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Consciousness and the Paranormal — Part 13

Constance

Paranormal Adept
@Randall "Let's not box ourselves into binary "Yes" or "No" type situations." On the contrary, do let us box ourselves in with binary QAs. This is how one identifies fudging. Back when I was 18, I came up with a methodology for creative thinking: it involved asking myself only yes/no questions and seeing where it took me: very revealing.
"A non-QE type of sorting might be some sort of a filter membrane that by its evolutionary development, separates out good nuggets from the rest."
I am afraid this is a slam dunk answer. You use the word "good": think about it. So, does the radiometer or a thermostat or a computer do its thing because it is good? You have 'ascribed value' in using the word good. Importantly, for something to do an act because to do otherwise would not be good for it isn't to say that it knows of good, but that somehow 'goodness' exists in its frame of acting (or in its frame of experiencing-in-the-world).
Two other thing:
1. I do not say that qualitative assimilation creates consciousness btw. I say it is necessary and foundational.
2. Also I use the term ascription 3 times in my paper on page 435. I was very careful in its use. The phrase "in the qualitative ascription to the physical" is not the same as 'in the qualitative ascription of the physical'. I know it seems small but the latter is more in the sense that you are taking it Randall.
Randall, I think you need to try to think your way down into this core insight as @Pharoah clearly expresses it:

"Importantly, for something to do an act because to do otherwise would not be good for it isn't to say that it knows of good, but that somehow 'goodness' exists in its frame of acting (or in its frame of experiencing-in-the-world)."
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Randall, I think you need to try to think your way down into this core insight as @Pharoah clearly expresses it:
And I think you're imagining more than what's actually there. However that might not necessarily be a bad thing. What "core insight" do you get from that claim? Can you provide an example of a "something" and a "goodness" and a "frame of experiencing" along with some sort of evidence or reasoning to substantiate it?
 
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Pharoah

Paranormal Adept
In the example, it is we who are "ascribing" the value of "good", not the filter.

Take it however you want. All I'm trying to get across is that if you believe a "chemical" can "ascribe" then you are implying it has intent, and by extension some sort of awareness. If that's not what you're saying, then a word other than "ascribe" might be a better fit.

Either that, or it might be a good idea to make it clear that when you use the word "ascribe" that you are in no way inferring intent, or awareness, or that because of such "ascription" the foundation of consciousness is chemical. But then that would seem to contradict what you have said. If you're fine with these contradictions, and see no need to reconcile them, then that's your choice.

I would then simply argue that your view lacks coherence for the reasons stated, and that to reconcile the incoherency you would need to adequately address those issues rather than simply hand wave them or claim I don't get your position because I lack the capacity.

Lastly, if it's the case, that from your perspective, there is no contradiction, then it would be more clearly conveyed by writing it in such a way that the sort of contradiction I describe is absent altogether. Then there would be no misinterpretation.
"All I'm trying to get across is that if you believe a "chemical" can "ascribe" then you are implying it has intent, and by extension some sort of awareness. If that's not what you're saying, then a word other than "ascribe" might be a better fit."
That is not what I am saying... where have I said this? nowhere. Not sure how not saying this means I have to avoid using the word ascribe.
I understand that the issue with the term "ascribe" is that it has generated a misalignment in our mutual understandings in this area. I have tried to explain how my use of the term differs to your interpretation (and 'the rest of the world's interpretation') of what I mean by it. I do feel that you do not want to consider that the term may have meanings other than the view or stance you are taking with it, namely that ascription requires awareness.
"Either that, or it might be a good idea to make it clear that when you use the word "ascribe" that you are in no way inferring intent, or awareness, or that because of such "ascription" the foundation of consciousness is chemical."
You want me to be clearer... fair enough. I am sorry I have not made myself clear.
"I would then simply argue that your view lacks coherence for the reasons stated, and that to reconcile the incoherency you would need to adequately address those issues rather than simply hand wave them or claim I don't get your position because I lack the capacity."
I feel that you are being rather defensive here. I haven't seen any argument to suggest my stance is incoherent. I recognise instead an issue in terminology ("ascription" and its inferred meaning). I don't feel that I have hand waved or claimed you lack capacity. You are clearly a very smart and capable person and we are simply trying to find common ground through a rather vigorous exchange of positions.
 

