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

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

Post by Tamminen » August 15th, 2018, 3:10 am

The transcendent material universe created us. It did not need us, we just appeared here by accident.
The transcendent spiritual God created us. He did not need us, He just decided to create us.

No, if God created us, it was because we demanded it, and if the universe created us, it was because we demanded it.

So God = the universe, and its being depends on our being. To say that the universe without subjects is possible is same kind of nonsense as saying that the transcendent God is possible.

The being of the subject is like the dimension of existence which 'tommarcus' speaks of, except that it is not a dimension and it is on/off. And it is never off.

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

Post by Tamminen » August 15th, 2018, 3:51 am

RJG wrote:
August 14th, 2018, 5:22 pm
The "not-knowing" of a world of objects, does not necessarily equate to the "non-existence" of that world of objects, ...do you likewise agree with this?
Yes.
RJG wrote:
August 14th, 2018, 5:22 pm
If there are no subjects, then there is no "knowing" of anything. Not-knowing does not equate to not-existing. Therefore, it is possible for a world of objects to exist, without anyone 'knowing', or without 'anyone' to know.
No, if the subject is off, the light of existence is off. But it cannot be off. There is no such thing as nonexistence. The being of subjects is necessary both ontologically and cosmologically.

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

Post by Tamminen » August 15th, 2018, 4:19 am

By the way, it is not accidental that I use the word 'we' to denote all the subjects in the universe.

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

Post by Halc » August 15th, 2018, 6:39 am

Tamminen wrote:
August 14th, 2018, 1:47 pm
I am not sure if I understand what you mean, but if you posit another world parallel to this one, you can posit it with or without subjects and there is no problem, and we can define the world = this world + all the parallel worlds.
That is not what a world is. All the worlds do not add up to one big 'the world'.
But we are positing alternate worlds, and that makes the big difference.
I am not just talking about parallel worlds to this world. I'm talking about completely unrelated structures. I have some specific ones in mind, and they don't have observers in them.

As for worlds parallel to this one, in metaphysical interpretations where they exist, clearly some of them don't have Earth life (or Earth at all), and some with no life anywhere.

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

Post by Tamminen » August 15th, 2018, 8:11 am

Halc wrote:
August 15th, 2018, 6:39 am
Tamminen wrote:
August 14th, 2018, 1:47 pm
I am not sure if I understand what you mean, but if you posit another world parallel to this one, you can posit it with or without subjects and there is no problem, and we can define the world = this world + all the parallel worlds.
That is not what a world is. All the worlds do not add up to one big 'the world'.
But we are positing alternate worlds, and that makes the big difference.
I am not just talking about parallel worlds to this world. I'm talking about completely unrelated structures. I have some specific ones in mind, and they don't have observers in them.

As for worlds parallel to this one, in metaphysical interpretations where they exist, clearly some of them don't have Earth life (or Earth at all), and some with no life anywhere.
OK, I think we are speaking of different things. In your scenario of other worlds you can easily posit all kinds of worlds. But I am speaking of a situation where this world of ours does not exist, but the world without subjects could exist instead. And I am saying that it cannot exist.

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

Post by Consul » August 15th, 2018, 10:28 am

Tamminen wrote:
August 14th, 2018, 3:49 pm
We live in this world. I think language reflects ontology. The word 'this' refers to 'us'. So, if this world were without us, what kind of an ontological leap would that be? We are speaking of an alternate world, aren't we? So the alternate world would be our world without us, without there ever being us. This is very surprising to me.
No, "this" in "this world" doesn't refer (only) to us but to our world (as a whole); and our world is the world in which we live, of which we are part. And the linguistic expression "our world" doesn't have any ontological implications to the effect that our world depends on us. We can coherently imagine "our world without us". Of course, if we didn't exist, we couldn't do so; but we do exist and can do so. There is nothing contradictory about saying that our world could have been a world without us.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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

Post by Tamminen » August 15th, 2018, 11:32 am

Consul wrote:
August 15th, 2018, 10:28 am
We can coherently imagine "our world without us".
Only if 'we' refers to a limited group of us, not all of us. This is where our views differ. If we remove the last of us, nothing is left. Without the subject there is nothing. And for the being of the subject there must be at least one individual subject in the world.

The subject-world relationship is the ontological "Archimedean point" of reality. There is nothing without it, and everything that happens, happens within this relationship.

This is my ontology.

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

Post by JamesOfSeattle » August 15th, 2018, 11:58 am

Tam, your position is defensible if you are a panpsychist, but I don’t remember if you’ve stated that one way or the other. So are you?

*

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

Post by Atla » August 15th, 2018, 12:13 pm

BigBango wrote:
August 13th, 2018, 3:03 am
Atla wrote:
August 12th, 2018, 8:20 pm

Phenomenal consciousness is the same thing as the physical world, and is all there is, which is why neuroscience will never, ever pin down where phenomenal consciousness is coming from.
You say that but do not argue it!
I don't really have to argue it, because it's the simpler, default view. 100% of what we can tell about the world right now supports this simpler view where the "two realities" we talk about are actually one and the same. No actual ontological division has ever been found by the scientific process.

