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Old 15th April 2018, 01:11 PM   #361
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Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
And you think philosophers obfuscate??? What is it about consciousness that gets certain atheists all tongue-tied?
*Shrugs* What is it about some theist that makes them think they can sneak a soul back into the discussion by just taking a vague word with a variety of different meanings and context and trying to Trojan Horse it.

Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
I think you will be hard put to formulate a definition of consciousness that can only be met by a biological entity.
10 bucks says it's going to be a really, really wordy way of just saying "The thing that would make a non-biological entity different."

Originally Posted by Ron_Tomkins View Post
So are you saying a) Consciousness can't be explained?, or b) Consciousness can be explained. It's just that Dennett didn't succeed at explaining it.

and if b), could you please explain consciousness to me?
Now Ron stop being all unreasonable by asking people to please define what they are talking about in a way that isn't just "It is what it is."
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Old 15th April 2018, 01:14 PM   #362
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Definition 1.

"The state of being conscious."

Brilliant. Simply brilliant.
And you're lying, simply lying. The word conscious is hyperlinked and you didn't even quote the full definition.
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Old 15th April 2018, 01:14 PM   #363
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Definition 1.

"The state of being conscious."

Brilliant. Simply brilliant.
What is your motivation for leaving out the full definition?

Definition 1.

the state of being conscious; awareness of one's own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc.
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Old 15th April 2018, 01:15 PM   #364
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post

OK, I'll cut to the chase: In my opinion, here is no sharp definition of consciousness. Consciousness is a smooth slope from, ya, say, the security cam with face recognition, to humans, and possibly beyond. There is no sharp boundary, and hence no simple definition.
I lean towards thinking that, too, but I'm not 100% sure it's right. Like, I don't think humans are more conscious than dogs. I don't think adults are more conscious than a 3 year old child, etc. And I have absolutely no idea how the mind of an ant compares to a computer.
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Old 15th April 2018, 01:17 PM   #365
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Originally Posted by NotEvenWrong View Post
What is your motivation for leaving out the full definition?

Definition 1.

the state of being conscious; awareness of one's own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc.
He's previously rejected all those words as "circular" (or something like that), too!
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Old 15th April 2018, 01:19 PM   #366
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
*Shrugs* What is it about some theist that makes them think they can sneak a soul back into the discussion by just taking a vague word with a variety of different meanings and context and trying to Trojan Horse it.
Wait, are you tilting at windmills? Is this nonsense with rejecting definitions of extremely commonly used words about winning an imaginary battle with theists?

Quote:
10 bucks says it's going to be a really, really wordy way of just saying "The thing that would make a non-biological entity different."
I will admit, I followed that chain of posts back and could not find a reply stating that only biological entities can be conscious. Can you point me to it?

Quote:
Now Ron stop being all unreasonable by asking people to please define what they are talking about in a way that isn't just "It is what it is."
Oh, it actually only took 3 posts for someone to ask (again) for a definition of consciousness after it had been given. I thought it would be at least 6 or so. I was way off, my bad.
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Old 15th April 2018, 01:25 PM   #367
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We've been down this road before.
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Old 16th April 2018, 04:21 AM   #368
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
That seems to be the definition of 'self-conscious'. In that case, simple artificial systems (like security cams) are certainly out of question. However, the ability to perceive qualia is also not a qualifier for self-consciousness.

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Old 16th April 2018, 04:24 AM   #369
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Originally Posted by NotEvenWrong View Post
These kinds of threads are always hilarious. In about, oh, 6 posts someone is going to say, again, "but won't someone please oh please define consciousness??"

Then someone who won't accept definitions of words (because then they would have to argue a coherent point) will claim we're playing semantic games.
Mmm no. My point was that to discuss consciousness we need to specify our individual definitions, because no axiomatic definition exists of consciousness. So If I argue for my definition and you argue for your, presumably different, definition, we are bound to get nowhere.

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Old 16th April 2018, 04:29 AM   #370
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
I lean towards thinking that, too, but I'm not 100% sure it's right. Like, I don't think humans are more conscious than dogs. I don't think adults are more conscious than a 3 year old child, etc. And I have absolutely no idea how the mind of an ant compares to a computer.
Well, if we take conscious =/= sentient, then it might be argued that above a certain level (which may well include cats, dogs, and indeed many animals) there is no graduation. However, for being self-conscious, there are certainly differences.

Hans
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Old 16th April 2018, 04:34 AM   #371
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Originally Posted by NotEvenWrong View Post
I will admit, I followed that chain of posts back and could not find a reply stating that only biological entities can be conscious. Can you point me to it?
Actually it was me positing that such a definition would be hard to design. Never the less, I have seen people try it before.

