• SUPPORT THE SHOW AND ENJOY A PREMIUM PARACAST EXPERIENCE! Welcome to The Paracast+, five years young! For a low subscription fee, you will be able to download the ad-free version of The Paracast and the exclusive After The Paracast podcast, featuring color commentary, exclusive interviews, the continuation of interviews that began on the main episode of The Paracast. We also offer lifetime memberships! FLASH! For a limited time, you can save up to 40% on your subscription. You can sign up right here!

    Subscribe to The Paracast Newsletter!

Consciousness and the Paranormal — Part 13

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.”
This also relates ( I thiiiinnnkkkk ) to what Michael Allen has tried to say about an omniscient being not having consciousness.
 

smcder

Paranormal Adept
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.
Not confusing, but twitterfying ... on the one hand it's good that philosophers tweet, on the other there's something to be said for the measured exchange of letters, public and private.

Dear Herr Heidegger...

STUFF IT

Sincerely yours, MRREADYTOHAND

I think Nietzsche would have been brilliant at it, whereas Kant would languish. There's a reason no one can find his quotes, I've been looking for one for years now.
 

Soupie

Paranormal Adept
I seem to have lost the thread of your conversation with Steve (who has posted that he has withdrawn one of his posts to revise it). Looking for that post or traces of it I tracked back to this post of yours and realize that I'm not sure what you're saying in the underscored phrase. Is it that our relationship to reality is to be understood as based only in/constituted only by our mental 'representations' of all that we encounter in the environing world rather than by direct experiences and interactions with that which we encounter? And if so, are you postulating that 'reality' can refer only to objective aspects of the reality we live in? In short, are you defining 'reality' as entirely 'objective'?

ETA: I also take it that these next two statements of yours later in the thread are meant to express Clark's hypothesis:



So there is no such thing as consciousness or mind evolved and developed through lived experiences on earth? If that's what Clark and you are holding, are we (and all the other animals on earth) effectively automatons or robots in your view?
Conscious experience evolved in organisms to assist them in navigating their environment and self-regulating across long, complex spatiotemporal windows.

Conscious experience is subjective and species specific. Therefore there will be a mismatch when/if we attempt to find subjective elements of our conscious experience in objective reality.

Objectively there is no dualism between mind and body; subjectively there is a duality between mind and body.

because we can never obtain a truly objective perspective on reality ( oxymoron ) we can’t put into subjective terms the objective nature of the mind and body.
 

smcder

Paranormal Adept
No. I’m not trying to solve the hard problem because I’m not supposing physicalism. I’m trying to solve the mbp.
No. I’m not trying to solve the hard problem because I’m not supposing physicalism. I’m trying to solve the mbp.
I should have added a :) because the humor works either way... But I was going off this ...

"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."

So I'll put you down as not supposing, not convinced but also still questioning "around something akin to" panpsychism ...
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
When you did various Google searches to see if they might turn up something similar, tell us what you found so we don't duplicate that.
Thanks for the reply. I haven't found anything identical in my travels or in any keyword specific searches that fits. The closest I've come to anything like it is panpsychism, but only in the vaguest sense, which either doesn't really say anything meaningful, or upon development runs into self-consistency and other problems that result in the whole idea collapsing unless we suspend our acknowledgement of them.

Then again, it is possible that I haven't put panpsychist concepts together with the same perspective as those who see it as a viable theory. I've only read through the basics e.g. Stanford Encyclopedia, several papers, and several videos. Together I would think that if I were missing some perspective like the NFH, I would have at least found a thread I could follow.

Presently, I suspect that like panpsychism, the NFH will ultimately collapse under its own weight, but until I'm sure about that, the various issues we've run into are nicely resolved ( as opposed to "solved" ). More independent ( non-sourced out ) contemplation is required in addition to cross referencing with existing panpsychist and related theories. Revisiting the combination problem now.
 
Last edited:

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Update to the Neuro-Filtering Hypothesis ( NFH ) post here.

A cursory review of the combination problem does not pose an obstruction to the NFH. At present, it seems that the problems with panpsychism stem from reductionist approaches that make consciousness an intrinsic part of materials ( molecules, atoms, subatomic particles, etc. ). This isn't what the NFH proposes.

Rather the NFH proposes that there is an element ( synonymous with aspect, ingredient, layer, facet, dimension ) that may or may not be omnipresent, but is nonetheless fundamental, possibly as fundamental in this universe as spatial dimensions, that is only detected by the right combination and configuration of materials, of which our brains ( and to an extent our bodies ) are an example.

NOTE: This also has consequences for my previous view of consciousness as a field emanated by the brain. It doesn't eliminate the idea of a field. However it puts the idea of a field in a different context that seems to make the pieces of the puzzle not only fit, but also create a coherent picture ( so far anyway ). Somebody else must have come up with this idea by now.

