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Consciousness and the Paranormal



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Soupie

Paranormal Adept
Qualia are not objects; they are sensations and feelings experienced by living beings. Reading Evan Thompson's Mind in Life: Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of Mind would open your thinking to another perspective that will make it less easy for you to attempt to objectivize consciousness, mind, and life. Unless you prefer to continue doing so, of course. ;)
Re Qualia are not objects...

Again, I'm just searchig for language. What term would use to label them? Things? There are different qualia, right? Qualia that are distinct from one another? So can we say there are physical "things" and mental "things?" Sayre refers to it as a "structure" the SEP article on Neutral Monism.

I'm pretty certain the term "object" is used to describe the mental... I'm sure I've read "objects of intention" or something along those lines.

On a different note, a quote from W. James from the SEP article on monism [cant find it now] has been sticking with me (and something I wrote in the post I recently linked to for Steve.)

He said something along the lines that consciousness is a "container." That it's not there unless it's holding something. And I suppose it can "hold" itself. It reminds me of a meditation that Steve has described in which every thought/thing/object that comes to mind is denied, set aside. In that regard the mind is like a container and nothing in it, is it. Finally the mind can reflect/hold itself and even deny that... It recalls Cogito Ergo Sum. I can deny that this thought is me, but I can't deny that I'm thinking this thought isn't me.

Anyhow, what I has said to Steve — and many other times — is that the mind, say, doesn't experience green, but that the mind is green.

That is, the mind is like a container that takes the shape of whatever is in it at any given moment.

Thinking out loud: I like the idea of information being able to manifest physically or phenomenally in this way.
 

Soupie

Paranormal Adept
"Humph. I just tried to give a detailed example explaining this idea but I just know it will result in confusion."

Confusion we have already - so what can it hurt ... ? ;-) give us a try

http://www.philipgoffphilosophy.com...34/against_constitutive_russellian_monism.pdf

Combination problem ...




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I'm reading through that article now. Very well written.

Example:

There are two trees growing in a field next to a stone wall. Although ultimately all three are made of the same "stuff" we would say they were all different objects. (At least from one POV; they could also be argued to all belong to the same quantum "soup" but well I gone that for now.)

Now, you plant a seed in the ground. While it hasn't happened yet, in about 2-3 years, there will be a small tree there. It too — while distinct — will be made of the same stuff as the current two trees and stone wall. It just hasn't been "made" yet. We would say this young tree doesn't exist yet (from our POV) but will in the future and will be made of the same kind of stuff, albeit arranged uniquely, but not so uniquely that we wouldn't say it was a tree. However the stuff - albeit the same type of stuff - will be arranged much differently than the stone wall.

Now, imagine a person feeling (phenomenally) sadness and joy at (phenomenally) seeing their daughter get married. While sadness, joy, and seeing a wedding are phenomenal "things" they are all distinct from one another. But being all phenomenal, they consist of the same stuff, but since their distinct, this stuff must be arranged slightly differently for each — especially between the emotions and the sight, since they are different kinds of phenomenal things, just as trees and stone walls are different.

However, in the future, this daughter will have twins. This in the future — from our POV — this parent will experience great joy! Now, this joy does not exist yet. It will be "made" at the time the parent learns of the grand kids. However, we can assume this future joy — though currently not existing — will exist an will be very similar in "structure" to the sadness and joy they currently feel.

Whether phenomenal things/objects are made of quanta with protophenomenal properties, bits of information, or something else, they must - due to their apparent organization and predictability - have some type of structure. They are "made" of something.
 

Soupie

Paranormal Adept
"Humph. I just tried to give a detailed example explaining this idea but I just know it will result in confusion."

Confusion we have already - so what can it hurt ... ? ;-) give us a try

http://www.philipgoffphilosophy.com...34/against_constitutive_russellian_monism.pdf

Combination problem ...




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Okay, I'm on page 13 and I've got a problem with the authors argument. It centers on his notion of "subject of experience" and whether a "subject of experience" is fundamental.

It's not! That's what I've been saying. There is no "subject of experience" only "experience."

This goes way back to my argument about experience versus self-aware experience. Can there be experience in the absence of a subject? I think yes! Ugh.

Rough example:

We don't say nature has a tree, we say nature is a tree.

We can likewise, a mind doesn't have an anger, it is anger. A mind doesn't have a green, it is green.

No, a "subject of experience" isn't fundamental, but that - to me - doesn't mean experience isn't fundamental. There is no subject "having" and experience, the subject "is" the experience.
 

Soupie

Paranormal Adept
At the conclusion of the following post, a included a block of text in which Chalmers discusses the issue of whether we are "subjects."

Consciousness and the Paranormal | Page 102 | The Paracast Community Forums

I don't fully grok this, but I think it may be related to thought that experience can and do exist in the absence of subjects. That is, subjects aren't fundamental.

Anyhow, i finished the article posted by Steve. Good article.

1) I'm not sure whether disproves the idea that phenomenal experience are constituted of micro/proto phenomenal experiences or not. Haha.

2) I'm not sure it disproves constitutive Russelian monism as I understand it due to the inclusion of the "self experiencing anger" issue.

For example, I'm not how we can logically say:

There is a hurricane = There are "units" temporarily arranged hurricane-like

But we cannot logically (as opposed to technically) say:

There is an (instance of) anger = There are "units" temporarily arranged anger-like

At the end of the day, I'm not focused so much on whether physical particles also have (proto)phenomenal properties. I'm more interested in the structure of phenomenal objects/entities.
 

Goggs Mackay

Administrator
Staff member
Ok folks, im gonna close this thread now as its size is making it unwieldy. A few heavy contributors to this thread intend starting a Part II and possibly other, less generalized but related threads.
This is solely a logistical decision and in no way intended to curtail any of the discussion that has taken place here.

So long thread!

Goggs
 
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