Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

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Atla
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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by Atla » December 1st, 2019, 9:07 am

RJG wrote:
December 1st, 2019, 9:04 am
Rocks experience the same as any other physical body (including us blobs of flesh and other material).

Rocks and people can experience "physical experiences" but rocks cannot experience "mental experiences".
No. Rocks ARE their experiences, just like us blobs of flash ARE our experiences. There is only one thing not two. That's what Western philosophy missed. (Even after it was hard proven in QM.)

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RJG
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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by RJG » December 1st, 2019, 9:18 am

RJG wrote:Rocks and people can experience "physical experiences" but rocks cannot experience "mental experiences".
Atla wrote:Rocks ARE their experiences, just like us blobs of flash ARE our experiences. There is only one thing not two.
Sorry, but physical "objects" and "experiences" are NOT the same thing. Check your local dictionary.

Atla
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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by Atla » December 1st, 2019, 9:23 am

RJG wrote:
December 1st, 2019, 9:18 am
Atla wrote:Rocks ARE their experiences, just like us blobs of flash ARE our experiences. There is only one thing not two.
Sorry, but physical "objects" and "experiences" are NOT the same thing. Check your local dictionary.
But my local dictionary is based on a centuries old hallucination. That hallucination is embedded on all levels in Western thinking. Everyone is wrong here.

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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by Atla » December 1st, 2019, 9:53 am

This isn't new of course. After being confronted with the one thing they knew was impossible (that "mental content in here" and "mere physical stuff out there" always correlate like they were one and the same thing), others have turned away from Western philosophy before. Like Bohr, Heisenberg, Einstein, Schrödinger. And Tesla did so even before the quantum revolution.

Such a thing is just inexplicable according to Western thinking, if we prefer to avoid the "magic, duh" explanation.

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Consul
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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by Consul » December 1st, 2019, 3:04 pm

RJG wrote:
December 1st, 2019, 8:57 am
Is there a difference between 'physical' and 'mental'?
And if so, then is there a difference between 'physical experience' and 'mental experience'?
Conflating these as the 'same' thing is your error.
All experiences are mental occurrences, which is not to say that they are nonphysical occurrences; for according to materialism, all mental occurrences are physical occurrences (i.e. psychophysical occurrences).

What you mean by "physical experience" is nonmental experience; but, as I already said, it's confusing and misleading to use "experience" in this highly unusual sense.
RJG wrote:
December 1st, 2019, 8:57 am
Can rocks experience vibrations, impaction forces, temp changes, etc? If so, then rocks can experience. And unlike you and I, and other beings that possess memory capability, they just can't "know" they experience.
Rocks experience nothing in the relevant psychological sense of this term, which is the only sense in which it should be used here!
Rocks are affected by or subjected to forces, but they don't experience them and they aren't mental subjects.

By the way, there is an old sense of "to suffer", in which material objects which aren't subjects of consciousness/experience can be said to "suffer" things. For example:
"Substances suffer an entire change by the action of fire, or by entering into new combinations." (Webster's Dictionary 1828)
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Consul
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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by Consul » December 1st, 2019, 3:24 pm

Consul wrote:
December 1st, 2019, 3:04 pm
By the way, there is an old sense of "to suffer", in which material objects which aren't subjects of consciousness/experience can be said to "suffer" things. For example:
"Substances suffer an entire change by the action of fire, or by entering into new combinations." (Webster's Dictionary 1828)
This goes back to Aristotle's ontological category passion (Greek pathos, Latin passio). The Latin verb "pati", from which "passio" is derived, means: "1 To be subjected to (an operation or process), experience, undergo. b (of inanimate things). C to experience, be subjected to (the instrument or agent of such an operation)." (Oxford Latin-English Dictionary)

So in the original sense a passion is anything happening to or being done to something or somebody, and not just a kind of emotional experience.
There's a general distinction between active powers, actions, and agents on the one hand and passive powers, passions, and patients on the other hand.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by Consul » December 1st, 2019, 3:57 pm

RJG wrote:
December 1st, 2019, 9:04 am
Rocks and people can experience "physical experiences" but rocks (who lack memory) cannot experience "mental experiences".
Since we're talking about consciousness here, you'd better use the word "experience" only in the psychological sense—i.e. synonymously with "mental experience", "subjective experience", or "inner experience"—, so as to avoid confusion and misunderstanding!
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by Consul » December 1st, 2019, 4:22 pm

