Consciousness is logically impossible yet exists.

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3017Metaphysician
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Consciousness is logically impossible yet exists.

Post by 3017Metaphysician »

Hello philosophers!

Up for consideration is a short thesis that proves, using logico-deductive reasoning, that consciousness in-itself is logically impossible, yet still exists. That is to say, when one attempts a description (not to mention an explanation) of how cognition actually works, and the associated perceptions and experiences that one has subjectively (which includes sentience), that it also violates the laws of Bivalence (LEM, non-contradiction, etc.).

Empirically, subjective phenomena is more than likely a both/and experience; not an either/or experience. And generally, like in formal logic, those foregoing laws of non-contradiction only have binary truth values like most all logico-deductive forms of reasoning, where the truth values are either/or. Meaning, a logico-deductive proposition generally can only be either true or false. There is typically no empirical both/and phenomena that we experience in everyday conscious existence and how it operates. In other words, there is no middle ground of both/and or gradient truth value, to logically describe or explain conscious phenomena and subjective experience, although some may want to argue otherwise. I welcome those arguments.

As a logic-deductive proposition, consider the axiom of P and Not P (P is the case and P is not the case) where contradictory propositions cannot both be true 'at the same time and in the same sense’. The law of non-contradiction is an expression of that mutually exclusive aspect of the dichotomy. Now consider the phenomenal statement: I was driving the car and not driving the car. That would be in violation of the rules, essentially making that statement absurd, incoherent or logically impossible. But is it?

First, let’s look at the rules that apply to either/or objective observations v. both/and ‘conscious’ phenomena that seems vague:

Consider the following statement in the circumstance of sorting apples on a moving belt:
This apple is red.[10]
Upon observation, the apple is an undetermined color between yellow and red, or it is mottled both colors. Thus the color falls into neither category " red " nor " yellow ", but these are the only categories available to us as we sort the apples. We might say it is "50% red". This could be rephrased: it is 50% true that the apple is red. Therefore, P is 50% true, and 50% false. Now consider:
This apple is red and it is not-red.
In other words, P and not-P. This violates the law of noncontradiction and, by extension, bivalence.


Next, consider things like the phenomenon of Qualia and related sentient experiences (metaphysical phenomena), or otherwise the various qualities of consciousness that are “mottled” together during everyday cognition (feelings/logic and so forth), that also suggests a type of both/and phenomenon instead of an either/or logical approach:

"St. Thomas, the Intellectualist, had argued that the intellect in man is prior to the will because the intellect determines the will, since we can desire only what we know. Scotus, the Voluntarist, replied that the will determines what ideas the intellect turns to, and thus in the end determines what the intellect comes to know."

How to we reconcile that either/or thinking?

And so returning to the phenomenon of ‘driving and not driving’ how is that possible? Consider an individual driving their car, daydreaming about the beach, running a traffic light then crashing. In a dualist sense if you will, which mind was driving and which mind was on the beach? Suppose I argue I was consciously at the beach watching a cute babe swimming, while running the traffic light and crashing. Was that experience real? Well, yes it was real.

It was real to me at that time in the same sense, manner and respect happening all at the same time. For all I knew, I was on the beach, yet my body was still driving the vehicle. That said, you may wonder which mind was on the beach and which mind was driving? And if I was not physically on the beach, was my thought about the beach, in-itself, metaphysical? In any case, how can one physically be in two places at one time? Again, for all that person knew, they were on the beach and not driving. So, you could say that they were sort-of driving when they crashed. Is that considered a true statement? What does sort-of mean? Would that violate the rules of either/or thinking?

Of course, there is also a thing called one’s own stream of consciousness where as William James might argue that these thoughts in-themselves are a some-thing that happens to him, and not by him. Meaning we often pick and choose from a parade of random thoughts and ideas from our mind as an eternal stream of cognition. As such, we could also digress to the multitude of psychological examples of how one makes cognitive decisions in their everydayness whereby childhood experiences, education, genetics, feelings, trauma, and other learned behavior all play a key role, thus is all 'mottled' together in one's own conscious experience, but we will save those examples for later.

