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Consciousness and the Paranormal — Part 13

smcder

Paranormal Adept
The above is misleading. As @marduk has keenly pointed out in the past, the mere fact that our very physical sensory systems are connected in some as of yet undetermined way with phenomenality means that phenomenality must be physical in nature. If it weren't, then our very physical sensory systems would not play any part in our experience of phenomenality. But they obviously do. Therefore the premise or "assumption" made at the start ( above ) cannot be correct.

The flaw is in the reasoning that an identicalness to phenomenality is required in order for it to be considered "physical". Let's look at that time tested analogy you find so annoying again: Magnetism is not identical to a magnet, therefore magnetism is not physical? Incorrect. Magnetism isn't a magnetic material like ALNICO, but I don't know of any physicist who would say it's not part of the "physical" world.

The only requirement for something to part of physical world is that it can be detected in our physical world, and phenomenality is no exception, unless that is, one subscribes to the notion that nobody including one's self is detecting anything physical because everything, including materials, are all purely mental fabrications. I cannot prove that is not the case. But not being able to prove that doesn't make it true either.
Stop changing your posts! :)
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Did you read the whole paper?
No. My comment is strictly in response to the quoted assumption and does not apply to the rest of the paper. The rest might be very interesting, but when I see a mass of unformatted text, my eyes glaze over. So please don't interpret my comment as an evaluation of anything else or the quality of the overall article. It was just meant as a quick point about that specific issue.
 

smcder

Paranormal Adept
No. My comment is strictly in response to the quoted assumption and does not apply to the rest of the paper. The rest might be very interesting, but when I see a mass of unformatted text, my eyes glaze over. So please don't interpret my comment as an evaluation of anything else or the quality of the overall article. It was just meant as a quick point about that specific issue.
But that may be the problem...

You seem to read this:

"True, the assumed fact that some physical event-structures are identical with phenomenality means ex hypothesi that the physical does not cause the qualitative nature of experience."

To mean the author doesn't think phenomenality is physical in nature, correct?

Although you could draw what I think is the correct conclusion (and is consistent with other papers he's written) without reading the whole paper...

And, in terms of the logic above, from what I can from section 3.1 in SEP


it's not so clear-cut, as of the time of the writing at any rate ...
 

smcder

Paranormal Adept
No. My comment is strictly in response to the quoted assumption and does not apply to the rest of the paper. The rest might be very interesting, but when I see a mass of unformatted text, my eyes glaze over. So please don't interpret my comment as an evaluation of anything else or the quality of the overall article. It was just meant as a quick point about that specific issue.
So what is the "unformatted text"? The sentence isn't bad and contains all the information needed.

*changed "test" to "text"
 

Soupie

Paranormal Adept
I read "representational necessity" along with:

" I suggest that naturalistic approaches to explaining consciousness should acknowledge the representational relation and the non-objectivity of experience, and be constrained by evidence that consciousness accompanies certain sorts of behavior-controlling representational functions carried out by complex, physically-instantiated mind-systems."

So the behavior-controlling is done by representational functions carried out by physically instantiated systems that are accompanied by consciousness ... which could mean epiphenomenal, but necessary...or unavoidable, or most weakly, the way it happened to come out as nature did her contingent best.

Helpful? Does it unravel or change anything for your thoughts above?
Helpful yes. I don’t think it changes anything for me.

Mental causation is tricky with an identity approach. I’ve long thought that mind and body do not have a causal relationship.

I cringe at the idea of consciousness as epiphenomenal. But intersubjectively, it must be ( on this approach ).

That doesn’t mean however that objectively consciousness “does nothing.”

Since in the identity approach mind is body and body is mind, mind is doing work ( I won’t use the concept of causality ) and it is perceived as physical processes and causality.

Since we don’t see consciousness intersubjectively, we don’t see the work it does. Or, we do indeed see the work, it just looks like physical goings on to us.
 

