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

Post by BigBango » December 7th, 2019, 3:34 pm

Consul wrote:
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).
From "Life Itself" by Boyce Rensberger p 57 "Albrecht Buehler speculates that the cell's brain, its behavioral controller and the seat of its intelligence, lies in a complex, poorly understood structure known as the centrosphere. In most cells the centrosphere, more commonly called the centrosome or cell center, is situated near the nucleus and is the focal point of the part of the cytoskeleton made of microtubules. From the centrosphere a dense network of microtubules reaches out -- like a nervous system, Albrecht-Buehler likes to say - to all points on the periphery of the cell. The great mystery, if he is right, is the form of the information the cell might be taking in. What are the sensory organs of a cell? Does it have eyes and ears, or feelers? How does it transmit the signal, once received, to the centrosphere? How are the signals processed, and then assuming a "decision" is made to respond, how is that decision carried out? How would a cell tell its actin-based cytoskeleton to remodel itself? Somehow it seems obvious, the activity must be coordinated if the cell is to move in a coherent fashion."

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

Post by Consul » December 7th, 2019, 6:00 pm

Gee wrote:
December 6th, 2019, 11:57 pm
You have just discovered the primary difference between biology and chemistry.
"Biology then is just a particularly complex kind of replicative chemistry and the living state can be thought of as a new state of matter, the replicative state of matter, whose properties derive from the special kind of stability that characterizes replicating entities—DKS [dynamic kinetic stability]. That leads to a working definition of life: a self-sustaining kinetically stable dynamic reaction network derived from the replication reaction.

So there we have it. Even though life is an extraordinarily complex phenomenon, the life principle is surprisingly simple. Life is just the resultant network of chemical reactions that emerges from the continuing cycle of replication, mutation, complexification, and selection, when it operates on particular chain-like molecules—in the case of life on Earth, the nucleic acids. It is possible that other chemical systems could also exhibit this property, but so far this question has yet to be explored experimentally. Life then is just the chemical consequences that derive from the power of exponential growth operating on certain replicating chemical systems."


(Pross, Addy. What is Life? How Chemistry becomes Biology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. pp. 163-4)
Gee wrote:
December 6th, 2019, 11:57 pm
All life is sentient; simple truth.
How do you know? Mystical vision, divine revelation perhaps?
Gee wrote:
December 6th, 2019, 11:57 pm
This is another way that you manipulate information.
WTF?! That "all life is sentient" is anything but an established fact! On the contrary, it's a fringe view in biology!
Gee wrote:
December 6th, 2019, 11:57 pm
Consul wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 3:09 pm
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.
No, it's not a "Freudian slip" but something done deliberately!
I've been using "merely" in the descriptive/non-evaluative sense of "only (what is referred to) and nothing more" (Oxford Dictionary of English).
Gee wrote:
December 6th, 2019, 11:57 pm
Consul wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 3:09 pm
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 nonsense"?—you just made me laugh!
This is the most non-nonsensical assumption regarding the origin and basis of consciousness.
Gee wrote:
December 6th, 2019, 11:57 pm
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.
Yes, "the brain came late in evolution," and so did consciousness.
Gee wrote:
December 6th, 2019, 11:57 pm
You think I'm a panpsychist, don't you. You are wrong.
If you believe that "all life is sentient", you're a biopanpsychist/panbiopsychist at least.
Gee wrote:
December 6th, 2019, 11:57 pm
Your materialism is brainism. The evidence is in your posts.
Yes, I'm a cerebralist about consciousness.
Gee wrote:
December 6th, 2019, 11:57 pm
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.
Yes, there is!

Neuroscience of Consciousness: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/cons ... roscience/

For example, there's an academic journal: https://academic.oup.com/nc/pages/

"Neuroscience of Consciousness is an open access journal which publishes papers on the biological basis of consciousness, with an emphasis on empirical neuroscience studies in healthy populations and clinical settings."
Gee wrote:
December 6th, 2019, 11:57 pm
Consul wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 3:09 pm
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.
Yes, I have: No matter whether their relationship is causal or compositional/constitutional, all experiences depend (and supervene) on neurophysical processes in the brain—and there is ample scientific evidence for my assertion.
Gee wrote:
December 6th, 2019, 11:57 pm
I did not state that communication is essentially consciousness. I stated that consciousness is essentially communication.
Between what?
Gee wrote:
December 6th, 2019, 11:57 pm
Consul wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 3:09 pm
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.
Cogitation (thought) and imagination needn't be rational. Anyway, the stuff of cogitation or imagination are virtual sensations, i.e. mental simulations of actual sensations. For example, linguistic thought qua inner speech (simulation of outer speech) is constituted by sequences of virtual auditory sensations that are linguistically meaningful.

