5
   

Consciousness, again

 
 
Cyracuz
 
  0  
Reply Tue 21 Aug, 2012 02:17 pm
@Razzleg,
Quote:
But nonetheless, you'd have to to be a fool to regard sponges as unsystematic organisms


Not a fool. Just lacking of information.
I don't recall if I ever used the word 'unsystematic' in relation to the sponges, but what I mean is that the cells combine with no specific pattern, unlike later creatures, who's cell structure followed distinct, repeating patterns.

Quote:
But to say that consciousness is a property of the universe, well, that is taking my egotism (or even the self regard of my species) a bit too far.


You seem to consistently get things backwards. If you realize that your consciousness is a property of the universe, if that truly is understood by you, there will be nothing left for the ego. You would be enlightened.

Let me ask another question. Do you think thoughts can occur outside or without a mind/awareness?
We have awareness of things that happened millions of years ago. When did that awareness begin? When we dug up the first dinosaur bone? Or when the dinosaur crawled out of it's egg millions of years ago?
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Aug, 2012 08:00 pm
By the way, I consider my conscious states of mind to characteristically involve a large (maybe a larger) unconscious component. Don't you?
0 Replies
 
Razzleg
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Aug, 2012 02:06 am
@Cyracuz,
Cyracuz wrote:

Quote:
But nonetheless, you'd have to to be a fool to regard sponges as unsystematic organisms


Not a fool. Just lacking of information.
I don't recall if I ever used the word 'unsystematic' in relation to the sponges, but what I mean is that the cells combine with no specific pattern, unlike later creatures, who's cell structure followed distinct, repeating patterns.


Thanks for not commenting on the terrible state of my last post...i'm not sure what happened there, but i have a feeling that i am growing quote-impaired. However, it would have been an excellect opportunity for mockery. And i also apologize, i didn't mean to actually suggest you were a fool. i don't think that you did use the word "unsystematic", but you did use the word "random". My contention is that no creature (and i'm set off a little by that term alone, for its biblical precedent) has ever been composed of a "random" conglomeration of cells. Cells, or as they have also been called the "building blocks of life", always combine in a non-random way. i don't think, although there might be a paleontologist out there prepared to prove me wrong, that there has ever been a random collection of cells grouped together in a way that could feed and reproduce, much less slime its way across a sea bed.

Cyracuz wrote:

Quote:
But to say that consciousness is a property of the universe, well, that is taking my egotism (or even the self regard of my species) a bit too far.


You seem to consistently get things backwards. If you realize that your consciousness is a property of the universe, if that truly is understood by you, there will be nothing left for the ego. You would be enlightened.


Perhaps this misunderstanding between us is due to my poorly presented post above, but let me state it explicitly: i do not think that either my consciousness or consciousness, in general, is a property of the universe. Both my consciousness and consciousness in general is a part of the universe, but it is not a property of it.

To quote myself in a previous post (to JLN):
Razzleg wrote:

... "redness" or "green-ness" or "yellowness" is a property of an apple (vs., say, blueness); and roundness is an approximate property of a baseball. These aspects define, to some extent, the phenomena to which they are an attribute without being able to comprise them.

On the other hand, i am not a property of the universe. When i die, which i will -- and if i do say so, irreplaceably -- the universe will not be any less the universe. My existence is an effect of the universe, certainly, and i appreciate it, but my consciousness is in no way definitive. Nor is anyone's or everyones' -- if every conscious being in the universe were to die tomorrow, it would nevertheless continue to be the universe.


#humblebrag

An example of my point made above is this: A bicycle has many properties -- it must have two wheels, a pedal based method of propulsion, etc. Give it three wheels and it is a tricycle, one wheel and it is a unicycle (i realize how arbitrarily number based this example is), or attach a motor to it and it is a moped.

A bicycle also has parts: wheels, pedals, gears, handlebars, etc. However, take one of those parts away, and it remains a bicycle. The only question as to that absence is how will those parts be replaced. If my consciousness were a pedal, and it were removed from the bicycle known as "the universe", then that "universe" would remain a "universe" without a pedal. (Oh sure, take enough parts away, and the bicycle would be unrecognizable -- but that's a different debate.)

To me, consciousness is like a horn attached to the handlebars of the universe. If one were to to lose it, the bicycle would continue to function as well as it did before. Just so, were consciousness to vanish, and perhaps humanity with it, the universe would still function just fine.

