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consciousness, self-awareness, brains, rationality, and memory

 
 
KaseiJin
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 May, 2009 10:45 pm
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall;62264 wrote:
Then for goodness sake read what I have posted and respond or am I invisible or off topic?


I'm not sure if this had been directed at any specific individual, yet in the event that it may have been more so with myself in mind, I'd simply like to quote my last line of my post immediately above the one in which the above quote lies:

[indent]I will include some points towards what you have posted, Alan (if I may), please bear with me, as I am fairly busy.[/indent]

At the moment, I can only ask for a certain degree of trust when I say that there is SO much on the table at the moment . . . really, a whole lot of stuff is being touched on, pointed towards, or has bearing on what has come up in from the second post of this page, and to put everything in order so as to proceed in a more logical and building-like process, is going to be a bit difficult. I will give it my best shot; but I have another thread elsewhere that is already lagging, and of course my off-line life is quite busy these days.

Just to touch base, real fast, with you William, the problem you are looking at has been, and is being fairly well researched. The 'judge' is primarily the prefrontal lobe (and pyrmidal and maybe spindle cells have a lot to do with that). A key factor lies not only in the number of cells, but in the cell columns and connections. (Habitual liers will always have an above average bundle of connections, for example [meaning they can cross reference information more readily, and play out lies longer].)

The reason the piano analogy, while yes, being quite poetic, and nice in that sense, doesn't work, is because it basically appears to lean in the direction of the concept that we have to have the homunculus--which we now know to be an obsolete idea.

You have, however, correctly pointed out, jeeprs, that music came before (in this case) the piano (for which purpose the piano came into being--to play music). This, however, is not the case with thoughts--the brain comes first.

Rather than pursuing that line of thought on 'scientific triumphalism,' (which I'd tend to be wary of) I would instead suggest a more positive frame of mind--an open and objective playing field of rational and pragmatic thinking. In such a setting, we can all hold it true that the humanities (including, but not only, philosophy) have and do make statements about our world (known and known to be knowable (to a fair degree), or unknown). We can hold that the sciences have and do make statements about our world as well. We can hold it true that it is the testing of statements made which has materially distinguished the the sciences from the humanities. We can then hold it true that there is practical benefit (say clinical, or lifestyle, for example) in testing all testable statements made about our world.

So let's test these things, then.

Alan (if I may...I haven't gotten a response from you on that yet), one of the points you have raised which I'd like to touch on now, here, is the following:

[indent] One or more might become an idea this idea remains imprinted on the brain much longer that the 40 minutes suggested[/indent]

I'm not certain where you get that '40 minutes' from, yet in the event that you had gotten that from an earlier post of mine, that some (meaning plus/minus) 40 minute window is that point beyond which long-term memory is laid down. Almost regardless of what sensory input the brain has (external or internal source) if the hippocampal area is fully dead or disconnected/removed, you're not going to have long-term memory (for the most part). In that case, nothing will last longer than 40 minutes. Every morning is a new day !! Every new face is perpetually, a new face. Except for those few moments of self-introspection at the cue of those around them, such patients are living a carefree and easy life--living each day as their last, in a kind of twisted way.

I'm still thinking about the layout of how to work with all this, but am beginning to think it'll have to be with some rather basic explanations about the brain and biology. I will get back, but some points may be further off down the road, since an underlying database is needed to support them.
0 Replies
 
Alan McDougall
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 May, 2009 08:09 am
@KaseiJin,
KaseiJin wrote:
I do feel that I understand this persuasion you mention, jeepers, yet reason that there is a very good chance that it is an obsolete one. It would appear that to say that a particular thought, for example, has a physical property, would be to imply that that thought was originally of a non-physical nature. That simply does not appear to be the case at all; it would seemingly lead to the conclusion that thought does not require brain matter at all.

In that we (taking a look at the H. sapien for the moment) do have brains, we have brain build and state which is very similar across the wide spectrum of builds and states. In that way, we can undestand that what will, of course, be subjective to an individual brain, will be similarly subjective to each brain across the wide spectrum of brains. In that way, we can see the brain in an objective framework.