The brain generates not only all the virtual sensations (* constituting imagination (including cogitation) but also all the actual sensations constituting sensory perception.

(* Sinnesphantasmen [sense-phantasms], as Husserl calls them. Note that they are the stuff of imagination rather than of hallucination, the stuff of which are actual sense-impressions rather than sense-phantasms qua virtual sense-impressions.)

If the brain is only a "processor" of pre-existent experience rather than its generator, then what is its generator?
How could a single cell, let alone one which isn't a nerve cell, be capable of generating a unitary field or stream of experience?
Gee wrote:
December 6th, 2019, 11:57 pm
Consul wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 3:09 pm
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.
…or the cognitive mind, as I would say.
So what? The brain isn't only responsible for the cognitive mind or anima rationalis (the intellect, reason, and thought), but also for the conscious mind in its entirety, including the most primitive sensations or emotions.

Anesthesiologists can switch your consciousness off and on again by manipulating (nothing but) neural processes in your brain, which is strong evidence for the assumption that consciousness (with all its experiential contents) is realized by and in the brain. The experiential contents of consciousness are all influenceable and changeable through the physical or chemical manipulation of neural processes in the brain, which is strong evidence for the view that the brain (and nothing but the brain) is the organ—the substratum, locus, and generator—of consciousness.
Gee wrote:
December 6th, 2019, 11:57 pm
Ask a biologist to explain why all life is sentient. I am not a biologist.
Such an explanation presupposes—falsely, I think—that all life is in fact sentient.
Gee wrote:
December 6th, 2019, 11:57 pm
Consul wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 3:09 pm
What exactly do you mean by "the unconscious"?
The same thing that everyone else means. Look it up. Wiki will do for an overview.
No, Wikipedia is not an authoritative source in these matters.
Anyway, we cannot rest contented with mere dictionary definitions, because the concept of the unconscious (mind) raises substantive philosophical questions that aren't answered by dictionaries.
Gee wrote:
December 6th, 2019, 11:57 pm
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.
So what exactly is your "holistic" and "synoptic" hypothesis concerning the place and origin of consciousness in nature?
Gee wrote:
December 6th, 2019, 11:57 pm
Consul wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 3:09 pm
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".
Jung distinguishes between an individual, personal unconsciousness and a suprapersonal, collective unconsciousness. I think his and Freud's Tiefenpsychologie (depth psychology) is deeply wrong about the nature of the mind, because there is no such thing as an unconscious mind as conceived and postulated by them—"the deep unconscious", as Searle calls it.

Pace Freud&Jung, I believe that the mind lacks the mental or psychological depth they thought it has.
Searle's and my contention is that the so-called unconscious mind consists in nothing but unconscious neural dispositions or "habits" of the brain to produce conscious experiences, conscious thoughts, and conscious actions as their conscious manifestations.

"The overall picture that emerges is this. There is nothing going on in my brain but neurophysiological processes, some conscious, some unconscious. Of the unconscious neurophysiological processes, some are mental and some are not. The difference between them is not in consciousness, because, by hypothesis, neither is conscious; the difference is that the mental processes are candidates for consciousness, because they are capable of causing conscious states. But that's all. All my mental life is lodged in the brain. But what in my brain is my 'mental life'? Just two things: conscious states and those neurophysiological states and processes that—given the right circumstances—are capable of generating conscious states. Let's call those states that are in principle accessible to consciousness 'shallow unconscious', and those inaccessible even in principle 'deep unconscious'. The main conclusion of this chapter so far is that there are no deep unconscious intentional states."