If consciousness were a property of the universe, then both individual consciousnesses and enlightenment would be a moot point.

Cyracuz wrote:

Let me ask another question. Do you think thoughts can occur outside or without a mind/awareness?
We have awareness of things that happened millions of years ago. When did that awareness begin? When we dug up the first dinosaur bone? Or when the dinosaur crawled out of it's egg millions of years ago?


No, i don't think that thoughts can occur outside or without a mind/awareness, but nor do i think that we are aware of things that happened millions of years ago. What we are presented with today is evidence, both material, technologically provided, and theoretical, of events that preceded our contemporary awareness by millions of years. That evidence requires, nay demands, modern interpretation by our current awareness -- but i do not pretend that my speculation, however reliably fact-based it might be, as to the lifespan and environment of a trilobite in any way reflects the experience of that same trilobite.

Although i think that this is a very speculative point, "awareness" as a mental phenomenon extends back quite a ways -- perhaps that trilobite, about which i am so ignorant, would be considered "aware". But "awareness", as a mental phenomenon, does not seem to be a resource of information retention, or memory. If you're looking for an authority regarding "ancestral memory" look to Jung, but there is little empirical evidence for it. Posterity cannot draw upon past memories in any sort of practical way.

Is your knowledge of the first dinosaur hatchling in the Triassic really a matter of awareness? i invite you to describe it in detail... a play by play, as it were.

Cyracuz wrote:

JLNobody wrote:
As I see it, when you, I and Razzleg cease to exist or be conscious the UNIVERSE will have changed--even though it will continue to be what we call the universe. Indeed, the universe is always changing because of its internal dynamism.


Yes. Here are some pictures of how five constellations will look in 50,000 years. It's interesting how they have changed, and yet remain so similar.


Yes, but consider how much they may have already changed, without our having been able to see them. The positions that those stars currently seem to occupy have already actually altered slightly, without our being aware of it.

JLNobody wrote:

By the way, I consider my conscious states of mind to characteristically involve a large (maybe a larger) unconscious component. Don't you?


Yes, precisely, but i don't therefore think that this view of the situation privileges consciousness in any way.

But ""involve" is a highly ambiguous word. In what way, situation, relation do you view the involvement between conscious states of mind and their large (perhaps larger) unconscious counterpart?





Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Aug, 2012 04:33 am
@Razzleg,
I did have a laugh at the terrible construction of your last post, and it was a little hard to separate out the quotes from your text, but I think I managed.

Your objections are entirely reasonable. I am, after all, attacking some assumptions that are fundamental to our understanding of reality.

Quote:
i don't think, (...) that there has ever been a random collection of cells grouped together in a way that could feed and reproduce, much less slime its way across a sea bed.


Fair enough. Would it be better if we replace "random" with "no specific pattern"?

Quote:
i do not think that either my consciousness or consciousness, in general, is a property of the universe. Both my consciousness and consciousness in general is a part of the universe, but it is not a property of it.


I don't know if I posted it earlier, or just wrote it and deleted it (I do that a lot), but the distinction between 'consciousness' and 'consciousness of consciousness' is important. Humans have 'consciousness of consciousness'. I think of this as a human expression of a universal quality.
I understand that you don't agree, and it is true that there are no facts to support my contention. But the same is true for the belief that is most common today; that consciousness is a product of physical evolution. There is no evidence to support it. It's just that it seems plausible, some would even say self evident, based on what we know and believe about other things.

The main problem with that popular belief is that we are beginning to find out that 'physical reality' is really and truly only a mindgame. Nowhere but inside the mind of a conscious entity can something be 'physical'.
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Aug, 2012 08:15 am
@G H,
Quote:
I can actually sympathize with your elemental "awareness" to the extent that I've often felt an urge to inject "detection" into how or this or that field of a particle reacts to the presence of another, rather than ignoring each other as if ghosts.


That does sound similar to what I'm trying to get at. A relationship is established between the wave fields. They have to have some kind of 'observer quality/property', or wave function collapse could not occur.
This quality/property is what I am suggesting is the basis of 'awareness of awareness', which comes about when observer property encounters observer property. It seems to me this requires memory, or perhaps results in memory. The simplest form of memory, in this context, would be the definite states that occur when waves interact and collapse.

