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Proof that consciousness evolved from physical matter?

 
 
Cyracuz
 
Reply Mon 11 Apr, 2011 08:03 pm
Does there exist any proof that consciousness evolved from physical matter?
By proof I mean facts that describe the process.
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Type: Question • Score: 1 • Views: 4,422 • Replies: 199
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laughoutlood
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 11 Apr, 2011 08:49 pm
@Cyracuz,
Have you mislaid your birth certificate again.
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fresco
 
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Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2011 12:09 am
@Cyracuz,
Quote:
Does there exist any proof that consciousness evolved from physical matter?

Laughing ....or vice versa !
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2011 03:13 am
@fresco,
Or vice versa, fresco. I am well aware that my recent activities here concerning consciousness go well beyond what science can account for.

But the reason I post the issue is that it seems to me that this single point would have direct bearing on how scientific theories such as big bang and evolution are formulated. And the whole thing (that consciousness evolved from matter), we are coming to realize as we delve deeper into the fabric of reality, is a baseless assumption, no matter how sensible it may seem.
fresco
 
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Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2011 06:22 am
@Cyracuz,
The "myth" of the asusumption of a physical a prior1 was well argued by Merlau-Ponty, amongst others. It is a sub-aspect of the more general myth of "the given", which Rorty argued has confined Western analytic philosophy to a paradigmatic and pretentious backwater.
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Fil Albuquerque
 
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Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2011 07:51 am
Nor do I clearly understand the meaning of "physical" as I donĀ“t of "Consciousness"...in turn I do grasp the meaning of manifestation relation and measurement...any ways...everybody rocks is own boat... Cool
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G H
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2011 08:21 am
@Cyracuz,
As long as the manifestations in consciousness are ignored -- the phenomenal content of extrospection, introspection, dreams, etc. -- then the correlation to brain processes and the progress in autonomous vehicles and AI devices like Watson seem an adequate indication that no mysterious, "extra something" is required for explaining it in a physicalist scheme. (I'm not referring to some lofty goal and apprehension of what is "ultimately" transpiring, but purely any answers that a particular approach will spit-out, if it can do that).

Even in regard to the manifestations, Galen Strawson isolated a potential source of Chalmers' hard problem: "Once upon a time, not so long ago, no one thought that there was a mind-body problem. No one thought consciousness was a special mystery and they were right. The sense of difficulty arose only about 400 years ago and for a very specific reason: people began to think they knew what matter was." Knew everything about what matter was, that is.
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
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Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2011 02:42 pm
Perhaps I am missing your points guys, because I don't feel entirely understood. Is there a problem with the initial question that I am missing?
fresco
 
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Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2011 04:29 pm
@Cyracuz,
The problem is that you pose a potential non-question because the concept of "physicality" is one of the products of "consciousness". The post above about Strawson is a red herring because it is stated in naive "realistic terms". Of course there is "no problem" if we ignore the phenomenological/conceptual level. It is "behaviourism" in disguise.
gungasnake
 
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Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2011 04:41 pm
@Cyracuz,
Once again, this is your most basic starting point for understanding consciousness:

http://www.amazon.com/Origin-Consciousness-Breakdown-Bicameral-Mind/dp/0618057072

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41FlFSjt2OL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_.jpg
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2011 05:30 pm
@fresco,
No, no, no...I always since young age was a passionate defender of gestalt, no linearity in place...
Gestalt is just wrongly formulated in the sense it is incomplete...you equal the sum of your parts if you also include the sum of dynamics Fresco...you miss the tempo, the silence in between the notes...the relation is the most important in it...after all everything is relation build...a car in the high way is not the same car in the parking lot, and still it is true that the car is the sum of is parts...the problem seems to be in correctly identifying all of them...
Cyracuz
 
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Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2011 05:57 pm
@fresco,
Quote:
The problem is that you pose a potential non-question because the concept of "physicality" is one of the products of "consciousness".


And yet the way most "rational" men and women today tend to think is that "consciousness" is one of the products of "physicality".
My motivation for posing the question was the reaction so many have when I propose to them that while scientific fact can be clear and distinct, scientific theories that they insist are based strictly on those facts are sometimes founded on assumptions.

