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Conciousness as the definition of existence

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
Tamminen
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Re: Conciousness as the definition of existence

Post by Tamminen » January 7th, 2019, 5:38 am

EventHorizon wrote:
January 6th, 2019, 1:09 pm
I did want to ask if you consider reality to be dualistic or non-dualistic and the effect of each on Conciousness after death, in context with the impossibility of non-being. I think I read that you consider open-individualism, but I am unsure what this might mean if something like panpsychism is true.
I think you get a picture of my views if you read this:
viewtopic.php?p=301123#p301123
and google 'generic subjective continuity', then combine all that with the idea of open-individualism. My problem is that I am lazy to read others' texts, so I am not sure if my views are similar or not. As to dualism, I think there is no conceptual bridge between consciousness and the material world, which is the world of noumena, or "in-itselfs". They are interdependent, though, as you said. I do not think panpsychism can be taken seriously.
Furthermore, how do you see these views being developed/corroborated by the academic sphere? I don't trust that I am more well versed in rigorous thinking than those that devote their lives to it.
I think these thoughts are not very popular in academic circles, which can also be seen from the responses on this forum. We are dissidents. There is a lot of elementary misunderstanding concerning the whole idea, especially among materialists.

Tamminen
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Re: Conciousness as the definition of existence

Post by Tamminen » January 7th, 2019, 12:19 pm

Gertie wrote:
January 7th, 2019, 5:00 am
And of course we have have evidence that our universe existed prior to beings we recognise as possessing consciousness.
And of course this has nothing to do with the ontological subject/world dependence. The pen I am holding is not conscious, my left hand is not conscious, the embryo I was once, was not conscious, the plasma of the Big Bang was not conscious. Yet all this spacetime we know as the Universe, though it created us by means of the cosmic and biological evolution, blindly as it seems, is there in relation to us, whoever we happen to be. If ants were the only subjects in the universe, this would be ants' universe. Like @EventHorizon says, without consciousness of being there would be non-being, which would be a contradiction in terms. Only the existence of subjects makes the universe exist. And of course this is not anything like esse est percipi, there is much that we never perceive, but also that is somewhere physically related with us - or the ants. I see the universe as a spatiotemporal whole.

Alias
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Re: Conciousness as the definition of existence

Post by Alias » January 7th, 2019, 12:37 pm

EventHorizon wrote:
January 6th, 2019, 10:48 pm
What do you mean by "wink out"? I think that seems like a convenient rewording but is the exact same as "becomes nothing". And if we agree that nothing is not , then I think we have a very real dilemma.
No we don't. Nothing doesn't exist so you can't become it; you can only become something that does exist.
You're making a dilemma out of a self-contradiction.
I'm not trying to appeal to emotion at all here.
Maybe not, but the concept of a non-material consciousness is so embedded in our culture and language that it's hard, sometimes, to recognize its effects on our reasoning process.
I think the common sense view here requires the validity of panpsychism and possibly integrated information theory insofar as Conciousness is a fundamental property of matter that can "merge". This is the only way I see to not have an imbalance of input and output but retain the common view of death.
Okay.... or you can stop clutching at ephemera and accept an unconscious universe with just tiny scatterings of sentience here and there.
Those who can induce you to believe absurdities can induce you to commit atrocities. - Voltaire

Tamminen
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Re: Conciousness as the definition of existence

Post by Tamminen » January 7th, 2019, 1:15 pm

With the subject-world relationship there is the corresponding mind-body relationship, which some philosophers see as a problem. But it is in fact very simple in principle. The subject has a relationship with the world. The mind is the subjective side of that relationship, the body is its objective side, being part of the material world. One relationship, two sides. One series of events, two conceptually incompatible ways of seeing and describing that process we call life.

Alias
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Re: Conciousness as the definition of existence

Post by Alias » January 7th, 2019, 4:04 pm

Tamminen wrote:
January 7th, 2019, 1:15 pm
With the subject-world relationship there is the corresponding mind-body relationship, which some philosophers see as a problem. But it is in fact very simple in principle. The subject has a relationship with the world. The mind is the subjective side of that relationship, the body is its objective side, being part of the material world. One relationship, two sides. One series of events, two conceptually incompatible ways of seeing and describing that process we call life.
You can find ways to describe life without dragging non-existence into it, or trying to foist your body-mind, internal-external view on all of reality.

