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

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anonymous66
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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by anonymous66 » July 10th, 2018, 7:55 pm

Consul wrote:
July 10th, 2018, 5:03 pm
anonymous66 wrote:
July 10th, 2018, 4:14 pm
And physicalism suggests we have very little reason to have that confidence. Therefore, I have doubts about physicalism.
Does physicalism suggest that? Well, it gives us reason to disbelieve in supernatural cognitive or epistemic powers, and to be skeptical about synthetic knowledge a priori (based on pure reason or rational intuition); but it gives us no reason to distrust scientific observation and our cognitive ability to create (approximately) accurate/correct representations (theories) of reality.

"[T]he ontologies of Naturalism and Materialism have a natural link with the epistemology of Empiricism."

(Armstrong, David M. "Naturalism, Materialism, and First Philosophy." In Contemporary Materialism: A Reader, edited by Paul K. Moser and J. D. Trout, 35-47. London: Routledge, 1995. p. 44)
You misunderstand me. What I'm saying is that I do trust scientific observations because I accept that our brains are equipped with fallible yet reliable perceptual and cognitive abilities, by means of which we can acquire justified beliefs and knowledge. We know we are fallible and so we perform self-correcting behavior.

I believe the above, but physicalism can't give an account of just how that is the case, therefore I am skeptical of physicalism.

anonymous66
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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by anonymous66 » July 10th, 2018, 8:00 pm

Consul wrote:
July 10th, 2018, 2:00 pm
anonymous66 wrote:
July 10th, 2018, 1:28 pm
I do agree with physicalists/materialists that there is only one substance and it is physical. I am a dualist when it comes to properties only. I suspect there are both physical properties and mental properties- hence panpsychism, real minds and mental states and consciousness that are not illusions.
When we say that something is "just an illusion", we often mean to say that it doesn't exist, isn't real; but this is not what reductive/equative materialists mean to say! For according to them, the qualia of experience do exist, are real! So what is an illusion is only our inner perception of them: Experiential qualia do exist, are real, but they are different from the way they appear (introspectively). They seem to be simple immaterial qualities, but they are really complex/structural material qualities—which aren't innerly perceived as such, or are innerly misperceived as lacking material complexity or structure. That's the (perceptual) illusion according to reductive materialism, which doesn't concern the (undenied) existence of qualia but their appearance.

A standard antireductionistic objection is that the appearance-reality or seeming-being distinction is not consistently applicable to subjective experiences/appearances themselves, so there cannot be any introspective illusions: When a subjective experience/appearance seems simple, it is simple, and therefore the experiential/phenomenal quality it possesses or contains cannot be identical to a nonsimple physical quality.
The defenders of reductive materialism must reject this objection and insist on the possibility (and actuality) of a difference between appearance and reality with regard to experiential/phenomenal qualities.
Let me just say that there is no physicalist theory of mind that gives me confidence that my mind is NOT an illusion. I know my mind is not an illusion, therefore, I am skeptical of physicalism.

anonymous66
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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by anonymous66 » July 10th, 2018, 8:13 pm

anonymous66 wrote:
July 10th, 2018, 7:55 pm
Consul wrote:
July 10th, 2018, 5:03 pm


Does physicalism suggest that? Well, it gives us reason to disbelieve in supernatural cognitive or epistemic powers, and to be skeptical about synthetic knowledge a priori (based on pure reason or rational intuition); but it gives us no reason to distrust scientific observation and our cognitive ability to create (approximately) accurate/correct representations (theories) of reality.

"[T]he ontologies of Naturalism and Materialism have a natural link with the epistemology of Empiricism."

(Armstrong, David M. "Naturalism, Materialism, and First Philosophy." In Contemporary Materialism: A Reader, edited by Paul K. Moser and J. D. Trout, 35-47. London: Routledge, 1995. p. 44)
You misunderstand me. What I'm saying is that I do trust scientific observations because I accept that our brains are equipped with fallible yet reliable perceptual and cognitive abilities, by means of which we can acquire justified beliefs and knowledge. We know we are fallible and so we perform self-correcting behavior.