In summary, I will argue that our consciousness exists, yet like other naturally occurring phenomena (Time itself, the Will, etc.) or otherwise the nature of one’s conscious existence, it is all considered logically impossible (by definition). Hence, ‘driving and not driving’ is a description of naturally occurring conscious phenomenon which is considered logically impossible, yet still exists.
“Whenever two people meet, there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is.”
― William James
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Re: Consciousness is logically impossible yet exists.

Post by LuckyR »

When something is logically impossible, yet exists, is another way of saying "I'm using flawed logic".
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Re: Consciousness is logically impossible yet exists.

Post by Tegularius »

Nature which causes everything to exist isn't in the least concerned with what we consider logically impossible. It's much more likely that if existence depended on our logic, nothing would exist to begin with.
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Re: Consciousness is logically impossible yet exists.

Post by 3017Metaphysician »

LuckyR wrote: August 2nd, 2022, 2:05 am When something is logically impossible, yet exists, is another way of saying "I'm using flawed logic".
Lucky!

Indeed!! Not having met Kant (wish I could have) that's probably one reason why he wrote the CPR... .
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Re: Consciousness is logically impossible yet exists.

Post by AverageBozo »

Part of the apple is red and part of the apple is not red. Different parts. Not a both/and of one experience, but 2 separate either/or experiences.
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Re: Consciousness is logically impossible yet exists.

Post by 3017Metaphysician »

Tegularius wrote: August 2nd, 2022, 4:47 am Nature which causes everything to exist isn't in the least concerned with what we consider logically impossible. It's much more likely that if existence depended on our logic, nothing would exist to begin with.
Thanks Teg! No exceptions taken! I was taught many years ago that formal logic doesn't explain the true nature of reality/existence, not to mention consciousness itself. It really wasn't designed as such, albeit many think it does. For example, the paradox of unchanging mathematical truth's (objective truth's) that describe the cosmos seem to have 'unreasonable' effectiveness in a world of change. Perhaps the distinction there is the difference between a description and an explanation.

As an ancillary note, Dennett lied when he wrote the book 'Consciousness Explained'. Shame on him :lol:
(When you read the final chapter he more or less admits he didn't explain it.)
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Re: Consciousness is logically impossible yet exists.

Post by 3017Metaphysician »

Philosophers!

I also love the color analogy of how cognition works (from Vagueness/Bivalence above). Consider two cans of paint one black and one white. Call the black one intellect; call the white one feeling (the Will, etc.). Both literally and figuratively, the formula for the resulting mix of grey is a subjective mix of both colors. And that resulting grey color becomes the final end result or product of one's own thinking. In that so-called metaphor, my question would be, how many resulting shades of grey are there(?).

For example, based on one's genetics or biological significance, those resulting shades of grey are different for different people. That is evidenced by each individual's natural propensities, desires, wishes, natural abilities and so on.

Black + White= subjective cognition.

That question kind of reminds me of the Sorites paradox: If a heap is reduced by a single grain [of color pigment above] at a time, the question becomes, at what exact point does it cease to be considered a heap? And that speaks to multi-valued logic (degrees of truth value and fixed boundaries).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorites_paradox

It seems to me, consciousness (or cognition if you prefer) is a "multi-valued" thing-in-itself. Or, consciousness is a "mottled" color of reality.
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Re: Consciousness is logically impossible yet exists.

Post by Sunday66 »

3017Metaphysician wrote: August 1st, 2022, 11:59 am consciousness in-itself is logically impossible, yet still exists.
If something exists it is logically possible.
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Re: Consciousness is logically impossible yet exists.

Post by 3017Metaphysician »

Sunday66 wrote: August 2nd, 2022, 12:06 pm
3017Metaphysician wrote: August 1st, 2022, 11:59 am consciousness in-itself is logically impossible, yet still exists.
If something exists it is logically possible.
Sunday66!