I'm willing to make a bet that you too have a hippocampus kind of wrapped there around a thalamus sitting on the floor above the mid-brain in both hemispheres of your brain. Likewise, I am willing to bet that if those hippocampi were to be removed, you'd not be able to form long-term memory, and would very likely live in somewhere around a 40 minute continious present state. For that reason, the increment of thought production will go flat on the graph.① Why? Because we cannot have thought without having brain responsible for thought.

In having brain that is responsible for thought, it can be seen that brain cells--which are all living entities, we must keep in mind--in complex communication with each other are the very thoughts. There is nothing meaningless about it at all, really--although I will not deny that this requires us to maintain a certain level of practicality.

I would have to apologize for the degree to which I kind of 'present' outside of the discipline of philosophy, however, would yet argue that in regards the matter of brain and mind, the humanities will have to depend more largely on the sciences.



① This is because nothing beyond a span of 40 minutes can be remembered, and most kinds of new learning cannot take place, so the graph representing increases in things remembered (knowledge) up until the time of removal will basically show no more increase beyond that point--therefore a flat line.


The post about me apparently being invisible in this thread was directed at all the active participant in this thread. I feel I made a few good valid points that were simply being ignored

Thank you for clarifying your position of being extremely busy! Smile

The quote about nothing beyond a span of 40 minutes can be remembered, came from one of your posts and is that statement I disagreed with

Is the universe not just a huge thought in the mind of Gods consciousness, "God the Prime Monad"

Peace
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 May, 2009 05:06 pm
@loudthoughts,
I am perfectly willing to agree that there is an objective account of brain states, consciousness, and the like. Where I diverge is that this provides the sole, or even the most significant, account. A scientist will always see consciousness as being a property of a brain. However traditional philosophy has a different view, and the thing I find objectionable is the idea that one supersedes the other, and that the classical view is obsolete. I really don't think it is; I just don't think it is understood any more. And it never will be understood by empirical scientists. It is in a different realm of being.

A clarification - I think what I am pointing at by the word 'consciousness' in not 'the activity of the brain' but closer to the neoplatonic idea of 'nous', the underlying intellect by which all is given form.

Anyway thanks all for the feedback, especially you KaseiJin, you can return to the lab, and I to my meditation seat:-)
KaseiJin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 07:00 pm
@jeeprs,
I can quite understand the emotion you have indirectly expressed, jeeprs. Back my more youthful days, I too tended to feel such. I would hope that I could encourage you to continue your search, your energetic drive into the act of deep investigations in all fields of inquiry. I had once sat in the meditation seat as well, along with my yoga teacher from India. I had once soared into the hights of 'thinking outside the box'--so to speak. And look at where I have landed.

You had written, in a seemingly moment of fleeting outloud thought, that you had wondered 'whether, even with our advanced science and technology, we were really any wiser than Socrates.' What you may have failed to take into consideration with that, is the linguistically (for now) bound definition (based on the context it had been used in) that wisdom is something a person does with knowledge--be that acquired or learned. Therefore, to answer that question, we would have to be honest and say that there may be people who are alive now, or have lived during the 20th century, who are or had been wiser than Socrates, or even Plato and all the rest, or maybe not--we can no longer give those folk of long ago IQ or G tests.

That said, it is very true that we can say that in aggregate today, we have much more knowledge than Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, etc. What that translates into being, is that with all the evidence that we have regarding what's real (in the practical sense, and PLEASE take note of this point...as I have stated it a number of times now) regarding brain matter, build, state and function, we can state with very high confidence that minding, or being oneself is very close to, if not only, a matter of brain matter, and that alone.

Also, I sense what might be some acquired reluctance towards the idea of science as an 'institution.' Let me be quick to point out that I too am wary of what we can call 'Scientism.' Pure science, in its broadest term, will boil down to a method of understanding our natural universe and all that it contains. Parts of that might be held to be in what we could call a 'supernatural' realm, simply because we do not understand, or have no knowledge of it at the moment. Nevertheless that will not deflate nor undermine what is known about the practical world that we are mentally involved in in the process of day to day living.

