• SUPPORT THE SHOW AND ENJOY A PREMIUM PARACAST EXPERIENCE! Welcome to The Paracast+! For a low subscription fee, you will receive access to an ad-free version of The Paracast, the exclusive After The Paracast podcast, featuring color commentary, exclusive interviews, plus show transcripts, the new Paracast+ Video Channel, Classic Episodes and Special Features categories! We now offer lifetime memberships! You can subscribe via this direct link:
    https://www.theparacast.com/plus/

    The Official Paracast Store is back! Check out our latest lineup of customized stuff at: The Official Paracast Store!

    Subscribe to The Paracast Newsletter!

Consciousness and the Paranormal — Part 12

Merchandise that’s just out of this world!

blowfish

Whittingham
Marduk
You assuming humans are the only highest inteligence and more planet found in our universe the odd are decreasing buddy.
 

Soupie

Paranormal Adept
This paper is helpful as well:

http://www.zbi.ee/~kalevi/Saka.pdf

I’m excited to pursue more of biosemiotics in the context of the mbp.

Finally had a chance to spend time with this paper. It’s the clearest articulation of your thoughts yet. Well done.

The idea that shines for me is where you delineate ( wink ) the way in which Life differentiates into various species via adaption and replication, which has allowed the emergence of species capable of differentiating into individuals.
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
I have to agree, at least to the extent that the word "download" has been hijacked from computer science and inserted into ufology jargon. As a ufologist I don't agree that such hijacking is appropriate. I'd even go a step further and call it irresponsible, along with with his left-brain right-brain pop psychology. It seems to fit what Sharon A. Hill calls scientifical thinking.

The way Cameron describes the portal phenomena is equally problematic.

Yup. More scientifical nonsense.

To my knowledge there is no scientifically valid material evidence, at least not in the hands of the public, that substantiates any claims of alien craft, stargates, portals, and other paranormal phenomena. It is reasonable however to extrapolate that the PTB does know more than the general population. But that still doesn't justify jumping to conclusions about what exactly they know.

What about our former cohost Christopher O'brien? IMO he's one of the finest examples of a field researcher and author we have. What about Michael Swords? How about Jerome Clark? Setting aside popularity in media or ufology culture, there are probably many more. I don't mean to blow my own horn, but I've been in the subject a long time and like to think that what I contribute is credible. Not every ufologist is crackpot.

That being said I also used to think Timothy Good was credible. What is it that happens to such people that sends them out into the fringes? Our recent guest Suzanne Hansen is another example ( though she denies she's part of fringe ufology).

Where for you personally do you think the line between mainstream and fringe ufology should be drawn?
Telepathy and other psi phenomena are unquestionably significant for an understanding of the nature of consciousness as humans experience it. Thus it seems to me that 'ufology' ought not to restrict itself to nuts and bolts in order to come closer to understanding ufo-related experiences.
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
". . . The female-inclusive and non-European perspective on the history of philosophy carried on in Europe for hundreds of years. The philosophical canon, such as it is, was not always so European and male, even by the lights of European men. In Phaedrus, Plato states that letters and the sciences originated in Egypt. Clement of Alexandria (c150-215 CE) asserted that philosophy was universal, originally stemming from the Egyptians, Chaldeans, Persians and Indians, before the discipline ‘eventually penetrated into Greece’.

The historian Diogenes Laërtius (c180-240 CE) included a chapter on the woman Hipparchia in his 'Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers'. And when Laërtius’ history of philosophy was published in Amsterdam in 1758, in French, it had a woman on the title page. To this edition, a third volume was added, written by the little-known philosopher De Chaufepied par Quérard, which contained 100 pages on ancient female philosophers, such as Julia Domna of Damascus and the Neoplatonist Theodora of Alexandria. He also wrote more than 90 pages on Confucius from China. In the 17th and 18th century, European thinkers such as G W Leibniz and François Quesnay likewise proudly found inspiration from China.
But this millennium-old understanding of the diversity of philosophy was erased from Europe. As Peter J K Park of Dallas University argues in 'Africa, Asia, and the History of Philosophy: Racism in the Formation of the Philosophical Canon, 1780-1830 (2013)', curriculum lists from the early 19th century onwards began to be emptied of women and non-European thinkers. Leading European scholars chose to create a canon based on a new Eurocentric version – better suited to their imperial, racialised and patriarchal era. Early among these was Christoph Meiners, a professor in Göttingen and a proponent for white supremacy, who in his influential work 'History of the Origin, Progress and Decay of the Sciences in Greece and Rome (1781)' began to define philosophy as a product solely of the European man. His ideology was carried on by the German historian Wilhelm Tennemann who helped to redefine the history of philosophy in his mammoth 'Geschichte der Philosophie (1798)'. . . .