Well, actually, there is a distinction(s). There are things which are logically possible that do not exist, but could exist. Then there are things that are logically possible that do in fact exist. Consciousness (how cognition works) exists, but under the formal rules of logic (binary truth values/true or false), any a priori proposition that tries to describe (much less explain) the mind fails, hence making it logically impossible to exist, yet still exists.

A priori logic has limitations in its ability to explain the nature of existence/reality (metaphysics). In this case, we are trying to figure out the relationship between mind and matter. Conversely, one question could be whether a posteriori kinds of 'truth's' (empirical science/experience) provide for a better description/explanation or at least a better understanding of the mind and how it all works.

We are talking about a corresponding means and method to help us better understand conscious experience. Take for example the religious experience, or the resurrection of the Christian God, or any other generic experience, learned understanding, or conscious phenomena that a subject-person experiences. When someone say's they cannot put into words what happened to them, usually there are two reasons. One, they don't have the vocabulary to adequately address the experience itself, or the vocabulary itself is deficient and incomplete in capturing the true experience of same.

That phenomena is that which seems to transcend or lie outside of pure reason. It's as if a different language is needed to address conscious existence, conscious experience and its nature. Some-thing that can automatically provide for thought (one's own stream of consciousness), with the automatic feeling of 'willing it' to occur and exist is one mystery. In that 'stream', conscious thoughts happen to us, not by us. Many times we just pick and choose which thoughts to turn to. Sometimes even unconsciously. And then a similar mystery might be relative to a thinking being or creature emerging from inert matter. Again, all those things are all a part of metaphysics, in dealing with those same relationships between mind and matter. Something beyond the mind itself is causing its existence.

One can also simply think of this problem like the challenges one has in communicating with other animal species. Is there a universal language that works for all species, both animate and inanimate things combined? In other words, is there one biological language, and one cosmological language that can breath fire into the so-called Hawking equations? The information needed to propagate conscious existence seems to lie outside of human reason. To this end, I love this quote:

Might in not be the case that the reason for existence has no explanation in the usual sense? This does not mean that the universe is absurd or meaningless, only that an understanding of its existence and properties lies outside the usual categories of rational human thought.

We are barred from ultimate knowledge, from ultimate explanation, by the very rules of reasoning that prompt us to seek such explanation in the first place. If we wish to progress beyond, we have to embrace a different concept of "understanding" from that of rational explanation.


Just some more things to monder if you will... .

I had too much coffee today. Thanks for your contribution!
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Re: Consciousness is logically impossible yet exists.

Post by Sunday66 »

3017Metaphysician wrote: August 2nd, 2022, 2:08 pm
Sunday66 wrote: August 2nd, 2022, 12:06 pm
3017Metaphysician wrote: August 1st, 2022, 11:59 am consciousness in-itself is logically impossible, yet still exists.
If something exists it is logically possible.
Sunday66!

Well, actually, there is a distinction(s). There are things which are logically possible that do not exist, but could exist. Then there are things that are logically possible that do in fact exist. Consciousness (how cognition works) exists, but under the formal rules of logic (binary truth values/true or false), any a priori proposition that tries to describe (much less explain) the mind fails, hence making it logically impossible to exist, yet still exists.
If something exists then it is logically possible. Not sure what you think logic is.
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Re: Consciousness is logically impossible yet exists.

Post by Thomyum2 »

Hi MP,

An interesting proposition but I think it's fundamentally flawed. I'm having a really busy week so can't address everything right now but thought I'd put out some quick thoughts now for your consideration re these parts:
3017Metaphysician wrote: August 1st, 2022, 11:59 am Consider the following statement in the circumstance of sorting apples on a moving belt:
This apple is red.[10]
Upon observation, the apple is an undetermined color between yellow and red, or it is mottled both colors. Thus the color falls into neither category " red " nor " yellow ", but these are the only categories available to us as we sort the apples. We might say it is "50% red". This could be rephrased: it is 50% true that the apple is red. Therefore, P is 50% true, and 50% false. Now consider:
This apple is red and it is not-red.
In other words, P and not-P. This violates the law of noncontradiction and, by extension, bivalence.
3017Metaphysician wrote: August 1st, 2022, 11:59 am And so returning to the phenomenon of ‘driving and not driving’ how is that possible? Consider an individual driving their car, daydreaming about the beach, running a traffic light then crashing. In a dualist sense if you will, which mind was driving and which mind was on the beach? Suppose I argue I was consciously at the beach watching a cute babe swimming, while running the traffic light and crashing. Was that experience real? Well, yes it was real.

