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Consciousness and the Paranormal — Part 13



Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Dr Peter Sjöstedt-H ... TEDx video ...

I wonder how the application of the predictive processing (PP) framework could be applied to explorations into Psychedelic Consciousness? I imagine that there must be both chemical and neurological correlates that could be traced with some precision. Note however, that biochemical and neurological tracing is an entirely separate effort from attempting to derive any metaphysical truths from the psychedelic experience itself.

Clearly the subjective experience of a drug trip, while powerful for the experiencer, does not necessarily represent an objective reality, and claims by the experiencer such as "Nothing exists but thoughts. The universe is composed of impressions, ideas, pleasures, and pains." cannot be the case, if not only for the reason that the experiencer had to ingest some external compound in order to have the experience in the first place.

This is a fact that experiencers seem to all too conveniently forget during their trip. If it were not the case that there is a non-subjective world, then of course, there would be no need for the experiencer to locate their supplier for their next fix, would there? All they would have to do is think the hallucinogen into existence. Or better yet realize that "There is no spoon" and just fly off into the sky.
 
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smcder

Paranormal Adept
This is a very helpful discussion, and I need to reread it. It gets into details that I have been exploring for the past 2 years or so. The notions of the perspectival nature of the mbp, “inside” and “outside”, intrinsic and extrinsic properties. Ontology and epistemology. @smcder I had expressed some doubt that my view was best described as a panpsychist view, and you felt that it was. And it may be. However panpsychism still strikes me as “dualist” in the sense that it posits two qualities: material (extension in space) and feeling/quality. A materialist might posit that indeed there is only one thing—matter/energy—and that is extended in space, and that particular feelings/qualities somehow emerge from its interactions. What I want to say is that there is one thing—feeling/quality—which is extended in space. And that particular feelings/qualities emerge from its interactions. So I’m not sure if my view is better conceived of as panpsychist or idealist. Not that it ultimately matters.

Not quite sure I see how your response above relates to the article I posted? The article raises for me more concerns than whether Seth's view is properly labelled as panpsychist.
This is a very helpful discussion, and I need to reread it. It gets into details that I have been exploring for the past 2 years or so. The notions of the perspectival nature of the mbp, “inside” and “outside”, intrinsic and extrinsic properties. Ontology and epistemology.

@smcder I had expressed some doubt that my view was best described as a panpsychist view, and you felt that it was. And it may be.

However panpsychism still strikes me as “dualist” in the sense that it posits two qualities: material (extension in space) and feeling/quality.

A materialist might posit that indeed there is only one thing—matter/energy—and that is extended in space, and that particular feelings/qualities somehow emerge from its interactions.

What I want to say is that there is one thing—feeling/quality—which is extended in space. And that particular feelings/qualities emerge from its interactions.

So I’m not sure if my view is better conceived of as panpsychist or idealist. Not that it ultimately matters.

I'm not sure I follow how your reply above responds to the article I posted? The article critiques more than whether Seth's view is panpsychist.

"dualist", as you define it above is not dualism...we can see that because the two qualities you mention exist for some materialists.

Dualism holds that mind and matter are fundamentally different things. Panpyschism most broadly holds that mind is fundamental and ubiquitous. Berkley's idealism defends two things: that matter doesn't exist and that all things that do exist are either minds or the products of minds.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Dualism holds that mind and matter are fundamentally different things.
Without writing an entire essay here, my exploration into what exactly constitutes Dualism, revealed that its most fundamental foundation is that it accepts the existence of both the objective and the subjective. This removes the confusion around the terms "mind" and "matter". That key opens the door to the idea that there can be both objective and subjective realities within the larger physical ( natural ) framework.
Panpyschism most broadly holds that mind is fundamental and ubiquitous. Berkley's idealism defends two things: that matter doesn't exist and that all things that do exist are either minds or the products of minds.
Nowhere but in philosophy can such an outrageous claim as panpsychism be taken seriously.
 

smcder

Paranormal Adept
Without writing an entire essay here, my exploration into what exactly constitutes Dualism, revealed that its most fundamental foundation is that it accepts the existence of both the objective and the subjective. This removes the confusion around the terms "mind" and "matter". That key opens the door to the idea that there can be both objective and subjective realities within the larger physical ( natural ) framework.

Nowhere but in philosophy can such an outrageous claim as panpsychism be taken seriously.

What did philosophy do before you came along? Languish in confusion, I suppose. ;-) lol

"Nowhere but in philosophy can such an outrageous claim as panpsychism be taken seriously."

You're the philosopher here, so the most generous interpretation I can make is that it's as correct as saying that nowhere but in biology can such an outrageous claim as evolution be taken seriously... ;-)

Now, take your bait and hie thee hither! :)

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Soupie

Paranormal Adept
I wonder how the application of the predictive processing (PP) framework could be applied to explorations into Psychedelic Consciousness? I imagine that there must be both chemical and neurological correlates that could be traced with some precision. Note however, that biochemical and neurological tracing is an entirely separate effort from attempting to derive any metaphysical truths from the psychedelic experience itself.

