40
   

Is free-will an illusion?

 
 
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 08:52 am
@FBM,
Quote:
Reductionism is fine when it's applied to just about anything else except "me."

Reductionism is pretty much yesterday's idea. It's quite dead nowadays.
0 Replies
 
Tuna
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 09:37 am
@FBM,
FBM wrote:

Maybe the persistence of mind/brain dualism in secular society is a vestige of language that developed around the body-spirit duality. I've done some light reading lately about how one's mother tongue influences one's subjective processing of experience.

But it's common to find that older religious views of mind-body were also reductionist. Body was reduced to spirit.

That view wasn't good for the business of science, though. A person with a flair for science would be encouraged to turn away from the mechanics of the lie and attend to the true reality found in the soul.

I wonder if it's that scientists had to stake a claim on physicality in order to warrant their investigations that duality appeared (or reappeared.)

FBM wrote:
I don't share that aesthetic bias. Whatever the evidence points to, it points to. Doesn't matter whether I like it or not.
I don't think it's just an aesthetic bias. If experience reduces to functions of consciousness, we haven't yet discovered how.
FBM
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 09:57 am
@Tuna,
Quote:
If experience reduces to functions of consciousness


This reminds me of something I was thinking a couple of days ago. Experience, consciousness and mind, the more I look into them, they all seem to be the same thing, really. Rather than a mind-subject that consciously (and/or unconsciously) experiences phenomena-objects, mind is experience. I've been under general anesthesia quite a few times, and each time there was no experience, no consciousness and no mind until the anesthetic wore off.
Tuna
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 10:09 am
@FBM,
FBM wrote:

Quote:
If experience reduces to functions of consciousness


This reminds me of something I was thinking a couple of days ago. Experience, consciousness and mind, the more I look into them, they all seem to be the same thing, really. Rather than a mind-subject that consciously (and/or unconsciously) experiences phenomena-objects, mind is experience. I've been under general anesthesia quite a few times, and each time there was no experience, no consciousness and no mind until the anesthetic wore off.

What about math? I've only stuck a toe into the philosophy of math, but if I understood any of it correctly, there's something astounding going on over there.

They don't think of numbers as mental objects. A mental object is more along the lines of what you describe: it's an aspect of experience. They call numbers "abstract objects."

The distinction has it roots in the way numbers appear to be independent of individual experience. Math has the character of something we discover... as if it was there waiting for us.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 03:11 pm
@Tuna,
Good ! I wonder why someone decided to vote that down...trigger happy maybe or just annoyed, go figure what...anyway I voted it back up just because I felt it has a pinch of salt worth selling.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 04:02 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Was math discovered or invented?
Fil Albuquerque
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 04:10 pm
@cicerone imposter,
For me, my world view, my cosmogony ? Discovered...
I don't even believe there are true inventions. Inventions are the discovery of that which is possible. And that which is possible therefore not impossible, it is real already, just not "now"... Wink
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 05:49 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
I believe in inventions; the light bulb, cars, airplanes, rockets, tv, refrigerator, washing machine, and computers.
0 Replies
 
FBM
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 06:57 pm
@Tuna,
Tuna wrote:

What about math? I've only stuck a toe into the philosophy of math, but if I understood any of it correctly, there's something astounding going on over there.

They don't think of numbers as mental objects. A mental object is more along the lines of what you describe: it's an aspect of experience. They call numbers "abstract objects."

The distinction has it roots in the way numbers appear to be independent of individual experience. Math has the character of something we discover... as if it was there waiting for us.


Likewise, I've only stuck a toe in the philosophy of math. I read a debate a while back among a handful of scientists, mathematicians and philosophers and came away from it with no more certainty than before. I've sat through enough physics classes (not as a major) to understand the explantory and predictive power of calculus, but nevertheless get bogged down at the question of the objective reality of math and numbers. With regard to physics, no doubt about it, it works (with a few notable exceptions). With regard to metaphysics, I just have to say http://i206.photobucket.com/albums/bb192/DinahFyre/dunno_1.gif
Tuna
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 07:13 pm
@FBM,
Me too. I might get around to reading some Hilary Putnam one day. I'm in a David Chalmers phase these days, though. If I die without ever really understanding much about philosophy of math... I'll be ok with that.
0 Replies
 
Tuna
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 07:15 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:

Good ! I wonder why someone decided to vote that down...trigger happy maybe or just annoyed, go figure what...anyway I voted it back up just because I felt it has a pinch of salt worth selling.

Thanks for the up-vote! I think somebody follows me around thumbing all my posts down. I prefer that theory to the possibility that all my posts suck.
FBM
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 07:19 pm
@Tuna,
I couldn't find anything in that post that deserved a thumb-downing, so I also thumbed it up, just to annoy whoever thumbed it down. http://i206.photobucket.com/albums/bb192/DinahFyre/goodmorning.gif
0 Replies
 
Briancrc
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 07:41 pm
@FBM,
Quote:
Maybe it threatens the "unique snowflake" that we want to be


I like the metaphor.

Quote:
Whatever the evidence points to, it points to. Doesn't matter whether I like it or not.