Atla wrote:
December 1st, 2019, 9:53 am
This isn't new of course. After being confronted with the one thing they knew was impossible (that "mental content in here" and "mere physical stuff out there" always correlate like they were one and the same thing), others have turned away from Western philosophy before. Like Bohr, Heisenberg, Einstein, Schrödinger. And Tesla did so even before the quantum revolution. Such a thing is just inexplicable according to Western thinking, if we prefer to avoid the "magic, duh" explanation.
What do you mean by "Western philosophy" and "Western thinking"? Is there any such thing, given that there are many different Western philosophies and many different kinds and ways of Western thinking? Does the general geographical distinction between Western philosophy and Eastern philosophy make sense at all as a distinction between philosophical theories, movements, or schools? For example, the distinction between naturalistic and supernaturalistic philosophies, between materialistic and spiritualistic (idealistic) ones doesn't provide a typical distinction between Western philosophy and Eastern philosophy, since we find those kinds of philosophies in both.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Consul
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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by Consul » December 1st, 2019, 4:31 pm

Consul wrote:
December 1st, 2019, 4:22 pm
For example, the distinction between naturalistic and supernaturalistic philosophies, between materialistic and spiritualistic (idealistic) ones doesn't provide a typical distinction between Western philosophy and Eastern philosophy, since we find those kinds of philosophies in both.
I forgot to mention the distinction between monistic philosophies and dualistic ones, which are found both in Western philosophy and in Eastern philosophy.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by RJG » December 2nd, 2019, 8:32 am

RJG wrote:Sorry, but physical "objects" and "experiences" are NOT the same thing. Check your local dictionary.
Atla wrote:But my local dictionary is based on a centuries old hallucination. That hallucination is embedded on all levels in Western thinking. Everyone is wrong here.
Atla, you seemingly contradict yourself. -- If as you claim, "everything is an hallucination", then so is your point. If you are "certain that everything is uncertain" then you undercut the validity of your own words.

Consul wrote:All experiences are mental occurrences.
Incorrect. "Non-mental" experiences are NOT "mental" occurrences.

It is non-sensical to claim that one experiences a mental occurrence of a mental occurrence! -- When one experiences a "mental occurrence" (i.e. a "conscious" moment), they are conscious of a "physical experience" (a "non-mental" bodily reaction).

Consul wrote:What you mean by "physical experience" is nonmental experience
Correct.

Consul wrote:...but, as I already said, it's confusing and misleading to use "experience" in this highly unusual sense.
Not so. For without the use of "physical experience", there would be no way to explain a "conscious experience". In other words, we can't get a "mental occurrence" to happen without it's associative and prerequisite "physical experience".

Question: When one is conscious, what is it specifically that they are conscious of? ...drum-roll please... Answer: a physical (non-mental) bodily experience/reaction!

RJG wrote:Rocks and people can experience "physical experiences" but rocks (who lack memory) cannot experience "mental experiences".
Consul wrote:Since we're talking about consciousness here, you'd better use the word "experience" only in the psychological sense—i.e. synonymously with "mental experience", "subjective experience", or "inner experience"—, so as to avoid confusion and misunderstanding!
Yes, agreed, when we speak of "consciousness", we are referring to "mental experience" (not "physical experience"), and likewise, when we speak of "physical bodily reaction", we are referring to "physical experience" (not "mental experience").

Without the prerequisite "physical experience", there could be no "mental experience". Without 'something' to be conscious of, there is nothing to be conscious of; hence no consciousness.

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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by Tamminen » December 2nd, 2019, 12:23 pm

I am not conscious of my brain processes. That consciousness depends on brain processes was an empirical discovery.

So I cannot be sure that I have brain processes. But I am sure that I am conscious.

And because I am conscious (cogito), I must exist (sum).

