Revisiting the zombie argument

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Re: Revisiting the zombie argument

Postby Jayson » Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:35 pm

FINISHEDMAN
finishedman wrote:‘Even though its common knowledge these days, it never ceases to amaze me that all the richness of our mental life—all our feelings, our emotions, our thoughts, our ambitions, our love life, our religious sentiments and even what each of us regards as his own intimate private self —is simply the activity of these little specks of jelly in your head, in your brain. There is nothing else... Lofty questions about the mind are fascinating to ask, philosophers have been asking them for three millennia both in India where I am from and here in the West—but it is only in the brain that we can eventually hope to find the answers.’

V. Ramachandran Phantoms in the Brain

Alternative theorists are suspicious of this over enthusiasm of neuroscientists and reject their ‘findings’ on the ground that the neuroscientists haven’t been able to repeat their experiments to produce identical results as incontrovertible proof, simply because you cannot really reduce human experiences or human consciousness to purely neural mechanisms. These scientists succeed only in explaining away the complex relationship between the nature of the human brain and consciousness.

You need to learn more about V. Ramachandran before just making sweeping belittlements such as this.
The fellow is the only neurologist with consistent successes in record for curing phantom limb pain through neurological approaches.

If you think that V. Ramachandran thinks so particularly daft, then you have over simplified his statements' intention much in the same light with which your statement asserts scientists over simplify the human being.

Also, "alternative theorists" range from people that believe aliens inhabit our bodies, to God gave us souls, to neurology is just looking at it slightly wrong, and all point in between.
That doesn't really help anything in the statement.

neuroscientists haven’t been able to repeat their experiments to produce identical results as incontrovertible proof
Exactly which studies that are in question are you referring to?
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Re: Revisiting the zombie argument

Postby Amorphos » Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:10 pm

the stumps

Please try to answer all the below, as I very much respect your views and you are helping me get to grips with this fundamental philosophical problem.

So we'll work from here.

quetzalcoatl wrote:I presume the subjective mind enjoys the experience
How does this happen?


You make a good point as ever, one would expect that this would be achieved through the medium of the brain/body. We could say that there is only mind and info, then the rest is of the physical, but I want to find more than that [as it leads to horrible moral issues].

Our answers are all in the same dichotomy; is the experience in the mind or the brain?
On both sides we could ask what does that mean; the experience of joy would make little sense if the mind was thinking/experiencing it, but it had no brain to physically deliver its expression. Equally it would make no sense if there was no mind actually experiencing the brains/bodies expression.

I could also ask you the question; name a single instance of information in the physical, anything at all? …info as we experience it in the mind that is!

I could also go on to ask; what is it we are seeing? Here again we have a dichotomy; if you turn of all neural activity to do with vision then you would see nothing, however, what we do see are not physical colours!

We cannot just say that those colours, the 3D image in the mind, does not exist, even though we cannot find it in the brain or the physical generally. It is your entire experience of seeing! I feel we can say the very same thing about all our senses, and indeed about our entire experience.
If our entire experience is in the subject and is located/exists in another world [the mental world], then you see how I can arrive at the idea that the physical is the medium which provides that subject with experiences about the world and other subjects. Then also that there is nothing left to be experienced in the physical ~ the whole experience is in the mind.

At most we could say that if we take away all the things which inform the subjective mind, then there may not be anything left creating the subject ~ nothing to individualise mind. In which case we could rightly say that the individual does not actually exist. ..we got a long way to go before that though e.g. the mind produces and changes information and the qualia it experiences, so we don’t just have a receiver but a producer of the effects [the only effects!] experienced.
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Re: Revisiting the zombie argument

Postby gib » Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:03 pm

I think it's time to switch gears again. I started off this thread in the mood to debate. I then got to a point where I thought a gear switch was in order - so I stopped debating and started inquiring. Stumps was very helpful towards this end. Though he may not be totally representative of physicalists in general, I have seen the themes he's brought out elsewhere in physicalist circles, and it seems to converge on consensus.

Now I feel the need to switch gears again - from inquiry to conclusions.

I'm going to draw two sets of conclusions from all the foregoing. I first conclude on where the miscommunication lies between physicalists and non-physicalists (or physicalists who, like Dawkins, recognize the work left to do), for that is what I feel (at this point) the problem is - miscommunication (I also suspect there is some eagerness on the physicalist's part to pursue an alterior agenda - namely, to attack religion - and therefore clarity on the internal consistency/completeness of his philosophy tends to take a back seat - hence the miscommunication).

So here's my concluding remarks. I will present my second set of conclusions in another post. The physicalist is to take these conclusions as suggestions for clearer communication when engaging with dessenters. So the "top ten" pointers for physicalists to take note of:

10) Explain what you mean by 'physical'. The misconception is that the physicalist wants to deny the existence of internal states or that such so-called 'internal states' are really just the things we can observed 'externally'. On the contrary, the physicalist wants to say that such internal states are just as worthy of the label 'physical' as any externally observed state. It is comparible to the claim that Paris is in Germany. Without being clear that by 'Germany', one really means all of Europe, the claim seems blatantly false. Why one would want to call all of Europe 'Germany' is up to him to justify, just as it is up to the physicalist to justify why he wants to call both externally observable states and internal ones 'physical', but so long as it is understood that this maneuver is one of expanding the term 'physical' to encompass more territory than it had hitherto covered, rather than bring phenomena (like 'internal states') into its territory when they just don't belong there, then all's fair as far as the nomenclature is concerned.

At the same time, however, I don't think it's warranted to expand the meaning of 'physical' too broadly, as for example: "whatever happens to exist." That's cheating. You can't go wrong that way. If Berkeley happened to be right, the physicalist would then say "Yeah, by 'physical', I meant God" If Descartes happened to be right, the physicalist would then say "Yeah, dualism is a version of physicalism"? To define 'physical' in such broad and all-encompassing terms is an evasive maneuver and only betrays an unwillingness to admit when you're wrong.

9) Be clear on whether you're using a reductionist scheme, causal one, or an emblematic one. It makes a difference. The bane of most non-physicalists is that they just can't bring themselves to understand how such internal states just are the external ones they correspond to. It's like trying to understand how red reduces to a particular pattern of black and white. If the physicalist were but to explain his views in causal terms instead - much as how I suggested the mind might be to neuro-chemical events as electromagnetic fields or heat might be to those same neuro-chemical events in that the former aren't reduced to the latter but caused by them instead - it would go a long way to helping the non-physicalist understand. It wouldn't go all the way, for he still won't understand how the external events cause the internal ones, but at least it won't seem like a plainly incoherent concept. Same applies to the emblematic scheme, but here too the non-physicalist is probably going to expect some kind of explanatory connection - as in how emblems can arise from neur-chemical events as externally witnessed.

8 ) Be clear about what the term 'neuro-chemical event' (and similar terms) refers to. When the non-physicalist hears these terms, he typically thinks about only those externally visible phenomena involving neurons, chemicals, and their activity. He may not be aware that a 'neuro-chemical event' refers, to the physicalist, not only to those externally visible phenomena, but to the internal ones as well - that is, without necessarily equating the two, much as how the electromagnetic fields or heat may be called 'neuro-chemical events' even though they are not to be equated with neurons or chemicals specifically but only come from the latter's activity, and therefore are still worthy of the label.

7) Define 'consciousness', 'mind', 'thinking', 'experience', etc. Many who aren't part of the 'inner circle' don't understand these terms in the more narrow sense that professionals in the field use. If its true that a nematode feels something when his single neuron is stimulated, then those who aren't prevy to the technical definition of a word like 'consciousness' might say that 'feeling' constitutes a form of consciousness. They may not be aware that you reserve the word 'consciousness' for "having at least a minimal awareness of the immediate world of an organisms environment, currently and in the past insofar as the past is relevant or useful to the organism, and having a minimal ability to predict future events insofar as those are also relevant or useful to the organism". Only mammals and other sophisticatedly evolved creatures can be said to be conscious in this sense. The problem is that as much as this definition may be valid, most think of consciousness in this fully evolved sense as fundamentally no different in 'substance' (for lack of a better word) than the simple and elementary 'feels' that single celled organisms like nematodes and individual neurons experience. Consciousness and mind are 'made up' after all of these latter 'feels' - it's the same kind of 'stuff'. Many think of consciousness/mind as a 'stuff' (not necessarily literally) and that it manifests in many different forms (qualia, these 'feels') and what we call human consciousness, or the human mind, is just the particular configuration that consciousness/mind in general has taken in us - just a particular combination or system of qualia, of 'feels', unique to us. But it's not as though other configurations, like that found in the nematode, aren't consciousness/mind - that is, not unless you explicitely define 'consciousness' and 'mind' the way neuroscientists and other experts in the field do - and you do need to make it explicite.

6) Tease apart your philosophy and your science. Don't say that science 'proves' physicalism. It doesn't. Science proves that there are publically observable neuro-chemical mechanics going on in our cranium, and that these mechanics can explain why we respond behaviorally to stimuli in a cause-effect manner. That these mechanics just are consciousness and mind, or that they cause consciousness and mind, is the philosophical part. When speaking as a scientist, one has an obligation to deliver the truth as science has unveiled it - that's the ethics of good science - and when one mixes his own personal philosophies in his delivery, feigning it as 'scientific fact', he is being dishonest and unethical. Be clear what the facts are. Be clear what your personal philosophies are.

5) Don't assume your contender is a dualist. Don't assume he is just another religious devotee promulgating the reality of the eternal soul. Dualism is not necessarily the only other option when physicalism is rejected. I suspect this is probably where the attitude that "science proves physicalism" comes from. I certainly agree that science proves dualism false - at least, the brand of dualism that would have it that the mind or soul controls the brain or the body (brain damaged patients is good falsifying evidence of this). I can also understand how physicalism seems to be the "only game in town" when you cross dualism and idealism off the list (I agree that idealism has its fair share of problems as well), but don't be so bold as to assume that your insight into the matter is sufficiently deeper than your contender. It just may turn out that your contender can see a game just beyond that so-called "only one" that you and your limited insight are fixated on, a game other than classical dualism or idealism. So investigate first - he may enlighten you.

4) You need a word for whatever it is a nematode 'feels' (give me something that I don't have to use scare quotes around :D). 'Qualia' doesn't seem to cut it as it doesn't encompass everthing that might be described as 'internal' or 'privately observable', and some physicalists even doubt their existence (Dennett to wit). This may be part of the reason why non-physicalists generalize words like 'consciousness' and 'mind' - they need some word to describe these concepts.