Soupie

Paranormal Adept
But, that’s not anywhere close to what I was thinking re “representational necessity” haha
 

smcder

Paranormal Adept
Helpful yes. I don’t think it changes anything for me.

Mental causation is tricky with an identity approach. I’ve long thought that mind and body do not have a causal relationship.

I cringe at the idea of consciousness as epiphenomenal. But intersubjectively, it must be ( on this approach ).

That doesn’t mean however that objectively consciousness “does nothing.”

Since in the identity approach mind is body and body is mind, mind is doing work ( I won’t use the concept of causality ) and it is perceived as physical processes and causality.

Since we don’t see consciousness intersubjectively, we don’t see the work it does. Or, we do indeed see the work, it just looks like physical goings on to us.
"
Mental causation is tricky with an identity approach. I’ve long thought that mind and body do not have a causal relationship."

So...if mind and body are identical...what's their casual relationship?
 

smcder

Paranormal Adept
Helpful yes. I don’t think it changes anything for me.

Mental causation is tricky with an identity approach. I’ve long thought that mind and body do not have a causal relationship.

I cringe at the idea of consciousness as epiphenomenal. But intersubjectively, it must be ( on this approach ).

That doesn’t mean however that objectively consciousness “does nothing.”

Since in the identity approach mind is body and body is mind, mind is doing work ( I won’t use the concept of causality ) and it is perceived as physical processes and causality.

Since we don’t see consciousness intersubjectively, we don’t see the work it does. Or, we do indeed see the work, it just looks like physical goings on to us.
Well, heck, that means I have to read your post ... ;-)
 

smcder

Paranormal Adept
Apologies in advance but I want to investigate the phrase “representational necessity.”

But I wonder if it relates to what I was saying earlier about a “something it’s like” being necessary for certain representations.

So we ask, we do some neural representations feel like something? If certain neural processes are instantiating a representation of, say, a self burning a finger, it’s hard to imagine such a _representation_ ( not mere neural signaling ) not including the sensation of pain. Ie pain feeling just is how tissue damage is represented by organisms such as humans.

If the neural representation was not of a self experiencing pain, but, say, of a noise in the distance ( that is, with _no_ representation of a self hearing the noise ) then such a neural processes carry no “necessary” feels. And thus, though the brain may have neural processes representing the noise, there would be no reportable feels.

Also, I feel like there needs to be some synthesis between freigl’s and Clark’s et al views.

Not only is “the brain the mind perceiving itself” but I do believe that there is representation/modeling/signaling/symbolizing/interfacing going on.

I know that’s not super clear, but I think it amounts to 2 layers of form between the mind and the brain, making is doubly hard to see their identity ( IMO ).

You have subjectivity itself, but then you have Clark’s “representational privacy” ( iirc ); that we won’t see intersubjectively the terms of our subjectivity.
So we ask, we do some neural representations feel like something? If certain neural processes are instantiating a representation of, say, a self burning a finger, it’s hard to imagine such a _representation_ ( not mere neural signaling ) not including the sensation of pain. Ie pain feeling just is how tissue damage is represented by organisms such as humans.

If the neural representation was not of a self experiencing pain, but, say, of a noise in the distance ( that is, with _no_ representation of a self hearing the noise ) then such a neural processes carry no “necessary” feels. And thus, though the brain may have neural processes representing the noise, there would be no reportable feels.


Right ... and the point is ... ? Also, not seeing where you get two layers ... how do you have subjectivity without representational privacy?
 

smcder

Paranormal Adept
Helpful yes. I don’t think it changes anything for me.

Mental causation is tricky with an identity approach. I’ve long thought that mind and body do not have a causal relationship.

I cringe at the idea of consciousness as epiphenomenal. But intersubjectively, it must be ( on this approach ).

That doesn’t mean however that objectively consciousness “does nothing.”

Since in the identity approach mind is body and body is mind, mind is doing work ( I won’t use the concept of causality ) and it is perceived as physical processes and causality.