Observation, replication, interpretation (logic, prior knowledge, and mind set), and verification are important steps in the scientific method, and through these and the testing and adjustment of, especially, interpretation, we arrive at understandings from time to time which do, like it or not, supersede older ones; for which reason we know that Plato was in error regarding brain (Hippocrates had it much right on target, as it turned out), Descartes was in error, Gall was in error, and even some fairly recent 20th century views were in error.

We must only be honest with ourselves, and admit that it has been through this activity called 'scientific method' that our knowledge has grown. We know much better why the Bipolar Disorder patient goes through those ups and downs, and to what degree and why cognition is impaired. We much more factually understand why stroke patients with a certain specific gyrus damage in the right parietal lobe will have left side denial--and it's real, they really can only be conscious of the left side doing normal things (like tying a know, holding a tray or clapping) when actually that side is totally paralized.

We can understand why the mind is changed in the condition called 'pumphead' after by-pass heart surgery. We know , by directly measuring neuron firing recordings in vivo of the C1 area of the hippocampus, that memory is created there, and can fairly well see the 'timing' processes. We can understand how frontal lobe lesion patients have disorders in planning and strategy application, and can see that disorganization of pyramidal neurons in that area causes the confusion seen in schizophrenia.

My long winded post here--and do please accept my humble apologies for that--is only an effort to encourage enquiry and contemplation. And along with that, I ask, how would you demonstrate knowing (which a claim is always implying) that the classical philosophical view of mind is not obsolete? If you think that claim is true, are you willing to test it?

As a final point, in English, the meaning of the word 'consciousness' is quite fixed, and will always refer to a state of being awake and self-aware. The old nous idea seems to have gone through some changes in understanding along the way, but even in neo-platonism, I believe it had to do with mind, when talking about the human mental realm--thoughts, personality, behavioural patterns, etc. I do hope to discuss this further with you, jeeprs.
Alan McDougall
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 May, 2009 12:27 am
@KaseiJin,
Can I come in here hopefully to be noticed?

Consciousness or mind, many religions believe each human is a kind of duality matter yoked to a sublime spirit, or atoms dissipate into the vastness of the cosmos on physical death but soul, mind spirit, awareness or consciousness continues persists until a final justice or at least everlasting peace

Cognitive-science researchers and some evolutionary are gradually showing how the mind might emerge mysteriously from complex neurological structures

Then where do our mind come from, from a soul or is it just a complex of cellular neurons?

A world of zombies could act, speak laugh and kill but no light will shine on the inside, is that light soul?

Consciousness must, therefore be something over and above mere neural structures in action. New windows to the conscious mind such as MRI brain scanning are now being used.

Are you not surprised by your own mind at times?, we have this buzzing cacophony going on holding all or material parts together and an battle for harmony to avoid physical death all through our lives. Physical life is continues by a knife edge of horrible possibilities

Is the eye the window to the soul of just a glimpse of the brain, after all the eye is the only part of the brain outside of the body?

Consciousness to me might be some sort of a virtual machine.

Are we intrinsically better than any machine, will we always be able to do things no machine could do? Neurosciences usually a bottom up assumption, that tiny thing leads and make up bigger structures.



Modern neuroscience sees the brain as a dynamic network neural network.

Now lets us think again, what is self? Is our real consciousness hovering in a quantum field somewhere near the head, is this field really the soul, or are we just highly evolved machines by the processes of evolution

Speech can be evasive Buffalo, buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffelo buffalo

This diabolic sentence by Steven Pinker is a real logical quote, A buffalo from Buffalo is a Buffalo which might buffalo or browbeat its kin So (those ) Buffalo buffalo (which other) Buffalo buffalo buffalo (will in turn) still buffalo buffalo (still other) Buffalo buffalo buffalo

Finally the quantum mind, physicist Roger Penrose says we do have brains that might be able to leap free of restrictions that apply to matter. His theory is based on Hameroffs theory that suggests neural cytoskeleton microtubules reside inside cells (protein polymers) able to switch between two states. This theory was suggested as an explanation for near death experiences



Kielicious
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 May, 2009 02:06 am
@Alan McDougall,
Alan, you have so much potential....

