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Consciousness and the Paranormal — Part 13

smcder

Paranormal Adept
The mind doesn’t read the map; the mind is the map. A map of the self and world, implemented by the organism to self-regulate

On the representational account, the representations are implemented via physiological processes. There is no problem of mental causation.

When we peer into the physical world, we find no consciousness. Consciousness only exists for us inside our model of the world. Each of us is ( in ) a subjective model of the world, an umwelt.

The mbp arises when we mistake our world, our umwelt, for the larger reality we are modeling.

The “only” question for me is whether someone akin to panpsychism is still required. Bach and others seem convinced that purely material/biological systems/organisms can implement qualitative models ( akin to pharaoh’s approach ). There are certain qualitative feels I can imagine emerging from purely physical processes if I squint my eyes, but then others that I can’t imagine emerging from purely physical processes.

So even though the consciousness-as-self-regulatory-model makes a lot of sense to me, I’m not convinced it can emerge/evolve from purely material systems. Im still intrigued by the intrinsic nature argument.

I think it may be a moot point though. Whether human consciousness derives from matter with a non-phenomenal intrinsic nature or from matter with a phenomenal intrinsic nature, what seems to be important are the physiological processes which we can ultimately observe and measure.

Having said that, I still believe however that whatever sets consciousness neural processes apart from non-conscious neural processes won’t be observable/measurable. It will be something subjective; internal to the system. It will have something to do with the role that particular neural process plays in implementing the organisms world model.

From an objective, public perspective, a non-conscious neural process and a conscious neural process will look the same.
Having said that, I still believe however that whatever sets consciousness neural processes apart from non-conscious neural processes won’t be observable/measurable.

So two observably/measurably identical (this includes identical situations - i.e. where they are located and how they are connected to the rest of the network) "neural processes" could exist and one would be conscious and the other not ... determined strictly by subjective requirements (which are determined by what?)

It will be something subjective; internal to the system. It will have something to do with the role that particular neural process plays in implementing the organisms world model.

So what subjectively determines the role that a particular neural process plays in implementing the organism's world model? and how does this interact with the physical aspects of the process... i.e. what is the mechanism of causality here?
 

smcder

Paranormal Adept
The mind doesn’t read the map; the mind is the map. A map of the self and world, implemented by the organism to self-regulate

On the representational account, the representations are implemented via physiological processes. There is no problem of mental causation.

When we peer into the physical world, we find no consciousness. Consciousness only exists for us inside our model of the world. Each of us is ( in ) a subjective model of the world, an umwelt.

The mbp arises when we mistake our world, our umwelt, for the larger reality we are modeling.

The “only” question for me is whether someone akin to panpsychism is still required. Bach and others seem convinced that purely material/biological systems/organisms can implement qualitative models ( akin to pharaoh’s approach ). There are certain qualitative feels I can imagine emerging from purely physical processes if I squint my eyes, but then others that I can’t imagine emerging from purely physical processes.

SO
So even though the consciousness-as-self-regulatory-model makes a lot of sense to me, I’m not convinced it can emerge/evolve from purely material systems. Im still intrigued by the intrinsic nature argument.

I think it may be a moot point though. Whether human consciousness derives from matter with a non-phenomenal intrinsic nature or from matter with a phenomenal intrinsic nature, what seems to be important are the physiological processes which we can ultimately observe and measure.

Having said that, I still believe however that whatever sets consciousness neural processes apart from non-conscious neural processes won’t be observable/measurable. It will be something subjective; internal to the system. It will have something to do with the role that particular neural process plays in implementing the organisms world model.

From an objective, public perspective, a non-conscious neural process and a conscious neural process will look the same.
The “only” question for me is whether someone akin to panpsychism is still required. Bach and others seem convinced that purely material/biological systems/organisms can implement qualitative models ( akin to pharaoh’s approach ). There are certain qualitative feels I can imagine emerging from purely physical processes if I squint my eyes, but then others that I can’t imagine emerging from purely physical processes.

So ... the only question left for you ... is the hard problem? :) I mean, that's the whole problem with this paper to me ... there's still no account of subjectivity. The mind is the map, fine but why should there be anything it is like to be a map? The approach that the subjective is just what we see when we look in and the objective is what we see when we look out - assumes the "we", which is the whole problem. Does the above argument make a philosophical zombie inconceivable? Is there some way in which the mind being the map turns on a light and says "oh yeah" we're going to need phenomenal consciousness for this one?
 

smcder

Paranormal Adept
I’ve asked more than once in this discussion—and I’ll ask again—is there any other way to understand how our “lived” reality relates to objective reality?