Since we don’t see consciousness intersubjectively, we don’t see the work it does. Or, we do indeed see the work, it just looks like physical goings on to us.
Yeah - seems like Humphrey teeters on the edge of this - but doesn't in the end say why it has to feel like anything, except as a result of nature's contingent best ... I guess there's always been the idea of the thrill comes for free with the ride.

The correct answer is that identity and causality are different relationships - so this is the basis of Zahnoun arguing that it dissolves the hard problem - since the phenomenal is the physical is the phenomenal, there is no where to insert causality, so the mind is no more epiphenomenal than the body - (mind is body) does the work ... but then see the problems left or created.
 

Soupie

Paranormal Adept
Well, heck, that means I have to read your post ... ;-)
The other thing with epiphenomenalism is that the physical world is itself a model. Not just our perceptions of a classical, physical world, but our scientific, physics theories.

What that means to me is that the order and patterns we perceive will always have a deeper meaning than we can know from any POV.

——-

I’m still trying to find a way to articulate the “double layer” thought. We can say that mind is brain, and brain is mind.

But I have this sense that we don’t have a grip on either of those things. What we see as the brain is actually a process that transcends our perception of it.

We might then be tempted to be a conscious realist and say mind is fundamental, but just as the actual brain transcends our perception of it, it transcends all perception and consciousness.

I guess what I’m saying is that neither mind nor matter ( as we perceive it and model it ) are likely fundamental.
 

smcder

Paranormal Adept
I perused it for relevance to these posts. If there's something specific about it you want to explore, please post it as a specific example or question.

Of course I think you know the difference between the two, but you're also the one who posed the question, as if it was relevant. If you meant it rhetorically, then it would cause less confusion if that were more clear when you post your points. I don't like making even the smallest assumptions, because they tend to get me in trouble, and you've caught me a number of times yourself.

It's not a matter of implementing a "rule". It's that when someone formulates the MBP as a "why" type question, there is no non-superficial "why" type answer. If everyone wants to continue without accepting that, go ahead and keep banging your heads against the wall. I certainly won't stop you.
I didn't mean it rhetorically, I meant it humorously, and if I tried to make it more clear, then it wouldn't be funny! :)

ALERT: humor ahead

OIP.jpg

It's funny because when he said "Kipling" she thought it was a verb.

See??

I don't know what you mean by trouble but you can also get into it from trying too hard not to make assumptions... just as trying too hard not to walk into glass doors leads to ...

Everyone knows your smart, you have nothing to prove there and you can't prove your perfect, so ...
 

Soupie

Paranormal Adept
Right ... and the point is ... ? Also, not seeing where you get two layers ... how do you have subjectivity without representational privacy?
Well, even if we say mind and body are identical, we’re left asking why some body stuff has accompanying mind stuff and others not. If they’re identical mind should always accompany body stuff, right?

That gets us back to something ( if you recall ) I’ve been arguing for, for awhile. I may be wrong but I’ve argued that neural representations that carry self representations (ie representation of a self) will be conscious representations.

Any organism that is capable of instantiating a self model, and given that the self model is actively instantiated, will be experiencing consciousness. When an organism is not actively instantiated a self model, it will not be experiencing consciousness: during dreamless sleep, anesthesia, and also at certain points throughout a day.

Some other ideas for why certain neural process are conscious have to do with forming memories, modeling and directing attention, and counterfactual thinking/planning.
 
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smcder

Paranormal Adept
The other thing with epiphenomenalism is that the physical world is itself a model. Not just our perceptions of a classical, physical world, but our scientific, physics theories.

What that means to me is that the order and patterns we perceive will always have a deeper meaning than we can know from any POV.

——-

I’m still trying to find a way to articulate the “double layer” thought. We can say that mind is brain, and brain is mind.

But I have this sense that we don’t have a grip on either of those things. What we see as the brain is actually a process that transcends our perception of it.

We might then be tempted to be a conscious realist and say mind is fundamental, but just as the actual brain transcends our perception of it, it transcends all perception and consciousness.