Within one generation, academic philosophers succeeded in excluding the non-European world. . . ."

Before the canon: the non-European women who founded philosophy | Aeon Essays
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Telepathy and other psi phenomena are unquestionably significant for an understanding of the nature of consciousness as humans experience it. Thus it seems to me that 'ufology' ought not to restrict itself to nuts and bolts in order to come closer to understanding ufo-related experiences.
The issue there isn't about restricting ufology to nuts and bolts, but to avoid scientifical thinking, including the hijacking of scientific terms to fit some vague notion of what's happening. In the video I watched, the use of the word "download" is being used synonymously with a flash of inspiration, but it carries with it overtones of external, presumably alien, causality, not dissimilar to channeling in principle, but without all the dragged out real time theatrics, as well as any shred of verifiable info that would impart some credibility.
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
The issue there isn't about restricting ufology to nuts and bolts, but to avoid scientifical thinking, including the hijacking of scientific terms to fit some vague notion of what's happening. In the video I watched, the use of the word "download" is being used synonymously with a flash of inspiration, but it carries with it overtones of external, presumably alien, causality, not dissimilar to channeling in principle, but without all the dragged out real time theatrics, as well as any shred of verifiable info that would impart some credibility.
I don't want to watch or comment on the video but to ask whether the term 'download' is what you refer to as a 'scientifical' term rather than being a term arising in computer science and ideations surrounding AI speculations. Re telepathic communications received in many cases from beings encountered near landed ufos, my impression has been that what has been received by humans on earth in these cases has amounted not to 'downloads' of information of a complex and comprehensive nature but rather simple thought forms calling attention to the humanly produced damages to earth's environments and ecology in the modern period. The real issue is whether 'ufonauts' can be understood to be biological and sentient beings equipped with consciousness like our own that leads to progress in understanding the nature of locally or regionally valid descriptions of 'reality', i.e., that which is recognized to be actual in lived environments, thus conditions that require comprehension, adaptation, and preservation in order to support continued life.

It seems to me that encountered 'ufonauts' here on earth have often been able to telepathically transmit information and insights to humans in their vicinity (even to young children in the famous case in Africa), and that this fact -- and the consistency of the knowledge transmitted -- indicate human-like consciousness on the part of the occupants of ufos. Unless you want to believe that all extraterrestrials reaching earth are advanced robots? If that's to be believed, we won't be able to believe it until we have produced AI constructs capable of consciousness and thus mind and therefore able to communicate with our biologically evolved species on earth in the ways we are able to communicate with one another, to varying degrees (see Ingo Swann's 'Superpowers of the Biomind').

Like it or not, consciousness as our species has experienced it cannot be understood without taking account of the varieties of psi experienced throughout our species' written history up to and including the present. Consciousness cannot be understood in terms of nuts and bolts, whether robotic or neurological.
 
Last edited:

Constance

Paranormal Adept
David Morris, Rethinking development: introduction to a special section of phenomenology and the cognitive sciences

Extract:

". . . In general, these passive-machine approaches also made it difficult, during the
rise of modern philosophy and science, to explain organismic development, whether of
individuals or species, leading to debates between those who argued that organisms
must be pre-formed and those who countered that these forms must have their genesis
in processes at work after birth (see, e.g., Richards (2002, 2008), Robert (2004)). This
debate has had long-lasting legacies in developmental and then evolutionary biology
(see, e.g., Amundson (2005)).

In this context, Kant’s analysis of inborn cognitive structure as the bedrock of mind
and the matrix of a subjectivity configured well in advance of the world inaugurated
new approaches—but also opened the way for Jean Piaget’s (e.g., 1973) studies that
show how this structure is in fact inherently developmental and ‘outborn,’ arising out of
our relations to others in the world. Piaget’s work deepens through that of various
developmental psychologists, e.g., Eleanor Gibson (e.g. 1995), Thelen and Smith
(1994), and Alan Fogel (1993), who reveal how cognition is inseparable from devel-
opmental, bodily, social, and ecological/environmental dynamics. Others now connect
our individual development to, for example, apprenticeship learning as a crucial factor
that shapes human evolution (e.g., Sterelny (2012)), or fruitfully compare human
cognitive development to cognitive development in other primates (Ladygina-Kots
et al. 2002; de Waal 2001; Russon and Bard 1996). In short, development is now an
integral part of research on human minds. This is increasingly the case with machine
minds as well. With the rise of deep learning algorithms, it is a good bet that if we were
to succeed in building a machine that exhibited mind-like capacities, it would in fact be
a machine that learns to be what it is.

