How does a disembodied soul/mind/consciousness operate?

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
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Consul
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Re: How does a disembodied soul/mind/consciousness operate?

Post by Consul » May 9th, 2018, 5:19 pm

Consul wrote:
May 9th, 2018, 5:08 pm
I didn't say I don't want to continue our discussion on plant consciousness; I just said I don't want to do so here in this thread, which is about something completely different.
A plant mind is certainly not a disembodied mind.
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Re: How does a disembodied soul/mind/consciousness operate?

Post by Tamminen » May 10th, 2018, 4:20 am

Consul wrote:
May 9th, 2018, 5:11 pm
Tamminen wrote:
May 9th, 2018, 11:18 am
My ontological "concept" of subjectivity has nothing to do with either material or spiritual points. The term 'point' that I have sometimes used is only metaphorical, like in the case of Wittgenstein.
You cannot have subjectivity without subjects, so do you believe that subjects are spiritual substances?
Individual subjects are manifestations of subjectivity, as it is conscious of the material world, being concretely in the world. So the being of subjectivity is very closely and essentially related to matter, but it is not itself a property of matter. It is always already there along with the world, as a potentiality for existence, and the ontological precondition for the being of anything at all. What makes the identity of an individual subject is another question, and I think it has something to do with the phenomenon of memory, but I do not go into that now. And I think what connects individuals to each other is subjectivity itself, also called generic subjective continuity.

If you had read my posts above and elsewhere, which I doubt because of the strange conclusions you make, you would not ask questions about "spiritual substances" and the like. I trust empirical evidence and make ontological conclusions from them. Sometimes they do not look obvious to everyone. And it must be noted that among those pieces of empirical evidence are the facts of death and the existence of others.

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Re: How does a disembodied soul/mind/consciousness operate?

Post by Tamminen » May 10th, 2018, 8:03 am

If by 'substance' we mean something that does not need anything else for its being, then I do not think matter is substance, nor is subjectivity. Spinoza said that substance is Nature or God, and matter and mind are its attributes. I would say the unbreakable subject-object relation is what can be called substance, but then we can ask which one is the dominant part of this relation, the primus motor of everything.

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Re: How does a disembodied soul/mind/consciousness operate?

Post by Greta » May 10th, 2018, 7:42 pm

Consul wrote:
May 9th, 2018, 5:19 pm
Consul wrote:
May 9th, 2018, 5:08 pm
I didn't say I don't want to continue our discussion on plant consciousness; I just said I don't want to do so here in this thread, which is about something completely different.
A plant mind is certainly not a disembodied mind.
:lol: Indeed.

But if we were to find that there were different kinds of minds, wouldn't that have implications as to the thread's possibilities? It would broaden our search. Just as astrobiologists look for extremophiles on Earth to help them understand the boundaries, when looking for minds it surely would help to have a sense of the scope of the task. What if there is systematisation of things that we could not normally think of as nodes of a brainlike structure?

That would be perceived as a disembodied mind, but if we think of minds as simply akin to human or animal minds, then that narrows the search enormously. Failing the speculated existence of source phenomena in other dimensions, the answer would seemingly have to be "no", end of story. Yet would that result be useful? It would seem akin to saying that human minds are not found in non-human containers, which would seem inevitable anyway.

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Re: How does a disembodied soul/mind/consciousness operate?

Post by Consul » May 10th, 2018, 8:34 pm

Greta wrote:
May 10th, 2018, 7:42 pm
But if we were to find that there were different kinds of minds, wouldn't that have implications as to the thread's possibilities? It would broaden our search. Just as astrobiologists look for extremophiles on Earth to help them understand the boundaries, when looking for minds it surely would help to have a sense of the scope of the task. What if there is systematisation of things that we could not normally think of as nodes of a brainlike structure?

