Robotic emotions

Reply Sat 1 Aug, 2009 04:15 pm
jeeprs;80653 wrote:

But I will never take part in a discussion which involves that ridiculous neologism 'qualia'. I would like to attach a large alligator clip to Dennett's earlobe and quiz him about what qualia he is experiencing.

You're cracking me up :bigsmile:
However the qualia is a classical problem of ontological style (metaphysical). It has not come up with the neurological debate around Dennett.

jeeprs;80653 wrote:

Well that is like saying with all due respect to classical violinists, orchestral music has to come to an end.

Music is not something where you can be mislead. But, ok, i get your point.

jeeprs;80653 wrote:

Pretty good diagnosis of your sunset piece, huh?

Nice to see that you really did read that post about the sunrise, i haven't really expected that.
And you even read it so precisely that you understood it. I can't say that about everyone.
The problem is in fact that most people do not realise that their understanding of the world is cartesian with all the ballast that comes with it.
My point is that every consciousness is a reflection of a particular aspect of reality that is valid.
(I am not just talking about philosophical cognitions. A 14 year old urban alcoholic who finds satisfaction only in smashing faces is also a reflection of a particular reality.)
The philosophical discipline of metaphysics however is rooted in an aristotelian philosophy that tries to locate concepts (mostly terms) in an objective reality (ultimate truth). Descarte's philosophy actually is in these parts based on Aristotle's ideas.
So according to my point of view, when we say 'information', 'food' or even 'table', we talk about something that 'is', however not as an ultimate truth but for that aspect of reality that we are part of (our particular reference system).
In a way this does lead us back to the Copenhagen interpretation because we do create this reality.

jeeprs;80653 wrote:

And this can be seen as one way in which the perspective of idealism does indeed receive support from modern science. We might think of the universe 'out there', a vast space in which we are apparently minute and insignificant observers. However in this sense, it is a universe of our creation.

The question is, if there is a universe 'as it is', without us observing.

jeeprs;80600 wrote:

The only take-away point I wish to make is that the naive sense of the universe just 'being there as it is' with humans as passive observers, is not really sustainable. And I think this is the view of 'metaphysical naturalism'.

I commit to being agnostic.
We do not really know if there is a universe 'as it is'.
There are reasons to believe it is there. But there are reasons (see QM) to believe that even if it is there it can not be considered 'as it is'.
It might be extremely undetermined.
I find it very difficult to answer. What i know for sure is that we don't know for sure. By now.
However there also is a difference between what i know and what i believe.
And what i believe is:
Every particle is an observer. Information processing is the root of intelligence, and intelligence emerging from information processing, i believe that the roots of intelligence (and consciousness) can already be found in the ability of particles to process information.
Mankind is only one branch of this growing potential.
Varela and Maturana (who created the autopoiesis concept) describe life itself (!) as a cognitive process.
The process of life can scientifically be described as groping in a phase space.
The universe itself is the substance for the emergence of intelligence.
When you say life you say intelligence because life is the universe' (cognitive) way of finding ways to reflect itself (become conscious?).
It's not unlikely that out there thousands or even billions of other branches exist.
Human intelligence is only one out of many possible stages intelligence can reach.
Every particle contributes to billions of billions of attempts for finding ways to accumulate information...
To what outcome? We shouldn't even assume that consciousness is the final outcome.
Oops. Does this sound like schizophrenic to anyone?
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Reply Sat 1 Aug, 2009 05:16 pm
hey we're pretty much on the same page. I only have a couple more observations.

First I think Aristotle's legacy in metaphysics is very unfortunate.

It seems a great historic tragedy that Aristotle, who remained under the influence of Plato for nearly twenty years, failed to continue the line of teaching begun by Pythagoras and clarified by Plato. But Aristotle was not content to be a "transmitter." Plato claimed no originality for his ideas, giving the credit to Socrates and Pythagoras. Aristotle's failure in this direction may be due to the fact that, while both Pythagoras and Plato were Initiates of the Mysteries, Aristotle was never initiated and depended on logical speculation for the development of his theories. This accounts for his many divergences from the teachings of Plato, whose philosophy was based upon the wisdom of the ancient East. According to Diogenes Laertius, Aristotle fell away from his teacher while Plato was still alive, whereat Plato remarked, "Aristotle has kicked me, as foals do their mothers when they are born." While there is evidence that Aristotle never lost his high personal regard for Plato, the fact remains that in his later writings he never mentions Plato except to refute his doctrines, maintaining that the Platonic method is fatal to science.

I think the way Western metaphysics subsequently developed, specifically through Augustine, was fatally flawed by the Aristotlean concept of 'spiritual substance'. This as you suggest eventually gave rise to Descartes' muddled conception of the 'extensionless substance' which has bedevilled Western philosophy ever since. All such conceptions arise due to the misunderstanding of the nature of thinking itself. Thinking as a process can only proceed by way of objects. Thought itself is dualistic, beginning with the essential duality of subject and object. When thought tries to imagine or project some reality beyond itself, it will come up with some idea 'spiritual substance' or 'ultimate object' or something similar. This however is self-contradictory. There is no such object, realm or thing, in that sense. The Buddha is very clear on that. (Descartes himself never deconstructed his own mental operations, hence his 'Cogito' does not really get to the bottom of who is thinking.)

By contrast, the Platonic and Neo-Platonic conception of the matter was completely different. As the quoted passage from the Theosophical society suggests, the Platonist view was more characteristic of the Eastern outlook which arises in the cessation of the operations of thought and disengagement from the objects of perception through contemplative stillness. Now this understanding is much more characteristic of the Eastern Orthodox faiths and in the meditative traditions, generally.

Which gets us to Francisco Varela. It was in his book, Embodied Cognition, that I found the reference to 'Cartesian anxiety'. Just got that far, and the book got recalled by the library. I am only just now beginning to discover his work but it seems very brilliant. Also he was one of the founders of the Mind and Life Institute, which I think is one of the precursors of a true 21st Century science.
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Reply Mon 24 Aug, 2009 12:06 am
watch Blade Runner
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