Phenomenologists have long understood that development is crucial to cognition.
Husserl, for example, quickly learned that descriptive, transcendental or eidetic phe-
nomenology entails an account of the genesis of the structures through which cognition
comes to make sense (see Steinbock (1998) for a helpful introduction). Merleau-Ponty
saw this too, already studying developmental phenomena in his Phenomenology of
Perception
(1962), then giving development detailed attention in his lectures on Child
Psychology and Pedagogy (2011; cf. Welsh 2013), and later seeing that what he calls
institution, the gradual development of new forms of meaning, is key to our experience,
over timescales ranging from biological growth, to maturation, to cultural and historical
development (Merleau-Ponty 2010; cf. Vallier 2005). Other figures such as Henri
Wallon (e.g., 1989) and Albert Michotte (see Thinès et al. 1991) also integrated study
of development into their work on perceptual and cognitive phenomena. More recently,
to give some examples, Eva Simms (1993) has shown how child psychology and
phenomenology have much to learn from one another; Beatta Stawarska (2003, 2009)
takes up results of developmental psychology as crucial to the phenomenology of
intersubjectivity; and Evan Thompson’s work on integrating mind and life (2007, 2011)
would call for the study of biological and psychological development as integral to

living mind, something we also indicated in the work of Shaun Gallagher (e.g. 2005).

In this current context, then, research in phenomenology and the cognitive sciences
ought pay careful attention to development as crucial to mind and cognition. From a
phenomenological perspective, though, this immediately leads to the question and prob-
lem of how to conceptualize development. And this requires, as Merleau-Ponty urges,

confronting our concept of development with 'the reality it is supposed to designate.' . . . ."
 
Last edited:

blowfish

Whittingham
The specalist Mr Ingo Swan clever cover of his book and relation to other traditional publications. There is some form of connection to the crazy world of ufology and science community which does take keen intrest in the subject .
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
I don't want to watch or comment on the video but to ask whether the term 'download' is what you refer to as a 'scientifical' term rather than being a term arising in computer science and ideations surrounding AI speculations.
No. The term "download" is not what I refer to as scientifical. It's a term that is is used in a scientifical manner by some people other than me. I try to avoid being scientifical.
Re telepathic communications received in many cases from beings encountered near landed ufos, my impression has been that what has been received by humans on earth in these cases has amounted not to 'downloads' of information of a complex and comprehensive nature but rather simple thought forms calling attention to the humanly produced damages to earth's environments and ecology in the modern period. The real issue is whether 'ufonauts' can be understood to be biological and sentient beings equipped with consciousness like our own that leads to progress in understanding the nature of locally or regionally valid descriptions of 'reality', i.e., that which is recognized to be actual in lived environments, thus conditions that require comprehension, adaptation, and preservation in order to support continued life.
I brought up that very idea on a recent show. It may be the case that the aliens are some form of advanced AI that have no experience of consciousness as we know it.
It seems to me that encountered 'ufonauts' here on earth have often been able to telepathically transmit information and insights to humans in their vicinity (even to young children in the famous case in Africa), and that this fact -- and the consistency of the knowledge transmitted -- indicate human-like consciousness on the part of the occupants of ufos.
As discussed briefly in previous posts, the imparting of information is not the same as the experience of consciousness. Therefore we cannot assume that telepathic communication is anything more than some sort of data transfer.
Unless you want to believe that all extraterrestrials reaching earth are advanced robots?
For me the issue isn't about what I want to believe, but what we can reasonably ascertain from the available evidence.
If that's to be believed, we won't be able to believe it until we have produced AI constructs capable of consciousness and thus mind and therefore able to communicate with our biologically evolved species on earth in the ways we are able to communicate with one another, to varying degrees (see Ingo Swann's 'Superpowers of the Biomind').
The thing is, we can't know whether or not we have produced AI's that experience consciousness. We can't even prove we do. I've posted the scene from Transcendence so many times by now, I thought we all had got that point by now. But here it is again for your viewing convenience:


Like it or not, consciousness as our species has experienced it cannot be understood without taking account of the varieties of psi experienced throughout our species' written history up to and including the present.
What exactly do you mean by "understood"? It seems to me that the phenomenon of experiencing and the situation of understanding are in two separate camps. One is experiential while the other is intellectual. Hypothetically an AI could be 100% intellectual but 0% experiential.
Consciousness cannot be understood in terms of nuts and bolts, whether robotic or neurological.
Same response as above. It all depends on how you interpret the word "understood". This is the danger I see in some AI research. They're assuming that if the nuts and bolts machine spits out the right answers, it equates to the machine experiencing what it was like to have done that, but I think that is a fundamental and potentially disastrous error in logic.
 
