Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

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JamesOfSeattle
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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by JamesOfSeattle » June 23rd, 2018, 2:38 pm

Actually, Dasein works pretty well as a reference to a mechanism in the Framework I just described, although the reference is to the functional mechanism in the sense that the physical mechanism can be abstracted away. Thus, Dasein refers to the set of functions the mechanism can perform. The physical world, or umwelt, is the set of inputs to which the mechanism could respond. Ready-to-hand actually refers to incorporating mechanisms outside the base mechanism as part of the process in question. Thus, when an artist uses a chainsaw to carve a sculpture without thinking of the chainsaw as a separate thing other than as part of the process, the chainsaw is ready-to-hand.

I haven’t looked at Sartre yet.

*
[to exist is to be a mechanism for at least one process, i.e., to have causal power]

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Mosesquine
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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by Mosesquine » June 23rd, 2018, 3:32 pm

chewybrian wrote:
June 22nd, 2018, 7:27 pm
Mosesquine wrote:
June 22nd, 2018, 6:35 pm



Your point is not clear. Say anything clearly.
You say you can't find souls, angels, and Gods. But you can find thoughts in your mind and you can and do experience consciousness and free will. You are cherry picking the aspects that are easiest to attack.

Thoughts, consciousness, will... these things don't have material existence, but they do impact the material world. So, if they can cause effects without any force, weight, etc. to exert, then perhaps they are not subject to the same laws that govern material things.

Physicalism is the very idea that thoughts in minds are essentially physical!!! You failed to refute physicalism!!! Psst---!!!

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Greta
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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by Greta » June 23rd, 2018, 7:40 pm

Tamminen wrote:
June 23rd, 2018, 4:36 am
Greta wrote:
June 22nd, 2018, 9:16 pm
Some years ago there was a fierce storm and I ran outside to close the car windows. Just as I was getting back out of the car there was a lightning flash too close for comfort and, without a single thought in my head, I bolted like a jackrabbit back to the building. It was perhaps more physical than anything I've known!
Escaping a storm surely feels physical, and thinking about eternity in a silent room surely feels spiritual, but both are modes of consciousness, and their logical and ontological status in relation to the physical world is the same.
I'm not sure what you mean here, Tam.

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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by Tamminen » June 24th, 2018, 3:16 am

Greta wrote:
June 23rd, 2018, 7:40 pm
Tamminen wrote:
June 23rd, 2018, 4:36 am

Escaping a storm surely feels physical, and thinking about eternity in a silent room surely feels spiritual, but both are modes of consciousness, and their logical and ontological status in relation to the physical world is the same.
I'm not sure what you mean here, Tam.
I only mean that whether your feeling physical is itself physical or reducible to physical is still an open question, in the same way as the question whether your feeling spiritual is itself spiritual or reducible to spiritual.

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by ThomasHobbes » June 24th, 2018, 4:37 am

Present awareness wrote:
June 22nd, 2018, 8:29 pm
ThomasHobbes wrote:
June 22nd, 2018, 12:18 pm


Everything is physical.
"Physical" is like "atheist". It only requires to be used as a word to imply that which does not have any material or energetic reality.
In the same way we would have no need os "atheist" is there were no theists in the world.

Whatever consciousness is, it is in fact physical. Specifically it is a property of biologically derived neural matter.
Nothing is physical. According to Tesla, everything is electricity.
Please cite!

Even electricity is physical.

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by ThomasHobbes » June 24th, 2018, 4:38 am

Tamminen wrote:
June 24th, 2018, 3:16 am
Greta wrote:
June 23rd, 2018, 7:40 pm

I'm not sure what you mean here, Tam.
I only mean that whether your feeling physical is itself physical or reducible to physical is still an open question, in the same way as the question whether your feeling spiritual is itself spiritual or reducible to spiritual.
Feelings of all kinds are physical.
When body parts are lost; feelings are lost.

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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by Tamminen » June 24th, 2018, 4:47 am

JamesOfSeattle wrote:
June 23rd, 2018, 12:59 pm
I’m trying to get at the fundamental requirements for consciousness
Fine, and maybe you have found them. But that does not mean you have found consciousness. You use terms like 'discern', 'semantics', 'meaning', 'memory', 'concept', 'mental' etc. that already presuppose the being of consciousness. You describe the structure of consciousness and its material requirements, but fail to solve the "hard problem", for which I do not blame you, because there is no such problem. Science can only find correlations between consciousness and material processes, not identity in the sense of a common conceptual framework. The language of consciousness can perhaps be translated into the language of neuroscience, but a common language is impossible because of the general structure of reality: the subject's consciousness of the world. The first person point of view, which is an essential feature of consciousness, makes it impossible to speak of it in the same language as we speak of material processes. This is how I see the situation.

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chewybrian
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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by chewybrian » June 24th, 2018, 4:53 am

Mosesquine wrote:
June 23rd, 2018, 3:32 pm
Physicalism is the very idea that thoughts in minds are essentially physical!!! You failed to refute physicalism!!! Psst---!!!
Well, you've laid out a self-fulfilling argument that accepts your conclusion as a given:
Mosesquine wrote:
June 20th, 2018, 7:07 am
1. Conscious phenomena exist.
2. Whatever exists is physical.
Therefore, 3. Conscious phenomena are physical.
Q.E.D.
Nobody could refute it, if they buy that, but I don't. Saying that consciousness is physical is not proving it. I am not attempting to disprove it, but simply to say that we don't know. It's my opinion that thoughts are not physical, but it could go either way.

