Dualism II

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

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PauloL
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Dualism II

Post by PauloL » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:14 am

This is my first topic. There's another topic in Metaphysics on dualism by member bahman and I'd like to place one here for three main reasons: First, the original topic is extensive enough, 11 pages now; Second, I think it's more proper to be placed it in the Philosophy of Mind; Third, I'd like the discussion on dualism to start on the very first, and tougher, question, what's the mind. I hope this is not against forum rules and that members will consent. This all is why I titled it Dualim II.

Dualism is, in my opinion, a hard philosophical question, if not the hardest question of all.

Atoms are perhaps just energy and nothing we can imagine, there are 9 dimensions within the atom, something not even a Physicist can imagine what's that.

If you could see an atom, how could you imagine that it could create a solid thing?

Even less imaginable would be the creation of sentient matter from atoms.

Duality has to do with mind only, as anything else in Nature is physical only.

Mind depends on the body, but that doesn't grant that mind is a physical entity beyond any reasonable doubt.

We should start with the definition of consciousness, something never done before. How on earth could so many intelligent people fail to define what is consciousness?

Next, no neurological experiment done so far proves that the mind is a physical entity. Not even a change in personality after a partial brain ablation proves anything, because it is accepted beyond any reasonable doubt that mind needs the body to express itself, and this includes all neural networks.

Language, memory, sensory organs and anything else outside the central nervous system aren't necessary for a mind to be there.

So, perhaps the mind is something much more primitive, if not elemental, than the being it is nested on.

So this is the first challenge, define conceptually first, then perhaps neurologically, what's the mind.

Is it a complex purposeful software or something as simple as a battery that will feed both a bulb and a complex computer indifferently?

Or something else?

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Re: Dualism II

Post by Necromancer » Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:01 am

It seems we can see atoms these days:
[ img ] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... tom_QM.svg [ /img]

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... tom_QM.svg

Based on Near-Death experiences studies and Out-of-body experiences studies I go with the soul, even with this experimental set-up:

Let's take the example of the soul and let's "imagine" a way to prove it.

We have two sizeable pools for two people to voluntary drown themselves in, forcing the souls, 2, to separate from the 2 bodies.

Let's "imagine" further that the 2 souls are so friendly and gentle to one another that they are able to follow one another in the forms of 2 souls, human-sized, I guess.

Then some "diverse" interaction between these 2 souls. Then, from this "out-of-body" state the 2 souls decide to retrieve their bodies by "flying" to these 2 bodies lying there lifeless in the 2 pools and "retake up" their respective bodies.

Then, we at the outside of the situation, the friends to these 2 bodies with souls in them, these 2 people, may note they begin to wake in the pools and help them out of the pools.

Later, these 2 people go through (f)MRI scans to confirm the new mental content that also light up "reality" mark in these 2 heads/brains.

I suggest, by the above, that we "now" (by our current imagination here at the blog, Whatiswritten777, reading) have proven the existence of soul/souls, interacting and more.

Proof by inter-subjective/objective facts in 2 people and by clinical death state in these 2 people while "soul-walking". Also, the new (f)MRI scans support our findings.

Good? Source: https://whatiswritten777.blogspot.no/20 ... le-at.html.

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Re: Dualism II

Post by Dontaskme » Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:04 am

PauloL wrote:
Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:14 am

Or something else?
No one so far has been able to define what consciousness is. Simply because consciousness is a conceptual idea in the mind, as is the mind itself.

The mind is limited because it cannot experience atoms and molecules as an actuality; their presence is a thought and not an actual experience.

This has no idea what's looking or what the looking is looking at except as imagined through visual effects images and symbols.

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PauloL
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Re: Dualism II

Post by PauloL » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:34 am

Necromancer, I'm not discussing atoms, but paid due attention to your image. However, just by looking at the image, not knowing the source, I can hardly comment it. Isn't that just an illustration or diagram? Anyway, it's beyond any doubt that atoms exit, but seeing them (if it will ever be possible) says nothing about their physical nature. The hypothesis that they are mere energy is from outstanding physicists, not mine.