Pharoah

Paranormal Adept
Good discussion gentleman. I’ve always thought that what Pharoah was trying to do was ground the concept of value/quality in the natural world. A very worthy endeavor and one that he (and others) do well. Pharoah even provides a narrative of how individual organisms composed of billions of atoms chemicals and cells relate to their environments in ways that evoke the concepts of value and quality. We can see how something like value/quality could be grounded in the natural world.

The problem as always remains how an organism could have a subjective, phenomenal, qualitative experience.

The explanatory gap still remains when we take this path.
@Soupie "The problem as always remains how an organism could have a subjective, phenomenal, qualitative experience."
I do cover this in the paper.
If you can accept that qualitative assimilation occurs in simply organisms, a position that @Randall is not willing to consider as yet, then you can consider the value or otherwise of Part 2 of the paper:
If a creature has the means to assimilate the environment in terms of its qualitative relevance, and additionally, has the capacity to weight those assimilations, that is, to evaluate their respective merits, then the organism has an individuated stance on the world that is spatiotemporally differentiated for having those particular and every changing qualities. This characteristic stance with the world is then spatiotemporal, qualitative and individuated: these are the characteristics that define the nature of the phenomenally experiencing subjective umwelt. This weighting is what the neural network facilitates
 

Pharoah

Paranormal Adept
I am of the position that anyone who thinks they can "solve" the HPC, or even that it can be "solved", doesn't get the HPC, and no amount of hand waving, rhetoric, denial, or nasty name calling can change that.
This is a strange stance to take. You are saying that you cannot consider a solution. Why do you believe there can be no solution?
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
"All I'm trying to get across is that if you believe a "chemical" can "ascribe" then you are implying it has intent, and by extension some sort of awareness. If that's not what you're saying, then a word other than "ascribe" might be a better fit."
That is not what I am saying... where have I said this? nowhere. Not sure how not saying this means I have to avoid using the word ascribe.
First. What I'm trying to do is understand what you are saying by making sure that we're both looking at this situation in the same context. So to be clear. I fully admit that I am not sure about what you are trying to get across in your presentations, but not because I am necessarily incapable of comprehending whatever it is.

Rather, it's the case that there are ways of interpreting what you are saying that might mean something other than whatever it is you intend it to mean, and therefore I don't know for sure which branch of thought I should follow. If I make an assumption without being sure, it might be the wrong one, which will lead to a complete misinterpretation of your work.

With the above in mind, you ask: "Where have I said this?"

To answer: I'm not sure exactly what you mean by the word "this" ( above ). So to be clear, I am not saying that you have said exactly what I am saying. I am saying that you have said things that due to ambiguity, have made me wonder what you mean, and am attempting through example to clarify the situation. Dealing with everything you said isn't practical, so let's look at two specific examples:

Example 1.

Pharoah-01a.png
Example 2.

"Alternatively, what I am proposing is that there is a novel emergent ontology in the qualitative ascription to the physical, where the qualities of any given physical property are entirely dependent on the evolved physiology of individuals of a replicating lineage—qualities that would otherwise not exist in the universe. In this regard, I am saying that qualitative ascription, and not life, is the emergent (in contrast, Alexander 1920, pp. 46–47 speaks of life as a new emergent order of existence)."

Given the two examples above, you clearly use the word "ascription" which means "to ascribe". You do not say anything like "therefore it has intent, and by extension some sort of awareness." That is what I am saying because that's what the word "ascribe" implies. The word "implies" is by its nature something that is not stated outright, so naturally you may not have actually stated it. However by extrapolation from the word's definition, it can be deduced that such a case might be what your are making.

