Page 1 of 2 [ 16 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

techstepgenr8tion
SomeRandomGuy
SomeRandomGuy

User avatar

Joined: 6 Feb 2005
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Posts: 21,048
Location: The 27th Path of Peh.

31 Jul 2017, 10:18 pm

While Noam's hit and miss with respect to the things I tend to agree with him on I found it really fascinating that the pretty well summed up my thoughts, as well as the presenter's here, in a few sentences.

This is part of why I really consider any conversation of supernatural vs. natural more than a little misleading and that gets covered here by the observation (presenter and Chomsky) that our definition of physical is a moving target that encompasses anything that we can explain at the moment.

(3 min 49 seconds)


_________________
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privelege of owning yourself" - Rudyard Kipling


Lintar
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Nov 2012
Age: 51
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,778
Location: Victoria, Australia

31 Jul 2017, 11:46 pm

"...I believe that there really is no meaningful distinction between what is called physical and non-physical"

There are many examples of the non-physical interacting with the physical. The mind and all associated with it (ex. qualia, perception, consciousness, free will) are clearly real and exist in the sense that, a) they can, and do, influence the physical world, and b) cannot be explained via the traditional attempts made by reductionists to find the "parts" that apparently go toward making up who we are. Mind, unlike matter, is irreducible.

I really do not understand why so many insist that dualism must be false because of an apparently insoluble "interaction problem" that is associated with it, because none of the arguments that have been put forward based upon this supposed "problem" have thus far actually worked.



traven
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 30 Sep 2013
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,287

01 Aug 2017, 1:27 am

just a guess, not reading the yt yet,

how to have a mind without a materialised body,

how to praise the required praise without sound, or vision, or sense, in that respect

"in the beginning was the word"; that needs some investing in materialising to get that out and audible



techstepgenr8tion
SomeRandomGuy
SomeRandomGuy

User avatar

Joined: 6 Feb 2005
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Posts: 21,048
Location: The 27th Path of Peh.

01 Aug 2017, 2:07 pm

Lintar wrote:
I really do not understand why so many insist that dualism must be false because of an apparently insoluble "interaction problem" that is associated with it, because none of the arguments that have been put forward based upon this supposed "problem" have thus far actually worked.

What is the 'non-physical' if the 'physical' is defined as anything science has been able to prove so far?

That's the real issue this thread and the video are getting at, ie. terms like 'physical' vs. 'non-physical' getting rendered vacuous by pernicious use. There's a good argument to be made I think that it's not even just pernicious use, it's also that in all due likelihood these concepts are terribly outdated. That has nothing to do with any notion that we're at the end of science or if science hasn't figured it out yet then it doesn't exist.


_________________
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privelege of owning yourself" - Rudyard Kipling


Lintar
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Nov 2012
Age: 51
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,778
Location: Victoria, Australia

02 Aug 2017, 10:29 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
Lintar wrote:
I really do not understand why so many insist that dualism must be false because of an apparently insoluble "interaction problem" that is associated with it, because none of the arguments that have been put forward based upon this supposed "problem" have thus far actually worked.

What is the 'non-physical' if the 'physical' is defined as anything science has been able to prove so far?

That's the real issue this thread and the video are getting at, ie. terms like 'physical' vs. 'non-physical' getting rendered vacuous by pernicious use. There's a good argument to be made I think that it's not even just pernicious use, it's also that in all due likelihood these concepts are terribly outdated. That has nothing to do with any notion that we're at the end of science or if science hasn't figured it out yet then it doesn't exist.


No, that's not "the real issue", because the non-physical isn't defined this way at all. It isn't simply a case of calling the non-physical "that which science hasn't explained yet", because the methodology of science is based upon an examination of that which is capable of being measured, weighed, categorised and otherwise defined as being explicable via the philosophical position (or as D.B. Hart called it, "prejudice") of materialism.

Certain concepts (ex. justice, truth, beauty) are non-physical in that respect, but they are just as real as atoms and molecules. Qualia, which is an experience that one has due to the input of certain sensory signals (not the input itself, which is indeed explicable via recourse to the assumptions underlying materialism), cannot be accounted for by simply saying, "oh, it's just chemistry and electricity" because one can easily imagine a scenario where all the relevant signals are being sent and received but no experience is had. There is clearly a correlation between the two, but correlation does not equal causation, and even if it did, the very nature of the two phenomena are clearly different.



