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Old 13th February 2012, 06:40 AM   #1201
punshhh
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Originally Posted by Jeff Corey View Post
How are you guys doing with the "explain consciousness to the layman" bit? This istuff is all very amusing and all (punshhh is especially risible), but seems to be avoiding the OP.
Welcome to this comedy of errors (I hope thats more appropriate than hagiography which comes to mind).

You will find an answer to the OP in my last post.

Consciousness is that quality in living things of being aware in some way of their environment, however primitive that might appear to be.
Other forms of consciousness are not precluded, but we have no other form of consciousness to examine at present.
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Old 13th February 2012, 06:59 AM   #1202
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Originally Posted by AlBell View Post
What other monist choices do you see available for a materialist? I see none.
Naturalism, of course; informational or computational idealism. Other forms of idealism are less well-defined, so it's harder to say.

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We disagree on that point, assuming a materialist would usually strive to arrive at a monism to absolutely avoid dualism.
Dualism takes one of two forms: A logically incoherent ontology, or a logically coherent ontology of a logically inconsistent universe. The first is of no value, the second is of no utility. It might be true, but it's of no utility.
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Old 13th February 2012, 08:06 AM   #1203
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
Welcome to this comedy of errors (I hope thats more appropriate than hagiography which comes to mind).

You will find an answer to the OP in my last post.

Consciousness is that quality in living things of being aware in some way of their environment, however primitive that might appear to be.
Other forms of consciousness are not precluded, but we have no other form of consciousness to examine at present.
No.
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Old 13th February 2012, 08:21 AM   #1204
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
Consciousness is that quality in living things
You don't know that, as I've already explained to you. You keep asserting this, that's all.
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Old 13th February 2012, 08:51 AM   #1205
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
By that BS logic, there IS no scientific fact.
Science is not a matter of ultimate truth - it's a matter of constructing models to make predictions. There are two possible models for someone else's subjective experience. Either they have subjective experience, or they don't, but claim that they do. Both models have the same predictions. We don't know what effect subjective experience has on behaviour, beyond the circular definition that if people are conscious, conscious beings behave like people.

Since science can make no useful predictions about the matter, it can be ignored, scientifically speaking. That is not the same thing as taking one of the two options and assuming it to be true.


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That's my point, exactly. "An illusion must be perceived" is a bit of a silly thing to say when the argument is that the perception itself could be an illusion.
My point is that it's a foolish argument - because without perception, there can be no illusions.
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Old 13th February 2012, 09:07 AM   #1206
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
You don't know that, as I've already explained to you. You keep asserting this, that's all.

Know you know how Sisyphus felt.
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Old 13th February 2012, 09:11 AM   #1207
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Originally Posted by Complexity View Post
Sherlock Holmes.
Spock *is* the Sherlock Holmes of my generation. ;p
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Old 13th February 2012, 09:19 AM   #1208
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Originally Posted by rocketdodger View Post
Spock *is* the Sherlock Holmes of my generation. ;p

Nah. Spock is cool, but he can't touch Sherlock Holmes.

Your generation needs to learn many things.
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Old 13th February 2012, 09:54 AM   #1209
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Originally Posted by Jeff Corey View Post
No.
I will consider that at length.


Ah yes "no" is a figment of consciousness. All life forms exhibit the phenomena of "no" in one form or another.
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Old 13th February 2012, 10:00 AM   #1210
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
You don't know that, as I've already explained to you. You keep asserting this, that's all.
I am not defining consciousness, I am explaining it.

It is an undeniable fact that all forms of consciousness which we know to be conscious are living. Therefore in the absence of a sufficient alternative explanation it is reasonable to consider that consciousness is a property of living things. Not a necessary property, an emergent property exhibited by all but the simplest forms of life. Not necessarily exclusive to life, but the only example we know of.

