Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

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

Post by Consul » December 5th, 2019, 5:59 pm

Also see this previous post of mine: viewtopic.php?p=310916#p310916
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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by Consul » December 5th, 2019, 7:03 pm

I also found this (freely downloadable) paper by two scientists, Frantisek Baluska & Arthur Reber:

* Sentience and Consciousness in Single Cells: How the First Minds Emerged in Unicellular Species (2019): https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... ar_Species

"Abstract: We put forward a reductionistic, bottom-up, cellular-based concept of the origins of sentience and consciousness. Because all life is based on cells, any evolutionary theory of the emergence of sentience and consciousness must be grounded in mechanisms that take place in prokaryotes, the simplest unicellular species. We posit that subjective awareness is a fundamental property of cellular life. It emerged as an inherent feature of, and contemporaneously with, the very first life-forms. All other varieties of mentation are the result of evolutionary mechanisms based on this singular event. Therefore, all forms of sentience and consciousness evolved from this original instantiation in prokaryotes. We also identify three cellular structures and mechanisms that likely play critical roles here: excitable membranes, oscillating cytoskeletal polymers, and structurally flexible proteins. Finally, basic biophysical principles are proposed to guide those processes that underly the emergence of supracellular sentience from cellular sentience in multicellular organisms."

Reber has also written a book:

* The First Minds Caterpillars, Karyotes, and Consciousness (2019): https://global.oup.com/academic/product ... 0190854157

"This is a short book. It has a straightforward message. I'm going to be putting forward a theory about the origins of consciousness and mind, one I’ve dubbed the Cellular Basis of Consciousness (CBC). It's predicated on some very simple assumptions, specifically that:

(i) The origins of mind and consciousness will be found in the simplest, single-celled organisms,

and,
(ii) Consciousness, subjectivity, phenomenal experience or, if you prefer, sentience is an inherent feature of living organic form(s).

To anticipate, yes, I'm going to argue that unicellular species like amoebae have minds, though they are very tiny and don't do much; that protozoa perceive the world about them and think, though their thoughts are limited in scope and not terribly interesting; that bacteria communicate with each other, though the messages are simple and unitary in nature; and that sessile eukaryotes like Stentor roeseli not only learn, they have miniscule unicellular memories and make tactical decisions. And that, yes, they all possess an ontologically valid consciousness."


(Reber, Arthur S. The First Minds: Caterpillars, Karyotes, and Consciousness. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019. pp. x-xi)

In another paper he writes:

"Mind and consciousness are not unique features of human brains. They are grounded in inherent features present in simpler forms in virtually every species. Any organism with flexible cell walls, a sensitivity to its surrounds and the capacity for locomotion will possess the biological foundations of mind and consciousness."

(Reber, Arthur S. "Caterpillars, Consciousness and the Origins of Mind." Animal Sentience 11/1 (2016).)

Download link: https://animalstudiesrepository.org/ani ... 1/iss11/1/

For critical comments, see: https://animalstudiesrepository.org/ani ... ol1/iss11/
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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by Consul » December 5th, 2019, 7:12 pm

Consul wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 7:03 pm
"Mind and consciousness are not unique features of human brains. They are grounded in inherent features present in simpler forms in virtually every species. Any organism with flexible cell walls, a sensitivity to its surrounds and the capacity for locomotion will possess the biological foundations of mind and consciousness."

(Reber, Arthur S. "Caterpillars, Consciousness and the Origins of Mind." Animal Sentience 11/1 (2016).)
To repeat my central objection: Objective physiological sensitivity is one thing, and subjective psychological sentience is another!
The latter depends on and includes the former, but the former doesn't depend on and include the latter.

(That said, I agree with Reber that "mind and consciousness are not unique features of human brains.")
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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by Consul » December 5th, 2019, 7:25 pm

As for the question of mechanisms of consciousness in single cells, here's Reber's suggestion:

"Single-cell organisms feel. Feelings are subjective states. There is something it is like and feels like to be a bacterium. The first order of business is to work out the protein folding mechanism(s) that give rise to these kinds of subjective states."