Quote:
Oh, it actually only took 3 posts for someone to ask (again) for a definition of consciousness after it had been given. I thought it would be at least 6 or so. I was way off, my bad.
As already said, this is because the number of definitions for exactly this is usually equal to or greater than the number of people participating.

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Old 16th April 2018, 06:07 AM   #372
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Now Ron stop being all unreasonable by asking people to please define what they are talking about in a way that isn't just "It is what it is."
Hey, I'm just trying to learn
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Old 16th April 2018, 07:26 AM   #373
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Originally Posted by Ron_Tomkins View Post
Hey, I'm just trying to learn
Forget consciousness, qualia, the mind, soul and what not. This problem is the problem of subjectiveness. It works this way, if a process is subjective, I can get a way with claiming it is objective as long as it works subjectively. E.g. take "God", there is no evidence for God, yet the belief works, because morality, ethics, purpose of life and what not can be claimed to be objective; e.g. God.

For consciousness it works in 2 ways:
The super-naturalists can claim, that which is subjective(morality and so on), is objective; i.e. God and what not.
The reductive/eliminate physicalists can claim, that which is subjective, is unreal, because only the objective is real. The joke is that "only the objective is real" is subjective.

Here is how it works, someone claims everything is objective and I simply answer: No. That no is subjective, but subjectivity is what allows us to argue what is real really. The word "real" is subjective.

Subjective is the category of words, which are intra-cognitive. These words are about what goes on in brains and they have no objective referent. Of course they, the words and brains, are connected to the rest of reality. But they, the subjective words, have no objective referent. They are about, what goes on in brains. The I is a word, which works like a relationship, that relates to the fact, that brains use referents/relationship and thus relates in self-referential way. The I relates to the fact, that the brain make a referent to its own processes, thus a narrative if you like.

Another angle is that some people try to make it about metaphysics. Metaphysics is a psychological and subjective belief. What reality is in that sense, metaphysics, is a given brain telling the rest of the brains, what it really believe reality is. Again that is subjective.

So it is brains telling each other "tall tales", about what is really real. If you start explain how it works in practice, it is a story about subjectivity. The joke is that you don't need God, consciousness as qualia and what not, but you do need subjectivity, otherwise you wouldn't be you.

With regards
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Old 16th April 2018, 07:40 AM   #374
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- "Consciousness" (when the word is use to describe some high state of self awareness) is not a singular thing. It is an umbrella, catch all term for for the fact that complex neurological systems are capable of a level of complexity that allows for a certain degree of understanding of our own mental processes.

- There is no single point in which the simple, lower level stimulus response that happens in very basic organism turns into the high level consciousness of higher organism. Trying to demand a line be drawn via a game of 20 question (Is a dust mite conscious? Well is a an ant? Is a mouse? Is a dolphin?) misses the point and attempting to define or contextualize consciousness as a singular distinct thing rather than a bunch of different mental processes.

- There is nothing inherently special about the human brain that makes what it does non-reproducible. You can argue we're 10, 15, 20, 500, a billion, a googleplex years away from reproducing it, but it's not intrinsically non-reproducible.

- If all the functions of the brain would be reproduced, that reproduction would by definition have all the qualities of the original brain, including whatever version of "consciousness" you decide to use.

- You can't add any quality, factor, criteria or any over "Yeah but..." to the human mental condition that isn't part of the normal neurological process of the brain unless you admit what you are arguing for is a spirit or soul.

- "Yeah but we don't understand everything about the brain..." changes none of this.

- The neurological functioning of the brain is you. You are not the neurological functioning of your brain... and some add on quality or factor.
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Old 16th April 2018, 07:48 AM   #375
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
- The neurological functioning of the brain is you.
Isn't that a circular definition?
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Old 16th April 2018, 07:57 AM   #376
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Originally Posted by 8Sime8 View Post
Isn't that a circular definition?
No it's how language works.

A square is a two dimensional object consisting of four equal sides and four right angles.

A two dimensional object consisting of four equal sides and four right angles is a square.

This is not a circular argument. It's the definition of what a language is and what it does.

We can't strawman circular definition into the very concept of what a definition is.

"A definition describes the thing it describes" isn't circular. It's... the point.
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Old 16th April 2018, 08:13 AM   #377
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
- "Consciousness" (when the word is use to describe some high state of self awareness) is not a singular thing. It is an umbrella, catch all term for for the fact that complex neurological systems are capable of a level of complexity that allows for a certain degree of understanding of our own mental processes.

