Could this be an incisive definition for consciousness?

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Consul
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Re: Could this be an incisive definition for consciousness?

Post by Consul » October 11th, 2017, 9:05 am

RJG wrote:Bruno, it is NOT logically possible for our consciousness to be conscious of itself.
Of course not, since consciousness is not a conscious being; but conscious beings can be conscious of themselves and their consciousness.
RJG wrote:Yes. The ‘thought’ must exist BEFORE I can be consciously aware of it.

If I am conscious of a thought (that contains some knowledge of X), then that thought was unconsciously generated (via bodily reaction) PRIOR to my conscious awareness of said thought.
Right, but from the fact that awareness of an experience cannot begin to be before the experience begins to be it doesn't follow that awareness of an experience and the experience cannot overlap temporally in the sense of occurring simultaneously for some time.
However, if "introspection" means "introspective thought", then it doesn't seem possible for a thought and an (additional) introspective thought about it to occur simultaneously. Can I think two different thoughts at the same time, with the one being about the other?
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Re: Could this be an incisive definition for consciousness?

Post by Empiricist-Bruno » October 11th, 2017, 9:42 am

RJG
What’s the difference? Aren’t humans biological "machines"?
It sounds like you're a machine with possibly some self doubts. Machines aren't widely known to be like that. I don't recognize this talk as machine talk (other than by the fact that a machine is presenting it) but you can try and convince me otherwise. Good luck!

-- Updated October 11th, 2017, 9:44 am to add the following --

RJG, did your mother ever told you you were a machine? Did you come to this conclusion on your own?
All you need is love- (But not the one from narcissists)

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Re: Could this be an incisive definition for consciousness?

Post by Steve3007 » October 11th, 2017, 9:54 am

I don't recognize this talk as machine talk (other than by the fact that a machine is presenting it) but you can try and convince me otherwise. Good luck!
In an environment like this I think it would be trivially easy for a human to convince you that you are talking to a machine. It's the other way around that's the difficult one.

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Re: Could this be an incisive definition for consciousness?

Post by RJG » October 11th, 2017, 11:11 am

Togo1 wrote:150 milliseconds is old data from the 1970s. With modern equipment, Soon, Brass, Heinze, and Haynes (2008) pushed that figure out to 7 seconds (sic). Eysenck claims to have pushed it out even futher.
Good info Togo1.
Togo1 wrote:It's worth thinking about the implications of that. 7 seconds is a pretty big gap.
Yes, the implications are huge! Though, it is not necessarily the ‘amount’ of time that really matters, as much as the ‘before-and-after’ relationship. For example:
  • 1. If you were consciously viewing an old video of yourself at the age of ten, is there anything you can do ‘now’ to change what you did back ‘then’?

    2. How about if you were consciously viewing what you did yesterday, is there anything you can do ‘now’ to change what you did ‘then’?

    3. Okay, so how about with your ‘current’ conscious experience of what you did 150 milliseconds (or more) ago, is there anything you can do ‘now’ to change what you did ‘then’?
As you can see, the ‘amount’ of time lag/delay only makes the implication more or less ‘obvious’. But it is actually the ‘before-and-after’ relationship that truly exposes the impossibilities of such notions as “conscious control” (aka free-will/mental-causation/conscious-causation), or anything else that implies “consciously doing” something/anything.

Consul wrote:…but conscious beings can be conscious of themselves and their consciousness.
Not so. ...this falls into the same illogic as previously mentioned.

A “conscious being” CANNOT be conscious of ‘itself’! It cannot be in TWO places at ONE time. It cannot be both the ‘subject’ and ‘object’ simultaneously. Again, a knife cannot cut itself, a hammer cannot hit itself, ...and a conscious being cannot be conscious of itself!

Consul wrote:Right, but from the fact that awareness of an experience cannot begin to be before the experience begins to be it doesn't follow that awareness of an experience and the experience cannot overlap temporally in the sense of occurring simultaneously for some time.
Not so. Although "overlap" of events are possible, these events can NEVER EVER "occur simultaneously".