Clearly the subjective experience of a drug trip, while powerful for the experiencer, does not necessarily represent an objective reality, and claims by the experiencer such as "Nothing exists but thoughts. The universe is composed of impressions, ideas, pleasures, and pains." cannot be the case, if not only for the reason that the experiencer had to ingest some external compound in order to have the experience in the first place.

This is a fact that experiencers seem to all too conveniently forget during their trip. If it were not the case that there is a non-subjective world, then of course, there would be no need for the experiencer to locate their supplier for their next fix, would there? All they would have to do is think the hallucinogen into existence. Or better yet realize that "There is no spoon" and just fly off into the sky.
I’ve never used hallucinogens ( sadly ). However, I don’t think experiencers forget that they’ve taken a drug. My understanding is that the reality they experience is so ( hyper ) real, that they experience directly in a powerful way how the ( transcendent) brain “creates” reality.

I agree with you that there is an objective reality that contains human brains and everything else. However, subjective perception of this objective reality is generated within the brain. It’s this power of generation that leads psychedelic users to question the concreteness of normally perceived reality. They question, rightly I believe, the dividing line between so-called primary prosperities and so-called secondary properties.

But I ultimately agree with you, and disagree with Peter, when he suggests that/questions whether psychedelic experiences are perhaps veridical. However I’ve never done hard psychedelics so who am I to say.
 

smcder

Paranormal Adept
Isn’t this panpsychism?

Again dualism means there are two kinds of things and they are fundamentally different. Randall's definition does not isolate that idea as, for example, Strawsons "real materialism" (a monism) fits that definition, so we still need dualism to apply to those that admit of two fundamentally different things.

The definition above may also apply to some forms of panspychism but as it does not apply only to them nor, I think to all versions of Panpsychism, it doesn't define panpsychism.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Isn’t this panpsychism?
I think that sassy @smcder answered that question fairly well. I would only add that there seems to be multiple flavors of panpsychism as well as multiple flavors of dualism. Comparing vanilla dualism with vanilla panpsychism is very different than comparing neapolitan dualism with spumoni panpsychism. Personally, I have a penchant for POG Physicalism.
 
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Randall

J. Randall Murphy
What did philosophy do before you came along? Languish in confusion, I suppose. ;-) lol
It languished in confusion well before I came along, and will probably do so long after.
"Nowhere but in philosophy can such an outrageous claim as panpsychism be taken seriously." ... You're the philosopher here, so the most generous interpretation I can make is that it's as correct as saying that nowhere but in biology can such an outrageous claim as evolution be taken seriously... ;-)
If you replaced the word "evolution" with "creationism" you'd be far closer in your analogy.
 
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smcder

Paranormal Adept
It languished in confusion well before I came along, and will probably do so long after.

If you replaced the word "evolution with "creationism" you'd be far closer in your analogy.

Sure:

"Nowhere but in biology can such an outrageous claim as creationism be taken seriously."

The important thing is what happens to philosophy while you're practicing it.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Sure: "Nowhere but in biology can such an outrageous claim as creationism be taken seriously." The important thing is what happens to philosophy while you're practicing it.
Well I mucked that one up really well didn't I :p . You have a knack for catching me off-balance. But glad to see you posting again and in seemingly good spirits. To keep it consistent we'd have to also replace "biology" with "religion". The point being that Panpsychism magically imparts consciousness on everything without explaining anything.
 
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smcder

Paranormal Adept
Well I mucked that one up really well didn't I :p . You have a knack for catching me off-balance. But glad to see you posting again and in seemingly good spirits. To keep it consistent we'd have to also replace "biology" with "religion". The point being that Panpsychism magically imparts consciousness on everything without explaining anything.

See point 2 in the paper I linked above.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
See point 2 in the paper I linked above.
If I have the link you are referring to right, it would probably also help to read the article referred to in it:

Original article: Conscious spoons, really? Pushing back against panpsychism
Rebuttal: Peter Sjöstedt-H

If your reference to Point 2. in the rebuttal is as follows:

"There is an implicit assumption that panpsychism would be encompassed within the remit of ‘consciousness science’. As far as matters of mind are concerned, routes to knowledge transcend the confines of current science and are thus concerns of metaphysics. One of the reasons for believing in panpsychism is the limited nature of current science in terms of its concern for structure rather than immanence (as Russell, Whitehead, et al., wrote). If one believes mechanistic science to be the sole route to truth, one must then give up any notions of mathematical or logical truth. Seth betrays an epistemic naïvety here."​
Then not only are there some issues with parts of the above assertions, but the context in which the defense is formulated doesn't seem entirely in keeping with the context of the article it refers to. But admittedly, there may be some good point/counterpoint discussion to be had about that, starting with the idea that science moving on from the HPC is not a failure, but a sign of maturity, because of the realization that philosophically, the HPC rests on conceivability arguments.
 