That would be perceived as a disembodied mind, but if we think of minds as simply akin to human or animal minds, then that narrows the search enormously. Failing the speculated existence of source phenomena in other dimensions, the answer would seemingly have to be "no", end of story. Yet would that result be useful? It would seem akin to saying that human minds are not found in non-human containers, which would seem inevitable anyway.
Of course, comparative neurophysiology is important. There may be alien animal species on other planets whose members have (central) nervous systems which are anatomically very unlike ours, but they must have some kind of brain in order to have a (conscious) mind. (Plants have no brain at all.)

By the way, we don't have to travel to other planets, because there are other kinds of minds/brains on Earth: The Mind of an Octopus
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: How does a disembodied soul/mind/consciousness operate?

Post by Consul » May 10th, 2018, 9:21 pm

[Well, being off-topic again…naughty me!]
Greta wrote:
May 9th, 2018, 1:56 am
I'm not saying that plants have structures that are equivalent to nervous systems, but that they may do; I am only calling into question the the completeness of current research in the area, not its quality.
Biologists have known for a long time that plants do not have nervous systems, so it's not epistemically possible that they have ones.
Greta wrote:
May 9th, 2018, 1:56 am
This century has seen repeated debunking of old assumptions made about the minds of other organisms, and it is has always been a matter of finding other organisms to be more like us than expected. Consider the assumptions previously made about bird intelligence because they lacked a neocortex, but neuroscience revealed a structure in their brains called the pallium that performs equivalent functions to the neocortex in mammals.
Okay, but, as opposed to plants, birds do have (central) nervous systems.
Greta wrote:
May 9th, 2018, 1:56 am
Conclusion of 2016 paper, Plant Intelligence: An Overview:
Plant behavior is similar to cognition in an analogous sense to that of a human being. A plant continually gathers and updates diverse information about its environment, integrates this with information on its present internal state, and then makes decisions that reconcile its well-being with its environment. Understanding plant behavior and intelligence has become one of the most exciting new and fast-moving frontiers in plant biology.
The paper quotes Darwin:
Darwin (1880) argued, “The tip of the root having the power of redirecting the movements of the adjoining parts acts like the brain of one of the lower animals receiving the impressions of sense organs and directing the several movements.”
Worth considering?
"A plant ‘brain’ is certainly a metaphor because Darwin recognized that plants have no nerves or nervous system, and he makes this very clear."

(Trewavas, Anthony. Plant Behaviour and Intelligence. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. p. 155)

"A recent letter to Trends in Plant Science signed by 36 scientists criticized the newly named area of plant neurobiology. This letter stated that ‘Its proponents have suggested that higher plants have nerves, synapses, the equivalent of a brain localized somewhere in the roots, and an intelligence’ and that these provocative ideas had developed over the past three years. It concluded that plant neurobiology does not add to our understanding of plant physiology, plant cell biology or signaling. I know of no plant biologist who contradicts the centuries-old anatomical evidence that shows that plants do not have nerves or a brain. Plant neurobiology is a metaphor. The claim quoted above by Amedeo Alpi et al. is factually incorrect, which could lead an unbiased reader to question the accuracy of any statements in the letter. However, metaphors can have substantial value and these few examples given below, out of many, substantially illustrate the value of neurobiology metaphors to plant biology and signaling.

Darwin’s ‘brain’

It was in 1880, not 3 years ago, that Charles Darwin concluded that ‘. . .the tip of the root acts like the brain of one of the lower animals, the brain being seated within the anterior end of the body receiving impressions from the sense organs and directing the several movements’. Was Darwin’s brain metaphor correct? I believe so. In discussing bacterial chemotaxis, the brain biologist, John Allmann, states that ‘. . .strictly speaking bacteria do not have nervous systems. . .but some of the most fundamental features of brains, such as sensory integration, memory, decision making and the control of behaviour, can all be found in these simple organisms’. Darwin (…) had experimentally demonstrated that root growth was altered in response to signals (control of behavior); that signals such as gravity, light, moisture and touch signals could be sensed simultaneously (sensory integration), that growing roots could distinguish between these signals and judge which was the most crucial to respond to (decision making and memory). More recent confirmatory demonstrations of Darwin’s statements have been referenced.