Sorry for the late reply, by the way. I do not know precisely where I'm going with this idea, but you input is welcome.
0 Replies
 
Ding an Sich
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Aug, 2012 08:49 am
@Cyracuz,
Cyracuz wrote:

I've made posts about this before. In broad terms, I think of matter and energy as information, and consciousness as interpretation.
Whenever units of mass or energy interact they interpret what they encounter and order themselves accordingly. Molecules bind to certain other molecules according to electrical charge, for instance. There is information being interpreted.
This is awareness. A relatively 'simple' natural phenomenon. Then interpretation causes biological cells to bind together, and living things exist.
Interpretation happens at every interaction on every level and scale, from the smallest quantum scales to the macro scale.
Then biological organisms start storing the information that has been interpreted, and this stored information is factored into new interpretations. Over time, this contrast of new interpretations over old ones creates still new interpretations, and the organism has become aware of the awareness happening within it. Then there is interpretation of interpretation. This interpretation becomes information in itself and has identity, and the organism is aware of doing it...

This is a very quick summary of the idea.
Do you think such a process of information and interpretation could result in creatures like us, who are not only aware, but aware of being aware.

It's a challenge of sorts, to the scientific axiom that physical evolution 'created' consciousness, and that before it occurred in organic creatures, it didn't exist.


I would say that consciousness only occurs at the highest gradations of objects, such as animals and humans. My view is more process philosophy/panpsychist, where objects are always in constant change until a certain satisfaction is realized. But this need not involve consciousness, only experiential concrescent objects. Consciousness is on a higher scale.
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Aug, 2012 04:57 am
@Ding an Sich,
Quote:
But this need not involve consciousness, only experiential concrescent objects.


I can relate to that, but I would have said experiential, concrescent phenomena or events.
But I think this sounds similar to what I am on about.

Most people seem to think I want to endow nature with some mystical, disembodied 'consciousness of consciousness' (which is what most people mean when they say 'consciousness').

My approach is slightly different. I am asking 'what if awareness or consciousness is a relatively simple phenomenon, made more complex only because human awareness (aka consciousness of consciousness) is a matter of awareness about awareness, as opposed to the much simpler 'awareness''?
0 Replies
 
Razzleg
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Aug, 2012 12:12 am
@Cyracuz,
Cyracuz wrote:

I did have a laugh at the terrible construction of your last post, and it was a little hard to separate out the quotes from your text, but I think I managed.


Warranted and appreciated...Count the uses of "****" and you can gauge my distress. I still haven't figured out what went wrong in that post, but **** it...

Cyracuz wrote:

Your objections are entirely reasonable. I am, after all, attacking some assumptions that are fundamental to our understanding of reality.

razzleg wrote:
i don't think, (...) that there has ever been a random collection of cells grouped together in a way that could feed and reproduce, much less slime its way across a sea bed.


Fair enough. Would it be better if we replace "random" with "no specific pattern"?


meh, i don't think that modification is either biologically, anthropologically, paleontologically (made-up-but-should-be-a word), or historically satisfactory. Not because it never ever happened, mind you, but because its hypothetical occurrence has presented no evidence nor has it been been recorded in even the most questionable of medieval beastiaries. Has such a vital glob existed? Perhaps, but it is not likely that it slimed its slime along the seabed beyond its infancy, much less mated its "mate".

And in contrast, but by the same token, biology, not the study but the subject of the study, does not seem to develop randomly. Cells, the most elementary of living organisms, do not seem to be subject to either external or internal chance. Chance seems to be the great unmaker of the delicate balance that cellular reproduction has struck --at least on its particular biological plane...

Cyracuz wrote:

razzleg wrote:
i do not think that either my consciousness or consciousness, in general, is a property of the universe. Both my consciousness and consciousness in general is a part of the universe, but it is not a property of it.


I don't know if I posted it earlier, or just wrote it and deleted it (I do that a lot), but the distinction between 'consciousness' and 'consciousness of consciousness' is important. Humans have 'consciousness of consciousness'. I think of this as a human expression of a universal quality.

I understand that you don't agree, and it is true that there are no facts to support my contention. But the same is true for the belief that is most common today; that consciousness is a product of physical evolution. There is no evidence to support it. It's just that it seems plausible, some would even say self evident, based on what we know and believe about other things.

The main problem with that popular belief is that we are beginning to find out that 'physical reality' is really and truly only a mindgame. Nowhere but inside the mind of a conscious entity can something be 'physical'.