For NDE proof, I think Sam Parnia in Erasing Death describes a simpler and more feasible trial he conducted, but to the best of my knowledge, he couldn't as yet prove it.
Last edited by PauloL on Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Dualism II

Post by PauloL » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:07 am

Dontaskme, I quote Natika Newton:

"Phenomenal consciousness is sui generis. Nothing else is like it in any way at all, because anything other than phenomenal consciousness is unconscious, and hence not like anything"

But nothing will stop us, I hope.

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Re: Dualism II

Post by Walker » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:44 pm

Understanding the Mind
The Nature and Power of the Mind

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

“The definition of mind is that which is clarity and cognizes.

“In this definition, ‘clarity’ refers to the nature of mind, and ‘cognizes’ to the function of mind. Mind is clarity because it always lacks form and because it possesses the actual power to perceive objects. Mind cognizes because its function is to know or perceive objects. In Ornament of the Seven Sets Khadrubje says that thought, awareness, mind, and cognizer are synonyms.”

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Re: Dualism II

Post by PauloL » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:19 pm

That's interesting, but a little abstract, and doesn't help decide whether memory for instance is part of consciousness.

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Re: Dualism II

Post by Arising_uk » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:31 pm

PauloL wrote:...
Language, memory, sensory organs and anything else outside the central nervous system aren't necessary for a mind to be there. ...
Show me a 'mind' without these things?

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Re: Dualism II

Post by PauloL » Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:13 pm

.




Arising:

Sensory organs and anything outside the CNS is self-explanatory. I don't expect a blind person to have less of a mind than a person with vision, neither a person without a limb, not even without a liver (but in this case the mind is in imminent danger).

For memory, Damasio tells about David, who lost the temporal lobes after an herpetic encephalitis, and all his memories and capacity to memorize (all, except a 30-second working memory he uses for his everyday life). He's the greatest amnesia ever remembered(*), and yet he has a mind.
  • "[...] David is not a zombie. In terms of core consciousness, David is as conscious as you or I." In: The Feeling of What Happens, chapter 2.
Damasio also explains that language isn't necessary for a mind to be there.
  • "The best evidence, in this regard, comes from patients with what is known as global aphasia. [...] In terms of core consciousness, that human being is no different from you and me, despite the inability to translate thought into language and vice versa." In: Ibid., chapter 4.
My listing is not exhaustive.

Damasio postulates that afferent pathways to the brain are needed to maintain consciousness, because he advances a thesis, inaugurated by William James in the XIX century, that emotions (in the body) precede feelings (in the brain), but he offers no conclusive evidence for either and even concedes that the brain may emulate emotions, thus making the bodily component of feelings expendable at the best.

(*) É a maior amnésia de que há memória. This is a translation from my wording in Portuguese.





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Re: Dualism II

Post by Walker » Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:11 am

PauloL wrote:
Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:19 pm
That's interesting, but a little abstract, and doesn't help decide whether memory for instance is part of consciousness.
Memory is a dynamic, selective process.

Language itself is an abstraction for communication, which is a dualistic process that Buddhism embraces.

From Understanding the Mind:

“From the point of view of function, mind can be divided into primary minds and mental factors. Primary mind, mentality, and consciousness are synonyms. The definition of primary mind is a cognizer that principally apprehends the mere entity of an object. The definition of mental factor is a cognizer that principally apprehends a particular attribute of an object …”

“There are six types of primary mind: eye consciousness, ear consciousness, nose consciousness, tongue consciousness, body consciousness, and mental consciousness.”

“Each primary mind is accompanied by at least five mental factors, without which it would be unable to function. These are feeling, discrimination, intention, contact, and attention.”

“We should not think of a primary mind and its mental factors as being separate entitites, like a leader and his subjects, because each mental factor is a part of a primary mind. However, although a mental factor is a part of a primary mind, it is not a primary mind, just as a hand is a part of the body but not the body.”