- There is no single point in which the simple, lower level stimulus response that happens in very basic organism turns into the high level consciousness of higher organism. Trying to demand a line be drawn via a game of 20 question (Is a dust mite conscious? Well is a an ant? Is a mouse? Is a dolphin?) misses the point and attempting to define or contextualize consciousness as a singular distinct thing rather than a bunch of different mental processes.

- There is nothing inherently special about the human brain that makes what it does non-reproducible. You can argue we're 10, 15, 20, 500, a billion, a googleplex years away from reproducing it, but it's not intrinsically non-reproducible.

- If all the functions of the brain would be reproduced, that reproduction would by definition have all the qualities of the original brain, including whatever version of "consciousness" you decide to use.

- You can't add any quality, factor, criteria or any over "Yeah but..." to the human mental condition that isn't part of the normal neurological process of the brain unless you admit what you are arguing for is a spirit or soul.

- "Yeah but we don't understand everything about the brain..." changes none of this.

- The neurological functioning of the brain is you. You are not the neurological functioning of your brain... and some add on quality or factor.
Yeah, but you can't eliminate subjectivity. No problem with qualia, God, souls and what not; you can have a life without that and use science. But here is the catch. Any version of physicalism, materialism, naturalism or what on, which tries to eliminate subjectivity, is subjective. E.g. "subjective is not real" is subjective.

With regards
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Old 16th April 2018, 08:17 AM   #378
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
Yeah, but you can't eliminate subjectivity. No problem with qualia, God, souls and what not; you can have a life without that and use science. But here is the catch. Any version of physicalism, materialism, naturalism or what on, which tries to eliminate subjectivity, is subjective. E.g. "subjective is not real" is subjective.



With regards


Lots of assertion, but nothing backing them up.
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Old 16th April 2018, 08:25 AM   #379
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Nope. P-zombies don't experience red, or anything else, at all. P-zombies are hypothesized to be as conscious as a thermostat.
And at this point I bow out of the conversation
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Old 16th April 2018, 09:00 AM   #380
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
That seems to be the definition of 'self-conscious'. In that case, simple artificial systems (like security cams) are certainly out of question. However, the ability to perceive qualia is also not a qualifier for self-consciousness.

Hans
I think having some sort of qualia would almost definitely be part of the package with consciousness.
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Old 16th April 2018, 09:12 AM   #381
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Well, if we take conscious =/= sentient, then it might be argued that above a certain level (which may well include cats, dogs, and indeed many animals) there is no graduation. However, for being self-conscious, there are certainly differences.

Hans
Why do you say certainly? I kind of think it's possible that sentience/self-awareness is sort of like a spark, where it's there or not.
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Old 16th April 2018, 09:24 AM   #382
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post

- There is no single point in which the simple, lower level stimulus response that happens in very basic organism turns into the high level consciousness of higher organism. Trying to demand a line be drawn via a game of 20 question (Is a dust mite conscious? Well is a an ant? Is a mouse? Is a dolphin?) misses the point and attempting to define or contextualize consciousness as a singular distinct thing rather than a bunch of different mental processes.
Misses what point?

And looking at a spectrum of organisms can be useful for knowing which sort of brain systems are probably necessary for consciousness.
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Old 16th April 2018, 11:49 AM   #383
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
I think having some sort of qualia would almost definitely be part of the package with consciousness.


I think those proposing qualia exist have a burden of proof before we get to discussing whether an artificial thinking machine would have them.
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Old 16th April 2018, 12:13 PM   #384
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
I think having some sort of qualia would almost definitely be part of the package with consciousness.
Well, the definition of qualia seems to be: Subjective, conscious experience.
So if you experience qualia, you are per definition conscious. Whether you can be conscious without experiencing qualia is another matter.

Hans
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Old 16th April 2018, 12:14 PM   #385
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So do those who believe in this "qualia" thing, also believe in a soul?

If not, why not? How does the absurd, scientifically unproven phenomena known as a "soul" differ from the one of qualia?
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Old 16th April 2018, 12:14 PM   #386
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Why do you say certainly? I kind of think it's possible that sentience/self-awareness is sort of like a spark, where it's there or not.
I disagree. Studying animals, I would say that there are degrees of self-awareness.

Hans
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Old 16th April 2018, 12:16 PM   #387
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Originally Posted by Ron_Tomkins View Post
So do those who believe in this "qualia" thing, also believe in a soul?

If not, why not? How does the absurd, scientifically unproven phenomena known as a "soul" differ from the one of qualia?
Qualia is defined as "subjective, conscious experience". I fail to see how that connects to a soul.

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Old 16th April 2018, 12:19 PM   #388
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Qualia is defined as "subjective, conscious experience". I fail to see how that connects to a soul.