I guess what I’m saying is that neither mind nor matter ( as we perceive it and model it ) are likely fundamental.
But the experience of it and and the "I" (by definition) who know I have it - is real and whatever is behind the model is real - in The Matrix - the computers simulating reality were themselves real (or in a Matrix of their own). This is why I like to say "perception" and "experience" rather than "simulation" in the Matrix, they perceived, correctly and directly that the simulation is "real" (it wasn't the only reality, though).

So I think that reality isn't the theory is built into the idea of a theory, but we can forget. In the everyday world, it can be a useful forgetting. And, in our general, every day, finite, fraught with peril existence, the reality we perceive is pretty close - people don't just explode, or fall into space or go from being a reality game show host to ... what a minute! <----HUMOR (see that's funny because ...)

I dunno ... there may be a last turtle, as far as I know, there could be a bottom to things.

The other thing is, this "sense" of yours may just be part of your model ;-)

One other thing about most theories is that they too are external along with other objects in your consciousness - unless you wrote the theory on QM, of course, that you "model" and even then, I bet you have to go look up what you said the other day ... ;-) Quantumelectro- whhhhhhaaaa?
 

smcder

Paranormal Adept
Well, even if we say mind and body are identical, we’re left asking why some body stuff has accompanying mind stuff and others not. If they’re identical mind should always accompany body stuff, right?

That gets us back to something ( if you recall ) I’ve been arguing for, for awhile. I may be wrong but I’ve argued that neural representations that carry self representations (ie representation of a self) will be conscious representations.

Any organism that is capable of instantiating a self model, and given that the self model is actively instantiated, will be experiencing consciousness. When an organism is not actively instantiated a self model, it will not be experiencing consciousness: during dreamless sleep, anesthesia, and also at certain points throughout a day.

Some other ideas for why certain neural process are conscious have to do with forming memories, modeling and directing attention, and counterfactual thinking/planning.
He talks about that - why some are and aren't, I think in the conclusion, let me go look.
 

smcder

Paranormal Adept
v
Well, even if we say mind and body are identical, we’re left asking why some body stuff has accompanying mind stuff and others not. If they’re identical mind should always accompany body stuff, right?

That gets us back to something ( if you recall ) I’ve been arguing for, for awhile. I may be wrong but I’ve argued that neural representations that carry self representations (ie representation of a self) will be conscious representations.

Any organism that is capable of instantiating a self model, and given that the self model is actively instantiated, will be experiencing consciousness. When an organism is not actively instantiated a self model, it will not be experiencing consciousness: during dreamless sleep, anesthesia, and also at certain points throughout a day.

Some other ideas for why certain neural process are conscious have to do with forming memories, modeling and directing attention, and counterfactual thinking/planning.
[/QUOTE]

If you haven't read Fahnoun - do that, he sorts through the identity theories and through some problem assumptions that get attached to physicalism - it's very helpful. The he talks about supervenience and identity and causality and that's very helpful. And then, Panpsychism and that's very helpful. But maybe you read it already.

But no, mind shouldn't always accompany body stuff -

"some physical event-structures are identical with phenomenality"

Or, so he says.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
But that may be the problem...

You seem to read this:

"True, the assumed fact that some physical event-structures are identical with phenomenality means ex hypothesi that the physical does not cause the qualitative nature of experience."

To mean the author doesn't think phenomenality is physical in nature, correct?
When it comes to forum posts, its safe to assume that I'm only focusing on content that I've quoted above it, or sometimes inline with my text. Like I was saying, I'm far more likely to maintain interest in reading a post when it is composed mainly of of paragraphs three to four lines high. From that, you can probably guess what block of text I was referring to earlier as "unformatted".

But hey, that's just me, and you guys seem to have some serious stuff to cover, so excuse me for being a distraction. I should go do some other things for a while. I have so much house maintenance to do that I'm having difficulty justifying the screen time.
Although you could draw what I think is the correct conclusion ...
I'd be interested in hearing your sum-up in your own words what you think both the question and the correct conclusion are. In the meantime am I to presume from the link you posted that the "conclusion" you feel is "correct" has something to do with Interactionism? Either way, can you sum-up your conclusion in your own words, in three or four paragraphs about the size of this one?