However, I realize that this interpretation might also be incorrect, and that you might mean something else. But if you do, I'm not clear on exactly what that is. In other words, if you are not saying that chemicals have the capacity to "ascribe" in the way that one would normally use the word "ascribe", which includes the element of intent, and thus an element of consciousness, then perhaps you mean something like ... ( I don't know - you tell me ).

For example: Perhaps by "qualitative" you mean something more neutral like "properties" and that by "ascription you also mean something more neutral, like "are part of" and that by physical you mean "materials". So the claim might be more like: The properties that are part of the materials are fundamentally biochemical not neurological in foundation."

On the other hand, one might look at the claim and interpret it in a way that says chemicals have the ability to "ascribe" and by extension must have some "intent" and therefore are the foundation of consciousness. Do you see what I mean now? Which is it? Or is it something else altogether?

This is what you should expect when someone actually reads your stuff, watches your videos, and attempts to understand it the way you do. It might be frustrating, but at least someone out there is actually making an honest effort to try. Personally I'd be honored if anyone paid half as much attention to the stuff I do :p

This is a strange stance to take. You are saying that you cannot consider a solution. Why do you believe there can be no solution?
I've made multiple attempts in the past to get the reasoning across that go all the way back to when @smcder first introduced the HPC into the thread by way of Chalmers, and I really don't want to have to list all of them here. They've been met largely with criticism that has not been entirely constructive, and has certainly not included any substantial counterpoint.

All I can say is that if people don't get it by now, I haven't got much left to add, but I'm not alone in my thinking on it. Others have concluded the same thing. Someday maybe we'll have the opportunity to discuss this with Chalmers himself. He has been invited onto the show, but has always been too busy with work or writing.

If I were to say anything that might get you thinking along the same lines, it's something @smcder said way back there someplace in this thread. I had said that the HPC is not a valid problem, because valid problems are by their nature solvable, and the HPC wasn't solvable due to the way it was constructed.

What he said, is that perhaps the HPC is more like a koan. To be clear @smcder didn't make the claim that the HPC is a koan. Nor do I claim the HPC is a koan So @Soupie can refrain from telling us it's not a koan ( we know that already ). It was just likened to a koan. ( EXAMPLE )

Once I started looking at the HPC from that perspective, it became much more valuable as a philosophical tool, and the more I reflected on it, the more obvious its unsolvableness became, until I realized that it's primary value is not in attempting to solve it, but in coming to an understanding about it. It's not something I can simply "explain". Read about koans:


"English-speaking non-Zen practitioners sometimes use the term koan to refer to an unanswerable question or a meaningless statement. However, in Zen practice, a koan is not meaningless, and teachers often expect students to present an appropriate and timely response when asked about a koan. A koan is not a riddle or a puzzle. Appropriate responses to a koan may vary according to circumstances; different teachers may demand different responses to a given koan, and not all teachers assume that a fixed answer is correct in every circumstance."
 
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Pharoah

Paranormal Adept
"All I'm trying to get across is that if you believe a "chemical" can "ascribe" then you are implying it has intent, and by extension some sort of awareness. If that's not what you're saying, then a word other than "ascribe" might be a better fit."

First. What I'm trying to do is understand what you are saying by making sure that we're both looking at this situation in the same context. So to be clear. I fully admit that I am not sure about what you are trying to get across in your presentations, but not because I am necessarily incapable of comprehending whatever it is.

Rather, it's the case that there are ways of interpreting what you are saying that might mean something other than whatever it is you intend it to mean, and therefore I don't know for sure which branch of thought I should follow. If I make an assumption without being sure, it might be the wrong one, which will lead to a complete misinterpretation of your work.

With the above in mind, you ask: "Where have I said this?"

