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Can we solve the mind-body problem?

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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Can we solve the mind-body problem?

No, the "hard problem" of consciousness will never be solved
19
22%
Yes, a future revision of science/physics will allow us to solve it
37
43%
Other-please specify
31
36%
 
Total votes: 87

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Okisites
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Re: Can we solve the mind-body problem?

Post by Okisites » May 30th, 2015, 1:29 pm

Would like to understand, what EXACTLY is mind-body problem?

If it is a like whether consciousness is a product of mind which is immaterial and outside the brain(body), or it is a product of brain(body-matter) giving rise to mind which is outside the brain. If so, wouldn't it be sufficient to consider brain(body-matter) as like computer hardware with a proper software, and the surrounding environment as mind(immaterial) which plays a role of human operating a computer, by the means of hardware(Brain, body or matter) sense ability and directs it to carry out an operation in particular way, which a brain is already installed with software and competent hardware to receive such commands and carry out task as per required by mind(meanings of outer reality, environment) etc. in particular way, as per the different realities?

Would it be sufficient to understand the mind-body problem, that the body is only an hardware installed with particular software or operating mechanism, and an environment is in commanding position to direct the hardware what to understand and what to do, what to think and what to not?

So please explain why not to think the Mind to be just an environmental with meanings, as something which is influencing or commanding from outside to the body(brain) to behave in a particular way, and is playing a human role by commanding an hardware of computers. I hope you understand what I am meant to say.
Get the facts, or the facts will get you. And when you get them, get them right, or they will get you wrong.” ― Thomas Fuller

Wayne92587
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Re: Can we solve the mind-body problem?

Post by Wayne92587 » May 31st, 2015, 1:36 pm

Mystery upon Mystery!

My interpretation of Chapter One-1 of Tao Te Ching.

"The idea here is that the Tao is not a fixed quantity."

Mystery upon Mystery, the Two that are One.

Those that speak of Self, Tao, as being a fixed quantity, as being an Absolute, an Individual Singularity do not know Self, Tao.

The way of Tao, Self, is Two.

The Individual Self, Tao, as it issues forth from its Single Source being a Duality, is given two Names.

The Tao that can be spoken of as being an Absolute, a Single Way, is not the Eternal, the Everlasting Way, is not Man’s Way.

These two ways as they issue forth from a Single Source are given two names due to the differentiation in Nature of these Two Ways; These Two Ways appearing to be the whole of a Single Reality.

The Primordial Way, being Nameless, is the Source of the Way that can be spoken of, the Mother of the Myriad Creatures, the Material Physical World of Realty, Mother Nature as sensed by the Consciousness of the Five senses of the Flesh Body.

Man’s Fundament perception of Tao being that of the Named Tao, the Tao that can be spoken of as being the Mother of the Myriad Creatures, Mother Nature, the physical laws of the Universe, Cause and Effect.

It is Man’s Second perception of Tao, the passion of the Spirit, the Rational Mind, the Non-Material World of Reality, rather than the desires of the Flesh, the Material, Physical Body, it being the Rational Mind that sets Man Free from Laws of Mother Nature, that sets man free to enter the Enter the Gateway to Shangri-La.

As Above, so Below.

Harbal
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Re: Can we solve the mind-body problem?

Post by Harbal » May 31st, 2015, 5:21 pm

It's so annoying when you take the trouble to read something only to find out that it is complete gibberish.

Wayne92587
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Re: Can we solve the mind-body problem?

Post by Wayne92587 » June 1st, 2015, 2:12 am

Don't think of me as a sex object.

I do not think of your queer humor as being very funny.

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Lagayscienza
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Re: Can we solve the mind-body problem?

Post by Lagayscienza » June 1st, 2015, 2:42 am

The thing is to be discerning, Harbal. Don't spend time where it's likely to be wasted.

-- Updated June 1st, 2015, 5:51 pm to add the following --
Okisites wrote:Would like to understand, what EXACTLY is mind-body problem?

If it is a like whether consciousness is a product of mind which is immaterial and outside the brain(body), or it is a product of brain(body-matter) giving rise to mind which is outside the brain. If so, wouldn't it be sufficient to consider brain(body-matter) as like computer hardware with a proper software, and the surrounding environment as mind(immaterial) which plays a role of human operating a computer, by the means of hardware(Brain, body or matter) sense ability and directs it to carry out an operation in particular way, which a brain is already installed with software and competent hardware to receive such commands and carry out task as per required by mind(meanings of outer reality, environment) etc. in particular way, as per the different realities?

Would it be sufficient to understand the mind-body problem, that the body is only an hardware installed with particular software or operating mechanism, and an environment is in commanding position to direct the hardware what to understand and what to do, what to think and what to not?