I understand that wether we think matter made mind or mind made matter makes little or no difference in what experiments reveal in the way of facts.
But our assumption on this point is relevant to which questions we are likely to ask, and to how we are likely to construct our theory based on the facts we find.

Many of our members who pride themselves on being "critical thinkers" seem to have a hard time acknowledging this point.
Cyracuz
 
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Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2011 06:02 pm
@gungasnake,
Thanks for the link, but I do not believe consciousness equates to self awareness, which seems to be what Jaynes is saying.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2011 06:22 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
...a new class of "objects" would be required for this...(let me indulge myself)

Function-object (B) is the accountable dynamic extension which operatively accommodates object A to object C. (Energy and momentum are the key words)
0 Replies
 
G H
 
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Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2011 07:17 pm
@Cyracuz,
Quote:
Perhaps I am missing your points guys, because I don't feel entirely understood. Is there a problem with the initial question that I am missing?

Well, confusion should be the case if the topic requests an exploration of consciousness in physical terms (for better or worse), but then instead, wants to switch to what seems like this?: "No, no. It is instead about going back to the pre-conceptual stage where there is only sense-data, and remain there, not inferring anything about the sense-data!" Which means an abandonment of all explanation, not just that concerning consciousness.

At any rate, let me know if this topic ever discovers what it is really about. As there is not much to say about "consciousness evolving from matter" if stories like matter and evolution are not permitted to be discerned amidst the primitive phenomenal fluctuations. Wink
Cyracuz
 
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Reply Tue 12 Apr, 2011 07:39 pm
@G H,
The intention behind starting the topic was exploring the foundations of scientific theories, looking for elements of "non-science" in it.

I don't dispute the facts that support evolution theory. But the theory does create at least one problem if it supposes consciousness is a product of physicality. To me this suggests that there might be a different way to connect the facts that would offer a clearer understanding of the internal relationship that is reality.
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existential potential
 
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Reply Wed 13 Apr, 2011 06:42 am
@Cyracuz,
In what ways would our assumption of whether matter made mind or mind made matter effect the questions we ask?

It maybe that there is no clear proof that consciousness is a product of matter, but I think its also very clear that "consciousness" whatever it is, does not make matter.

What consciousness does do is conceptualize, and forms ideas that are derived from sensory perception. To say that "physicality is a product of consciousness" is only true if you are referring to the concept "physicality".

This is almost leading to a kind of infinite regress, because we have concepts referring to concepts referring to concepts, to the point at which no knowledge of the world seems possible, because we are just trapped in a conceptual web!
Cyracuz
 
  2  
Reply Wed 13 Apr, 2011 10:40 am
@existential potential,
Quote:
In what ways would our assumption of whether matter made mind or mind made matter effect the questions we ask?


For one, it makes us think that the universe has to be a strictly mechanical thing. If our assumption had been that consciousness and matter are inseperably linked we would perhaps not feel the need to explain everything in terms of mechanical "mindless" processes.

And your idea of consciousness is very anthropomorphized it seems. No offense intended.

I'm pressed for time at the moment, but I'd be happy to continue this later.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Apr, 2011 04:43 pm
@Cyracuz,
I repeat: minding is a function of braining, and "brain" is a mental construction. Why do we insist on a causal sequence wherein one must necessarily precede the other? I think it's a situational/perspectival issue. Sometimes one comes before the other and vice versa
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Apr, 2011 07:12 pm
@JLNobody,
I agree with you, JL. My focus on the "matter preceding consciousness" is because it's how people tend to think. Contrary to the impression some have gotten, I am not out to discredit any theories. I am just making a simple observation.

The belief that the "dead" physical universe preceeded life, which preceeded consciousness was around long before science ever saw the light of day.
In the bible it's called god made sky, then earth, then animals, then man...

In big bang theory and evolution theory this belief was just carried on, because there is nothing in the theories that speaks to consciousness.
So big bang made primitive universe, made stars and planets, made conditions for life, life happened, then consciousness happened. Two great mysteries present themselves. How precicely did life happen, and how did consciousness manifest from an unconscious world?

But as I said, I do not claim that these mysteries discredit the big bang theory or evolution theory. I claim they discredit our "objectivity", and for some reason, the most feverent adherents to science seem to be unable to either see or admit this point.
 

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