Looking below the surface

Discuss arguments for existence of God and faith in general. Any aspect of any orientation toward religion/spirituality, as long as it is based upon a positive open to other people attitude.

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Jim B.
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Re: Looking below the surface

Post by Jim B. » Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:24 pm

The Pixie wrote: So how well the theory fits with things we know magically?

This is the bit you dance around, and claiming it is subtle really does not cut it. How do we know these "many other things we know" if not via observation and experience? And you even said including empirical facts!

How is this different to relativity, which was accepted because of how well the theory fits in with and/or helps us make sense of many other things we know, including empirical facts?
It's different because of the different explanatory target. Relativity theory is a physical theory. Consciousness really isn't a physical thing so it can't be explained by a physical theory. It will have to be confirmed empirically and empirically predictive, but competing theories of consciousness are equally good at such things, so observables may not be able to determine which of the mutually exclusive theories is the right one.

So let me ask you; How will you know when consciousness is 'solved' empirically? What kinds of data and what threshold for the amount of data will have to be cleared when we can say "We've got it! This is it!" What criteria wold you say wold have to be in play that would justify saying "This set of physical phenomena just IS consciousness. We have an identity!"

The Pixie
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Re: Looking below the surface

Post by The Pixie » Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:58 am

Jim B. wrote:It's different because of the different explanatory target. Relativity theory is a physical theory. Consciousness really isn't a physical thing so it can't be explained by a physical theory.
You are claiming consciousness is not a physical thing, but that is hardly confirmed (inasmuch as relativity is a physical thing).
It will have to be confirmed empirically and empirically predictive, but competing theories of consciousness are equally good at such things, so observables may not be able to determine which of the mutually exclusive theories is the right one.
So what will?
So let me ask you; How will you know when consciousness is 'solved' empirically? What kinds of data and what threshold for the amount of data will have to be cleared when we can say "We've got it! This is it!" What criteria wold you say wold have to be in play that would justify saying "This set of physical phenomena just IS consciousness. We have an identity!"
I do not know; it is not a field I am expert in. The step would be to establish a definition of consciousness, and certainly once a computer model has been built that conforms to the definition we could be sure we have it (to a good approximation), but it could be earlier.

What is your answer? How will you know when consciousness is 'solved' non-empirically? What kinds of data and what threshold for the amount of data will have to be cleared when we can say "We've got it! This is it!" What criteria wold you say would have to be in play that would justify saying "This set of non-physical phenomena just IS consciousness. We have an identity!"

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Re: Looking below the surface

Post by Metacrock » Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:57 am

consciousness does not have to be physical merely because it is accessed though physical systems. Obviously the mental is not physical since that distinction is made quite uncleanly in the lit,
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Jim B.
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Re: Looking below the surface

Post by Jim B. » Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:02 pm

The Pixie wrote: You are claiming consciousness is not a physical thing, but that is hardly confirmed (inasmuch as relativity is a physical thing).
Confirmed how? Empirically? What I've been saying is that we have to try to understand what we're asking before we start amassing data to answer it. I believe it already has been confirmed that consciousness isn't physically reducible and that solving the puzzle of consciousness won't come primarily through empirical means. It's a matter for the philosophy of mind much more than it is for neuroscience. That's why people like Dennett and the Churchlands make philosophical arguments for their positions; even though they support them with empirical evidence, they're primarily philosophical.
So what will?
I think it was said once that science progresses 'funeral by funeral." I think that's how this problem will at least begin to be solved, once the ideological grip of scientism loosens, if it ever does.
I do not know; it is not a field I am expert in. The step would be to establish a definition of consciousness, and certainly once a computer model has been built that conforms to the definition we could be sure we have it (to a good approximation), but it could be earlier.
What will a computer model solve? What questions will it be answering?
What is your answer? How will you know when consciousness is 'solved' non-empirically? What kinds of data and what threshold for the amount of data will have to be cleared when we can say "We've got it! This is it!" What criteria wold you say would have to be in play that would justify saying "This set of non-physical phenomena just IS consciousness. We have an identity!"
Again, through a conceptual revolution greater than any in the history of science. I twill be triggered in part by empirical evidence and supported by empirical evidence, but it won't be just about empirical physical things. It will be about building a picture that includes both what's physical and what's mental into a simple coherent view. To speculate beyond that is like asking an 18th century sicentist for details about quantum chaology, except that this would be far more difficult. We need a new theoretical framework to even bgin to tell how the mental and physical are the same thing, a theoretical framework far more of a radical departure than the one that ushered in relativity and QM.