Lintar
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Nov 2012
Age: 51
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,778
Location: Victoria, Australia

02 Aug 2017, 10:34 pm

traven wrote:
just a guess, not reading the yt yet,

how to have a mind without a materialised body,

how to praise the required praise without sound, or vision, or sense, in that respect

"in the beginning was the word"; that needs some investing in materialising to get that out and audible


Traven, I don't know what you mean. Care to explain?

Minds can change, as do material bodies, but there is one underlying... something that does not change over the course of a person's lifetime, and that is the sense of who they really are. A person will say they "have a body", not that they ARE their body, because everyone clearly acknowledges, even if only subconsciously, that when they speak of who they are they are referring to that special something (the "I", soul... ?) that is with them, or is them, from day one to the very end.



techstepgenr8tion
SomeRandomGuy
SomeRandomGuy

User avatar

Joined: 6 Feb 2005
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Posts: 21,048
Location: The 27th Path of Peh.

02 Aug 2017, 11:24 pm

Lintar wrote:
traven wrote:
just a guess, not reading the yt yet,

how to have a mind without a materialised body,

how to praise the required praise without sound, or vision, or sense, in that respect

"in the beginning was the word"; that needs some investing in materialising to get that out and audible


Traven, I don't know what you mean. Care to explain?

I have trouble reading a lot of her posts as well. My best guess from a few context clues - she was saying something hippy-dippy or mystical to be 'nice' because I was criticizing naive physicalism (or reductive materialism as you'd think of it).


_________________
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privelege of owning yourself" - Rudyard Kipling


techstepgenr8tion
SomeRandomGuy
SomeRandomGuy

User avatar

Joined: 6 Feb 2005
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Posts: 21,048
Location: The 27th Path of Peh.

03 Aug 2017, 12:47 am

Lintar wrote:
It isn't simply a case of calling the non-physical "that which science hasn't explained yet", because the methodology of science is based upon an examination of that which is capable of being measured, weighed, categorised and otherwise defined as being explicable via the philosophical position (or as D.B. Hart called it, "prejudice") of materialism.

I have to ask about what's pre-loaded in here. Are you suggesting that we'll never have the technology to map the subjective directly or making a further claim that there's a secondary thing going on that's permanently beyond our measurement, like a human soul? What you said above could mean either or.

I suppose to try and speak to both - I don't see why we wouldn't be able to see into the subjective. If we don't see the exact goings-on as they really are we could see the correlates which, as tightly interwoven as mind and matter seem to be, it'll most likely be close enough to be a useful representation. As far as a 'soul', I'd at least partially consider that a terminology barrier (we might completely disagree on that) but - for purposes of our examination, if it's something truly extradimensional moving things with no semblance to forces we can ever measure - that's an observable effect and, in our current parlance, we could by extension call that a force or field of some type. We've been accustomed to calling forces or fields 'physical' so this would, as Chomsky said, fall under that new umbrella once we had clarified for certain that it was a real effect unexplained by any means other than a real unobserved force.

I tend toward a radical functionalist view of consciousness for example because I do think there are enough human experiences on the record to demonstrate that consciousness can leave the body, meld with surroundings, project into other objects, and even store that information either in real-time or shortly after. Whatever's going on with the brain and consciousness is complex enough and tricky enough that people have a way of gating out evidence that they don't like one way or another, largely because the persuasive evidence of psy and the like makes keeping the map straight or approachable exponentially harder than dogmatically arguing that dead matter is all there is and, this is where materialism really falls down badly in my mind, the implication seems to be - in a universe where all non-living matter without neurons is unconscious - neurons are magical components that can make a non-existing thing exist. Saying that last part might set off a bit of a firestorm in the way of criticism but sometimes you have to use reducto ad absurdeum to get a point across, ie. that we take the meaningfulness of the phrase 'Oh, it's just neurons' almost like an article of religious faith because we have no idea whatsoever what that phrase even means.

Lintar wrote:
Certain concepts (ex. justice, truth, beauty) are non-physical in that respect, but they are just as real as atoms and molecules.