Hans
I don't think anyone on the scientific side of the problem is denying that there is a "subjective, conscious experience". So what is it you're arguing then? That the brain in all its complexity can't account for this subjective, conscious experience? Even though there's nothing but evidence that such "subjective conscious experience" can never occur without a brain? .... unless of course, you can cite to examples/experiments that demonstrate that such "subjective, conscious experience" has been seen to occur without a brain.
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Old 16th April 2018, 12:29 PM   #389
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Originally Posted by Ron_Tomkins View Post
So what is it you're arguing then? That the brain in all its complexity can't account for this subjective, conscious experience?
Nobody is arguing that.

A lot of people are dancing around it, glancing at it and wiggling their eyebrows suggestively however.
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Old 16th April 2018, 12:34 PM   #390
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Originally Posted by Ron_Tomkins View Post
I don't think anyone on the scientific side of the problem is denying that there is a "subjective, conscious experience". So what is it you're arguing then? That the brain in all its complexity can't account for this subjective, conscious experience?
Of course there are subjective conscious experiences. Where did I say otherwise?

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Even though there's nothing but evidence that such "subjective conscious experience" can never occur without a brain? .... unless of course, you can cite to examples/experiments that demonstrate that such "subjective, conscious experience" has been seen to occur without a brain.
Where did I say they could occur without a brain? But, do they need a biological brain?

Hans
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Old 16th April 2018, 12:35 PM   #391
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Oh I got it.

We can just call it a "Particular sense of self." I heard that phrase somewhere, can't recall where.
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Old 16th April 2018, 01:48 PM   #392
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Qualia is defined as "subjective, conscious experience". I fail to see how that connects to a soul.

Hans
Ok, going back to this post because we misunderstood each other. The reason I used the example of a soul is because, like qualia, "soul" is used by many people to describe a certain "essence" of what it's like to be human, that the brain and all the biology of the person, can't account for, according to those people.

There seems to be people here who claim to follow the scientific method, and yet believe in qualia. So I just want to know if they also believe in the existence of a soul, and if so, why do they feel it's any different than qualia, in terms of filling the gaps of some kind of "essence" about being conscious, that the brain itself can't explain.
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Old 16th April 2018, 02:02 PM   #393
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As far as I can tell no theists or dualists are in this thread yet. The best example of the role of qualia/perception I can think of is the phenomena of blindsight which is triggered by brain injury (a physical phenomena).
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Old 16th April 2018, 02:25 PM   #394
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
As far as I can tell no theists or dualists are in this thread yet.
If someone is claiming that consciousness is some other undefined, intangible, unmeasurable thing, independent from the brain, then yes: they are dualists.
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Old 16th April 2018, 02:40 PM   #395
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Originally Posted by Ron_Tomkins View Post
If someone is claiming that consciousness is some other undefined, intangible, unmeasurable thing, independent from the brain, then yes: they are dualists.
Nobody here has argued that. There aren't any dualists in this thread.
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Old 16th April 2018, 04:46 PM   #396
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Nobody here has argued that. There aren't any dualists in this thread.
To believe that consciousness is equivalent to the brain is in fact a form of dualism, since "the brain" is a metaphysical concept.

It is impossible to believe in a self-world distinction without being a dualist.
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Old 16th April 2018, 05:20 PM   #397
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Originally Posted by 8Sime8 View Post
To believe that consciousness is equivalent to the brain is in fact a form of dualism, since "the brain" is a metaphysical concept.

It is impossible to believe in a self-world distinction without being a dualist.
Materialists believe the brain and the self are a part of the world. The distinction is just one of classification.
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Old 16th April 2018, 05:30 PM   #398
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Originally Posted by Ron_Tomkins View Post
If someone is claiming that consciousness is some other undefined, intangible, unmeasurable thing, independent from the brain, then yes: they are dualists.
Yeah. Wow. You're really smart. I just saw some people at the Walmart buy ice cream. You think they might be ice creamists?
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Old 16th April 2018, 05:33 PM   #399
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"Materialism" is just a backhanded way of trying to make "Reality exists and things that don't exist... er don't exist" into "just another way of looking at the world." The hard core Philosophy Crowd basically uses it as a slur.

"Materialism vs Dualism" is trying to frame "I get to make up up things without evidence" as an equal way of framing the world intellectually as... you know not doing that.

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Old 16th April 2018, 05:33 PM   #400
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Nobody here has argued that. There aren't any dualists in this thread.
I'm afraid there are a ton of imaginary theist, dualist, and solipsisit thinkers haunting this thread. You and I just can't see them. But they are really really here according to some.
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