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

Post by Atla » Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:18 pm

Londoner wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:36 pm
If we see double, then the problem is that the two images cannot be reconciled. Just as our internal experiences cannot be described through a physical description, our internal experiences cannot give a coherent picture of the physical world. We can go with one and disregard the other, but we cannot combine them. Yet nor can we entirely separate them; I cannot have a purely physical experience - it is always mediated by consciousness. Similarly, consciousness appears to be constrained by the physical; I cannot simply will phenomena. Hence we have a problem.
Of course they can be reconciled. Think of it this way, what you call "internal experience" is what the "physical" looks like on the inside. Although it's really hard to convey a nondualistic view in dualistic terms.
Why can't individual internal experiences be described through a physical description? Neuroscience does that all the time.. atoms, molecules, brainwaves etc.
Londoner wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:36 pm
Some would argue it is not well understood in the East either.
Oh yeah definitely. Most of the East doesn't seem to understand it either.
Londoner wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:36 pm
For example, you say 'It is just an illusion that we are only this human'. How do you know that? To say something is an 'illusion' you must be comparing it to some 'reality'. (But not 'reality' in the sense of the physical, since you deny that side of the duality too.) So to compare what it is like to be 'this human' to 'reality' you must have stopped being 'this human' and observed yourself from outside both your own human existence and the physical world as we normally understand it.
The 'reality' is that there are no seperate things, there is no magical barrier around our brain or body or whatever. So we are not just this human, we are also everything else. It's not a comparison, it's a realization. It's not possible to observe yourself from the outside.

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

Post by bahman » Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:19 am

Alexanderk wrote:
Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:08 pm
"Suppose that there be a machine,the structure of which produces thinking,feeling and perceiving; imagine this machine enlarged but preserving the same proportions, so that you could enter it as if it were a mill. This being supposed, you might visit its inside; but what would you observe there? Nothing but parts which push and move each other , and never anything that could explain perception."
Leibniz,Monadology, sect.17

"I think (Jonathan Shear) Leibniz's point applies not only to phenomenal experience but to many of the things whose explanation poses, according to Chalmers, only "easy" problems. I (Jonathan Shear) will confine my remarks in this paper to phenomenal experience, but if I am right, they apply to a much broader range of phenomena."

"Our skulls house machines of the sort Leibniz supposes. Although we nowadays liken the brain more often to a computer than to a mill, his point remains. If we could wander about in the brain (a la the movie Fantastic Voyage), we could measure electrical impulses rushing along axons and dendrites, ride neurotransmitters across synapses, and observe all the quotidian commerce of neurobiological life. We still would have no clue why those physical events produce the experience of tasting chocolate, of hearing a minor chord, of seeing blue.David Chalmers calls the problem of explaining why physical processes give rise to conscious phenomenal experience the "hard problem of consciousness"."

-Jonathan Shear, Explaining Consciousness:The Hard Problem

I would like you to express your own opinion on this subject.
Conscious state is a physical state caused by neural ativity.

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

Post by Londoner » Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:01 am

Atla wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:18 pm

Of course they can be reconciled. Think of it this way, what you call "internal experience" is what the "physical" looks like on the inside. Although it's really hard to convey a nondualistic view in dualistic terms.
Indeed it is; haven't you just reintroduced it by saying the 'physical' has two 'sides', an 'inside' and an 'outside'?
Why can't individual internal experiences be described through a physical description? Neuroscience does that all the time.. atoms, molecules, brainwaves etc.
I have never experienced an atom or a molecule or a brainwave. When I look at the screen I 'see words', I do not 'experience photons'.

Yes, one can describe 'thinking' purely in terms of physics, but only if one ignores the subjective experience. But the subjective experience is real, in fact it is the only sort of experience I have!
The 'reality' is that there are no seperate things, there is no magical barrier around our brain or body or whatever. So we are not just this human, we are also everything else. It's not a comparison, it's a realization. It's not possible to observe yourself from the outside.
I do not understand what you mean by 'realization'. If it is a psychological experience, then I can only say that I have not had it. You are telling me about your own mental state, not presenting an argument about the nature of consciousness.