Based on the known differentiation of function within complex brains, a few experimental questions can be posed about the root ‘brain’. Are internal signals from the shoot sensed in different cell groups from those sensing external signals? Sensory cells for gravity are well defined but are those for touch, light and moisture each sensed in separate cell groups? Are decisions about responses to any of the four signals found in different cell groups, and are these cells separate from the control of specific growth responses?

The value of metaphors resides in the experimental questions thrown up that may not be immediately obvious in their absence. Metaphors help stimulate the investigative imagination of good scientists."


(Trewavas, Anthony. "Response to Alpi et al.: Plant neurobiology – all metaphors have value." Trends in Plant Science 12/6 (2007): 231–233. p. 231)

The two most important statements: "I know of no plant biologist who contradicts the centuries-old anatomical evidence that shows that plants do not have nerves or a brain. Plant neurobiology is a metaphor."

So, no matter how useful metaphors are in science, literally and strictly speaking, "plant neurobiology" is a misleading misnomer, which is a strong reason not to use this term. A perfectly acceptable alternative name is "plant electrophysiology".
Greta wrote:
May 9th, 2018, 1:56 am
I agree there appears to be no consciousness present but I would differentiate that with a sense of being, even if that sense is not at a level that would be considered of interest or value to humans, with our fast and active minds. What we consider to be unconscious within ourselves tends to be simply a lack of awareness of our processing; there is still plenty going on even in deep sleep, which I suggest probably does feel like something, just that we don't commit those sensations to memory.
There is nothing (phenomenally) conscious, experiential going on during a dreamless sleep.

If by "a sense of being" you mean some sort of sensation or emotion, having it means being conscious.
Greta wrote:
May 9th, 2018, 1:56 am
Consul wrote: There are no degrees of consciousness in the sense of degrees of subjecthood. The state of being a subject of consciousness is binary, being an all-or-nothing, on-off affair. Note that this is not to say that there are no degrees or levels of consciousness in other senses of the term such as degrees of wakefulness or degrees of self-consciousness; but these are all different states within the state of consciousness.
I suggest that those different states of consciousness are exactly that - degrees in the sense of subjecthood, and the differences would surely be much more profound between species.
I wasn't talking about "degrees in the sense of subjecthood" but about degrees of subjecthood.

Greta wrote:
May 9th, 2018, 1:56 am
Given the difficulty we humans have in parsing that which is reflexive and that which is wanted, I'm loathe to paint another organism's reflexes as entirely mechanical and insensate.
I'm not a human exceptionalist about consciousness! Actually, my conjecture is that all or nearly all animals with a brain are sentient/"conscient" beings. What I firmly believe is that (natural) consciousness = animal consciousness, that there is no (natural) consciousness outside the animal kingdom, that (natural) consciousness (experience) is an exclusively zoological phenomenon.
Greta wrote:
May 9th, 2018, 1:56 am
In short, a rather alien and unfamiliar sense of sense of being may be present in organisms that are not strictly speaking conscious.
As I already said above, to have some subjective sense or feeling of being is to be conscious.
Greta wrote:
May 9th, 2018, 1:56 am
We humans only consider consciousness from our human standpoint (not having much choice in the matter) but this is akin to being in the ISS looking down on the Earth and assuming that the only things moving down there are clouds, smoke, dunes, water currents and ocean algal blooms.
There are conscious animals which have senses that we don't have (e.g. lateral lines in fish); and there are ones with senses that we have too, but only in an inferior form (e.g. our sense of smell vs. the one of dogs or bears).
But we humans have the most highly developed form of (cognitive) consciousness: personal self-consciousness (self-awareness). It requires the capacity for linguistic thought, so we're arguably the only animal species (on Earth) whose members have the (full) status of (psychological) personhood.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: How does a disembodied soul/mind/consciousness operate?

Post by Consul » May 10th, 2018, 9:26 pm

Consul wrote:
May 10th, 2018, 9:21 pm
But we humans have the most highly developed form of (cognitive) consciousness: personal self-consciousness (self-awareness). It requires the capacity for linguistic thought, so we're arguably the only animal species (on Earth) whose members have the (full) status of (psychological) personhood.
All members? No, not all of them! I'm referring to those among us who are mentally mature and normal.
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Re: How does a disembodied soul/mind/consciousness operate?

