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Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

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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Count Lucanor
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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Count Lucanor » January 20th, 2019, 5:47 pm

Belindi wrote:Fictional entities do often have concrete manifestations. When fictional entities result in large enough concrete manifestations they are called myths.
You're almost delusional. Fictional entities don't exist as real concrete ontological entities, don't have concrete manifestations. They are mere abstractions. You're confusing them with the representations of such abstractions (stories, graphic descriptions, etc.), which will have an effect on society, but the fictional characters themselves do nothing. As far as I know, neither Zeus, nor Superman themselves have ever produced a single effect on the world.
Belindi wrote:Please remember that when Aneurin Bevan planned the National Health Service it had yet no concrete manifestations and was purely an idea.
And yes, as an idea, it didn't exist in reality. It was just a plan of something to make real. And when it became real, there was evidence of it. Most likely any such creations imply social recognition and traceability of their existence, and that's why governments require their legal registration.

Unlike concepts as "New Atheism", which points at nothing concrete, no organization you can trace back and attribute specific actions and effects, it's a pure abstraction.
Belindi wrote:Similarly with a university, many people have not seen a university building and others have never worked as university teachers or students yet these unattached people have an idea of what a university is for.
Yes, because they learned about universities from concrete references about real concrete universities. I've never been to Harvard, but I know without the slightest doubt that it has buildings, but even more, that it must have buildings.
Belindi wrote:The concrete manifestations of an institution may change and do change (consider the Open University, and the centralisation of hospital buildings), but the myth may persist longer than the concrete institutions.
But there's no myth, the institution exists and is real. Even the most "virtual" human project require its physical assets and resources, may them be a guy in his home with a computer or the servers where the data and software are stored.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Belindi » January 20th, 2019, 7:13 pm

Count, I have been to a university that has no buildings . I have never heard of a consciousness that has no brain.

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Count Lucanor
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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Count Lucanor » January 20th, 2019, 8:04 pm

Belindi wrote:
January 20th, 2019, 7:13 pm
Count, I have been to a university that has no buildings .
So then what is it that you "went" to? Unless it happened in the domain of the abstract, which is only likely if you imagined it, that university must have had teachers, administrators, technical resources, etc.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Belindi » January 20th, 2019, 8:24 pm

Count Lucanor wrote:
January 20th, 2019, 8:04 pm
Belindi wrote:
January 20th, 2019, 7:13 pm
Count, I have been to a university that has no buildings .
So then what is it that you "went" to? Unless it happened in the domain of the abstract, which is only likely if you imagined it, that university must have had teachers, administrators, technical resources, etc.

yes, the university did have those. It also had a quality that was not measurable and that quality was its status in society. The university could hypothetically have existed if it had been much less organised with permanent staff. Consciousness is not attached to cultural status and unlike a university consciousness cannot exist to the slightest degree without its physical correlate, unless as I said before it is a substance quite apart from physical substance.

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Count Lucanor
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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Count Lucanor » January 20th, 2019, 10:46 pm

Belindi wrote:
January 20th, 2019, 8:24 pm
Count Lucanor wrote:
January 20th, 2019, 8:04 pm

So then what is it that you "went" to? Unless it happened in the domain of the abstract, which is only likely if you imagined it, that university must have had teachers, administrators, technical resources, etc.

yes, the university did have those.
Of course, it had to. So, the existence of that university is inevitably tied to tangible, physical resources and assets, including buildings where it operates and other things, like computers, furniture, etc. It is not an abstract university dwelling only in someone's mind.
Belindi wrote:
January 20th, 2019, 8:24 pm
It also had a quality that was not measurable and that quality was its status in society.
That's a different thing which is not essential to its being.
Belindi wrote:
January 20th, 2019, 8:24 pm
The university could hypothetically have existed...
You said you "went" there. If we are to believe you, then it does exist or did exist at that time. This is weird.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Consul » January 20th, 2019, 11:01 pm

Count Lucanor wrote:
January 20th, 2019, 5:47 pm
Fictional entities don't exist as real concrete ontological entities, don't have concrete manifestations. They are mere abstractions. You're confusing them with the representations of such abstractions (stories, graphic descriptions, etc.), which will have an effect on society, but the fictional characters themselves do nothing. As far as I know, neither Zeus, nor Superman themselves have ever produced a single effect on the world.
What can be ontologically confusing is that the adjective "fictional" is applied both to real things (fictional literature, fictional stories) and to unreal things (fictional persons or objects). A fictional story is a real story about something unreal.

However, the ontological situation is more complicated, because as far as works of art (literature, music, cinema, theater) are concerned, there is a difference between abstract, immaterial types and concrete, material tokens.