Last edited:

Constance

Paranormal Adept
from Aeon ~~

Teppo Felin, The fallacy of obviousness
A new interpretation of a classic psychology experiment will change your view of perception, judgment – even human nature


Are humans really blind to the gorilla on the basketball court? | Aeon Essays


Referenced in the above paper and relevant here:

"SOME PHILOSOPHICAL PROBLEMS FROM THE STANDPOINT OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE" by John McCarthy and Patrick J. Hayes, Computer Science Department Stanford University Stanford, CA 94305

http://www.inf.ufsc.br/~mauro.roisenberg/ine6102/leituras/mcchay69.pdf
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
The paper linked below, James Mensch, "Birth, Death, and Sleep: Limit Problems and the Paradox of Phenomenology" helps us to come to grips with the intrinsic existential and ontological aspects of phenomenologically achieved insights into the nature of lived being-in-the-world. The paper's shortcoming, it seems to me, is that the author does not incorporate the latent meaning of being as gathered in and expressed by the subconscious mind. Steve -- @smcder -- might be especially interested in a comparison of this paper with Evan Thompson's Waking, Dreaming, Being: Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy.

Note 8 of Mensch's paper follows as a rough orientation to the issues it explores:

"8. If these descriptions pertain to different types of being, then the paradox has an ontological dimension. As Thomas Seebohm writes, the “formulation of the paradox of subjectivity in the Crisis presupposes the ontic interpretation: being a Subject (Subjekt sein) for the world and at the same time being an object (Objekt sein) in the world” (Seebohm, History as a Science and the System of the Sciences (Contributions to Phenomenology, vol. 77) [Dordrecht: Springer: 2015], pp. 38-39). The question, then, is: how do we reconcile these different types of being. The first is necessary (without the subject, the world would not be present), the second is contingent (individual subjects are born and die). If we do not wish to say that we are dealing with two distinct beings, then the incompatibility concerns the descriptions themselves. In Carr’s words, we face the problem that “the ‘two subjects’ are obviously the same self, yet they have two seemingly incompatible descriptions” (The Paradox of Subjectivity, p. 96).

Various attempts have been made to reconcile such descriptions. Seeborn argues that the description of the necessary subject bases itself on the fact that “subjective consciousness is given to itself in oblique intention”— i.e. given reflectively. Here, we focus on “the evidence of the self-givenness of subjective consciousness in the living present of the actual Now and its protentional and retentional horizon.” {note: developed in Husserl's Phenomenology of Inner Time Consciousness} The description of the contingent subject, by contrast, involves “evidence of the existence of objects and states of affairs given in direct intention.” This “is always open for counter-evidences in the future horizon of the experience of objects” (History as a Science, p. 39). The two types of evidence are different, but not, per se, incompatible. Sebastian Luft claims the supposedly incompatible descriptions are but two different views on the same subject. In his words, “This paradox vanishes when phenomenologically clarified: the solution is the realization that the subject that experiences the world and is also an object in the world are but two different viewpoints on the same thing. The subject is another object in the world like trees, animals and other humans from the standpoint of the natural attitude, but after the reduction it is revealed as the transcendental subject, i.e. as the sphere of experience in which the world constitutes itself” (“Husserl’s Method of Reduction” in The Routledge Companion to Phenomenology, edited by Søren Overgaard and Sebastian Luft, [London: Routledge, 212] p. 249). John Drummond takes a similar tack, arguing that [the] “transcendental account makes room within itself for the empirical account” (Drummond, “Review: Paradox or Contradiction? Reviewed Work(s): The Paradox of Subjectivity: The Self in the Transcendental Tradition by David Carr,” Human Studies 25 (1), p. 99. Our own solution, given in the last section of the paper, recognizes the ontological dimension of the paradox, but resolves it by taking subjectivity as a process, rather than a thing."


In other words (the words of an American ditty):

"You can't have one,
you can't have one,
you can't have one
without the other."
 
Last edited:

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
... "John Drummond takes a similar tack, arguing that [the] “transcendental account makes room within itself for the empirical account”
What he actually says is: "My claim is that a transcendental account derived from Husserl both underscores the legitimacy of internal criticism while pointing beyond to a basis for external and universalist criticism."
 

Attachments

Pharoah

Paranormal Adept
Could the following sentence be written in better English and if so what is your improved version for it:
“The actual components (all their properties included) and the actual relations holding between them that concretely realise a system as a particular member of the class (kind) of composite unities to which it belongs by its organisation, constitute its structure.”
 