Post by BigBango » May 10th, 2018, 10:17 pm

Nice debate going here, but I would argue that all cellular based life is conscious. I am not asserting the pan-psychism of Whitehead because I don't think rocks are conscious. I am asserting a "vitalism" that claims all biological life that is a descendant of the first ancestor cell of all life is conscious.

If that first cell is not the first appearance of consciousness then when did consciousness evolve? I assume you would say when a nervous system evolved. All the nervous system is doing is collecting the feelings of key cells into an organ, the brain, so that the multicellular organism can function as a unified organism. The nervous system does not create consciousness it integrates the consciousness of its multiplicity of conscious individuals cells.

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Re: How does a disembodied soul/mind/consciousness operate?

Post by Greta » May 10th, 2018, 10:44 pm

Consul, thanks for joining me in this naughty, tangentially relevant chat :)

Yes, I remember an earlier conversation we had about brains where we agreed that the start of consciousness as as we (roughly) know it was perhaps most fundamental in C. elegans, the most neuronally-challenged brained organism.

However, a short exchange later seemed to encapsulate our differences:

G: In short, a rather alien and unfamiliar sense of sense of being may be present in organisms that are not strictly speaking conscious.

C: As I already said above, to have some subjective sense or feeling of being is to be conscious.

I suggest that the above is an assumption. This is how things seem to us, but I find it impossible to conceive that being a plant does not feel like anything, no different to how it would feel to be a grain of salt. Consider a sense of being with neither memory nor emotions.

Another possibility. It's possible that a single plant is part of a sensing entity (ecosystem? smaller grouping?) rather than being one itself, just as neurons don't think and feel but are part of systems that do. The octopus point you make is a good one - one alternative model, but there may well be more.

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Re: How does a disembodied soul/mind/consciousness operate?

Post by Consul » May 10th, 2018, 11:51 pm

BigBango wrote:
May 10th, 2018, 10:17 pm
Nice debate going here, but I would argue that all cellular based life is conscious. I am not asserting the pan-psychism of Whitehead because I don't think rocks are conscious. I am asserting a "vitalism" that claims all biological life that is a descendant of the first ancestor cell of all life is conscious.

If that first cell is not the first appearance of consciousness then when did consciousness evolve? I assume you would say when a nervous system evolved. All the nervous system is doing is collecting the feelings of key cells into an organ, the brain, so that the multicellular organism can function as a unified organism. The nervous system does not create consciousness it integrates the consciousness of its multiplicity of conscious individuals cells.
Lynn Margulis (who also championed the notorious Gaia hypothesis) wrote a paper titled "The Conscious Cell" (2001), and in a book she writes the following:

"Consciousness, a private affair, is not directly measurable. But an inability to render a quality measurable is no reason to assume its absence—to assume that animals are mere instinct machines. Indeed, we would take Griffin a step further. Not just animals are conscious, but every organic being, every autopoietic cell is conscious. In the simplest sense consciousness is an awareness of the outside world. And this world need not be the world outside one's mammalian fur. It may also be the world outside one's cell membrane. Certainly some level of awareness, or responsiveness owing to that awareness, is implied in all autopoietic systems. The world, after all, is not a petri dish; the sky does not rain agar. Every living being incessantly senses and responds with alacrity to its surroundings." (p. 150)

(Margulis, Lynn, and Dorion Sagan. What is Life? Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.)

They also write:

"All living beings, not just animals but plants and microorganisms, perceive. To survive, an organic being must perceive—it must seek, or at least recognize, food and avoid environmental danger." (p. 27)

"A living being need not be conscious to perceive." (p. 30)

So the crucial question is whether all living beings perceive (sense and respond) consciously, whether their "awareness of the outside world" is conscious awareness, i.e. whether their sensory perceptions are accompanied by subjective(ly experienced) sensations/sense-impressions.