I believe the above, but physicalism can't give an account of just how that is the case, therefore I am skeptical of physicalism.
I left out the fact that I also accept that our cognitive ability [is such that it allows us] to create (approximately) accurate/correct representations (theories) of reality. Physicalism can't give an account of just how it is that this is the case, therefore I am skeptical of physicalism.

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

Post by Consul » July 11th, 2018, 1:01 pm

anonymous66 wrote:
July 10th, 2018, 8:00 pm
Let me just say that there is no physicalist theory of mind that gives me confidence that my mind is NOT an illusion. I know my mind is not an illusion, therefore, I am skeptical of physicalism.
Again, reductionist physicalism acknowledges the existence/reality of your mind/consciousness; and, of course, so does non-reductionist/emergentist physicalism.
"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 » July 11th, 2018, 1:11 pm

anonymous66 wrote:
July 10th, 2018, 8:13 pm
I left out the fact that I also accept that our cognitive ability [is such that it allows us] to create (approximately) accurate/correct representations (theories) of reality. Physicalism can't give an account of just how it is that this is the case, therefore I am skeptical of physicalism.
This objection backfires on the dualists, since there isn't any cognitive ability they can explain in dualistic, non-physicalistic terms. ("God did/made it magically" cannot be called an explanation.)

"Compare now what the neuroscientist can tell us about the brain, and what she can do with that knowledge, with what the dualist can tell us about spiritual substance, and what he can do with those assumptions. Can the dualist tell us anything about the internal constitution of mind-stuff? Of the nonmaterial elements that make it up? Of the nonphysical laws that govern their behavior? Of the mind's structural connections with the body? Of the manner of the mind's operations? Can he explain human capacities and pathologies in terms of its structures and defects? The fact is, the dualist can do none of these things because no detailed theory of mind-stuff has ever even be formulated. Compared to the rich resources and the explanatory successes of current materialism, dualism is not so much a theory of mind as it is an empty space waiting for a genuine theory of mind to be put in it."

(Churchland, Paul M. Matter and Consciousness. 3rd ed. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2013. p. 31)
"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 » July 11th, 2018, 3:50 pm

Great Post Erribert !!!
In fact, one cannot separate oneself from our consciousness-
Not completely True.

If One's Consciousness is filled with Illusion, with Knowledge having a dual quality, Absolutely Bad Knowledge that is more likely than not to be mistaken to be Absolutely Good Knowledge, Man, he an she will loose touch with Reality, Consciousness will surely Die, be laid to rest, placed in the Grave; Mankind's, his and her Consciousness will cease to exist, Man stepping out, of the Conscious Mind, World of Reality, and into a World of Illusion, Great Suffering.

This is known as Howling at the Moon, Lunacy!!

anonymous66
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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by anonymous66 » July 12th, 2018, 7:41 am

Consul wrote:
July 11th, 2018, 1:11 pm
anonymous66 wrote:
July 10th, 2018, 8:13 pm
I left out the fact that I also accept that our cognitive ability [is such that it allows us] to create (approximately) accurate/correct representations (theories) of reality. Physicalism can't give an account of just how it is that this is the case, therefore I am skeptical of physicalism.
This objection backfires on the dualists, since there isn't any cognitive ability they can explain in dualistic, non-physicalistic terms. ("God did/made it magically" cannot be called an explanation.)
I'm an atheist (so is Thomas Nagel- the person who has influenced me most). Do you understand that there is a difference between substance dualism (I reject substance dualism) and property dualism (I suspect that in addition to physical properties, there are mental properties). From what I've seen, property dualism is the only way to get a mind that isn't some sort of illusion.

