The Cartesian Theatre - What Is It?

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

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Greylorn Ell
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Re: The Cartesian Theatre - What Is It?

Post by Greylorn Ell » Thu Nov 26, 2015 4:58 am

Obvious Leo wrote:Clueless. I would highly recommend the work of Antonio Damasio when it comes to a scholarly analysis of consciousness. His primary field is in neuroscience but he is very well schooled in many of the related disciplines and I also regard him highly as a philosopher. I'm not sure how many books he's written but I have three of them and I'm fairly sure there are a few others. The three I have are all very insightful.

"Descartes Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain"

"Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow and the Feeling Brain"

"Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain"

The last of these works I found particularly helpful for my own work, which is in the field of non-linear dynamic systems theory.

Ignore Greylorn. He sometimes has something useful to say but he's a relentless mystic with the manners of a pig.
And in return, I could say, Ignore Obvious Leo because he is a relentless purveyor of commonly held scientist beliefs, with the imagination of a pig. Except that pigs are relatively intelligent, according to those who think that studying critters will lead us to an understanding of ourselves.

Thank you for acknowledging that I might offer some useful comments. Why not get a pair of balls and discuss those with me?

Indeed, I'm not conventionally mannered, but I can perform well enough in public to confuse observers. Forums like this are more interesting because I do not need to perform. I can simply offer my ideas and see if anyone finds them interesting.

It's like going fishing, except that when fishing, you only get to catch an animal stupid enough to be caught. Here, I'm fishing for intelligence. It's a hard find.

Pretend for a moment that you are objective. What difference does it make to you, a pretentious asshole, if a useful idea comes from another pretentious asshole? A useful idea must stand on its own, or fall. The assholes are not relevant to their ideas.

In whatever spare time you might have from episodes of verbal diarrhea, kindly explain to me why you think that you, someone who believes in Big Bang theory (the universe came from nothing) and Darwinism (nevermind the ridiculous odds and the total absence of an abiogenesis explanation), ideas which cannot define their beginnings, gets arrogant enough to label someone who insists that all aspects of the universe can only be explained from experimentally and empirically observed phenomena is a "mystic?" Let me guess. Could it be because you are incapable of understanding anything I've written because you filter it through your programmed beliefs? Or could it be because you are fundamentally a well-programmed brain, programmed with filters, within which whatever passes in you for mind serves only to propagate the teachings with which it has been programmed? Or could it be because at the most fundamental level of mind, you don't have one?

Obvious Leo
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Re: The Cartesian Theatre - What Is It?

Post by Obvious Leo » Thu Nov 26, 2015 5:51 am

I'll assume you're addressing me, Greylorn, although you were less than precise. You may think of me what you will because I am immune to insult from the likes of you but you must not misrepresent my words. I support Big Bang Theory but I have made it abundantly clear that I do not regard the Big Bang as the beginning of the universe. I also support evolutionary theory but have always stressed that both Darwinism and neo-Darwinism are inadequate models to describe self-determining systems. However I have no interest in debating either of these propositions with you because you're a fucking fruitloop. I am merely setting the record straight.

clueless
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Re: The Cartesian Theatre - What Is It?

Post by clueless » Thu Nov 26, 2015 6:43 pm

Greylorn

Thanks for your advice and assessment.

My comment concerning your unprofessorial behavior was in reference to your derogatory remarks, and nothing more. I assumed you were/are a professor based on the quality of your writing.

Behavioral psychology studies behavior, not psyche. The curriculum includes courses in sensation and perception, neuropsychology, and, yes, even philosophy.

What are you so angry?

Greylorn Ell
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Location: SE Arizona

Re: The Cartesian Theatre - What Is It?

Post by Greylorn Ell » Fri Nov 27, 2015 2:38 am

Obvious Leo wrote:I'll assume you're addressing me, Greylorn, although you were less than precise. You may think of me what you will because I am immune to insult from the likes of you but you must not misrepresent my words. I support Big Bang Theory but I have made it abundantly clear that I do not regard the Big Bang as the beginning of the universe. I also support evolutionary theory but have always stressed that both Darwinism and neo-Darwinism are inadequate models to describe self-determining systems. However I have no interest in debating either of these propositions with you because you're a fucking fruitloop. I am merely setting the record straight.
O. Leo;

I'm wondering what you fancy as non-precise about a comment to you that is prefaced by your quote. What must I do to make it precise? Perhaps, I could precede my comments with, O. Glorious and Brilliant Leo? But I won't. You were just smart enough to figure out that I'd replied to you, and you alone, but then went into some bullshit pretentious mode. I've only seen that happen in one type of person, so thank you for the clue.

You'll be delighted to know that after a year or so of fruitless communications, I've finally figured you out. It should have been obvious from the get-go, but I'm a slow thinker.

You always take some kind of pseudo-intellectual high ground when criticized. You never explain your fundamental positions, yet expect others to know what they are. You bitch, whine, and criticize freely, but never gather up the balls to engage an argument.

O. Leo, you're a woman!


Greylorn, a.k.a. Sherlock

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PauloL
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Re: The Cartesian Theatre - What Is It?

Post by PauloL » Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:06 pm

Graeme M wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2015 3:52 am
This comes late, but I think it's current enough to deserve commenting.

Cartesian theatre is something coined by Dennett to deride Descartes work. Descartes never told about such a fantasy only Dennett could fabricate.

Dennett oversimplifies things and can't explain how consciousness accedes some images and not others. Saying that a probe occurs is meaningless (*).

To illustrate your question, you have people who become blind after suffering a bilateral occipital stroke. Their eyes and optical nerves are intact, but once they lost visual cortex they can no longer see. However they have residual, although unconscious, vision, so-called blindsight. This allows them to avoid objects while walking even if don't see anything and don't even know why they walked around an obstacle. Blindsight is probably mediated by fibers that bypass visual cortex and travel from the optic nerve to the colliculi on brainstem. It's unconscious because it fails to connect to the self and no one can tell if this vision is coloured, gray scale, or just black and white (or anything else).

It's quite intriguing indeed how visual cortex communicates with neural self so that we are conscious of what is reflected in retina, a capability missed by colliculi. Descartes raised the question how the physical world communicates with the cogito and put his head on the chopping block for the amigdala (something so dear to physicalists who would readily strike the axe). The question, however, remains unanswered and Neuroscience couldn't help by replacing the cogito with the neural self, something quite modern indeed, but as undefined materially as the cogito itself. Adding a probe here is pure nonsense.

(*) Dennett is perhaps making an analogy with something in your sight that you don't pay attention until some moment, and then concentrate on that. This is quite a childish analogy as your neural self accedes the sight at all times, before and after you pay attention to a particular thing and so no "probe" can explain why the neural self accedes the sight at any time in the first instance.

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