RJG wrote:But the mental action of thinking can only be a non-conscious (unknown) action, for all we ever get to consciously (knowingly) experience are just the thoughts themselves, and never the thinking.
RJG wrote:To the contrary. It is a logical truth/certainty that all experiences are just mere happenings (to the subject), for one cannot knowingly experience the "doings" except through the happenings received by the subject. For example, one cannot know they raised their arm without the bodily reactions/experiences reporting such action (via the detecting and reacting of sensory organs).
Consul wrote:...there is nothing contradictory about saying that my thinking (or imagining) is a mental doing of mine which is experienced by me.
Do you actually believe you can consciously experience the "doing" part? If so, then please tell me 'specifically' what it is that you experience
that indicates this. Note: we can only experience 'experiences' (effects), and NEVER the 'causation' or "doing" part. Causation is only presumed to exist, and is impossible to ever experience.
Consul wrote:If you were right, we would all be purely passive and powerless listeners (or readers) rather than active speakers (or writers). And then nobody would be responsible for what s/he says (or writes).
RJG wrote:"I raise my arm" is a false assertion. One does not consciously move their body about. One is only conscious of their body moving about.
Consul wrote:The phenomenological difference between an (intentional or voluntary) arm-raising and a mere arm-rising is that there is a sense of agency involved in the former. What it is like for me to raise my arm is different from what it is like for me to simply see my arm rise (e.g. because of a sudden neural malfunction), because I experience the former as a doing by me and not as a mere happening to me.
Firstly, you can never experience a "doing" of anything. Secondly, your "sense of agency" is a creation of indoctrinated belief.
Consul wrote:If you were right, there would be no difference between winking and blinking, and between shaking one's body and shuddering…
If one 'experiences' a difference between winking/blinking and shaking/shuddering, then they do. If they don't, then they don't.
Consul wrote:There really is such a thing as (intentional) physical or mental action.
Not so. Firstly, it is not possible to ever consciously "intend" (or "do") anything. Secondly, "intending" itself is a meaningless self-stultifying (self-defeating) word.
One cannot “intend” anything without there existing a prior “intention” to do so. But this prior “intention” defeats any viability of true 'intentionality', thereby making the term itself self-contradictory; logically impossible; self-stultifying.
In other words, just ask yourself, did you cause (intend) your intention, ...or was this intention unintentional? If you intended your intention, then did you also intend this intending, ...or was it unintentional? Continue on with this never ending process, until you finally realize that "intending" anything is logically impossible.
One can only 'experience' (the urge called) intention, and never ever the "intending" itself!
Consul wrote:"Active and Passive Consciousness:
To anyone who reflects on his conscious experiences, there is an obvious distinction between the experience of voluntary intentional activity on the one hand and the experience of passive perception on the other.
Obvious? If this were "obvious", then one could easily identify and point out this distinction. But one can't. One can't because one can only experiences 'effects', and never the causers themselves.
Consul wrote:I do not suggest that this is a sharp distinction, because there is a voluntaristic element of perception and there are passive components of voluntary action. But there is clearly a difference, for example, between voluntarily raising your arm as part of a conscious act, and having your arm raised by someone who triggers your nerve connections. This distinction is well illustrated by the researches of the Canadian neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield. Penfield found that by stimulating the motor cortex of his patients, he could cause their limbs to move. The patient invariably said, “I didn’t do that, you did it.” In this case, the patient has the perception of his arm moving but he does not have the experience of voluntary action. The basic distinction is this: in the case of perception (seeing the glass in front of me, feeling the shirt against my neck) one has the feeling, I am perceiving this, and in that sense, this is happening to me. In the case of action (raising my arm, walking across the room) one has the feeling, I am doing this, and in that sense, I am making this happen. It is experience of voluntary action, more than anything else, that gives us the conviction of our own free will, and any account of the mind has to confront this experience."
One falsely believes that they 'voluntarily' raised their arm, because they 'experienced' the preceding 'urge' to raise their arm. Without the preceding urge (prior to stimulating the muscle movement), there is no urge, and hence no false belief of 'voluntary' action.
Note: the experiencing of an urge, does not mean one consciously caused said urge.
RJG wrote:One cannot know they raise their arm until 'after' the bodily reactions/experiences/senses have already indicated such action. One cannot know-of-X without an X to know of. If the lifting of the arm was preceded by the 'urge' to lift the arm, then this again was only known after the indicating bodily reaction. One cannot be conscious-of-an-urge, without the (pre-existing) 'urge' to be conscious of. If the experiencing of the urge was preceded by the 'thoughts' of lifting the arm, then this again was only known after the thought consciously appeared, not before. No matter how far we wish to "kick-this-can", we can never know X, prior to the knowing-of-X. -- It is LOGIC that tells us so.
Consul wrote:I can know what I intend or want to do before doing it, but of course I cannot know what I am doing before I start doing it...
No problem with 'knowing' your experiences; being conscious of your intentions/desires. The problem (impossibility) is in knowingly causing these intentions/desires.
RJG wrote:Therefore -- We can't ever know what we "do", ...we can only know what we've "done". -- The "doing" always precedes the knowing-of-the-doing.
Consul wrote:...but I can certainly know what I am doing while doing it.
Not so. Firstly, you can never experience the "doing" itself. You have to wait till your body sensors react (specifically the proprioception sensor) before you can experience, and know, the bodily 'movements', or what you have "done
Secondly, "instantaneous" detection/sensing, and 'knowing' of one's experiences is not logically nor scientifically possible. There is an inevitable time gap between the real-time bodily reaction, and the conscious-time realization of said bodily reaction, even if just milliseconds. Everything that we are conscious of is therefore just "old news".
Consul wrote:My active arm-raising is accompanied by a passive perception of my arm's rising, but the former is not reducible to the latter.
There is never a consciously experienced "active arm-raising". One cannot experience "active" events", one can only experience 'experiences' (effects). Consul, if you truly believe you can experience an "active" causal event, then please be specific and identify this (impossible) active 'experience
Consul wrote:When I raise my arm I see it rise, with the arm-rising not being caused by my seeing it; but, again, the active raising of my arm is not reducible to a passive seeing of its rising. For it includes an intention…
an intention, is NOT causing
(intending) that intention.
Consul wrote:...and (successful) attempt to raise the arm.
the attempt to raise the arm, is NOT causing
the attempt to raise the arm.