To answer: I'm not sure exactly what you mean by the word "this" ( above ). So to be clear, I am not saying that you have said exactly what I am saying. I am saying that you have said things that due to ambiguity, have made me wonder what you mean, and am attempting through example to clarify the situation. Dealing with everything you said isn't practical, so let's look at two specific examples:

Example 1.

Example 2.

"Alternatively, what I am proposing is that there is a novel emergent ontology in the qualitative ascription to the physical, where the qualities of any given physical property are entirely dependent on the evolved physiology of individuals of a replicating lineage—qualities that would otherwise not exist in the universe. In this regard, I am saying that qualitative ascription, and not life, is the emergent (in contrast, Alexander 1920, pp. 46–47 speaks of life as a new emergent order of existence)."

Given the two examples above, you clearly use the word "ascription" which means "to ascribe". You do not say anything like "therefore it has intent, and by extension some sort of awareness." That is what I am saying that the word "ascribe" implies. The word "implies" is by its nature something that is not stated outright, so naturally you may not have actually stated it. However by extrapolation from the word's definition, it can be deduced that such a case might be what your are making.

However, I realize that this interpretation might also be incorrect, and that you might mean something else. But if you do, I'm not clear on exactly what that is. In other words, if you are not saying that chemicals have the capacity to "ascribe" in the way that one would normally use the word "ascribe", which includes the element of intent, and thus an element of consciousness, then perhaps you mean something like ... ( I don't know - you tell me ).

For example: Perhaps by "qualitative" you mean something more neutral like "properties" and that by "ascription you also mean something more neutral, like "are part of" and that by physical you mean "materials". So the claim might be more like: The properties that are part of the materials are fundamentally biochemical not neurological in foundation."

On the other hand, one might look at the claim and interpret it in a way that says chemicals have the ability to "ascribe" and by extension must have some "intent" and therefore are the foundation of consciousness. Do you see what I mean now? Which is it? Or is it something else altogether?

This is what you should expect when someone actually reads your stuff, watches your videos, and attempts to understand it the way you do. It might be frustrating, but at least someone out there is actually making an honest effort to try. Personally I'd be honored if anyone paid half as much attention to the stuff I do :p



I've made multiple attempts in the past to get the reasoning across that go all the way back to when @smcder first introduced the HPC into the thread by way of Chalmers, and I really don't want to have to list all of them here. They've been met largely with criticism that has not been entirely constructive, and has certainly not included any substantial counterpoint.

All I can say is that if people don't get it by now, I haven't got much left to add, but I'm not alone in my thinking on it. Others have concluded the same thing. Someday maybe we'll have the opportunity to discuss this with Chalmers himself. He has been invited onto the show, but has always been too busy with work or writing.

If I were to say anything that might get you thinking along the same lines, it's something @smcder said way back there someplace in this thread. I had said that the HPC is not a valid problem, because valid problems are by their nature solvable, and the HPC wasn't solvable due to the way it was constructed.

What he said, is that perhaps the HPC is more like a koan. To be clear @smcder didn't make the claim that the HPC is a koan. Nor do I claim the HPC is a koan So @Soupie can refrain from telling us it's not a koan ( we know that already ). It was just likened to a koan. ( EXAMPLE )

Once I started looking at the HPC from that perspective, it became much more valuable as a philosophical tool, and the more I reflected on it, the more obvious its unsolvableness became, until I realized that it's primary value is not in attempting to solve it, but in coming to an understanding about it. It's not something I can simply "explain". Read about koans:


"English-speaking non-Zen practitioners sometimes use the term koan to refer to an unanswerable question or a meaningless statement. However, in Zen practice, a koan is not meaningless, and teachers often expect students to present an appropriate and timely response when asked about a koan. A koan is not a riddle or a puzzle. Appropriate responses to a koan may vary according to circumstances; different teachers may demand different responses to a given koan, and not all teachers assume that a fixed answer is correct in every circumstance."
I understand you well here. I appreciate what you are saying. Terms that I use can be taken to mean different things: when presenting ideas I should try to be explicit in my use of terminology.
I also like the idea of the HPC being not an idea for solving but a concept for exploring.
I do not take for granted or undervalue the efforts people have made to work with me on my ideas in this forum.
 

