I guess I've written enough. The main point of all this is to show that we need to treat consciousness as a biological problem, as Koch woud say, because otherwise we are left with random claims that cannot be validated or falsified which in turn only impedes our progress at reaching our goal. Although, I'm only interested in the truth so if anyone has any good evidence that the brain and mind are not connected then by all means show. I'll be waiting but I doubt I'll be getting much responses. Thanks for reading.
The main point of all this is to show that we need to treat consciousness as a biological problem, as Koch woud say, because otherwise we are left with random claims that cannot be validated or falsified which in turn only impedes our progress at reaching our goal.
This may be under basic discussion on another thread--perhaps just below this one, after my having posted on this one--but it could also be that this could be seen as more focused on consciousness alone? Anyway, us neurons'll be firing (acting and reacting) on this one too.
One question, though--and this is by no means any condemnation. In that the font is not the usual, and the layout is quite nice and tight, and clean, I wonder if your OP, Kielicious, was a paste? or did you type it straight in?
It should come as no surprise to you that I subscribe to the "New Mysterian" position with respect to the Hard Problem of Consciousness. I've read Koch, and I think neuroscience in general has made some real progress in specifying the neural correlates of phenomenal experiences. That said, I can't imagine how a scientific understanding of neural correlation could bridge the epistemological gap between brain processes and phenomenal experiences. It's worth asking whether such a direction could really solve the mystery behind the psychophysical link.
This isn't an advocacy of dualism, mind you. Dualism is a dead-end, pure and simple, and no one can legitimately dispute that mental phenomena is completely dependent on the brain for its existence. Consciousness is a neurobiological problem, not a philosophical one; but it would be useful to acknowledge and curb the scientific hubris that has dominated our culture by seriously questioning whether neuroscience is equipped to solve the harm problem. Science has undoubtedly achieved wonderful things, but showing that science has constitutional limits helps qualify its image and status as something invincible and all-conquering. This is not a reason for accepting "New Mysterianism," of course, but rather a consequence of it, and a call for some intellectual modesty on our part. Maybe science just cannot explain how conscious experiences arise from brain matter, partly because the human brain is cognitively closed to fully understanding itself.
And what goal is that? To categorize and compartmentalize everything that can be 'validated' and 'falsified'? What fun. Is that my goal also? How do we know that we have won? Nothing left of existence not properly/indisputably categorized and compartmentalized?
Many need that security in life (and, hence, validate and rationalize however necessary to maintain that obsolete materialist illusion); rules and categories and socks all properly matched... Works for some, obviously.
Consciousness cannot fit into your byte sized concepts and thoughts.
It cannot even be defined. It is ineffable.
I can call an apple Consciousness, and 'believe' it. That makes it 'truth'/reality for me.
"Consciousness is the Ground of All Being" (Copenhagen interpretation of QM), and that includes your tiny 'scientific method' (now mainly shown to be obsolete by QM). A "biological problem"? A 'belief'! There is no direct evidence of any (causal) connection between 'biology' and 'Consciousness'. Biology is only one tiny feature of the complete universe as 'perceived' in it's entirety by Consciousness.
Truth cannot be 'falsified'.
"There are trivial truths and there are great truths. The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false. The opposite of a great truth is also true!" - Neils Bohr
Materialism, as a philosophy, has been refuted and obsolete for centuries (millennia, in the East). QM put the final nails in the coffin. Our children will be taught about our new world view as currently understood by our best scientific minds and they will share with their children, and we will die out...
There's a new world a'commin'! 'Bout time...
So I've always been curious as to why some people subscribe to the idea that the mind and brain are not connected.
All you do is breath really hard for about 30 seconds then have someone press against you neck to cut off circulation to your brain and tadah! you lose consciousness and pass-out.
Not having any specifics I will play a safe generalisation and guess it might be from the historical difficulties of objectively studying the mind eg technology, practical theory etc. An equally challenging difficulty for today is to determine if the mind actions the brain or the brain actions the mind. I think the downward causation camp has more range and scope.
Oh my! I have not heard of such a thing. It is moments like this I am glad to be somewhat mature enough to not attempt this. I urge young readers not to either!
Consciousness is a neurobiological problem, not a philosophical one; but it would be useful to acknowledge and curb the scientific hubris that has dominated our culture by seriously questioning whether neuroscience is equipped to solve the harm problem.
understand where you are coming from, I too used to fight against science but seeing how its the best method we have what else is there to use?
if you think the mind and brain arent connected then share with the rest of us.
the goal is to unravel the mystery of consciousness.
Haha I should have put up a disclaimer.
As for downward causation I havent looked much into it but from what I have read of it I dont know how a new causal phenomenon can just appear out of nowhere. Maybe you can explain it better but to me its highly counter-intuitive to say the least.
I guess that you don't understand where I am comming from. All I say here is supportable by science. I usually come from a scientifico/philosophical Perspective unless otherwise stated.
There are other methods of perceiving existence other than from the Perspective of science.
Some people perceive the world as an interplay between faeries, guardian angels and colored candles and 'dreamwork'. They looking at the same Universe as you.
