. Presupposing that a word being read has caused a phenomenally conscious state is a very large assumption. Especially when one considers what specific phenomenally conscious state it may have caused.
    We often measure energy gaps by measuring differences in frequency which are inturn measured by the distances we see in spectral analysis. We often measure pH by the color of litmus paper. I am not using the word "measure" in any unusual way.

    Images experienced in the mind are Qualia (again unless there is something I am missing semantically). The Japanese measured the images in peoples minds. Show me how that is not so.

    Here is a link so you can see what they are doing for yourself.
    Dailymotion - Japanese Mind Reading Technology - a News & Politics video

    They are actually measuring what is in the person's mind, by the same meaning of the word measure as we use for anything.

    If you can explain to me how they have not measured the image in the person's mind (again, no different from how we measure pH...its all inference), then maybe I'll understand why it is not just semantics.

    Since English has lead to frustration, perhaps diagrams will help. Here the solid circles are the phenomena exclusively in the realm of the hard problem, while the dashed lined phenomena can be approached from a cause-effect (soft problem) perspective.

    I believe my examples have made the following position untenable:


    But it does allow for the following (all links to hard problem are inadequate):


    If you disagree with that let me know. If you agree, I need you to characterize the inadequacies, let me know why you believe that every link currently available has inadequacies, and let me know what possibility in the future would make any of the links adequate.

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  3. #53
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    Can you be more specific in what properties associated with qualia that you are denying??
    I believe in all mental properties that appear to exist from a common-sense perspective. Such as for example joy, pain, euphoria, annoyance, itchiness and so forth. What I don't believe in is that any of these entities are caused by something other than neural activity.

    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    Specifically, how one can "reduce" them to non-mental properties, without denying their existence (since they are mental)???
    When I say 'reduce' I mean to assert that they exist because certain neural entities exist. In other words, the reductionist supposition that I am working with entails that mental entities are caused by brain activity.







    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    I've never met anyone who seriously claimed Plato was an Idealist after studying him.)
    What someone else that you've met thinks of Plato is irrelevant. What I am interested in is how you can justify your interpretation of Plato as a non-idealist metaphysicians. This time answer my questions about the topic and don't avoid them.

    If Plato was not an Idealist, how do you interpret the salient implication of the theory of Forms which suggests that the conceptual entities are less corruptible than the material? Even more significantly, how do you interpret the famous Allegory of the Cave?

    He's usually purported as a Dualist or a Pluralist. Precisely because, from his view, all we experience is physical, all we can do to know the forms are to look through the physical, and most importantly, that the forms themselves are not mental (not conceptual) or material. Instead they can be accessed mentally just like they are accessed physically by the material world.



    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    Exactly. That is his reasoning around Idealism, that taking physical matter for granted and using it as a foundation was strongly undermined by the quickly arising scepticism around that time..)
    Berkeley's Idealism was interesting, yet it rested on one indefensible premise: that God is the source of mind. According to Berkeley God plans the same kinds of ideas into the minds of all of us and that is why we all perceive the same chair. However, unless you're willing to accept his premise regarding God, you're unable to rescue idealism from my charges. The charges in question are as follows.

    1. If mind is the source of reality, why is it the case that some things that are conceived of by the mind are perceived by me only and not other people.

    2. Most entities that were mentally conceived are frequently distorted over time and our perceptions of them change.






    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    Exactly. Hence the chair does exist as matter (according to most Idealists), hence the shared/consistent experience, but matter is of the mind ("mind-dependent")...)
    How does an idealist answer the two of my objections above?



    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    As for Idealists who claim mind is merely more fundamental than the physical, I am unaware of any. Examples?
    I would have to dig through quite a bit of literature to find a quote that either states or implies that the mind is merely more fundamental to reality than matter. However, you may take the example of Berkeley. He posited that all things are comprised of ideas. "He was an idealist: everything that exists is either a mind or depends for its existence upon a mind. " (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Berkeley). The implication of such a claim is that mind is the ultimate reality rather than matter and matter is in some sense illusory. However, the experience of what is perceived to be 'matter' is not denied. For instance, Berkeley would not place a normal person who merely sees a chair in the same category as a schizophrenic who hallucinates. A curious parallel to this position emerges in materialism. Materialists believe that matter is more fundamental to reality, yet they do not make the outrageous claim that mental experiences do not exist in any sense at all. In that regard, it can be posited that Idealists believe in matter yet deem it 'less real' than the mind, and vice versa holds true for materialists.
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  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Please present me with one example as a way of defining PC (without referring to more vague terms) that does not in itself entail that it cannot me measured.
    I'm not sure I can do that. Remembering that I am trying to work out whether it can be measured.