Living does seem to play a large part in it does it not?
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Old 13th February 2012, 10:34 AM   #1211
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
It is an undeniable fact that all forms of consciousness which we know to be conscious are living. Therefore in the absence of a sufficient alternative explanation it is reasonable to consider that consciousness is a property of living things. Not a necessary property, an emergent property exhibited by all but the simplest forms of life. Not necessarily exclusive to life, but the only example we know of.
"Living" is just one possible form that you may be part of. Another one is "behavior-producing agents", which includes computers. Therefore we can also conclude that consciousness is a property of some behavior-producing agents (living or not).

The real problem is how you know you are conscious, considering you weren't born being able to report it-- you had to learn this. Why can't a computer learn to report it too?
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Old 13th February 2012, 04:19 PM   #1212
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Originally Posted by Pulvinar View Post
"Living" is just one possible form that you may be part of. Another one is "behavior-producing agents", which includes computers. Therefore we can also conclude that consciousness is a property of some behavior-producing agents (living or not).

The real problem is how you know you are conscious, considering you weren't born being able to report it-- you had to learn this. Why can't a computer learn to report it too?
I dare say the IBM SyNAPSE project will take us a big step towards answering that question.
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Old 13th February 2012, 04:27 PM   #1213
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
I am not defining consciousness, I am explaining it.
Nope.

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It is an undeniable fact that all forms of consciousness which we know to be conscious are living.
I categorically deny that.
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Old 13th February 2012, 04:37 PM   #1214
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Originally Posted by PixyMisa View Post
I categorically deny that.

You just ruined his master plan.

Thanks!
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Old 13th February 2012, 04:58 PM   #1215
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Originally Posted by PixyMisa View Post
I categorically deny that.
I see what you did there...
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Old 13th February 2012, 05:04 PM   #1216
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Originally Posted by dlorde View Post
I see what you did there...

Someone won't...
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Old 13th February 2012, 05:37 PM   #1217
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Categorical Denial ... so what else is conscious?

And no, SRIP & Church-Turing is not an answer. Demonstrate a conscious machine please.
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Old 13th February 2012, 05:53 PM   #1218
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Originally Posted by yy2bggggs View Post
Realism is compatible with methodological materialism for one; however, you misinterpreted my last reply as rolling with your materialist assertion. I was not. I was correcting your position.
Be advised that I saw no correction. Please try again.

Quote:
I'm not sure in which sense you can call pluralism a form of dualism.
Nor do I see how anyone might consider it a monism.

Quote:
"We'll likely never know" though suggests that there's a particular correct ontology; "ontology doesn't map to any conceptualizations" is another view.
Only one is correct. Do you choose the "ontology doesn't map to any conceptualizations" postulate? If so, what do you believe you gain? Here you are participating.

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Whether or not a person is a materialist has nothing to do with whether that person is trying to, as you say, "absolutely avoid dualism". This is a false dichotomy.
If you say so. I disagree.

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You're underestimating the possible range of the human condition. But I'm not even sure why you're doing it--what do you gain if all materialists are trying to "absolutely avoid dualism"?
I gain an opportunity to mention it.

Quote:
So I can observe consciousness,
Yours anyway.

Quote:
and you can observe consciousness. Doesn't sound so unobservable to me.
Mine, sure. Yours? I see behaviors which may (or may not) actually map to your consciousness.

Quote:
Also, given I understand your use of the word "directly" here, then not only can I only observe my consciousness directly, but that is the only thing I can observe directly.
We agree!

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But this doesn't stop me from making indirect observations (in this sense) about any other natural phenomenon. So why should I treat consciousness differently?
Because, as most recognize, it is different; hence interminable threads like this one.
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Old 13th February 2012, 05:54 PM   #1219
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Originally Posted by Complexity View Post
Someone won't...
You were right!
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Old 13th February 2012, 08:33 PM   #1220
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Originally Posted by AlBell View Post
Be advised that I saw no correction. Please try again.
Sure. You specifically misinterpreted my post in #1187:
Well materialism is not the same thing as monism first off. So if you want a monist point of view, there are plenty to choose from.
Because you said:
What other monist choices do you see available for a materialist? I see none.
You seem to have thought that I was claiming that materialism has other choices for monism. What I was saying, though, was that monism doesn't entail materialism.
Quote:
Nor do I see how anyone might consider it a monism.
There's a simple solution. Maybe it's neither monism nor dualism. Recall in #1183 when I said you made a false dichotomy.
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Only one is correct. Do you choose the "ontology doesn't map to any conceptualizations" postulate? If so, what do you believe you gain? Here you are participating.
It sounds good, but I'm a bit agnostic.
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If you say so. I disagree.
It's not enough for you to disagree. Do you presume you actually get to vote on it? It's not actually up to you. As soon as there's a materialist who is not 100% sure of materialism, but merely convinced of it, you're wrong. It's his vote.