I understand we may not like the terms representation, model, simulation, umwelt, interface, etc.

What other term or better yet, concepts, do we have?
"ooo oo...Mr Kotter! Mr Kotter! Pick me!!"

1593690175037.png

"Yes, Horseshack?"

"K. Ok. So ... PHENOMENOLOGY Mr. Kotter!"

"Right, Arnold, that reminds me of my Uncle Louis ..."

I’ve asked more than once in this discussion—and I’ll ask again—is there any other way to understand how our “lived” reality relates to objective reality?

I understand we may not like the terms representation, model, simulation, umwelt, interface, etc.

What other term or better yet, concepts, do we have?


That's exactly what we do... we look at our experience - but not "in terms of" ... By setting aside presumptions, we see exactly what experience tells us. Merleau Ponty did this with perception and had also begun working with war injuries in terms of things like "phantom limb pain" etc. By looking at the phenomena and how it shows up for the patient, this pointed to a lot of things medically and physiologically and helped inform medical theories of these syndromes.

Look at Dreyfus lectures on Heidegger and also on Phenomenology of Perception, they are comprehensive and freely available. Phenomena like constancy of perception - things appear to be the same size as you move away from them ... you aren't fooled at all that your couch has suddenly become the size of your hand as you leave the room (the old joke of "pinching someone's head with your fingers a la forced perspective) or more interestingly, if you see colors, color constancy as the light changes throughout the day - the rose is the same color at 8a.m. as 7p.m. Artists in fact, have to learn how to see what their eyes see, instead of their brain...

"I'm soooo confused!"

1593691129154.png

What is it like to be Vinnie Barbarino?
 

Soupie

Paranormal Adept
Having said that, I still believe however that whatever sets consciousness neural processes apart from non-conscious neural processes won’t be observable/measurable.

So two observably/measurably identical (this includes identical situations - i.e. where they are located and how they are connected to the rest of the network) "neural processes" could exist and one would be conscious and the other not ... determined strictly by subjective requirements (which are determined by what?)

It will be something subjective; internal to the system. It will have something to do with the role that particular neural process plays in implementing the organisms world model.

So what subjectively determines the role that a particular neural process plays in implementing the organism's world model? and how does this interact with the physical aspects of the process... i.e. what is the mechanism of causality here?
Pardon the incredibly primitive terms, but I think it will have to do with the relationships of the neural processes—a type of signaling. It *may* be that certain relationships of signaling implement phenomenology, but I think it will be opaque to objective measure. Ie two different patterns of signaling both give rise to phenomenology.
 

Soupie

Paranormal Adept
"ooo oo...Mr Kotter! Mr Kotter! Pick me!!"

View attachment 7866

"Yes, Horseshack?"

"K. Ok. So ... PHENOMENOLOGY Mr. Kotter!"

"Right, Arnold, that reminds me of my Uncle Louis ..."

I’ve asked more than once in this discussion—and I’ll ask again—is there any other way to understand how our “lived” reality relates to objective reality?

I understand we may not like the terms representation, model, simulation, umwelt, interface, etc.

What other term or better yet, concepts, do we have?


That's exactly what we do... we look at our experience - but not "in terms of" ... By setting aside presumptions, we see exactly what experience tells us. Merleau Ponty did this with perception and had also begun working with war injuries in terms of things like "phantom limb pain" etc. By looking at the phenomena and how it shows up for the patient, this pointed to a lot of things medically and physiologically and helped inform medical theories of these syndromes.

Look at Dreyfus lectures on Heidegger and also on Phenomenology of Perception, they are comprehensive and freely available. Phenomena like constancy of perception - things appear to be the same size as you move away from them ... you aren't fooled at all that your couch has suddenly become the size of your hand as you leave the room (the old joke of "pinching someone's head with your fingers a la forced perspective) or more interestingly, if you see colors, color constancy as the light changes throughout the day - the rose is the same color at 8a.m. as 7p.m. Artists in fact, have to learn how to see what their eyes see, instead of their brain...

"I'm soooo confused!"

View attachment 7867

What is it like to be Vinnie Barbarino?
Yes, but how does our ( lower case ) phenomenology relate to ( upper case ) reality.

I understand that we can introspect all day and discover some interesting things. As well as experiment with psychedelics and observe the “expanding” mind.