(Searle, John R. The Rediscovery of the Mind. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1992. p. 162)

"The first possible moral is that our minds have dark and unfathomable ‘hidden depths’. From this viewpoint, we cannot expect people reliably to be able to look within themselves and compile a complete and true account of their beliefs and motives. Explanations of behaviour, whether from observers or participants, and whether before, during or after the event, are partial and unreliable at best.

From the ‘hidden depths’ standpoint, then, uncovering the true motivations for human behaviour needs more than the blunderbuss of asking people directly. It requires delicacy and sophistication. We need somehow to dive deep into the inner workings of the mind, and to measure directly the hidden beliefs, desires, motives, fears, suspicions and hopes governing our actions, forces of which we may ourselves be only dimly aware. Psychologists, psychiatrists and neuroscientists have long debated how best to plumb the deep waters of human motivation. Word associations, the interpretation of dreams, hours of intensive psychotherapy, behavioural experiments, physiological recordings and brain imaging have all been popular options over the last century or so. Whatever the method, the objective is clear: to discover the feelings, motives and beliefs that lurk below the mental ‘surface’ of conscious awareness – to chart, in short, our hidden depths. Yet the contents of our hidden depths seem to remain perpetually elusive. Freudian psychoanalysts can speculate about our hidden fears and desires; psychologists and neuroscientists can attempt to draw subtle and highly indirect conclusions from actions, heart-rate, skin conductance, pupil dilation and the rate of blood flow in the brain. But no hidden beliefs, desires, hopes or fears are ever actually observed. Perhaps our hidden depths are an ‘inner space’ that is as, or more, mysterious than the depths of outer space; and to penetrate it we will need more sophisticated instruments and methods of analysis. From this viewpoint, our failure so far to reveal the hidden depths of the human mind should drive us to even greater efforts.

In this book, I will argue for precisely the opposite viewpoint: that the project of charting our hidden depths is not merely technically difficult, but fundamentally misconceived; the very idea that our minds contain ‘hidden depths’ is utterly wrong."

(p. 3)

"No amount of therapy, dream analysis, word association, experiment or brain-scanning can recover a person’s ‘true motives’, not because they are difficult to find, but because there is nothing to find. It is not hard to plumb our mental depths because they are so deep and so murky, but because there are no mental depths to plumb."
(p. 4)

"The sense that behaviour is merely the surface of a vast sea, immeasurably deep and teeming with inner motives, beliefs and desires whose power we can barely sense is a conjuring trick played by our own minds. The truth is not that the depths are empty, or even shallow, but that the surface is all there is."
(p. 5)

"[M]ental depth is an illusion.
We imagine that mirroring the outer world of people, objects, stars and noises there is an inner world of rich sensory experiences (the subjective experience of people, objects, stars and noises), not to mention our emotions, preferences, motives, hopes, fears, memories and beliefs. The possibilities for exploration in this inner world seem vast. Just paying close attention to what we see and hear, and the states of our bodies, seems to reveal that our inner perceptual world is wonderfully rich; and that we just need to step off from direct sensory experience into the realm of the imagination that dreams, meditations and hypnosis seem to provide. Or we can explore the vast archives of our memories, perhaps reliving fragments of childhood or student life; or we can discourse with ourselves endlessly about our beliefs and values.

There are many who suspect that the scale of our inner world is far greater still – that we should add into the mix subliminal perception, which slips into our minds without our noticing; that we have unconscious beliefs, motives, desires and perhaps even unconscious inner agents (for Freud, the id, ego, and superego; for Jung, the collective unconscious). And perhaps there is a self, or many selves, or a soul. Many believe that with the right meditative practice, psychotherapy or even hallucinogenic drug, the doors to the rich inner world of the unconscious might be prised open. And, turning to neuroscience, it is natural to imagine that the contents of our inner world might one day be accessible to brain-scanners – which might ‘read off’ our beliefs, motives and feelings, whether conscious or not.

But all of this depth, richness and endless scope for exploration is utterly fake. There is no inner world. Our flow of momentary conscious experience is not the sparkling surface of a vast sea of thought – it is all there is."