3) Once you get a word for the above, be clear about how generalized or universal these things (I'm going to call them 'feels') are in nature. Be clear if you think they can be generalized beyond human beings and other animals, beyond neurological systems or single neurons, beyond life in general, and if they can be generalized to things as simple as fundamental particles interacting with each other. You can call this 'information' if you want, but be clear that this term is to be interpreted in the same way as 'feels' (i.e. as 'internal' or 'privately observable'). This makes it very clear that the problem to be grappled with is not how the brain creates consciousness and mind - the non-physicalist should see, at this point, that the latter problem is not that hard to solve if you know enough about the brain sciences - for 'consciousness' and 'mind', or at least its basic ingredients (the 'feels'), were there before the brain even started to evolve. The problem, therefore, is at least diverted away from human beings and other brain possessing animals in particular, and it is diverted away from the question of 'consciousness' and 'mind' in their more narrow and customized (neuroscientific) definitions.

This last point deserves some elaboration.

As stated in 5), one of the major attacks launched by physicalists is against dualism, and specifically against the notion of a 'soul' - that is, the notion that human consciousness and mind is this single unified entity, that it is not dispersable or fragmented throughout the brain, that it is at the 'center' of ourselves (indeed, constituting our 'selves'), that it can survive the body's death, and that if there is a link to the brain at all, it is at a very focused center (like the pituitary gland). I agree that this idea has to be done away with. But this is only half the battle. One quite subtle implication that follows from the idea of a soul, an implication that goes unnoticed but is probably the source of much confusion on this matter, is that only those beings who have a soul can be said, not only to be conscious and have a mind, but to 'feel' anything (i.e. as a nematode or even an electron might be capable of). This has the surreptitious effect of making everything else seem 'soulless' - that is, inanimate, dead, utterly without consciousness or 'feeling'. My electric screw driver, for example, though evidently quite complex and could conceivably be describing as having something like a 'nervous system' (i.e. an electrical system - the trigger being perhaps like a 'sensor'), could never be conscious or feel anything. It is dead, inanimate, spiritless. But now I question whether the elimination of the idea of a 'soul', or at least its downplaying (its dispersing, its decentralizing), might be grounds to introduce a 'soul' (or something like it) into things that aren't considered conscious or mentally endowed. I wonder, that is, whether the idea of a 'soul', being a sort of black and white, all or nothing concept, would make things which were hitherto considered to be completely 'black' or possessed with 'nothing' seem not so 'black' or possessed with 'something' if that which was hitherto considered 'white' or 'all' (i.e. the human soul) were to be rethought as less 'white' and not so 'all'. Is this dichotomy - soul-endowed and soul-devoid - symmetrical? Ought they be considered symmetrical? If we don't have 'souls', does it follow that everything has a 'soul' of sorts?

In short: maybe the problem of consciousness shouldn't be phrased: "How is it that a brain can produce consciousness or a mind?" but "How is it that my screw driver doesn't produce consciousness or a mind?"

2) Be clear on whether you subscribe to the model-in-the-head view of the world as we subjectively experience it or the window-to-reality view as I call it (I play on an analogy here: consciousness is conceived as a window through which we see reality for what it is. The window is featureless, meaning that it doesn't taint or distort any information as it passes through, and thus reality is exactly as we see it. Its only function is to allow for our seeing it, our being aware. Replace the window with a mural and you get how this contrasts with the model-in-the-head view, or phenomenal consciousness as some would call it, or the system-of-experiences view as I would call it). This point ties in quite directly with a couple other points made above (and the physicalist might want to note these as they may be very useful connections to highlight in a debate with a non-physicalist): it ties into 10) where one's definition of 'physical' is paramount. Does 'physical' refer only to the world as subjectively presented (i.e. the elements in the model)? This is, after all, the arena in which we have 'hardness', 'softness', 'extension', 'sharp', 'dull', 'shiny', 'rough', 'wet', 'dry', etc. Is anything outside the model really hard, soft, extended, etc.? It also ties in with 6) where a separation between the actual science supporting physicalism and one's philosophical opinions supporting physicalism is emphasized. Science, more often than not, turns on the model-in-the-head view, particularly when the question of whether or not a theory ever counts as 'true' when its only defensible virtues are its ability to predict future empirical experiences and perhaps its elegance in explaining certain phenomena with clarity and simplicity. This has quite profound, if not obvious, implications for whether one can legitimately say that science 'explains' consciousness. If what science can tell us - namely, about the externally observable mechanisms in the brain and how they cause our behavior - is really just a model-in-the-head, then it stands to argue that what this model represents may indeed be consciousness through-and-through, and not just something that causes consciousness or is correlated with it. Yet at the same time the consciousness represented is outside the model, just as any phenomenon science supposedly explains is outside the model, and therefore shouldn't be identified as the model. But this all hinges on one's philosophy of science. Science doesn't prove the model-in-the-head view; rather, it's the model-in-the-head view that proves (or justifies) science. The physicalist, if he is speaking as a scientist and if he endorses the model-in-the-head view, is obligated not to argue otherwise.

And finally, the number 1 pointer for physicalists to take note of (drum roll)...

1) Shit or get off the pot. Concerning the zombie argument: either solve it or admit that it remains to be solved. If the zombie argument rests on a misunderstanding of the physicalist's position - namely, in the manner described in 10) - then it still underscores an important conceptual gap between how these two 'physical' phenomena - the publically observable neuro-chemical events and the private ones - are connected. It need not count as proof that no such connection exists, but it surely highlights the imcompleteness in the physicalist's account. If that account points to something far removed from human consciousness and mind - namely, to 'information' as it is supposed to exist almost universally, that is in each and every interaction between particles whereby energy is exchanged - then it has work to do even there, for the zombie argument has only been diverted from humanoid zombies to physical systems in general, but the logic of the argument remains steadfast. I can imagine particles interacting without feeling anything - most people do imagine it this way.

That's my "top ten" for you guys. In my second set of conclusions, I will present what I believe to be three of my best arguments for my anti-physicalism, and why I believe 'mind' is what's at the bottom of any existing thing.
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Re: Revisiting the zombie argument

Postby gib » Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:18 pm

Here are my top three arguments for why I think 'mind' exists at the base of everything. For my purposes, I'm going to use the word 'experience' (as I do in my website - see my sig for link) for ponces and popes (i.e. any privately observable subjective feeling - whether consciously recognized or not).

3) The argument from irriducibility: This one you've already heard (if you've been following this thread), so I won't rehash it but quote it instead:

gib wrote:One of the best ways (I think) to define 'mind' or 'experience' (I prefer 'experience') is "how something feels" or "how something appears, how it seems". That is to say, it is the 'feeling', the 'appearing', the 'seeming' itself that is 'experience'. If something is unconscious, with no mind, no experience, nothing 'seems', nothing 'appears' to it.

So having said that, I will add that a 'feeling' can be defined as whatever within it is felt. For example, the feeling of redness is nothing more than whatever it is you feel in the experience of red. What this means is that, unlike a physical object like a rock, you can't say that there is anything in the feeling that is not felt. At least with a rock, you can say there exist atoms within it - indeed, that those atoms constitute the rock - even though when looking at the rock you don't see the atoms. The atoms are hidden, out of sight, behind the scenes so to speak. But this is only possible because the rock, as a physical object, does not inhere in our minds. It exists 'outside' our minds, independently of our minds. Therefore, there can be things in it, components of it, that we are not conscious of and don't feel. Not so with feeling itself. If feeling just is what within it is felt, then how could it consist of anything that is not felt. If some feeling - say of experiencing red - consisted of any components that we did not feel (i.e. were not conscious of) then how could they make up part of the feeling? They would have to be 'outside' the feeling, behind it, covered up by it.

Seeing as how reductive physicalists seem in the habit of claiming that the neuro-chemical events underlying our experiences - our 'feeling' of things, of being conscious of them - just are those experiences, feelings, and consciousness-of-things (on a lower level of scale), then they are saying those experiences, feelings, consciousness-of-things consist of those neuro-chemical events without those neuro-chemical events being part of the experience, feeling, or consciousness-of-things.

Do you see the problem?



Note that this argument works not only for the reduction of experiences to neuro-chemical events (or sonces), but to anything at all that doesn't appear, or isn't felt, in the experience itself. Hence, we get that some believe, as I do, that all such experiences are, as a matter of principle, irriducible. Therefore, one either embraces dualism (which in my mind is untennable) or one places mind at the bottom of all reductive hierarchies.

2) The argument from being: A fairly heavy theme in my website is the placing of 'realness' into experience itself. This goes counter to the conventional wisdome: being caught up in the thralls of the Cartesian legacy, we tend to think of perception and experience as necessarily felt but not necessarily real. Coupled with this assumption is that of the perceived or experienced as necessarily real but not necessarily felt. My philosophy spins on a fusion of what's true in the two assumptions and a razing off of their errors: experience, as I'm defining it, is both necessarily felt and necessarily real. What this means to say is more than just what classical idealism (out of the mouth of Berkeley) has to say. The latter says that experiences (or ideas) are real as mental objects. What I mean to say is quite different. I mean that what Cartesian dualism tells us are 'mental objects' are really objects in the world. How is this so, you ask. It is by the appropriation of 'realness' out from the world and into experience, out from the "necessarily real but not necessarily felt" and into the "necessarily felt but not necessarily real", which is consequently a dualism between the "necessarily real and felt" and the "unreal and unfelt" - which is really a monism because the latter, by its own definition, not only doesn't exist, but there isn't even the illusion of such. 'Being' in other words, is not something outside our experience (which, according to the conventional wisdome, our minds only poorly report to us), but is at the core of our experience. Who, except the philosopher, wonders whether the color of the sky really is the blue that his experience makes it out to be? The experience of the sky's blue, therefore, is not "just a perception" - it is the sky's color.

What else but being qua being could do this? What else but being could we be experiencing in apprehending the reality of things by way of our experiences? The being of things is not something we're conscious of, it is our consciousness. It saturates qualia of all kinds, every state of mind.

Thus, what sense does it make to reduce mind and consciousness to the brain? It has its own being. It is self-sufficient in its existing. I'm not saying the brain isn't real, or that it doesn't have being. I'm saying there is no point to such a reduction. Moreover, such a reduction presupposes that being itself needs to rest on some more basic foundation. This is nonsense. What would being be founded on? Non-being? Being, by its very nature, by the very definition itself, is foundation - not a foundation - but foundation itself - the word just means 'foundation'. Thus, the reduction of experience to anything else is not only unnecessary, but incoherent.

