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Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

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Tamminen
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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Tamminen » December 31st, 2018, 3:21 pm

RJG wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 2:51 pm
I think the misuse of language is in claiming that one can be "conscious of a conscious experience". For if experience = conscious experience, then one can never be conscious of an 'experience', because then every experience within "conscious experience", is yet another "conscious experience". At what point does one ever become conscious of the experience itself?
Perceptions and feelings are conscious experiences, and we can be conscious of both in a knowing experience, reflection. The object of perception is a real thing in the real world, not the perception, and in the conscious experience of feeling there seems to be no object, just consciousness in its basic form, with physiological correlates of course. So no infinite regress, if you get what I mean. All experiences are conscious by definition, and in reflection we are conscious of our experiences, which answers your last question.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by RJG » December 31st, 2018, 4:21 pm

Tamminen wrote:Perceptions and feelings are conscious experiences, and we can be conscious of both in a knowing experience, reflection.
These perceptions/feelings may have, at one time, been the consciousness-of-something else, but now they are the 'X' (the object) of my present reflection (consciousness). One cannot be conscious of conscious experiences.

Tamminen wrote:The object of perception is a real thing in the real world…
Not so. This is impossible. It is impossible to experience a non-experience. The object of consciousness is an 'experience'; a "mental impression" (a 'matched' or 'recognized' past experience from memory, or another "bodily reaction" of some type). We can only 'hope and pray' that our "mental impressions" match that of something 'real' out there.

Tamminen wrote:...and in the conscious experience of feeling there seems to be no object, just consciousness in its basic form, with physiological correlates of course.
Not so. If we consciously experience feelings (emotions/urges/whatever) then these particular feelings are the 'something'; the 'object'; the 'X', that we consciously (knowingly) experience.

Tamminen wrote:All experiences are conscious by definition, and in reflection we are conscious of our experiences, which answers your last question.
Not so. If all experiences were conscious, there would be nothing left to be conscious of. (We would be conscious of 'nothing'). Furthermore, "reflection" is just another word for "consciousness". Reflecting on one's experiences (thoughts/feelings/sensory/urges/etc) is being conscious/knowing of one's experiences.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Tamminen » December 31st, 2018, 5:14 pm

RJG wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 4:21 pm
These perceptions/feelings may have, at one time, been the consciousness-of-something else, but now they are the 'X' (the object) of my present reflection (consciousness). One cannot be conscious of conscious experiences.
We are conscious of their existence in our immediate past. At the time of reflection they exist no more. I have not claimed anything else.
It is impossible to experience a non-experience.
The logic of perception is such that its object is something existing in the real world.
If we consciously experience feelings (emotions/urges/whatever) then these particular feelings are the 'something'; the 'object'; the 'X', that we consciously (knowingly) experience.
That's what I said. And those feelings are conscious experiences.
If all experiences were conscious, there would be nothing left to be conscious of.
It seems that you did not understand what I wrote in the post you are quoting. We are conscious of many things which are not experiences. I think dogs are not conscious of their experiences, but they are conscious of food and such things. At least you should not claim that my logic fails here. You see logic so important that you should not make this kind of elementary mistakes. I mean I see you have your own logic which does not fail if we accept your premises, but I do not accept them.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Consul » December 31st, 2018, 11:25 pm

RJG wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 4:21 pm
Not so. This is impossible. It is impossible to experience a non-experience. The object of consciousness is an 'experience'; a "mental impression" (a 'matched' or 'recognized' past experience from memory, or another "bodily reaction" of some type). We can only 'hope and pray' that our "mental impressions" match that of something 'real' out there.
We cannot experience nonexperiences, but we can perceive nonexperiences through experiencing sensations which are appearances or impressions of them.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Consul » December 31st, 2018, 11:34 pm

Tamminen wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 5:14 pm
The logic of perception is such that its object is something existing in the real world.
Right. The content of sensory perception is a subjective sensation, but its content is not its object. The object of perception is perceived through its experiential content, but the experiential content is not what is perceived. When I see a tree I don't see my sense-impressions of it but the tree. The tree-impressions are the experiential content of my tree-perception but not its intentional object.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by BigBango » January 1st, 2019, 2:23 am

Consul wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 11:34 pm
Tamminen wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 5:14 pm
The logic of perception is such that its object is something existing in the real world.
Right. The content of sensory perception is a subjective sensation, but its content is not its object. The object of perception is perceived through its experiential content, but the experiential content is not what is perceived. When I see a tree I don't see my sense-impressions of it but the tree. The tree-impressions are the experiential content of my tree-perception but not its intentional object.
Yes, you do a good job of escaping Berkeley's mistake.