They're abstract ideas and concepts. As of right now it's unfortunately way more difficult than it should be to explain how ideas could happen in a world where all that exists is supposedly 'dead matter'. Ideas of course run on the engine of consciousness. Justice seems to imply the integrity of cause and effect (most often socially) and its asking the question of whether as unbiased as nature, which in a lot of ways that's a very difficult act to follow because we're so badly riddled with self-serving and tribe-serving preferences that it's a constant uphill battle not to collapse into nepotism, in-group preference, and smash the whole project to suit our feelings. Truth is our sense that certain events can be stated to have occurred, certain ideas were had, certain objects or things exist or were in certain places at certain times. It's an assertion that our universe is coherent. Beauty is the toughest one here but it seems to be consciousness focusing on certain grand patterns, types of harmony, etc.. and - still stuck speaking abstractly - harmony is a type of high-functioning but fungible and liquid order. That's at least one part of what beauty is, it's too big a concept to just encompass though.

I do think we can make clear claims about what these ideas are but we're having a lot of trouble with the notion that we have to translate them into dead matter doing something without consciousness, even though they're abstractions created by consciousness.

Lintar wrote:
Qualia, which is an experience that one has due to the input of certain sensory signals (not the input itself, which is indeed explicable via recourse to the assumptions underlying materialism), cannot be accounted for by simply saying, "oh, it's just chemistry and electricity" because one can easily imagine a scenario where all the relevant signals are being sent and received but no experience is had.

The concept that we know what a thing is because we know how it works is incoherent, at least when we get to any last step like saying we know what quarks or leptons are when they're only made up of themselves or saying that we understand consciousness because we're out of analogies but have a great idea of how the brain sends and processes information.

Lintar wrote:
There is clearly a correlation between the two, but correlation does not equal causation, and even if it did, the very nature of the two phenomena are clearly different.


This might be where I can get back to my original point.

The guy who made the video commented that Decarte's contact mechanics were broken by Newton. Newton explained that the planets were held in their order by 'non-physical' powers in that there was nothing physical holding their tracks of orbit. Similarly the pull of the moon on water was not anything like a physical string descending from the moon to scoop up water. We call these forces gravity and we're trying to understand them but it's been very difficult - precisely because of how fundamental gravity is to our conceptions of nature.

With what you were saying about ideas and qualia, to me this goes back to the likelihood that consciousness is somehow fundamental. I say that because we have no clue how to break it down into bits of matter that explain why anything should be conscious at all. The best thing we can say is that we know we can extinguish it with anaesthetics. One thing I might have to debate though - split brain operations and multiple personality disorder would give evidence that it can be split into relatively independent modules (ie. as a phenomena we don't know how to reduce it, but it and of itself can be parceled and divided relative to itself). While an apple is a very complex, beautiful, and tasty object we can explain it in terms of dna, hydrocarbons, the chemicals that interact with our olfactory and tastebuds, etc.. Admittedly our language for further describing the livingness of an apple is particularly poor because our biology is in rather primitive stages with that but suffice to say that I don't think we'll find livingness to be, either, something that simply doesn't exist, then exists, and then doesn't. We're trying to explain things in that case with pieces and parts that can't be explained by their pieces and parts. When you run into that kind of dilemma you're probably in a zone where it can be said that you're looking at a fundamental or blunt force in nature.

Getting back to the physical vs. nonphysical - I think the video stated, perfectly clearly, that we've abstracted the term 'physical' so badly by this point that it doesn't necessarily mean 'physical' at all. That's why I think what Noam Chomsky was recorded saying to a questioner was a great way to put it - ie. that we don't know how to talk about the 'non-physical' interacting with the 'physical' when we don't know what it means. To make one concept incoherent is to make it's opposite incoherent as well.


_________________
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privelege of owning yourself" - Rudyard Kipling


Last edited by techstepgenr8tion on 03 Aug 2017, 12:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

traven
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 30 Sep 2013
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,287

03 Aug 2017, 12:54 am

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
Lintar wrote:
traven wrote:
just a guess, not reading the yt yet,

how to have a mind without a materialised body,

how to praise the required praise without sound, or vision, or sense, in that respect

"in the beginning was the word"; that needs some investing in materialising to get that out and audible


Traven, I don't know what you mean. Care to explain?

I have trouble reading a lot of her posts as well. My best guess from a few context clues - she was saying something hippy-dippy or mystical to be 'nice' because I was criticizing naive physicalism (or reductive materialism as you'd think of it).