1) The argument from justification: matter is contingent, mind is necessary. That's what I try to argue in my website at least. The presentation of a physical object to our senses is given without explanation. Things are just there. We don't know why, we don't know how. They are contingent. Thus, we recruit science as a means to seek out their contingencies in the hopes of fostering more of a sense of necessity. Once we figure out that the rock, which presents itself to us so contingently, is made of a network of atoms, it suddenly becomes necessary: the rock must exist because its atoms exist. Unfortunately this only passes the buck along. Now the atoms seem contingent, and we push our science further along.

With the mind, we have our answers instantly. Why is Socrates mortal? Because he is a man and all men are mortal. Why does a square have four sides of equal length all at right angles to each other? Because that's just what a square is! It just seems necessary - so necessary that no motive to question it arises. But this string of logic is just thought, an example of mind. Thought, therefore, justifies, necessitates whatever comes out of it. It is a justifying power.

I realize this point can seem rather weak unless we focus exclusively on logical thinking alone. There are, after all, irrational modes of thinking, and then there are non-cognitive experiences like emotion which are notorious for defying all rational sense. But if I may, I want to argue that all experiences - emotions included - have their own brand of 'logic'. What I would argue in the case of emotions or irrational forms of thinking is that, if 'necessity' seems like too strong a word to describe them, then 'justify' can substitute. It's somewhat of a softer term, but it does the trick all the same - namely, replacing contingency, which is just a lack of reason or explanation, with something that halts the need to seek out such a reason or explanation.

The justification in experience appears in how they seem like 'good reason' for whatever follows from them (whether that be more experiences or decision to act). Take music for example. Why is it that Wagner's Rise of the Valkyries seems to fit so well with scenes of war in the movies? Is there anything logical about the association between the way the song sounds and the theme of war? I would say not. But somehow, the way the music sounds just seems to justify its being used to express or highlight war. Why is this? Because mind - in this case the experience of music - is a justifying power, and in this case it (somehow) justifies associating Rise of the Valkyries with the theme of war. The 'somehow' is only so mysterious because of how difficult it can be sometimes to translate certain experiences into thought, and into rational thought in particular. It is only rational thought that finds its way best into our ability to explain and put into words. Emotions, on the other hand, are notorious for their obstinacy to explanation and effibility. But this is only a happenstance occurence traceable to our evolution and neurological constitution. Emotions never needed to be "put into words", but expressed in more primative wholesale actions such as flight-or-fight responses. This should not be taken as a sign that emotions lack any "rational justification" - on the contrary, they have their own sort of justification, a sort that is unfortunately difficult to express rationally, but is nevertheless there. Why else would we feel that, deep down within us, in moments when we are emotionally overtaken, that those emotions somehow justify our actions, even if we can't justify such actions publically, even if we have trouble remembering those justification ourselves when we later come out of our emotional storms and resume a more level headed calm. There's something in the emotions themselves that scream out a justification for the actions they push us to engage in, and this is true of any experience, any state of mind, for as I said, mind is a justifying power. We happen to be logic-biased, we tend to give the final say to our rational thoughts only, and the difficulty with which the justifications of our other experiences struggle to be heard is due to the difficulty with which they can be translated into thought. Thought therefore - that is rational thought - tends to tyrranize the rest of the mind and make it appear to ourselves that they are the only ones with any justification whatever.

The more central point is that, if rational thought is a tyrant, and we are biased towards it, then there is no reason to take the rest of the mind, and experience in general, as any less justified (maybe even necessary). Mind therefore is a justifying power. It supplies its own reasons for its flux, for its on going metamorphosis. Just as why Socrates is mortal or why a square has four sides and angles of equal magnitude, every state of mind, every experience, is self-evidently without need for questioning. It makes no sense to question why a square has four sides and angles of equal magnitude, and it makes no sense to question why we are having such-and-such experience. This is why we just 'roll' with our experiences. A fish never questions why he is having such-and-such experience. He just rolls with it. His experiences explain themselves and urge him on to have other experiences and engage in ensuing behaviors. For this reason, mind and experience are, once again, the perfect candidate to place at the bottom of any reductive hierarchy. We are searching for this bottom when we apply our sciences to contingent physical objects in the hopes of finding something necessary, or at least justified in a way that no further justification is needed, and the irony is that we have just the necessary or justified basis we are looking for within ourselves.

If there are any objections to this, it would be 1) that what all our experiences seem to begin with, namely sensations, seem to arrive out of the blue, and in fact are the whole reason why the physical world seems so contingent in the first place. Where are their justifications? 2) If the justification of mind is so manifestly self-evident, why has philosophy been grappling with the mysteries of consciousness for several millenia. The answer to 1) has been answered elsewhere in this thread. It is that our sensory experiences are backed up by justifications, but we just don't have epistemic access to them. I won't explain this in detail as it's been explained already in this thread (in my conversations with finishedman). In short, we do experience their justifications, we just don't know it. To address 2), I will say that in our attempts to tackle the problem of consciousness, as in our attempts to tackle any philosophical or intellectual puzzle, we withdraw from the world and enter an arena of abstractions. It happens that we have evolved with this arena in such a way that anything that enters therein (i.e. any concepts and assumptions) become 'objectified' - that is, we make them into objects - thus, as with the physical objects which we sense, they all of a sudden appear contingent - as though they are just 'there'. Hence, we get Descartes imagining that mind or consciousness is a kind of 'substance', and the soul is a sort of metaphysical 'object'. We get Plato imagining that the 'forms', which are really just conceptual abstractions, are really "out there" in some transcendental netherworld. Objectification is inescapable when we contemplate things abstractly and philosophically, and so we must be wary that when we engage in this sort of activity, things are going to lose their 'justification', their 'necessity', and will be replaced by the same sort of 'contingency' as the physical objects presented to our senses. We can surmount this deceptive allure if we keep in mind to be skeptical of this objectified veneer - or we can maintain our hold on the justification and necessity that resides in our experience simply by "being in the moment" as opposed to withdrawing and reflecting on such experiences in a realm of abstraction. In those moments, no questions ever arise - we just roll with our experiences.

This last argument is probably the sketchiest of the bunch, but only because it requires the most elaborate defense, and ILP is not the place for it. If anyone's really interested, I will direct you to my website for a full treatment: http://www.mm-theory.com, or if you prefer something a little briefer, you can read my executive summary: http://www.mm-theory.com/execsum/execsum.htm.
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Re: Revisiting the zombie argument

Postby finishedman » Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:28 pm

I’m questioning the beliefs that questions on the self and consciousness can be approached and explained solely empirically. And I am questioning the scientific idea that the ability of a theory to predict and control the forces and processes of physical phenomena proves its truth. It merely proves that we can turn this crank and get the right answers in a certain area. If you restrict yourself to these areas, the theory naturally appears unassailable.

"alternative theorists" range from people that believe aliens inhabit our bodies, to God gave us souls, to neurology is just looking at it slightly wrong, and all point in between.
That doesn't really help anything in the statement.


A few alternative theorists theorizing that neuroscience is part of a process:

Fritjof Capra suggests: ‘Mind is not a thing but a process of cognition, which is identified with the process of life. The brain is a specific structure through which this process operates. The relationship between mind and brain, therefore, is one between process and structure. Moreover, the brain is not the only structure through which the process of cognition operates. The entire structure of the organism participates in the process of cognition, whether or not the organism has a brain and a higher nervous system.’ For that matter, ‘At all levels of life, beginning with the simplest cell, mind and matter, process and structure are inseparably connected.’


Rupert Sheldrake suggests that ‘the brain is like a tuning system, and that we tune into our own memories by a process of morphic resonance, which I believe is a general process that happens throughout the whole nature.’

Saul-Paul Sirag, a theoretical physicist, suggests that ‘in some cosmic sense there really is only one consciousness, and that is really the whole thing—in other words, that hyperspace itself is consciousness acting on itself, and spacetime is just a kind of studio space for it to act out various things in.’

Karl Pribram, a professor of neuropsychology, who explores the similarities between current findings in neuropsychology and in quantum physics, thinks that our ideas of mind-brain, for that matter our whole understanding of life, are still caught up in terms of classical mechanics, with cause and effect relationships. In actuality, he says, we can never find out what and where the cause of a particular act or event is. ‘The whole system does it. There isn’t a start and a midst and so on, because time and space are enfolded, and therefore there is no causality.’ Every act is ‘very much a quantum type, holographic, implicate order kind of idea.’ In view of this, there is no such thing as self, or mind as such; rather, there are only ‘mental processes, mental activities. But there isn’t a thing called the mind.’
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Re: Revisiting the zombie argument

Postby Jayson » Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:59 am

OK, wow...there is an outstanding burst of responses here.
Please forgive me as I try to go through all of them and respond.

I will try to do so as quickly as I can.

While I have the chance in this notice, I want to make something clear that maybe wasn't; I am unsure.
My personal perspective of physicality does not negate the conceptual - "mind", "thought", etc...

Instead, my overall point is how the two are tied inherently and are irremovable from each other due to the dependencies.

Further, that the physical is not a dumbed and simplistic reduction of the grandiose, but instead is quite the opposite in as much as we can look out at the Earth itself and see it accomplished by physical constituents alone daily, yet as a whole, these tiny constituents - needing to go no smaller than simply sand in the example - collectively produce the most marvelous array of action and fluctuation recursively.

It is, to me, a powerful impact magnifying the effect that can be grasped in something as tangibly resident as the Aurora Borealis:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcfWsj9OnsI

I want to make sure that everyone in here understands that spiritual presence of our existence is something in which I not only agree to, but cardinally assert is principle to our function in as much as the Aurora Borealis rely on color to exist in full as they do.
This riddle and play on the property of color in this statement is entirely intentional and exactly my primary point in all of this.

Again, I really appreciate the massive feedback and the diversity.
I will get to these as quickly as I can!

(p.s. damn outstanding conversation!)
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Spiritual: a set of neurological processes dealing with value placement, empathy, and sympathy through the associative truncation of relative identity, and which has reached a value set capable of being described as reverent to the individual, and from which existential experience and reflection is capable explicitly.
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Re: Revisiting the zombie argument

Postby gib » Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:47 am

TheStumps wrote:OK, wow...there is an outstanding burst of responses here.
Please forgive me as I try to go through all of them and respond.


No worries Stumps. Don't feel obligated to respond to my two posts, they were only conclusions.
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Re: Revisiting the zombie argument

Postby Jayson » Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:08 am

QUETZ:

I really do wish to get to your quite beautifully put descriptions more deeply.
To do this, with the ambition in mind of meeting each other on the bridge of communication, I need to start with showing you a door that exists by first showing you a tiny crack of light that is coming out of it.