You and Greta also portray the evolution of "consciousness" in a well educated contemporary way. The problem I have with your account of the appearance of "consciousness" is that it ignores any reference to the possibility of its fractal origins. Your account sees primitives that come into existence in this world without any reference to worlds that existed before the Big Bang.

Wouldn't it be nice if the Big Bang, as characterized contemporaneously, was really the beginning of everything. Gee, every Big Bang starts everything anew, therefore what difference does it make what occurred before the Big Bang. The truth is that the nature of our being comes from a continuum that spans Big Bangs. The subject that evolved before our most current Big Bang is a player in the evolution of the subject that has evolved in our familiar world. What we need to realize is that that "subject" is more technologically advanced than us but is very small, their ecosystems are net much bigger than a Planck volume. My claim is that in spite of their small size they play a big role in the development of our consciousness because of their advanced technology. Fractals are like that. They evolve until they are very mature existents and then they give birth to younger versions of themselves. The life before the Big Bang evolved into technologically advanced civilizations before their world collapsed. Our world consists of the evolution of a young "subject" that is created from the efforts of a very small old "subject".

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Tamminen » January 1st, 2019, 4:33 am

@RJG

I try to understand your way of thinking, and what I think of your thinking goes like this:

As a materialist you start from the presupposition that you have a body with some brain processes going on, some of them being what you call 'memory'. And when certain physiological conditions are met, there emerges something like consciousness. So now there is consciousness and its material correlate, which can also said to be its functional basis. This is a sound idea, although 'emergence' and 'basis' are ambiguous concepts for an anti-materialist like me.

Now we have consciousness and its material correlate. As I understand, you say that consciousness is consciousness of its material correlate, something in your body. It is true that eg. Spinoza says the body is the object of the mind, and it is also true that in certain modes of consciousness, like pain, we are conscious of our body. But there are modes of consciousness where we cannot say so without changing our natural way of using language, as both Consul and I have shown many times. And the worst misuse of language is to say that the physiological correlate of consciousness is an experience. That leads to such absurd claims as rocks having experiences.

By the way: how do you know you have a body?

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Consul » January 1st, 2019, 10:25 am

BigBango wrote:
January 1st, 2019, 2:23 am
Consul wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 11:34 pm
Right. The content of sensory perception is a subjective sensation, but its content is not its object. The object of perception is perceived through its experiential content, but the experiential content is not what is perceived. When I see a tree I don't see my sense-impressions of it but the tree. The tree-impressions are the experiential content of my tree-perception but not its intentional object.
Yes, you do a good job of escaping Berkeley's mistake.
"…In order to show how all of these arguments rest on the same fallacy, I need to state the argument as a series of steps. I will do this for the Argument from Illusion.

Step One: In both the veridical (good) case and in the hallucination (bad) case, there is a common element—a qualitative subjective experience going on in the visual system.

Step Two: Because the common element is qualitatively identical in the two cases, whatever analysis we give of one, we must give of the other.

Step Three: In both the veridical case and the hallucination case we are aware of something (are conscious of something, see something).

Step Four: But in the hallucination case it cannot be a material object; therefore, it must be a subjective mental entity. Just to have a name, call it a 'sense datum'.

Step Five: But by step two we have to give the same analysis for both cases. So in the veridical case, as in the hallucination, we see only sense data.

Step Six: Because in both hallucinations and in veridical perceptions themselves we see only sense data, then we have to conclude that we never see material objects or other ontologically objective phenomena. So Direct Realism is refuted.

This basic argument in many different forms was the foundation of modern epistemology, where 'modern' means from the seventeenth century on. I have claimed rather briskly that it has disastrous consequences. Why? Notice that the only reality that is accessible to us on this account is the subjective reality of our own private experiences. This makes it impossible to solve the skeptical problem: How, on the basis of perception, can we ever know facts about the real world? The problem is insoluble because our only perceptual access is to private subjective experiences, and there is no way to get from the ontologically subjective experiences to the ontologically objective real world."


