The Private Lives Of Rocks

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Philosophy Now
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The Private Lives Of Rocks

Post by Philosophy Now » Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:37 pm

Jon David thinks about the view that everything has awareness.

https://philosophynow.org/issues/117/Th ... s_Of_Rocks

tbieter
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Re: The Private Lives Of Rocks

Post by tbieter » Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:46 pm

Philosophy Now wrote:Jon David thinks about the view that everything has awareness.

https://philosophynow.org/issues/117/Th ... s_Of_Rocks
Here are the concluding paragraphs of this excellent article:

The Point of Panpsychism

Speculation on the private lives of geological formations might seem a sterile intellectual game, but it has profound implications. The mechanistic worldview inherited from the Enlightenment distorts our self-image. As minds in an otherwise mindless cosmos, we cannot make ourselves at home. It also means we’re liable to see everything around us – minerals, plants, animals, even people – as just raw material to be exploited. There’s a direct link between metaphysical materialism (the idea that matter is all that exists), economic materialism (the assumption that material possessions are all that matters), and full-blown ecological crisis. But economic materialism isn’t inevitable. Panpsychism can help open our eyes to the reality of pressing environmental concerns. “When the world is understood in panpsychist terms,” says Freya Mathews, “the whole spectrum of Western thought undergoes a profound shift, a shift away from the direction in which it has been drifting since the time of the scientific revolution.”

So, panpsychism offers a way to understand how mind and body interact. It puts us in touch with rich spiritual traditions. It points the way to a healthier environmental ethic. All so long as we’re prepared to rub shoulders with sentient stones. For some, this price is too high. But for others it isn’t much more extravagant than supposing that the offal in our skulls is sentient. Conscious rocks might be better than the hard place of a materialistic universe.

© Jon David 2016
At this moment in history, is not consciousness basically a mystery? I think so.

Impenitent
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Re: The Private Lives Of Rocks

Post by Impenitent » Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:29 pm

sentient stones... Mick is smiling

-Imp

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A_Seagull
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Re: The Private Lives Of Rocks

Post by A_Seagull » Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:55 pm

Sounds quite ridiculous to me. Everyone is entitled to an opinion.. especially in a mental health facility.. but they are not entitled to have it taken seriously.

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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk » Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:24 pm

"For some, this price is too high."

Damned straight.

Pretending rocks think is as insane as pretending fire is cold.

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Re:

Post by thedoc » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:10 pm

henry quirk wrote:"For some, this price is too high."

Damned straight.

Pretending rocks think is as insane as pretending fire is cold.
Perhaps his fire is cold.

Owly
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Re: The Private Lives Of Rocks

Post by Owly » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:44 pm

This isn't that extreme, it's only a watered-down version of idealism, the belief that there is nothing but universal mind and its creations/thoughts. Panpsychism only seems to be saying that everything has a mental element, even if only embryonically, not that everything IS mind. It isn't saying that rocks think, as such. If I had to plump for one I'd go for straightforward idealism, it's much neater, or some kind of neutral non-duality.

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Re: The Private Lives Of Rocks

Post by uwot » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:00 pm

If Jon David is right, it is entirely possible that he has rocks in his head.

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: The Private Lives Of Rocks

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:38 pm

So how do we know that ANYTHING is conscious?
Let's accept for the moment that when you say to yourself I am conscious you know what you mean. Consciousness is the ground of experience, and self reflection.
Though we cannot know for sure if our close family is conscious also, we observe in them things that give us evidence that they too share a similar experience to ourselves, and that their physical presence is much like our own.
In truth we have NO OTHER way to be sure of anything except through this basic empiricism.
We fell through our skin. When we cut our finger it hurts, if we damage the nerves the finger can be numb permanently, and can feel nothing with that finger.
We look around at the animated lives around us from house flies to apes and other humans and (with some exceptions (Trump)), we conclude that they too are conscious. Trees not so much. And all the world is full of conscious animals who by the same accident loose the outwards signs of consciousness when deprived of certain and very specialised mechanisms of perception.

In the most banal and obvious way consciousness is not present without their being nerves, a brain, and the organs of perception.

Now let us observe a rock. no organs of perception, no autonomous movement.
There is nothing here of merit.

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: The Private Lives Of Rocks

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:38 pm

Owly wrote:This isn't that extreme, it's only a watered-down version of idealism, the belief that there is nothing but universal mind and its creations/thoughts. Panpsychism only seems to be saying that everything has a mental element, even if only embryonically, not that everything IS mind. It isn't saying that rocks think, as such. If I had to plump for one I'd go for straightforward idealism, it's much neater, or some kind of neutral non-duality.
This is nothing like idealism.

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Re: The Private Lives Of Rocks

Post by Owly » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:51 pm

One is saying everything has mind, the other is saying everything is mind.