So I hope that I don't sound like a pompous prospector looking to restrain the discourse into only my view, but I must continue hitting you hard with a challenge that is all together no easy task for anyone.

Once we have done this together, I would very much enjoy circling back around to the subjects again you are discussing in the way that you are, but with a couple set of new eyes that are looking at both sides of the bridge while both are standing in the middle.

Keep in mind, I do not assert that the conceptual does not exist, but instead that without the physical aspect, the conceptual would cease as the legs on which the conceptual stands are physical indeed.

To this end, I will start again with a difficult task as a request.
one would expect that (a human is physically capable of feeling joy from a musical piece) through the medium of the brain/body.

Very good, but how exactly does the underline take place physically?

Here this time, differing than before, I will walk through this with you (listed in order of travel).
First, the ear itself.
http://www.hearingcenteronline.com/ear2.shtml
http://www.ifd.mavt.ethz.ch/research/gr ... _mechanics

From here, where does it go?
http://zadorlab.cshl.edu/PDF/oviedo-etal2010.pdf
Which we dip into just to get this:
In the primary auditory cortex of all species studied so far, there is
a characteristic map reflecting the tonotopic organization of sound
frequency in the cochlea. In the mouse, as in many other species,
high frequencies are represented in the rostral part of the cortex and
low frequencies in the caudal


Where exactly are these locations?
This gives us the terminologies reference locations.
http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/kinser/BrainInfo.html

And this tells us the parts of the brain in those areas (this image in mirror of the first image, flipped)
http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/kinser/Structure1.html

How does the travel take place?
We dip into wikipedia for a moment to get our bearings.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ear
The nerve impulses travel from the left and right ears through the eighth cranial nerve to both sides of the brain stem and up to the portion of the cerebral cortex dedicated to sound. This auditory part of the cerebral cortex is in the temporal lobe.



So we'll start at the eighth cranial nerve, the vestibulocochlear nerve.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cranial_nerve

You can see it visually mapped here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Brain ... els_en.svg

We dip into here for a moment to extract this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vestibulocochlear_nerve
It (vestibulocochlear nerve) consists of the cochlear nerve, carrying information about hearing, and the vestibular nerve, carrying information about balance.


We're only interested in the hearing, so we are only wanting to follow the cochlear nerve.
Seen here on the left is the Cochlear nuclei.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gray691.png

And we can pop into here for a direction of where we're heading on this tour of sound.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cochlear_nerve
And extract this:
The cochlear nerve arises from within the cochlea and extends to the brainstem, where its fibers make contact with the cochlear nucleus, the next stage of neural processing in the auditory system.


So we're off to the cochlear nucleus.
Which, from here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auditory_system

We can get a basic rundown of:
The cochlear nucleus is the first site of the neuronal processing of the newly converted “digital” data from the inner ear. This region is anatomically and physiologically split into two regions, the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN), and ventral cochlear nucleus (VCN).

But let's get a bit more into what just happened by going here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cochlear_nucleus
Here, we get this...well...detailed, yet rather messy edit (the author of this really is rather disjointed in their thought it would seem).
The auditory nerve fibers form a highly organized system of connections according to their peripheral innervation of the cochlea. Axons from the spiral ganglion cells of the lower frequencies innervate the lateral-ventral portions of the dorsal cochlear nucleus and the ventrolateral portions of the anteroventral cochlear nucleus. In contrast, the axons from the higher frequency organ of corti hair cells project to the dorsal portion of the anteroventral cochlear nucleus and the dorsal-medial portions of the dorsal cochlear nucleus. The mid frequency projections end up in between the two extremes; in this way the frequency spectrum is preserved. In this way, the cochlear nuclei inherit the tone based organization of the cochleae.


Alright...this is where we need to slow down a bit.
There's allot going on here.
But rather than get bogged down in everything (as we'll be off on our way much more simply in a moment after this), we can just take note that the frequency spectrum from the ear earlier (in this image: http://www.ifd.mavt.ethz.ch/research/gr ... .gif?hires) are preserved in a relative, yet different medium of physical exchange by hair cells connecting to axons.

So there is our first clear representation that is similar to what took place in that logic model I used earlier whereby the red was the information, and the number was the shift in how the information was being represented within the system.
0 2 -> 3 4
4 1 -> 5 8
5 3 -> 0 2
2 8 -> 2 1


Alright, back on track.
Axons.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axon
An axon is a long, slender projection of a nerve cell, or neuron, that conducts electrical impulses away from the neuron's cell body or soma.

But how does a little hair trigger an Axon right?

From all the way back at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ear
We get this:
Sound waves moving through fluid push the filaments; if the filaments bend over enough it causes the hair cells to fire. In this way sound waves are transformed into nerve impulses.


So, in a way, it works like a reed in water, with when blown on by wind leans over. During which, if it leans over enough, it will open a small pocket in the silt below and any air trapped below will come up, but mostly water will move through - even if there isn't an air pocket. In so doing, this motion will cause a reaction to the silt under the reed, causing topological shift around the reed.
If this a power plant were to emulate this behavior, it would place a conductive circuit below the reed so that when it moved, it causes electrical triggering.

Similarly, this is the relationship of the hair to the axon.
So how does this axon fire off this now created charge from the hair moving?
Back at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axon

We find:
the membrane of the axon closely adjoins the membrane of the target cell, and special molecular structures serve to transmit electrical or electrochemical signals across the gap.

So an electrical or electrochemical exchange takes place as a result of the analog behavior of the hair.

Therefore, the borrowed term, "digital", from earlier starts to make sense.

Alright, now that we understand the basic concepts of how the Cochlear nucleus converts the analog push and pull into an electrochemical exchange, where are we headed?
Once again, we turn to here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cochlear_nucleus
And snatch out:
There are three major projections from the cochlear nuclei. Through the medulla, one projection goes to the contralateral superior olivary complex (SOC) via the trapezoid body, whilst the other half shoots to the ipsilateral SOC. This projection is called the ventral acoustic stria (or, more commonly, the trapezoid body). Another projection, called the dorsal acoustic stria (DAS, also known as the stria of von Monakow), rises above the medulla into the pons where it hits the nucleus of the lateral lemniscus along with its kin, the intermediate acoustic stria (IAS, also known as the stria of Held). The IAS decussates across the medulla, before joining the ascending fibers in the contralateral lateral lemniscus. The lateral lemniscus contains cells of the nuclei of the lateral lemniscus, and in turn projects to the inferior colliculus.

Alright, 3 major outputs from here.
1) Medulla - contralateral superior olivary complex
2) Dorsal Acoustic Stria
3) Intermediate Acoustic Stria

And we also know:
All of these inputs terminate in the inferior colliculus

So ultimately, we'll be there.
But first...the Medulla, to find the contralateral superior olivary complex
How does this traffic the electrochemically converted analog information through to the inferior colliculus?

Firstly, what is this thing?
From here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superior_olivary_complex
We get:
The medial superior olive (MSO) is a specialized nucleus that is believed to measure the time difference of arrival of sounds between the ears (the interaural time difference or ITD). The ITD is a major cue for determining the azimuth of low-frequency sounds, i.e., localising them on the azimuthal plane – their degree to the left or the right.
The lateral superior olive (LSO) is believed to be involved in measuring the difference in sound intensity between the ears (the interaural level difference or ILD). The ILD is a second major cue in determining the azimuth of high-frequency sounds.

Alright, so the axon's that were agitated because of the ratio of interval (in time or volume), in some respect or another, largely hit here.

As to how they tick, how does this work exactly, well that breaks down into several more categories (keep in mind, we're only in one of the three routes from above)...somewhere around seven or nine such divisions.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superior_olivary_complex
Scroll to the bottom for the Periolivary Nuclei breakdown.

But for what we want to know, we can find in this section of the Primary Nuclei:
Medial superior olive (MSO)
This is the largest of the nuclei and in human contains approximately 15,500 neurons

Righto, so more axons, ultimately, is what that means.

Copy that gold leader, we can be on our way with a brief summary that the other two on that list work in like fashion reacting to other aspects of the sound.

So finally, we can kick in to the inferior colliculus.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inferior_colliculus

Here, we get this introduction:
the principal midbrain nucleus of the auditory pathway and receives input from several more peripheral brainstem nuclei in the auditory pathway, as well as inputs from the auditory cortex.

Well, as we have seen...that's a relatively light way of saying it, but yes, it does receive input from several peripheral brainstem nuclei in the auditory pathway.

Here's a big ol picture of it we'll need:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... ray685.png
Just for scope...here's where we've gotten to at this point, look for the mid-brain region highlighted.
http://universe-review.ca/I10-80-midbrain.jpg

Sheesh...that's allot for so little distance!
Anyway, onwards!

So, that's where we are, but where are we going?
The medial geniculate body (MGB) is the output connection from inferior colliculus and the last subcortical way station.

Ah-ha, so we're in the medial geniculate body on our way to the real fun!

So, what is this thing then?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medial_geniculate_nucleus
The Medial Geniculate Nucleus (MGN) or Medial Geniculate Body (MGB) is part of the auditory thalamus and represents the thalamic relay between the inferior colliculus (IC) and the auditory cortex

Oooo, good stuff.
Thalamus!
We're now talking about here:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... alamus.jpg

This is fun because the thalamus not only acts as a multi-sense highway, but also regulates states of consciousness via the thalamo-cortico-thalamic circuits (more stuff than needed atm), but basically explains how sound has access to states of consciousness.
Further, this is the pathway that allows for emotion to get tickled by the auditory reactions.

But, more importantly for the moment is that this thalamus fellow kicks over the reactions it has from the MGB to the Primary Auditory Cortex.
WOO!

We finally hit grey matter!

Now how does this part work?
Neurons in the auditory cortex are organized according to the frequency of sound to which they respond best. Neurons at one end of the auditory cortex respond best to low frequencies; neurons at the other respond best to high frequencies. There are multiple auditory areas (much like the multiple areas in the visual cortex), which can be distinguished anatomically and on the basis that they contain a complete "frequency map."

Hey!
Looky here!
It's another converter like the hair to axon earlier, but this time it's axon to axon conversions.
So ultimately, we looking at that logic model again whereby the red keeps changing its numerical expression, but maintains being red.

Here, we have the same thing taking place.
And how does this trigger sound in our head?
Individual cells consistently get excited by sounds at specific frequencies, or multiples of that frequency.

We're essentially "hearing" our cell's dancing.

Now, admittedly, this is about where we are at our maximum dissection in current neurology.
The cortex is so complicated in the human brain that we can't distinguish exactly what those cells that are getting jiggy with it are doing in such a description as we have taken to get this far.