(p. 8 )

"The mind is flat: our mental 'surface', the momentary thoughts, explanations and sensory experiences that make up our stream of consciousness is all there is to mental life."
(p. 31)

"There is nothing more to the mind than the fleeting contents of our stream of consciousness."
(p. 52)

"Beneath the momentary flow of fragmented and astonishingly sketchy experiences and even sketchier recollections from memory, there is precisely nothing. Well, of course, there is a frenzy of brain activity, but there are no further thoughts. The only thoughts, emotions, feelings are those that flow through our stream of consciousness."
(p. 53)

(Chater, Nick. The Mind is Flat: The Illusion of Mental Depth and the Improvised Mind. London: Allen Lane, 2018.)
"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 7th, 2019, 6:57 pm

BigBango wrote:
December 7th, 2019, 3:34 pm
From "Life Itself" by Boyce Rensberger p 57 "Albrecht Buehler speculates that the cell's brain, its behavioral controller and the seat of its intelligence, lies in a complex, poorly understood structure known as the centrosphere. In most cells the centrosphere, more commonly called the centrosome or cell center, is situated near the nucleus and is the focal point of the part of the cytoskeleton made of microtubules. From the centrosphere a dense network of microtubules reaches out -- like a nervous system, Albrecht-Buehler likes to say - to all points on the periphery of the cell. The great mystery, if he is right, is the form of the information the cell might be taking in. What are the sensory organs of a cell? Does it have eyes and ears, or feelers? How does it transmit the signal, once received, to the centrosphere? How are the signals processed, and then assuming a "decision" is made to respond, how is that decision carried out? How would a cell tell its actin-based cytoskeleton to remodel itself? Somehow it seems obvious, the activity must be coordinated if the cell is to move in a coherent fashion."
I found this paper by Guenter Albrecht-Buehler: Rudimentary Form of Cellular "Vision" (Note the quotation marks!)

Single cells might be able to detect electromagnetic signals; but if they are, it doesn't follow that they are also able to see consciously by experiencing phenomenal colors. And to call a centrosome a "brain" or a network or microtubules a "nervous system" is to speak metaphorically.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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

Post by Gee » December 8th, 2019, 7:38 pm

BigBango wrote:
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!
Thank you, again. I must apologize for not responding to your last post to me. I considered your post and intended to respond, but got caught up in Consul's very long posts.
BigBango wrote:
December 7th, 2019, 3:50 am
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.

Well, I don't know if I am on the right track, but Consul has only one track. Consul knows that consciousness comes from the brain and will hear nothing else. I already know as much as I need to about the brain.
BigBango wrote:
December 7th, 2019, 3:50 am
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 think you underestimate me. I study all theories of consciousness that I can find, which includes secular and religious.

Religion studies consciousness and calls it "God" -- I think most people realize this. I see two immediate problems with this: The first is that people anthropomorphize the "God" concept, which causes them to think that "God" has a rational aspect of mind, just like ours. The second is that although religion studies consciousness, they focus predominantly on emotion. (Yes. There is lots of evidence to support this assertion, and I will provide evidence if asked.) Emotion works through the unconscious aspect of mind, not the conscious, so comparing "God" to the unconscious works surprisingly well.

If you study the unconscious, you learn that it collectively holds all experience, so one could say that it is all knowing. The unconscious appears to be pretty omnipotent, as it has power over life and death. Like "God", the unconscious is everywhere and yet nowhere. The unconscious is capable of being on everyone's side in a conflict. Like "God", the unconscious is unknowable. Like "God", the unconscious is emotion (love). If you study the logic in the unconscious, you find that "the part represents the whole", so your consciousness would be the part, and would represent the whole consciousness, "God". So a conscious Chinese person would see "God" as Chinese. A Viking would see "God" as a Viking, etc., etc. This is why we anthropomorphize "God".

Religion has been studying consciousness for a very long time, and I would have to be very foolish to throw out tens of thousands of years of study just because religion decided to name it "God". That one misnomer does not negate everything that they have learned.
BigBango wrote:
December 7th, 2019, 3:50 am
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.
Well, I have some problems with this. First, I don't know enough to try to understand the Universe and beyond. Second, I am not sure how one could find actual evidence to support such an idea, so it would look like speculation or rationalization to me.
BigBango wrote:
December 7th, 2019, 3:50 am
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.
How does bonding work with your idea? I have been told that space is very very cold, and have some thoughts that bonding, like other aspects of consciousness, may be affected by temperature and possibly by EMF. If life, or pre-life, could exist in space, I don't see how it could grow, evolve, or develop in any way because temperature would affect bonding.