(Reber, Arthur S. "Resolving the Hard Problem and Calling for a Small Miracle." Animal Sentience 11/9 (2016).)
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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by Consul » December 6th, 2019, 5:19 am

Consul wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 7:03 pm
"This is a short book. It has a straightforward message. I'm going to be putting forward a theory about the origins of consciousness and mind, one I’ve dubbed the Cellular Basis of Consciousness (CBC). It's predicated on some very simple assumptions, specifically that:

(i) The origins of mind and consciousness will be found in the simplest, single-celled organisms,

and,
(ii) Consciousness, subjectivity, phenomenal experience or, if you prefer, sentience is an inherent feature of living organic form(s).

To anticipate, yes, I'm going to argue that unicellular species like amoebae have minds, though they are very tiny and don't do much; that protozoa perceive the world about them and think, though their thoughts are limited in scope and not terribly interesting; that bacteria communicate with each other, though the messages are simple and unitary in nature; and that sessile eukaryotes like Stentor roeseli not only learn, they have miniscule unicellular memories and make tactical decisions. And that, yes, they all possess an ontologically valid consciousness."


(Reber, Arthur S. The First Minds: Caterpillars, Karyotes, and Consciousness. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019. pp. x-xi)
A good objection by Paul Thagard:

"Given [Reber’s] appreciation of scientific evidence, he should be able to recognize that the evidence for consciousness in single-celled organisms is much worse than the evidence for consciousness in self-driving cars, which already exhibit much more complex sensing, reacting, moving, and communicating than bacteria."

Source: https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2019 ... organisms/
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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by Consul » December 6th, 2019, 5:35 am

Consul wrote:
December 6th, 2019, 5:19 am
A good objection by Paul Thagard:

"Given [Reber’s] appreciation of scientific evidence, he should be able to recognize that the evidence for consciousness in single-celled organisms is much worse than the evidence for consciousness in self-driving cars, which already exhibit much more complex sensing, reacting, moving, and communicating than bacteria."

Source: https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2019 ... organisms/
Paul Thagard writes:

"So why does Reber think that bacteria are conscious? He correctly notes that single-celled organisms have powerful ways of sensing their environments to detect sources of food and toxicity. Moreover, bacteria live in biofilms of large numbers of individuals that communicate with each by secreting chemicals that spread important environmental information about food and toxins. Bacteria are capable of moving individually and collectively to get closer to food and farther from toxic substances. Perhaps sensing, reacting, communicating, and moving are best explained by the hypothesis that bacteria have some degree of consciousness.

But machines are also capable of sensing, reacting, communicating, and moving—for example, the self-driving cars that are being developed by Google, Uber, General Motors, and other companies. Reber thinks not only that such machines are not currently conscious, but that they never could be, because he accepts the discredited thought experiment of John Searle that artificial intelligence is impossible because the symbols used by machines are inherently meaningless. Christopher Parisien and I argued a decade ago that self-driving cars are capable of semantics in the same way as human brains, through interacting with the world and learning about it. So machines that interact with the world can have meaningful representations even though they do not yet have consciousness.

Engineers know exactly how self-driving cars work because they built them, and can explain their operations without invoking consciousness. Self-driving cars do not display behaviors such as pain, emotions, and imagery that consciousness helps to explain in birds and mammals. Self-driving cars and even thermostats refute Reber’s claim that when an event is sensed it is felt."


Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog ... ness-begin
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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by BigBango » December 6th, 2019, 6:09 pm

Consul, good references!

Try to entertain the possibility that single/simple cells did not evolve “consciousness” but “subjectivity/consciousness” evolved simple cells!

If the latter is true then the argument that compares cars or AI to simple cell functioning collapses due to the absence of the necessary ontologically prior presence of the subjective in the case of mechanical AI!

