Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Is the mind the same as the body? What is consciousness? Can machines have it?

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:08 am

Dubious wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Dubious wrote:
Kinda figured that since your response to what I wrote didn't have much reference. This long post (for me) is as much my response to Greta as it was to you even if she never asked for one. Regardless these are just my arguments of how non-sequitur it is to stress consciousness beyond the living being. To do so successfully requires a whole new definition of Purpose.
I don't know why it impinges on purpose, not even purpose with a capital "p", its simply about evidence which point is ALL instances of consciousness terminating when life terminates, and that all examples of damage, modification and alterations to the brain result in changes to consciousness.
I'm not disputing your point but use your imagination for a minute and grant consciousness outlasting its host a few 'what if' hypotheticals..
How?
You might as well ask me what the implications are of a pencil writing all by itself. What would it write? Answer nothing.

Dubious
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Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Dubious » Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:49 am

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Dubious wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote: I don't know why it impinges on purpose, not even purpose with a capital "p", its simply about evidence which point is ALL instances of consciousness terminating when life terminates, and that all examples of damage, modification and alterations to the brain result in changes to consciousness.
I'm not disputing your point but use your imagination for a minute and grant consciousness outlasting its host a few 'what if' hypotheticals..
How?
You might as well ask me what the implications are of a pencil writing all by itself. What would it write? Answer nothing.
If consciousness were as simple as a pencil I'd agree with you.

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Greta
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Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Greta » Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:25 am

Dubious, I don't understand your point about purpose. I admit to not thinking of purpose in context with consciousness topics, assuming purpose (rightly or wrongly) to be a subset of entities' general tendency towards equilibrium.

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Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:30 pm

Dubious wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Dubious wrote:
I'm not disputing your point but use your imagination for a minute and grant consciousness outlasting its host a few 'what if' hypotheticals..
How?
You might as well ask me what the implications are of a pencil writing all by itself. What would it write? Answer nothing.
If consciousness were as simple as a pencil I'd agree with you.
You're missing the point.

If you pose a hypothetical, it has to be at least sensible.
So if you asked me what would it be like to be ob Pluto, then we could talk about how cold it was, the atmospheric pressure, lack of air. And then decide what sort of equipment you could take to survive.
But your question is like asking what would it be like to drink a glass of water on the surface of the sun.
Consciousness is something that hosts do. Consciousness without a host is like asking what would woodiness be like without any wood. Absurd.

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Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Dubious » Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:16 pm

Greta wrote:Dubious, I don't understand your point about purpose. I admit to not thinking of purpose in context with consciousness topics, assuming purpose (rightly or wrongly) to be a subset of entities' general tendency towards equilibrium.
Since we're still so uncertain regarding the mysteries of consciousness I don't believe there is at this time a specifically right or wrong way to think about it. For myself, I can hardly regard consciousness without applying purpose as a vector feature of it which has both magnitude and direction. This for me encapsulates purpose as an X factor fundamental to consciousness. That may sound circular but I imagine it as a process which runs counter to entropy forcing itself forward within a species whose sole purpose is to continue doing so whether it be cognizant of that or not. It does not require any teleological manifestos beyond the next step on the staircase. Where it ends, if it ends, is of no concern as long the next increment remains in sight.

Having said that, I can't imagine and think it virtually impossible for any state of consciousness to exist as pure presence or thought without there being any 'physics' to support it. What makes consciousness so mysterious is in how it may proceed and develop even when rooted in the inorganic since there is nothing that states it must be grounded in a carbon based brain.

The outstanding feature for me is that consciousness claims its own autonomy which treats its container, whatever that may be, as a launching pad.