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Re: The Private Lives Of Rocks

Post by Angelo Cannata » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:36 pm

The article is clear: nothing objective, nothing scientific allows us to think that our consciousness is something special. From a material point of view, our consciousness is nothing else than neurons interacting between themselves. But neurons are nothing else than atoms, matter, physical energy, physical entities. So, the only difference between our consciousness and rocks is a different kind of organization in their atoms, different organization in matter, that gives different effects, different results. But any difference is only a matter of grade, I mean, more and less, and difference in, as I said, organization. So, rock’s consciousness is a differently organized consciousness. The amount of this difference is so big, that we have great difficulty to consider it consciousness. But it is only our mental difficulty every time we are faced to things that differ very much one from another. We have difficulty, for example, to accept that rocks and air have the same nature, because they look so different. But we accept science telling us that they are the same matter, they are atoms, both rocks and air.
Our difficulty is much increased when we consider consciousness because it involves the experience that everybody of us has about himself: the experience of the self, the experience of perceiving myself as "I". Everybody of us has a perception of being "I" and this perception is so unique that it makes impossible to us to admit that this experience can belong even to rocks, although in a different grade and different organization.
This difficulty is furthermore increased by the fact that the language we use to communicate with others and with ourselves is able to express exclusively things that are commonly shared by multiple entities. But our perception of being "I" is absolutely unique, it is not shared at all. My being "I" is not the same of your being "I", because I feel myself as "I"; I can imagine that you feel yourself in a similar way, but this kind of imagination can be nothing more than an effort of imagination; it cannot ultimately be expressed.
In this perspective, our difficulty to admit that rocks can have consciousness is connected to our difficulty to admit that other people feel something perceived as "I" in a way that is comparable to ours.
Our condition is that it is impossible even to ourselves to describe to ourselves our perception of being "I". I cannot describe to myself my perception of feeling "I"; I perceive it, but I cannot describe it to my intellect.
This means that we can have relations with our perception of being "I" only by using languages that are different from rational languages; we must turn to languages that, rather than proceeding by reasoning, must proceed by narrating emotions. This makes these kind of languages difficult to be controlled, but we can try to cultivate some dialogue between these languages and rational criticism.
This makes the connection between the idea of consciousness of rocks and the idea of respect for nature, for environment. We can have respect only if we see connection. The way for this connection is the one I suggested: an effort to build, to continuously work on a dialogue between rational language, that can be called criticism, and emotional, narrative language. I think we cannot escape this kind of effort if we want to connect our "I" with nature, and even with other people, so that we can build a world of respect.

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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:04 pm

The day a stone objects to my skippin' it across a pond is the day I'll take the notion of rock consciousness seriously.

Done skipped many a stone...to date, not a one has said boo about my using it that way.

As for all this 'respect nature' hooey: caretake it, use it wisely, and save respect for folks (two-legged) who earn it.

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Re: The Private Lives Of Rocks

Post by john21wall » Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:31 am

I also wrote about this (my take on theory of mind through looking at the problem of other minds):

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Re: The Private Lives Of Rocks

Post by A_Seagull » Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:34 am

Angelo Cannata wrote:The article is clear: nothing objective, nothing scientific allows us to think that our consciousness is something special. From a material point of view, our consciousness is nothing else than neurons interacting between themselves. But neurons are nothing else than atoms, matter, physical energy, physical entities. So, the only difference between our consciousness and rocks is a different kind of organization in their atoms, different organization in matter, that gives different effects, different results. But any difference is only a matter of grade, I mean, more and less, and difference in, as I said, organization. So, rock’s consciousness is a differently organized consciousness. The amount of this difference is so big, that we have great difficulty to consider it consciousness. But it is only our mental difficulty every time we are faced to things that differ very much one from another. We have difficulty, for example, to accept that rocks and air have the same nature, because they look so different. But we accept science telling us that they are the same matter, they are atoms, both rocks and air.
Our difficulty is much increased when we consider consciousness because it involves the experience that everybody of us has about himself: the experience of the self, the experience of perceiving myself as "I". Everybody of us has a perception of being "I" and this perception is so unique that it makes impossible to us to admit that this experience can belong even to rocks, although in a different grade and different organization.
This difficulty is furthermore increased by the fact that the language we use to communicate with others and with ourselves is able to express exclusively things that are commonly shared by multiple entities. But our perception of being "I" is absolutely unique, it is not shared at all. My being "I" is not the same of your being "I", because I feel myself as "I"; I can imagine that you feel yourself in a similar way, but this kind of imagination can be nothing more than an effort of imagination; it cannot ultimately be expressed.
In this perspective, our difficulty to admit that rocks can have consciousness is connected to our difficulty to admit that other people feel something perceived as "I" in a way that is comparable to ours.
Our condition is that it is impossible even to ourselves to describe to ourselves our perception of being "I". I cannot describe to myself my perception of feeling "I"; I perceive it, but I cannot describe it to my intellect.
This means that we can have relations with our perception of being "I" only by using languages that are different from rational languages; we must turn to languages that, rather than proceeding by reasoning, must proceed by narrating emotions. This makes these kind of languages difficult to be controlled, but we can try to cultivate some dialogue between these languages and rational criticism.
This makes the connection between the idea of consciousness of rocks and the idea of respect for nature, for environment. We can have respect only if we see connection. The way for this connection is the one I suggested: an effort to build, to continuously work on a dialogue between rational language, that can be called criticism, and emotional, narrative language. I think we cannot escape this kind of effort if we want to connect our "I" with nature, and even with other people, so that we can build a world of respect.

So many false statements, so much purple prose. Impossible to take seriously!

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