The burden of proof lies on the dualistic thinker who proposes an additional assumption compared to this, that would divide reality.
A world not experienced cannot exist in any meaningful way even if it does exist, so what!
Experience is the same as phenomenal consciousness, so there is always "experience". Meaningfullness is irrelevant.
If I am not mistaken you are asserting substance monism and yet you attack that as "dualistic thinking."
I'm not a substance monist, I would categorize myself as a "pure" Eastern nondualist.
All forms of substance monism are wrong because of dualistic thinking. Idealism is nonsense. Materialism / physicalism is nonsense. We project a made-up substance, a made-up concept onto the world.

Even if it's just neutral monism, within the Western dualistic thinking we automatically project some conceptual borders / divisions, some substance onto the world. We make it into a thing, and a thing has outlines. But reality has no substance and can't be captured in a concept.

Even if we somehow manage to not project any substance/concept onto the world, there is still usually the old made-up dichotomy of "I" and "other", which apparently divides reality without us noticing this. Have to get rid of this one as well.

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

Post by Tamminen » August 15th, 2018, 12:26 pm

JamesOfSeattle wrote:
August 15th, 2018, 11:58 am
Tam, your position is defensible if you are a panpsychist, but I don’t remember if you’ve stated that one way or the other. So are you?
No, I do not think that material objects are conscious, not even our brains or bodies. They are our instruments of existing, like hammers and robots. And if you think my position is not defensible without panpsychism, you must have misunderstood something. But that seems to be the case with other materialists as well.

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

Post by Halc » August 15th, 2018, 9:47 pm

Tamminen wrote:
August 15th, 2018, 8:11 am
But I am speaking of a situation where this world of ours does not exist, but the world without subjects could exist instead. And I am saying that it cannot exist.
We're well aware that you are saying this. But this is simply your premise, not a conclusion drawn from evidence or logic or anything.

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

Post by Tamminen » August 16th, 2018, 3:16 am

Halc wrote:
August 15th, 2018, 9:47 pm
Tamminen wrote:
August 15th, 2018, 8:11 am
But I am speaking of a situation where this world of ours does not exist, but the world without subjects could exist instead. And I am saying that it cannot exist.
We're well aware that you are saying this. But this is simply your premise, not a conclusion drawn from evidence or logic or anything.
I still wonder who are the 'we'. But it is true. For materialists the premise is: matter is the Absolute. For me the premise is: the subject is the Absolute. Which one of these is more reasonable, is the key of all this discussion. Evidence? There is scientific evidence, which must not be ignored. Then there is "existential" evidence, a deep sense of our existential situation and its paradoxes. We must draw conclusions from both.

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

Post by Tamminen » August 16th, 2018, 4:51 am

The subject cannot be aware of itself without a mirror. The world is its mirror.

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

Post by RJG » August 16th, 2018, 6:54 am

Halc wrote:We're well aware that you are saying this. But this is simply your premise, not a conclusion drawn from evidence or logic or anything.
Tamminen wrote:I still wonder who are the 'we'.
Sorry Tam, but I am also part of the "we" that agrees with Halc. Your premise just seems, to me, to be a 'religiously' held belief, ...not a logically based conclusion/truth, (...or maybe it could be that I just still "don't get it". idk).

In any case, it is time for me to move on from this topic. I've enjoyed the discussions. Take care good friend.

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

Post by Gertie » August 16th, 2018, 8:04 am

Halc
Yes, there is physics (or at least valid interpretations) behind the Subject-Object relationship. My own favored interpretation is one of them, but the relationship is intrinsic, not causal, and humans/carbon-based-life is not special in any way. (Carlo Rovelli (1996). "Relational Quantum Mechanics". International Journal of Theoretical Physics.). That one just solves a lot of metaphysical problems that plague many of the others. No, I'm not going to assert that it must be the correct interpretation. There is no falsification test for the others.
I got this from wiki -

The essential idea behind RQM is that different observers may give different accounts of the same series of events: for example, to one observer at a given point in time, a system may be in a single, "collapsed" eigenstate, while to another observer at the same time, it may appear to be in a superposition of two or more states. Consequently, if quantum mechanics is to be a complete theory, RQM argues that the notion of "state" describes not the observed system itself, but the relationship, or correlation, between the system and its observer(s). The state vector of conventional quantum mechanics becomes a description of the correlation of some degrees of freedom in the observer, with respect to the observed system. However, it is held by RQM that this applies to all physical objects, whether or not they are conscious or macroscopic (all systems are quantum systems). Any "measurement event" is seen simply as an ordinary physical interaction, an establishment of the sort of correlation discussed above. The proponents of the relational interpretation argue that the approach clears up a number of traditional interpretational difficulties with quantum mechanics, while being simultaneously conceptually elegant and ontologically parsimonious.

(As an aside, I don't follow how ''to another observer at the same time, it may appear to be in a superposition of two or more states'', as I thought observation is the cause of the wave function collapsing into a specific state). But aside from that, it's a very intriguing idea!

My problem with it, is that it relies on interactions/relationships for a specific state to be realised (forgive my terminology), but if there is no pre-existing state of Somethings to interact/have a relationship, how can they interact?

It seems to infer that 'waves of potential actualised Somethings' can interact, but potential isn't a Something, just a possibility.

I've put this really clumsily, but hopefully you get my point?

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