It was real to me at that time in the same sense, manner and respect happening all at the same time. For all I knew, I was on the beach, yet my body was still driving the vehicle. That said, you may wonder which mind was on the beach and which mind was driving? And if I was not physically on the beach, was my thought about the beach, in-itself, metaphysical? In any case, how can one physically be in two places at one time? Again, for all that person knew, they were on the beach and not driving. So, you could say that they were sort-of driving when they crashed. Is that considered a true statement? What does sort-of mean? Would that violate the rules of either/or thinking?
Much here will depend on how you ultimately decide to define what makes something 'real'. That needs to be one of the premises on which you build your argument.

But for starters, I think you're making a couple of category errors here that are leading you astray: An apple cannot be red because an apple is not a color. An apple cannot be a color, it can only reflect a particular color (of light) from a particular location or locations on its surface. Similarly, the mind can't be driving the car, and the mind can't be on the beach, because the mind is not a physical entity. Only physical entities can be 'located' anywhere physical; in fact, location is one of the essential properties of a physical object. The mind an activity, that of thought, which is not physical, and thus not located anywhere, nor is it limited to only one particular thought at any given time.
3017Metaphysician wrote: August 1st, 2022, 11:59 am In summary, I will argue that our consciousness exists, yet like other naturally occurring phenomena (Time itself, the Will, etc.) or otherwise the nature of one’s conscious existence, it is all considered logically impossible (by definition). Hence, ‘driving and not driving’ is a description of naturally occurring conscious phenomenon which is considered logically impossible, yet still exists.
It sounded here like you were going to follow this with your argument/proof? I'll be curious to hear more.

To be continued...
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Re: Consciousness is logically impossible yet exists.

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3017Metaphysician wrote: August 1st, 2022, 11:59 am Hello philosophers!

Up for consideration is a short thesis that proves, using logico-deductive reasoning, that consciousness in-itself is logically impossible, yet still exists. That is to say, when one attempts a description (not to mention an explanation) of how cognition actually works, and the associated perceptions and experiences that one has subjectively (which includes sentience), that it also violates the laws of Bivalence (LEM, non-contradiction, etc.).

Empirically, subjective phenomena is more than likely a both/and experience; not an either/or experience. And generally, like in formal logic, those foregoing laws of non-contradiction only have binary truth values like most all logico-deductive forms of reasoning, where the truth values are either/or. Meaning, a logico-deductive proposition generally can only be either true or false. There is typically no empirical both/and phenomena that we experience in everyday conscious existence and how it operates. In other words, there is no middle ground of both/and or gradient truth value, to logically describe or explain conscious phenomena and subjective experience, although some may want to argue otherwise. I welcome those arguments.

As a logic-deductive proposition, consider the axiom of P and Not P (P is the case and P is not the case) where contradictory propositions cannot both be true 'at the same time and in the same sense’. The law of non-contradiction is an expression of that mutually exclusive aspect of the dichotomy. Now consider the phenomenal statement: I was driving the car and not driving the car. That would be in violation of the rules, essentially making that statement absurd, incoherent or logically impossible. But is it?

First, let’s look at the rules that apply to either/or objective observations v. both/and ‘conscious’ phenomena that seems vague:

Consider the following statement in the circumstance of sorting apples on a moving belt:
This apple is red.[10]
Upon observation, the apple is an undetermined color between yellow and red, or it is mottled both colors. Thus the color falls into neither category " red " nor " yellow ", but these are the only categories available to us as we sort the apples. We might say it is "50% red". This could be rephrased: it is 50% true that the apple is red. Therefore, P is 50% true, and 50% false. Now consider:
This apple is red and it is not-red.
In other words, P and not-P. This violates the law of noncontradiction and, by extension, bivalence.