Soupie

Paranormal Adept
If I were to say anything that might get you thinking along the same lines, it's something @smcder said way back there someplace in this thread. I had said that the HPC is not a valid problem, because valid problems are by their nature solvable, and the HPC wasn't solvable due to the way it was constructed.

What he said, is that perhaps the HPC is more like a koan. To be clear @smcder didn't make the claim that the HPC is a koan. Nor do I claim the HPC is a koan So @Soupie can refrain from telling us it's not a koan ( we know that already ). It was just likened to a koan. ( EXAMPLE )
The HP is just a normal ole scientific question. But due to its stubbornness, it has been likened to a koan and likened to being not a real problem and likened to salted swordfish. (I made that last one up.)

Randall, I’ve made many great some would say huge arguments to try to explain this all to you.

if for example someone had actually solved the hard problem you wouldn’t be likening it to salted swordfish would you? No you would not.

“The problem of consciousness, Chalmers argues, is really two problems: the easy problems and the hard problem. The easy problems may include how sensory systems work, how such data is processed in the brain, how that data influences behaviour or verbal reports, the neural basis of thought and emotion, and so on. The hard problem is the problem of why and how are those processes accompanied by experience?[4] What's more, why are these processes accompanied by thatparticular experience rather than another experience?[19]

Chalmers is not here attempting to be poetic nor grill swordfish. He is rather asking a question: namely how are brain processes accompanied by phenomenal experience.

Now people like Dennett or Churchland might say something deep and philosophical such as: they’re not. But what they don’t do it liken it to a koan.

so you see the reason you say the hard problem can have no solution and you cannot be convinced of otherwise is probably directly related to the fact that a solution to the hard problem has not it seems been found.

I would liken this response to the fact that you believe that phenomenal consciousness does not just accompany physical brain processes but indeed you have said on many many occasion that physical brain processes cause phenomenal experience.

which seems odds considering the fact that you simultaneously maintain that explaining how this might be is not solvable re the likeness of the hp to a koan.
 
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Soupie

Paranormal Adept
If a creature has the means to assimilate the environment in terms of its qualitative relevance, and additionally, has the capacity to weight those assimilations, that is, to evaluate their respective merits, then the organism has an individuated stance on the world that is spatiotemporally differentiated for having those particular and every changing qualities.
This narrative is very well and good. However what we have here is atoms, molecules, and cells behaving in very complex albeit mechanical ways. We are using words/concepts such as assimilation, organism, and quality at the level of biology to avoid speaking in terms at the level of physics and chemistry.

This characteristic stance with the world is then spatiotemporal, qualitative and individuated:
Yes, we can describe an organism and it’s mechanical behavior in these terms using these concepts. But we do this because it’s easier than describing everything using physics terms and concepts, though in principal we can. (In practice we can’t.)

these are the characteristics that define the nature of the phenomenally experiencing subjective umwelt. This weighting is what the neural network facilitates.
And poof there it is: we somehow have a phenomenally experiencing subject. That’s a problem because you haven’t explained how the organism could be a phenomenal self/subject having phenomenal experiences.

We went from using descriptive terms/concepts to explain nature to implying that nature (organisms) have become phenomenal selves complete with phenomenal experiences.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Randall, I’ve made many great some would say huge arguments to try to explain this all to you ...
I know. We've been at this for a while now, and nothing either of us has said has so far been substantial enough to change either of our positions. Why? Perhaps on my side of the fence, it's the case that being like a koan, there is no logical or intellectual solution to the HPC, therefore it cannot be "explained" no matter how hard one tries. Only by accepting its unsolvableness does one truly appreciate the nature of the question.