Why are you so hell-bent on trying to prove that a soul exists?
rhinogrey
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 May, 2009 02:19 am
@loudthoughts,
Alan,

The "light of God" extends only insofar as the Self permeates the void... it is an illusion.

I come back to this: every person is becoming. A historical process, not an immutable self. The Self as continuous is illusory. In truth the self is created in every moment. Feel your Self at the vanguard of creation -- the Ego emerges in every new moment processed, and contains all previous moments.
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 May, 2009 02:35 am
@loudthoughts,
souls are beyond existence. Existence is what they are exiled in.
0 Replies
 
KaseiJin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 May, 2009 02:47 am
@loudthoughts,
Well, I'd like to make a deal with you, Alan McDougall, if you feel it would be ok. I'll take note of your points, and discuss them with you if you would be willing to fully discuss them in as precise detail as you can. Is that a deal? I'd hope to get a response from you on that point first, along with one other. In more than two different locations in at least three different posts, I have directly asked you if it would be ok if I used the short, 'Alan' to address you, or not. Perhaps you have missed them (although I can't quite see how, if, in fact, you had read my posts at all), so I'd like to take care of that now too. Is it ok if I address you as Alan? (it's so much easier and quick to type in). Please feel free to address me as KJ.

Then, in the event that you do honestly and fairly agree to discuss the detail with us, I'd like to ask the following:

[indent] You appear, at one point, to be saying that since we can imagine a world of zombies, and at the same time assume those zombies to be able to act, speak, laugh, and kill, that we can conclude that in the real world, the one that we are actually born into, grow up in and are helped formed by, and die out of, consciousness must be something over and above mere neural structures. Am I correct in that understanding?

Then, a few pointers. Technically speaking, the eye is not a part of the brain. Approaches in neuroscience at large make use of a comparative composition/compromise of top/down to bottom/up studies. The idea of quantum field hovering near or around the head sounds very strange. Where did that idea come from? And lastly, where did this theory regarding microtubules of the cytoskeleton come from, I wonder.
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 May, 2009 04:57 am
@loudthoughts,
Quote:
the Ego emerges in every new moment processed, and contains all previous moments.

This is very close to the Buddhist teaching of the nature of the person (with the exception that many of the previous moments are at any time in a latent condition.)
0 Replies
 
Alan McDougall
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 May, 2009 08:31 pm
@Kielicious,
Kielicious wrote:
Alan, you have so much potential....

Why are you so hell-bent on trying to prove that a soul exists?


Because I have had a near death experience and looked down at my own body from the outside

It would be comforting to know this infinitesimal fleeting moment on earth in eternity is not all of our existence
0 Replies
 
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 May, 2009 08:57 pm
@loudthoughts,
Quote:
Because I have had a near death experience and looked down at my own body from the outside

It would be comforting to know this infinitesimal fleeting moment on earth in eternity is not all of our existence


Yeah and I've also had dreams that I thought were so real that after waking up was quite disappointed to discover they weren't reality.

There is so many ways to explain your experience. There are even medical ways to explain your experience. There are cases where people are paralyzed and appear to be unresponsive yet they are full aware of what is going on around them. Their body lays there motionless and seemingly dead yet their mind is still active and perceiving the world around it. I have had to study such cases before and they are fascinating and goes to show just how powerful the senses are even when the body is failing.
rhinogrey
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 May, 2009 10:26 pm
@loudthoughts,
Out-of-body experiences can indeed awake a divine sense in an individual. This is useful in enriching one's experience on earth. However, it does not in any way indicate that there are not fully physical causal explanations for the events.
0 Replies
 
Alan McDougall
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 May, 2009 10:49 pm
@Krumple,
Krumple wrote:
Yeah and I've also had dreams that I thought were so real that after waking up was quite disappointed to discover they weren't reality.