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EventHorizon
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Re: Conciousness as the definition of existence

Post by EventHorizon » January 7th, 2019, 7:36 pm

Gertie wrote:
My problem with these types of arguments boils down to trying to use logic to address questions where we don't know if our logic born out of our experience of how this world works would apply. But here goes.
1) non-being is impossible a la Parmenides' "is not". Thus existence must exist.
We can only say non-being isn't the case (right here right now), because we're here now to say it. (Or at a skeptical minimum 'my' conscious experiential states exist right here right now, as by their nature their existence is directly known).
I think this is an interesting point, but I think by definition the empirical evidence points the other way. We have no experience of not being here, In fact this is obviously not even a possible experience ala the cogito. I recognize that this is a pretty funny point to be making since we see death in others and believe it will happen to us as well. But this is a pure assumption. I think it directly begs the question Can there come a time that I am not, but others are? . An immensely funny question due to common sense, but it seems to me not even thinkable.
2) Existence must exist in such a way that what is outside of it is not non-existence. The line between existence and non-existence can not be analogous to the line that separates an inside from an outside.
Finding ways to describe non-existence is tricky, but to describe non-existence in terms of location and inside/outside seems like a category error. Or at least analogy, so we should be careful about drawing conclusions based on analogous language, because the analogy is inevitably imperfect, and might not capture the key features we're drawing conclusions about.
I agree with you here, I think my terminology is poor and something I should learn to pay better attention to.
And of course we have have evidence that our universe existed prior to beings we recognise as possessing consciousness.
I think this is something I want to put under the microscope despite being so obvious. I want to be clear that I'm not questioning the science or mathematics here, they quite clearly (barring panpsychism) describe a time before consciousness. My contention is with our understanding of time, but I'm not well read enough to have a meaningful conversation yet I think.

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EventHorizon
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Re: Conciousness as the definition of existence

Post by EventHorizon » January 7th, 2019, 7:43 pm

Burning ghost wrote:
January 7th, 2019, 5:28 am
Event -

You seem to be juggling words around and needlessly confusing what you’re thinking ... or at least so it seems?

Is what you mean condensed down to this:

- what exists exists only in consciousness and beyond that we’re in no position to insist anything else being beings that exist as conscious beings not “non-conscious” beings ... which would essentially mean “non-being” and “non-existent”.

Yet again this is Kantian territory. The confusion of noumenon as positive and noumenon as negative.

The further confusion lies in how many different people frame the meaning of “exist” and “being” in various different contexts yet occasionally fall prey to wire crossing and thus themselves and others because they fail to address teh limitations of their lexicon.
I think so, although I think I am also saying that we cant insist about the "true nature of reality outside consciousness" not because we cannot access it, but because it literally would not exist without us.

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EventHorizon
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Re: Conciousness as the definition of existence

Post by EventHorizon » January 7th, 2019, 8:00 pm

Tamminen wrote:
January 7th, 2019, 5:38 am
EventHorizon wrote:
January 6th, 2019, 1:09 pm
I did want to ask if you consider reality to be dualistic or non-dualistic and the effect of each on Conciousness after death, in context with the impossibility of non-being. I think I read that you consider open-individualism, but I am unsure what this might mean if something like panpsychism is true.
I think you get a picture of my views if you read this:
viewtopic.php?p=301123#p301123
and google 'generic subjective continuity', then combine all that with the idea of open-individualism. My problem is that I am lazy to read others' texts, so I am not sure if my views are similar or not. As to dualism, I think there is no conceptual bridge between consciousness and the material world, which is the world of noumena, or "in-itselfs". They are interdependent, though, as you said. I do not think panpsychism can be taken seriously.
Furthermore, how do you see these views being developed/corroborated by the academic sphere? I don't trust that I am more well versed in rigorous thinking than those that devote their lives to it.
I think these thoughts are not very popular in academic circles, which can also be seen from the responses on this forum. We are dissidents. There is a lot of elementary misunderstanding concerning the whole idea, especially among materialists.
I agree pretty well with that theory and with your own post. I want to develop the first point you make more though, that If I don't exist, the world does not exist. I find that I want an I* (I-star term) that enumerates the totality of subjectivity --in the same way that nothingness is the totality of negation iirc -- but at the same time I find that each individual point of I-ness is the whole of subjectivity. It's wildly contradictory but I don't know how to reconcile it -- do you have thoughts on this?

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EventHorizon
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Re: Conciousness as the definition of existence

Post by EventHorizon » January 7th, 2019, 8:11 pm

Alias wrote:
January 7th, 2019, 12:37 pm
EventHorizon wrote:
January 6th, 2019, 10:48 pm
What do you mean by "wink out"? I think that seems like a convenient rewording but is the exact same as "becomes nothing". And if we agree that nothing is not , then I think we have a very real dilemma.
No we don't. Nothing doesn't exist so you can't become it; you can only become something that does exist.
You're making a dilemma out of a self-contradiction.
Ok but that's what I"m saying, that Consciousness can not become nothing. I think you are saying it "winks out" or "stops" or any other variation of does not become. It seems somewhat disingenuous to assert this since it quite simply makes no sense. It's like that meme of saying 'yes' to a question that was not yes or no.