    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    If you can explain to me how they have not measured the image in the person's mind (again, no different from how we measure pH...its all inference), then maybe I'll understand why it is not just semantics.
    Well, here's an example to demonstrate what I am getting at.

    In the link you presented, and we'll assume the image they came up with was a lo computer program oft more accurate than it really was, they linked some properties of a brain to a some sort.

    That computer program is linked up to the graphics systems, that system to the monitor, and the monitor to the brain of another observer.

    So what you get is a simulation of one brain, transferred to another.

    Now, on this long causal/correlation trail, we can add phenomenal consciousness to either side. One on the measured subject, one on the observer watching the monitor.

    First of all, this is an extrapolation from the measurements taken. As there is no need to add phenomenal consciousness on either side, to explain what is going on. What was measured was matter in the brain, which affects matter in the various machines, which affects matter in the other brain.

    Secondly, after adding PC to either side of the chain, one has to make an assumption that one PC is matching another. For example, the classic case of assuming one person's red is another's. The only reason one sees colours on the screen is because of one's own PC.

    Thirdly, after adding PC to the chain, one is left without an explanation as to why those brain patterns are phenomenally conscious in the first place.

    That last one is the Hard Problem, whilst the other two are related to it as general problems of consciousness.

    Now, as for your diagrams and the questions that follow. I agree that the first diagram is not the case, and that the nature of the additional links in the second diagram are what are being discussed here.

    If we assume that our experience of blue and red might be inversions of each other, we still know with decent certainty that we each consistently having the same experience each time we witness a blue or red event. We know, via the soft problem, that we are having consistent conscious experiences (ignoring extreme scepticism). We know that such experiences change consistently as brain chemistry changes.

    What puzzles me, is that the links between brain chemistry and PC seem stronger than this. As we discuss and refer to PC all the time, and we directly witness it alongside physical changes that represent this witnessing. So, I'm wondering if that can lead one to successfully infer that measuring brain chemistry is a direct way of measuring PC. As to say otherwise is to place an arbitrary distinction between one person's consciousness and another's. I certainly don't think this suggests we can infer which one causes the other, however, which is the nature of the Hard Problem. Explaining why something is conscious, rather than inferring what its consciousness is.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    I believe in all mental properties that appear to exist from a common-sense perspective. Such as for example joy, pain, euphoria, annoyance, itchiness and so forth. What I don't believe in is that any of these entities are caused by something other than neural activity.

    When I say 'reduce' I mean to assert that they exist because certain neural entities exist. In other words, the reductionist supposition that I am working with entails that mental entities are caused by brain activity.
    So there are no other properties of qualia which you deny? Like ineffability or immediate accessibility?

    What precisely makes you believe that neural entities cause consciousness, and not, say, vice versa? What unique property does the brain activity possess that make it conscious?

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Berkeley's Idealism was interesting, yet it rested on one indefensible premise: that God is the source of mind. According to Berkeley God plans the same kinds of ideas into the minds of all of us and that is why we all perceive the same chair. However, unless you're willing to accept his premise regarding God, you're unable to rescue idealism from my charges. The charges in question are as follows.

    1. If mind is the source of reality, why is it the case that some things that are conceived of by the mind are perceived by me only and not other people.

    2. Most entities that were mentally conceived are frequently distorted over time and our perceptions of them change.
    1. The same reason you are the only one perceiving the chair at that time, from that perspective. It is just as unique an experience as one's conceptions. So another person could conceive of what you conceive of, if they can perceive the chair in the way you perceive the chair.

    2. Again, just like the world of objects. Which changes over time. Both the objective world and the conceptual world are consistent, they simply have some differences in how they are consistent.