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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by Consul » December 6th, 2019, 8:19 pm

BigBango wrote:
December 6th, 2019, 6:09 pm
Try to entertain the possibility that single/simple cells did not evolve “consciousness” but “subjectivity/consciousness” evolved simple cells!
Please explain!
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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by Gee » December 6th, 2019, 11:57 pm

Consul wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 3:09 pm
Gee wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 5:40 am
Oh yeah? Then why do bacteria not do any "quorum sensing" when they are dead?
Eh…because they're dead. Dead organisms do nothing.
Brilliant!!! You have just discovered the primary difference between biology and chemistry. If you can hold on to that thought, you will be much less likely to manipulate information.
Consul wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 3:09 pm
Gee wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 5:40 am
Could it possibly be because they no longer experience the sensations? You can not mix biology and chemistry willy nilly without corrupting your information.
:?:
As you know, I deny that living bacteria have (subjective) sensations.

Yes, I know. It gives me a headache, but I have to state that your denial has nothing to do with reality. All life is sentient; simple truth. This is another way that you manipulate information.

Please consider that trying to talk to someone about consciousness, when they deny certain accepted forms of it in life, is much like trying to teach algebra to someone, who just wants to argue about the reality of numbers. You will never get past the starting point.
Consul wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 3:09 pm
Gee wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 5:40 am
Do you see the words, "mere" and "merely" that you typed in your response? This is not the first time you have used them in this manner. It is as obvious as a nose on a face that you think psychological sentience is superior to physiological sentience.
No, that's not what I think! "Different from" doesn't mean "superior to".
I could have used "purely" instead of "merely", with purely physiological sensitivity (not sentience!) not involving any psychological sentience.
But you did not use "purely". I would call your use of "merely" a Freudian slip -- not the kind of thing I would normally miss.
Consul wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 3:09 pm
Gee wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 5:40 am
You have also made it clear that psychological sentience requires a brain, which you have, so you have not only closed your mind to any consciousness that does not come from a brain, you have also made psychological sentience look like magic. It has no source and could not have evolved.
:?:
Sentience does have a natural source: (electrochemical processes in) the brain!
The brain?? You know a lot of people have been fooled by this nonsense. This manipulation of information has caused a lot of grief. I have read theories where people try to prove that bacteria have brains, and even theories where they try to prove that plants have brains. Why do they do that? Because they can see that all life is conscious/aware and believe that consciousness comes from a brain. They have not yet figured out that the brain came late in evolution -- not at the beginning. Simple truth.
Consul wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 3:09 pm
It's panpsychism which makes sentience "look like magic" (as sorta "creatio ex nihilo").
You think I'm a panpsychist, don't you. You are wrong.
Consul wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 3:09 pm
Gee wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 5:40 am
This is a common problem with many people, who claim to be materialist/physicalists. They are not. They are actually brainists and are as difficult to discuss consciousness with as the most radically religious people. I am probably more of a physicalist than you are because I study the physical aspects of consciousness. I threw out Monism v Dualism a long time ago, so I don't need to worry about whether consciousness came from humans (the brain) or "God".
Materialism doesn't logically include "brainism" (cerebralism) about consciousness, but the discoveries and inquiries of natural science have led to it. That's why we now have a promising neuroscience of consciousness!

Your materialism is brainism. The evidence is in your posts.

Neuroscience of consciousness? More manipulating of information. Neurology is the study of the CNS. Neuroscience is a conglomeration of many branches of science and philosophy that was put together because neurology failed to find consciousness. There is no branch of science called Consciousnessology.
Consul wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 3:09 pm
Gee wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 5:40 am
If you think that consciousness is physical, then tell me what you think is physical about it -- and why -- in your own words. Do not tell me what other people think. I am not talking to them.
The precise definition of "physical" is a contentious issue, but I nonetheless think that consciousness is a physical (or physiological) phenomenon—in the sense that experiences are either composed of/constituted by/constructed out of (neuro-)physical processes or mechanisms or caused/produced by such ones.
So you don't have a clue.
Consul wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 3:09 pm
Gee wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 5:40 am
And if you take it up one level, what you find is that every cell in every body of every life form works in a similar way. Each cell has three main directives; to maintain itself, to reproduce itself, and to support whatever system it is in (blood cell, bone cell, brain cell, etc.). Then hormones (the communicators) regulate the systems causing homeostasis. Biological bodies are full of communication all of the time. Until they are dead.