Next, consider things like the phenomenon of Qualia and related sentient experiences (metaphysical phenomena), or otherwise the various qualities of consciousness that are “mottled” together during everyday cognition (feelings/logic and so forth), that also suggests a type of both/and phenomenon instead of an either/or logical approach:

"St. Thomas, the Intellectualist, had argued that the intellect in man is prior to the will because the intellect determines the will, since we can desire only what we know. Scotus, the Voluntarist, replied that the will determines what ideas the intellect turns to, and thus in the end determines what the intellect comes to know."

How to we reconcile that either/or thinking?

And so returning to the phenomenon of ‘driving and not driving’ how is that possible? Consider an individual driving their car, daydreaming about the beach, running a traffic light then crashing. In a dualist sense if you will, which mind was driving and which mind was on the beach? Suppose I argue I was consciously at the beach watching a cute babe swimming, while running the traffic light and crashing. Was that experience real? Well, yes it was real.

It was real to me at that time in the same sense, manner and respect happening all at the same time. For all I knew, I was on the beach, yet my body was still driving the vehicle. That said, you may wonder which mind was on the beach and which mind was driving? And if I was not physically on the beach, was my thought about the beach, in-itself, metaphysical? In any case, how can one physically be in two places at one time? Again, for all that person knew, they were on the beach and not driving. So, you could say that they were sort-of driving when they crashed. Is that considered a true statement? What does sort-of mean? Would that violate the rules of either/or thinking?

Of course, there is also a thing called one’s own stream of consciousness where as William James might argue that these thoughts in-themselves are a some-thing that happens to him, and not by him. Meaning we often pick and choose from a parade of random thoughts and ideas from our mind as an eternal stream of cognition. As such, we could also digress to the multitude of psychological examples of how one makes cognitive decisions in their everydayness whereby childhood experiences, education, genetics, feelings, trauma, and other learned behavior all play a key role, thus is all 'mottled' together in one's own conscious experience, but we will save those examples for later.

In summary, I will argue that our consciousness exists, yet like other naturally occurring phenomena (Time itself, the Will, etc.) or otherwise the nature of one’s conscious existence, it is all considered logically impossible (by definition). Hence, ‘driving and not driving’ is a description of naturally occurring conscious phenomenon which is considered logically impossible, yet still exists.
Some people have argued that consciousness is illusory, such as Dennett. However, for those who believe in consciousness as an aspect of experience and knowledge, it may not have to be fitted into the framework of logic. It may depend on how one sees logic, whether it is about rule book axioms, or about the examination of rational arguments. There are different ways of understanding and framing logic. However, all of these frameworks are based on consciousnes itself as the source of judgments. So, it may be that logic is subservient to consciousness itself for the development of empirical methodology and the construction of concepts, Including mind and consciousness. How can consciousness explain itself, as an objective reality?That is because human minds, forming ideas, are the phenomenological reality of consciousness itself, as the basis for explanations..
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Re: Consciousness is logically impossible yet exists.

Post by 3017Metaphysician »

Thomyum2 wrote: August 2nd, 2022, 4:14 pm Hi MP,

An interesting proposition but I think it's fundamentally flawed. I'm having a really busy week so can't address everything right now but thought I'd put out some quick thoughts now for your consideration re these parts:
3017Metaphysician wrote: August 1st, 2022, 11:59 am Consider the following statement in the circumstance of sorting apples on a moving belt:
This apple is red.[10]
Upon observation, the apple is an undetermined color between yellow and red, or it is mottled both colors. Thus the color falls into neither category " red " nor " yellow ", but these are the only categories available to us as we sort the apples. We might say it is "50% red". This could be rephrased: it is 50% true that the apple is red. Therefore, P is 50% true, and 50% false. Now consider:
This apple is red and it is not-red.
In other words, P and not-P. This violates the law of noncontradiction and, by extension, bivalence.
3017Metaphysician wrote: August 1st, 2022, 11:59 am And so returning to the phenomenon of ‘driving and not driving’ how is that possible? Consider an individual driving their car, daydreaming about the beach, running a traffic light then crashing. In a dualist sense if you will, which mind was driving and which mind was on the beach? Suppose I argue I was consciously at the beach watching a cute babe swimming, while running the traffic light and crashing. Was that experience real? Well, yes it was real.