That is where the boundary today currently lies.
Plopping at the cells in the cortex, dancing their little hearts out to Beethoven's 5th and making all sorts of electrochemical exchanges in a massive unknown amount of fields in the cortex.

But it's worth noting this final note on the little wiki blip, as it reminds us of something about the brain.
The auditory cortex does not just receive input from lower centers and the ear, but also provides it.

The brain is inescapably recursive.
You hear a note, your brain plays it internally for you, and can feed that back in as if it were the same note played again without the note having been played at all.

Ergo, schizophrenia and synesthesia, not to mention the ability to recall a sound needed to play back in some fashion of output...or if you just want to listen to your own personal radio in your head. :D

--------------

So.
Does it make a bit more sense on how audio physically gets into our brain and how the process of joy is thereby a consequence of frequencies which trigger our personal internal network of hair's and neurons in such a manner as to hit the thalamus and cortex in the right medium to traffic to the amygdala reactions which release the chemical exchanges that we conceptually understand as joy?
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Spiritual: a set of neurological processes dealing with value placement, empathy, and sympathy through the associative truncation of relative identity, and which has reached a value set capable of being described as reverent to the individual, and from which existential experience and reflection is capable explicitly.
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Re: Revisiting the zombie argument

Postby Amorphos » Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:47 pm

TheStumps

I want to make something clear that maybe wasn't; I am unsure.
My personal perspective of physicality does not negate the conceptual - "mind", "thought", etc...

I really do wish to get to your quite beautifully put descriptions more deeply.
To do this, with the ambition in mind of meeting each other on the bridge of communication, I need to start with showing you a door that exists by first showing you a tiny crack of light that is coming out of it.


Thank you very much! I have indeed been mistaken as I thought you were trying to explain the entire mind [and nearly did!] in the material.
I suppose that either way the individual probably does not exist, if mind is the only other aspect apart from the material and info is produced between them, then even if we have mind there remains no self. …because mind is the same thing for all once one unties the elements of the brain that make it subjective and centralised.
.
Once we have done this together, I would very much enjoy circling back around to the subjects again you are discussing in the way that you are, but with a couple set of new eyes that are looking at both sides of the bridge while both are standing in the middle.
Keep in mind, I do not assert that the conceptual does not exist, but instead that without the physical aspect, the conceptual would cease as the legs on which the conceptual stands are physical indeed.


you mean you dont think you will need to once you have explained it properly :P ...my intuitive mind you see :wink:

I think I am with you to a degree there [as noted above], there is left only the question where {universal >} mind can produce info and qualia? ..as opposed to these things only being a ‘one way street’ I.e. all emanate from the physical, such that the mind is completely passive and inert - if you will. For me this is critical as I can find no reason for consciousness other than where ‘mind’ may interact and take action within the material [via info presumably]. For example; to create a true artificial brain ~ that is conscious, it needs to be more than a zombie, it needs the critical element of mind being able to interact, to get in there and do stuff [as we experience it, or think we do]. If there is no interaction there is no consciousness [where consciousness is literally here defined as that interaction of mind with the material], there is simply no way for mind to take part [hence like with a rock mind is not ‘in there‘].
.
In the primary auditory cortex of all species studied so far, there is
a characteristic map reflecting the tonotopic organization of sound
frequency in the cochlea. In the mouse, as in many other species,
high frequencies are represented in the rostral part of the cortex and
low frequencies in the caudal


that’s an awful lot of reading, so I skipped some of the mechanics of it, then went to this…
From the wiki
“Sound waves moving through fluid push the filaments; if the filaments bend over enough it causes the hair cells to fire. In this way sound waves are transformed into nerve impulses. In vision, the rods and cones of the retina play a similar role with light as the hair cells do with sound”


This is pretty much how I saw it before [having read quite a lot about the eye] but I have a very selective memory ~ and have trained it to be like that. I only take note of particulars, as if to make a map of it rather than drawing I all the details, I am a philosophical cartographer lols.
.
Your wiki quote;
The nerve impulses travel from the left and right ears through the eighth cranial nerve to both sides of the brain stem and up to the portion of the cerebral cortex dedicated to sound. This auditory part of the cerebral cortex is in the temporal lobe
.

Right so we know the locations and direction of travel on our map by nerve impulses, now we need to map what nerve impulses are and what they do. In the link below they are the element of ‘communication’ [which is a very critical term here!] between cells, nerves etc…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nerve_impulses
This is what I read;
“In physiology, an action potential is a short-lasting event in which the electrical membrane potential of a cell rapidly rises and falls, following a consistent trajectory. Action potentials occur in several types of animal cells, called excitable cells, which include neurons, muscle cells, and endocrine cells, as well as in some plant cells. In neurons, they play a central role in cell-to-cell communication. In other types of cells, their main function is to activate intracellular processes. In muscle cells, for example, an action potential is the first step in the chain of events leading to contraction. In beta cells of the pancreas, they provoke release of insulin.[1] Action potentials in neurons are also known as "nerve impulses" or "spikes", and the temporal sequence of action potentials generated by a neuron is called its "spike train". A neuron that emits an action potential is often said to "fire".
Action potentials are generated by special types of voltage-gated ion channels embedded in a cell's plasma membrane.[2] These channels are shut when the membrane potential is near the resting potential of the cell, but they rapidly begin to open if the membrane potential increases to a precisely defined threshold value. When the channels open, they allow an inward flow of sodium ions, which changes the electrochemical gradient, which in turn produces a further rise in the membrane potential. This then causes more channels to open, producing a greater electric current, and so on. The process proceeds explosively until all of the available ion channels are open, resulting in a large upswing in the membrane potential. The rapid influx of sodium ions causes the polarity of the plasma membrane to reverse, and the ion channels then rapidly inactivate. As the sodium channels close, sodium ions can no longer enter the neuron, and they are actively transported out of the plasma membrane. Potassium channels are then activated, and there is an outward current of potassium ions, returning the electrochemical gradient to the resting state. After an action potential has occurred, there is a transient negative shift, called the afterhyperpolarization or refractory period, due to additional potassium currents. This is the mechanism which prevents an action potential traveling back the way it just came“.

“All cells in animal body tissues are electrically polarized—in other words, they maintain a voltage difference across the cell's plasma membrane, known as the membrane potential. This electrical polarization results from a complex interplay between protein structures embedded in the membrane called ion pumps and ion channels. In neurons, the types of ion channels in the membrane usually vary across different parts of the cell, giving the dendrites, axon, and cell body different electrical properties. As a result, some parts of the membrane of a neuron may be excitable (capable of generating action potentials) while others are not. The most excitable part of a neuron is usually the axon hillock (the point where the axon leaves the cell body), but the axon and cell body are also excitable in most cases”.
.

I know I have mentioned polarised electromagnetic flux in neurons before, albeit in a laymans perception and wording of it, I felt this was the critical aspect I needed to know [as I don’t want to be a neuroscientist lols]. This is why when people say the cells are communicating, all I am seeing is a mechanistic process, and from the above I cannot see why that assumption is wrong?
.
Your quote;
The cochlear nucleus is the first site of the neuronal processing of the newly converted “digital” data from the inner ear. This region is anatomically and physiologically split into two regions, the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN), and ventral cochlear nucleus (VCN).
.

We can see the entire process but what do we mean by ‘digital data’?! you see why my contention is not with the science but such specifics where the critical aspect appears to be glided over. From here I revert back to my former arguments [on one of the threads anyways] where I coined this by renaming; ‘digital data’ to ‘electromagnetic matrix’. to me there is no information here so data is the wrong term! Just like there is no information in the data on your computer, ‘it does not become info until it is experienced in the mind’ ~ though I do think info is generated everywhere, but the point is that it in not interactive and is not literally in-the-data.
.
So there is our first clear representation that is similar to what took place in that logic model I used earlier whereby the red was the information, and the number was the shift in how the information was being represented within the system.


Its not at all clear to me, I am not clear as to exactly what you mean by information here. ...To a thinker like me who has spent his life thinking about thinking and without most of the science stuff, to me that looks like what I would call ‘expressions’. physical objects are changing shape with reference to one another, and in that there is an exchange of material = expressions, and not informations! At the very least this is not info as we experience it in the mind, to wit I observe that the latter ‘informations proper’ may be changed and if needed returned back into the world by the vehicle of the material. This is what happens when like now we communicate info with each other, and I truly don’t see how any of the brains functions can properly know what info is, given that info is not a property of the brain [or any material]. The brain responds to the message when we click ‘send’ - if I may use such an analogy, because only at that point are informations acting in a manner that it understands…

This like music seams to hinge on a harmonic aspect between >frequencies along with electrical impulses< and >information< [mental]. The sensations we get from music throughout the body even, are ‘felt’ [a mental experience] by the experiencer, indicating that the mental exists throughout the body and throughout the entire processes therein.
.
Looky here!
It's another converter like the hair to axon earlier, but this time it's axon to axon conversions.
So ultimately, we looking at that logic model again whereby the red keeps changing its numerical expression, but maintains being red.


I don’t see any ‘numerical expression’ [sorry], I see frequencies reacting/responding with other frequencies. One kind of neuron responds to low and another high frequencies originally from sound waves [more frequencies].
.
You hear a note, your brain plays it internally for you, and can feed that back in as if it were the same note played again without the note having been played at all.


I hear that! Sometimes I wish it would shut the bloody hell up :P . When it does make inner sounds - let us say, what we actually experience is not either a note from external sound-waves nor from the brains made up ones, it is a mental experience in the mind.
After all that I cannot help think that science wont be advancing much further, at least not without accepting that info and mental experience are not part of that.

Thanks for the education! i mean that sincerely. :)

I always wondered what that damn music in my brain was :D
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Re: Revisiting the zombie argument

Postby Jayson » Sat Apr 02, 2011 1:23 am

QUETZ:

First thing first.
We need to go over a terminology that is causing you problems.
Information.

Alright, there's more than one kind of information in the world.
Physical exchange is indeed information.
It is not a state of knowing, but it is information.
Your way of thinking of information is to equate information to a state of knowing and then from that perspective you are looking at other statements which claim information on the physical as just insanity because there's no chance that a rock falling down a hill has a state of knowing, or a neuron to neuron connection has a state of knowing.

You are absolutely correct.
But that itself is not exclusively information as the term is used in biology and physics.

The version you are referring to is the term for information found in a common dictionary, for the purposes of the conceptually understood daily life of a human being surrounded by, and interacting with, human life.

But it's not the term as it applies to the study of the constituents of the physical universe; in any field.