And if you take it up another level, what you find is that every life form works in a similar way. Each life form has three main directives; to maintain itself, to reproduce itself, and to support it's specie. Then pheromones (the communicators) regulate species assisting the self balancing of ecosystems. Don't make the mistake of thinking pheromones are only about sex; all multi-celled species have pheromones that match up with the hormones that regulate survival instincts. If you consider how many life forms live in a forest, animal, plant, bird, fish, insect, etc., then you multiply that by how many survival instincts each possesses, you end up with an unnamable number. If this communication were audible, then walking into a forest would deafen you.

Do you see what I underlined regarding communication in your post? All biological life is in constant communication. Consciousness is essentially communication.
Communication is information exchange, the exchange of signals or signs; but it isn't the same as and doesn't per se entail consciousness. . . .
More manipulation of information. I did not state that communication is essentially consciousness. I stated that consciousness is essentially communication.
Consul wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 3:09 pm
Gee wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 5:40 am
You routinely confuse the rational conscious aspect of mind with consciousness. The brain causes the rational aspect of mind (thought and intent); it does not cause consciousness or experience.
No, the brain causes all sorts of experiences, all kinds of sensing, feeling, thinking, and imagining.
No. The brain is mainly a processor, much like a CPU. It does not cause experience, sensing, or feeling. It could be argued that it does cause thinking and imagination, because these are both thought and products of the rational aspect of mind. Processing thought and digitalizing analogue experience into thought is a lot of what the brain does.
Consul wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 3:09 pm
Gee wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 5:40 am
Neurologists are talking about a step or level of consciousness, not the reality of consciousness.
When neurologists are talking about "levels of consciousness", they usually mean the following:

"The concept of level refers to the different degrees of arousal and awakeness and thus to the state of consciousness. The level or state of consciousness is related to global metabolism and energy supply which are found to be impaired and highly reduced in disorders of consciousness like vegetative state and coma."
Yes. And these all relate to the rational (thinking and aware) aspect of mind -- like conscious, unconscious, different levels of coma, asleep v awake, hypnotized, etc. This is all relative to the rational mind.
Consul wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 3:09 pm
Gee wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 5:40 am
Would it help if I explained that it was a working neurologist, who is a moderator at a well-respected science forum, who explained to me that all life, ALL LIFE, is sentient? Sentience is a level of consciousness and requires subjectivity. Look it up.
Yes, sentience is subjective sensory experience, and to be sentient is to be conscious. But what reasons are there to believe that all living beings are sentient beings, and that brains are unnecessary for consciousness?
Ask a biologist to explain why all life is sentient. I am not a biologist.
Consul wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 3:09 pm
Gee wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 5:40 am
So you are saying that plants communicate unconsciously. I knew that. The next step is to study the unconscious, which is not the same as un-experience.
What exactly do you mean by "the unconscious"?
The same thing that everyone else means. Look it up. Wiki will do for an overview.
Consul wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 3:09 pm
Gee wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 5:40 am
I think you are talking nonsense. There is no such thing as "objective awareness" in the way you are using it. That is not only BS, it is also impossible. Awareness can only exist if there is time, space, and matter, because awarenesss requires focus; a point to focus from and something to focus on -- two points. The point "to focus from" is the subject. I worked this out while researching the possibility of an aware "God" that started the Universe, which would be impossible without time and space.
Now you are stating that there is such a thing as "objective awareness", which would be awareness that would be received by multiple perspectives (subjects), so it could be objective. That is the very essence of the "God" concept. Are you trying to make a religious argument? Or are you trying to understand the unconscious?
Objective awareness is simply awareness without subjective experience; so it's nonconscious awareness . . .