    Does the existence of shared or consistent experiences infer a non-experiential reality? Why, in a purely mental world, would there not be shared or consistent experiences?

    It seems to me, that the question of why there are consistent and shared experiences infers the same problems as why there are certain experiences at all.

    Your quotations of me regarding Plato seem to have been mistaken, in that you miss out my main points on the matter and place them outside of a quote without a response.

  5. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    I'm not sure I can do that. Remembering that I am trying to work out whether it can be measured.
    Then your definition of PC should be agnostic to whether or not it can be measured, just as I requested.

    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    Well, here's an example to demonstrate what I am getting at.

    In the link you presented, and we'll assume the image they came up with was a lo computer program oft more accurate than it really was, they linked some properties of a brain to a some sort.

    That computer program is linked up to the graphics systems, that system to the monitor, and the monitor to the brain of another observer.

    So what you get is a simulation of one brain, transferred to another.

    Now, on this long causal/correlation trail, we can add phenomenal consciousness to either side. One on the measured subject, one on the observer watching the monitor.
    I essentially agree with this characterization, but I think it is a bit more subtle. There are actually two "causal trails" important here.

    Again, I will resort to diagrams, since they seemed to prove effective earlier.

    We could present, naively, what the experiment does in the following manner.

    Here, the overlapping circles are considered "similar enough" for the experiment's purpose. The filled circles represent qualia, the empty circles represent other phenomena.

    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    First of all, this is an extrapolation from the measurements taken. As there is no need to add phenomenal consciousness on either side, to explain what is going on. What was measured was matter in the brain, which affects matter in the various machines, which affects matter in the other brain.
    Need for what purpose? I have two objections to your first point.
    1) If the purpose of the experiment is for the scientist to measure qualia in some way, then the scientists own qualia is needed in the explanation.

    2) There is seemingly sufficient reason to say that the qualia of the subject is not needed in the explanation, because it can simply be described as a complicated set of non-qualia phenomena that leads to the stimuli coming from the measuring equipment.

    We can pictorialize this conception of the experiment like so:


    But this is an error of omission for two reasons.
    A) There is ample evidence (though not incontrovertible proof) that the subject has qualia in response to the presented stimuli.
    B) There is ample evidence (again not incontrovertible) that the complex causal chain of phenomena is correlated with the qualia. If two things are correlated, and neither is causless, then either one must cause the other or they must have a common "root" cause. Since both the neural activity and the qualia are responses of the stimuli, there must be SOME causal link to the qualia.



    This can be summarized/simplified to:


    Note that this sort of causal pattern is still a valid use of the word measure, as would be the case when measuring the energy lost by an electron based on the distance/position of a line on a spectrometer.


    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    Secondly, after adding PC to either side of the chain, one has to make an assumption that one PC is matching another. For example, the classic case of assuming one person's red is another's. The only reason one sees colours on the screen is because of one's own PC.
    No assumption of matching between two different people's qualia is needed for this measurement. The only thing that mattered is the similarity of qualia on the left and right side of the screen for the scientist.

    Perhaps other experiments can be done to determine similarity of qualia between people, but this experiment neither pertains to nor needs that similarity.

    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    Thirdly, after adding PC to the chain, one is left without an explanation as to why those brain patterns are phenomenally conscious in the first place.

    That last one is the Hard Problem, whilst the other two are related to it as general problems of consciousness.
    I think I have once again established a causal link from the stimuli to the qualia. Are you stating once again that this link is inadequate? Why is it inadequate?

    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    Now, as for your diagrams and the questions that follow. I agree that the first diagram is not the case, and that the nature of the additional links in the second diagram are what are being discussed here.

    If we assume that our experience of blue and red might be inversions of each other, we still know with decent certainty that we each consistently having the same experience each time we witness a blue or red event. We know, via the soft problem, that we are having consistent conscious experiences (ignoring extreme scepticism). We know that such experiences change consistently as brain chemistry changes.
    I agree with this.

    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    What puzzles me, is that the links between brain chemistry and PC seem stronger than this. As we discuss and refer to PC all the time, and we directly witness it alongside physical changes that represent this witnessing. So, I'm wondering if that can lead one to successfully infer that measuring brain chemistry is a direct way of measuring PC. As to say otherwise is to place an arbitrary distinction between one person's consciousness and another's. I certainly don't think this suggests we can infer which one causes the other, however, which is the nature of the Hard Problem. Explaining why something is conscious, rather than inferring what its consciousness is.
    I am a little confused about what you are concluding here.