So please explain why not to think the Mind to be just an environmental with meanings, as something which is influencing or commanding from outside to the body(brain) to behave in a particular way, and is playing a human role by commanding an hardware of computers. I hope you understand what I am meant to say.
Okisites, I think the computational functionalists have it right - there's nothing spooky about the mind -it's all about the physical brain and how it works to produce mental states. Once we understand the brain well enough then we'll understand consciousness and once we understand consciousness then we'll be able to produce machines with various levels of consciousness. We will then have solved the so called mind-body problem. In other words we'll see that there really was no such problem.
La gaya Scienza

Belinda
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Re: Can we solve the mind-body problem?

Post by Belinda » June 1st, 2015, 3:43 am

Okisites considered the mind-body problem:
If it is a like whether consciousness is a product of mind which is immaterial and outside the brain(body), or it is a product of brain(body-matter) giving rise to mind which is outside the brain. If so, wouldn't it be sufficient to consider brain(body-matter) as like computer hardware with a proper software, and the surrounding environment as mind(immaterial) which plays a role of human operating a computer, by the means of hardware(Brain, body or matter) sense ability and directs it to carry out an operation in particular way, which a brain is already installed with software and competent hardware to receive such commands and carry out task as per required by mind(meanings of outer reality, environment) etc. in particular way, as per the different realities?
Let's think about Okisites's questions one by one.
If it is a like whether consciousness is a product of mind which is immaterial and outside the brain(body),
'Consciousness' is not a thing, or an object."wrote Okisites. Consciousness refers to activity. For instance it's a mistake to think of either consciousness or eating, or climbing a hill, as objects ;those are all activities performed by objects. Because consciousness is not an object it cannot be "outside" the brain(body) or "outside" of anything.

(consciousness)
or a product of brain(body-matter) giving rise to mind which is outside the brain.
Consciousness is a process not an object so it might be a process that gives rise to mind . However mind is not a substance that can be inside or outside because mind pertains to time but not to space.
wouldn't it be sufficient to consider brain(body-matter) as like computer hardware with a proper software,
Yes we might consider that to be the case, although it's not the only option.
and the surrounding environment as mind(immaterial) which plays a role of human operating a computer, by the means of hardware(Brain, body or matter) sense ability and directs it to carry out an operation in particular way,
Mind is immaterial by definition. "Brain(body, matter)" can be understood as the environment which surrounds mind, then yes, mind might be what causes brains, body proper, and all the rest of the surrounding material "environment" of mind.

Okisites has expressed two theories of existence, called respectively, materialism(physicalism), and idealism(immaterialism)

I seem to remember, Okisites, that you believe in God. You can consider that God has gifted man with both the physical and the mental ways to be conscious of God and His creation, so that you need not choose between the physical and the mental as those are both equal gifts from God.
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Harbal
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Re: Can we solve the mind-body problem?

Post by Harbal » June 1st, 2015, 12:41 pm

Wayne92587 wrote: I do not think of your queer humor as being very funny.
I wasn't trying to be humorous, it was a serious comment. To put it your way, I do not think of your queer theories as being very sensible.
By the way, I'm sorry if I seemed to be treating you like a sex object. I can assure you that if I did it wasn't intentional.

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Lagayscienza
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Re: Can we solve the mind-body problem?

Post by Lagayscienza » June 1st, 2015, 1:45 pm

Like I said above, Harbal, The thing is to be discerning. Don't spend time where it's likely to be wasted.

-- Updated June 2nd, 2015, 4:48 am to add the following --

It's not surprising that Wayne doesn't find your find jokes funny. Would you find them funny if you were him? You've provided me with a couple of peak experiences and I'm looking forward to more.

Cheers
La gaya Scienza

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Consul
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Re: Can we solve the mind-body problem?

Post by Consul » June 1st, 2015, 5:00 pm

Okisites wrote:Would like to understand, what EXACTLY is mind-body problem?
"The problem with which this book deals, the Mind-Body problem, can be posed most briefly in a single question: What is the relation, in a man, between his mind and his body?"

(Campbell, Keith. Body and Mind. 2nd ed. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1984. p. 1)

"The Mind-Body problem is the problem of what relations hold between the brain and the bag of bones which is your body on the one hand and whatever is involved in the activities of thinking, acting, feeling, and character which distinguish you as a being with a mind on the other."
 
(Campbell, Keith. Body and Mind. 2nd ed. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1984. p. 4)

"The mind-body problem is the problem of what the mind is, what the body is, and, especially, what relation they stand in to each other."

(Armstrong, D. M. The Mind-Body Problem: An Opinionated Introduction. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1999. p. 1)

"What is the real nature of mental states and processes? In what medium do they take place, and how are they related to the physical world? With regard to the mind, these questions address what philosophers call the ontological problem."

(Churchland, Paul M. Matter and Consciousness. 3rd ed. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2013. p. 3)

By the way, all three books are highly recommended!
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Greta
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Re: Can we solve the mind-body problem?