For example, using the TV live broadcast baseball analogy:

Suppose the batter remains absolutely motionless for 8 seconds, and the TV transmission delay is 7 seconds (from real-time at Fenway Park to my living room TV), then there will be 1 second of “overlap” where my view (on my TV) matches that of reality at Fenway Park. But this “overlap” is NOT simultaneous. On my TV, I see the ‘first’ second (of the total 8 seconds), whereas in reality (at Fenway), the batter is on his ‘last’ of 8 seconds.

Consul, to help better understand all this, imagine two identical time lines, one above the other. Now slide the bottom time line to the right 150 ms. The top is 'real-time' (that which happens in reality), and the lower is 'conscious-time' (that which happens in the conscious mind of the observer). As you can see 'reality' always LEADS 'consciousness' (or 'consciousness always LAGS 'reality).

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Re: Could this be an incisive definition for consciousness?

Post by Chili » October 11th, 2017, 12:06 pm

I am conscious of myself being conscious, but this does not take place in the objective universe where science makes its measurements.

Perhaps I am conscious now that I was conscious of something else a few seconds ago.

My reports will say "I am conscious of being conscious" but aren't reports these the wisps of universal cause-and-effect of the big bang's particles of matter?

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Re: Could this be an incisive definition for consciousness?

Post by RJG » October 11th, 2017, 2:09 pm

RJG wrote:A “conscious being” CANNOT be conscious of ‘itself’! It cannot be in TWO places at ONE time. It cannot be both the ‘subject’ and ‘object’ simultaneously. Again, a knife cannot cut itself, a hammer cannot hit itself, ...and a conscious being cannot be conscious of itself!
Chili wrote:I am conscious of myself being conscious, but this does not take place in the objective universe where science makes its measurements.
Sorry Chili, but even in one’s own ‘subjective’ universe, it is still NOT possible for the impossible to be possible!

One can NEVER be conscious of ‘oneself’. -- One can only be conscious of the ‘imaginary image’ (the mental representation) of oneself.
Chili wrote:Perhaps I am conscious now [of the 'thought' (memory)] that I was conscious of something else a few seconds ago.
Chili wrote:My reports will say "I am conscious of [the 'thought' or 'feeling' of] being conscious"...
[RJG edits]
Last edited by RJG on October 11th, 2017, 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Could this be an incisive definition for consciousness?

Post by Chili » October 11th, 2017, 2:27 pm

RJG wrote: Sorry Chili, but even in one’s own ‘subjective’ universe, it is still NOT possible for the impossible to be possible!

One can NEVER be conscious of ‘oneself’. -- One can only be conscious of the ‘imaginary image’ (the mental representation) of oneself. And anything this 'imaginary image' does, is likewise imaginary.
I am only ever looking at one side of the Moon, and I will say that I am conscious of it, though I may only be seeing a small % of it's matter. I am basically right about where it is - or the rough direction at any rate. Thus I am at least this conscious of myself, no?

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Re: Could this be an incisive definition for consciousness?

Post by RJG » October 11th, 2017, 3:06 pm

Chili wrote:I am only ever looking at one side of the Moon, and I will say that I am conscious of it, though I may only be seeing a small % of it's matter. I am basically right about where it is - or the rough direction at any rate. Thus I am at least this conscious of myself, no?
I think not. For it seems that if we are as conscious of our-‘self’, as we are with the moon, then we should be able to at least describe this conscious ‘self’ in the same manner and ease as describing the moon. And since it does not seem possible to get a 'first-hand' view of our conscious 'self', we therefore must rely on our 'imagination' to paint his picture.

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Re: Could this be an incisive definition for consciousness?

Post by Chili » October 11th, 2017, 3:53 pm

RJG wrote:
Chili wrote:I am only ever looking at one side of the Moon, and I will say that I am conscious of it, though I may only be seeing a small % of it's matter. I am basically right about where it is - or the rough direction at any rate. Thus I am at least this conscious of myself, no?
I think not. For it seems that if we are as conscious of our-‘self’, as we are with the moon, then we should be able to at least describe this conscious ‘self’ in the same manner and ease as describing the moon. And since it does not seem possible to get a 'first-hand' view of our conscious 'self', we therefore must rely on our 'imagination' to paint his picture.
Surely to have an imagination and know it is to be conscious of at least this part of oneself.

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Re: Could this be an incisive definition for consciousness?