Well, i'm not certain that there is little evidence that consciousness has evolved from physical precedent. Perhaps that is the view of some, who can't grasp that the "physical"/"mental" gap is transversable. But it seems to me that the view of that party underestimates both physicality and mentality.

Nonetheless, i find it difficult to support the idea that human consciousness is best represented by "consciousness of consciousness". That's not to say that it doesn't occur, but to consider it a condition of human mentality, much less a universal attribute, seems to be an act of philosophic bravado.
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Aug, 2012 07:43 am
@Razzleg,
Quote:
Nonetheless, i find it difficult to support the idea that human consciousness is best represented by "consciousness of consciousness". That's not to say that it doesn't occur, but to consider it a condition of human mentality, much less a universal attribute, seems to be an act of philosophic bravado.


All humans have self awareness. You are conscious of your own consciousness. This is consciousness of consciousness, and it is indeed a condition of human mentality. So much so that people have sought to use it as a proof of their existence, as in "cogito ergo sum". What's the bravado?

And I didn't say that self-consciousness is a universal attribute. But consciousness has to be, and here's why:
For anything to become self-conscious, it must first be conscious. And if an entity has consciousness, but not of itself being aware, it's consciousness is like the leaves on trees; a natural process.
Razzleg
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Aug, 2012 11:23 pm
@Cyracuz,
Cyracuz wrote:

razzleg wrote:
Nonetheless, i find it difficult to support the idea that human consciousness is best represented by "consciousness of consciousness". That's not to say that it doesn't occur, but to consider it a condition of human mentality, much less a universal attribute, seems to be an act of philosophic bravado.


All humans have self awareness. You are conscious of your own consciousness. This is consciousness of consciousness, and it is indeed a condition of human mentality. So much so that people have sought to use it as a proof of their existence, as in "cogito ergo sum". What's the bravado?


Mmmmmmmmm...yes and no. i think that human beings are occasionally confronted by circumstances that require self-consciousness, and that we have the capacity for it, and react with it. That is to say, that we are capable of self-consciousness, and certain situations evoke it.

But look: constant self-consciousness is a sign of neurosis, a psychological abnormality. It is also a social condition. Generally, we are self-conscious in social situations; precisely when "we" are exposed to other consciousnesses -- and so we are inclined to be hyper-critical of ourselves, in order to anticipate our social reception. Of course, this isn't always the case, sometimes our hyper-self-critical reaction is a response to our own memories, when they are triggered by a personally complicated situation (sometimes with others, sometimes not). Nonetheless, all humans have self-consciousness precisely, in so far, as they are highly wound in a social "web".

i know that you might object that i am using a pop psychological definition of self-consciousness rather than an appropriate Cartesian one, but by looking at the circumstantial implications of the latter -- i think that it is easy to show that they are both aspects of the same mental phenomenon.

My earlier point was not that humans are not "capable" of self-consciousness, but that it need not be considered the norm. It is a response triggered by reflection.

That is not, at the same time, to say that it is a response that is un-reactive to will. Just as we can control our breathing, when we want, just so can we "reflect" our consciousness, when and "where" we want.

However, while the project, described by Sartre, and that circulation of apodictic consciousness happens; i fear it occurs as an occasional byproduct of the unquestioning consciousness in pursuit of a goal, as merely a regulatory check on the method of that project.

Cyracuz wrote:

And I didn't say that self-consciousness is a universal attribute. But consciousness has to be, and here's why:
For anything to become self-conscious, it must first be conscious. And if an entity has consciousness, but not of itself being aware, it's consciousness is like the leaves on trees; a natural process.


i'm not sure i understand your metaphor. "For anything to be self-conscious, it must first be conscious": Fine, i suppose, fine, but vaguely framed...for the existence of "self-conscience" does not require "consciousness" to be the environmental norm.

"Self-consciousness" being the occasional products of certain organs, fine. "Consciousness" being the product of the same organs, fine. Those organs being the result of certain molecular patterns, fine. But assuming that all diverse cellular, molecular, or atomic patterns must produce a similar "mental" result -- not fine. And not merely "not fine" and unprovable, but also nonsensical.

For atoms, despite their configuration, to have mental attributes without constituting a mind, would require a much more complicated-yet-unsubstantiated concept like "spirit".