For example, there's a difference between Beethoven's Ninth Symphony as an abstract work of music (and thus as a type) and concrete performances or recordings of it (and thus as tokens). The same is true of the symphony's score (qua musical literature): Beethoven's original manuscript and all printed copies or versions of it are concrete tokens of the score as an abstract type of text.

As far as I'm concerned, I don't believe in the existence of works of art as abstract, immaterial types. I regard them all as fictional objects (of collective intentionality). I regard all other kinds of abstract objects as fictional ones too.

For more on the type-token distinction, see: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/types-tokens/
"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 Greta » January 20th, 2019, 11:04 pm

I wrote a long reply - took me 2 hours and lost it. Never mind, all views are well enough known here and no one will change their mind.

Count is not going to accept that there is any possibility whatsoever but the standard materialist narrative and I'm not going to to treat that narrative as the eternal gospel of truth he demands it to be.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Belindi » January 21st, 2019, 8:59 am

Count Lucanor wrote:

Belindi wrote: ↑Yesterday, 8:24 pm
It also had a quality that was not measurable and that quality was its status in society.
That's a different thing which is not essential to its being.
Belindi wrote: ↑Yesterday, 8:24 pm
The university could hypothetically have existed...
You said you "went" there. If we are to believe you, then it does exist or did exist at that time. This is weird.

The status in society of any university, or any other human cooperative institution, is necessary to their existence.

That university did not exist at one time. That university exists to this day. That university borrows or hires buildings or parts of buildings when it has to do so, and it's not permanently associated with those buildings. Maybe my phrase "went there" is bad and better would have been "attended".

The existence of that university does not depend upon any rented or borrowed buildings or even permanent staff or permanent students. A conscious state depends upon an anatomical brain. The human conscious state in which decision making takes place depends upon the anatomical entity called the frontal cortex.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Count Lucanor » January 21st, 2019, 9:06 am

Consul wrote:
January 20th, 2019, 11:01 pm
Count Lucanor wrote:
January 20th, 2019, 5:47 pm
Fictional entities don't exist as real concrete ontological entities, don't have concrete manifestations. They are mere abstractions. You're confusing them with the representations of such abstractions (stories, graphic descriptions, etc.), which will have an effect on society, but the fictional characters themselves do nothing. As far as I know, neither Zeus, nor Superman themselves have ever produced a single effect on the world.
However, the ontological situation is more complicated, because as far as works of art (literature, music, cinema, theater) are concerned, there is a difference between abstract, immaterial types and concrete, material tokens.

For example, there's a difference between Beethoven's Ninth Symphony as an abstract work of music (and thus as a type) and concrete performances or recordings of it (and thus as tokens). The same is true of the symphony's score (qua musical literature): Beethoven's original manuscript and all printed copies or versions of it are concrete tokens of the score as an abstract type of text.

As far as I'm concerned, I don't believe in the existence of works of art as abstract, immaterial types. I regard them all as fictional objects (of collective intentionality). I regard all other kinds of abstract objects as fictional ones too.
I cannot regard musical compositions as purely abstract objects. By that is meant a mental representation, but it is obvious that musical works have always a concrete physical representation, either in the score or the performance itself. Many times we talk about abstractions in art to convey the notion that they lack semantic content: musical notes don't carry meanings like words and some forms in painting don't seem to depict real objects.

Neither I would regard all works of art as fictional, which would be a term reserved for works that tell a story. I don't think we should treat all physical representations as fiction, just because they are representations and not the real thing.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Count Lucanor » January 21st, 2019, 9:35 am

Greta wrote:
January 20th, 2019, 11:04 pm
I wrote a long reply - took me 2 hours and lost it.
Sorry. Been there.
Greta wrote:
January 20th, 2019, 11:04 pm

Count is not going to accept that there is any possibility whatsoever but the standard materialist narrative and I'm not going to to treat that narrative as the eternal gospel of truth he demands it to be.
Well...I'm pretty sure you know the standard reply to the standard objection against the standard materialist narrative.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Count Lucanor » January 21st, 2019, 10:06 am

Belindi wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 8:59 am

The status in society of any university, or any other human cooperative institution, is necessary to their existence.
No it is not, it is accesory to its existence. In fact, that status depends on its existence, as it develops after the institution begins operations, carries actions and produces effects on society. Then it gains status.
Belindi wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 8:59 am
That university did not exist at one time. That university exists to this day. That university borrows or hires buildings or parts of buildings when it has to do so, and it's not permanently associated with those buildings. Maybe my phrase "went there" is bad and better would have been "attended".