So you are talking about mechanical awareness as in AI. This is more manipulating of information. You know damned well that I am talking about conscious life.
Consul wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 3:09 pm
Gee wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 5:40 am
Instinctive behavior is all about subjective experience. I would ask you to back up your statement, but you are too good at manipulating information (as I have noted in this post), so I would not believe you.
"Manipulating information"? What the heck are you talking about?!
See above. And below.
Consul wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 3:09 pm
Gee wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 5:40 am
I said hormones, not glands.
Glands produce hormones.
So do cells, and you know this because you already stated that you learned that plant cells can produce hormones. This is just more manipulation of information.
Consul wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 3:09 pm
Gee wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 5:40 am
I think every living cell is an organ of consciousness.
How is that possible? Which physical/chemical mechanism in a single cell can generate subjective experiences? We know that millions of interacting nerve cells in the brain can do that collectively, but how could one single cell do that individually, especially when it's not even a nerve cell?
How it is possible is what this thread is questioning. Please note that the title is not Brains, What Are They and What Do They Require?
Consul wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 3:09 pm
Gee wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 5:40 am
Is that my hypothesis? Nice of you to tell me, because I didn't know. (Yes. This is sarcasm.) Sooner or later you are going to have to learn that there is a difference between a hypothesis and evidence. I was talking about evidence -- things we know to be true. If you doubt me, then please look them up.
What "evidence" and what "things we know to be true" are you talking about?

Anyway, I'm interested in your alternative hypothesis and your reasons for believing it to be true.
If it could be said that I have a working hypothesis, it would be this: Every theory of consciousness that I have ever seen, whether secular or religious, has some truth in it. Often these theories are opposing, so how is that possible?

Either the truths that I see are not there, or they are there and consciousness is vast, complex, and a topic that can encompass a great many theories. So I search through the theories for the pieces of truth, then try to fit them into a whole picture of understanding what consciousness actually is. Since I am a holistic thinker, putting together things that are relative is natural for me.
Consul wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 3:09 pm
Gee wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 5:40 am
You could read about it. Never mind. I just deleted the rest of your post because it was all about denial of the unconscious, and it is clear that you do not have a clue as to the unconscious aspect of mind and your instincts are simply to deny it.
What does the unconscious mind consist of?
If Jung is correct about the collective and communal unconscious, then the unconscious aspect of mind consists of a collection of all experiences of all species all over the world. If I am correct, the unconscious is also accumulative, so it would consist of all experiences from all life since the start of life on this planet. A lot of people call it "God".

Gee

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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by BigBango » December 7th, 2019, 3:50 am

Gee wrote: If Jung is correct about the collective and communal unconscious, then the unconscious aspect of mind consists of a collection of all experiences of all species all over the world. If I am correct, the unconscious is also accumulative, so it would consist of all experiences from all life since the start of life on this planet. A lot of people call it "God".
Great discussion!

The point I would like to make is that Gee is certainly on the right track and Consul cannot get over his bias that assumes the wonders of consciousness could only have come from the complexity of the brain and its nervous system. The other point I would like to make is that Gee shortchanges the level of academic analysis that could yield insights about the nature, limits and novelties of the unconscious and limits our analysis prematurely to a "catch all God".

I personally would not limit the collective unconscious to just the "experiences from all life since the start of life on this planet". I am exploring models of unconscious life that include all experiences from all life from the start of life on this planet and also including experiences from the start of life on all of the planets that have existed in all the worlds that preceded the BC/BB. I hesitate to lump them into the idea of a "God" because that defeats my models attempt to attribute structure and limitations to the actual structures that carry this, to us, as unconscious knowledge.

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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by BigBango » December 7th, 2019, 7:11 am

ImageWikipedia › wiki › Blindsight
Web results
Blindsight - Wikipedia
Jump to Case studies · Blindsight is a phenomenon that shows that even when the primary visual cortex is damaged or removed a person can still perform actions guided by unconscious visual information. ... Alexander and Cowey investigated how contrasting brightness of stimuli affects blindsight patients' ability to discern movement.