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Re: Dualism II

Post by Arising_uk » Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:09 am

PauloL wrote: Arising:

Sensory organs and anything outside the CNS is self-explanatory. I don't expect a blind person to have less of a mind than a person with vision, neither a person without a limb, not even without a liver (but in this case the mind is in imminent danger).

For memory, Damasio tells about David, who lost the temporal lobes after an herpetic encephalitis, and all his memories and capacity to memorize (all, except a 30-second working memory he uses for his everyday life). He's the greatest amnesia ever remembered(*), and yet he has a mind.
  • "[...] David is not a zombie. In terms of core consciousness, David is as conscious as you or I." In: The Feeling of What Happens, chapter 2.
But he still has senses, a reduced CNS, etc. So show me a mind that can exist without such things?
Damasio also explains that language isn't necessary for a mind to be there. ...
Depends what kind of 'mind' you are talking about? We already know that other animals have minds without the kind of language we do and personally I think there a difference bewteen thoughting and thinking with thinking being what is done with language.
My listing is not exhaustive. ...
And so far none of it supports the idea that there can be a dis or non-embodied mind. Which is what I presume you are proposing?
Damasio postulates that afferent pathways to the brain are needed to maintain consciousness, because he advances a thesis, inaugurated by William James in the XIX century, that emotions (in the body) precede feelings (in the brain), but he offers no conclusive evidence for either and even concedes that the brain may emulate emotions, thus making the bodily component of feelings expendable at the best. [/size]I doubt the endocrine system is expendable if one wants to survive and think that to thought and think correctly involves the integration of feelings or emotions into thoughts and thinks.
Last edited by Arising_uk on Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Dualism II

Post by Necromancer » Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:54 am

I happen to think that the genetic "map", the memory, the feelings (in a special way), consciousness, all come from the mind, reside, originates in the mind/soul. I think that you may be able to perceive and generally sense while in soul-form! :)

Why? My usual excuses, the NDE studies and the OBE studies...! :)

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Re: Dualism II

Post by Walker » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:07 pm

PauloL wrote:
Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:19 pm
That's interesting, but a little abstract, and doesn't help decide whether memory for instance is part of consciousness.
No duality means, no mind. Mind requires an object of apprehension. No object, no mind.

Memory influences perception of object, thus memory is part of consciousness.

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Re: Dualism II

Post by PauloL » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:47 pm

Arising_uk wrote:
Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:09 am
.




Arising, on your questions:

I don't have a living example of a brain in a tank, but the most extreme examples of minimal consciousness I know are the works by Adrien M. Owen, published by Nature and perhaps better read in Scientific American (May 2014), in which he could communicate with some comatose people through sophisticated medical imagery.

I think a mind is a mind irrespective of the being. Damasio gives human examples and explains that there can be thoughts without language and vice versa, as I transcribed. According to Damasio, a mind without language is still a mind and can think.

I am searching for a definition of mind, an essential step in the formulation of an opinion on dualism, not taking any a priori position.

I'd like to better understand what you mean by "thoughting and thinking".




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Last edited by PauloL on Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Dualism II

Post by PauloL » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:48 pm

Walker wrote:
Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:07 pm
PauloL wrote:
Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:19 pm
That's interesting, but a little abstract, and doesn't help decide whether memory for instance is part of consciousness.
No duality means, no mind. Mind requires an object of apprehension. No object, no mind.

Memory influences perception of object, thus memory is part of consciousness.
.



Walker:

David does have perception of objects, yet he has no memory. He smokes and enjoys beautiful women, but he can't know what happened 1 minute ago.

You make a point that memory influences perception of objects & as such is part of consciousness . But memory loss doesn't impair object perception, even if memory no longer influences such perception. Thus, memory is a contingent part of perception, not a necessary part of it. Accordingly, the proposition "memory is part of consciousness" can't be unconditionally true, unless I'm missing something.



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