Why is it inappropriate for consciousness to be a result of a natural process, like the leaves of a tree?
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Aug, 2012 02:37 am
@Razzleg,
I suppose by "conscious" he just means that information upon something, an interacting phenomena , is present, and up to that point I am fine with it...I just leave "mind", a far more complex problem, out of it for that matter...given mind itself cannot be justified by mental phenomena which would fall under a circular argument, but even if other then itself, nonetheless on a further more simpler reduction of the phenomena, the acquisition of informational states from something upon something, upon stuff, which themselves are the transformed product given by the functional relation between objects from case to case, subjectivity out of objective processes, that is, they refer to the specific algorithmic relation and not to what objects are being, is, must be, necessarily to be acknowledge as a first category property of reality if communication is to be possible on the first place...maybe he is trying to refer to something of the sort on his explanation...
Razzleg
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2012 01:00 am
@Cyracuz,
i dipped my head in here tonight, and seeing a new post in your thread, i took a look. You hadn't written anything new, but i re-read my last post, doing my usual check for grammatical and punctuation errors. There weren't any obvious language related mistakes, but i was struck by an argumentative disconnect between the two parts of the post.

In the first part of the post, i describe "self-consciousness" as a hair trigger, defense-related reflex in social situations (a defense mechanism i am well acquainted with), and in the second part i argue against "self-consciousness" being the product of an environmental condition.

And so, perhaps i should acknowledge that "self-consciousness" can be a product of an environmental condition, ie that environment's being full of other consciousnesses.

While i stand by my position that there is no evidence that consciousness exists at a quantum level, it is conceivable that co-existing and multiple "consciousnesses" can be an environmental condition. After all, i have no problem admitting that it seems to me that individuals exist within an historical continuum.

That probably seems like a shitty compromise, but i'm trying.
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2012 04:38 am
Razzleg and Fil
Interesting thoughts. I'll give a proper reply when I have time. Meanwhile I'll be thinking about the subject. Smile
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Aug, 2012 04:48 am
@Razzleg,
Quote:
there is no evidence that consciousness exists at a quantum level


Anything that exists on a macro level has to exist on a quantum level. These are not two different and separate worlds, it is two different descriptions of the same world. We are of this world, which means that we too have existence on the quantum level. If you think about it, you will realize that the macro level reality we experience is a product of our consciousness.

And regarding your objections to self-consciousness...
The way I understand you, you say that humans aren't self-conscious all the time, and therefore we cannot say that humans are all self-conscious.
But I disagree with that. Humans have legs too. All the time, not just when we are walking on them.
Self-consciousness isn't "thinking about yourself". Self-consciousness relates to the fact that we all have individual identities, and we can all relate ourselves to external issues and phenomenon. That this is shaped by environmental conditioning is beyond a doubt, as I see it, so we agree on that one.
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Aug, 2012 05:39 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Quote:
I suppose by "conscious" he just means that information upon something, an interacting phenomena , is present, and up to that point I am fine with it...I just leave "mind", a far more complex problem, out of it for that matter


I think you come close to what I am talking about.
Many people think it's reasonable to speak of a physical reality that is beyond our consciousness.
When we turn it around and speak of a conscious reality that goes beyond the physical, many are reluctant to listen. Never mind that the experience we are all having is evidence of such a reality.
Traditionally, consciousness is explained as something which had never occurred until evolution brought it about in living beings. The going thesis is that it just magically appeared.
But if we follow the logic of evolution theory, we can say that legs evolved because animals needed to move. Skeletons evolved because animals needed to withstand gravity as they crawled onto land.
If we follow the same thinking when it comes to 'mind', we would have to say that 'mind' evolved because the living being was doing something that would be greatly improved by a mind, as legs improved moving about.
In other words, there had to have been 'thoughts' for 'mind' to evolve.

That is why I am proposing that every event that occurs is a thought.
Two rocks smashing together isn't a physical event anywhere but through human eyes. Outside of our human awareness, there is no physical. There is only that information which we interpret as two rocks smashing together.
Were we not there to observe the rocks, they would still smash together, because they observe each other. But there would be no 'physical' to it, only a transition between states of existence for the information that makes up the rocks. This transition could not occur if different phenomena didn't have some kind of awareness of other phenomena. By 'awareness' I mean the simple fact that the rocks collide rather than pass straight through each other.
0 Replies
 
Razzleg
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Aug, 2012 10:56 pm
@Cyracuz,
Cyracuz wrote:

Quote:
there is no evidence that consciousness exists at a quantum level


Anything that exists on a macro level has to exist on a quantum level. These are not two different and separate worlds, it is two different descriptions of the same world. We are of this world, which means that we too have existence on the quantum level. If you think about it, you will realize that the macro level reality we experience is a product of our consciousness.