But at the end of the day, what is behind all this? What is behind this funhouse we call conscious experience, and how does it relate to this objective reality we infer?

see next comment.
 
Last edited:

Soupie

Paranormal Adept
I just don’t see how or where the idea comes fron that conscious experience has anything to do with representation. This is more indirection fallacy.
First lol

second yes, we can’t explain consciousness using its own language yada yada yada.

anything concepts or imagery we use to talk about consciousness will ultimately come up short. We know this. We can’t get behind consciousness.

still to say consciousness has nothing to do with representation is utter bullshit. The individual may not know much about perception and self regulation nor that a vast majority of consciousness experience is related to both.

again we may not like the term representation. Re presentation. Not ideal.

interface is probably ideal. Again tho a language of consciousness so will fail to explain consciousness.
 

Soupie

Paranormal Adept
The “only” question for me is whether someone akin to panpsychism is still required. Bach and others seem convinced that purely material/biological systems/organisms can implement qualitative models ( akin to pharaoh’s approach ). There are certain qualitative feels I can imagine emerging from purely physical processes if I squint my eyes, but then others that I can’t imagine emerging from purely physical processes.

So ... the only question left for you ... is the hard problem? :) I mean, that's the whole problem with this paper to me ... there's still no account of subjectivity. The mind is the map, fine but why should there be anything it is like to be a map? The approach that the subjective is just what we see when we look in and the objective is what we see when we look out - assumes the "we", which is the whole problem. Does the above argument make a philosophical zombie inconceivable? Is there some way in which the mind being the map turns on a light and says "oh yeah" we're going to need phenomenal consciousness for this one?
I think a fruitful way of thinking about this—which Bach seems to be doing—is *attempting* to design agi from the ground up.

so one question is: how to we get a robot comprised of multiple independent systems to operate as a whole? How do we get it to self regulate in a generally intelligent way?

bach and others hypothesize that among many other things, it will need to implement a central model of its environment and itself in order to navigate and self regulate.

yes, it’s true that this central, dynamic, real-time model will implemented via purely physical processes—this is the objective, observable perspective.

but what is happening subjectively “”””within””” the robot? When the model of self and world is implementing, even though we look inside and see only wires, will it seem *to the model being implemented* that there is something it’s like to be a robot?

i don’t know. However I don’t think any of us can say “no.”
 

smcder

Paranormal Adept
Did you note that Clark responded in the comments. Pretty cool.
Yes.
Pardon the incredibly primitive terms, but I think it will have to do with the relationships of the neural processes—a type of signaling. It *may* be that certain relationships of signaling implement phenomenology, but I think it will be opaque to objective measure. Ie two different patterns of signaling both give rise to phenomenology.
I don't think this is what the paper is arguing, but I think you know that. Why is it important that it be opaque to objective measure? And if two different patterns give rise to phenomenology, then it isn't opaque. If all possible measurables were taken and conscious/non conscious could not be determined, that would be opaque.
 

smcder

Paranormal Adept
First lol

second yes, we can’t explain consciousness using its own language yada yada yada.

anything concepts or imagery we use to talk about consciousness will ultimately come up short. We know this. We can’t get behind consciousness.

still to say consciousness has nothing to do with representation is utter bullshit. The individual may not know much about perception and self regulation nor that a vast majority of consciousness experience is related to both.

again we may not like the term representation. Re presentation. Not ideal.

interface is probably ideal. Again tho a language of consciousness so will fail to explain consciousness.
That's not the interesting part. The interesting part is this:

"What conscious experience gets generated, gets generated. There is no way we can know if it ‘looks like’ anything – or indeed if there is any meaningful way we can describe what conscious experience is as ‘appearance’, when there is no objective sense of “appearance” outside of the scope of conscious experience in the first place."
 

smcder

Paranormal Adept
Yes, but how does our ( lower case ) phenomenology relate to ( upper case ) reality.

I understand that we can introspect all day and discover some interesting things. As well as experiment with psychedelics and observe the “expanding” mind.

But at the end of the day, what is behind all this? What is behind this funhouse we call conscious experience, and how does it relate to this objective reality we infer?

see next comment.
I'm not sure how we answer those questions without looking at our own experience?
 