By what means could you possibly know this sort of person doesn't exist? It's a bit ironic that you're trying to argue that materialists are all 100% sure of materialism, and absolutely against any form of dualism; and yet, in the same post, you're also trying to argue that you're only aware of your own consciousness and not anyone else's.

Anyway, let's get to that point.
Quote:
Yours anyway.
Maybe. I'm aware of some thing that I have, for sure. But I'm also an English speaker, and "consciousness" is an English word. I didn't make it up--I'm just borrowing it.

Now, the general idea is that words within the context of a language get their meaning from a particular contextual usage--and within that context, from the specific way that the terms are used. What happens here is that I see people using this word "consciousness" a particular way--I defer to that usage that I observe for a definition. Seeing as how I personally seem to have an experience in this world, and how the usage of that term seems to describe this kind of thing that I have, I take a guess that the meaning of the term "consciousness" probably has to do with that thing that I have.

So from this analysis, I think you (and westprog) have it precisely backwards. If that one thing that only you observe is something that only you have, then it's probably not what the term "consciousness" means. But I think the way you are applying this, you're not using the same analysis--you're saying that if only you have it, then only you are conscious.

My objection is that you don't define the language. My only reason to think that consciousness applies to that thing that I have is my guess that it is what everyone is on about when they use the word.
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Mine, sure. Yours? I see behaviors which may (or may not) actually map to your consciousness.
...and the idea is, no--not mine. Just the general majority of the people who sustain the English language and use the term. Whatever behaviors they are talking about when they say "consciousness" is, per the rules of language, what consciousness means. If what you have doesn't map, either you're special, or you are missing out on something.

And again, I'm guessing I'm not special.
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Because, as most recognize, it is different; hence interminable threads like this one.
You indirectly observe me, and you indirectly observe electricity. Where's the difference? Do you presume you're jumping over two gaps to get to me and only one to get to electricity?
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Old 13th February 2012, 08:55 PM   #1221
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Originally Posted by yy2bggggs View Post
You missed the point. I observe your consciousness indirectly; that's the same way I observe the rest of the world.

So we can evaluate consciousness indirectly (your point)…like everything else under the sun…but unlike everything else under the sun, we can also evaluate it directly. When something is unlike everything else under the sun…it is different. Whether or not something different warrants special treatment is a question I’ll leave up to your prodigious discretion.

Originally Posted by yy2bggggs View Post
Please, use words for what they mean. Your little spiel is barely sensible for possibly no good reason.

…use words for what they mean? The word in question, if I’m not mistaken, is the word ‘true’. So what does the word ‘true’ mean (to whatever degree we have the ability to know what anything in fact does)? Not false…I suppose.

But the subject of the day is consciousness…and observation. How often is it said at JREF that science is the only truth? Do I really need to waste any time demonstrating what a load of bollocks that is? But here we are speaking of observation….of consciousness…the only thing that it is actually possible to directly experience. The actual ‘thing in itself’.

…so the word ‘true’ is scintillatingly relevant…and my use of it, while slightly exaggerated…and overly economical…is simply accurate. Does the word ‘true’ have a meaning? It would be hard to argue that it does not matter. After all, we’re talking about what would arguably be the most important condition in existence…the reality of ‘true’. What is interesting is that across the vast landscape of human consciousness the trajectory of meaning (aka: evidence) would seem to indicate that the word ‘true’ does, in fact, have a meaning (as opposed to a mere definition). IOW…if you were to conduct your observations, indirect or otherwise, with sufficient diligence, determination, and fortitude…the evidence would seem to suggest that you could discover what it means to experience the truth of ‘true’.