Without life, I suspect that consciousness and the unconscious would simply dissolve, break up, and maybe cease to exist in any identifiable way. But if you want to explain this, I am listening.

You could go in the other direction and state that the Universe itself is alive, but then you would have to redefine life, which would be no simple accomplishment.

Gee

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

Post by BigBango » December 8th, 2019, 9:08 pm

Consul wrote:
December 7th, 2019, 6:57 pm
BigBango wrote:
December 7th, 2019, 3:34 pm
From "Life Itself" by Boyce Rensberger p 57 "Albrecht Buehler speculates that the cell's brain, its behavioral controller and the seat of its intelligence, lies in a complex, poorly understood structure known as the centrosphere. In most cells the centrosphere, more commonly called the centrosome or cell center, is situated near the nucleus and is the focal point of the part of the cytoskeleton made of microtubules. From the centrosphere a dense network of microtubules reaches out -- like a nervous system, Albrecht-Buehler likes to say - to all points on the periphery of the cell. The great mystery, if he is right, is the form of the information the cell might be taking in. What are the sensory organs of a cell? Does it have eyes and ears, or feelers? How does it transmit the signal, once received, to the centrosphere? How are the signals processed, and then assuming a "decision" is made to respond, how is that decision carried out? How would a cell tell its actin-based cytoskeleton to remodel itself? Somehow it seems obvious, the activity must be coordinated if the cell is to move in a coherent fashion."
I found this paper by Guenter Albrecht-Buehler: Rudimentary Form of Cellular "Vision" (Note the quotation marks!)

Single cells might be able to detect electromagnetic signals; but if they are, it doesn't follow that they are also able to see consciously by experiencing phenomenal colors. And to call a centrosome a "brain" or a network or microtubules a "nervous system" is to speak metaphorically.
Consul you can claim the centrosphere and its associated complexes are simply like a human brain with eyes but only metaphorically. You could also choose to expand what we have come to understand as the human brain into a broader understanding of its features which could include more primitive counterparts that serve the same functions on a smaller scale. Of course if you do that then you might have to accept the fact that "consciousness" is present even in simple cells and does not have to evolve a brain.

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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by Consul » December 8th, 2019, 10:44 pm

BigBango wrote:
December 8th, 2019, 9:08 pm
Consul you can claim the centrosphere and its associated complexes are simply like a human brain with eyes but only metaphorically. You could also choose to expand what we have come to understand as the human brain into a broader understanding of its features which could include more primitive counterparts that serve the same functions on a smaller scale. Of course if you do that then you might have to accept the fact that "consciousness" is present even in simple cells and does not have to evolve a brain.
That's not a fact but an extremely implausible speculative hypothesis lacking any scientific confirmation! There is no scientific evidence for the existence of non-neuronal "ersatz brains" in organisms which are structurally and functionally analogous to genuine brains (central nervous systems) in such a way and to such a degree that they can plausibly be regarded as alternative organs of consciousness.
"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 8th, 2019, 11:15 pm

"The defining features of consciousness, Level 1: General biological features, which apply to all living things

Life, embodiment, and process
• Life: use of energy to sustain self, growth, responsiveness, reproduction, and adaptiveness to change. All known life is cellular.
• Embodiment: a body with an interior separated from the exterior world by a boundary.
• Process: life functions are complex, dynamic processes, not material things.

System and self-organization
• System: entity considered as a whole, in which arrangements and interactions between the parts are important.
• Self-organization: interactions of the parts organize the patterns at global level of the whole system.

Hierarchies
• Hierarchy: complex system with different interacting levels, organized from simpler to more complex. Levels may be nested within one another: e.g., macromolecules to cells to organs to the organism. New emergent features may naturally appear in the whole system by the addition of new levels and their interactions with lower levels.

Teleonomy and adaptation
• Teleonomy: biological structures perform programmed, goal-directed functions.
• Adaptation: a teleonomic structure or function as evolved by natural selection.