It was real to me at that time in the same sense, manner and respect happening all at the same time. For all I knew, I was on the beach, yet my body was still driving the vehicle. That said, you may wonder which mind was on the beach and which mind was driving? And if I was not physically on the beach, was my thought about the beach, in-itself, metaphysical? In any case, how can one physically be in two places at one time? Again, for all that person knew, they were on the beach and not driving. So, you could say that they were sort-of driving when they crashed. Is that considered a true statement? What does sort-of mean? Would that violate the rules of either/or thinking?
Much here will depend on how you ultimately decide to define what makes something 'real'. That needs to be one of the premises on which you build your argument.

But for starters, I think you're making a couple of category errors here that are leading you astray: An apple cannot be red because an apple is not a color. An apple cannot be a color, it can only reflect a particular color (of light) from a particular location or locations on its surface. Similarly, the mind can't be driving the car, and the mind can't be on the beach, because the mind is not a physical entity. Only physical entities can be 'located' anywhere physical; in fact, location is one of the essential properties of a physical object. The mind an activity, that of thought, which is not physical, and thus not located anywhere, nor is it limited to only one particular thought at any given time.
3017Metaphysician wrote: August 1st, 2022, 11:59 am In summary, I will argue that our consciousness exists, yet like other naturally occurring phenomena (Time itself, the Will, etc.) or otherwise the nature of one’s conscious existence, it is all considered logically impossible (by definition). Hence, ‘driving and not driving’ is a description of naturally occurring conscious phenomenon which is considered logically impossible, yet still exists.
It sounded here like you were going to follow this with your argument/proof? I'll be curious to hear more.

To be continued...
Thank you Tom for such thoughtful response. I pretty much established what I thought was real but can certainly offer another interpretation. What becomes real for that person, is the person who believes they are consciously on the beach, but in fact were driving instead. Their perceived experience of being on the beach, has become their reality. Otherwise, in principle, they would not choose to intentionality crash the vehicle.

To your second point, when I described the mind driving it was a figure of speech of course. Like a ghost in the machine, one mind was on the beach while the other mind was driving. Meaning, the subject-person perceived part of his mind being on the beach while driving. And for all he knew, he was 'in fact', physically on the beach. The other 'fact' as it were, was that he was driving the car. So arguably, you have two truth values (of both fact and reality) or a gradient of truth value of only one reality in the mind. In any case, while driving, his reality existed on the beach and not driving.

You raise an important distinction I think. I would be happy to entertain the parsing of the distinctions between facts and reality, if that is where you might be going with it... ? I think that might be an interesting metaphysical/epistemic exercise worth pursuing in this scenario.

With respect to the mind's location, can you elaborate a bit more on that? It is a bit reminiscent of William James's stream of consciousness phenomena whereby he postulated consciousness happens to the person, not by the person... suggesting a knower who is not known. Or, having thoughts without a thinker.

With respect to proof, the 'phenomenal' example, is the person unintentionally crashing, and God forbid, killing themselves in the [cognitive] process. Or if he survived, the truth value of him describing the phenomenon itself, which would be something described as being logically impossible.
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Re: Consciousness is logically impossible yet exists.

Post by 3017Metaphysician »

JackDaydream wrote: August 2nd, 2022, 4:52 pm
3017Metaphysician wrote: August 1st, 2022, 11:59 am Hello philosophers!

Up for consideration is a short thesis that proves, using logico-deductive reasoning, that consciousness in-itself is logically impossible, yet still exists. That is to say, when one attempts a description (not to mention an explanation) of how cognition actually works, and the associated perceptions and experiences that one has subjectively (which includes sentience), that it also violates the laws of Bivalence (LEM, non-contradiction, etc.).