The existence of that university does not depend upon any rented or borrowed buildings or even permanent staff or permanent students.
The concepts of temporary or permanent have nothing to do with the need of physical assets to operate, except that they are just modes of operations. The fact that they feel forced to lease buildings or use outsourcing is a clear indication of being dependent of them for the existence of the university.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Belindi » January 21st, 2019, 11:12 am

Count Lucanor wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 10:06 am
Belindi wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 8:59 am

The status in society of any university, or any other human cooperative institution, is necessary to their existence.
No it is not, it is accesory to its existence. In fact, that status depends on its existence, as it develops after the institution begins operations, carries actions and produces effects on society. Then it gains status.
Belindi wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 8:59 am
That university did not exist at one time. That university exists to this day. That university borrows or hires buildings or parts of buildings when it has to do so, and it's not permanently associated with those buildings. Maybe my phrase "went there" is bad and better would have been "attended".

The existence of that university does not depend upon any rented or borrowed buildings or even permanent staff or permanent students.
The concepts of temporary or permanent have nothing to do with the need of physical assets to operate, except that they are just modes of operations. The fact that they feel forced to lease buildings or use outsourcing is a clear indication of being dependent of them for the existence of the university.
You see, the university, the stock market, the National Health Service, and universities are all instituted by cultural forces in society. Whereas conscious states are of genetic origin.It's true to say that cultural forces do influence human genes e.g. a society where the culture values fast runners will tend towards the individual's choosing fast runners to mate with.

Conscious states are not social institutions.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Count Lucanor » January 21st, 2019, 7:10 pm

Belindi wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 11:12 am

You see, the university, the stock market, the National Health Service, and universities are all instituted by cultural forces in society.
The stock market is not an organization, a discrete entity, unless you were talking about a specific stock exchange institution.

Whatever the reason or driving forces behind the foundation of a real, concrete institution, it is irrelevant for determining its existence as a discrete, singular entity. Its origin is purely anecdotical.
Belindi wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 11:12 am
Conscious states are not social institutions.
So what? Who ever said they were?

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Belindi » January 21st, 2019, 7:53 pm

Count Lucanor wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 7:10 pm
Belindi wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 11:12 am

You see, the university, the stock market, the National Health Service, and universities are all instituted by cultural forces in society.
The stock market is not an organization, a discrete entity, unless you were talking about a specific stock exchange institution.

Whatever the reason or driving forces behind the foundation of a real, concrete institution, it is irrelevant for determining its existence as a discrete, singular entity. Its origin is purely anecdotical.
Belindi wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 11:12 am
Conscious states are not social institutions.
So what? Who ever said they were?


Social institutions don't exist unless people believe in them. Not everything that people believe in becomes a social institution.

I said "conscious states are not social institutions" because you had compared consciousness with university and my contention is that that was not a useful comparison.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Consul » January 21st, 2019, 9:04 pm

Count Lucanor wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 9:06 am
Consul wrote:
January 20th, 2019, 11:01 pm
As far as I'm concerned, I don't believe in the existence of works of art as abstract, immaterial types. I regard them all as fictional objects (of collective intentionality). I regard all other kinds of abstract objects as fictional ones too.
I cannot regard musical compositions as purely abstract objects. By that is meant a mental representation, but it is obvious that musical works have always a concrete physical representation, either in the score or the performance itself. Many times we talk about abstractions in art to convey the notion that they lack semantic content: musical notes don't carry meanings like words and some forms in painting don't seem to depict real objects.
Abstract objects in the contemporary platonistic sense aren't "abstractions". See: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/abst ... s/#WayAbst

For example, the question is: What is the referent of the name "Beethoven's Ninth Symphony"? Beethoven's handwritten original score and all printed copies or versions of it are concrete, physical things representing BNS, but none of them is called "BNS". All performances of BNS are concrete, physical events and manifestations of it, but none of them is called "BNS". For BNS as such is an abstract or "objectively ideal" (* object, and I think as such it is a fictional object. (* i.e. not "subjectively ideal" like a mental idea or image)
Count Lucanor wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 9:06 am
Neither I would regard all works of art as fictional, which would be a term reserved for works that tell a story.
When I say "I regard them all as fictional objects", I'm referring only to works of art qua abstract types, which is not to deny the existence of works of art simpliciter. Works of art which are particular material objects such as paintings and sculptures do exist. However, the type-token distinction isn't applicable to works of art such as paintings. Of course, paintings can be copied, but there's no type-token relation between the original painting and its copies, because they are all concrete, material objects, which types are not.
Count Lucanor wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 9:06 am
I don't think we should treat all physical representations as fiction, just because they are representations and not the real thing.
Of course, concrete (physical or mental) representations (qua tokens) do exist.

Oh dear, this is SO off-topic in this thread…

For more on the ontology of works of art, see: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/art- ... y-history/
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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