The best I have been able to do so far is to point out that the HPC doesn't simply ask us to describe the relationship of consciousness to other phenomena ( the easy part ). It also asks us to explain its very existence ( the hard part ), which is a "problem" that has no answer for anything else either. This is because any answer offered leads to an infinite regression of further questions.

If we disagree on these points, I guess that's just where we'll have to plant our respective flags until some further evidence or rationale can move one or the other. I'm always open to that if you come-up with something. Perhaps if I were to point out that sometime around the beginning of our discussion on this, I noted that we can apply this "easy problem/hard problem" approach to almost anything, simply by switching out the word consciousness for something else.

Let's take an orange ( for example ). There are all the easy problems associated with oranges, like what they grow on, and all the horticultural science that goes along with growing them, but then there's the hard problem of why or an orange should exist in the first place. There's no non-trivial answer to that question. The how and why for the "stuff" that popped into existence and evolved into planets and life and finally oranges consists only of theories and descriptions and models that always leave us asking the same questions about them.

Perhaps most succinctly, the universe only gives us the means to solve the easy problems, therefore we have no means by which to solve the hard problems. Therefore they aren't solvable ( at least as far as we can ever know ). Or so it seems. Maybe I'm wrong. But I haven't found a way around it. If you do, by all means please let us and the Mysterians know.

 
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Pharoah

Paranormal Adept
This narrative is very well and good. However what we have here is atoms, molecules, and cells behaving in very complex albeit mechanical ways. We are using words/concepts such as assimilation, organism, and quality at the level of biology to avoid speaking in terms at the level of physics and chemistry.


Yes, we can describe an organism and it’s mechanical behavior in these terms using these concepts. But we do this because it’s easier than describing everything using physics terms and concepts, though in principal we can. (In practice we can’t.)


And poof there it is: we somehow have a phenomenally experiencing subject. That’s a problem because you haven’t explained how the organism could be a phenomenal self/subject having phenomenal experiences.

We went from using descriptive terms/concepts to explain nature to implying that nature (organisms) have become phenomenal selves complete with phenomenal experiences.
I think one of the sticking points is the view the qualitative is in some way more than physical. That it is on another plane. And that we can assume this of subjectivity too. Consequently we might seek to explained them IN TERMS of material properties (ie classical ‘causal’ mechanics). But when you think about it, material properties are an ontological status we simply accept as physical. Why can’t we do the same with the qualitative and phenomenal? We accept the connection between QM and CM. So it is that my paper connects CM to other realms that are no less physical. The info paper is an extension of this metaphysical concept which seeks to displace the stance of properties being causal: eg material properties do not cause phenomenal properties
 

Soupie

Paranormal Adept
I know. We've been at this for a while now, and nothing either of us has said has so far been substantial enough to change either of our positions. Why? Perhaps on my side of the fence, it's the case that being like a koan, there is no logical or intellectual solution to the HPC, therefore it cannot be "explained" no matter how hard one tries. Only by accepting its unsolvableness does one truly appreciate the nature of the question.

The best I have been able to do so far is to point out that the HPC doesn't simply ask us to describe the relationship of consciousness to other phenomena ( the easy part ). It also asks us to explain its very existence ( the hard part ), which is a "problem" that has no answer for anything else either. This is because any answer offered leads to an infinite regression of further questions.

If we disagree on these points, I guess that's just where we'll have to plant our respective flags until some further evidence or rationale can move one or the other. I'm always open to that if you come-up with something. Perhaps if I were to point out that sometime around the beginning of our discussion on this, I noted that we can apply this "easy problem/hard problem" approach to almost anything, simply by switching out the word consciousness for something else.