Again, yes and no -- your term "anything" is vague to the point of meaninglessness, anything does not mean everything. This seems to me to be a question of structure and structural interactivity.

When the constituent molecules bond and interact to create a neuron, and a conglomeration of neurons are developed and combined to create a nervous system (and i can already feel my internal-hypothetical neurologist cringing at the ineptness of my layman's phrasing), and that nervous system (i keep typing "nervious", and that is extremely annoying) interacts, both with itself and with its environment, and reveal the larger structure of me -- thre is no evidence that "i", "Razzleg", can interact with a single neuron, even one that constitutes myself (or "myself", if your feeling fussy). Just so, a neuron does not, and cannot interact with, as with a "peer"- structure, its constituent molecules. Dopamine does not behave in a structurally similar way to a neuron, and a neuron does not behave in a structurally similar way to a brain (nor would i say that a brain behaves in a structurally similar way to a "mind", but that tangent takes us a long, long way from the terms framed in this debate -- and i am loathe to address that whole issue in this thread), and nor does a brain operate in the same way as a molecule. And while similes and metaphors are available to compare each to the other -- they are limited in their ability to describe each structure and its operation accurately, especially as regards each structural level to another

It makes me think, although in a negative way, of "The Princess and the Pea." Just because we are aware, and a particular molecular occurrence is what we are aware of despite being separated by layers upon layers of soft separation, does not mean that molecule is aware of (and apparently vindictively poking) "us" -- much less is it "aware" of other atoms. It merely "occupies" its structure and interacts with its structural peers. Man oh man, has this poorly chosen metaphor become unwieldy. While i'm going to leave it, feel free to ignore it --i just want to leave the evidence of all this typing.

Let me try another tack -- do you think that a carbon atom can catch the flu? And likewise and yet conversely, could a mind catch the flu? While a flu virus could affect the cells of a human body, and through them affect the molecular arrangements of the atoms of a cell, an atom couldn't catch the flu because the virus does not attack the cell at that level. Likewise, a "consciousness" could be affected by the flu, but no one "consciously" contracts that virus -- because a virus doesn't operate at that structural level. While i'm ill prepared to lead a prolonged debate about the "virus/consciousness" comparison (no thanks to you, Wachowski Bros.), does this comparison/contrast make any sense as way of differentiating different levels of structure as they have a bearing on what i'm calling structural interaction?

When a wall is built, each brick must interact with another. And if a wall is toppled, that does not mean that a single brick must break...

Cyracuz wrote:

And regarding your objections to self-consciousness...
The way I understand you, you say that humans aren't self-conscious all the time, and therefore we cannot say that humans are all self-conscious.
But I disagree with that. Humans have legs too. All the time, not just when we are walking on them.
Self-consciousness isn't "thinking about yourself". Self-consciousness relates to the fact that we all have individual identities, and we can all relate ourselves to external issues and phenomenon. That this is shaped by environmental conditioning is beyond a doubt, as I see it, so we agree on that one.


Well, if "self-consciousness" isn't thinking about yourself, then it's a pretty big misnomer...

If your definition of "self-consciousness" is just "thinking as a self" (v. "thinking of yourself"), then wouldn't "consciousness" suffice?

Regarding the "legs" metaphor, perhaps it would be helpful (but let's face it, i'm being a little snarky, as well, to even suggest a previous source), to look up Gilbert Ryle and his term, "category mistake".

Legs do seem to exist, whether we are walking on them or not; i'm embarrassed to say that i do Pilates weekly, and i get leg/calf cramps regularly as a consequence, whether i'm standing on them or not. But i'm afraid that i don't know of any "self-consciousness" equivalent...

However, perhaps this prior unrecognized disagreement about our understanding of the word "self-consciousness" has contributed to our disagreement about the nature of consciousness, in general. i don't think that the implications of this other unrecognized disagreement extend deeply enough to allow us to negotiate our established disagreement about quantum consciousness, but it may affect our future conversation -- and i like seeing these little, pedantic, semantic confusions sort themselves out.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Aug, 2012 11:55 pm
@Razzleg,
I'm too lazy to read through all the posts on these two pages, but I find this topic very fascinating. That our genes are passed over from generation to generation from the sperm and egg, and continues its path in enough DNA to build up the human biology with "all the parts" usually in tact. That humans have the ability to record history, and pass on knowledge to future generations.