This, among other things, is one of the reasons why the observation of consciousness is unlike the observation of anything else.

….so, yy2…it’s hardly trivial that I bring up the word ‘true’ and equate it so specifically to the generic ‘you’. I do, though, apologize for giving the impression that it was for possibly no good reason.

Originally Posted by yy2bggggs View Post
No, because that what it appears to be when you stop pontificating and look at the thing. Just because some people use wishful thinking to arrive at their theory of mind doesn't mean everyone does it.

…y’know yy2, I get the distinct impression that you’re accusing me of not only pontificating but of using wishful thinking to arrive at my theory. Can’t exactly recall specifying what theory I subscribe to though. I know I spit out the word spirituality. An ugly word on a skeptic forum I know. Then there’s this idea that we are more than our brain. Sorry…I just happen to believe that to be the case (there is actually a great deal of evidence to support this very conclusion but I won’t bother with it here). I guess I can even admit that I know others who know it to be the case. Hardly a revelation. But you’re unquestionably one of the smartest dudes to prowl the JREF forums, so I’ll pose a prickly question for an incisive mind: If it were conclusively established (by you, or anyone) that a human being is, fundamentally, a spiritual reality (loosely defined as an entity attached to a body by choice rather than ignorance)…what would be the most appropriate path for any human being to learn this fact? Should it, for example, be taught in high school, by correspondence, only upon completion of a ‘means’ test…etc. etc. Perhaps that would make an interesting question for another thread.
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Old 13th February 2012, 09:24 PM   #1222
yy2bggggs
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Originally Posted by annnnoid View Post
So we can evaluate consciousness indirectly (your point)…like everything else under the sun…but unlike everything else under the sun, we can also evaluate it directly.
Assuming that the thing we observe is consciousness; I reiterate that "consciousness" per se is a word in the English language, and we have to remember how words get meaning (see my spiel in response to AlBell just above).
Quote:
…use words for what they mean? The word in question, if I’m not mistaken, is the word ‘true’. So what does the word ‘true’ mean (to whatever degree we have the ability to know what anything in fact does)?
Depends on context. Are you referring to something like accurate, correct, and so on?
Quote:
But the subject of the day is consciousness…and observation. How often is it said at JREF that science is the only truth?
I don't know. I would associate science more with a legitimate epistemic approach, which means it's closer to a method for obtaining knowledge than truth.
Quote:
IOW…if you were to conduct your observations, indirect or otherwise, with sufficient diligence, determination, and fortitude…the evidence would seem to suggest that you could discover what it means to experience the truth of ‘true’.
Are you looking for an account of truth in terms of its relation to mind?
Quote:
I do, though, apologize for giving the impression that it was for possibly no good reason.
That wasn't what I said.
Quote:
…y’know yy2, I get the distinct impression that you’re accusing me of not only pontificating but of using wishful thinking to arrive at my theory.
You have that backwards. In post #1195, you said:
...but it's an emergent phenomenon...why, because we can say it is?
My response about pontificating was in direct response to this. It's not because "we can say it is", it's because that's what it looks like when we stop trying to "say what it is" and just look at it.
Quote:
But you’re unquestionably one of the smartest dudes to prowl the JREF forums, so I’ll pose a prickly question for an incisive mind: If it were conclusively established (by you, or anyone) that a human being is, fundamentally, a spiritual reality (loosely defined as an entity attached to a body by choice rather than ignorance)…what would be the most appropriate path for any human being to learn this fact?
LOL! I'm sorry. You went straight from calling me one of the smartest dudes to prowl the JREF, to posing a question I cannot understand. Shows what you know!

Quite honestly, I cannot grasp the meaning of the highlighted part. Are you suggesting that a spiritual reality means that I choose to be attached to my body? And what does "rather than ignorance" mean?

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Old 13th February 2012, 09:36 PM   #1223
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Originally Posted by yy2bggggs View Post
LOL! I'm sorry. You went straight from calling me one of the smartest dudes to prowl the JREF, to posing a question I cannot understand. Shows what you know!

