The March Philosophy Book of the Month is Final Notice by Van Fleisher. Discuss Final Notice now.

The April Philosophy Book of the Month is The Unbound Soul by Richard L. Haight. Discuss The Unbound Soul Now

The May Philosophy Book of the Month is Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler.

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.
Post Reply
User avatar
ThomasHobbes
Posts: 1122
Joined: May 5th, 2018, 5:53 pm

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

Post by ThomasHobbes » September 23rd, 2018, 5:12 pm

Tamminen wrote:
September 23rd, 2018, 2:12 pm
ThomasHobbes wrote:
September 23rd, 2018, 1:51 pm
You are basically saying the same thing.
as '"The reality of experiential states is a fact that precedes any physical evolution of mental properties.""
This sentence is a bit ambiguous and I am not sure what BigBango means by it. I would say that because the being of experiential states needs a material basis, the physical evolution precedes those experiential states in physical time, but what really happens is the evolution of consciousness, not matter in itself which would produce consciousness as a kind of side effect or accident.
I think they are both misguided ideas; both your comment and his, and for much the same reason.

User avatar
ThomasHobbes
Posts: 1122
Joined: May 5th, 2018, 5:53 pm

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

Post by ThomasHobbes » September 23rd, 2018, 5:14 pm

Consul wrote:
September 23rd, 2018, 5:05 pm
ThomasHobbes wrote:
September 23rd, 2018, 1:50 pm

You are WRONG.
I'm a Cambridge boy and an advanced thinker.. Is English a second language to you?
"The Oxford English Dictionary regards the construction "comprised of" as incorrect,[1] while Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary and Collins English Dictionary do not regard it as such, mentioning "comprised of" among the examples.[2][3]"
That "compriseD of" is correct doesn't mean that "compriseS of" is correct too.
Do you get your kicks taking the piss out of dyslexic people?
Did you realises that s and d are close to each other on the keyboard?
Have you heard of a typo?

User avatar
ThomasHobbes
Posts: 1122
Joined: May 5th, 2018, 5:53 pm

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

Post by ThomasHobbes » September 23rd, 2018, 5:20 pm

ThomasHobbes wrote:
September 23rd, 2018, 5:14 pm
Consul wrote:
September 23rd, 2018, 5:05 pm


That "compriseD of" is correct doesn't mean that "compriseS of" is correct too.
Do you get your kicks taking the piss out of dyslexic people?
Did you realises that s and d are close to each other on the keyboard?
Have you heard of a typo?
If you accept "comprised of", perhaps you can explain in grammatical terms why you think "comprises of" is incorrect? As I do not see why referring to a relationship of part to a whole would be different in terms of the tense of the sentence.
But I am willing to discuss your problem.

User avatar
ThomasHobbes
Posts: 1122
Joined: May 5th, 2018, 5:53 pm

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

Post by ThomasHobbes » September 23rd, 2018, 5:21 pm

Consul wrote:
September 23rd, 2018, 5:05 pm
ThomasHobbes wrote:
September 23rd, 2018, 1:50 pm

You are WRONG.
I'm a Cambridge boy and an advanced thinker.. Is English a second language to you?
"The Oxford English Dictionary regards the construction "comprised of" as incorrect,[1] while Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary and Collins English Dictionary do not regard it as such, mentioning "comprised of" among the examples.[2][3]"
That "compriseD of" is correct doesn't mean that "compriseS of" is correct too.
If you accept "comprised of", perhaps you can explain in grammatical terms why you think "comprises of" is incorrect? As I do not see why referring to a relationship of part to a whole would be different in terms of the tense of the sentence.
But I am willing to discuss your problem.

User avatar
Consul
Posts: 1973
Joined: February 21st, 2014, 6:32 am
Location: Germany

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

Post by Consul » September 23rd, 2018, 8:40 pm

ThomasHobbes wrote:
September 23rd, 2018, 5:21 pm
If you accept "comprised of", perhaps you can explain in grammatical terms why you think "comprises of" is incorrect? As I do not see why referring to a relationship of part to a whole would be different in terms of the tense of the sentence. But I am willing to discuss your problem.
I think it's bad English, and I'm not the only one who thinks so.

"Usage: Comprise primarily means ‘consist of’, as in the country comprises twenty states. It can also mean ‘constitute or make up a whole’, as in this single breed comprises 50 per cent of the Swiss cattle population. When this sense is used in the passive (as in the country is comprised of twenty states), it is more or less synonymous with the first sense (the country comprises twenty states). This usage is part of standard English, but the construction 'comprise of', as in 'the property comprises of bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen', is regarded as incorrect."