    Are you agreeing with me that we have successfully found ways to measure qualia?

    I thought we had also earlier agreed that we can establish what causes what, without regard to whether the phenomena in question are mental or physical or whatever.

    I want to reiterate. If one believes in a pure dichotomy of phenomenon, on will always see a "hard problem." Take for example living phenomena vs. non-living phenomena. Would you not have a parallel "hard problem" of life? "Why is something alive in the first place?" and so on.

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  6. #56
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    So there are no other properties of qualia which you deny? Like ineffability or immediate accessibility?.
    I don't see any reason to deny them solely on the basis of physicalism. Materialism merely explains how mental entities are caused, not whether they exist or don't exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    What precisely makes you believe that neural entities cause consciousness, and not, say, vice versa??.
    Empirical investigation furnished support for the thesis that mental entities are caused by neurons, yet no similarly rigorous arguments have been advanced in favor of the vice-versa claim.

    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    What unique property does the brain activity possess that make it conscious?
    We don't know yet, all we know thus far is that some mental processes are known to cease to exist after the termination of their neural correlates. If I had to speculate about an answer to your question at this point, I'd have to say that some intricate combination of neural activities give rise to consciousness.




    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    The same reason you are the only one perceiving the chair at that time, from that perspective. It is just as unique an experience as one's conceptions. So another person could conceive of what you conceive of, if they can perceive the chair in the way you perceive the chair.
    I don't deny that another person could conceive of a chair that I have seen in my dream or have concocted in my imagination, but the fact of the matter is that most people don't observe things that I've dreamed of or envisaged in my private reveries. The fact that most people share only those of my mental images that have derived from my observations of physical entities leads me to think that the material world is more fundamental to reality than the mental which is the antithesis to idealism.

    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    Again, just like the world of objects. Which changes over time. Both the objective world and the conceptual world are consistent, they simply have some differences in how they are consistent..
    In order for you to vindicate idealism, you'd have to get around the challenge represented in the fact of the matter that entities that have been conceived of by the mind without direct correspondences to physically observable objects are accessible to the person who conceived of such entities and inaccessible to nearly everybody else.

    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    Does the existence of shared or consistent experiences infer a non-experiential reality?
    I amnot saying that reality is non-experiential, but merely that the ultimate reality is physical rather than mental. Yes, my perception of a chair is in itself mental, however, the chair in itself is physical rather than mental. You're making the fallacious inference of confusing the perception of the chair with the chair in itself, you need to recognize the difference between mental experience and the object. This distinction has been prominent in philosophy, its commonly referred to as the distinction between the subject and object.



    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    Why, in a purely mental world, would there not be shared or consistent experiences??
    Its in principle possible, but that is simply not the case. There is nothing about the concept of the mental world that precludes everyone from imagining the same exact chair, but the fact of the matter is that people don't do that. Their mental lives tend to differ in content, at least slightly.



    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    Your quotations of me regarding Plato seem to have been mistaken, in that you miss out my main points on the matter and place them outside of a quote without a response.
    No, they weren't mistaken, you've said Plato was not an idealist and I insisted that you corroborate that claim by showing how his metaphysics can be interpreted as non-idealistic.
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    Thanks for explaining further ygolo. I essentially agree with most of what you are saying.

    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    No assumption of matching between two different people's qualia is needed for this measurement. The only thing that mattered is the similarity of qualia on the left and right side of the screen for the scientist.

    Perhaps other experiments can be done to determine similarity of qualia between people, but this experiment neither pertains to nor needs that similarity.
    Just this to be clarified.

    Are you suggesting that the experiment is measuring and can only measure certain similarities with certainty, and thus is possibly not measuring all of the similarities? Meaning, it might be a perfect measurement of qualia, or it might simply be a perfect measurement of certain properties of qualia?