Quite honestly, I cannot grasp the meaning of the highlighted part. Are you suggesting that a spiritual reality means that I choose to be attached to my body? And what does "rather than ignorance" mean?

I believe he's referring to a 'thetan'.

That would be consistent with what we know about him.

(frankly, I'd be insulted if he asked me that question)
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Old 13th February 2012, 09:56 PM   #1224
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A spiritual reality does not necessarily mean anything…this is merely an example of a possible potential (or a potential possible).

Lemme see…an entity attached to a body by choice rather than ignorance. I shall proceed to parse….

….an entity (this presumes the word ‘conscious’…as in ‘conscious entity’) attached to a body (example: you)…by choice (IOW…’ screw this, I [yy2…the conscious entity] am going to Bermuda but my body can stay in bed’)….rather than ignorance (IOW…’ I wish I could go to Bermuda but I’m in bed and the only way I know how to get to Bermuda is by getting out of bed and getting on a plane’).

Conclusion: a conscious entity attached to a body by choice can visit Andromeda (or Bermuda) at will (doubtless the poor old body looks a bit shell-shocked when in vegetable state)…but a conscious entity attached to a body by ignorance can’t even go potty without dragging the bloody thing along….bummer!

…capiche?



Plex...your offense offends me....mildly...but I'll get over it. There, I just did.
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Old 13th February 2012, 10:33 PM   #1225
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Originally Posted by annnnoid View Post
A spiritual reality does not necessarily mean anything…this is merely an example of a possible potential (or a potential possible).
Well, in that case, I don't think I could say anything about what would happen.
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….an entity (this presumes the word ‘conscious’…as in ‘conscious entity’) attached to a body (example: you)…by choice (IOW…’ screw this, I [yy2…the conscious entity] am going to Bermuda but my body can stay in bed’)….rather than ignorance (IOW…’ I wish I could go to Bermuda but I’m in bed and the only way I know how to get to Bermuda is by getting out of bed and getting on a plane’).
But this still doesn't make sense to me. If I'm bound to my body by ignorance, then in what sense is it a choice? I would need to have the magic formula for escaping before I could choose to do so.

It sounds analogous to claiming that I choose not to write the world's best selling novel, out of ignorance. After all, I can indeed type anything I want, and the only thing I need do to make the world's best selling novel (hypothetically) is to merely type the right letters in the right order. It's simply my ignorance that prevents me from doing so. But in any practical sense, I would not say that I'm choosing not to write that novel.

So I just don't understand the concept here of choosing out of ignorance.
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Old 13th February 2012, 10:51 PM   #1226
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Originally Posted by annnnoid View Post
So we can evaluate consciousness indirectly (your point)…like everything else under the sun…but unlike everything else under the sun, we can also evaluate it directly. When something is unlike everything else under the sun…it is different. Whether or not something different warrants special treatment is a question I’ll leave up to your prodigious discretion.
The problem with the scientific analysis of subjective experience is that we have nothing observable to go with. The only way that we can tell if someone is having a subjective experience is to ask them. Then we can associate the subjective experience with behaviour, or with brain patterns, or with pulse rate.

I think it's funny that people think the fact that some particular brain pattern is associated with particular thoughts and emotions is a fantastic breakthrough. We already have hundreds of ways to tell what somebody's subjective experience is. When somebody screams with pain, we think we know what it's like because of empathy, not because we are measuring anything. The only reasons that we consider investigating subjective experience is because we have subjective experience ourselves, and people tell us that they have too. We never measure it, and we have no idea what creates it.
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Old 13th February 2012, 11:56 PM   #1227
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Originally Posted by westprog View Post
The problem with the scientific analysis of subjective experience is that we have nothing observable to go with.
Originally Posted by westprog View Post
We already have hundreds of ways to tell what somebody's subjective experience is.
I'll just leave you to consider the error of your ways.
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Old 14th February 2012, 12:46 AM   #1228
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Originally Posted by Wowbagger View Post
As a general analogy for how most of the brain works, computational theories are generally well accepted. Though, not everyone agrees that it can also be also the source of consciousness.
Yes I agree about the computational analogy. The source of consciousness may well be in the activity of the computation while simultaneously deriving its physical presence from some aspect of the life of the entity. Without this later presence the computational activity would be an entirely abstract phenomena, not connected in time and space with the physical world.