Post by Consul » October 11th, 2017, 4:54 pm

RJG wrote:
Consul wrote:…but conscious beings can be conscious of themselves and their consciousness.
Not so. ...this falls into the same illogic as previously mentioned.
A “conscious being” CANNOT be conscious of ‘itself’! It cannot be in TWO places at ONE time. It cannot be both the ‘subject’ and ‘object’ simultaneously. Again, a knife cannot cut itself, a hammer cannot hit itself, ...and a conscious being cannot be conscious of itself!
Of course it can. That's called self-consciousness, and we (the mentally mature and normal among us at least) have the highest form of it: personal self-consciousness. A personally self-conscious being (person) is "a thinking intelligent being that has reason and reflection, and can consider itself as itself, the same thinking thing in different times and places" (Locke).
RJG wrote:
Consul wrote:Right, but from the fact that awareness of an experience cannot begin to be before the experience begins to be it doesn't follow that awareness of an experience and the experience cannot overlap temporally in the sense of occurring simultaneously for some time.
Not so. Although "overlap" of events are possible, these events can NEVER EVER "occur simultaneously".

For example, using the TV live broadcast baseball analogy:

Suppose the batter remains absolutely motionless for 8 seconds, and the TV transmission delay is 7 seconds (from real-time at Fenway Park to my living room TV), then there will be 1 second of “overlap” where my view (on my TV) matches that of reality at Fenway Park. But this “overlap” is NOT simultaneous. On my TV, I see the ‘first’ second (of the total 8 seconds), whereas in reality (at Fenway), the batter is on his ‘last’ of 8 seconds.

Consul, to help better understand all this, imagine two identical time lines, one above the other. Now slide the bottom time line to the right 150 ms. The top is 'real-time' (that which happens in reality), and the lower is 'conscious-time' (that which happens in the conscious mind of the observer). As you can see 'reality' always LEADS 'consciousness' (or 'consciousness always LAGS 'reality).
As far as sensory perception is concerned, you are right; but the question is whether there is a time delay in the case of introspection (inner perception/observation) too.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Could this be an incisive definition for consciousness?

Post by RJG » October 11th, 2017, 9:20 pm

Consul wrote:
RJG wrote:A “conscious being” CANNOT be conscious of ‘itself’! It cannot be in TWO places at ONE time. It cannot be both the ‘subject’ and ‘object’ simultaneously. Again, a knife cannot cut itself, a hammer cannot hit itself, ...and a conscious being cannot be conscious of itself!
Of course it can.
Consul, can you answer this honestly? --- When the self is conscious of itself, is this self the ‘observer’ or the ‘observed’?

Or do you believe that this ‘self’ can somehow 'spin-around' fast enough to meet ‘himself’ face-to-face?
Consul wrote:That's called self-consciousness, and we (the mentally mature and normal among us at least) have the highest form of it: personal self-consciousness. A personally self-conscious being (person) is "a thinking intelligent being that has reason and reflection, and can consider itself as itself, the same thinking thing in different times and places" (Locke).
So where in here is the mention of experiencing ‘self’? ...note: experiencing ‘thoughts’ is NOT experiencing ‘self’, nor is it being 'self-conscious'.

Consul wrote:As far as sensory perception is concerned, you are right; but the question is whether there is a time delay in the case of introspection (inner perception/observation) too.
Can you give an example of an “instantaneously known” introspection?

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Re: Could this be an incisive definition for consciousness?

Post by Ranvier » October 11th, 2017, 10:26 pm

Consul

I applaud you for arguing on behalf of the obvious, it's often the most difficult thing to do.

RJG

You are not passively "experiencing" someone else's "thoughts" but your own "thoughts" of self.

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Re: Could this be an incisive definition for consciousness?

Post by Burning ghost » October 11th, 2017, 10:54 pm

RJG -

I think you've managed to turn this into a farce again.

I can try one last time to pull you out of the mess though. How about trying to deal with the questions/responses you don't answer instead of constantly repeating yourself over and over and over?

For starters I don't see how you've dealt with the issue of this "PRIOR" you talk about. WE can take some knee-jerk responses and say "I didn't do that!" because it was not a conscious act and even if I saw it coming I wouldn't be able to stop my leg from twitching. The question then is does my knee know what it is doing more than I do? If I am merely a passenger to bodily reactions then where and how do these reactions take place?