So when I write, "information", I am referring to the scientific use of the term and not the common term, which refers to a state of knowing.
The state of knowing is a conceptual realm that is even different from "knowing".
A state of knowing is temporary and conceptual.
It rests on a physical state of the brain in a particular arrangement of flux, yes, as I've maintained, but the state itself is entirely conceptually enclosed.

So here is our first clarity that we will refer back to down below.
That information as you mean it will be referred to as a state of knowing, and information as science uses the term to refer to a physical exchange of transmitted consequences between two or more constituents.


Alright, onward.
I suppose that either way the individual probably does not exist, if mind is the only other aspect apart from the material and info is produced between them, then even if we have mind there remains no self. …because mind is the same thing for all once one unties the elements of the brain that make it subjective and centralised.

And now you see my answer to the zombie argument.
You can claim a soul, a mind, a chakra, a wombly tombernackle jong tsu...but without the physical, whatever we think is of ourselves that is not physical, would immediately evaporate unless by some amazing occurrence, not yet observed, whereby the physical necessities of these conceptual states were migrated into another physical dependency which maintained the exact requirements needed to sustain these conceptual states without interruption or alteration.

So far as I've seen. Considering how friggen complicated our own biology is, I'm not seeing a high possibility of arranging a physical recipient (even if only air or a dimension) of an already existing conceptual human state from one human being.

Take for instance this.
I see a wave in water on Earth.
I'm going to recreate that exact wave, exactly as that wave happened specifically in every nuance of motion.
I'll fail every time.
Even nature does not recreate the exact wave twice; just a wave similar, but uniquely different.

Now, the idea of a conceptual state being carried over to another medium of existence thereafter beyond the human form is, to me, akin to someone saying that they are going to recreate that wave exactly as it was, but this time, they are going to do it on Jupiter.
My reaction recoils in amazement.
Really? How?

there is left only the question where {universal >} mind can produce info and qualia? ..as opposed to these things only being a ‘one way street’

I'll get back to this at the bottom.

now we need to map what nerve impulses are and what they do. In the link below they are the element of ‘communication’

Communication, of the caliber of Information; not a state of knowing relaying to a state of knowing.

This is why when people say the cells are communicating, all I am seeing is a mechanistic process, and from the above I cannot see why that assumption is wrong?

You aren't wrong.

We can see the entire process but what do we mean by ‘digital data’?! you see why my contention is not with the science but such specifics where the critical aspect appears to be glided over. From here I revert back to my former arguments [on one of the threads anyways] where I coined this by renaming; ‘digital data’ to ‘electromagnetic matrix’. to me there is no information here so data is the wrong term! Just like there is no information in the data on your computer, ‘it does not become info until it is experienced in the mind’ ~ though I do think info is generated everywhere, but the point is that it in not interactive and is not literally in-the-data.

I stopped and made special attention to that if you recall:

thestumps wrote:So an electrical or electrochemical exchange takes place as a result of the analog behavior of the hair.
Therefore, the borrowed term, "digital", from earlier starts to make sense.

It's called, "digital" not because it includes binary information.
It's called "digital" because once you hit the neuron to neuron section and leave behind, in this case, the nerve cell hair section; the kinetic contact reactions are finished.
There is no kinetic contact from this point forward, and the kinetic is referred to as analog.

It is a terminology borrowed from electronics whereby, say, your mouse is an "analog" device because it constitutes a physical plane of translation: your hand moving the mouse.
Similarly, the vibration moving the hair on the cell.

They then refer to axon to axon contact as "digital" (note that it was done so with quotes, meaning that the term is a borrowing and not a literal term) because the contact is purely electrical to electrical, or electrical to electrochemical, or electrochemical to electrochemical, or electrochemical to electrical.
It means that there are no physical push and pulls taking place. We're not looking at air compression, cell wall vibrations, cell hair reactions, cell membrane attraction to cell membrane, or anything of the kind.

We're now talking pure electrical circuitry.
Ergo, they borrow the term, "digital".

Which loops us to:
Its not at all clear to me, I am not clear as to exactly what you mean by information here.

I think this may now be a bit more clear hopefully, after having discussed information at the beginning of this post.

The similarity being drawn was this.
0 2 -> 3 4

On the left, we'll let 0 represent the sound, and we'll let 2 represent the cell hairs.
3 and 4 will represent the first set of axon's where information (keep in mind the terminology) switches from physical push/pull to electrochemical exchanges.

This states, that when the Sound (0) pulls the Hair (2) that it will be converted (converted in the way that pulling on a string tied to a bell converts the tension into a note) into an electrochemical agitation in axons (4) (and a reaction back to the ear, 3).
Specifically, we are interested in following, in that logic model, the travel of red.
Which means we would follow the axon numbered 4 in the model and watch what it does next.

Ergo, this is what I meant.

Which brings us to being able to clarify this:
I don’t see any ‘numerical expression’ [sorry], I see frequencies reacting/responding with other frequencies. One kind of neuron responds to low and another high frequencies originally from sound waves [more frequencies].

It is the next step of translation where axon's in one part of the system make contact to another part of the system.
The information (remember the terminology) from one axon to another is not going to be the same in both; but it will be representative and relative to the same impulse.

For instance, electricity in a power outlet on the wall is not the same as the electricity in the light bulb socket, yet with a power cord, you can convert the electrical power into the arrangement needed for the light bulb socket (plugging in a lamp).

Similarly, this is represented in the previous model.
4 1 -> 5 8

We followed the axon 4 hitting an awaiting axon 1, and so doing, this causes axon 4 to switch states (because it's done relaying the current) to axon 5, and axon 1 (now with the current received) becomes axon 8.
(lol, I found a flaw in that logic model...woops. That red should have followed the 8, not the 5...bah, oh well!)

Light on, light off (but not that simple in the actual axon to axon contact as it is pretty complicated in there; this is just a brevity of concept).

The numbers in the model only represent a change of state and nothing more.
They were not there to show an item for a state of knowing traveling in some kind of packet.
I could have just as easily used !@#$%^&*() as my symbols rather than numbers.
Numbers were just easier to cognitively follow than abstract symbols.

I hear that! Sometimes I wish it would shut the bloody hell up . When it does make inner sounds - let us say, what we actually experience is not either a note from external sound-waves nor from the brains made up ones, it is a mental experience in the mind.

Here's where I loop back the above part I said I would get to later.
there is left only the question where {universal >} mind can produce info and qualia? ..as opposed to these things only being a ‘one way street’

It's not a one-way street.
See, because the conceptual state can "push" (we'll call it) back onto the axon's in the cortex (the last stop before the conceptual layer), it can send a signal of "digital" (keep in mind the terminology) back down the network into hitting the nerve cells that have hairs, and cause those to move, which will cause the related axon to receive as if a note just entered physically (though it seems that this process takes place inferior in amplitude to true external stimuli in most brains [unless you have a diagnoses of schizophrenia or the like] because all regions of the network are not impulsed from such an impulse from the cortex, unlike the vibrational rebounding of incoming sound.

Thereby, you can, through thought (a conceptual layer) literally play physical music in your brain.
And that is just sound.
This same behavior is observed throughout all aspects of the brain.
The conceptual layer is able to send impulse signals down to the physical layers to trigger reactions that replicate an external physical stimulus.

Because of this, the external physical world can be introduced to the internal conceptual state of knowing and the conceptual state of knowing can cause a replication back into the physical layer of the brain and body in a manner needed to accomplish an action physically from the body in accordance to the conceptual state of knowing's desire.

Ergo, you can hear a command to raise your hand and decide to follow the command and physically raise your hand.

It also means that the argument of determinism from the physicalist group is unfounded as your freedom of will resides in your state of knowing, the conceptual layer, in similar manner to your freedom to drive on a road.
There are limitations to driving that restrict absolute freedom. For instance, you cannot drive to Pluto.
But commonly, the rules are to stick to one side and observe traffic laws.
In the physical layer of the body, similar natural restrictions take place.
So you "drive" (figuratively speaking) through pathways of your choice and in so doing over time, you tell the brain which highways to maintain and keep open.
Those which you do not use are shut down, torn up, and recycled for other uses so that we conserve our precious energy.
(sometimes, this process - for unknown reasons currently - gets carried away and more highway than is needed to be torn down is torn down at reckless abandon - like multiple sclerosis)

As such, when you choose something, what you are doing is reacting to a determined path of information (remember the terminology) that you (as your state of knowing, the conceptual layer) have chosen to use repeatedly in the past, and from that process making a cognitive decision of response from the conceptual layer, that will then in turn travel back down a physical layer in which you choose to use frequently for the desired output.

Ergo, physical practice really does literally help carve out a better and faster response.
The sacrifice of doing this is the freedom of all options other than this one manner.
So when you watch a baby bumbling around in attempt to figure out how to catch a ball, what you are looking at is a brain that has more freedom of will than you do regarding how exactly to catch a ball, because their brain has not yet isolated a specific physical path that it would like to use repeatedly for such a task. They are retarded (literal sense) in the action because they are so busy in the brain firing off driving in every open direction possible at once; true freedom.

So, in short, a lesson from this is this:
The highest level of freedom of will looks like retardation due to ignorance of how to respond and attempting every possible option.


After all that I cannot help think that science wont be advancing much further, at least not without accepting that info and mental experience are not part of that.

Get involved into reading the latest neurology.
They aren't ignorant of that fact, and they are quite readily starting to break open that layer.

Like I said before, we had to start somewhere and cleave off everything else.
The alien poem is starting to make more sense in neurology because we're starting to understand how its prose work.
The step to understanding the metaphors in the alien poem are already on the brink as a result.
;)
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Re: Revisiting the zombie argument

Postby Jayson » Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:34 pm

Finishedman:

Fritjof Capra: Mind is not a thing but a process of cognition, which is identified with the process of life.

Bingo.
That is what I've been trying to get across; the how of that happening.

Rupert Sheldrake: the brain is like a tuning system, and that we tune into our own memories by a process of morphic resonance

Yes. That is exactly why I used the white blood cell as a simple cell example of memory.
...which I believe is a general process that happens throughout the whole nature.’

No. Just because my little white blood cell has resonant memory does not mean it receives it's resonant memory from cosmic fish of knowledge in the Abell galaxy.
However:
Yes, if, he did not mean that memory comes from such, but that the resonation is present in all the nature of the universe and that due to acting in accordance with the reaction of resonance, that in a biological infrastructure, there rises memory systems.
If that was the point, then yes, I agree.

Saul-Paul Sirag: in some cosmic sense there really is only one consciousness

Sure, but useless. Too vague and too unrelated to actually be useful to a human actively. It sounds pretty but it's ultimately useless.
The only thing somewhat useful in cosmological equivalence of matter is in knowing the propensity of motion within given relative forms of matter.

