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Consciousness and the Paranormal — Part 13

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member

Soupie

Paranormal Adept
In that particular video, Bach rambled through several facets in a single response, each of which on their own could several minutes to unpack. That style can be used as a tactic to throw people off-track, reduce the time anyone has to challenge, and convince rather than explain. Whether or not he was doing that intentionally or not, I cannot say, but when we see those elements in action, it's sign to take a more reserved position until more is known.
Lol

JOSCHA BACH is a cognitive scientist working for MIT Media Lab and the Harvard Program for Evolutionary Dynamics. He earned his Ph. D. in cognitive science from the University of Osnabrück, Germany, and has built computational models of motivated decision making, perception, categorization, and concept-formation.”

he’s definitely got some wild ideas but he’s not selling anything that I’m aware of.
 

Soupie

Paranormal Adept
At one point in the article cited above, Friston characterizes qualia this way:

"Qualia become reifications of the best explanation for my understanding of my sensory data and my internal view of this inner life."

Comments? Questions? Concerns? Or do we just give this one a pass?
What do think he means. I don’t see a problem with it. Are you familiar with the fep and pp?
 

Soupie

Paranormal Adept
Here we go again. The assumption being made above is that subjective experience isn't a physical process. However @marduk has already made the logical point that anything that interacts with the physical world, must itself be physical in order to do so. The upshot is that the question above would better be formulated this way: What is the relationship between subjectivity and other physical phenomena?

This type of physicalism is not synonymous with what I for convenience sake, call classical materialism. It is closer to, but not identical to the kind of physicalism that associates itself with the laws of physics in nature, but not exactly like that either. I don't know if there is a designated philosophical name for it. But why does there need to be a preexisting one in the first place? New or more precise ways of thinking are clearly needed here.

Recently I've wondered if I should adopt naturalism, something Nagel has been predisposed toward. However it's a bit too fuzzy around the edges for my liking. If I were to get my way, I'd split physicalism and materialism into two distinctly separate camps so that they don't keep getting interpreted as synonymous, when in fact, there is no consensus among philosopher that they necessarily mean the same thing.
Haha ok. Sooooo if we assume [strike]physicalism[/strike] monism (which you’re doing) how. Are. The. Mind. And. Body. Related? Haha
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Lol

JOSCHA BACH is a cognitive scientist working for MIT Media Lab and the Harvard Program for Evolutionary Dynamics. He earned his Ph. D. in cognitive science from the University of Osnabrück, Germany, and has built computational models of motivated decision making, perception, categorization, and concept-formation.”

he’s definitely got some wild ideas but he’s not selling anything that I’m aware of.
Then why does he act like he is ( selling something )? Let me put it this way: Anyone with those kind of credentials definitely has something to sell, particularly themselves, and given the specifics of his credentials, his knowledge and ideas are his wares. That's not necessarily a bad thing. People who believe they have something to contribute ought to promote their skills and/or ideas. The question is: Am I buying?
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Haha ok. Sooooo if we assume [strike]physicalism[/strike] monism (which you’re doing) how. Are. The. Mind. And. Body. Related? Haha
Now we're talking :D . I would not jump to the conclusion that I am assuming monism in the same way you might be. I assume monism in the sense that all that exists is a product of nature ( or in the end supervenes on nature ). However that doesn't mean everything that is a product of nature is the same.
 
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Soupie

Paranormal Adept
Then why does he act like he is ( selling something )? Let me put it this way: Anyone with those kind of credentials definitely has something to sell, particularly themselves, and given the specifics of his credentials, his knowledge and ideas are his wares. That's not necessarily a bad thing. People who believe they have something to contribute ought to promote their skills and/or ideas. The question is: Am I buying?
Did you read the article cos trance posted from 2018? Same frenetic jumping around style. My guess is it’s his personality. He’s obviously a bright guy. Didn’t come across as a huckster to me; but that doesn’t his ideas are correct.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Did you read the article cos trance posted from 2018? Same frenetic jumping around style. My guess is it’s his personality. He’s obviously a bright guy. Didn’t come across as a huckster to me; but that doesn’t his ideas are correct.
Don't get me wrong. I don't get the impression that he's trying to con anyone. He seems quite sincere, and would probably be a very interesting conversationalist. It's just as you say, his "style" gives off a particular impression. Friston has a very different style. He's much more confident, but comes across as over intellectualizing, which is what really smart people do to compensate for that fact that they don't know, but want to sound like they do.
 
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Soupie

Paranormal Adept
Now we're talking :D . I would not jump to the conclusion that I am assuming monism in the same way you might be. I assume monism in the sense that all that exists is a product of nature ( or in the end supervenes on nature ). However that doesn't mean everything that is a product of nature is the same.
Ok. Define physicalism and monism how ever you want. Once you’re done, please explain the relation between the mind and body.
 