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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by Consul » December 2nd, 2019, 3:07 pm

RJG wrote:
December 2nd, 2019, 8:32 am
Consul wrote:All experiences are mental occurrences.
Incorrect. "Non-mental" experiences are NOT "mental" occurrences.
Of course, what is non-mental isn't mental; but in the context of philosophy of mind and psychology the term "experience" is always used to refer to mental occurrences.
RJG wrote:
December 2nd, 2019, 8:32 am
It is non-sensical to claim that one experiences a mental occurrence of a mental occurrence! -- When one experiences a "mental occurrence" (i.e. a "conscious" moment), they are conscious of a "physical experience" (a "non-mental" bodily reaction).
What you are conscious of is what you perceive (by means of your experiences), and you don't only perceive your own body or physical/physiological occurrences therein (= interoception, bodily self-perception) but also other things or occurrences in your environment (exteroception).
RJG wrote:
December 2nd, 2019, 8:32 am
Consul wrote:What you mean by "physical experience" is nonmental experience
Correct.
Again, your unusual use of "experience" in the nonpsychological sense is confusing, because the subject matter of our discussion is experience in the psychological sense. So you'd better avoid ambiguity and equivocation!
RJG wrote:
December 2nd, 2019, 8:32 am
Consul wrote:...but, as I already said, it's confusing and misleading to use "experience" in this highly unusual sense.
Not so. For without the use of "physical experience", there would be no way to explain a "conscious experience". In other words, we can't get a "mental occurrence" to happen without it's associative and prerequisite "physical experience".
You're obfuscating the issue with your idiosyncratic terminology!
What you call "physical/nonmental experiences" are simply nonmental/nonexperiential occurrences (processes) in material objects (bodies, organisms). You shouldn't speak of mental experiences vs. nonmental/physical experiences, but of mental occurrences (= experiences) vs. nonmental/(purely) physical occurrences (= nonexperiences).
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by Consul » December 2nd, 2019, 3:13 pm

Consul wrote:
December 2nd, 2019, 3:07 pm
Again, your unusual use of "experience" in the nonpsychological sense is confusing, because the subject matter of our discussion is experience in the psychological sense. So you'd better avoid ambiguity and equivocation!
I'm not saying that "experience" must never be used nonpsychologically. For example, in a book from 1871 I found the following sentence:

"The effect is supposed to be owing to the molecular change which the metal experiences by change of temperature."

(Only a panpsychist will read "experiences" psychologically as "mentally/subjectively experiences".)
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by RJG » December 2nd, 2019, 4:51 pm

RJG wrote:When one experiences a "mental occurrence" (i.e. a "conscious" moment), they are conscious of a "physical experience" (a "non-mental" bodily reaction).
Consul wrote:What you are conscious of is what you perceive (by means of your experiences), and you don't only perceive your own body or physical/physiological occurrences… ...but also other things or occurrences in your environment
Nonsense. When we are conscious, we are ONLY conscious of physical bodily reactions ("physical experiences"). And NOTHING else! -- If you disagree, then please give an example of a case where conscious perception is of a non-bodily reaction. I'm sure you will not find any such case.

For example, if you claim that we can consciously perceive a tree outside our window, then you are mistaken, as it is not the tree itself that we are conscious of, it is the physical bodily reaction caused by the light waves bouncing off the tree and reflecting into our eyes, impacting our optic nerves, creating the conscious experience of perceiving the tree. For without this physical bodily reaction, there would be nothing for us to be conscious of.

A "conscious experience" is a physical bodily experience that we are conscious of.

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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by Consul » December 2nd, 2019, 7:10 pm

RJG wrote:
December 2nd, 2019, 4:51 pm
When we are conscious, we are ONLY conscious of physical bodily reactions ("physical experiences"). And NOTHING else! -- If you disagree, then please give an example of a case where conscious perception is of a non-bodily reaction. I'm sure you will not find any such case.
For example, if you claim that we can consciously perceive a tree outside our window, then you are mistaken, as it is not the tree itself that we are conscious of, it is the physical bodily reaction caused by the light waves bouncing off the tree and reflecting into our eyes, impacting our optic nerves, creating the conscious experience of perceiving the tree. For without this physical bodily reaction, there would be nothing for us to be conscious of.
A "conscious experience" is a physical bodily experience that we are conscious of.
No, when you see a tree, what you see—the object of your visual perception—is the tree and not the neurophysiological process causing your visual perception of it.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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