Karl Pribram: a professor of neuropsychology

Oh boy.
who explores the similarities between current findings in neuropsychology and in quantum physics

Great.
our ideas of mind-brain, for that matter our whole understanding of life, are still caught up in terms of classical mechanics, with cause and effect relationships.

Step 1: Statement of dichotomic separation
we can never find out what and where the cause of a particular act or event is.

Step 2: Impossible parameter established
The whole system does it.

Step 3: Ambiguous terminology forcing assumption by the recipient, and leaving room to lack definition error
There isn’t a start and a midst and so on, because time and space are enfolded,

Step 4: First challenge to the status quo, yet lacks backing, as we haven't lived long enough to successfully test the enfolding cycle of time and space (though there are many attempts, currently none have been successful).
and therefore there is no causality.

Step 5: Unmerited conclusion. Recursion is not a lack of causality. Enfolding time and space is a processes befitting recursion; not negation of causality.
Every act is ‘very much a quantum type, holographic, implicate order kind of idea.’

Step 6: After removing the status quo through an unmerited conclusion; produce your own stance that cannot be tested, confirmed, nor denied empirically, using terminology that is ambiguous and largely undefined by most fields of thought and study.
In view of this, there is no such thing as self, or mind as such; rather, there are only ‘mental processes, mental activities. But there isn’t a thing called the mind.’

Step 7: Relate the unfounded and poorly defined ambiguous principles just established for all existence transiently into a completely specific and tangible construct to draw an unmerited conclusion.

Essentially, this is about as worth paying attention to as Ancient Aliens shows on the History channel with their "Experts".

And even without all of this breakdown of how terrible of a statement is being made, even if we just take step 7's assertion and toss the rest:
there is no such thing as self, or mind as such; rather, there are only ‘mental processes, mental activities. But there isn’t a thing called the mind.

And?
So what?
It's not enough to just say what there is.
You have to also determine how we interact with it.
That said, the last thing I expect from a quantum physics neuropsychologist is a methodology of interaction.
I would more expect a comment about how impossible everything is, nothing is really anything, anything is ultimately everything, everything is actually nothing, that all we can hope for is to approximate the probability of something possibly having the propensity for containing the probability of taking place, and that we should all just rather be impressed that we're even alive at all and go have some tea and not think about it.


Now, back to what really counts.
I’m questioning the beliefs that questions on the self and consciousness can be approached and explained solely empirically.

It's no secret that self and consciousness cannot be quantified by empirical standards.
Here's the simplest proof of that. We cannot extract a dream image itself.

And I am questioning the scientific idea that the ability of a theory to predict and control the forces and processes of physical phenomena proves its truth. It merely proves that we can turn this crank and get the right answers in a certain area.

That's all science ever claims, if you really look at the raw science.
For instance, gravity doesn't claim everything possible about gravity. It claims what we measure and can reproduce, and from this makes some predictions about the parts we can't interact with based on the behaviors of what we can interact with.

It's not perfect, oh hell no, but it's the only tool for exacting an imaginative understanding of how something may be working.
Once we see a reproduction of something enough in many perspectives and property exchanges, then we can fairly safely rest on this thing remaining consistent in that behavior.
I can drop an apple seven hundred thousand times from seven hundred thousand different locations on Earth and it won't once fly into orbit.
Ergo, I can credit to gravity one behavior which appears to be reliable: attraction to a larger mass.

If you restrict yourself to these areas, the theory naturally appears unassailable.

Which? Any random empirical theory?
Hardly.
There are a number of aspects within science that are openly full of holes.
And that's without even leaving our planet.
We can find holes right before we even step into complex organisms; there are a great many holes in our scientific understanding of how the Earth's ground actually works.
We have no idea on exactly how our current tectonic shape arose. We have some competing theories, but that's it. And that's because we don't really understand how tectonic's work, or if in fact they are the primary function that drives the formation at all, or just a part of the whole.

It may seem unassailable because we're commonly instructed on a few specific ideas in academic basic's, but of course we are. We have to rest on something as the basic level of information that we pass along. If someone wants to pursue advanced learning in academia or casually on their own; they will readily find these holes and will, if in academia, be instructed on the holes that exist in competing theories.


This all matters little, however.
There is no denying two things:
1) we are physical
2) we contain that within us that cannot be observed by anything physical outside of ourself

Ergo, 2 rests on 1.
Strip 1 away and 2 flickers out.
Strip 2 away (which we can do) and 1 still remains (just far less interesting).

That seems pretty simple, no?
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Re: Revisiting the zombie argument

Postby Amorphos » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:21 pm

the stumps, sorry i havent replied yet, got a virus so i cant think straight. your reply looks interesting so i look forwards to getting to it.

just one thing; is data a kind of information, i suppose what i mean is, can information exist outside of the mind. for example the holographic theory suggests that the universe is a hologram projected from background information? i am just wondering if data/info is more than something we merely experience, it is a medium by which the mind can change things?

speak soon :)
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Re: Revisiting the zombie argument

Postby Jayson » Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:32 pm

No worries, take care of yourself!

Data, is just a term.
And it can be exchanged to mean a number of things.
It could mean that guy on Star Trek, OK, sorry, bad joke.

Alright, more seriously, it could refer to binary information, as it does in computing.
It could refer to a collection of information within a given network, using the scientific term of "information" (network referring to one collection of things that interact with each other and thereby exchange "information").
It can refer to the action of information exchange (again using the scientific term of "information").

Now, again, I will never be found to acknowledge the holographic universe theory, but I will address the last part of your question.
i am just wondering if data/info (can be) a medium by which the mind can change things?

Of course.
Here's an exercise.
Do this:
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=174798

And see if your conceptual layer of your brain, what you might call the "mind", has any ability to compel your physical state.

The human "spirit" has its roots deeply in the conceptual state of knowing.
Deeply is the key word there.

It is as to say the spirit of a wave has its roots deeply in the undertow of the wave.
Where does the force come from that is that wave?
Is it the current alone? Is it the water's body alone? Is it both together?
Or, is it also the force's beginning far long before you see the wave, and far deeper than we are usually standing when we see the wave?
What is the start of that wave? Another wave, which itself moves the currents to support the wave moving up on top of the currents through the body of the water, where the currents will enliven the force of the wave anew and up to another level of currents across more of the body of the water until eventually either the wave is seen on the surface as the tip and after effect that we see and call a "wave" in daily term, or fades and runs out of force to compel the current with enough energy to move the wave further - and we see no evidence of the energy that took place below the surface.
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Re: Revisiting the zombie argument

Postby Amorphos » Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:33 pm

Hi stumps, I’ll get back to your earlier post later, but for now I’d like to bring the argument into the realm of mind science :) - if I may…

‘Data’ is a person as much as we are y’know :P

Firstly ‘Huston we have a problem‘; I understand and agree that we should make distinction between ‘scientific information’ and information proper [as I call it], and I am fine going along with that for the time being ~ so as to work this problem out properly. I don’t however think that scientific information is lit. information, a different term should be used for ‘mechanistic matrixes’, physical flux and interactions. I feel that science has kinda stolen from philosophy for a long time, it seams to bring anything of the mind and spirit - if you will, into its own sphere and then refuses to discuss those things in any other terms, even ridiculing anything that doesn’t fit its ‘religion’ - again, if I may. For example, Dennett’s arguments show qualia don’t actually exist, but so did my far simpler argument of, opening up the brain looking in and not expecting to see a little image of the world literally in there. To science that now means there is no such thing as qualia, to me that means quale remain in the mental realm and cannot be explained by the physical.

It is as if we ask the question; what is it that we see? Then science describes the entire physical process, and we can now again ask the question; what is it that we see?
.
see if your conceptual layer of your brain, what you might call the "mind", has any ability to compel your physical state.


We have to answer this question in a wider context, now that we have determined that information is a purely mental thing [information as the physical thing is a different kind of information], we can now ask if it is actually a load of meaningless babble going on in the mind, or if it actually means something. Then we also need to ask; is information effectual? Do the things we think of in terms of information make effect in the world.

Some critical arguments to consider; [that I made up lols]

1. The supplementary argument.

Let us first remove ‘the supplementary argument‘; firstly this is where something or maybe anything we think we do in the mental realm, can be duplicated in the physical brain. Well if the mind is to be effectual as the first party, then it must be able to make effect in the second party [the brain], therefore the second party must be able to perform such duties. Now we can take a third party that also in a ‘remote manner’ can make effect upon the second party, and it in effect duplicates what the mind [first party] can do.
From this is it not reasonable that we could show a means by which something could supplement the workings of the mind upon the material. More importantly that because you can show a third party device making such effect, that only means it is replicating what the mind could be doing [lets say at this point we don’t even know if a mind exists] and does not refute that a mind could after all be doing a very similar thing to that of the device?

2. The creation duality argument

Consider that there is a ‘conceptual layer’ ~ an informational combined with an ideas layer. None of us would dispute this as it is one of our primary observations of the world.
Something makes it, its is a created thing, its source is either;
a, the brain/body, that it is a manifestation of the material. {Indeed we could assume information is created anywhere under the correct given conditions, and that may or may not be in the brain or subject}.
b, or the source of its creation is in something we loosely define as ‘mind’, and that this reflects events in the material.
In both cases we now have a situation where the conceptual layer is something, it is produced or reactive to occurrences in the brain. So we now have something else other than the material which is either created by the material or reactionary to it. Hence we now have the beginnings of what we may term ‘mind’!

So let us start adding ingredients we observe, in each case we will assume for now that such things can derive as above from either the material or not.

We are ‘beings‘, that in our observations we notice we are being yet this is not merely a mental experience or an idea but something without noticeable base, cause and effect.

Next, that we ‘know‘ The act of bringing sensory based informations [or what assumes to be] together and memorising some or all of it, may be the act necessary to form the basis of a knowledgeable item, yet knowledge is a mental object. By that I mean it is not a physical object.

We could keep adding with things like perception and observation etc, but I’ll stop for now, naturally in all questions of mind we have to ask specifically; how does the material do that?

Is it not as simple as, you ask me a question, then I answer it [even if in an insane or incorrect manner] and I have compelled my physical state and changed the material, merely with informational thought?

The universal question!