Exactly
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 08:14 pm
@Briancrc,
What will be will be.
Olivier5
 
  0  
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2015 05:58 am
Quote:
Scientists have found that part of your brain where Christmas Spirit lives

By Colby Itkowitz
Washington Post

If you looked inside the brains of Ebenezer Scrooge and his mild-mannered clerk Bob Cratchit, you may find biology explains their conflicting views on Christmas.

It seems those warm feelings associated with the season actually activates a response in the brain. And for those who could care less about tinsel-strewn trees and red-nosed reindeers, there are specific regions of their brains that simply won’t react to yuletide images.

They literally don’t have a Christmas spirit.

In their own spirit of holiday fun, a team of researchers in Denmark set out to locate exactly where those joyful Christmas feelings are found in the brain. So they divided participants into two groups, one of people who had strong Christmas traditions and the other with people who did not celebrate it. The latter group included Pakistani, Indian, Iraqi and Turkish people who expatriated or were born in Denmark.

People who did not celebrate it, but still felt a strong connection to the holiday were excluded, as were people who did celebrate but had a negative association with it.

The remaining study participants were hooked up to brain imaging machines and shown a series of pictures, some holiday-themed and others not. For example, they were shown a street decorated with lights and then an ordinary street.

Through the brain scans, the researchers were able to see that several areas of the brain – regions that control sense of touch and body language interpretation – lit up in the people who celebrate Christmas when they saw the holiday pictures. This did not happen for those who didn’t. This led the researchers to determine there is a “Christmas spirit network” in the human brain.

Why does this matter? Well, the researchers suggested that locating the Christmas spirit in the brain can help reverse the “bah humbug” syndrome – an unscientific diagnosis – that threatens Christmas for others. (See: Scrooge. Grinch. Old Man Potter.)

“Who knows? Maybe someday there will be a complex machine that can generate the Christmas spirit in people,” joked Bryan Haddock, a physicist at Rigshospitalet, a hospital affiliated with Copenhagen University, where the study was conducted.

Haddock, who said he wrote the study on a hot day in August, did not take the results too seriously. In the conflicts of interest section, he wrote that while there were none, they called ‘dibs’ on any profitable non-invasive or even invasive treatment of bah humbug syndrome.

“We are currently preparing a patent application on a Santa’s hat that you can buy for family members with symptoms,” he wrote. “When they start grumbling at Christmas dinner, with the touch of a button you can give them electric stimulation right in the Christmas spirit centres.”

Haddock said in a phone interview Thursday that the results they found were very real, but that they’re also poking a little fun at scientific research.

“When you finally measure something in a scanner, you have an overbelief that you’ve somehow decoded it,” he said. “It’s a very small step in understanding the Christmas spirit.”

The researchers also note the flaws in their research, namely that it’s hard to determine whether the brain activity is Christmas specific or just how those people respond to joyful, colorful imagery. Also there’s the obvious cultural differences between the two groups that might account for their different responses.

But those small caveats weren’t about to spoil their fun.

“Bringing these issues up, however, really dampened the festive mood,” Haddock wrote. “Therefore we, in the best interest of the readers of course, decided not to ruin the good Christmas cheer for everyone by letting this influence our interpretation of the study.”

But if you really want to know if someone’s in the Christmas spirit, Haddock suggests just asking them.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2015/12/18/scientists-have-found-that-part-of-your-brain-where-christmas-spirit-lives/
Briancrc
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2015 07:23 am
@cicerone imposter,
Que Sera, sera
0 Replies
 
Briancrc
 
  2  
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2015 07:42 am
@Olivier5,
Quote:
This led the researchers to determine there is a “Christmas spirit network” in the human brain.


It's a fun little article, but when nonsense like this is written, there are going to be people gullible enough to believe that within the brain there is a "Christmas spirit network".

Quote:
The researchers also note the flaws in their research, namely that it’s hard to determine whether the brain activity is Christmas specific or just how those people respond to joyful, colorful imagery.


And other options. Rolling Eyes

Quote:
Also there’s the obvious cultural differences between the two groups that might account for their different responses.


Might account???

Quote:
“We are currently preparing a patent application on a Santa’s hat that you can buy for family members with symptoms,” he wrote. “When they start grumbling at Christmas dinner, with the touch of a button you can give them electric stimulation right in the Christmas spirit centres.”


I believe they probably are doing something like this given all the experimentation in which people are engaged with electrical stimulation of the cranium.
Olivier5
 
  0  
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2015 09:16 am
@Briancrc,
Don't take this article too seriously. It's halfway between a prank and a real experiment.

But why wouldn't there be a neuronal network associated with the Christmas spirit, after all?
Briancrc
 
  2  
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2015 08:02 pm
@Olivier5,
Quote:
But why wouldn't there be a neuronal network associated with the Christmas spirit, after all?


I think the better question is, "Why would there be?"
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2015 08:10 pm
@Briancrc,
I'm your person least interested in philosophy, except once in a while, when I pipe up.

It is clear to me that the playing scientists did find what they found, but that any mechanisms about that are not yet established. I think of all of it as dots sparking or not, not just micro dots, but well tinier.
0 Replies
 
 

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