If it makes you feel any better. You could consider me to be a physicalist like Galen Strawson. He believes that physicalism implies panpsychism. I think he is on to something. I just ordered a few of his books.

anonymous66
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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by anonymous66 » July 12th, 2018, 7:45 am

Consul wrote:
July 11th, 2018, 1:01 pm
anonymous66 wrote:
July 10th, 2018, 8:00 pm
Let me just say that there is no physicalist theory of mind that gives me confidence that my mind is NOT an illusion. I know my mind is not an illusion, therefore, I am skeptical of physicalism.
Again, reductionist physicalism acknowledges the existence/reality of your mind/consciousness; and, of course, so does non-reductionist/emergentist physicalism.
And again, you refuse to acknowledge that when I look at any form of physicalism that is supposed to accept the existence of mind, I see a set of beliefs that entails that the mind is an illusion. I know Dennett gets angry when people point out that his way thinking entails that the mind is an illusion- but the fact of the matter is, that's what his beliefs entail.

anonymous66
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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by anonymous66 » July 12th, 2018, 8:03 am

If it makes you feel any better. You could consider me to be a physicalist like Galen Strawson. He believes that physicalism implies panpsychism. I think he is on to something. I just ordered a few of his books.
From what I understand of Galen Strawson's views, he starts with monism and argues that physicalism implies panpsychism. I'm on board with that. I see no reason to object.

anonymous66
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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by anonymous66 » July 12th, 2018, 8:18 am

anonymous66 wrote:
July 12th, 2018, 8:03 am
If it makes you feel any better. You could consider me to be a physicalist like Galen Strawson. He believes that physicalism implies panpsychism. I think he is on to something. I just ordered a few of his books.
From what I understand of Galen Strawson's views, he starts with monism and argues that physicalism implies panpsychism. I'm on board with that. I see no reason to object.
This is assuming that monism (the belief there is only one substance) = physicalism. If that is the case, then I'm a physicalist who believes, like Galen Strawson, that everything is conscious (panpsychism).

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

Post by Wayne92587 » July 12th, 2018, 8:39 am

The lights are on but nobody is home.

If the mind loses touch with Reality, is an Illusion, that person is not conscious.

That is a reason for Illusion, an Illusion is a Reality; at least the Mind mistakenly believes it to be so.

Even if in name only man can only be conscious of Reality, substance, to the point that some declare the mind, thought, to be a substance.

That explains the need for sacred knowledge, the use of metaphors, Coded Messages, Sacred Geometry, forbidden Knowledge !!!

If Consciousness only entailed awareness, sensitivity, Consciousness would be insignificant.

This being something that even a Rock understands, is aware of.

anonymous66
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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by anonymous66 » July 12th, 2018, 8:49 am

Consul wrote:
July 11th, 2018, 1:11 pm
anonymous66 wrote:
July 10th, 2018, 8:13 pm
I left out the fact that I also accept that our cognitive ability [is such that it allows us] to create (approximately) accurate/correct representations (theories) of reality. Physicalism can't give an account of just how it is that this is the case, therefore I am skeptical of physicalism.
This objection backfires on the dualists, since there isn't any cognitive ability they can explain in dualistic, non-physicalistic terms. ("God did/made it magically" cannot be called an explanation.)
Like I said, Nagel is an atheist who believes that panpsychism is the case (because panpsychism is the only way to get a mind that isn't an illusion), and he rejects substance dualism. (He is a substance monist, like me and Galen Strawson).

Nagel argues that the nature of our world is such that it follows that physicalism is false. Here it gets confusing, because Nagel assumes that physicalism and panpsychism are mutually exclusive- he disagrees with Strawson on that point.

Anyway, Nagel also points out that in the past, both theists and physicalists believed that there were only the 2 options.
Nagel is suggesting a third option: Panpsychism. Again, you have to remember that Nagel believes that physicalism and panpsychism are mutually exclusive.

I guess you could say that if Galen Strawson is correct, then it could be the case that the 3rd option is a physicalism that is consistent with panpsychism.

And of course, Nagel goes on to argue for an Aristotlean teleology.

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

Post by Consul » July 12th, 2018, 10:13 am

anonymous66 wrote:
July 12th, 2018, 7:45 am
And again, you refuse to acknowledge that when I look at any form of physicalism that is supposed to accept the existence of mind, I see a set of beliefs that entails that the mind is an illusion. I know Dennett gets angry when people point out that his way thinking entails that the mind is an illusion- but the fact of the matter is, that's what his beliefs entail.
I count Dennett among the eliminative materialists.

By the way, eliminativism has recently been relabeled as "illusionism". See Illusionism as a Theory of Consciousness (edited by Keith Frankish)!