Post by Greta » June 1st, 2015, 7:12 pm

There could be a variant on #3, where there is a finer granularity of reality than quantum particles, and at that scale the granularity applies to both the familiar material and what we think of as immaterial processes at larger scales.

Not saying it is, but it's another possibility.
Belinda wrote:Perhaps. I cannot think that what we call mind and what we call matter ever converge. This is because I cannot but think of mind but as subjective and reflexive. Subjective because the experiencing subject is necessary for mind, and reflexive because a sense of self as experiencer is necessary for mind.

I am not entirely happy with what I think because if sense of self as experiencer applies only or mainly to human beings then beloved dogs are excluded from the mind aspect of experience. I suppose I am guilty of anthropomorphising dogs too much and must mend my ways. Still, it does seem that to attribute mind only to humans must imply that mind is a late in time arrival on the scene of nature. I am not sure why this should be bad, maybe it isn't bad.
I don't think you are anthropomorphising dogs (or other animals). I find that the word "anthropomorphising" is often used to label the ideas of those who refuse to subscribe to the animals-as-objects delusion that is popular with almost everyone who doesn't spend significant time with animals.

Physical link between mind and matter are demonstrated in the double slit experiment. At quantum scales, information (which is what the mind is all about) has direct effects. Those tiny scales are so sensitive that even observation and measurement changes the entities. What of much theoretically much smaller entities like strings, if evidence is found for them outside of mathematical models? How much more sensitive would they be? If quantum particles respond to observation, what might strings be sensitive to? What would it mean if strings (or other theoretical Planck scale entities) were affected by the mere intention to measure, or to measurements or observations made elsewhere?
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated—Gandhi.

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Re: Can we solve the mind-body problem?

Post by Belinda » June 2nd, 2015, 4:32 am

Greta wrote:
I don't think you are anthropomorphising dogs (or other animals). I find that the word "anthropomorphising" is often used to label the ideas of those who refuse to subscribe to the animals-as-objects delusion that is popular with almost everyone who doesn't spend significant time with animals.

Physical link between mind and matter are demonstrated in the double slit experiment. At quantum scales, information (which is what the mind is all about) has direct effects. Those tiny scales are so sensitive that even observation and measurement changes the entities. What of much theoretically much smaller entities like strings, if evidence is found for them outside of mathematical models? How much more sensitive would they be? If quantum particles respond to observation, what might strings be sensitive to? What would it mean if strings (or other theoretical Planck scale entities) were affected by the mere intention to measure, or to measurements or observations made elsewhere?
There is no chance that, as Descartes, I will ever think of animals as machines I do think that my dog thinks of me as an important part of her environment which provides safety, food, shelter, and she having a rather aloof temperament, some little companionship. But I don't think that she thinks that I can choose whether to spend my time with my interior thoughts, or with our more or less shared outside environment.

People who earn their livings with factory- farmed animals could not do their jobs if they thought of the animals as having minds like humans. Those animals have to be thought of as other for the sort of work to take place. Same for cruel prison guards or policemen, they have to think of their victims as other, and the minds and even the bodies of the victims as other. I don't think of animals, vegetables or even stars as other in that final absolute sense. But I do think of mind as an inevitably separate- from- matter way of experiencing the same world for animals, vegetables and stars. Also, I think that only animals are sentient and the evidence for that is that only animals have nervous tissue.

Greta wrote:
At quantum scales, information (which is what the mind is all about) has direct effects.
I am not sure that the mind is about nothing other than information. If it were then I'd have to think that amoebae and oak seedlings are beings with minds. And perhaps crystals too. Take crystals, for instance; the difference between their information and humans' is that crystals don't know that they are processing the information. Then there is my dog. She gets off the sofa when I start to do food preparations in the kitchen. But I think this is as automatic as getting off the sofa to bark at the postman. She obviously enjoys barking at the post man and eating certain foods but she doesn't know what 'enjoys' means.

I guess that Leo's theory about time not space would fit with your idea about convergence of mind and matter. My own comprehension of the very very small is too slight for me to be convinced but I hope to get to be better informed, and this is one reason among others that I like your posts. Where is Leo, by the way?

I have seen the double split experiment. I remember that the light effect is one of a pattern of convergence instead of, as might be expected, two lines of light. I forget the significance of this. Perhaps you could remind me?
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Okisites
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Re: Can we solve the mind-body problem?

Post by Okisites » June 2nd, 2015, 5:21 am

Consul wrote:
Okisites wrote:Would like to understand, what EXACTLY is mind-body problem?
"The problem with which this book deals, the Mind-Body problem, can be posed most briefly in a single question: What is the relation, in a man, between his mind and his body?"