The defining features of consciousness, Level 2: Neuronal reflexes and simple core brains

Rates
• Reflexes and all neural communications are extremely fast relative to other large-scale physiological processes. Thus they can move a large body in response to a stimulus.

Connectivity
• Simple reflex arcs are chains of several neurons connected at synapses. More complex arcs have more neurons in the chain (C) and in networks (N); they also have more sensory input (S), more neuronal interactions, (I) and capacity to process more information (P).

Increasing complexity
• Further increase in CNSIP leads to complex nervous systems and consciousness.

Basic motor programs from central pattern generators
• These nonconsciously control essential, repetitive behaviors.

Core brain features
• Modulatory, sensorimotor-integrating centers for arousal and directing attention.
• Complex reflexes for inner-body homeostasis.
• Rhythmic locomotion and other basic motor programs.
• Automatic, not conscious.

The defining features of consciousness, Level 3: Special neurobiological features, which apply to animals with primary consciousness

Neural complexity (more than in simpler, core brain)
• A brain with many neurons.
• Many subtypes of neurons.

Elaborated sensory organs
• Image-forming eyes; multiple mechanoreceptors for touch; separate chemoreceptors for smell and taste.
• High locomotory mobility, to gather the abundant sensory information.

Neural hierarchies with unique neural-neural interactions
• Extensive reciprocal (reentrant, recurrent) communication occurs within and between the hierarchies for the different senses.
• Synchronized communication by brain-wave oscillations may be required for sensory binding and generating mental images.
• Higher levels of the hierarchy allow the complex processing and the unity of consciousness.
• Hierarchies allow consciousness to predict events a fraction of a second ahead in time.

Neural pathways that create mapped mental images or affective states
• Isomorphic representations: neurons are arranged in topographic maps of the world or body structures.
• Affective states: from valence coding rather than from topographic mapping; the hierarchy and networks are more diffuse with more centers and more use of neuromodulators.
• Both feed into premotor brain regions to motivate and guide behaviors in space.

Attention as a participant in consciousness
• Selective attention mechanisms in brain: for focusing consciousness onto salient objects in the environment. Related feature of arousal is also present, adjusting the level of consciousness.

Memory
• Short-term, minimal sensory memory is needed for the continuity of experience in time. Longer-term, higher-capacity memory evolved soon after consciousness arose. However, we cannot rule out more memory being present from the start, before consciousness arose."

(Feinberg, Todd E., and Jon M. Mallatt. Consciousness Demystified. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2018. pp. 66-9)
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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

Post by RJG » December 10th, 2019, 8:48 am

RJG wrote: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!
Atla wrote:No, you are just stuck in basic circular reasoning where you can'T make sense of the world without subjects and objects.
Logically, something can't happen without some-'thing' happening.

Actions/events can't happen without subjects and objects.

And without something (subject) making sense of something (object), your statement above "makes sense" of no-thing, as your very own words defeat the validity/legitimacy of your statement.

Without somethings (subjects and objects), only nothings can happen.

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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by Atla » December 10th, 2019, 4:34 pm

RJG wrote:
December 10th, 2019, 8:48 am
Logically, something can't happen without some-'thing' happening.

Actions/events can't happen without subjects and objects.

And without something (subject) making sense of something (object), your statement above "makes sense" of no-thing, as your very own words defeat the validity/legitimacy of your statement.

Without somethings (subjects and objects), only nothings can happen.
More circular reasoning and word tricks. There is just reality without actual 'things' or 'no-things'.
You aren't taking this seriously..

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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by RJG » December 11th, 2019, 8:40 am

RJG wrote:Logically, something can't happen without some-'thing' happening.
Atla wrote:More circular reasoning and word tricks.
Nope, ...just Simple Logic.

Atla wrote:There is just reality without actual 'things' or 'no-things'.
A "non-real reality" is also a logical contradiction; oxymoron.

Atla wrote:You aren't taking this seriously…
The "non-seriousness" applies to 'your' refusal to consider the logical possibility of that which you've read/heard before blindly accepting it as true.