Empirically, subjective phenomena is more than likely a both/and experience; not an either/or experience. And generally, like in formal logic, those foregoing laws of non-contradiction only have binary truth values like most all logico-deductive forms of reasoning, where the truth values are either/or. Meaning, a logico-deductive proposition generally can only be either true or false. There is typically no empirical both/and phenomena that we experience in everyday conscious existence and how it operates. In other words, there is no middle ground of both/and or gradient truth value, to logically describe or explain conscious phenomena and subjective experience, although some may want to argue otherwise. I welcome those arguments.

As a logic-deductive proposition, consider the axiom of P and Not P (P is the case and P is not the case) where contradictory propositions cannot both be true 'at the same time and in the same sense’. The law of non-contradiction is an expression of that mutually exclusive aspect of the dichotomy. Now consider the phenomenal statement: I was driving the car and not driving the car. That would be in violation of the rules, essentially making that statement absurd, incoherent or logically impossible. But is it?

First, let’s look at the rules that apply to either/or objective observations v. both/and ‘conscious’ phenomena that seems vague:

Consider the following statement in the circumstance of sorting apples on a moving belt:
This apple is red.[10]
Upon observation, the apple is an undetermined color between yellow and red, or it is mottled both colors. Thus the color falls into neither category " red " nor " yellow ", but these are the only categories available to us as we sort the apples. We might say it is "50% red". This could be rephrased: it is 50% true that the apple is red. Therefore, P is 50% true, and 50% false. Now consider:
This apple is red and it is not-red.
In other words, P and not-P. This violates the law of noncontradiction and, by extension, bivalence.


Next, consider things like the phenomenon of Qualia and related sentient experiences (metaphysical phenomena), or otherwise the various qualities of consciousness that are “mottled” together during everyday cognition (feelings/logic and so forth), that also suggests a type of both/and phenomenon instead of an either/or logical approach:

"St. Thomas, the Intellectualist, had argued that the intellect in man is prior to the will because the intellect determines the will, since we can desire only what we know. Scotus, the Voluntarist, replied that the will determines what ideas the intellect turns to, and thus in the end determines what the intellect comes to know."

How to we reconcile that either/or thinking?

And so returning to the phenomenon of ‘driving and not driving’ how is that possible? Consider an individual driving their car, daydreaming about the beach, running a traffic light then crashing. In a dualist sense if you will, which mind was driving and which mind was on the beach? Suppose I argue I was consciously at the beach watching a cute babe swimming, while running the traffic light and crashing. Was that experience real? Well, yes it was real.

It was real to me at that time in the same sense, manner and respect happening all at the same time. For all I knew, I was on the beach, yet my body was still driving the vehicle. That said, you may wonder which mind was on the beach and which mind was driving? And if I was not physically on the beach, was my thought about the beach, in-itself, metaphysical? In any case, how can one physically be in two places at one time? Again, for all that person knew, they were on the beach and not driving. So, you could say that they were sort-of driving when they crashed. Is that considered a true statement? What does sort-of mean? Would that violate the rules of either/or thinking?

Of course, there is also a thing called one’s own stream of consciousness where as William James might argue that these thoughts in-themselves are a some-thing that happens to him, and not by him. Meaning we often pick and choose from a parade of random thoughts and ideas from our mind as an eternal stream of cognition. As such, we could also digress to the multitude of psychological examples of how one makes cognitive decisions in their everydayness whereby childhood experiences, education, genetics, feelings, trauma, and other learned behavior all play a key role, thus is all 'mottled' together in one's own conscious experience, but we will save those examples for later.