Pharoah

Paranormal Adept
Hobbs in 1651:
“That when a thing lies still, unlesse somewhat els stirre it, it will lye still for ever, is a truth no man doubts of. But that when a thing is in motion, it will eternally be in motion, unless somewhat els stay it, though the reason be the same, (namely, that nothing can change itselfe) is nonsoneasy tomassemted to.”
Didn’t newton therefore nick Hobbes idea... is Hobbes a variety of apple?
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
Laura McMahon, "(Un)Healthy Systems: Merleau-Ponty, Dewey, and the Dynamic Equilibrium Between Self and Environment"

Journal of Speculative Philosophy, vol. 32, no. 4, 2018

"There are widespread tendencies to think of emotional and behavioral troubles—such as difficulties paying attention, difficulties regulating one’s emotions, and difficulties with substance abuse and addiction—in two manners that stand in tension with one another.1 On the one hand, there is a view that holds individuals solely or predominately responsible for their emotions and behaviors, citing the power of rational, free choice in the regulating of one’s behavior and the conducting of one’s life.2 On the other hand, there is a view that reduces emotional and behavioral problems to physiological conditions.3 These views are popular examples of what Maurice Merleau-Ponty identifies in Phenomenology of Perception (1945) as the classical prejudices of rationalism (or what Merleau-Ponty calls “intellectualism”) and empiricism, and each operates on a certain ontological presumption concerning what it is to be a self.4 Presumed in the popular rationalist view is an ontology of the self as a detached, rational chooser who ought to have full control over her desires and emotions and who, thus, can be held morally (and perhaps criminally) accountable for her problematic behaviors. Presumed in the popular empiricist view is an ontology of the self that places the individual squarely back into the physical domain, seeing him as merely one object among others in the world of (mechanically conceived) nature. Presumed in both rationalist and empiricist views is a dualism between mind and free will, on the one hand, and body and the world of nature, on the other, with the former view identifying selfhood with the mind and free will and the latter view dissolving selfhood into the anonymous mechanisms of bodily nature.

Against these dichotomous prejudices, this article seeks to articulate a better ontological understanding of what it is to be a self and, on the basis of this, to articulate a better understanding of the nature of emotional and behavioral disturbances. To accomplish this goal, I draw on the work of both Merleau-Ponty and John Dewey, two philosophers who are infrequently put into direct conversation with one another but whose work is mutually resonant and complementary and who together have much to offer our understanding of emotional and behavioral health and illness.5 Early works from both Dewey and Merleau-Ponty --- Dewey’s early essay “The Reflex Arc Concept in Psychology” (1896) and Merleau-Ponty’s The Structure of Behavior (1942) — share a common purpose of refuting reductive empiricist accounts of the behavior of animal and human organisms, demonstrating the manners in which even the most elementary behaviors—the organism’s reflexive responses to environmental stimuli— are not simply fixed and automatic but are capacities called forth by the environment that in turn serve to creatively constitute the environment in which the organism dwells.6 Reading these works together gives us powerful tools for articulating the intelligent and creative nature of the embodied interactions between self and environment and, from the other side, of criticizing rationalist accounts of selfhood and agency as located in a disembodied, nonsituated mind or will. Dewey’s Democracy and Education (1916) and Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception, which both explore the inherent plasticity of animal and especially human life, offer rich resources for articulating conceptions of behavioral health and illness.7 From Democracy and Education we can derive from the human capacity for growth a normative criterion for conceiving of the health of both individuals and the environments that support or hinder their natural tendencies—a normative criterion that can help bring out the ethical significance at play in Merleau-Ponty’s rich case studies of healthy and unhealthy behavior in Phenomenology of Perception. . . ."

(Un)Healthy Systems: Merleau-Ponty, Dewey, and the Dynamic Equilibrium Between Self and Environment
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
Could the following sentence be written in better English and if so what is your improved version for it:
“The actual components (all their properties included) and the actual relations holding between them that concretely realise a system as a particular member of the class (kind) of composite unities to which it belongs by its organisation, constitute its structure.”
I think the sentence is perfectly clear as it stands. Sorry not to have seen your post and responded earlier, @Pharoah. If this sentence is from a new paper you're writing, please share it with us when you have it finished. :)
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
What he actually says is: "My claim is that a transcendental account derived from Husserl both underscores the legitimacy of internal criticism while pointing beyond to a basis for external and universalist criticism."
Actually, it seems you're quoting Drummond from a different source than Mensch was quoting. But in any case, please go ahead and expand the point or points you want to make.
 

Top