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

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

Post by Felix » June 4th, 2018, 7:15 pm

But why would natural/physical evolution produce and sustain something whose existence makes no difference whatsoever to what happens in the world?
I wasn't aware that natural/physical evolution is some sort of deity that cares what does or does not happen in the world.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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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 4th, 2018, 8:48 pm

Felix wrote:
June 4th, 2018, 7:15 pm
Consul wrote:But why would natural/physical evolution produce and sustain something whose existence makes no difference whatsoever to what happens in the world?
I wasn't aware that natural/physical evolution is some sort of deity that cares what does or does not happen in the world.
"An objection often made against Epiphenomenalism is based on the theory of evolution by natural selection. What is selected is, in general, whatever aids survival, because survivors can have descendants. But if consciousness is impotent, why should it ever have evolved? It cannot aid survival."

(Armstrong, D. M. The Mind-Body Problem: An Opinionated Introduction. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1999. p. 47)

Even if the original emergence of a (conscious) mind was due to random mutations, why wasn't it "selected away" over time when its presence doesn't make any causal contribution to biological fitness and the chances of survival?

See:
https://www.iep.utm.edu/epipheno/#SH5c

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/epip ... sm/#NatSel
"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 » June 5th, 2018, 8:13 am

Consul wrote:
June 4th, 2018, 8:48 pm
Even if the original emergence of a (conscious) mind was due to random mutations, why wasn't it "selected away" over time when its presence doesn't make any causal contribution to biological fitness and the chances of survival?
Consciousness has no functional role in evolution, because it is what evolution is all about. It is the answer to the question 'why'. "Chance" belongs to the way matter behaves in evolution. It is reducible to the laws of physics. But evolution is not irrational, and the being of consciousness makes it rational. But its rationality is internal and natural, something we will perhaps understand some day.

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

Post by Tamminen » June 5th, 2018, 9:54 am

Explanations must end somewhere, and their natural end station is consciousness. We can try to explain the being of the universe, its objects and inhabitants, the consciousnesses of other individual subjects, the history of consciousness in the universe and so on, but we cannot explain the being of consciousness itself, and we need not explain it if we understand the necessity and self-evidene of its being.

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

Post by ReasonMadeFlesh » June 6th, 2018, 10:20 am

Tamminen wrote:
June 5th, 2018, 9:54 am
Explanations must end somewhere, and their natural end station is consciousness. We can try to explain the being of the universe, its objects and inhabitants, the consciousnesses of other individual subjects, the history of consciousness in the universe and so on, but we cannot explain the being of consciousness itself, and we need not explain it if we understand the necessity and self-evidene of its being.
You say it so well.
Wittgenstein wrote:At some point we must pass from explanation to mere description
Explanations seek an end, a teleos, upon which reasons rest, whether this chain of explanation is circular, regressive, or foundationalist, it still forces upon us the brute facticity of the being of our consciousness.

All we can do is inspect it's nature more closely, and realise that this consciousness is consciousness of oneself, then the distinction between subject and object collapses and we reach Hegel's Absolute idea.
"A philosopher who does not take part in discussions is like a boxer who never goes into the ring." - Ludwig Wittgenstein

Wayne92587
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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by Wayne92587 » June 18th, 2018, 10:14 am

I am !
Saying that I am; is a recognition of self, but which self?

The physical self or the spiritual self.

Self; the physical self, the flesh body is born of, is bound to, the dust of the ground, the evolutionary process, cause and effect, is bound to the Material World of Reality.

The Spiritual, the non-material self is boundless, is not born of the dust of the ground, cause and effect, is an affect born because I think; is a creation, is not born of, bound to, the Material World of Reality.

It is as though the Spiritual Self, Body, exists separate and distinct from the of the Flesh Body.

I am; I think, is free to do as I will.