There is so many ways to explain your experience. There are even medical ways to explain your experience. There are cases where people are paralyzed and appear to be unresponsive yet they are full aware of what is going on around them. Their body lays there motionless and seemingly dead yet their mind is still active and perceiving the world around it. I have had to study such cases before and they are fascinating and goes to show just how powerful the senses are even when the body is failing.


It was not an out of body event, it was a near death experience, I flat lines by attempting and almost succeeded suicide (I almost severed my arm and cut through the main artery, there is no 911 in South Africa)

This experience was somehow more vivid than real life

I know, I know, there are so called scientific explanation, I don't accept them because unlike the skeptical scientist, I had the experience not them

To me these types of explanations are like telling the NASA Astronauts they did not go to the moon , but remained on earth deluded somewhere in California

Please I will not try to convince you people so lets just leave it at that!
KaseiJin
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 May, 2009 03:15 am
@loudthoughts,
At the moment I am considering which thread, exactly, would best to continue my presentation on--this one, or one other that more readily lends itself to discussion in the arena of soul/mind/consciousness/conscious/brain. I don't know. Both?

Usually, when we use the term Near Death Experiences (NDEs) we are talking about experiences of mind that can be remembered. This almost automatically involves Out of Body Experiences (OBEs) and I have done a little research in this area as well when helping Keith Augustine with his research project on that (Hallucinatory Near-Death Experiences ). It is a fact that there have been controlled experiments which have produced (OBEs) and the very same and strong sensation has been produced by probing and exciting temporal lobe areas during open-skull brain surgery. It is also a fact that certain temporal damage can create sensations which are more vivid than in real life--which is quite similar to the visual experiences of James Thurber, or paitents with the Charles Bonnet Syndrome.

I have had almost as much when I made that large bulge in the front windshield back just after highschool. However, I do appreciate your experience, Alan (and I'll just go ahead and use that shorten form of your username, taking silence to be 'no-contest.') in the sense that it has had a large impression on you. I do recall your having mentioned bipolar disorder, which a sister of mine also has, and she too, in the depressive stage tried to take her life. In that, I do feel for you.

I would see it, however (at least speaking for myself), as not being a matter of trying to persuade you to alter a viewpoint so nearly as much as presenting evidence for an understanding that just happens to undermine the viewpoint you happen to hold. There is the internal reality, for sure, because each brain is an internally acting, living organ made up of billions of little life forms. This internal reality, nevertheless, does not always match the external reality that, to some slightly varying degrees, each separate, subjective brain can percieve. (I'm color blind, and so cannot see the same red that a brain that is not color blind will percieve, so a slight difference, but the bell curve is very sharp for seeing red, if you know what I mean.)

The patient with strong anosognosia may fall out of bed over and over by trying to push his brother's arm out of the bed--which paralyzed arm of course is his own. Why? Because the damage to responsible brain tissue has altered the internal reality so as to cause mismatch with external reality. In that person's mind, that arm is not, cannot be their own, and this is not due to some type of being insane in the stricter sense, but simply because the brain has been damaged. This is to explain that there can be and is a internal reality which is not an external reality. (I can imagine myself in a situation yet to come, and can imagine the event, my feelings and so on, and the actually occurance will probably be much different. . . or I can imagine myself being on a date with Miss Universe...of course which will never happen...but it's my internal reality, not an external reality.)

Seeing yourself lying there, as though you had separated from your body was without mistake an internal realtiy. What needs to be done, then, is to study such cases carefully, over a large sample space, and verify the likelihood of it having been an external reality. Could I have sensed your having been in the air looking down over your own body, if I had been there?