Time is tight. I have to take this in bite-sized pieces. I'll understand if that's too much hassle. It has been said, to paraphrase: "God put me on Earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I'm so far behind that I will never die." - Bill Watterson

I would have bet a solid metal $2 coin that you didn't know that saying is attributable to Bill Watterson. This is my new favorite mind and soul healing resource. If nothing else comes out of this discussion, this makes it all worthwhile. I think it deserves a solid up-there along with at least two or three of @Constance's musical interludes. Check this out: Bill Watterson Quotes - The Quotations Page
 

smcder

Paranormal Adept
When it comes to forum posts, its safe to assume that I'm only focusing on content that I've quoted above it, or sometimes inline with my text. Like I was saying, I'm far more likely to maintain interest in reading a post when it is composed mainly of of paragraphs three to four lines high. From that, you can probably guess what block of text I was referring to earlier as "unformatted".

But hey, that's just me, and you guys seem to have some serious stuff to cover, so excuse me for being a distraction. I should go do some other things for a while. I have so much house maintenance to do that I'm having difficulty justifying the screen time.

I'd be interested in hearing your sum-up in your own words what you think both the question and the correct conclusion are. In the meantime am I to presume from the link you posted that the "conclusion" you feel is "correct" has something to do with Interactionism? Either way, can you sum-up your conclusion in your own words, in three or four paragraphs about the size of this one?

Time is tight. I have to take this in bite-sized pieces. I'll understand if that's too much hassle. It has been said, to paraphrase: "God put me on Earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I'm so far behind that I will never die." - Bill Watterson

I would have bet a solid metal $2 coin that you didn't know that saying is attributable to Bill Watterson. This is my new favorite mind and soul healing resource. If nothing else comes out of this discussion, this makes it all worthwhile. I think it deserves a solid up-there along with at least two or three of @Constance's musical interludes. Check this out: Bill Watterson Quotes - The Quotations Page
"I'd be interested in hearing your sum-up in your own words what you think both the question and the correct conclusion are. In the meantime am I to presume from the link you posted that the "conclusion" you feel is "correct" has something to do with Interactionism? Either way, can you sum-up your conclusion in your own words, in three or four paragraphs about the size of this one?"

Lol.

And no it doesn't have to do with "interactionism".

Go do what God has for you to do, maybe we'll see you later.
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
Some other ideas for why certain neural process are conscious have to do with forming memories, modeling and directing attention, and counterfactual thinking/planning.
It seems to me that a considerable complex of neural nets need to have been interconnected to evoke consciousness and then enable it to be sustained and to function. Barr's metaphor of the 'global workspace' suggests what I'm trying to get at. So that organisms farther back in the evolution of species would experience some kind of protoconsciousness but not the kind of consciousness we recognize in the 'higher' animals and ourselves. But that doesn't mean that the neurons are conscious, or that even individual neural nets are conscious. Nor imo is the brain conscious. The structures enable but do not constitute consciousness.

Your reference to "forming memories, modeling and directing attention, and counterfactual thinking/planning" gets at how I've been thinking about the phrase "representational necessity." I haven't read the whole of that paper yet so I cannot interpret the phrase in the precise sense the author intended. But it stands to reason that representations enter into consciousness in the learning process for our species and many animals. Experience is presentational, not 're- presentational'. The conscious animal initially comes up against an environing world of phenomenal appearances not predictable or understandable, but gradually becomes familiar with that environment, accustomed to it as it becomes predictable. In that learning experience, the animal forms mental representations of those things and other animals, events, weather, whatever, that recur in its experience, and thus is not continually surprised by what it encounters. For me the phrase 'representational necessity' expresses how representations are formed out of directly experienced phenomena that increasing knit together the context of the animal's world. My 2 cents.
 


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