(Searle, John R. Seeing Things As They Are: A Theory of Perception. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. pp. 22-3)
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by RJG » January 1st, 2019, 8:46 pm

Tamminen wrote:We are conscious of many things which are not experiences.
Not so. Without a bodily experience (bodily reaction) to be conscious of, there is nothing else for us to be conscious of.

Tamminen wrote:I think dogs are not conscious of their experiences, but they are conscious of food and such things.
Not so. If dogs are conscious, then they can only be conscious of their 'experiences', or in this case, their visual and olfactory sensory reactions (which in turn are presumably caused by the 'real' food itself). None of us, including dogs, are conscious of the 'causers' of our bodily reactions, we are instead only conscious of the bodily reactions (aka 'experiences') themselves. The 'cause' of our experiences can only be assumed.

Consul wrote:We cannot experience nonexperiences, but we can perceive nonexperiences through experiencing sensations which are appearances or impressions of them.
Well, not really. To be technically correct, we can only assume/hope that our experienced sensations accurately reflect the supposed non-experience which caused them. Since we can't actually see past our own sensations, so as to see the 'real causers' of our sensations, we can only, at best, just guess/assume their nature/existence.

Tamminen wrote:As a materialist you start from the presupposition that you have a body with some brain processes going on, some of them being what you call 'memory'. And when certain physiological conditions are met, there emerges something like consciousness. So now there is consciousness and its material correlate, which can also said to be its functional basis. This is a sound idea, although 'emergence' and 'basis' are ambiguous concepts for an anti-materialist like me.
Bodily reactions are the experiences (the object; the 'X') that we (the subject; aka "experiencer") then may or may not become conscious of. The consciousness (knowing) of a bodily reaction (the 'consciousness-of-X') is itself a unique/singular bodily experience called 'recognition'. For it is this 'recognition' that converts the 'non-conscious' experience ('X') into the 'conscious' experience ('consciousness-of-X'). [Note: And again, without an 'X' (bodily experience) there can be no consciousness-of-X; hence no consciousness at all.] But 'recognition' is not possible without a 'means' to store and match (i.e. to recognize) past experiences. 'Memory' provides the means, and the capability, to store and match past experiences with present experiences.

To put it simply, there is no magic here. Those with eyeballs can see. Those with ears can hear. And those with memory can 'know' (be 'conscious').

Tamminen wrote:Now we have consciousness and its material correlate. As I understand, you say that consciousness is consciousness of its material correlate, something in your body. It is true that eg. Spinoza says the body is the object of the mind, and it is also true that in certain modes of consciousness, like pain, we are conscious of our body. But there are modes of consciousness where we cannot say so without changing our natural way of using language, as both Consul and I have shown many times. And the worst misuse of language is to say that the physiological correlate of consciousness is an experience. That leads to such absurd claims as rocks having experiences.
The problem is that you assume your mental impression is caused by something 'real' out there, when you have absolutely no way of knowing the source/cause of this mental impression. For example, when you perceive a tree, you have no way of knowing if this tree is the result of a delusion/dream/hallucination, or is a mirage/illusion/optical trick, or if you are in a virtual reality environment, or even if you are a brain-in-a-vat, or if the tree is actually the real McCoy himself.

Making the blanket claim that the tree you perceive is 'real', is doing so via blind faith (just hoping and praying).

Tamminen wrote:By the way: how do you know you have a body?
All my experiences are bodily experiences (or that which I call body). Without a reactive experiential body, there would be no experiencing; no consciousness; and therefore no "me".

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by RJG » January 2nd, 2019, 7:24 am

Searle (via Consul) wrote:"Step Six: Because in both hallucinations and in veridical perceptions themselves we see only sense data, then we have to conclude that we never see material objects or other ontologically objective phenomena. So Direct Realism is refuted.

This basic argument in many different forms was the foundation of modern epistemology, where 'modern' means from the seventeenth century on. I have claimed rather briskly that it has disastrous consequences. Why? Notice that the only reality that is accessible to us on this account is the subjective reality of our own private experiences. This makes it impossible to solve the skeptical problem: How, on the basis of perception, can we ever know facts about the real world? The problem is insoluble because our only perceptual access is to private subjective experiences, and there is no way to get from the ontologically subjective experiences to the ontologically objective real world."
Hopefully Searle isn't rejecting this logic based on its "disastrous consequences". As the 'ugliness' or 'dislike' of something is not a valid reason to reject it.