You've avoided every question so far. See if you can answer these:

You have two perfectly identical twins, one alive and one dead. What is the PHYSICAL difference between the two? How much does 'alive' weigh? How much space does it occupy? How many calories can you get from burning it? What characteristics of physical things are present in the life force? What physical thing or things could we add to the dead girl to make her alive?

Again, none of this is intended to 'prove' consciousness is not physical, but only to show that you can not, have not proven that it is, and that there is considerable doubt.

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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by Tamminen » June 24th, 2018, 4:55 am

ThomasHobbes wrote:
June 24th, 2018, 4:38 am
Feelings of all kinds are physical.
Neurological correlations of feelings are physical. We must make a conceptual distinction here.

Tamminen
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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by Tamminen » June 24th, 2018, 7:31 am

I meant correlates.

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Consul
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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by Consul » June 24th, 2018, 7:58 am

Tamminen wrote:
June 24th, 2018, 4:47 am
The language of consciousness can perhaps be translated into the language of neuroscience, but a common language is impossible because of the general structure of reality: the subject's consciousness of the world. The first person point of view, which is an essential feature of consciousness, makes it impossible to speak of it in the same language as we speak of material processes. This is how I see the situation.
"In taking the identity theory (in its various forms) as a species of physicalism, I should say that this is an ontological, not a translational physicalism. It would be absurd to try to translate sentences containing the word ‘brain’ or the word ‘sensation’ into sentences about electrons, protons and so on. Nor can we so translate sentences containing the word ‘tree’. After all ‘tree’ is largely learned ostensively, and is not even part of botanical classification. If we were small enough a dandelion might count as a tree. Nevertheless a physicalist could say that trees are complicated physical mechanisms." – J. J. C. Smart: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/mind-identity/

To say that the subject matter of psychology/phenomenology is ontologically reducible to the subject matter of physics is not necessarily to say that the language, the concepts or predicates of psychology/phenomenology are translatable into and replaceable by the language, the concepts or predicates of physics.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Consul
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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by Consul » June 24th, 2018, 8:07 am

chewybrian wrote:
June 24th, 2018, 4:53 am
You have two perfectly identical twins, one alive and one dead. What is the PHYSICAL difference between the two? How much does 'alive' weigh? How much space does it occupy? How many calories can you get from burning it? What characteristics of physical things are present in the life force? What physical thing or things could we add to the dead girl to make her alive?
What makes the difference between being alive and being dead is surely not the presence or absence of a nonphysical life force/energy (élan vital or qi). In contemporary biology, vitalism is as dead as the dodo.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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chewybrian
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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by chewybrian » June 24th, 2018, 8:37 am

Consul wrote:
June 24th, 2018, 8:07 am
What makes the difference between being alive and being dead is surely not the presence or absence of a nonphysical life force/energy (élan vital or qi). In contemporary biology, vitalism is as dead as the dodo.
Should you not be expected, on a philosophy forum, to "show your work"? Stating something, however forcefully, without backing it up in any way, allows me to dismiss it out of hand if I wish. What evidence do you offer?

Don't physical things have characteristics that can be verified to help convince us that they are physical? If I tell you there is an alligator in the corner of the room, you should be able to check this out in an number of ways with: your senses, a scale, a camera, an MRI machine, a duck which is not dear to you, etc. Or, you will rightly deny the presence of the alligator if you can not verify its presence.

So, would you agree that physical things have properties which can be verified to prove that the things are physical. If something has none of these properties to show us, then why would we conclude it must be physical? If consciousness has any such properties, what are they?

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Present awareness
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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by Present awareness » June 24th, 2018, 8:40 am

That which is physical, has mass and can be measured in terms of weight, size, etc. Light does not have mass and therefore is not physical, in accordance with the definition. Calling light physical, doesn’t make it so, but anyone can say whatever they like, just as I’m doing here. Electricity is not physical, which allows it to travel freely though physical conductors. All forms of energy act upon mass, but have no mass of there own. A fire requires the chemical reaction between fuel, oxygen and heat and the byproduct is heat and light. The human body also required fuel, oxygen and heat and the byproduct is heat and consciousness (light).
Even though you can see me, I might not be here.

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chewybrian
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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by chewybrian » June 24th, 2018, 9:14 am

Present awareness wrote:
June 24th, 2018, 8:40 am
That which is physical, has mass and can be measured in terms of weight, size, etc. Light does not have mass and therefore is not physical, in accordance with the definition. Calling light physical, doesn’t make it so, but anyone can say whatever they like, just as I’m doing here. Electricity is not physical, which allows it to travel freely though physical conductors. All forms of energy act upon mass, but have no mass of there own. A fire requires the chemical reaction between fuel, oxygen and heat and the byproduct is heat and light. The human body also required fuel, oxygen and heat and the byproduct is heat and consciousness (light).
I appreciate the effort and it has some appeal to say that consciousness is energy over saying it is matter. But, it quickly raises a couple questions:

Is energy or light physical, or does it need its own category?

Does consciousness share any properties of energy or light that might be verified? Can your awareness charge a battery, cast a shadow, or set something on fire? What is it about consciousness that could put it in the category of energy, whether we call that a subset of matter or something else?

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