J. Randall Murphy
I gave your post a like because it represents fair-minded counterpoint, but I think we need to still find our common footing with respect to a couple of points.Comparing consciousness to the fundamental forces is a radical thing. Comparing the mind body problem to electromagnets is also radical.
Sort of. It's more a case on non-reducibility. But I'll assume that's what you were getting at in less technical terms.The origin and nature of the fundamental forces is not known. Hence the designation fundamental.
Close enough for most casual conversation, but the importance of the minor distinction will hopefully become more clear in the next segments.it is thought/hoped that the fundamental forces can someday be reduced into one another. All known phenomena in our universe can be reduced to one of the forces or to interactions between the forces. The study of the forces is physics. The forces and their effects can be modeled and measured objectively.
That is an interesting observation. To reconcile it with the case that one or another of those situations can also be true, we might want to consider that fundamental forces can influence other fundamental forces in particular ways. One of those ways is to produce the materials we associate with the brain, which we know influences fundamental forces like EM fields, which according to some models, is where virtually everything else originates ( except gravity - but even that's up for debate ).consciousness doesn't fit into any of the models of the fundamental forces. Consciousness can’t be explained by the fundamental forces nor is it understood how consciousness might relate to the fundamental forces. If we claim that consciousness is fundamental like the forces, that does not help us understand how it may be related to the forces.
A further complication is that most people believe that the brain—which can be reduced to the fundamental forces—produces consciousness. This would mean that the fundamental forces somehow produce consciousness. This would contradict the notion that consciousness is fundamental.
You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
So we might hypothesize that a brain is a collection of fundamental forces have been organized in such a way that it influences the other fundamentals in such a way that from a physicalist perspective, forms the structure of consciousness. In other words we can point to the brain and say, "It's in there someplace. We just don't know exactly where, but we have a pretty good idea".
On one level you are entirely correct. But I might say it a little differently e.g. We can understand consciousness objectively, but we cannot experience it objectively. For clarification on this, I would return to the example of a simple eyesight test. This is a test designed specifically to objectively measure a subjective experience, and we've become so good at doing it, that we can use those measurements to create lenses to directly influence our subjective experience of eyesight. So that might be a way of looking at that problem that can move us forward on the relationships between the conscious experience and objective measurement.electromagnets can be understood objectively. Consciousness can not be understood objectively nor as a force.
Again, I would contend that the example of an eyesight test clearly illustrates how such things as photons, optics, electricity, biochemistry, and neuroscience are all directly related to the subjective experience of eyesight, and that we understand these relationships well enough to create conditions ( such as lenses ) which can directly influence that subjective experience in predicable ways.the mind and body, consciousness and the fundamental forces are clearly related. They exist within the same reality. Just how they are related is not understood. There is not even a consensus hypothesis.
Therefore, logically, it seems to me that we have a pretty good idea of how ( how - in a general sense ) these things are related, and we can apply the same reasoning to all our other senses as well. Now perhaps there will be a few people who deny or dodge the science on these examples, so there might not be a "consensus", but I'm pretty sure from our past conversations that you are definitely smart enough to see the truth in what I'm saying.
Consequently, I would suggest we've found common footing on something that floats, but exactly where this raft is drifting I cannot say. I'm left to conclude that although we can map all the relationships we want between the conscious experience and other phenomena of nature, exactly how to explain any of its existence is beyond my capability. I've tried for years. Initially I thought I could crack the problem of existence. Now the more I think about it, the more I feel that I'm drifting helplessly on the thin surface something far bigger and deeper than me.