    Measuring here being used in the sense of paralleling one set of qualia to another.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Empirical investigation furnished support for the thesis that mental entities are caused by neurons, yet no similarly rigorous arguments have been advanced in favor of the vice-versa claim.
    There clearly has been argument for the vice-versa. I would love to see some of this empirical investigation you keep referencing.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    We don't know yet, all we know thus far is that some mental processes are known to cease to exist after the termination of their neural correlates. If I had to speculate about an answer to your question at this point, I'd have to say that some intricate combination of neural activities give rise to consciousness.
    "Mental processes" here is referring to non-phenomenally-conscious processes. Things such as memory, instinct and such, none of which are necessarily phenomenally conscious, only "mental".

    I am in no way arguing that mental processes, in this case simply physical processes in the brain, might take place outside of the brain.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Its in principle possible, but that is simply not the case. There is nothing about the concept of the mental world that precludes everyone from imagining the same exact chair, but the fact of the matter is that people don't do that. Their mental lives tend to differ in content, at least slightly.
    Note: "Mental" in the following argument is referring to that which is phenomenally conscious, or within a phenomenal consciousness of some sort. This differs from the above usage.

    If one has accepted the premise that there is a non-mental world, and that it is inferred from the world of objects, then yes your argument holds. As you take purely the non-objective to be mental, you use that as your reference point to infer what mental activity is like. And thus of course, mental activity would resemble that of the non-objective, and thus your argument arises that it is absurd to suggest that the objective is entirely mental (again, since mental is being inferred from the non-objective).

    However, if one has accepted the premise that there is no evidence for a non-mental world, yet still a world of objects, your argument loses its weight. As the reference point for what the mental is like is now everything, object or no, so one can make no claim that imagination (non-objective) is more representative of mental activity than the objective world, as both are seen as mental.

    Standing from outside either premise, your argument grants no reason to favour one over the other.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    No, they weren't mistaken, you've said Plato was not an idealist and I insisted that you corroborate that claim by showing how his metaphysics can be interpreted as non-idealistic.
    I'm sure they were, you've not quoted one of my own paragraphs and instead used it as one of your own. That particular paragraph being my explanation.

    If you want added appealing to authority, just google Plato. I did, and couldn't find anyone who claimed he was an Idealist (outside of random forums).

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    Panpsychism vs Emergentism.

    For now, let colour represent phenomenal consciousness.

    Emergentism makes the claim that, if we take the translucent pixels of reality, and form them in a certain manner, they become coloured, and then produce a certain picture.

    Panpsychism makes the claim that, if we take the coloured pixels of reality, and form them in a certain manner, they produce a certain picture.

    In both cases the pixels can be reformed and produce slightly different pictures (other human experiences), or be rearranged very differently (theoretically alien experiences).

    Panpsychism seemed more intuitive to me, until I considered the nature of parts and wholes. The parts of a hammer placed in the right order produce unique properties that the parts are simply not capable of, why could it not be the same for consciousness? As such I have no reason to favour one over the other.

  9. #59
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    There clearly has been argument for the vice-versa.).
    Oh yes, there have been plenty of rigorous investigations that showed that people experienced a wide range of losses of mental abilities such as amnesia, dementia and so forth occurred without any changes to the brain. In fact, I bet a catscan is useless altogether. Next time another patient arrives at the hospital with complaints about his inability to remember his way around the house, don't even bother examining his brain, just speculate about how his consciousness works instead. After all, neuronal entities obviously didn't cause any of the mental difficulties he is reporting!


    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    I would love to see some of this empirical investigation you keep referencing.).
    You've never heard of studies that showed that people lost some of their mental functions because of sustained brain injuries?



    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    "Mental processes" here is referring to non-phenomenally-
    conscious processes..).
    All conscious processes are mental by definition.


    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    " Things such as memory, instinct and such, none of which are necessarily phenomenally conscious, only "mental"...).
    There isn't a difference between mental and phenomenal, unless by phenomenal you refer to a mental entity that's not caused by neural activity. Typically the term phenomenon refers to mental experiences, e.g Husserl's phenomenology is a study of mental experiences.



    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    I am in no way arguing that mental processes, in this case simply physical processes in the brain, might take place outside of the brain."...).
    Yes, I bet, lets reform our medical programs to ban catscans and all brain evaluation procedures. We should also invest in fortune tellers and religious meditators to detect the patients' mental deficiencies that aren't caused by the brain.