Getting ready to record this week's show now: Welcome Dr. Emily Zarka - Monsters in History
 
Last edited:

Soupie

Paranormal Adept
Update to the Neuro-Filtering Hypothesis ( NFH ) post here.

A cursory review of the combination problem does not pose an obstruction to the NFH. At present, it seems that the problems with panpsychism stem from reductionist approaches that make consciousness an intrinsic part of materials ( molecules, atoms, subatomic particles, etc. ). This isn't what the NFH proposes.

Rather the NFH proposes that there is an element ( synonymous with aspect, ingredient, layer, facet, dimension ) that may or may not be omnipresent, but is nonetheless fundamental, possibly as fundamental in this universe as spatial dimensions, that is only detected by the right combination and configuration of materials, of which our brains ( and to an extent our bodies ) are an example.
I haven’t read the following yet, it is literally in an open tab in my browser. But from what I’ve heard from A Harris her view may be similar. She’s been developing it for some time.

 

Soupie

Paranormal Adept
I should have added a :) because the humor works either way... But I was going off this ...

"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."

So I'll put you down as not supposing, not convinced but also still questioning "around something akin to" panpsychism ...
I think I’m agnostic or that the ontological nature of the body ( in relation to the mind ) is tautological.

The ontological nature of the body—being objective—is beyond our subjective POV to determine. However we can say that whatever its ontological nature, it is such that it can give rise to conscious organisms.
 
Last edited:

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
I haven’t read the following yet, it is literally in an open tab in my browser. But from what I’ve heard from A Harris her view may be similar. She’s been developing it for some time.

Thanks!

I will check this out in further detail after we record today's show.
Questions for our guest always welcomed. Welcome Dr. Emily Zarka - Monsters in History

UPDATE: I read the article and yes there are definitely hints at something that may be the same. I will be contacting Annaka and checking out her other works to see if we can delve into this further. There will be no ultimate answer here, but if it's not a dead-end, it is one more step forward, a transition to the next level ( along this particular path anyway ).
 
Last edited:

smcder

Paranormal Adept
Update to the Neuro-Filtering Hypothesis ( NFH ) post here.

A cursory review of the combination problem does not pose an obstruction to the NFH. At present, it seems that the problems with panpsychism stem from reductionist approaches that make consciousness an intrinsic part of materials ( molecules, atoms, subatomic particles, etc. ). This isn't what the NFH proposes.

Rather the NFH proposes that there is an element ( synonymous with aspect, ingredient, layer, facet, dimension ) that may or may not be omnipresent, but is nonetheless fundamental, possibly as fundamental in this universe as spatial dimensions, that is only detected by the right combination and configuration of materials, of which our brains ( and to an extent our bodies ) are an example.

NOTE: This also has consequences for my previous view of consciousness as a field emanated by the brain. It doesn't eliminate the idea of a field. However it puts the idea of a field in a different context that seems to make the pieces of the puzzle not only fit, but also create a coherent picture ( so far anyway ). Somebody else must have come up with this idea by now.

Getting ready to record this week's show now: Welcome Dr. Emily Zarka - Monsters in History
Does this mean you are only now aware of the combination problem?
 

smcder

Paranormal Adept
I haven’t read the following yet, it is literally in an open tab in my browser. But from what I’ve heard from A Harris her view may be similar. She’s been developing it for some time.

Can we have a new rule where you don't start a post with "I haven't read this yet but it seems to support my view?" :)

Let me know once you read it ...
 

smcder

Paranormal Adept
I think I’m agnostic or that the ontological nature of the body ( in relation to the mind ) is tautological.

The ontological nature of the body—being objective—is beyond our subjective POV to determine. However we can say that whatever its ontological nature, it is such that it can give rise to conscious organisms.
What the above says is:

I think (implying you are not sure) that you either believe you cannot know or that the ontological nature (?) of the body in relation to the mind (what is the nature of x in relation to y vs. the nature of x?) is true in every possible interpretation.

Sentence two: The ontological nature of the body is objective and because it is objective it is beyond our subjective POV to determine. (but we did determine it is objective, probably because of the power of the subjective POV!). Howeve,r we can say that whatever its ontological nature (besides being objective) it is such that it can give rise to conscious ogranisms. (we can say this by way of ... proclamation?)

What I think you are trying to say is:

1. that we either can't know the relation of the mind to the body or they are the same thing.

2. the true nature of the body can't be known because our view is subjective. We do know that the body can give rise to consciousness.
 

smcder

Paranormal Adept
Update to the Neuro-Filtering Hypothesis ( NFH ) post here.