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However, those who challenge the role of computation in consciousness have to come up with something else to explain it. And I don't recall anyone ever being able to do so.
I don't challenge a role of computation in consciousness. Rather I suggest it is only a part of the equation. I accept that the entire thought process is acted out in the physical brain along with the processes involved in consciousness. It is the embedding, the presence of the knower in the physical process which is a result of the life of the organism.

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Meanwhile those who accept the idea that consciousness emerges from computational systems have made some progress in explaining the phenomenon, even if they haven't answered the entire mystery. Dennett's ideas and Damasio's ideas, even if they have flaws, still manage to tell us a lot more about consciousness than the doubters.
Yes, its all good science.

My question is how in a synthetic conscious entity is that entity embedded, present, with an experience of presence in their physical environment?

Rather than an entirely virtual entity oblivious of the physical environment and unaware of any kind of experience, other than a programmed abstraction.
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Old 14th February 2012, 01:04 AM   #1229
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Originally Posted by Pulvinar View Post
"Living" is just one possible form that you may be part of. Another one is "behavior-producing agents", which includes computers. Therefore we can also conclude that consciousness is a property of some behavior-producing agents (living or not).
Yes, however the experience of consciousness experienced by non living agents may be very different to our own experience.

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The real problem is how you know you are conscious, considering you weren't born being able to report it-- you had to learn this.
The fact that I know I am conscious is the only thing about existence that I can be certain of.

I know, therefore something exists.

What exists is something I and I suggest all other conscious things, don't know. With the use of our minds and some tools and instruments we are beginning to explore what exists. But we have barely begun and have a long way to go.

I did not have to learn that I am conscious, it dawned on me.

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Why can't a computer learn to report it too?
I see no reason why not. As I said above such an awareness might well be very different to the experience of being a human.
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Old 14th February 2012, 01:06 AM   #1230
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Originally Posted by Complexity View Post
Someone won't...
Are you still here?

I thought this drivel bored you.
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Old 14th February 2012, 01:12 AM   #1231
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Originally Posted by PixyMisa View Post
Nope.


I categorically deny that.
Are you going to produce your conscious machine now?
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Old 14th February 2012, 03:08 AM   #1232
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
Yes I agree about the computational analogy. The source of consciousness may well be in the activity of the computation while simultaneously deriving its physical presence from some aspect of the life of the entity. Without this later presence the computational activity would be an entirely abstract phenomena, not connected in time and space with the physical world.
No.

Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
Are you going to produce your conscious machine now?
Any eight-bit two-dollar microcontroller can be programmed to be conscious. Many complex computer systems already have been programmed to be conscious, because the technique is extremely useful in maintaining and monitoring complex systems.
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Old 14th February 2012, 03:50 AM   #1233
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Originally Posted by PixyMisa View Post
Any eight-bit two-dollar microcontroller can be programmed to be conscious. Many complex computer systems already have been programmed to be conscious, because the technique is extremely useful in maintaining and monitoring complex systems.
These forms of consciousness seem to be virtual, although there may be some referencing to a time sequence.

It also depends on the definition of consciousness one is using.

I wonder what it would be like to experience virtual consciousness.
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Old 14th February 2012, 04:24 AM   #1234
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Originally Posted by westprog View Post
Science is not a matter of ultimate truth - it's a matter of constructing models to make predictions.
Plants are green.

What was the point of saying that ?