Source: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/comprise

"comprise + of. Not least because it is a verbal tic beloved of estate agents (i.e. this property comprises of hall, living room…), this is probably the most widely reviled, or at least ridiculed, use. It may well offend not only died-in-the-wool purists, but ordinary mortals with a residual sense of written style."

(Fowler's Dictionary of Modern English Usage. 4th ed. Edited by Jeremy Butterfield. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. p. 172)
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

User avatar
ThomasHobbes
Posts: 1122
Joined: May 5th, 2018, 5:53 pm

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

Post by ThomasHobbes » September 24th, 2018, 11:45 am

Consul wrote:
September 23rd, 2018, 8:40 pm
ThomasHobbes wrote:
September 23rd, 2018, 5:21 pm
If you accept "comprised of", perhaps you can explain in grammatical terms why you think "comprises of" is incorrect? As I do not see why referring to a relationship of part to a whole would be different in terms of the tense of the sentence. But I am willing to discuss your problem.
I think it's bad English, and I'm not the only one who thinks so.
You are welcome to your (second hand) opinion.
But language is about praxis and understanding, not rules. If we stuck to rules we'd still be speaking pig Latin or Anglo Saxon.

Wayne92587
Posts: 1777
Joined: January 27th, 2012, 9:32 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Hermese Trismegistus

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

Post by Wayne92587 » December 17th, 2018, 11:51 am

Thoughts, words, are not physical objects but they are made manifest, are generated, are an affect born of the Physical brain.

User avatar
JaxAg
New Trial Member
Posts: 17
Joined: December 16th, 2018, 10:17 am

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

Post by JaxAg » December 17th, 2018, 2:17 pm

Suppose we think of the thoughts in our heads as processes, rather than 'things'. We can think of the brain as a lump of stuff, with a capacity to 'think'. Then one day it stops thinking. The consciousness doesn't need to stop being; it just stops happening. Like your voice doesn't need somewhere else to be when you stop singing. In normal experience, we tend to divide phenomena into things and their interactions, into nouns and verbs. But at the subatomic level this distinction ceases to be useful. A particle is essentially the effect of a concentration of energy at a point in a field. At scales apparent to our sensory equipment, arrangements of these particles appear more or less permanent. The more permanent tend to be seen as things, the more transitory as actions. The distinction is useful to us for purposes of communication, comprehension, organisation of experiences, etc, but its applicability is limited to this realm, and application outside this realm carries an avoidable risk.

Gertie
Posts: 692
Joined: January 7th, 2015, 7:09 am

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

Post by Gertie » December 22nd, 2018, 7:27 am

JaxAg wrote:
December 17th, 2018, 2:17 pm
Suppose we think of the thoughts in our heads as processes, rather than 'things'. We can think of the brain as a lump of stuff, with a capacity to 'think'. Then one day it stops thinking. The consciousness doesn't need to stop being; it just stops happening. Like your voice doesn't need somewhere else to be when you stop singing. In normal experience, we tend to divide phenomena into things and their interactions, into nouns and verbs. But at the subatomic level this distinction ceases to be useful. A particle is essentially the effect of a concentration of energy at a point in a field. At scales apparent to our sensory equipment, arrangements of these particles appear more or less permanent. The more permanent tend to be seen as things, the more transitory as actions. The distinction is useful to us for purposes of communication, comprehension, organisation of experiences, etc, but its applicability is limited to this realm, and application outside this realm carries an avoidable risk.
Suppose we think of the thoughts in our heads as processes, rather than 'things'. We can think of the brain as a lump of stuff, with a capacity to 'think'. Then one day it stops thinking. The consciousness doesn't need to stop being; it just stops happening. Like your voice doesn't need somewhere else to be when you stop singing. In normal experience, we tend to divide phenomena into things and their interactions, into nouns and verbs. But at the subatomic level this distinction ceases to be useful. A particle is essentially the effect of a concentration of energy at a point in a field. At scales apparent to our sensory equipment, arrangements of these particles appear more or less permanent. The more permanent tend to be seen as things, the more transitory as actions. The distinction is useful to us for purposes of communication, comprehension, organisation of experiences, etc, but its applicability is limited to this realm, and application outside this realm carries an avoidable risk.


Would you agree that everything being reducible to concentrations of energy in a field doesn't mean the emergent properties of particular clumps aren't real, rather than created by specific types of observers (us)? So for example our constructed categories of gas, liquid and solid to describe H2O refer not only to our peculiar (evolved for utility) ways of perceiving the world, but to independently/objectively real different properties of what we're perceiving.


Likewise nouns and verbs describe different properties of emergent real Somethings. Brains and thoughts have different properties too, and are both real, even though they, like everything else, may be reducible to concentrations of energy. We describe them differently because we (imperfectly) perceive different real properties.