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Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Greta » Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:26 am

Dubious wrote:
Greta wrote:Dubious, I don't understand your point about purpose. I admit to not thinking of purpose in context with consciousness topics, assuming purpose (rightly or wrongly) to be a subset of entities' general tendency towards equilibrium.
Since we're still so uncertain regarding the mysteries of consciousness I don't believe there is at this time a specifically right or wrong way to think about it. For myself, I can hardly regard consciousness without applying purpose as a vector feature of it which has both magnitude and direction. This for me encapsulates purpose as an X factor fundamental to consciousness. That may sound circular but I imagine it as a process which runs counter to entropy forcing itself forward within a species whose sole purpose is to continue doing so whether it be cognizant of that or not. It does not require any teleological manifestos beyond the next step on the staircase. Where it ends, if it ends, is of no concern as long the next increment remains in sight.

Having said that, I can't imagine and think it virtually impossible for any state of consciousness to exist as pure presence or thought without there being any 'physics' to support it. What makes consciousness so mysterious is in how it may proceed and develop even when rooted in the inorganic since there is nothing that states it must be grounded in a carbon based brain.

The outstanding feature for me is that consciousness claims its own autonomy which treats its container, whatever that may be, as a launching pad.
Thanks for the explanation - purpose as the drive to persist and grow, be it blind or knowing.

Straight physicalist models are most favoured ATM but an emerging "consciousness first" model is still possible. In a "consciousness first" hypothesis, a complex carbon-based physical framework is not required to produce a sense of being but to facilitate it, more a filter than a generator.

This possibility would also include less naturalistic Kurtzweilesque hypotheses that we are a simulation or re-creation, and also include some holographic models, eg. holographic time. Then again, if string theory is correct about extra dimensions then that raises other possibilities. Also on the table is Minkowski's and Einstein's 4D space time manifold where the arrow of time is a perspective effect rather than an immutable reality. All of these may have implications as to how we understand consciousness.

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Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Dubious » Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:14 am

Greta wrote:
This possibility would also include less naturalistic Kurtzweilesque hypotheses that we are a simulation or re-creation, and also include some holographic models, eg. holographic time. Then again, if string theory is correct about extra dimensions then that raises other possibilities. Also on the table is Minkowski's and Einstein's 4D space time manifold where the arrow of time is a perspective effect rather than an immutable reality. All of these may have implications as to how we understand consciousness.
That may be more or less true but to accomplish that consciousness must first understand much more than it knows currently of these implications before concluding anything about itself. By this perspective we and consciousness are one and the same entity. I think one definition of consciousness would be as a recursive process that keeps compounding itself which again grants it a measure of purpose.

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Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Greta » Sat Mar 18, 2017 12:22 pm

Dubious wrote:I think one definition of consciousness would be as a recursive process that keeps compounding itself which again grants it a measure of purpose.
Fractal layering resulting in increasingly sophisticated attributes leading to purpose and then intelligence?

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Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Dubious » Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:14 pm

Greta wrote:
Dubious wrote:I think one definition of consciousness would be as a recursive process that keeps compounding itself which again grants it a measure of purpose.
Fractal layering resulting in increasingly sophisticated attributes leading to purpose and then intelligence?
...done in its own way of course but as parallel operations reinforcing each other not simple sequential ones where one leads and the other follows. But this all just philosophy; it's science that will decide...eventually. Whatever is said here devolves to pure speculation which is what philosophy specializes in.

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Greta
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Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Greta » Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:12 pm

Dubious wrote:
Greta wrote:
Dubious wrote:I think one definition of consciousness would be as a recursive process that keeps compounding itself which again grants it a measure of purpose.
Fractal layering resulting in increasingly sophisticated attributes leading to purpose and then intelligence?
...done in its own way of course but as parallel operations reinforcing each other not simple sequential ones where one leads and the other follows. But this all just philosophy; it's science that will decide...eventually. Whatever is said here devolves to pure speculation which is what philosophy specializes in.
I've not known of fractal layering in nature that is "simple" once the processes are analysed.

Aren't most topics on the universe and consciousness on philosophy forums are speculative and eventually to be "solved" by science? Hawking and co have claimed philosophy to be dead with reason. However, scientists can be hamstrung by the strict limits set by their profession, which is why so many new scientific ideas and inventions are first thought of by non-scientists, eg. sci fi authors.