Cytopsychism—the view that "every autopoietic cell is conscious"—has the same combination or construction problem as panpsychism in general: How can one unitary cerebral, multicellular macroconsciousness such as human consciousness be constructed out of a plurality of distinct subcerebral, unicellular microconsciousnesses? A mere "collection" or "summation" surely won't do here. I don't know any plausible panpsychistic solution to this problem.

"Lastly we have the Combination Problem: If mind is supposed to exist in atoms or cells, then higher-order minds, such as humans have, must be some kind of combination or sum of these lesser minds. But it is inconceivable how such a summing would work and how it might account for the richness of experience that we all feel. Because panpsychism cannot account for higher mind, the objector says, it must be false."

http://www.iep.utm.edu/panpsych

"[T]he postulate of primitive consciousness still leaves open a line of objection, call it the “combination problem,” which was first raised by William James, who in the following passage argues that panpsychism will still face its own problem of emergence:

Take a sentence of a dozen words, and take twelve men and tell to each one word. Then stand the men in a row or jam them in a bunch, and let each think of his word as intently as he will; nowhere will there be a consciousness of the whole sentence … Where the elemental units are supposed to be feelings, the case is in no wise altered. Take a hundred of them, shuffle them and pack them as close together as you can (whatever that might mean); still each remains the same feeling it always was, shut in its own skin, windowless, ignorant of what the other feelings are and mean. There would be a hundred-and-first feeling there, if, when a group or series of such feeling were set up, a consciousness belonging to the group as such should emerge. And this 101st feeling would be a totally new fact; the 100 original feelings might, by a curious physical law, be a signal for its creation, when they came together; but they would have no substantial identity with it, nor it with them, and one could never deduce the one from the others, or (in any intelligible sense) say that they evolved it (1890/1950, p. 160, original emphasis).

This is a powerful objection since if panpsychism must allow for the emergence of states of consciousness then what prevents an emergence doctrine which avoids the implausible and indiscriminate broadcasting of mental characteristics throughout the world?"


http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/panpsychism
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Re: How does a disembodied soul/mind/consciousness operate?

Post by BigBango » May 11th, 2018, 3:13 am

Consul wrote:
May 10th, 2018, 11:51 pm
Lynn Margulis (who also championed the notorious Gaia hypothesis) wrote a paper titled "The Conscious Cell" (2001), and in a book she writes the following:

"Consciousness, a private affair, is not directly measurable. But an inability to render a quality measurable is no reason to assume its absence—to assume that animals are mere instinct machines. Indeed, we would take Griffin a step further. Not just animals are conscious, but every organic being, every autopoietic cell is conscious. In the simplest sense consciousness is an awareness of the outside world. And this world need not be the world outside one's mammalian fur. It may also be the world outside one's cell membrane. Certainly some level of awareness, or responsiveness owing to that awareness, is implied in all autopoietic systems. The world, after all, is not a petri dish; the sky does not rain agar. Every living being incessantly senses and responds with alacrity to its surroundings." (p. 150)
I could not agree more.
Consul wrote:
May 10th, 2018, 11:51 pm
(Margulis, Lynn, and Dorion Sagan. What is Life? Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.)

They also write:

"All living beings, not just animals but plants and microorganisms, perceive. To survive, an organic being must perceive—it must seek, or at least recognize, food and avoid environmental danger." (p. 27)

"A living being need not be conscious to perceive." (p. 30)

So the crucial question is whether all living beings perceive (sense and respond) consciously, whether their "awareness of the outside world" is conscious awareness, i.e. whether their sensory perceptions are accompanied by subjective(ly experienced) sensations/sense-impressions.

Cytopsychism—the view that "every autopoietic cell is conscious"—has the same combination or construction problem as panpsychism in general: How can one unitary cerebral, multicellular macroconsciousness such as human consciousness be constructed out of a plurality of distinct subcerebral, unicellular microconsciousnesses? A mere "collection" or "summation" surely won't do here. I don't know any plausible panpsychistic solution to this problem.
As I said, I am not a pan psychic. Rocks are not conscious.