Gertie
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Re: Conciousness as the definition of existence

Post by Gertie » January 7th, 2019, 10:16 pm

Tamminen wrote:
January 7th, 2019, 12:19 pm
Gertie wrote:
January 7th, 2019, 5:00 am
And of course we have have evidence that our universe existed prior to beings we recognise as possessing consciousness.
And of course this has nothing to do with the ontological subject/world dependence. The pen I am holding is not conscious, my left hand is not conscious, the embryo I was once, was not conscious, the plasma of the Big Bang was not conscious. Yet all this spacetime we know as the Universe, though it created us by means of the cosmic and biological evolution, blindly as it seems, is there in relation to us, whoever we happen to be. If ants were the only subjects in the universe, this would be ants' universe. Like @EventHorizon says, without consciousness of being there would be non-being, which would be a contradiction in terms. Only the existence of subjects makes the universe exist. And of course this is not anything like esse est percipi, there is much that we never perceive, but also that is somewhere physically related with us - or the ants. I see the universe as a spatiotemporal whole.
If the claim is that nothing can exist without consciousness, then evidence for a pre-existing non-conscious universe is relevant, surely?

The argument has to address that, at least.

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Burning ghost
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Re: Conciousness as the definition of existence

Post by Burning ghost » January 7th, 2019, 10:48 pm

Gertie -

Human evidence ... that is the point.
AKA badgerjelly

Tamminen
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Re: Conciousness as the definition of existence

Post by Tamminen » January 8th, 2019, 4:17 am

EventHorizon wrote:
January 7th, 2019, 8:00 pm
I find that each individual point of I-ness is the whole of subjectivity. It's wildly contradictory but I don't know how to reconcile it -- do you have thoughts on this?
I think I have presented some thoughts of it in the post you read. It has something to do with generic subjective continuity and the relationship between subjective time and physical spacetime. One subjective present going through all subjective experiences in physical spacetime. Speculation, and there are many seeming paradoxes in this, but I have not found that it would be a logical impossibility. So let us speculate. Your thoughts are promising, perhaps you can solve the paradoxes of this hypothesis. The basic idea is very powerful and solves the paradoxes of death and foreign minds.
Gertie wrote:
January 7th, 2019, 10:16 pm
If the claim is that nothing can exist without consciousness, then evidence for a pre-existing non-conscious universe is relevant, surely?
The argument has to address that, at least.
I just addressed that argument.

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Re: Conciousness as the definition of existence

Post by Gertie » January 8th, 2019, 8:54 am

Tam
Like @EventHorizon says, without consciousness of being there would be non-being, which would be a contradiction in terms. Only the existence of subjects makes the universe exist.
We can assert that only conscious critters can know the universe exists. But it seems to me you're blurring two different things - existence and awareness/knowledge of existence.

The argument on one side is that there is no difference, right? Hence the claim that ''without consciousness of being there would be non-being'' makes sense if you accept that premise.

But the argument on the other side is that stuff, the universe, can independently exist as a fact of the matter, an actual state of affairs, in the absence of consciousness. If that's the case, the claim ''without consciousness of being there would be non-being'' doesn't work.

Hence it's important to distinguish between the issue of the ontological fact of the matter of whether the universe existed before conscious critters existed or not, and the epistemological issue of knowing what that fact of the matter is, which only conscious critters can do.

And ultimately we can't know if it's true that the universe can exist independently of consciousness because... there's no-one there to see. But the empirical evidence suggests yes it can. So an argument saying it can't, needs to adress that.

Tamminen
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Re: Conciousness as the definition of existence

Post by Tamminen » January 8th, 2019, 10:36 am

Gertie wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 8:54 am
Hence it's important to distinguish between the issue of the ontological fact of the matter of whether the universe existed before conscious critters existed or not...
Of course the universe existed before consciousness existed, only a panpsychist or someone who believes in a cosmic spirit denies that. But I have a holistic view of the universe. You think that we can cut the universe in temporal slices and then say that one slice is a universe without consciousness. I do not think that way. I think this is the basic difference in our thinking, and there is not much more we can say about this. The disagreement remains.

A universe without subjects is so huge a paradox that it must be impossible, and I would dare say, logically impossible.

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Re: Conciousness as the definition of existence

Post by Belindi » January 8th, 2019, 11:41 am

No definition of 'existence' can include an explanation of existence because existence is cause of itself. Unlike existence, consciousness is an attribute of some living things none of which is caused by itself. Therefore existence , and consciousness, cannot be defined by each other.

Existentialism is branch of ethics and psychology, whereas theories of existence is branch of ontology and metaphysics.These are two different sorts of enquiry as they ask different questions. Existentialism asks and purports to answer "How should I live?" Theories of existence purport to answer question of what exists.

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