Soupie

Paranormal Adept
Don't get me wrong. I also don't get the impression that he's trying to con anyone. He seems quite sincere, and would probably be a very interesting conversationalist. It's just as you say, his "style" gives off a particular impression. Friston has a very different style. He's much more confident, but comes across as over intellectualizing, which is what really smart people do to compensate for that fact that they actually don't know, but want to sound like they do.
Lol
 

Soupie

Paranormal Adept
E
Now we're talking :D . I would not jump to the conclusion that I am assuming monism in the same way you might be. I assume monism in the sense that all that exists is a product of nature ( or in the end supervenes on nature ). However that doesn't mean everything that is a product of nature is the same.
ABEF7C69-A15A-4552-AA60-6E1CB5D2EED6.gif
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Ok. Define physicalism and monism how ever you want. Once you’re done, please explain the relation between the mind and body.
The relation between mind and body cannot be explained. It can only be accepted as a given and then described. The same thing can be said for other phenomena already mentioned. For example electromagnetism isn't explained by electrons, because then we can ask why an electron should have any charge at all. There is no "explanation" for that, and even if there were, we could ask the same question again about whatever is deemed to be causal.

In the end, it seems like all we can do is recognize that the phenomena of consciousness exists and then describe the manner in which it exists. Perhaps at some deep level of existence and knowledge that is unfathomable to us, there is also an explanation. That sort of puts me in the New Mysterians camp, but not quite in the same context. They believe the HPC cannot be resolved by humans while I think it isn't valid "problem" in the first place.
 
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Soupie

Paranormal Adept
To you it might seem that way ( nice animation ), but I've said from the start that the MBP is only a problem because it's seen as a problem. The whole idea of there being a goalpost is an illusion. Progress can only be made by changing the game.
The relation between mind and body cannot be explained. It can only be accepted as a given and then described. The same thing can be said for other phenomena already mentioned. For example electromagnetism isn't explained by electrons, because then we can ask why an electron should have any charge at all. There is no "explanation" for that, and even if there were, we could ask the same question again about whatever is deemed to be causal.

In the end, it seems like all we can do is recognize that the phenomena of consciousness exists and then describe the manner in which it exists. Perhaps at some deep level of existence and knowledge that is unfathomable to us, there is also an explanation. That sort of puts me in the New Mysterians camp, but not quite in the same context. They believe the HPC cannot be resolved by humans while I think it isn't valid "problem" in the first place.
So to summarize:

There is no mind body problem. We just can’t explain how the mind and body are related. But there might be an explanation.

👀
 
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USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
So to summarize:

There is no mind body problem. We just can’t explain how the mind and body are related. But there might be an explanation.

👀
Almost. It's more like this: The MPB is not a valid problem because explaining how the mind an body are related cannot be done other than superficially. For more on that, see my post here: Superficial Questions Get Us Nowhere. To get non-trivial answers, we need another approach. For example we can work toward a detailed description of the situation involving minds and bodies. There might be an explanation for how such things are related if we can someday explain how the rules of nature came into existence. Unfortunately, that is well beyond my intellectual reach.
 
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Soupie

Paranormal Adept
I'm not. Would you explain what they are? Thanks.
The recent Anil Seth paper I posted gives probably the best overview of predictive processing to date that I’m aware (PP). For the record, the ecological approach to perception seems to have embraced PP and the concept of active inference.

The psychology today article you posted about Friston is probably the most accessible explanation of the free energy principal (fep).

fep and pp can go together. You will note that Anil references about 6-7 Friston papers in his paper on pp.

Fep and pp in a nutshell is the idea that self organizing systems model their environment in an adaptive way to maintain homeostasis—minimizing uncertainly and the use of energy.

these concepts are relevant to understanding the nature of mind and life.
 

marduk

quelling chaos since 2352BC
The phenomenological tradition in modern philosophy understands the subject-object relation not in terms of dualism but in terms of dialectical relations between subject and object. This is clarified in the following overview of dialectics in philosophy:

dialectic
Ya, I get it. What I'm getting at is the dialectic is fundamentally a human invention - a 'mental tool' used to help humans frame questions and achieve human comprehension:

Generally speaking, dialectic is a mode of thought, or a philosophic medium, through which contradiction becomes a starting point (rather than a dead end) for contemplation. As such, dialectic is the medium that helps us comprehend a world that is racked by paradox.
(from the linked article).

This is fundamentally different from say, math or physics, which can be construed (at least partly) as universal and not artifacts of human cognition. Things like absorption lines in spectra, set theory, and even things like prime numbers can be safely construed as universal - meaning, it's just the way the universe works isotropically.

My point is to say that if we're going to try to view consciousness as an isotropic nature of the universe, you're going to have to somehow relate it to stuff we know is already isotropic to the universe, then say how it solves for consciousness, then explain why it doesn't show up in any physical measurement of the universe, but somehow still influences matter (our brains).

My belief is that attempting to use the dialectical model of human thought to describe the universe is a category error. But perhaps I'm misunderstanding?
 

marduk

quelling chaos since 2352BC
I think that is what @Soupie is asking, and I think it's an essential question. How would you respond to it?
I would say that it's provably true (using things like MRIs, etc) that the physical responses in the brain precede the conscious responses in the mind, therefore physicality precedes cognition.

Therefore it's reasonable to assume that consciousness arises from physics, and not vice versa. It also makes the work Radin does to demonstrate some scenarios where the opposite seems to happen very interesting.
 


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