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Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Dubious » Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:48 pm

Greta wrote:
Dubious wrote:
Greta wrote: Fractal layering resulting in increasingly sophisticated attributes leading to purpose and then intelligence?
...done in its own way of course but as parallel operations reinforcing each other not simple sequential ones where one leads and the other follows. But this all just philosophy; it's science that will decide...eventually. Whatever is said here devolves to pure speculation which is what philosophy specializes in.
I've not known of fractal layering in nature that is "simple" once the processes are analysed.

Aren't most topics on the universe and consciousness on philosophy forums are speculative and eventually to be "solved" by science? Hawking and co have claimed philosophy to be dead with reason. However, scientists can be hamstrung by the strict limits set by their profession, which is why so many new scientific ideas and inventions are first thought of by non-scientists, eg. sci fi authors.
I don't know if fractal layering works the same in nature as it would in a computer. I suspect there is a difference based on time, complexity and other factors. "Simple" in the context of fractals is admittedly the wrong word. What I meant was that a sequential process is not as complex as one that operates in parallel and unlikely to be as effective when striving for complexity.

What you say regarding speculations of non-scientists is true but I don't believe it's true all that often yet I'd still give sci-fi writers the edge to philosophers when it comes to fertilizing the brains of scientists.

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Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Greta » Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:58 am

Dubious wrote:
Greta wrote:
Dubious wrote:
...done in its own way of course but as parallel operations reinforcing each other not simple sequential ones where one leads and the other follows. But this all just philosophy; it's science that will decide...eventually. Whatever is said here devolves to pure speculation which is what philosophy specializes in.
I've not known of fractal layering in nature that is "simple" once the processes are analysed.

Aren't most topics on the universe and consciousness on philosophy forums are speculative and eventually to be "solved" by science? Hawking and co have claimed philosophy to be dead with reason. However, scientists can be hamstrung by the strict limits set by their profession, which is why so many new scientific ideas and inventions are first thought of by non-scientists, eg. sci fi authors.
I don't know if fractal layering works the same in nature as it would in a computer. I suspect there is a difference based on time, complexity and other factors. "Simple" in the context of fractals is admittedly the wrong word. What I meant was that a sequential process is not as complex as one that operates in parallel and unlikely to be as effective when striving for complexity.

What you say regarding speculations of non-scientists is true but I don't believe it's true all that often yet I'd still give sci-fi writers the edge to philosophers when it comes to fertilizing the brains of scientists.
What I observe are many layers of metaphysical fractals, eg. layers of structure, biological predator/prey hierarchies.

I agree that sci fi authors would seem increasingly closer to most scientists' hearts than philosophers. I find that on forums, most interested in philosophy seem more focused on ethics and sociology than the natural history foundation on which all that stuff was built.

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Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Wyman » Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:19 pm

Londoner wrote:I think it would be better if we avoided saying we 'see the visualized triangle'. To visualize something is not to see it.


That is a good way to put a distinction I tried to make earlier - that visualizing/imagining is not the same as seeing. There is, among other things, a voluntary/involuntary distinction. But raw_thought will only continue to hammer away at his notion that we must be able to see something inside the brain as a reductio ad absurdum of materialism. In which case, it may also be a reductio ad absurdum of materialistic explanations of memory, understanding and any higher functions of the brain.

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Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Impenitent » Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:29 pm

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Dubious wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote: I don't know why it impinges on purpose, not even purpose with a capital "p", its simply about evidence which point is ALL instances of consciousness terminating when life terminates, and that all examples of damage, modification and alterations to the brain result in changes to consciousness.
I'm not disputing your point but use your imagination for a minute and grant consciousness outlasting its host a few 'what if' hypotheticals..
How?
You might as well ask me what the implications are of a pencil writing all by itself. What would it write? Answer nothing.
Image

-Imp

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:11 pm

Impenitent wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Dubious wrote:
I'm not disputing your point but use your imagination for a minute and grant consciousness outlasting its host a few 'what if' hypotheticals..
How?
You might as well ask me what the implications are of a pencil writing all by itself. What would it write? Answer nothing.
Image

-Imp
If you think that is some kind of answer, you are mistaken.

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