So while our scientific standard model is indeed a model, a particular type of framing related to how we perceive reality, it does describe different aspects of reality, and is coherent within that framing - a framing we're inevitably stuck within. And that scientific model doesn't explain the real differences between brains and correlated thoughts.


So it doesn't explain why or if Thoughts (verbs) require Brains (nouns).

Or am I missing something?

Chili
Posts: 392
Joined: September 29th, 2017, 4:59 pm

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

Post by Chili » December 22nd, 2018, 2:56 pm

i can use science to verify the existence of my neighbor's brain, but not my neighbor's thoughts. For all I know, he hasn't got any thoughts, anything subjective. https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/ca ... E617BF7D9A

User avatar
JamesOfSeattle
Posts: 509
Joined: October 16th, 2015, 11:20 pm

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

Post by JamesOfSeattle » December 22nd, 2018, 3:27 pm

Chili wrote:
December 22nd, 2018, 2:56 pm
i can use science to verify the existence of my neighbor's brain, but not my neighbor's thoughts.
I don’t think this is correct. It’s like saying I can verify my neighbors heart, but not his blood circulation. I think you could verify your neighbor’s thoughts. But I don’t think it would be as easy as verifying his circulation.

*

Fooloso4
Moderator
Posts: 3601
Joined: February 28th, 2014, 4:50 pm

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

Post by Fooloso4 » December 22nd, 2018, 4:04 pm

Chili wrote:
December 22nd, 2018, 2:56 pm
i can use science to verify the existence of my neighbor's brain, but not my neighbor's thoughts. For all I know, he hasn't got any thoughts, anything subjective.
Of course you know that your neighbor has thoughts. Why would you doubt it? There is nothing about what you do that shows that you think it might be possible that he hasn't got any thoughts.

It reminds me of this barbed witticism by Wittgenstein:
I am sitting with a philosopher in the garden; he says again and again 'I know that that’s a tree', pointing to a tree that is near us. Someone else arrives and hears this, and I tell him: 'This fellow isn’t insane. We are only doing philosophy.

Chili
Posts: 392
Joined: September 29th, 2017, 4:59 pm

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

Post by Chili » December 23rd, 2018, 2:16 am

Fooloso4 wrote:
December 22nd, 2018, 4:04 pm

Of course you know that your neighbor has thoughts. Why would you doubt it? There is nothing about what you do that shows that you think it might be possible that he hasn't got any thoughts.


It's like you've never heard of neurology.

It reminds me of this barbed witticism by Wittgenstein:

I am sitting with a philosopher in the garden; he says again and again 'I know that that’s a tree', pointing to a tree that is near us. Someone else arrives and hears this, and I tell him: 'This fellow isn’t insane. We are only doing philosophy.
It's like you've never heard of philosophy. One must never question common beliefs unless there's good enough reason to doubt them? You must not be critical thinker - perhaps not even a thinker at all.

Tamminen
Posts: 1108
Joined: April 19th, 2016, 2:53 pm

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

Post by Tamminen » December 23rd, 2018, 4:14 am

Fooloso4 wrote:
December 22nd, 2018, 4:04 pm
Of course you know that your neighbor has thoughts. Why would you doubt it?
Right. Another quote from Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations:
I can know what someone else is thinking, not what I am thinking.
It is correct to say "I know what you are thinking", and wrong to
say "I know what I am thinking."
(A whole cloud of philosophy condensed into a drop of grammar.)

Fooloso4
Moderator
Posts: 3601
Joined: February 28th, 2014, 4:50 pm

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

Post by Fooloso4 » December 23rd, 2018, 9:58 am

Chili:
It's like you've never heard of neurology.
It’s more than likely that you have missed the point.

As to neurology, cognitive science is continually increasing its ability to map activity in the brain with greater and greater specificity. Identifying regions where neural activity corresponds to specific kinds of thinking activity and subjective experience. But of course it could always be argued that in the case of your neighbor the neural activity is simulated. So, the neurologist will use the evidence of neural activity for therapeutic ends and the cognitive scientist will use it for theoretical ends, the “philosopher” will sit by finding reasons to doubt.
It's like you've never heard of philosophy. One must never question common beliefs unless there's good enough reason to doubt them? You must not be critical thinker - perhaps not even a thinker at all.
Again you miss the point. Philosophy is not about creating puzzlement. You cannot verify with a high degree of certainty that your neighbor has thoughts, but that is not a good reason to question whether he does.

You can accuse me of never having heard of philosophy and not being a critical thinker but what I am addressing is the problem Wittgenstein addresses in On Certainty. You are using the term ‘know’ in a way that does not correspond to the context in which you are using it. When Wittgenstein says “we are only doing philosophy” he is poking fun at this type of idle talk.

Post Reply