Chili wrote:Wow, that's of mere assertions.
I thought that's what we were doing? Your post came up with the following:
If scientists approached human behaviour dispassionately, they would not believe in consciousness
Behavioural scientists reach conclusions about consciousness only to the extent that they carry forward their initial unscientific patterns of thought.
Determinism is merely the presence of cause and effect
Lack of determinism can only mean randomness
Consciousness involves dualism and 'mind over matter'
All of which were 'mere assertions'. Or is this a standard that only applies to people who disagree with what you consider obvious?
Togo1 wrote:I can assure there are plenty of scientists who treat people with far fewer preconceptions than meterologists treat thunderstorms, and indeed regard such fields as dangerously lacking in experimental controls. I'm not sure if you've ever worked with animal behaviourists, but they are the ones who by default reject the very concept of internal states (i.e. values held internally) except where it can be experimentally verified. We can assume computers hold values internally, but not mice.
You really did nothing to argue effectively with what I said before.
<shrug> What you posted before wasn't an arguement, just an assertion of how a particular scientific discpline functions. Given that you were incorrect on the facts, there wasn't really much more I could say.
Chili wrote:If you approach the world in terms of physics, a mouse is not really different from a stone or a computer - these are all made of particles which follow paths, and obey more or less Newtonian rules of not moving unless they are moved.
Yes. However, mice do move, so you need to account for that. The question then becomes how. In physics you create a model in which there is almost no internal activity going on within a stone, and newtonian physics, incorrect as it is, becomes a decent approximation as to the stones behaviour.
If you do that with a mouse, it doesn't work. That is to say it doesn't accurately predict the mouse's observed behaviour. Which shouldn't surprise us, because there's a lot of complicated systems built into a mouse that don't appear in, say, a stone. So animal behaviourists approach the problem by trying to posit as few internal states as possible, and then testing that hypothesis via experiments. Once you have confirmed the kinds of internal states that best fit the observations, you start to end up with something that looks like, and has the general shape of, conscious decision making.
There are processes, closely correlated with subject reports of conscious experience, that take up time in the decision process, change the modality of the decision process, light up the brain in ways common to each other and not common to the decision process, consume large amounts of energy, and change the expected result. Scientists call this consciousness because they have to call it something, and that's really the only label that fits.
When humans or dictionaries use the word "consciousness", nearly always some type of subjectivity or sentience is implied. No subjectivity is implied by looking at complex processes in a computer, a mouse, or a human brain. I could say that a vending machine is conscious because "that's the only label that fits" and you would probably laugh.
Yes, I would, because there are models of vending machines that would fit better, that work purely on a stimulus-response basis. (enter coin, get drink). The question is what is implied when such a model does not fit, or fits very poorly?
Chili wrote:To the extent that the world is "non deterministic" then effects do not follow intelligible causes, and then we just stop doing science.
Quantum mechanics is non-determinisitc. Have we stopped doing science in particle physics?
Chili wrote:Determinism is the thesis that everything works in a strict chain of cause and effect, with softer forms of the thesis allowing for specific exemptions. It's a very popular way of looking at the universe, and works very well as a rule of thumb. To use your phrase, it's a habit of human thought that doesn't really have anything to do with the science.
Science only exists as causes can be ferreted out for effects. The more randomness you inject, the less science you can do.[/quote]
Science exists as matching events to local causes. Determinism is the thesis that causation is entirely fixed. Strictly speaking, the two are in conflict, becuase entirely fixed implies non-local. Are you assuming that everything is either fixed or random?