    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    Note: "Mental" in the following argument is referring to that which is phenomenally conscious, or within a phenomenal consciousness of some sort.."...).
    You should stop using the 'phenomenally conscious' label as you don't know what it means.

    This differs from the above usage.



    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    However, if one has accepted the premise that there is no evidence for a non-mental world, yet still a world of objects, your argument loses its weight..."...).
    Who is saying that there is no evidence for the mental world?



    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    Standing from outside either premise, your argument grants no reason to favour one over the other...."...).
    I don't see how this follows from anything that you said. Physicalism is to be preferred because we know for patients to lose mental abilities after brain injuries or other kinds of demises of the brain, yet we know of no patients who have lost the ability to function yet retain a well functioning brain.





    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    I'm sure they were, you've not quoted one of my own paragraphs and instead used it as one of your own. That particular paragraph being my explanation....."...).
    I don't see the relevance, how do you interpret the Allegory of the Cave?

    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    If you want added appealing to authority, just google Plato. I did, and couldn't find anyone who claimed he was an Idealist (outside of random forums).
    I've never heard of anyone arguing that Plato is a dualist, can you cite one authoritative source that even suggests that?

    P.S

    Dualism and Idealism are wrong, just google them, I have not seen a contrary hypothesis anywhere but random forums! Fine reasoning isn't it?
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Oh yes, there have been plenty of rigorous investigations that showed that people experienced a wide range of losses of mental abilities such as amnesia, dementia and so forth occurred without any changes to the brain. In fact, I bet a catscan is useless altogether. Next time another patient arrives at the hospital with complaints about his inability to remember his way around the house, don't even bother examining his brain, just speculate about how his consciousness works instead. After all, neuronal entities obviously didn't cause any of the mental difficulties he is reporting!

    You've never heard of studies that showed that people lost some of their mental functions because of sustained brain injuries?
    Yes and again, none of them are necessarily conscious.

    And again, it in no way provides an insight into the nature of consciousness in this sense, as it does not prove that there is no consciousness outside of the brain.

    If you could link to empirical evidence on the nature of consciousness, rather than functions of the brain, it would be a different story.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    All conscious processes are mental by definition.
    But not vice versa. Which was the point.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    There isn't a difference between mental and phenomenal, unless by phenomenal you refer to a mental entity that's not caused by neural activity. Typically the term phenomenon refers to mental experiences, e.g Husserl's phenomenology is a study of mental experiences.
    Again you deny the existence of phenomenal consciousness.

    It is separate from all the subconscious functions you reference. You would have to prove that consciousness is hindered by lose of those subconscious functions, not simply claim they are conscious.

    It is a different term to "Phenomenon" and it is not to be confused with terms like "access consciousness".

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Yes, I bet, lets reform our medical programs to ban catscans and all brain evaluation procedures. We should also invest in fortune tellers and religious meditators to detect the patients' mental deficiencies that aren't caused by the brain.
    I don't see how this is relevant. As I said, I am not arguing that things like memory and other non-conscious processes take place outside of the brain.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    You should stop using the 'phenomenally conscious' label as you don't know what it means.
    No, you simply deny its existence.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Who is saying that there is no evidence for the mental world?
    Please take the time to read what I said. It was "non-mental", not "mental".

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    I don't see how this follows from anything that you said. Physicalism is to be preferred because we know for patients to lose mental abilities after brain injuries or other kinds of demises of the brain, yet we know of no patients who have lost the ability to function yet retain a well functioning brain.
    Like above, prove those mental functions, loss or gain, have affected phenomenal consciousness.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    I've never heard of anyone arguing that Plato is a dualist, can you cite one authoritative source that even suggests that?

    P.S

    Dualism and Idealism are wrong, just google them, I have not seen a contrary hypothesis anywhere but random forums! Fine reasoning isn't it?
    Again you ask for an appeal to authority, and attempt to mock me when I actually provide one.

    Here's a specific appeal to authority for you:

    Dualism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

    You used the source yourself earlier. First paragraphs speak of Plato's Dualism.

    Plato (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

    Search that page for the word Idealism or Idealist. No results.

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