A cursory review of the combination problem does not pose an obstruction to the NFH. At present, it seems that the problems with panpsychism stem from reductionist approaches that make consciousness an intrinsic part of materials ( molecules, atoms, subatomic particles, etc. ). This isn't what the NFH proposes.

Rather the NFH proposes that there is an element ( synonymous with aspect, ingredient, layer, facet, dimension ) that may or may not be omnipresent, but is nonetheless fundamental, possibly as fundamental in this universe as spatial dimensions, that is only detected by the right combination and configuration of materials, of which our brains ( and to an extent our bodies ) are an example.

NOTE: This also has consequences for my previous view of consciousness as a field emanated by the brain. It doesn't eliminate the idea of a field. However it puts the idea of a field in a different context that seems to make the pieces of the puzzle not only fit, but also create a coherent picture ( so far anyway ). Somebody else must have come up with this idea by now.

Getting ready to record this week's show now: Welcome Dr. Emily Zarka - Monsters in History
It's vaguely similar to my idea (posted way back) that there is something fundamental that is an attractor so that if the right materials and conditions are present, they will shape themselves to be responsive to this fundamental things. So the conscious mind is an intersection of the fundamental thing and brains (which are shaped by the fundamental thing).
 

Soupie

Paranormal Adept
Can we have a new rule where you don't start a post with "I haven't read this yet but it seems to support my view?" :)

Let me know once you read it ...
Haha it must be exhausting finding all the problems with these authors and their theories.

I posted the above paper for @USI Calgary sake, not my own.

speaking of which, I think the following approach which we e discussed at least twice, is similar to the idea @usi is pursuing atm.

 

Soupie

Paranormal Adept
What I think you are trying to say is:

1. that we either can't know the relation of the mind to the body or they are the same thing.

2. the true nature of the body can't be known because our view is subjective. We do know that the body can give rise to consciousness.
The mind and the body are constituted of the same reality ( substance, process, substrate, whatever ). We don’t know the fundamental nature of that reality.

The reason there appears to be a mismatch between mind and body ( the mbp ) is due to the perspectival nature of the mbp. Not just a subjective perspective on reality, but specifically a subjective perspective on the process constituting the subjective perspective itself.

I believe that related problems such as the combination problem, structural mismatch, mental causation, and overdetermination are or can either be solved or resolved on this view.

I suppose this is a proclamation. However I’m not trying to convert anyone. Ive just been trying to get a grip on the mbp for myself.
 
Last edited:

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Haha it must be exhausting finding all the problems with these authors and their theories.

I posted the above paper for @USI Calgary sake, not my own.

speaking of which, I think the following approach which we e discussed at least twice, is similar to the idea @usi is pursuing atm.

That article suggests"

"SED is based on the conception that the universe is imbued with an all-pervasive electromagnetic background field, called zero-point field (ZPF), implying that the fundamental mechanism underlying conscious systems rests upon the access to information available in the ZPF.​

This is very similar to the NFH, but at present I wouldn't go so far as to be specific about a ZPF. At present I'm viewing what the others are calling a field as something else analogous to another thread that makes up the fabric of the universe, e.g. height, width, length, time, and whatever this other thing is. It isn't consciousness in and of itself. In the NFH, consciousness happens as a byproduct of our brains filtering this other thing ( it still needs a name ).
 
Last edited:

Constance

Paranormal Adept
aww


I refer the gentle reader to the comments section here:

Excellent comments. At the moment I'm particularly taken by this one posted by SelfAwarePatterns: "The mapping between a neural firing pattern and a particular quale are far more complicated and definitely not understood yet." It suggests to me that neuroscientific subscribers to the theory Clark proposes will need to accumulate a vast {indeed incomprehensively vast} catalogue of qualia accounted for by specific neural firings to persuade us {and wouldn't 'neural firings' have to mean comprehensive constellations and sequences of neural firings?}. Moreover, what kinds of scientists will play the necessary role of identifying the innumerable qualia that produce experience in us and other sentient animals?
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
From the comments section, there's doesn't appear to be a response from Clark to it.

"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.

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.

There is also a huge amount of implicit assumption taking place in these theories. Just because something is outside of the scope of physics doesn’t mean it’s not real. It doesn’t even mean it’s not “physical”, in the generic sense. It just means that physics can’t deal with it – as could be expected for any human art.

Experience is as real as a spaceship and is no less real for having no account on physics. If having an account in physics is the hallmark for “reality” then we really are in trouble, as physics is a highly limited syntax-only discipline with an extremely narrow scope. As far as mental experiences go, it’s utterly useless. Then again – same with biology, where physics is also totally useless.

JBD"
Brilliant.
 


Top