Searle (via Consul) wrote:How, on the basis of perception, can we ever know facts about the real world?
We can't. "Perceptions" (experiential/subjective truths) can never be trusted to yield objective truths (true knowledge). If we wish to "know facts about the real world", then we must use deductive logic. We must use objective tools to yield objective truths.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Tamminen » January 2nd, 2019, 9:05 am

RJG wrote:
January 1st, 2019, 8:46 pm
All my experiences are bodily experiences (or that which I call body). Without a reactive experiential body, there would be no experiencing; no consciousness; and therefore no "me".
I can agree on this, in the way you put it. But then:

As I see it, you are saying that I am just a material organism conscious of some physiological processes of that organism you call 'experiences'. And I am conscious of those experiences because there are some physiological processes of the same organism you call 'recognition', which in turn is possible because there are some physiological structures or processes of the same organism you call 'memory'. So nothing but self-reference of matter.

I just wonder where I am in all this. I get lost. Annihilated.

Subjective idealism forgets the real world. Materialism in its most vulgar forms forgets the subject. You have succeeded to put both sins into one package: reified solipsism! Congratulations.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by RJG » January 2nd, 2019, 10:37 am

Tamminen wrote:As I see it, you are saying that I am just a material organism conscious of some physiological processes of that organism you call 'experiences'. And I am conscious of those experiences because there are some physiological processes of the same organism you call 'recognition', which in turn is possible because there are some physiological structures or processes of the same organism you call 'memory'. So nothing but self-reference of matter.

I just wonder where I am in all this.
"I" am just the experiencer; the physical 'body' itself. There is no "I" separate from the body. Without a reactive (experiential) body, there can be no reaction (experience) of 'knowing' (consciousness).

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Tamminen » January 2nd, 2019, 11:54 am

RJG wrote:
January 2nd, 2019, 10:37 am
"I" am just the experiencer; the physical 'body' itself.
This the materialistic concept of 'subject', and I guess Consul would agree with you on this. I do not. My view is that organisms do not think. Subjects think with their brains. Subjects have brains and bodies. Bodies do not have brains to think with. There cannot be such a reference relation within the material world. So I have a different perspective to all this. If I were identical with my body as a subject, I would not complain if it did not function in the way I wanted. It is a tool, given to me to use for my existence, but it just happens that I was given this particular tool. This is what I mean when I say that the subject is transcendental. It transcends its body, rebels against it, complains that it cannot think more clearly with its brain, play better with guitar and so on. The subject uses its body as an instrument of existing.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by RJG » January 2nd, 2019, 1:00 pm

RJG wrote:"I" am just the experiencer; the physical 'body' itself.
Tamminen wrote:This the materialistic concept of 'subject', and I guess Consul would agree with you on this. I do not. My view is that organisms do not think.
We don't "think" either. Contrary to popular belief, we only just experience our thoughts (bodily reactions). We are only just the 'experiencers' of our thoughts, feelings, sensations, and urges. That's it.

Tamminen wrote:This is what I mean when I say that the subject is transcendental. It transcends its body, rebels against it, complains that it cannot think more clearly with its brain, play better with guitar and so on. The subject uses its body as an instrument of existing.
If you experience these thoughts and desires, then these are only just more 'experiences' (bodily reactions). That's all.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Consul » January 2nd, 2019, 1:46 pm

RJG wrote:
January 2nd, 2019, 7:24 am
Searle (via Consul) wrote:How, on the basis of perception, can we ever know facts about the real world?
We can't. "Perceptions" (experiential/subjective truths) can never be trusted to yield objective truths (true knowledge). If we wish to "know facts about the real world", then we must use deductive logic. We must use objective tools to yield objective truths.
Of course, there are epistemological problems of (sensory) perception, but according to empiricism, which is "the 'default' or 'official' epistemology of science" (A. Rosenberg), all synthetic knowledge is (fundamentally/ultimately) based on/grounded in sensory perception (observation). And as the huge success of empirical science shows, sensory perception is a fallible yet reliable source of knowledge.

Of course, logical inferences from observation sentences play a crucial role, but the point is that all inferential synthetic knowledge is ultimately based on observation sentences that are directly, i.e. non-inferentially, grounded in sensory observation.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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