You point out a good problem. How can something like human consciousness result from a mere collection of unicellular microconsciousnesses? First of all the nervous system is not a collection of all the cells consciousnesses. It is an educated sampling of critical cells. The collective consciousness of the multicellular organism is still a fact of mereological inclusion. That is, the state of the whole organism is realized mereologically into a whole of its parts. That fact still leaves out the way in which the unified organism can react to its environment. This need to react is what the nervous system is designed for. Given that the organism "knows" what its collection of cells is feeling or perceiving does not make for a timely response. The nervous system ties the perception of selected cells to a motor response appropriate to external conditions. The nervous system has "eyes" that specialize in what is external to the whole organism. While an individual cell just "sees" its neighbors. The same with hearing and touch.
Consul wrote:
May 10th, 2018, 11:51 pm

"Lastly we have the Combination Problem: If mind is supposed to exist in atoms or cells, then higher-order minds, such as humans have, must be some kind of combination or sum of these lesser minds. But it is inconceivable how such a summing would work and how it might account for the richness of experience that we all feel. Because panpsychism cannot account for higher mind, the objector says, it must be false."

http://www.iep.utm.edu/panpsych
It does not exist in atoms. I repeat I am not a panpsychic. You need to look into mereolology because it is the way wholes can become the sum of there parts when the parts are fields rather than discreet substances.

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Re: How does a disembodied soul/mind/consciousness operate?

Post by Tamminen » May 11th, 2018, 4:36 am

BigBango:

I am a subject experiencing things in subjective time in the world of other subjects. In your theory my cells must be other subjects for me, although I cannot see them as subjects. In the same way I must be another subject for my cells and the cells must be other subjects for each other. Is this the way you see the situation? I think this is what the being of a subject means.

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Re: How does a disembodied soul/mind/consciousness operate?

Post by Consul » May 11th, 2018, 10:17 am

BigBango wrote:
May 11th, 2018, 3:13 am
Consul wrote:
May 10th, 2018, 11:51 pm
"…Not just animals are conscious, but every organic being, every autopoietic cell is conscious. In the simplest sense consciousness is an awareness of the outside world. And this world need not be the world outside one's mammalian fur. It may also be the world outside one's cell membrane. Certainly some level of awareness, or responsiveness owing to that awareness, is implied in all autopoietic systems.…" (Margolis & Sagan, p. 150)
I could not agree more.
I could not disagree more. They commit the classical fallacy of division:

"An argument commits the fallacy of division if it illegitimately claims that a term that is true of a whole is true of a part or a term that is true of a class of things is true of a member of that class."

(Copi, Irving M., Carl Cohen, and Daniel E. Flage. Essentials of Logic. 2nd ed. New York: Routledge, 2016. p. 85)

Consciousness is a system feature of the central nervous system that isn't had by single nerve cells.

Moreover, what exactly is meant by "consciousness" and "awareness"? For example, David Chalmers uses the following concept of awareness:

"Awareness can be broadly analyzed as a state wherein we have access to some information, and can use that information in the control of behavior. One can be aware of an object in the environment, of a state of one's body, or one's mental state, among other things. Awareness of information generally brings with it the ability to knowingly direct behavior depending on that information. This is clearly a functional notion."

(Chalmers, David J. The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. p. 28)

This objective, purely functional-informational awareness is different from and independent of subjective, experiential awareness, of (phenomenal) consciousness aka subjective experience.

Cells are complex objects (systems) themselves, and if being aware/conscious (or perceiving) requires nothing more than receiving, processing, and reacting to physical or chemical stimuli or signals (signal-information), then, of course, we can truly speak of cell awareness/consciousness. But such an objective, purely functional-informational sort of awareness/consciousness is constituted by purely physiological stimulus-response, input-output mechanisms that aren't accompanied by any subjective, experiential awareness/consciousness.
BigBango wrote:
May 11th, 2018, 3:13 am
Consul wrote:
May 10th, 2018, 11:51 pm
Cytopsychism—the view that "every autopoietic cell is conscious"—has the same combination or construction problem as panpsychism in general: How can one unitary cerebral, multicellular macroconsciousness such as human consciousness be constructed out of a plurality of distinct subcerebral, unicellular microconsciousnesses? A mere "collection" or "summation" surely won't do here. I don't know any plausible panpsychistic solution to this problem.
As I said, I am not a pan psychic. Rocks are not conscious.