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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 19th, 2018, 11:03 am

Tamminen wrote:
June 5th, 2018, 9:54 am
Explanations must end somewhere, and their natural end station is consciousness.
No, consciousness didn't miraculously fall from the sky; it is a product of the natural evolution of animal organisms and their brains, so a neuroscientific explanation of its emergence is possible in principle. Of course, nobody can predict whether neuroscience will actually succeed in explaining consciousness in neurophysiological terms. On the other hand, nobody can know a priori that there will never be a neuroscientific explanation of it.
"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 » June 19th, 2018, 1:01 pm

Consul wrote:
June 19th, 2018, 11:03 am
Tamminen wrote:
June 5th, 2018, 9:54 am
Explanations must end somewhere, and their natural end station is consciousness.
No, consciousness didn't miraculously fall from the sky; it is a product of the natural evolution of animal organisms and their brains, so a neuroscientific explanation of its emergence is possible in principle. Of course, nobody can predict whether neuroscience will actually succeed in explaining consciousness in neurophysiological terms. On the other hand, nobody can know a priori that there will never be a neuroscientific explanation of it.
Explanations cannot be separated from explaining. Explaining presupposes the being of consciousness. What explains the precondition of all explanations?

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

Post by Karpel Tunnel » June 19th, 2018, 1:20 pm

Consul wrote:
June 19th, 2018, 11:03 am
No, consciousness didn't miraculously fall from the sky; it is a product of the natural evolution of animal organisms and their brains,
It seems like the quote above is assuming what the quote below is indicating has not happened yet, has in fact happened.
so a neuroscientific explanation of its emergence is possible in principle. Of course, nobody can predict whether neuroscience will actually succeed in explaining consciousness in neurophysiological terms. On the other hand, nobody can know a priori that there will never be a neuroscientific explanation of it.

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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 19th, 2018, 2:13 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
June 19th, 2018, 1:20 pm
Consul wrote:
June 19th, 2018, 11:03 am
No, consciousness didn't miraculously fall from the sky; it is a product of the natural evolution of animal organisms and their brains,
It seems like the quote above is assuming what the quote below is indicating has not happened yet, has in fact happened.
so a neuroscientific explanation of its emergence is possible in principle. Of course, nobody can predict whether neuroscience will actually succeed in explaining consciousness in neurophysiological terms. On the other hand, nobody can know a priori that there will never be a neuroscientific explanation of it.
That neuroscientists don't know yet how consciousness is realized by and in the brain doesn't mean that they are unjustified in assuming that the brain is the organ of consciousness, that conscious states are brain states resulting from electrochemical processes in the central nervous systems of animals.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

Wayne92587
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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by Wayne92587 » June 19th, 2018, 3:33 pm

You are talking about brain function.
I am talking about how consciousness come to be.

Consciousness is a Creation, is not born of a single direct cause, Consciousness is not effect, is an Affect.

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

Post by Tamminen » June 19th, 2018, 4:08 pm

Consul wrote:
June 19th, 2018, 11:03 am
No, consciousness didn't miraculously fall from the sky
You are right: consciousness did not fall from the sky, nor is it a miracle. It is the most natural phenomenon there is, so natural that nature itself looks like a miracle compared to it. We can try to explain away miracles, but not what miracles are for.

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

Post by Wayne92587 » June 19th, 2018, 8:08 pm

Tamminen;
It is the most natural phenomenon there is,
So it is as simple as being born having two legs.

Do all Human Beings operate on the same level of consciousness.

Has Man always been referred to as Being a Humane Being.

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

Post by Tamminen » June 20th, 2018, 3:38 am

Of course when I have a perception of a tree, this presupposes the being of the tree, the being of certain brain processes and the being of certain physical processes like electromagnetic radiation. So the being of consciousness has a material basis. But the phenomenon for which matter is a functional basis, consciousness, is not something accidental that can be or not be. It is ontologically fundamental although it only expresses itself here and there in the universe. We must take a holistic view on this. And this is not a scientific question, it is an ontological interpretation of scientific and everyday observations.

When we try to explain consciousness by brain processes, we try to explain how consciousness is possible, but we cannot explain the fact that consciousness is, the fact that we are here as conscious beings.

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

Post by Mosesquine » June 20th, 2018, 7:07 am

We can easily understand the existence of physical things, but we don't understand the existence of mental things. Physical things are observable, extended ones in space-time points. How can we understand existing things that are not observable, extended ones in space-time points??? So,

1. Conscious phenomena exist.
2. Whatever exists is physical.
Therefore, 3. Conscious phenomena are physical.
Q.E.D.

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