I just wonder if humans will survive on this planet because of natural and man-made destruction of the natural resources that makes life possible.

Looking back on my 77 years of life on this planet, I'm thankful I was able to live in this generation of human history, because of all the advancement in science and industry. We have been privy to much advances in creature comforts including our ability to fly half way around the world in one day.

It also helped that we lived in a country where education, health care, and opportunity were abundant.

I see our own political system destroying what made America great.

When any politician talks about "legitimate rape," I know our country has gone down too far for recovery.

I feel sorry for our future generations.
0 Replies
 
Razzleg
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Aug, 2012 12:34 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:

I suppose by "conscious" he just means that information upon something, an interacting phenomena , is present, and up to that point I am fine with it...I just leave "mind", a far more complex problem, out of it for that matter...given mind itself cannot be justified by mental phenomena which would fall under a circular argument, but even if other then itself, nonetheless on a further more simpler reduction of the phenomena, the acquisition of informational states from something upon something, upon stuff, which themselves are the transformed product given by the functional relation between objects from case to case, subjectivity out of objective processes, that is, they refer to the specific algorithmic relation and not to what objects are being, is, must be, necessarily to be acknowledge as a first category property of reality if communication is to be possible on the first place...maybe he is trying to refer to something of the sort on his explanation...


Perhaps i've become fired up enough within the confines of this debate to provoke a willful misunderstanding, but (there had to be a "but", right?) but the idea of information exchange requires an observer, yes? I'm not one to present the idea that "reality" requires an observer, but neither am i one to present the idea that information is exchanged in the absence of an observer.

Many objects, entities, states, situations, etc., etc., etc. "interact"; but information seems to me to be a privileged mode, thereof. Ie, molecules do not exchange "information"; that is just a simplistic, anthropomorphizing representation of what they "do" in their interactions, given out inability to observe the gnomic complications of their actual relationships and aspects.

Cyracuz wrote:

Fil Albuquerque wrote:
I suppose by "conscious" he just means that information upon something, an interacting phenomena , is present, and up to that point I am fine with it...I just leave "mind", a far more complex problem, out of it for that matter


I think you come close to what I am talking about.
Many people think it's reasonable to speak of a physical reality that is beyond our consciousness.
When we turn it around and speak of a conscious reality that goes beyond the physical, many are reluctant to listen. Never mind that the experience we are all having is evidence of such a reality.
Traditionally, consciousness is explained as something which had never occurred until evolution brought it about in living beings. The going thesis is that it just magically appeared.
But if we follow the logic of evolution theory, we can say that legs evolved because animals needed to move. Skeletons evolved because animals needed to withstand gravity as they crawled onto land.
If we follow the same thinking when it comes to 'mind', we would have to say that 'mind' evolved because the living being was doing something that would be greatly improved by a mind, as legs improved moving about.
In other words, there had to have been 'thoughts' for 'mind' to evolve.


Um, no. First, "traditionally"...such a dangerous word to use about theory that is less than 200 years old, and has yet to stop rocking our view of biological norms, much less what it means to be "human". Second, evolutionary theory no more pretends that "consciousness" magically ("magically", really?) appeared, than that whole skeletal systems (including legs) developed according to some species' "need" to waddle around. Neither of those statements conforms to the "logic" of evolutionary theory. Skeletons evolved through a variety of stages as beings adapted over millennia (via repeated mutation, reproductive selection, etc.) to changing environmental conditions.

As far as the idea of thoughts predating mind -- well, first, i refer you again to the idea of "category mistake". But i also question the quality of "thoughts" without a mind, or whether "thoughts" develop with the quality of minds available. Are you saying that Gecko thoughts are the same as Homo Sapiens thoughts, adjusted to Gecko needs? Or are they qualitatively, along with quantitatively, different? Are geckos "self-conscious"? Your "Great Chain of Being" needs some fleshing out.

Cyracuz wrote:

That is why I am proposing that every event that occurs is a thought.
Two rocks smashing together isn't a physical event anywhere but through human eyes. Outside of our human awareness, there is no physical. There is only that information which we interpret as two rocks smashing together.