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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by Consul » December 11th, 2019, 8:46 am

Recommended reading:

Unlocking the "Mystery" of Consciousness
By Todd E. Feinberg, Jon Mallatt on October 17, 2018
"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 Atla » December 11th, 2019, 9:39 am

RJG wrote:
December 11th, 2019, 8:40 am
RJG wrote:Logically, something can't happen without some-'thing' happening.
Atla wrote:More circular reasoning and word tricks.
Nope, ...just Simple Logic.

Atla wrote:There is just reality without actual 'things' or 'no-things'.
A "non-real reality" is also a logical contradiction; oxymoron.

Atla wrote:You aren't taking this seriously…
The "non-seriousness" applies to 'your' refusal to consider the logical possibility of that which you've read/heard before blindly accepting it as true.
Guess I'll have to elaborate a bit.

First, you assume that existence is composed of 'things'.
Then you interpret the word some'thing' as referring to these 'things'. Likewise, 'nothing' is a lack of 'things'.
So there must be 'things' otherwise there wouldn't be any'thing'.

This is simple circular reasoning and word magic. Existence of course isn't composed of 'things', and something/nothing doesn't refer to such 'things' either.

-----------------

Also, I never said that I'm a hallucination. Again you use circular reasoning:

First, you assume that existence is composed of subjects and objects.
Then, a subject claims that there are no subjects. But since a subject made that claim, he contradicts humself.

This is simple circular reasoning and word magic. Existence of course isn't composed of subjects and objects. I'm Atla, but there is no actual subject here. Nor are there any known separate objects.

Dividing existence into subjects and objects is an extremely useful convention: this human is a subject, that apple is an object. But ultimately all of these are part of an inseparable whole. We just divide it into pieces in our thinking.

Obviously.

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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by RJG » December 11th, 2019, 11:35 am

Atla wrote:First, you assume that existence is composed of 'things'. Then you interpret the word some'thing' as referring to these 'things'. Likewise, 'nothing' is a lack of 'things'.
So then please tell us -- WHAT exists that gives meaning to your word "existence"? -- Whatever answer you give, that is precisely what I refer to when saying the "something" that exists.

Atla wrote:Existence of course isn't composed of 'things'...
Atla, this is just telling us what existence is NOT, but you have yet to tell us what existence IS. If there are no WHAT's that exist, then there are no states of "existence" to be had.

Without "something" existing there is NO "existence". ...plain and simple!

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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by Atla » December 11th, 2019, 11:46 am

RJG wrote:
December 11th, 2019, 11:35 am
Atla wrote:First, you assume that existence is composed of 'things'. Then you interpret the word some'thing' as referring to these 'things'. Likewise, 'nothing' is a lack of 'things'.
So then please tell us -- WHAT exists that gives meaning to your word "existence"? -- Whatever answer you give, that is precisely what I refer to when saying the "something" that exists.

Atla wrote:Existence of course isn't composed of 'things'...
Atla, this is just telling us what existence is NOT, but you have yet to tell us what existence IS. If there are no WHAT's that exist, then there are no states of "existence" to be had.

Without "something" existing there is NO "existence". ...plain and simple!
Should, according to you, the 'what' refer to some kind of substance or substrate? And when existence is void of this substance/substrate, you think that means that there is no existence? That is exactly how not to think.

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Re: Consciousness, what is and what it requires?

Post by RJG » December 11th, 2019, 12:59 pm

RJG wrote:So then please tell us -- WHAT exists that gives meaning to your word "existence"? -- Whatever answer you give, that is precisely what I refer to when saying the "something" that exists.
Atla wrote:Existence of course isn't composed of 'things'...
RJG wrote:Atla, this is just telling us what existence is NOT, but you have yet to tell us what existence IS. If there are no WHAT's that exist, then there are no states of "existence" to be had.

Without "something" existing there is NO "existence". ...plain and simple!
Atla wrote:Should, according to you, the 'what' refer to some kind of substance or substrate? And when existence is void of this substance/substrate, you think that means that there is no existence? That is exactly how not to think.
You are still AVOIDING the question. Again, you are only just telling us what existence is NOT, and "how not to think". So then please tell us how to think (...without logical contradiction!).

I think it would be easier for you to just admit that your position of a "non-real reality" is untenable.

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