(Campbell, Keith. Body and Mind. 2nd ed. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1984. p. 1)

"The Mind-Body problem is the problem of what relations hold between the brain and the bag of bones which is your body on the one hand and whatever is involved in the activities of thinking, acting, feeling, and character which distinguish you as a being with a mind on the other."
 
(Campbell, Keith. Body and Mind. 2nd ed. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1984. p. 4)

"The mind-body problem is the problem of what the mind is, what the body is, and, especially, what relation they stand in to each other."

(Armstrong, D. M. The Mind-Body Problem: An Opinionated Introduction. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1999. p. 1)

"What is the real nature of mental states and processes? In what medium do they take place, and how are they related to the physical world? With regard to the mind, these questions address what philosophers call the ontological problem."

(Churchland, Paul M. Matter and Consciousness. 3rd ed. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2013. p. 3)

By the way, all three books are highly recommended!
Thank you for the recommendations.

However, do you think mind-body problem question is an important question i.e. do you think that this problem can be solved only by answering another question or questions, not this one?

-- Updated 02 Jun 2015, 15:52 to add the following --
Consul wrote:
Okisites wrote:Would like to understand, what EXACTLY is mind-body problem?
"The problem with which this book deals, the Mind-Body problem, can be posed most briefly in a single question: What is the relation, in a man, between his mind and his body?"

(Campbell, Keith. Body and Mind. 2nd ed. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1984. p. 1)

"The Mind-Body problem is the problem of what relations hold between the brain and the bag of bones which is your body on the one hand and whatever is involved in the activities of thinking, acting, feeling, and character which distinguish you as a being with a mind on the other."
 
(Campbell, Keith. Body and Mind. 2nd ed. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1984. p. 4)

"The mind-body problem is the problem of what the mind is, what the body is, and, especially, what relation they stand in to each other."

(Armstrong, D. M. The Mind-Body Problem: An Opinionated Introduction. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1999. p. 1)

"What is the real nature of mental states and processes? In what medium do they take place, and how are they related to the physical world? With regard to the mind, these questions address what philosophers call the ontological problem."

(Churchland, Paul M. Matter and Consciousness. 3rd ed. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2013. p. 3)

By the way, all three books are highly recommended!
Thank you for the recommendations.

However, do you think mind-body problem question is an important question i.e. do you think that this problem can be solved only by answering another question or questions, not this one?
Get the facts, or the facts will get you. And when you get them, get them right, or they will get you wrong.” ― Thomas Fuller

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Consul
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Re: Can we solve the mind-body problem?

Post by Consul » June 2nd, 2015, 9:53 am

Okisites wrote:However, do you think mind-body problem question is an important question i.e. do you think that this problem can be solved only by answering another question or questions, not this one?
Oh yes, it's one of the most important and most interesting questions, because it concerns our very essence or nature: what are we and what is our place in the universe? And what our place in the universe is depends on the essence or nature of the universe of which we are part. So the mind-body problem is embedded in a larger, cosmic context. So there is a connection between the philosophy of mind and general metaphysics.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Can we solve the mind-body problem?

Post by Misty » June 2nd, 2015, 10:09 am

Belinda, could you expound on "only animals have nervous tissue?" I have not come across that before.

"Can we solve the mind-body problem?" Neuroscientist Dr Caroline Leaf has an interesting view. She has many videos. If you get the chance to view it, I would like your opinion. On youtube.com - type in

Dr Caroline Leaf

It is the video with Faith Family Church under her name.

She speaks at many church and non church forums.

Sincerely, Misty
Things are not always as they appear; it's a matter of perception.

The eyes can only see what the mind has, is, or will be prepared to comprehend.

I am Lion, hear me ROAR! Meow.

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Okisites
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Re: Can we solve the mind-body problem?

Post by Okisites » June 2nd, 2015, 1:32 pm

Consul wrote:
Okisites wrote:However, do you think mind-body problem question is an important question i.e. do you think that this problem can be solved only by answering another question or questions, not this one?
Oh yes, it's one of the most important and most interesting questions, because it concerns our very essence or nature: what are we and what is our place in the universe? And what our place in the universe is depends on the essence or nature of the universe of which we are part. So the mind-body problem is embedded in a larger, cosmic context. So there is a connection between the philosophy of mind and general metaphysics.
What if it is said that the essence or nature of us is both i.e. both mind and body?

And also, would it be objectionable and hurtful if it is said that our essence is same as the essence of anything in the universe i.e. mind and body both, just like, object (body) and force (mind), because everything is made up of an object (body) and some force forcing the object to move, for example an “Atom”, which gives the similar appearance as that of having mind (force forcing) and body (object moving)? I mean to say, we are as same as stones in which both mind (force) and body (object/mass) resides.
Get the facts, or the facts will get you. And when you get them, get them right, or they will get you wrong.” ― Thomas Fuller

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