Actually, in this thread, you haven't proposed anything in the "event=thought" line, until now. But if two rocks smashing into one another is an example of a thought, then why are eyes necessary? Isn't the thought of two rocks smashing into one another enough to have the idea of two rocks smashing into one another; why does one imagine the idea of eyes observing two rocks smashing into one another, and therefore place one's thought at an unnecessarily complicated epistemological remove? What "information" is there to interpret if our thought is enough to comprise the event, "two rocks smash" needs no interpretation if the event is only or already a product of thought.

Cyracuz wrote:

Were we not there to observe the rocks, they would still smash together, because they observe each other. But there would be no 'physical' to it, only a transition between states of existence for the information that makes up the rocks. This transition could not occur if different phenomena didn't have some kind of awareness of other phenomena. By 'awareness' I mean the simple fact that the rocks collide rather than pass straight through each other.


Why? Nothing about our thinking of two rocks smashing together suggests that they observe one another, unless we think of them as doing so, of course. Why does the thought of rocks inevitably lead to the idea of their smashing? And what do they exchange in our thinking of the rocks as smashing; is that information available to our thinking of the rocks smashing together?

So colliding means "mutual-awareness"? If so, what am i thinking right now -- you must know...Eh, i fear our meeting constitutes a "passing through". Good luck.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Aug, 2012 02:52 am
@Razzleg,
The idea of exchange of information as I and most use it, requires a receptor an interacting party, that which you may specifically intend to qualify as an "observer" but not necessarily a human observer, not even a biological entity, less alone the idea of a mind as its natural medium..."awareness" here is used as coinage for interacting, communicating systems, from where a relational function arises being processed, or transformed out of this data interchange, more, the very word "systems" is loosely used in this context as for instance a rock with a given shape and mass is presented as a system with a given potential for reacting and processing data as it "responds" to the forces who affect it depending on its specific parameters...Consciousness for all that I care may well be a refined development of this "physical" property of our world which is the ability to communicate, that is, the idea of interchange of data being possible among things as the very concept of a world depends on it in the first place...
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Aug, 2012 05:10 am
@Razzleg,
Razzleg, what a well written post. I take great pleasure in reading something that is well written, regardless of whether I agree or not with what's being said.

Quote:
Again, yes and no -- your term "anything" is vague to the point of meaninglessness, anything does not mean everything.


Ok. Let's rephrase it to 'everything'. Everything that exists on the quantum level of reality also exists on the macro level. That is, the macro-cosmic phenomena we experience are all made up of micro-cosmic phenomena.
In fact, when we speak of the macro-cosmos (the world as we perceive it with our senses, and the world classical physics describes) and when we speak of the micro-cosmos (the sub-atomic world described by quantum physics) we are speaking of the same world.

Quote:
Dopamine does not behave in a structurally similar way to a neuron, and a neuron does not behave in a structurally similar way to a brain


I don't know the configuration of the waves and particles that make up dopamine, neurons and brains. But that there are waves and particles involved is beyond doubt. When we deal with macro-cosmic phenomena such as brains, we have to remember that all macro-cosmic phenomena are perceptions. 'Brain' is a perception of the mind.

Quote:
If your definition of "self-consciousness" is just "thinking as a self" (v. "thinking of yourself"), then wouldn't "consciousness" suffice?


Not if you want to distinguish between the consciousness of a human being and that of a squirrel, for instance.
A squirrel operates "as a self". It has the same "internal/external" relationship as a human. But it's consciousness is entirely contained within this relationship.
In a human, the "internal/external" relationship manifests itself as identity, where 'internal' is everything associated with the self, and 'external' is everything else. This is a pretty big step.

Legs do seem to exist, whether we are walking on them or not

What I mean to say is that while humans may not be self-conscious all the time, we have the capacity of self-consciousness all the time (once we're fully grown at least). This is what I was trying to convey by comparing it to legs.
 

Related Topics

How can we be sure? - Discussion by Raishu-tensho
Proof of nonexistence of free will - Discussion by litewave
morals and ethics, how are they different? - Question by existential potential
Destroy My Belief System, Please! - Discussion by Thomas
Star Wars in Philosophy. - Discussion by Logicus
Existence of Everything. - Discussion by Logicus
Is it better to be feared or loved? - Discussion by Black King
 
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 10/27/2021 at 02:26:39