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smcder

Paranormal Adept
If I have the link you are referring to right, it would probably also help to read the article referred to in it:

Original article: Conscious spoons, really? Pushing back against panpsychism
Rebuttal: Peter Sjöstedt-H

If your reference to Point 2. in the rebuttal is as follows:

"There is an implicit assumption that panpsychism would be encompassed within the remit of ‘consciousness science’. As far as matters of mind are concerned, routes to knowledge transcend the confines of current science and are thus concerns of metaphysics. One of the reasons for believing in panpsychism is the limited nature of current science in terms of its concern for structure rather than immanence (as Russell, Whitehead, et al., wrote). If one believes mechanistic science to be the sole route to truth, one must then give up any notions of mathematical or logical truth. Seth betrays an epistemic naïvety here."

Then not only are there some issues with parts of the above assertions, but the context in which the defense is formulated doesn't seem entirely in keeping with the context of the article it refers to. But admittedly, there may be some good point/counterpoint discussion to be had about that, starting with the idea that science moving on from the HPC is not a failure, but a sign of maturity, because of the realization that philosophically, the HPC rests on conceivability arguments.

Lol. You say something like that about every article! And of course there are issues and of course the "context doesn't seem entirely in keeping...." etc etc but I believe you are capable of seeing the forest here.
 
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Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Lol. You say something like that about every article! And of course there are issues and of course the "context doesn't seem entirely in keeping...." etc etc but I believe you are capable of seeing the forest here.
You've correctly identified my MO. But I'm also not exactly sure how we got onto this. It just appeared in the list of posts back here:
So maybe I'm really not seeing the forest. In your own words, what exactly is the view or concept you're attempting to bring into focus?
 

smcder

Paranormal Adept
You've correctly identified my MO. But I'm also not exactly sure how we got onto this. It just appeared in the list of posts back here:
So maybe I'm really not seeing the forest. In your own words, what exactly is the view or concept you're attempting to bring into focus?

"You've correctly identified my MO." That's progress! :) we got here by you wondering around and me following you. Fortunately I know where I am, so I'll hang out a bit while you look for breadcrumbs. (If you like. :)
 

smcder

Paranormal Adept
The main thing is that while I'm not a particular defender of panpsychism, I know my preferences are no good indicator of the quality of an idea, nor even is my sense of the absurd or outrageous. I've engaged it enough to have an appreciation for it and I recognize that some good and even first class minds have been persuaded by it. The paradigmatic example is Bertrand Russell and I refer you to his writings if you would like a challenge.

Also, this refrain:

"The point being that Panpsychism magically imparts consciousness on everything without explaining anything." doesn't impress me because it is almost invariably the product of ignorance of the subject matter. I say almost invariably because I am now giving you the benefit of the doubt as to be the singular exception.
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
Clearly the subjective experience of a drug trip, while powerful for the experiencer, does not necessarily represent an objective reality, and claims by the experiencer such as "Nothing exists but thoughts.. The universe is composed of impressions, ideas, pleasures, and pains." cannot be the case, if not only for the reason that the experiencer had to ingest some external compound in order to have the experience in the first place.

Agreed. Re point 1, of course it doesn't. Re point 2, {Nothing exists but thoughts} that notion is shared by schizophrenics and other psychotics of the hyper-reflective type as well as by those who entertain themselves with psychoactive drugs, and I think it has also been encouraged by 'virtual reality' technology.
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
panpsychism still strikes me as “dualist” in the sense that it posits two qualities: material (extension in space) and feeling/quality.
I'm not sure I follow how your reply above responds to the article I posted? The article critiques more than whether Seth's view is panpsychist.

"dualist", as you define it above is not dualism...we can see that because the two qualities you mention exist for some materialists.

Dualism holds that mind and matter are fundamentally different things. Panpyschism most broadly holds that mind is fundamental and ubiquitous. Berkley's idealism defends two things: that matter doesn't exist and that all things that do exist are either minds or the products of minds.

Your underscored point is most helpful, Steve.

Without writing an entire essay here, my exploration into what exactly constitutes Dualism, revealed that its most fundamental foundation is that it accepts the existence of both the objective and the subjective. This removes the confusion around the terms "mind" and "matter". That key opens the door to the idea that there can be both objective and subjective realities within the larger physical ( natural ) framework.

This misunderstanding is why you need to read phenomenological philosophy.

Nowhere but in philosophy can such an outrageous claim as panpsychism be taken seriously.

Ah, so now your monumental ego has risen to such heights of insight that you think you can disparage the whole discipline of philosophy, which is the field in which you have the most work to do.
 
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