I hope to encourage deep, careful, and detailed thought here. I will later touch some things...oh ALAN, what about that deal I had offered, are you willing to take it up? KJ
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 May, 2009 03:41 am
@loudthoughts,
Quote:
Wisdom is something a person does with knowledge--be that acquired or learned

Is it? This makes wisdom (or sapience) beholden to knowledge, doesn't it? And it also begs the question: Why does a wise man do one thing with his knowledge, and the unwise do another? Is it not because knowledge and wisdom are different? You can be knowledgeable, and act foolishly; plenty do. But an unlettered peasant can know the depths of wisdom; once such, according to legend, was Hui Neng.

As for Socrates - he was called 'wisest man in all of Greece' by the Oracle of Delphi. Again, according to legend, this was because he said 'all I know, is that I know nothing.' (In light of this admission, your assertion that we have 'more knowledge today' would be difficult to contest.) And interestingly, inscribed above the portal by which the Oracle was approached, was the motto 'Know thyself'.

Socrates' method consisted almost entirely of questions. He refused to write anything down. All we know of him is through his pupil, Plato. Apparently Socrates felt that wisdom was something that could only be attained in live performance, so to speak. It was a state of being, dynamic and alive, which is why he refused to commit it to prose. Took a dim view of 'book-learnin'. (Ironic, isn't it, that nowadays philosophy is only found in books:-)

At the end of the History of Western Philosophy Bertrand Russell said something like 'All that can be known, can be known by means of science. We [analytic philosophers] refuse to admit there is a hidden or higher way of knowledge not obtainable by science or the senses.' I have thought about this for many years, and I have never agreed with it.

One of the reasons is that self-knowledge, which in my view is the indispensable first step towards wisdom, is not, by its nature, objective, nor, in the sense Russell, or most of us, mean, 'scientific'. This is so obviously true that it sounds like a truism. You might say, 'well anyone can know themselves'. But self-knowledge seems to me to be very scarce. Where in our educational system, where in the halls of academe, is self-knowledge taught? Or wisdom, for that matter? It is not hard to argue that the absence of self-knowledge - and certainly a distinct lack of wisdom - on the part of the American financial classes is what has brought the world economy to the brink of disaster. It has yet to be shown that we collectively have the wisdom not to cook the planet (or toast it). Let's hope we do have.

I am not in the least wary of science as an institution (although it behoves all of us to at least be a little scared of some of its consequences). The challenges we face need all the knowledge we can muster. But I am immensely wary of science-as-religion, and that is precisely what is being made of it. It is the basis of Bertrand Russell's statement. And the belief - for that is what it is - that scientific knowledge supersedes the insights of the traditional philosophers again denies the fact that no matter how much you know, or have, it is the kind of person you are that really matters.

Which science deals with this?

Quote:
And along with that, I ask, how would you demonstrate knowing (which a claim is always implying) that the classical philosophical view of mind is not obsolete? If you think that claim is true, are you willing to test it?


Yes - but in this case - unlike physics, or thermodynamics, or the other objective sciences - the subject of classical philosophy is us. We are the subject. For the subject is how to live wisely, in accordance with truth, so as to realise the fruits of that state of wisdom of which Socrates, and all of the sages, have always spoken. And indeed it requires a meticulous discipline, scrupulous honesty, and the ability to 'see everything just as it is'. This is the Scientia Sacra, the Sacred Science.
rhinogrey
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 May, 2009 03:52 pm
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall wrote:
It was not an out of body event, it was a near death experience, I flat lines by attempting and almost succeeded suicide (I almost severed my arm and cut through the main artery, there is no 911 in South Africa)

This experience was somehow more vivid than real life

I know, I know, there are so called scientific explanation, I don't accept them because unlike the skeptical scientist, I had the experience not them

To me these types of explanations are like telling the NASA Astronauts they did not go to the moon , but remained on earth deluded somewhere in California

Please I will not try to convince you people so lets just leave it at that!


I too have had mystical experiences that are more vivid than "real life." I have felt my "self" exit my body, etc. etc.

