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Consciousness and the Paranormal — Part 13

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Comparing consciousness to the fundamental forces is a radical thing. Comparing the mind body problem to electromagnets is also radical.
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.
The origin and nature of the fundamental forces is not known. Hence the designation fundamental.
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.
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.
Close enough for most casual conversation, but the importance of the minor distinction will hopefully become more clear in the next segments.
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.
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 ).

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".
electromagnets can be understood objectively. Consciousness can not be understood objectively nor as a force.
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.
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.
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.

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.

 
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Soupie

Paranormal Adept
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.

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.
Unfortunately I can’t even grant you that, USI.

when photons hit the retina, and the optic nerve fires, “sending” electrical “signals” to the visual cortices, we have NO idea how this relates, IF this relates to visual consciousness.

Of course it seems that it does! And I think it does! But we have NO idea how it might.
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Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
When photons hit the retina, and the optic nerve fires, “sending” electrical “signals” to the visual cortices, we have NO idea how this relates, IF this relates to visual consciousness.
Of course we have an idea how optics and the experience of eyesight relate, otherwise we couldn't make lenses to correct people's vision. This is so incredibly obvious that now you're just arguing for argument's sake. But that's fine. I think I've been known to do it too on occasion. Have fun with it.
 

Pharoah

Paranormal Adept
Re how meaningless physical structures come to have meaning.

(this is a project @Pharoah was working on)

View attachment 8013
This 9k word manuscript on information and meaning has just been accepted for publication. I’ll post it up when I get a link. On the hp: I am working on a paper to support my explanation for the hp (cf. Qualitative Attribution, Phenomenal Experience and Being). It will be focusing on depth on the nature of qualitative meaning in biology and how it happens
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
This 9k word manuscript on information and meaning has just been accepted for publication. I’ll post it up when I get a link. On the hp: I am working on a paper to support my explanation for the hp (cf. Qualitative Attribution, Phenomenal Experience and Being). It will be focusing on depth on the nature of qualitative meaning in biology and how it happens
That reads like poetry. Now you just need an awesome animator to create corresponding visualizations, and it would totally blow people away, and that's just from reading the Abstract. I'm going to need to take more time to translate the rest into what might be described as an inner construct that mirrors that of the text's creator. But that looks like a tall order. Each sentence entails that we would both assume one or more possible outcomes in the right order from multiple unknown but probable and/or possible situations. Very Cool. I hope I liked it just as much the first time I looked at it :p . Do you mind if I create a post for it on the Philosophy, Science, & The Unexplained thread, and upload a copy to The Paracast as a direct attachment for members?
 
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Soupie

Paranormal Adept
Of course we have an idea how optics and the experience of eyesight relate, otherwise we couldn't make lenses to correct people's vision. This is so incredibly obvious that now you're just arguing for argument's sake. But that's fine. I think I've been known to do it too on occasion. Have fun with it.
Ok, I’ll bite: how do they relate?
 

Soupie

Paranormal Adept
This 9k word manuscript on information and meaning has just been accepted for publication. I’ll post it up when I get a link. On the hp: I am working on a paper to support my explanation for the hp (cf. Qualitative Attribution, Phenomenal Experience and Being). It will be focusing on depth on the nature of qualitative meaning in biology and how it happens
Did you attach the 9k manuscript on info and meaning?

edit: sorry the use of “this” threw me off. Can’t wait for the link!
 

Soupie

Paranormal Adept
This 9k word manuscript on information and meaning has just been accepted for publication. I’ll post it up when I get a link. On the hp: I am working on a paper to support my explanation for the hp (cf. Qualitative Attribution, Phenomenal Experience and Being). It will be focusing on depth on the nature of qualitative meaning in biology and how it happens
Very nice Pharoah. Just read the intro. I take it that “ontological emergence” is strong emergence? It seems you address weak emergence as well. Could get tricky. But the writing is clear and concise. I know the editing process has been thorough. Looking forward to reading the entire paper.
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
This 9k word manuscript on information and meaning has just been accepted for publication. I’ll post it up when I get a link. On the hp: I am working on a paper to support my explanation for the hp (cf. Qualitative Attribution, Phenomenal Experience and Being). It will be focusing on depth on the nature of qualitative meaning in biology and how it happens
Very glad to see you here, @Pharoah, and looking forward to the link to your newly accepted paper on information and meaning and to your continuing work on the hard problem. Also happy to have the link at hand to your outstanding paper in Biosemiotics.:)
 
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Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Ok, I’ll bite: how do they relate?
I did say it's obvious right? So the answer is that they ( eyesight & optics ) relate in obvious ways. That being the case, I'll leave the details up to someone else to set down in text.
 

Pharoah

Paranormal Adept
That reads like poetry. Now you just need an awesome animator to create corresponding visualizations, and it would totally blow people away, and that's just from reading the Abstract. I'm going to need to take more time to translate the rest into what might be described as an inner construct that mirrors that of the text's creator. But that looks like a tall order. Each sentence entails that we would both assume one or more possible outcomes in the right order from multiple unknown but probable and/or possible situations. Very Cool. I hope I liked it just as much the first time I looked at it :p . Do you mind if I create a post for it on the Philosophy, Science, & The Unexplained thread, and upload a copy to The Paracast as a direct attachment for members?
I certainly don’t mind if you use it to create a post.
Each sentence entails that we would both assume one or more possible outcomes in the right order from multiple unknown but probable and/or possible situations.
Hmmm... curious.
@Constance i will post the paper this evening. I have a 3rd paper in print: I was invited to write it by the Russian semiotic contingency for a journal called “linguistic frontiers”. I will put a link to that too although it is not as rigourous as the info/meaning paper
 

Pharoah

Paranormal Adept
I reference O’Connor & Wong in the “qualitative assimilation” paper. This is in relation to ontological emergence (OE). An important aspect to the idea of OE is in relation to causation and the problem of overdetermination. This is addressed head on in the info paper which I will post shortly
 


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