Let's take an orange ( for example ). There are all the easy problems associated with oranges, like what they grow on, and all the horticultural science that goes along with growing them, but then there's the hard problem of why or an orange should exist in the first place. There's no non-trivial answer to that question. The how and why for the "stuff" that popped into existence and evolved into planets and life and finally oranges consist only of theories and descriptions and models that always leave us asking: Well if that's the case, then where did that earlier stuff or situation come from?

Perhaps most succinctly, the universe only gives us the means to solve the easy problems, therefore we have no means by which to solve the hard problems. Therefore they aren't solvable ( at least as far as we can ever know ). Or so it seems. Maybe I'm wrong. But I haven't found a way around it. If you do, by all means please let us and the Mysterians know.

Yes, we’ve discussed the “why” questions. Science doesn’t typically ask the why questions.

in this case, the why question is about mental causation and the causal closure of physics. If physics is causally closed, why would phenomenal consciousness evolve? If we think phenomenal counsciousness has causal power, we need to explain how this might be.

we’ve been here before. These are all powerful arguments with no answers. The hp is a legitimate, real question.

we’ve also discussed the difference between why the universe exists at all and questioning why salted swordfish fish, oranges, organisms, elections, and phenomenal consciousness exist. They are not equivalent questions—unless one is arguing that one of these things is fundamental, not derivative of anything else. Are oranges fundamental forces that can’t be reduced to more primitive processes? Sword fish? Consciousness?

it’s time for us to move on and agree to disagree. You may continue to say I’ve produced no fair arguments but that’s just fake news.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Are oranges fundamental forces that can’t be reduced to more primitive processes?
That depends on whether you want to explain the existence of oranges, or the "easy problems" about oranges ( or salted swordfish :p ). Why salted swordfish?
 
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Constance

Paranormal Adept
@Pharoah, I've just finished reading your new paper, "Causation and Information: Where is Biological Meaning to be Found?" It's brilliant and massively insightful and informative, and I'm not surprised that this is the fourth paper of yours by now accepted for publication in these last two years. Until reading this paper I was not aware that Merleau-Ponty had written on the structure of physics in his lectures on Nature at the Sorbonne. Also very pleased to see that you incorporate the Narrativity Theory developed in literary criticism and theory toward the end of the 20th century. I'll be reading the paper again and following up some of the extensive resources listed in your bibliography. Bravo. :)
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
And I think you're imagining more than what's actually there. However that might not necessarily be a bad thing. What "core insight" do you get from that claim? Can you provide an example of a "something" and a "goodness" and a "frame of experiencing" along with some sort of evidence or reasoning to substantiate it?
Why ask me to provide you with a single example when you have several fully developed interdisciplinary papers to read by @Pharoah? I promise you that if you do engage these papers with concentration, you will comprehend what he is saying.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
What if your particular 'notion of causality' is oversimplified and incomplete? Don't you want to find out if that's the case?
What makes you think I have a "particular notion" about causality? If anything, the link I posted shows that notions of causality are varied and that there is no philosophical consensus as to what exactly constitutes causation. If these experts haven't got it figured out, why should I think I've got it figured out? Maybe everyone's 'notion of causality' is oversimplified and incomplete.

So where does that leave us with our investigation into consciousness? Maybe the assumption that normally functioning brains don't cause consciousness doesn't hold true under some version of causality or another. If we look at the variables, it looks to me like there is sufficient evidence of non-linear causation to conclude that functioning brains are a causal factor.

 
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Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Why Watson, the answer is obvious to the casual observer: physics is not causally closed.
Indeed. Up until recently I've just taken the whole correlation ≠ causation mantra for granted. After all, it seems logical on the surface. Then I went to read-up on causality in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and a couple of other places, including medical websites. Then the whole picture suddenly became much more murky.

Depending on which version and interpretation of causality we choose to go with, the brain could very well fit the definition of causality with respect to consciousness. So it's just not that cut and dried, especially when the SEP says that there has been much debate on how casation should be defined and modeled.

I found the systems theory video ( above ) pretty good too, particularly the concept of non-linear causation.
 
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