But these serve to make me all the more skeptical. When you have stared into the face of God, and then the next minute stared into the very absence of God, an endless void...the absurdity of contradictions is all you have left to hold onto.
0 Replies
 
Yogi DMT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 May, 2009 06:19 pm
@loudthoughts,
My take on this is that the human mind is a combination of all these qualities and attributes, without one of these peices, the mind is not working in a humanly fashion. When sperated into their own category and defintion, non-organisms can have one or more of these qualities. It is only when put together that we have acheived the all so complex human mind. Broken down into their distinct places, these qualities only come out to a bunch of definitions and there just define various items and ideas in our world.
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 May, 2009 04:47 am
@loudthoughts,
"No amount of language about tissue and nerve damage or the firing of C-fibers comes close to describing the conscious, painful experience itself. No amount of examination of the contents of a living person's skull reveals her experiences as they are to her, and this is true even if we believe we have found strong correlations between certain forms of brain activity and certain conscious experiences as reported by her. Attempting consistency with this overall naturalist perspective, philosopher Susan Blackmore wrote, "I have become quite uncertain as to whether there really is anything it is like to be me." From Whose Line Is It, Anyway?: The Question of God and the Burden of Proof | The Citizen Online
0 Replies
 
KaseiJin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 May, 2009 02:42 am
@jeeprs,
Nice to hear from you again, jeeprs. Perhaps a few points, or the main point of contention would take much detail and time to consider and work over; I think it worth undertaking.

jeeprs wrote:
Is it? This makes wisdom (or sapience) beholden to knowledge, doesn't it? And it also begs the question: Why does a wise man do one thing with his knowledge, and the unwise do another? Is it not because knowledge and wisdom are different? . . .


Looking through any of the more detailed dictionaries of the English language, we'll notice that in a few instances, the nouns knowledge and wisdom will overlap. Context usually determines the sense, and it can well be said that even with the overlap, there is a difference of nuance. Not being more precise with how I had been using it was my fault in that last post you have quoted above. My wrong.

I was using it, as you have questioned, as two different things. (and please note that the nuance of sapience is as in aped, or mimicked wisdome--thus not necessarily factual) I had used the terms in the sense of knowledge being the aggregate of facts or matters known. In this sense, it is simply the accumulation of data, we could say.

Wisdom, had been used in the sense of associative acting/operating on the data in order to predict, make deductions and adductions, plan, execute actions, and so on. Knowledge (mere data) in and of itself, does not necessarily lead to being wise (in the senses used), but the results of acting/operating upon that data, and the measurable results, as best understood over a large sample space, will demonstrate quality of sagacity. Kim Peek, for example has knowledge to the power of 10 followed by a one with a number of zeros (comparatively speaking and with hyperbole), but is extremely weak with associative operation on that data so as to produce an even average level of what we call wisdom.

Therefore, my point in that earlier post, when answering to your point that 'traditional philosophy has a different view, and the thing I find objectionable is the idea that one supersedes the other, and that the classical view is obsolete,' was that the data that Socrates or Plato would have had--irregardless of how wise they may have been--has been shown by the knowledge that we have today, to be obsolete (or to put it more directly, wrong). This is as factual a fact as one can get.

It makes absolutely no difference at all what the Oracle of Delphi (and that, as well, is a whole 'nother story) might have said, or the possibly spoken words of emotion that come in the generalization which expresses the concept that there is so much to know, Socrates did not know that he did not know most of what was happening in his brain and why (he did notd know), nor even that his entire sense of self was purely a brain event in the first place (after having been helped in formation by enviromental circumstances, of course).




jeeprs wrote:
Yes - but in this case - . . .


I'll take this as an affirmative, and hope a productive discussion will result. I'd like to point out here, though, that we are focusing on
consciousness, self-awareness, brains, rationality, and memory
so matters of applications of these in life would surely be a divergent tangent. Also, related point-in-case explanations that come up in other related threads may be pointed to at times.

For starters, we could go back to the Greek philosophers' differing views of the thinking, rational, emotional person--the mind-- although we really need not go back any further than Rene Descartes. I will let you take the choice there. I look forward to the discussion, and appreciate your interest and vigor. KJ
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