You say that 'It's not possible to observe yourself from the outside' but you also assert 'The 'reality' is that there are no separate things'. As I asked last time, if it is not possible to observe from outside yourself, how can you have observed the nature of this 'reality' you refer to? It is like saying; 'this is what reality would look like if we didn't have eyes'

There is nothing we can say about 'reality' that isn't mediated (or perhaps entirely created by) consciousness. We could therefore try to avoid dualism by saying that since the only thing we can be certain of is that 'consciousness' why not drop the idea of an independent 'reality'? But then the problem is that 'consciousness' is not all alike, for example we do not seem to be able to control certain types of consciousness that we call 'experiences'. So the dualism returns.

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

Post by Atla » Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:27 am

Londoner wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:01 am
Indeed it is; haven't you just reintroduced it by saying the 'physical' has two 'sides', an 'inside' and an 'outside'?
No, I just can't put it better. There are no sides, that's a dualistic idea.
Londoner wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:01 am
I have never experienced an atom or a molecule or a brainwave. When I look at the screen I 'see words', I do not 'experience photons'.

Yes, one can describe 'thinking' purely in terms of physics, but only if one ignores the subjective experience. But the subjective experience is real, in fact it is the only sort of experience I have!
You are doing it right now. Of course the experience of "physical" is also direct experience, it just appears completely different because it is umm viewed from outside, "shaped" through sensory organs and then a visual cortex and then it's conceptualized by another regions of the brain.

How can I put this. This isn't technically accurate but: an experience of a flash of green, and the experienc of being a bunch of molecules in a human head, is one and the same thing.
All things have this kind of consciousness, rocks too for example. The human brain just shapes experience into this very useful cinematic.
Londoner wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:01 am
I do not understand what you mean by 'realization'. If it is a psychological experience, then I can only say that I have not had it. You are telling me about your own mental state, not presenting an argument about the nature of consciousness.
It's not a psychological experience, just an abstract logical understanding. Although a sort of psychological experience can happen too. It's not necessarily useful.
Londoner wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:01 am
You say that 'It's not possible to observe yourself from the outside' but you also assert 'The 'reality' is that there are no separate things'. As I asked last time, if it is not possible to observe from outside yourself, how can you have observed the nature of this 'reality' you refer to? It is like saying; 'this is what reality would look like if we didn't have eyes'
What do you mean 'observed'? I don't understand. Do you mean a duality of observer and observed? There's no such thing.
Londoner wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:01 am
There is nothing we can say about 'reality' that isn't mediated (or perhaps entirely created by) consciousness.
Nothing is mediated or created, everything IS consciousness. Which is the same thing as the physical.
Londoner wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:01 am
We could therefore try to avoid dualism by saying that since the only thing we can be certain of is that 'consciousness' why not drop the idea of an independent 'reality'? But then the problem is that 'consciousness' is not all alike, for example we do not seem to be able to control certain types of consciousness that we call 'experiences'. So the dualism returns.
Of course things aren't all alike, but why should reality be perfectly homogeneous? Isn't that your circular reasoning based on the dualistic idea that consciousness is something homogeneous as opposed to the physical?

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

Post by Londoner » Sat Dec 23, 2017 3:00 pm

Atla wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:27 am
You are doing it right now. Of course the experience of "physical" is also direct experience, it just appears completely different because it is umm viewed from outside, "shaped" through sensory organs and then a visual cortex and then it's conceptualized by another regions of the brain.
That may be the case. If it is, then the one thing we would know for sure about the physical is that it is not like our experience. If I can only see food after it has gone through a blender, I cannot know what it was like before it went through the blender. But what I can know for sure is that it was not like the mess on my plate.
How can I put this. This isn't technically accurate but: an experience of a flash of green, and the experienc of being a bunch of molecules in a human head, is one and the same thing.
All things have this kind of consciousness, rocks too for example. The human brain just shapes experience into this very useful cinematic.
But the flash of green and the molecules are not the same thing; one sort of description excludes the other. If we describe things in terms as molecules, then experiences like colour have no place in that system.