If I got the info you gave earlier correctly then all nerve cells and indeed all cells ~ that’s all life [!] has similar electrical and chemical properties and potentials. From these we assume that in the brain the conceptual layer/mind is created, so can we not assume that occurs generally? Does it need the configuration of a brain in humans, and a few bundles of nerve cells in a jellyfish, to produce consciousness ~ or informational thinking?
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Re: Revisiting the zombie argument

Postby Jayson » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:31 pm

1. The supplementary argument.

Essentially, let me put it this way.
Does the travel of a person on a wooded direction of their choice affect the physical capacity of the woods to allow the person to more easily travel in the woods over time?

Another related illustration.
Is the motion of the pistons, which are in a car that is traveling 40kph, moving faster than the car?

Is it possible then, that a physically intangible concept may have physical impact that is then recursive back into the same system which houses the physically intangible concept?

My answer to this has always been, yes, due to the above illustrations of such existing. More such examples are all around us.
There is no reason, then, to assume that our conceptual layer of mind, the state of knowing, is in any manner different than other such examples of intangible concepts around us.

2. The creation duality argument

In short, A & B are both together.
Put A on one side.
Put B on the opposite side.
Draw an arrow from A to B.
Draw an arrow from B to A.

That's recursion, and that's what we have.

If I got the info you gave earlier correctly then all nerve cells and indeed all cells ~ that’s all life [!] has similar electrical and chemical properties and potentials. From these we assume that in the brain the conceptual layer/mind is created, so can we not assume that occurs generally? Does it need the configuration of a brain in humans, and a few bundles of nerve cells in a jellyfish, to produce consciousness ~ or informational thinking?

Let me draw from the previous illustrations to answer this.

Is the path carved out in the woods from people walking at your local woods the same as the path carved out at Mt. Everest?
Why not?

Since the motion of the pistons in a car contains the same process of combustion principles, regardless of which vehicle type we look at in piston built cars, what stops a minivan from being an Indy 500 car?
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Re: Revisiting the zombie argument

Postby Amorphos » Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:45 pm

The stumps

Essentially, let me put it this way.
Does the travel of a person on a wooded direction of their choice affect the physical capacity of the woods to allow the person to more easily travel in the woods over time?
Another related illustration.
Is the motion of the pistons, which are in a car that is traveling 40kph, moving faster than the car?
Is it possible then, that a physically intangible concept may have physical impact that is then recursive back into the same system which houses the physically intangible concept?
My answer to this has always been, yes, due to the above illustrations of such existing. More such examples are all around us.
There is no reason, then, to assume that our conceptual layer of mind, the state of knowing, is in any manner different than other such examples of intangible concepts around us.


A path made through a woods would allow for easier travel the next time yes. Not sure what that has to do with this. edit; ah see near the bottom of the page..
Yes the pistons are travelling faster than the car.

By showing that there are seemingly intangible mechanisms within the greater mechanism, is not reason enough to assume that non physical things are too within the mechanistic realm.
You have taken me on an interesting journey through the mechanistic side of things, yet at no point have we discovered anything bar that. There has not been a single instance of experiental, qualaic nor informational thought.

It seams to me that we can indeed show that none of these things exist within the physical, e.g. Dennett’s arguments showed that qualia do not exist ~ that the mechanistic line can be followed through without them being found [and yet we still see colour!]. What we are doing is confining everything within the physical because it explains everything in its own terms, however that is not enough, we have to look outside the box - so to say, in order to know the world it lies within.
.
In short, A & B are both together.
Put A on one side.
Put B on the opposite side.
Draw an arrow from A to B.
Draw an arrow from B to A.

That's recursion, and that's what we have.


recursion
▸ noun: (mathematics) an expression such that each term is generated by repeating a particular mathematical operation


The operation is the same but there are two sources, in the case in hand one source for informational thought is derived from the brain [the mechanistic side of the equation], then the other source is derived from the mind. There is an important distinction not only in the derivatives, but also in that no matter which source we assume there yields a similar or the same result, namely that the conceptual layer is arrived at. Point being that once we arrive at that, then we have already gone outside the box, ~ we have added something >the conceptual layer [thought]< that is not part of its creator [even if initially caused by it. So either way we have something that is informational thought.
.
Is the path carved out in the woods from people walking at your local woods the same as the path carved out at Mt. Everest?
Why not?
Since the motion of the pistons in a car contains the same process of combustion principles, regardless of which vehicle type we look at in piston built cars, what stops a minivan from being an Indy 500 car?


There are simply different values to each case, woods are different to mountains, Indy cars are far more powerful than minivans [usually]. I presume you mean that a nerve cell or a collection of them outside of the brain, doesn’t have the same conditions which form a matrix when in the configuration of a brain. I agree of course, so we have to find out what it is about such configurations [in the brain] that give rise to informational thought [if we deal with this first we can then move onto other areas of mind if we need too.

I am of the opinion that information is key here, and that there are two main dominions thereof;
a. information is generally created by events. There is no reader nor changer of that info.
b. information is generally created by events. There is a reader and changer of that info.

So what we have is a world that generates information, then when certain conditions are arrived at [like in a brain] there is something that reads the info and changes it, thus has causal interaction with the world. At this point I will name that something as ‘mind’, strictly upon the above foundation.



On a side note I would jump the gun here and state that once such conditions for a ‘free will agent’ are met, then ‘mind’ will interact with the world. Even that the universe is designed for life ~ evolution ~ consciousness ~ intelligence, such that mind can interact with world.
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Re: Revisiting the zombie argument

Postby finishedman » Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:33 am

We are all living in a 'thought sphere'. Your thoughts are not your own; they belong to everybody. There are only thoughts, but you create a counter-thought, the thinker, with which you read every thought. The effort to understand has created a secondary movement of thought within you, which you call the 'mind'.

Can you look at that thing you call 'mind'? It is very elusive. Look at it now, feel it, touch it, and tell me. How do you look at it? And what is the thing that is looking at what you call 'mind'? This is the crux of the whole problem: the one that is looking at what you call 'mind' is the 'mind'. It is creating an illusory division and through this division it is continuing. This is the nature that is operating in you, in your consciousness. Continuity of its existence is all that interests it. As long as you want to understand that ’mind’ or to change that it into something, that ’mind’ will continue. If you do not want to do anything about it, it is not there, it's gone.
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Re: Revisiting the zombie argument

Postby Amorphos » Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:29 pm

finishedman

We are all living in a 'thought sphere'. Your thoughts are not your own; they belong to everybody. There are only thoughts, but you create a counter-thought, the thinker, with which you read every thought. The effort to understand has created a secondary movement of thought within you, which you call the 'mind'.


Indeed, we could say that as well as the human body being a vehicle of the mind, there are also an environmental and evolutionary vehicles.
I don’t see mind as a ‘movement’, to me it is continually there and transient things occur within it.

Can you look at that thing you call 'mind'? It is very elusive. Look at it now, feel it, touch it, and tell me. How do you look at it? And what is the thing that is looking at what you call 'mind'? This is the crux of the whole problem: the one that is looking at what you call 'mind' is the 'mind'. It is creating an illusory division and through this division it is continuing. This is the nature that is operating in you, in your consciousness. Continuity of its existence is all that interests it. As long as you want to understand that ’mind’ or to change that it into something, that ’mind’ will continue. If you do not want to do anything about it, it is not there, it's gone.


The act of looking at the mind creates a secondary observational perspective, in a manner of speaking; ‘the eye cannot see itself’ [inner eye that is].
You could be right that without stimulus the mind would cease to exist, though I would go more with the idea that the self rather than the mind ceases to exist. My reasoning is that, when information occurs in a way that is interactive e.g. informational thought, there is something already there [that we call ‘mind‘], which is the actual thing that has the ability to read and change informations. If not then we need to show how information can know itself and change itself which seams absurd to me, especially when we already have an observable phenomena we call mind. We can call it what ever you like, but we still have the same factors to deal with.
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Re: Revisiting the zombie argument

Postby finishedman » Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:56 am

quetzalcoatl wrote: You could be right that without stimulus the mind would cease to exist, though I would go more with the idea that the self rather than the mind ceases to exist.


Agreed. It would be the self or an identity there that would cease to exist. In this case, the mind would be all the thoughts, knowledge and experiences that have been preserved and maintained down the generational line (accumulated information). So, my definition of mind is a realm of (existing) knowledge that is acquired or taken in by the individual and thereby evolving into a self which identifies with whatever knowledge or info is contained in the realm. For example, biblical scripture says, ’Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ.,” (meaning put off the old man you were before and be renewed by deliberately choosing to live in accordance with gospel ways of thinking and acting) .. or, simply … ’I changed my mind when I chose to go with the other way of thinking.’ So, the brain, (and its functioning) is going about its business, much as described by Stumps, while the self or the ’I’ (the identity there in some vague place inside the brain?) is shifting by means of making choices to satisfy some directive guided by the predilections , wants, desires and the such. When there is nothing wanted at any instance, thought (or more precisely, the use of thought) declutches and ‘self’ briefly dissipates. Notice I imply that there is something there which uses thought. Again the ‘self’ entity is involved in this using process. Actually, the self comes into existence at the very moment thought (movement of knowledge, info) is called upon for use.

Yet, like you said, the mind is always present and does not cease to exist, as it is a realm that is ever available for all to derive knowledge or information from. I do not tend to define mind as the functioning that is happening in the brain which allows for the detection of qualia and other inexplicable phenomenon. I refer to that as a natural occurring extraordinary intelligence. An intelligence that cannot in any way be matched by any derivation that can be acquired by the intellect. To me, the intellect draws upon the existing realm of knowledge that all other people are drawing knowledge from … and all occurrences of knowledge, thoughts or other mentations are limited in scope. But the intelligence of the biological-physical-chemical-neurological -- and all the other extraordinary operations that are going on in the life of the organism -- combine to produce the myriad expressions we find in the world of the living.
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Re: Revisiting the zombie argument

Postby Amorphos » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:26 pm

finishedman

Well I don’t see the mind as the collection of knowledge etc, as such transient things appear to flow through it and disappear. If not for the memory yielding a constant referral to past knowledge, the intellect would be fleeting indeed.

The only conclusion I can come to, is that mind is something fundamental like energy, and both only exist under certain conditions. Essentially the most fundamental ‘thing’ is surely statelessness, everything existent are then states I.e. after the fact. Perhaps we can say that even mind only occurs locally or in some manner of universal ~ as you say; as the collection of all knowledge sets of all life.


That everything is somehow inherent/innate in that nothingness of statelessness is life’s great mystery.


the stumps, you havent given up on us i hope :)
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Re: Revisiting the zombie argument

Postby Jayson » Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:47 am

the stumps, you havent given up on us i hope

On mental break, lol.
I've got some stuff going on in religion section that I'm focusing on, and time also has been tight lately.
I will return, surely.
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