Some see the world as music, flow and ebb and harmonies and dissonences, a great pattern, a flowing dance... far from 'scientific' and 'rational', but a perceived 'reality' nonetheless.
Some see it as 'love', far from 'rational'.
There are 'many' Perspectives, all unique, comprising The Universe.
Have you a specific question? In the absence of evidence of a 'Mind/Consciousness' brain 'connection' other than as I stated, I don't see what you are asking?
'Your' goal. Enjoy the attempt. You are tilting at windmills, as you will find out after an honest sincere attempt is made to "unravel the mystery of consciousness".
:bigsmile: yes it is not what you say but the disclaimers you make.
As things go up in levels of complexity there seems to be emergent properties that are not evident in the levels below it nor are able to be explained from the behaviour of its parts. Take for example quark, proton, atom, molecule, cell, organism, brain, mind, consciousness. The "rules" that explain the behaviour of the lower end of complexity do not adequately explain the behaviour of the higher end complexity. As the level of complexity goes up there seems to be additional rules that apply only to at certain levels of the system i.e. holism the system as a whole and not an assembly of its parts.
As to where this appears from is a fascinating question. it depends on what you want to believe. For me, a good introductory work that I have read is eBooks.com - Cosmic Blueprint: New Discoveries in Nature's Creative Ability to Order the Universe eBook it deals in terms of math (eg non linear systems, chaos) science (eg physics, biology) and philosophy (eg teleology, determinism and it even mentions panpsychism which I had never heard of). A very good overview.
I agree with you completely. I also feel that the working of the brain is what gives us consciousness and awareness. When that is disturbed our experience can change. There are several medical studies and individuals whom display rather odd results that if the mind were somehow separate from the brain that it could function outside the scope of the brain. So I ask, if the mind is thus dependent upon the brain then why insist that the mind is not the brain?
To me it is just a matter of special cells going to work while a storm of electrical impulses races around the tissue. There are plots of storage where information can be recalled. It seems so simple and obvious to me but I think most hate the idea that our cognition is just a simple bio-chemical process.
I feel that if the mind were separate from the activity of the brain, you wouldn't ever be able to fall unconscious. But that is just my opinion. The reason I make this claim is because everything seems to turn off as far as awareness goes which always is related to some brain trauma weather viral or injury.
Yes I'm familiar with holism, emergence, nonlinearity, complex systems, etc. and I do endorse Emergence. I absolutely agree that there are emergent properties all throughout reality but the only thing I havent seen is a good example of downward causation. Of all the papers I've read about emergence typically they dont say much about downward causation because either the examples are trivial (no offense) or unverified (i.e. consciousness). I'm open-minded though so if you have some good examples then please show.
As much as I enjoy your implicit insults, this little convo that we are having needs to start being more constructive to the subject at hand. If you have problems with what has been stated then be more direct and present your 'perspective' because right now you're no better than a backseat driver.
There are many examples, to which I hope a few satisfy your criteria of non-trival and verifiable. Psychophysiologic illness and disorders would fit into the downward causation scheme. What of the blushing response to embarrassment? Quantum measurement in the sense that it is the design of the measuring device that gives a fundamental "particle" either a wave or particle property?
First example in support comes from everyday experience that anyone can test and experiment with, and that would be trauma of the brain. If you've ever been hit in the head really hard loss of consciousness can ensue. Now you may not want to be the test subject behind that particular experiment so a more painless way of testing this would be to play the 'pass-out game', which I'm sure most of you have heard of. All you do is breath really hard for about 30 seconds then have someone press against you neck to cut off circulation to your brain and tadah! you lose consciousness and pass-out.
Now the more serious examples come from neuroscience and neurosurgery. As unpleasant as it sounds, neurosurgery is conducted under local rather than general anesthesia because the brain lacks pain receptors, which means the subject is still awake when operated on. Stimulation of the brain led neurosurgery to considerable knowledge for mapping the functions of the brain. Localization of brain function began in the 1800s by Paul Broca who connected language functions to the brain. Electrical stimulation of the motor cortex, performed by Fritsch and Hitzig, in rabbit and dog brain produced movement in the animals which furthered localization of functions within the brain. Additionally, neurosurgeon Wilder Penfieldcontributed a great deal of our understanding of the mapping of the brain. This list goes on and on, and such knowledge and understanding of the brain has produced ground-breaking machines like BCI's.
Finally, and I hope I'm not preaching to the choir when I say this, but look at drugs. If you still don't think the mind and brain are connected then why would neurotransmitters released and received in your synaptic gap cause distortion to your perception? Again, the connection seems obvious to me, but for those who prefer to avoid the razor the assumptions increase exponentially.
I guess I've written enough. The main point of all this is to show that we need to treat consciousness as a biological problem, as Koch would say, because otherwise we are left with random claims that cannot be validated or falsified which in turn only impedes our progress at reaching our goal. Although, I'm only interested in the truth so if anyone has any good evidence that the brain and mind are not connected then by all means show. I'll be waiting but I doubt I'll be getting much responses. Thanks for reading.
As I see it, you are conflating and confusing consciousness/mind with contents of consciousness. Your examples of the brain being affected by drugs and damage doesn't address the issue of consciousness.