But let me ask you again, tell me how, even in principle, emirical evidence could solve consciousness? You donlt have to go into details, but tell me how, even conceivably, that could happen. What questions would this evidence/theory be answering?

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Re: Looking below the surface

Post by The Pixie » Fri Jun 23, 2017 2:13 am

Jim B. wrote:
The Pixie wrote:You are claiming consciousness is not a physical thing, but that is hardly confirmed (inasmuch as relativity is a physical thing).
Confirmed how? Empirically?
You tell me, you are the one claiming it is definitely not physical (in the more general sense). How do you think that has been confirmed?
What I've been saying is that we have to try to understand what we're asking before we start amassing data to answer it. I believe it already has been confirmed that consciousness isn't physically reducible...
And yet when I asked how that had been confirmed, you ducked the question!
... and that solving the puzzle of consciousness won't come primarily through empirical means. It's a matter for the philosophy of mind much more than it is for neuroscience. That's why people like Dennett and the Churchlands make philosophical arguments for their positions; even though they support them with empirical evidence, they're primarily philosophical.
A philosophical argument supported by empirical evidence... So science then?
So what will?
I think it was said once that science progresses 'funeral by funeral." I think that's how this problem will at least begin to be solved, once the ideological grip of scientism loosens, if it ever does.
In what way does that answer my question? Again, you seem to be ducking.
What will a computer model solve? What questions will it be answering?
It would not solve, it would model.
Again, through a conceptual revolution greater than any in the history of science. I twill be triggered in part by empirical evidence and supported by empirical evidence, but it won't be just about empirical physical things. It will be about building a picture that includes both what's physical and what's mental into a simple coherent view. To speculate beyond that is like asking an 18th century sicentist for details about quantum chaology, except that this would be far more difficult. We need a new theoretical framework to even bgin to tell how the mental and physical are the same thing, a theoretical framework far more of a radical departure than the one that ushered in relativity and QM.
So you have no idea either. You just have this seemingly unfounded hope that there is some conceptual revolution.
But let me ask you again, tell me how, even in principle, emirical evidence could solve consciousness? You donlt have to go into details, but tell me how, even conceivably, that could happen. What questions would this evidence/theory be answering?
Like you, I do not know.

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Re: Looking below the surface

Post by Jim B. » Fri Jun 23, 2017 4:27 pm

The Pixie wrote: You tell me, you are the one claiming it is definitely not physical (in the more general sense). How do you think that has been confirmed?
Through the various arguments put forward, like David Chalmers' three arguments: the explanatory, the conceivability, and the knowledge argument. Maybe the easiest of these to understand is the last one which we've already touched on, with the neuroscientist Mary and whether it's plausible that she learns something new. There's Saul Kripke's argument, realted to Chalmers' conceivability argument, that the mental and the physical cannot be identical in the way that water is identical to H2O. Beyond these. there's the more general point that any attempt at reducing mental events to physical events leaves out what's essential to mental events, namely their subjective quality. Any try at an identity statement that leaves out what's essential to one of the things in question clearly fails, as if there were a putative identity statement: "water = ABC" where ABC leaves out all of the essential properties of water-- the statement would clearly fail. Subjectivity seems to be an irreducible feature of reality. Some things can only be understood from the inside. Reality is not just objective reality. Objectivity is a heuristic method for isolating certain features of reality that can be understood in a certain way, but that it's mistaken to assume that it applies to all of reality and that this assumption runs into insuperable problems.
And yet when I asked how that had been confirmed, you ducked the question!
Not sure what you're talking about. I've been telling you how it's been confirmed. I'm just not that motivated since you're so resistant to any new ideas -- it's probably all just a waste of effort. Your response to the "God and Smallpox" thread really's changed my opinion of spending a lot of energy doing this.
A philosophical argument supported by empirical evidence... So science then?
No, not science. Do you even read what I write? The inadequacy of our present concepts, including scientific concepts, is what's blocking our view of a solution. Science is premised on the idea that all of reality is objective, third person reality understood mathematically and spatiotemporally. Those ideas cannot be assumed in order to solve consciousness because those are the very ideas that have created the conceptual impasse in the first place.
In what way does that answer my question? Again, you seem to be ducking.
It will be solved in part with new minds thinking in new ways, thus the one funeral at a time.