^^quite good explaination
i dont see now why i took that biblically linked reference, i suppose for the example to show the need for the un-material to manifest through the materialized

i don't know eg, 'naive physicalism' then check that and find, bad example, its even more muddy, lets see another language, uhm, it's coming from some religious defiance to what-i don't-see-as-a-thing and super nonrelevant in the big picture,
semantic chitchat or semi-postmodern/-postreligious cryptoreligious sophistry (back to Philosophy of mind)
i mean how you have difficulties with evolution & god, that's some new-religious holdup on thought, or not see universes as moving energies

or my basic opposition to the early christian chiefdom for returning philosophy and early christianity in // a prologation of the roman empire // a bastion of evil and distortion // a sjw-cult of the littelest understanding: sophistry & terminology // an inbuild system of guilt, as incorporated (sic) in the existance of the body

#sorry# :mrgreen:



techstepgenr8tion
SomeRandomGuy
SomeRandomGuy

User avatar

Joined: 6 Feb 2005
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Posts: 21,048
Location: The 27th Path of Peh.

03 Aug 2017, 12:58 am

traven wrote:
i don't know eg, 'naive physicalism' then check that and find, bad example, its even more muddy, lets see another language, uhm, it's coming from some religious defiance to what-i don't-see-as-a-thing and super nonrelevant in the big picture,
semantic chitchat or semi-postmodern/-postreligious cryptoreligious sophistry (back to Philosophy of mind)
i mean how you have difficulties with evolution & god, that's some new-religious holdup on thought, or not see universes as moving energies

I believe in a basket of things that doesn't check out with you, like believing in evolution but not reductive materialism. Fair enough.


_________________
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privelege of owning yourself" - Rudyard Kipling


techstepgenr8tion
SomeRandomGuy
SomeRandomGuy

User avatar

Joined: 6 Feb 2005
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Posts: 21,048
Location: The 27th Path of Peh.

03 Aug 2017, 10:02 am

The one thing I might add, in the spirit of crypto-religious defiance of course; plenty of people considered heliocentrism completely irrelevant to the schema of salvation through Christ. For them that was a perfectly valid stopping point and Copernicus/Galileo were peddling their equivalent of cymatics.

I fully endorse that different people have points where past they don't know, don't care, and where curiosity as to whether what they know-that-they-know-that-they-know is relatively zero. I don't even argue with that impulse anymore because I realize it's immutable in most people and that people who aren't like that, as Aristotle might have phrased it, just have a beneficial but necessary deformity in sense that they don't conform to the dominant build but do offer something that culture can take from them, usually after they're dead, and pretend they believed it all along if and when it becomes the popular thing to believe. I do admit at the same time, like anyone else has to pick their religion or other dogma of choice and set sail for life from that point forward without ever changing it again - I have the right to keep asking these questions and sharing my best guesses as I move forward.


_________________
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privelege of owning yourself" - Rudyard Kipling


Lintar
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Nov 2012
Age: 51
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,778
Location: Victoria, Australia

03 Aug 2017, 10:44 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
Lintar wrote:
It isn't simply a case of calling the non-physical "that which science hasn't explained yet", because the methodology of science is based upon an examination of that which is capable of being measured, weighed, categorised and otherwise defined as being explicable via the philosophical position (or as D.B. Hart called it, "prejudice") of materialism.

I have to ask about what's pre-loaded in here. Are you suggesting that we'll never have the technology to map the subjective directly or making a further claim that there's a secondary thing going on that's permanently beyond our measurement, like a human soul? What you said above could mean either or.


The methodology itself, in order for it to work in the manner it does, is conditional upon the acceptance of certain naturalistic philosophical axioms (ex. that every event, entity, phenomenon that one can observe and experience has, at base, a naturalistic explanation for it). This need not necessarily be true, if only because we simply don't know enough about our own physical reality to be able to confidently rule out the possibility of there being more to reality as a whole than just what we ourselves can observe.

It's like the old saying. "If all you have is a hammer, then everything will appear to be a nail". Rephrased: If all you have is the scientific method, then everything will appear to be entirely explicable within the naturalistic paradigm.



Lintar
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Nov 2012
Age: 51
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,778
Location: Victoria, Australia

03 Aug 2017, 10:49 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
I tend toward a radical functionalist view of consciousness for example because I do think there are enough human experiences on the record to demonstrate that consciousness can leave the body, meld with surroundings, project into other objects, and even store that information either in real-time or shortly after. Whatever's going on with the brain and consciousness is complex enough and tricky enough that people have a way of gating out evidence that they don't like one way or another, largely because the persuasive evidence of psy and the like makes keeping the map straight or approachable exponentially harder than dogmatically arguing that dead matter is all there is and, this is where materialism really falls down badly in my mind, the implication seems to be - in a universe where all non-living matter without neurons is unconscious - neurons are magical components that can make a non-existing thing exist. Saying that last part might set off a bit of a firestorm in the way of criticism but sometimes you have to use reducto ad absurdeum to get a point across, ie. that we take the meaningfulness of the phrase 'Oh, it's just neurons' almost like an article of religious faith because we have no idea whatsoever what that phrase even means.