In summary, I will argue that our consciousness exists, yet like other naturally occurring phenomena (Time itself, the Will, etc.) or otherwise the nature of one’s conscious existence, it is all considered logically impossible (by definition). Hence, ‘driving and not driving’ is a description of naturally occurring conscious phenomenon which is considered logically impossible, yet still exists.
Some people have argued that consciousness is illusory, such as Dennett. However, for those who believe in consciousness as an aspect of experience and knowledge, it may not have to be fitted into the framework of logic. It may depend on how one sees logic, whether it is about rule book axioms, or about the examination of rational arguments. There are different ways of understanding and framing logic. However, all of these frameworks are based on consciousnes itself as the source of judgments. So, it may be that logic is subservient to consciousness itself for the development of empirical methodology and the construction of concepts, Including mind and consciousness. How can consciousness explain itself, as an objective reality?That is because human minds, forming ideas, are the phenomenological reality of consciousness itself, as the basis for explanations..
Jack!

Thanks for chiming in. I think the good news is that understanding the limitations of pure reason as many advantages. The bad news is that folks like Dennett will use the concept of illusion as how an extreme materialist attempt a rational justification of their belief system. What they don't realize is it's self-refuting because the existence of illusion of an is something that's not exclusively material.

That aside I suppose the upshot of a priori logic in the context of your question, would be to arrange concepts in such a way that it would make a proposition sound (the idea of consciousness explaining itself) through logical necessity. And that's because logically necessary truth's are not contingent truth's. The explanation for their existence is contained within themselves.
“Whenever two people meet, there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is.”
― William James
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Thomyum2
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Favorite Philosopher: Robert Pirsig + William James

Re: Consciousness is logically impossible yet exists.

Post by Thomyum2 »

3017Metaphysician wrote: August 2nd, 2022, 5:24 pm Thank you Tom for such thoughtful response. I pretty much established what I thought was real but can certainly offer another interpretation. What becomes real for that person, is the person who believes they are consciously on the beach, but in fact were driving instead. Their perceived experience of being on the beach, has become their reality. Otherwise, in principle, they would not choose to intentionality crash the vehicle.

To your second point, when I described the mind driving it was a figure of speech of course. Like a ghost in the machine, one mind was on the beach while the other mind was driving. Meaning, the subject-person perceived part of his mind being on the beach while driving. And for all he knew, he was 'in fact', physically on the beach. The other 'fact' as it were, was that he was driving the car. So arguably, you have two truth values (of both fact and reality) or a gradient of truth value of only one reality in the mind. In any case, while driving, his reality existed on the beach and not driving.

You raise an important distinction I think. I would be happy to entertain the parsing of the distinctions between facts and reality, if that is where you might be going with it... ? I think that might be an interesting metaphysical/epistemic exercise worth pursuing in this scenario.

With respect to the mind's location, can you elaborate a bit more on that? It is a bit reminiscent of William James's stream of consciousness phenomena whereby he postulated consciousness happens to the person, not by the person... suggesting a knower who is not known. Or, having thoughts without a thinker.

With respect to proof, the 'phenomenal' example, is the person unintentionally crashing, and God forbid, killing themselves in the [cognitive] process. Or if he survived, the truth value of him describing the phenomenon itself, which would be something described as being logically impossible.
You're most welcome, thank you for your engaging reply!

I'm not entirely satisfied with your definition of 'real' here, at least as I'm understanding it. It's seems to me you're taking 'real' in two different senses, which may be creating something like a four-term fallacy in your argument. If we take reality as the product of the mind, then at the point that mind goes to the beach, that becomes the reality and the driving of the car would cease to be real. If the car crashed, that would have to be someone else's reality, someone else who was not the driver but was conscious of the driving of the car, no? Because the driver was no longer in the car if they were on the beach, unless perhaps you would propose something like a parallel universe. On the other hand, if we take reality as being something separate from the mind and that exists independently of it, then if the mind experiences something different from that reality then it would be an illusion, not a separate or additional reality. So the being on the beach wasn't real, it just seemed to be so to the driver. Or is there another sense of 'real' that I'm missing something in what you're saying?

With regard to the mind's location, it's a category error to me because mind is not a physical entity. Mind consists of thoughts and ideas, not physical objects, so can't be described as having a place in physical space relative to other objects. The mind can think of locations, but it cannot be in a location. As an analogy, it's like asking: what is the location of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony? or Shakespeare's Hamlet?
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