I post this to argue with Consul that the “consciousness” of higher organisms is not dependent on the visual facility of the specialized organ of sight in advanced species. The visual system of higher organisms simply enhance what every cell in it’s being already has!

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

Post by Consul » December 7th, 2019, 1:07 pm

BigBango wrote:
December 7th, 2019, 7:11 am
Blindsight - Wikipedia
Jump to Case studies · Blindsight is a phenomenon that shows that even when the primary visual cortex is damaged or removed a person can still perform actions guided by unconscious visual information. ... Alexander and Cowey investigated how contrasting brightness of stimuli affects blindsight patients' ability to discern movement.
I post this to argue with Consul that the “consciousness” of higher organisms is not dependent on the visual facility of the specialized organ of sight in advanced species. The visual system of higher organisms simply enhance what every cell in it’s being already has!
Do single cells have tiny eyes?

Blindsight is nonconscious visual perception. The receiving of visual stimuli, the processing of corresponding neural signals, and the utilizing of the information conveyed by those signals for the control of action/behavior can all take place nonconsciously. But this process cannot take place eyelessly, since the processing of visual information cannot start without light-sensitive sensory receptors, viz. eyes. Conscious or nonconscious seeing is impossible without eyes or eye-like sensory receptors (optical sensors).
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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

Post by Atla » December 7th, 2019, 1:40 pm

RJG wrote:
December 3rd, 2019, 2:29 pm
Atla wrote:Besides there are no subjects and objects either.
Atla wrote:There is no 'physical' and 'mental'.
Atla wrote:These are made-up categories, people hallucinated them a few hundred to thousand years ago, and then reified them.
...
RJG wrote: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.
Atla wrote:I totally didn't said anything like "everything is a hallucination".. whatever
If there is no ("subject or object" or "physical or mental" entity named) "Atla", then who/what is making these "subjective" statements/points of view? If "Atla" is just an hallucination (as Atla claims) then so are the statements that Atla says and writes. Atla's very own statements/words thereby 'defeat' the validity/legitimacy of Atla's argument!
No, you are just stuck in basic circular reasoning where you can'T make sense of the world without subjects and objects.

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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by Atla » December 7th, 2019, 1:44 pm

Consul wrote:
December 3rd, 2019, 3:06 pm
Atla wrote:
December 3rd, 2019, 1:18 pm
All Western thinking is dualistic. (Here dualistic means something like: thing-ifying, pluralistic, dual, countable, reifies the abstract forms of thoughts and treats them as concrete. There's just no good way to put it.)
Eastern philosophy has both dualistic and nondual thinking. These are the two major forms of human thinking, but from what I can tell, you guys on this forum aren't aware of the other one (the correct one).
I'm not saying that the great Western physicists fully understood this, but modern physics just isn't compatible with dualistic thinking, with Western worldviews in general.
This is off-topic, so just two remarks:

1. A dualism is always one between two kinds of things (in the broadest sense of "thing"), so we would first have to talk about what exactly those two kinds of things are.

2. In any case, it is not true that "all Western thinking is dualistic," and that "modern physics just isn't compatible with dualistic thinking, with Western worldviews in general."
The problem here is that there are two main forms of human thinking: dualistic and nondual. But only one English. None of you on this forum currently can understand nondual English (so you guys are wasting your time with trying to do philosophy).

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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by Atla » December 7th, 2019, 2:09 pm

Gee wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 5:40 am
it was a working neurologist, who is a moderator at a well-respected science forum, who explained to me that all life, ALL LIFE, is sentient? Sentience is a level of consciousness and requires subjectivity.
And you actually fell for that? There is no known test for sentience. It should also be pretty obvious that all categorization into living vs non-living is ultimately arbitrary.

But most importantly, there are no levels of phenomenal consciousness. Most neurologists just don't have a clue about philosophy, so they don't understand the difference between phenomenal consciousness and an organism's consciousness.

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