It would not solve, it would model.
Who's ducking now? I was asking how you thought consciousness could be solved. You deflected onto something else.
So you have no idea either. You just have this seemingly unfounded hope that there is some conceptual revolution.
I never claimed to know in detail what that revolution will be like; if I did, it wouldn't be all that revolutionary, now, would it? My only point is now and has always been that consciousness is not physically reducible. I've only ever maintained that the solution does NOT lie in the direction of physical sciences. If there's some intractable problem, it's a good bet that there's something that human minds are missing, even if some human minds can say with confidence what the nature of the intractability is.

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met
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Re: Looking below the surface

Post by met » Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:19 am

Since the question seems to be whether the knowledge of consciousness' physical basis is sufficient for assuming that the unexplained aspects of consciousness can also be explained that way, I wonder ...um, I wonder what exactly?

Perhaps, if it would necessarily be clear whether or not some new discovery with strong explanatory power fitted the description of a 'physical process' or not? :shock: & if it wasn't, as seems not unlikely, then what? Endless definitely debates?

Is there a hardcore-enough definition of what would constitute a empirical or physical process and what wouldn't (in terms of this context) in the first place?
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Jim B.
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Re: Looking below the surface

Post by Jim B. » Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:52 pm

met wrote:Since the question seems to be whether the knowledge of consciousness' physical basis is sufficient for assuming that the unexplained aspects of consciousness can also be explained that way, I wonder ...um, I wonder what exactly?

Perhaps, if it would necessarily be clear whether or not some new discovery with strong explanatory power fitted the description of a 'physical process' or not? :shock: & if it wasn't, as seems not unlikely, then what? Endless definitely debates?

Is there a hardcore-enough definition of what would constitute a empirical or physical process and what wouldn't (in terms of this context) in the first place?
Welcome back, met! :D It's been a while. Those are real good questions. There might not be two different kinds of "thing" but two different kinds of understanding or construction. Chalmers might say that a physical process has to do with extrinsic qualities, relational qualities and a mental process has to do with intrinsic qualities. The two kinds of understanding are gotten at through understanding the different kinds of properties involved.

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met
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Re: Looking below the surface

Post by met » Fri Jun 30, 2017 2:04 pm

Jim B. wrote:
met wrote:Since the question seems to be whether the knowledge of consciousness' physical basis is sufficient for assuming that the unexplained aspects of consciousness can also be explained that way, I wonder ...um, I wonder what exactly?

Perhaps, if it would necessarily be clear whether or not some new discovery with strong explanatory power fitted the description of a 'physical process' or not? :shock: & if it wasn't, as seems not unlikely, then what? Endless definitely debates?

Is there a hardcore-enough definition of what would constitute a empirical or physical process and what wouldn't (in terms of this context) in the first place?
Welcome back, met! :D It's been a while. Those are real good questions. There might not be two different kinds of "thing" but two different kinds of understanding or construction. Chalmers might say that a physical process has to do with extrinsic qualities, relational qualities and a mental process has to do with intrinsic qualities. The two kinds of understanding are gotten at through understanding the different kinds of properties involved.
Q: is 'intrinsic' the same thing as 'irreducible'? [i.e. in a more continental parlance] Almost seems to me like it would have to be.....

& if not, what's the diff?
The “One” is the space of the “world” of the tick, but also the “pinch” of the lobster, or that rendezvous in person to confirm online pictures (with a new lover or an old God). This is the machinery operative...as “onto-theology."
Dr Ward Blanton

Jim B.
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Re: Looking below the surface

Post by Jim B. » Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:35 pm

met wrote:
Jim B. wrote:
met wrote:Since the question seems to be whether the knowledge of consciousness' physical basis is sufficient for assuming that the unexplained aspects of consciousness can also be explained that way, I wonder ...um, I wonder what exactly?

Perhaps, if it would necessarily be clear whether or not some new discovery with strong explanatory power fitted the description of a 'physical process' or not? :shock: & if it wasn't, as seems not unlikely, then what? Endless definitely debates?

Is there a hardcore-enough definition of what would constitute a empirical or physical process and what wouldn't (in terms of this context) in the first place?
Welcome back, met! :D It's been a while. Those are real good questions. There might not be two different kinds of "thing" but two different kinds of understanding or construction. Chalmers might say that a physical process has to do with extrinsic qualities, relational qualities and a mental process has to do with intrinsic qualities. The two kinds of understanding are gotten at through understanding the different kinds of properties involved.
Q: is 'intrinsic' the same thing as 'irreducible'? [i.e. in a more continental parlance] Almost seems to me like it would have to be.....

& if not, what's the diff?
Yeah, it would be irreducible, especially from the perspective of external relations...There's always the possibility that what's 'physical' could be expanded to include intrinsic qualities but then it wouldn't be physical the way the word's used now and has been used up till now.

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