Yes, I agree with this. Whether or not we are ultimately correct is something else, but it makes sense to provisionally accept this until we can be more certain.



Lintar
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Nov 2012
Age: 51
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,778
Location: Victoria, Australia

03 Aug 2017, 10:59 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
As of right now it's unfortunately way more difficult than it should be to explain how ideas could happen in a world where all that exists is supposedly 'dead matter'.


Yes. This is one of those problems that, in my view, effectively finishes off the philosophy of naturalism.

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
Ideas of course run on the engine of consciousness.


Which is another example of something that should not be found if all there is is "dead matter" (and fields, space, time and all else associated with what is traditionally thought of as being "all there is"). Clearly there is more to life, to reality than just the material realm.

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
Truth is our sense that certain events can be stated to have occurred, certain ideas were had, certain objects or things exist or were in certain places at certain times. It's an assertion that our universe is coherent.


The very fact that the universe is at all comprehensible is a mystery that, in and of itself, needs to be addressed. Things could quite easily have turned out very differently, but (strangely enough, and thankfully for us) they did not. Recourse to "alternative realities" to account for this fortuitous set of circumstances will not do, if only because a) there is not a shred of evidence to support that particular hypothesis, and b) all it really does is push the whole problem up to an entirely new level (i.e. one has to then explain the "multiverse").



techstepgenr8tion
SomeRandomGuy
SomeRandomGuy

User avatar

Joined: 6 Feb 2005
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Posts: 21,048
Location: The 27th Path of Peh.

03 Aug 2017, 11:53 pm

Lintar wrote:
It's like the old saying. "If all you have is a hammer, then everything will appear to be a nail". Rephrased: If all you have is the scientific method, then everything will appear to be entirely explicable within the naturalistic paradigm.

I think 'natural' also here suffers the same problems as 'physical', ie. the way we use it seems to leave only the bucket of mystery and 'nonexistant things' at the other side.

I guess the reason why I keep harping on pro vs. non dualities like these is that they can be adequate for descriptive and categorical purposes up to a point - that is until we get confused enough as to take them so seriously that we're fully for one and anti the other or believe that one or the other is the only thing that's 'real'. At that point we start over-stacking what were really somewhat sloppy rather than authoritative categories to begin with and that sloppiness really starts hanging out.

That and as far as the real goes, we might have a fairly good self-referencing scaffold in the physical world but it's a scaffolding that rotates and flips freely in space - ie. we have no ultimate context to connect it to at the moment. I think Dean Radin and people like him have heard enough people suggest that if psychism is real (as the Ganzfeld and Global Consciousness Project types of experiments would suggest) that everything we know is wrong and that we need to throw it all out; that claim makes no sense and people researching these matters have said clearly and often, nothing in the causal relationships that we've observed fundamentally changes such as what type of structural steel you need to build a bridge that can withstand commercial traffic, what weight and wing-design ratios are needed to make adequate commuter planes, or the patterns and shapes of transistors that best fit on a computer chip.

What an understanding of the more abstract or airy aspects of consciousness could give us, quite plausibly, is a better understanding of how something like consciousness in its broader scale might interact with certain kinds of self-similar patterns that fuel the networks of organic life. With respect to chaos we might be able to see a bit further behind the fractal patterns of nature if we understand how nature leverages them better. While I do think the physical sciences can make some observations about that it would really help us if we can figure out the orientation of consciousness to chaos and order in dynamic systems.

I also think a lot of our confusions about self-organizing systems would be resolved quite eloquently if we gave up our fears of multiple realizability and really asked the question - is multiple realizability possible and if so are there scientific experiments that we can run to see if it's true? I already have a strong hunch on that - ie. that the Global Consciousness Project is showing us that there is a low-intensity 'China brain' to be observed.


_________________
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privelege of owning yourself" - Rudyard Kipling


Last edited by techstepgenr8tion on 04 Aug 2017, 12:09 am, edited 1 time in total.