Soupie

Paranormal Adept
but what is happening subjectively “”””within””” the robot? When the model of self and world is implementing, even though we look inside and see only wires, will it seem *to the model being implemented* that there is something it’s like to be a robot?
I think what a lot of people may miss when thinking about this and Bach’s contention that organisms aren’t conscious
That's not the interesting part. The interesting part is this:

"What conscious experience gets generated, gets generated. There is no way we can know if it ‘looks like’ anything – or indeed if there is any meaningful way we can describe what conscious experience is as ‘appearance’, when there is no objective sense of “appearance” outside of the scope of conscious experience in the first place."
i absolutely 100% agree.

there is a line from Kant that I’ve pulled my hair out trying to find. He says something like “vision isn’t a view of the world but a new phenomenon in the world” or something like that.
 

smcder

Paranormal Adept
I think a fruitful way of thinking about this—which Bach seems to be doing—is *attempting* to design agi from the ground up.

so one question is: how to we get a robot comprised of multiple independent systems to operate as a whole? How do we get it to self regulate in a generally intelligent way?

bach and others hypothesize that among many other things, it will need to implement a central model of its environment and itself in order to navigate and self regulate.

yes, it’s true that this central, dynamic, real-time model will implemented via purely physical processes—this is the objective, observable perspective.

but what is happening subjectively “”””within””” the robot? When the model of self and world is implementing, even though we look inside and see only wires, will it seem *to the model being implemented* that there is something it’s like to be a robot?

i don’t know. However I don’t think any of us can say “no.”
One way is subsumptive architecture. This was AI's first answer to Dreyfus' Heideggerean critique of their activities. Meaning, other things happened that you can read about.

At this point, as I understand it, behavior in these systems is somewhere in the insect or amoeba range of complexity (so a stretch for the bat rule of WILTBAB). One rule of thumb for neural networks (in the last year or two) from a leading researcher would be a decision a human could make about something tangible within one second -something like keep or throw away on an assembly line. Undergoing millions of training iterations to optimize a neural network on let's say a complex topic (like sorting dogs from cats) doesn't seem to be associated with something it is like to be a computer ... unless computer is very bored! (and once optimized, let's say the task changes, ever so slightly ... )

So I think we're a bit early to look for it, but no one can say no - I suppose even the thermostat might have a secret life. The lonely "click" of 3a.m.
 

Soupie

Paranormal Adept
I think what a lot of people may miss when thinking about this and Bach’s contention that organisms aren’t conscious but only models are conscious—is that as you sit in front of your phone, tablet, or computer right now, you are ( in ) the model, right now.

You and everything you’re experiencing right now ( look around, introspect ) *are* the “model” being implementing by your body/organism that is outside the window of its subjective model/umwelt (ie you).
 

smcder

Paranormal Adept
I think what a lot of people may miss when thinking about this and Bach’s contention that organisms aren’t conscious but only models are conscious—is that as you sit in front of your phone, tablet, or computer right now, you are ( in ) the model, right now.

You and everything you’re experiencing right now ( look around, introspect ) *are* the “model” being implementing by your body/organism that is outside the window of its subjective model/umwelt (ie you).
Who are these people?? ;-)
 

smcder

Paranormal Adept
Tom Clark on October 13, 2018 at 2:49 pm said:
Paul, agree about not putting cognition behind a veil of sense data. We see objects, not experiences of objects. Still, experiences are the terms in which we see them – reality always appears to us situated, limited knowers in terms of some sort, whether conceptual, propositional, quantitative, or qualitative. I call this pretty uncontroversial claim “epistemic perspectivalism.”
 

Soupie

Paranormal Adept
Tom Clark on October 13, 2018 at 2:49 pm said:
Paul, agree about not putting cognition behind a veil of sense data. We see objects, not experiences of objects. Still, experiences are the terms in which we see them – reality always appears to us situated, limited knowers in terms of some sort, whether conceptual, propositional, quantitative, or qualitative. I call this pretty uncontroversial claim “epistemic perspectivalism.”
Tom Clark on October 13, 2018 at 2:49 pm said:
Paul, agree about not putting cognition behind a veil of sense data. We see objects, not experiences of objects. Still, experiences are the terms in which we see them – reality always appears to us situated, limited knowers in terms of some sort, whether conceptual, propositional, quantitative, or qualitative. I call this pretty uncontroversial claim “epistemic perspectivalism.”
I don’t mean to suggest otherwise than the above. If Bach’s phrase is confusing, we can discard it.

The idea, as I take it, is that the sense of self—the sense of being a subject experiencing the world—is an element of the model as well.
 


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