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There are two possible models for someone else's subjective experience. Either they have subjective experience, or they don't, but claim that they do. Both models have the same predictions. We don't know what effect subjective experience has on behaviour, beyond the circular definition that if people are conscious, conscious beings behave like people.
We infer that other people have similar experiences to ours simply because their actions are so very similar to ours. It's a lot more reasonable than to think only WE are conscious. By the same token, knowing about biology and other species and how they behave, we infer that many of them have consciousness, albeit simpler than ours. Where is the cutoff point ? Are dogs conscious ? Ferrets ? Geckos ? Ants ? And how can one simply state that a biological substrate is necessary. It isn't in any fundamental way different from other matter.

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My point is that it's a foolish argument - because without perception, there can be no illusions.
Unless the perception itself is the illusion.
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Old 14th February 2012, 04:26 AM   #1235
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
I am not defining consciousness, I am explaining it.

It is an undeniable fact that all forms of consciousness which we know to be conscious are living. Therefore in the absence of a sufficient alternative explanation it is reasonable to consider that consciousness is a property of living things.
You're trying to sound remarkably reasonable but you have forgotten something: there is only ONE conscsiouness which you know to exist, and that is yourself. By your logic, you don't consider other people to be conscious.

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Living does seem to play a large part in it does it not?
Just like living seemed to play a large part in flying ? You ignored this the last time I mentioned it.
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Old 14th February 2012, 04:28 AM   #1236
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
These forms of consciousness seem to be virtual
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Old 14th February 2012, 04:55 AM   #1237
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
These forms of consciousness seem to be virtual, although there may be some referencing to a time sequence.
What is the difference between virtual consciousness and... Whatever the other kind is?
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Old 14th February 2012, 04:56 AM   #1238
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Originally Posted by AlBell View Post
Categorical Denial ... so what else is conscious?

And no, SRIP & Church-Turing is not an answer.
Why not?

That's what I've been asking all along. I get plenty of objections, but no actual reasons.
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Old 14th February 2012, 06:33 AM   #1239
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Originally Posted by PixyMisa View Post
What is the difference between virtual consciousness and... Whatever the other kind is?
There's virtual and there's virtual, one kind of consciousness is not likely to be the same as the other.

Perhaps I haven't given you a reason why the church Turing is not a consciousness.

Likewise you have not given me a reason why life is not an intrinsic component of consciousness as experienced by a human.

In the meantime my toaster is mute on the subject.

Last edited by punshhh; 14th February 2012 at 06:34 AM.
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Old 14th February 2012, 08:42 AM   #1240
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Plants are green.

What was the point of saying that ?
In the following paragraph, which showed the relevance.

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We infer that other people have similar experiences to ours simply because their actions are so very similar to ours.

We infer that they are conscious because their behaviour is like ours. From this we can deduce... er, their behaviour will be like ours? What predictive value does the idea that other people are conscious have, that wasn't already predicted by their behaviour?

We can, if we wish, just lump the behaviours of human beings together, and call them "conscious behaviours". Then we can decide that whatever behaves broadly like this is conscious. Or we can be more restrictive - and say that only actually living tissue is conscious. This gives us scope for empty arguments, but all that's going on is redefinition.

If we want to really miss the point, we can infer the underlying mechanism that produces the behaviour (and by "infer", I mean guess) and then define consciousness in terms of this. This gives us absurdities like the two dollar microcontroller being conscious, but again, it's a matter of definition.

The issue with which human beings are really concerned - the most important thing to a human being - subjective experience - is left out of the whole study. Some claim that because it isn't detectable by examination of behaviour, it's not interesting. If the people studying in this field were actually psychopaths, then I'd believe that - because almost by definition, a psychopath is someone to whom the subjective experience of other people is of no interest. For the normal human being, subjective experience of other people is the most important thing in the supposed outside world. That's why we read books, watch films, have friends, play sports, and engage in relationships of all sorts with other people.

That is the problem, those are the issues.

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It's a lot more reasonable than to think only WE are conscious. By the same token, knowing about biology and other species and how they behave, we infer that many of them have consciousness, albeit simpler than ours. Where is the cutoff point ? Are dogs conscious ? Ferrets ? Geckos ? Ants ? And how can one simply state that a biological substrate is necessary. It isn't in any fundamental way different from other matter.



Unless the perception itself is the illusion.
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