"…The third position is an illusionist one: we deny that the phenomenon is real and focus on explaining the appearance of it." (p. 13)

"Are illusionists claiming that we are (phenomenal) zombies? If the only thing zombies lack is phenomenal consciousness properly so called, then illusionists must say that, in this technical sense, we are zombies." (p. 22)

"There's no point mincing words: we don't have phenomenal properties, only representations of them." (p. 274)

(Frankish, Keith. "Illusionism as a Theory of Consciousness." In Illusionism as a Theory of Consciousness, edited by Keith Frankish, 11-39. Exeter: Imprint Academic, 2017.)

So the illusionists deny the existence of phenomenal consciousness, of phenomenal qualities (qualia). What they don't deny is that there seem to be qualia, with the seeming in question here being purely doxastic (rather than phenomenal). Doxastic seemings are simply beliefs or judgments; so when illusionists say they "focus on explaining the appearance of [phenomenal consciousness]", they seek to explain why we believe in its existence despite its nonexistence.

Note again that eliminativism aka illusionism about phenomenal consciousness is different from (conservative) reductionism about it, which doesn't deny its existence!

Also see: Eliminativism about Consciousness
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

anonymous66
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Re: Whatever Consciousness is, it's Not Physical (or reducible to physical).

Post by anonymous66 » July 12th, 2018, 10:25 am

Consul wrote:
July 12th, 2018, 10:13 am
Note again that eliminativism aka illusionism about phenomenal consciousness is different from (conservative) reductionism about it, which doesn't deny its existence!

Also see: Eliminativism about Consciousness
Dennet doesn't deny the existence of consciousness either. You can keep telling me that there are some physicalists who aren't eliminitivists or who don't deny that we do have a mind, and I'll keep telling you that their beliefs entail that either consciousness/mind is an illusion, or that it doesn't exist.

There is one exception: Galen Strawson is a physicalist, and I can see that his views are consistent with the existence of mind.

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

Post by Consul » July 12th, 2018, 11:37 am

anonymous66 wrote:
July 12th, 2018, 10:25 am
Dennett doesn't deny the existence of consciousness either.


Right, he denies being a consciousness denier. But given what he says about it and what he thinks it is, I think what he calls consciousness isn't really consciousness but something else, some purely cognitive, functional-informational occurrence. Dennettian consciousness is such that it can be had AI robots that aren't subjects of experience. So I think I'm justified in calling him an eliminativist.

"I choose to use ‘experience’ instead of ‘consciousness’ because although ‘consciousness’ is perfectly adequate for philosophical purposes it has been very heavily mangled. It has been forced through the terminological looking glass by philosophers like Dennett who use it to mean precisely something that involves no consciousness. I will mark this by saying that Dennett uses the word ‘consciousness’ to mean consciousnessLG, where the ‘LG’ stands for ‘looking-glass’. Dennett looking-glasses the term ‘consciousness’, where to looking-glass a term is to use it in such a way that whatever one means by it, it excludes what the term means."

(Strawson, Galen. "Intentionality and Experience: Terminological Preliminaries." 2005. Reprinted in Real Materialism and Other Esssays, 255-280. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. pp. 256-7)
anonymous66 wrote:
July 12th, 2018, 10:25 am
You can keep telling me that there are some physicalists who aren't eliminitivists or who don't deny that we do have a mind, and I'll keep telling you that their beliefs entail that either consciousness/mind is an illusion, or that it doesn't exist.
I'll keep telling you that there is nothing eliminativistic or antirealistic about a reductive materialism according to which phenomenal or "secondary" qualities are complexes of physical or "primary" qualities. To say that experiential properties are composed of/constituted by material properties is certainly not to say that they don't exist or aren't real, since it's just to say what they really are. (You don't think that to say that water is composed of H2O molecules is to say that there is no water, do you?)

What reductionism does entail is merely that we don't innerly perceive the qualia we enjoy as what they really are, viz. complex or structural physical properties. That is, our introspective awareness of qualia is illusory not in the sense that we falsely believe them to be there when they are not, but in the sense that their physical (neurological) essence and structure is not manifest to introspection.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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