What is more how can you talk about "PRIOR" if you are nothing? There is no PRIOR for you only some distanced representation of an assumed PRIOR, an assumption made by your apparent fallacy of conscious being? This is quite contradictory, and what is more when we dig into many problem we hit a certain barrier where things become more and more difficult to disentangle. This does not mean that making a tangled problem and ignoring the argumentation that goes against the principle is in any way a sign of intellectual progression. It is merely a refusal to take on the task of intellectual exploration and to remain talking to yourself in riddles believing it is the fault of others rather than considering the fault is firmly in your court with your scattered and ambiguous definitions that are barely parallel to common parse in these technical areas.

So answer me HOW you can know, or even make the claim to partly know what "PRIOR" is (and therefore use the term) in the first instance? You refute your own words and then continue to use them as if your very own refutation was either complete gibberish (which I am inclined to MOSTLY agree with) or that you simply have some kind of selective memory that allows you to dismiss what you yourself state two or three sentences before ... not that there can be a "before" and if there is then you should seriously present what that means rather than playing your very, VERY, VERY old record.

If you merely wish to state you believe the universe is a clock-work universe and that you don't believe in free-will and adhere to nihilism, fair enough. Stop ramming it down everyone's throat though simply because you believe it doesn't matter ... which is kind of ironic because if it doesn't matter why are you here? Simply to antagonize fooling yourself into believing the false pretense you set out so you can excuse your own utter disregard for any kind of intellectual develop? Do you wish to confound others because you feel slighted by your own capacity? I see no reason for any of your remarks other than as either a cry for help, a frustrated reaction to your own lack of discipline/confidence/ability or a purposeful intent to disrupt other peoples thoughts with what I can only seriously consider as either troll-like toxic comments and/or an aimless drive to understand.

To be clear. I am attacking you and your thoughts. They are one and the same. I don't care who you are, but I care what you think. It is a somewhat "personal attack" in the sense of after seeing your words repeated over and over for 4-5 years without change.

Here is the evidence. You don't believe you can learn or change anything so you remain stuck in a cage pretending you incapable of opening the door and exiting into the world of "choice" and "learning":
I have a problem understanding HOW one has "...the ability to change their world". By what mechanism? We certainly can't do it simply by being aware. Where does this control come from? I know it 'feels' obvious, but when looking closer at this, it just isn't there.
sciencechatforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=51 ... eterminism

And as you wish to quote Leo :
RJG. I know we've been here before but I still don't see what point you're trying to make. Are you suggesting that you are just a mindless automaton executing a pre-determined programme? Because I'm certainly not, and if I thought for one moment that I was I would have done the only logical thing possible years ago and put an end to the ridiculous charade of living. Can't you see that what you are suggesting doesn't make sense?

Regards Leo
This old quote might open up some discussion though:
The only possible control is non-conscious control.
If you say this then I assume you admit there is control? If the unconscious control is observed consciously then do you feel it at all possible that the conscious part may have some feedback to the unconscious controlling part? If you simply choose (or not by your claim) to believe you have no effect does this mean you have no effect? Not choosing is a choice and it rightly makes no difference to the situation if you have 0% influence on anything, yet if there is a 0.001% chance you are wrong then you're living a lie that has an effect rather than living a lie that has no effect.

If you believe that consciousness is the end state of an entropic process (meaning you cannot un-fry an egg), then what does it mean if you prove this beyond all dispute? Can it proven? If we all see the evidence and see we have causal effect in the world then what would happen? Would we all just "die" and consciousness cease? Or are we put together in such a way to adhere to the so called "illusion"? If so then to what end? This effectively ends with you in nihilism and me aware of your nihilistic tendencies.

-- Updated October 11th, 2017, 11:01 pm to add the following --

Further is another case of complete misunderstandings of how to use technical language within a particular field of discussion:
When the self is conscious of itself, is this self the ‘observer’ or the ‘observed’?
SELF is neither an object or a subject. SELF is the item of thought held consciously when thinking about your own personal machinations. It is the recognition of a limit of experience known through interaction with the environment. The sense of self for a girl brought up by wolves is a "wolf-self", although language (in the verbal sense) is not needed for a sense of self and other, although some would argue it is necessary for functioning in a social way.
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Re: Could this be an incisive definition for consciousness?