You point out a good problem. How can something like human consciousness result from a mere collection of unicellular microconsciousnesses? First of all the nervous system is not a collection of all the cells consciousnesses. It is an educated sampling of critical cells. The collective consciousness of the multicellular organism is still a fact of mereological inclusion. That is, the state of the whole organism is realized mereologically into a whole of its parts. That fact still leaves out the way in which the unified organism can react to its environment. This need to react is what the nervous system is designed for. Given that the organism "knows" what its collection of cells is feeling or perceiving does not make for a timely response. The nervous system ties the perception of selected cells to a motor response appropriate to external conditions. The nervous system has "eyes" that specialize in what is external to the whole organism. While an individual cell just "sees" its neighbors. The same with hearing and touch.
Obviously, the nervous system is a network of nerve cells. I fail to see how it could "collect" information about the distinct conscious states of all the cells of an organism and transform it into a unified conscious state of the organism as a whole. I also fail to see how the holistic conscious state could include all the different conscious states of the cells as parts and thus be composed of them. The sensations and emotions I have as a whole organism aren't mereological sums or fusions of millions of sensations or emotions of single cells.
BigBango wrote:
May 11th, 2018, 3:13 am
Consul wrote:
May 10th, 2018, 11:51 pm
"Lastly we have the Combination Problem: If mind is supposed to exist in atoms or cells, then higher-order minds, such as humans have, must be some kind of combination or sum of these lesser minds. But it is inconceivable how such a summing would work and how it might account for the richness of experience that we all feel. Because panpsychism cannot account for higher mind, the objector says, it must be false."

http://www.iep.utm.edu/panpsych
It does not exist in atoms. I repeat I am not a panpsychic. You need to look into mereolology because it is the way wholes can become the sum of there parts when the parts are fields rather than discreet substances.
I subscribe to the view that composition is identity. However, depending on what is counted among the parts of a thing (object/substance), it is either true or false that a whole is nothing over and above the sum of its parts. Standard mereology is monocategorial in the sense that all parts of composite things (objects/substances) are things themselves, such that the properties of the whole, and the properties of and relations between its parts aren't regarded as parts (components/constituents) of it.

Whether or not there are objective relations, connections, and interactions between the parts is totally irrelevant to standard mereological sums or fusions, which can be absolutely arbitrary; but as far as natural, integral wholes such as organisms are concerned, the relations between their parts, i.e. their spatiotemporal configurations and causal interactions, are of essential importance. For example, a nervous system is not just a collective of neurons, but a complex of connected and interacting ones, with consciousness resulting from their physical connections and electrochemical interactions.

If elementary particles, atoms and molecules are ontologically reducible to local "bundles" or "clusters" of field-quanta in regions of space with more or less sharp boundaries, we still have an equivalent mereology of regions or volumes of space, in which physical quantities inhere and between which physical relations obtain.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

Wayne92587
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Re: How does a disembodied soul/mind/consciousness operate?

Post by Wayne92587 » May 11th, 2018, 11:18 am

The assumption that Consciousness and Soul are one in the same, leads to the confusion as to the nature of the Reality of each, both.

Consciousness is subject, to the nature of Man's sense of the Empirical World of Reality.

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Consul
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Re: How does a disembodied soul/mind/consciousness operate?

Post by Consul » May 11th, 2018, 12:57 pm

Wayne92587 wrote:
May 11th, 2018, 11:18 am
The assumption that Consciousness and Soul are one in the same, leads to the confusion as to the nature of the Reality of each, both.Consciousness is subject, to the nature of Man's sense of the Empirical World of Reality.
If by "soul" we mean a mental/spiritual substance, then a soul has but isn't consciousness, and is thus a subject of consciousness.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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