Post by RJG » October 12th, 2017, 7:59 am

Burning ghost, although I am somewhat flattered by your admitted "personal attacks" against me, I hope you understand my reluctance to respond to these types of postings.

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. -- Arthur Schopenhauer
Ranvier wrote:You are not passively "experiencing" someone else's "thoughts" but your own "thoughts" of self.
Agreed, but again, experiencing the "thought" of self is NOT experiencing the "self" itself.

Experiencing the "thought" of a 'pink elephant' does not mean experiencing the 'pink elephant' himself.

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Re: Could this be an incisive definition for consciousness?

Post by Consul » October 12th, 2017, 9:55 am

RJG wrote:
Consul wrote: (Nested quote removed.)

Of course it can.
Consul, can you answer this honestly? --- When the self is conscious of itself, is this self the ‘observer’ or the ‘observed’?

Or do you believe that this ‘self’ can somehow 'spin-around' fast enough to meet ‘himself’ face-to-face?
Consul wrote:That's called self-consciousness, and we (the mentally mature and normal among us at least) have the highest form of it: personal self-consciousness. A personally self-conscious being (person) is "a thinking intelligent being that has reason and reflection, and can consider itself as itself, the same thinking thing in different times and places" (Locke).
So where in here is the mention of experiencing ‘self’? ...note: experiencing ‘thoughts’ is NOT experiencing ‘self’, nor is it being 'self-conscious'.
First of all, I don't like the noun "self", because it's an odd reification of the reflexive pronouns. If we want to talk about subjects, we should use the noun "subject" rather than "self". I agree with Eric Olson that…

"Because there is no agreed use of the term 'self', or characteristic features or even paradigm cases of selves, there is no idea of 'the self' to figure in philosophical problems. The term leads to troubles otherwise avoidable; and because legitimate discussions under the heading of 'self' are really about other things, it is gratuitous. I propose that we stop speaking of selves."

(Eric Olson: "There is no Problem of the Self" [PDF])

In my ontological understanding, a subject is a kind of object (in the ontological sense—"object of being"/"existential object"—and not in the intentionalistic psychological sense—"object of thought"/"intentional object") and a kind of material object: an experiencing material object. I also think that such objects are animal organisms/animals. (The whole organism could be called the "big subject", and its brain as the organ of mind/consciousness could be called the "small subject".)

I am a human organism, and as such I am conscious of myself by having both percepts and concepts of myself. I can perceive myself by means of external perception (e.g. I can see me, my hands, my legs, etc.), by means of internal physical/physiological perception (proprioception, interoception, bodily awareness), and by means of internal mental/psychological perception (introspection); and I can reflect on myself by means of concepts which enable me to think about myself, about my individual existence, identity, and history in space and time.
RJG wrote:
Consul wrote:As far as sensory perception is concerned, you are right; but the question is whether there is a time delay in the case of introspection (inner perception/observation) too.
Can you give an example of an “instantaneously known” introspection?
For example, you feel a pain in your stomach which begins at 00:00 and ends at 00:10. At 00:05 you are introspectively aware/conscious of the 10min-long pain. The question is: Are you aware of the pain at 00:05 exactly as it is at 00:05 or only as it was some time ago, say 00:04.50? Is introspection always time-delayed (like sensory perception), in the sense that its experiential object is never innerly perceived as it is now but only as it was some time ago—such that, strictly speaking, introspection is always (immediate) retrospection?
My answer is no, but if there is convincing scientific evidence for an affirmative answer, I will change my mind. However, there's an epistemological problem:

"If what some have called introspective observation turns out in fact to be retrospection, how is that fact determined? If by experience and not by some a priori argument, then by what kind of experience if not introspective observation? James apparently believed that (careful) introspection does show us that, when we suppose ourselves inwardly observing ongoing anxiety states, we are in fact retrospectively considering (immediately recalling) those states just past. But, to reiterate my point, it would seem that we require contemporaneous introspective observation precisely for making that determination, for bringing to introspective attention the difference between introspection-as-observation (contemporaneous with what is observed) and introspection-as-retrospection (short-term memory judgment)."

(Myers, Gerald E. "Pragmatism and Introspective Psychology." In The Cambridge Companion to William James, edited by Ruth Anna Putnam, 11-24. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997. p. 14)
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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