I see quite a sharp difference between human consciousness and rocks. Most obviously, I do not think the rock is aware that it is a rock. I can try to imagine what it would be like to be a rock but I do not think the rock imagines anything.
It's not a psychological experience, just an abstract logical understanding. Although a sort of psychological experience can happen too. It's not necessarily useful.
Well, as you gather, I dispute that it is a logical understanding.
What do you mean 'observed'? I don't understand. Do you mean a duality of observer and observed? There's no such thing.
In that case you cannot make claims about the nature of 'reality'. If you describe something then you must necessarily be outside it, such that you can say 'this is a true description' or 'that is a false description'.
Nothing is mediated or created, everything IS consciousness. Which is the same thing as the physical.
If you like, but again; what is this 'reality' you write about? If everything IS consciousness, then how could anything that appears in consciousness not be 'real'? In which case, since nothing can ever be 'not-real' then to say something was 'real' - or 'physical' - is meaningless.

That is to take an Idealist position, which is fine except that we still have that problem that not all ideas are alike. Some aspects of my consciousness are forced upon me. Also, there is certainly the appearance that consciousness ceases with death, which suggests that it can be destroyed irrespective of the wishes of the person who has that consciousness.
Of course things aren't all alike, but why should reality be perfectly homogeneous? Isn't that your circular reasoning based on the dualistic idea that consciousness is something homogeneous as opposed to the physical?
If 'everything IS consciousness', yet consciousness is not homogeneous, then some bits of consciousness must be differentiated in some way from other bits. Yes, we could reserve the word 'consciousness' for 'everything', but then we are going to have to think up new words to describe the dualisms within consciousness; 'experience' / 'imagination' or whatever. Then we ask; Why isn't consciousness all the same? And the same problem re-emerges.

I do not see that my reasoning is circular. I am saying that the nature of conscious is such that neither an idealist or materialist/physical account completely describes our experience. But nor can we produce some sort of combined account, since the two are exclusive.

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

Post by Atla » Sat Dec 23, 2017 3:58 pm

Londoner wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 3:00 pm
That may be the case. If it is, then the one thing we would know for sure about the physical is that it is not like our experience. If I can only see food after it has gone through a blender, I cannot know what it was like before it went through the blender. But what I can know for sure is that it was not like the mess on my plate.
I think you missed the point, they are different because different parts of your brain/mind look different on the inside. Or do you not know that when you think about the physical, experience the physical, you still see a part of your head on the inside?
But the flash of green and the molecules are not the same thing; one sort of description excludes the other.
They are referring to the same thing. Why couldn't something have two kinds of descriptions?
If we describe things in terms as molecules, then experiences like colour have no place in that system.
That's again dualistic circular reasoning. You may have two ways of thinking but it is also possible to only have one. It takes a few years though.
I see quite a sharp difference between human consciousness and rocks. Most obviously, I do not think the rock is aware that it is a rock. I can try to imagine what it would be like to be a rock but I do not think the rock imagines anything.
Of course there is a sharp difference, but the whole topic isn't about human consciousness, it's about consciousness in general. You are in a topic about the hard problem of consciousness.
Well, as you gather, I dispute that it is a logical understanding.
Imo there is no point in even going into that debate, one can arrive at the realization that there are no separate things directly or scientifically or psychologically etc. How could you even experience anything more than one particle at a time if things were seperate.
In that case you cannot make claims about the nature of 'reality'. If you describe something then you must necessarily be outside it, such that you can say 'this is a true description' or 'that is a false description'.
That's again dualistic circular reasoning, reality has no outside. You make false assumptions and then from there you expect the impossible from me.
If you like, but again; what is this 'reality' you write about? If everything IS consciousness, then how could anything that appears in consciousness not be 'real'? In which case, since nothing can ever be 'not-real' then to say something was 'real' - or 'physical' - is meaningless.
I don't understand the question. Of course all concepts are made up, all dualities are made up. But we have to communicate somehow. So everything is "real".
That is to take an Idealist position, which is fine except that we still have that problem that not all ideas are alike.
It's not. Things don't "appear" in consciousness, that's an idealist idea.
Some aspects of my consciousness are forced upon me. Also, there is certainly the appearance that consciousness ceases with death, which suggests that it can be destroyed irrespective of the wishes of the person who has that consciousness.
Nothing is "destroyed". And consciousness itself is not yours. You are just another experience. Of course the individual experience falls apart thogh. From the outside you can see that after death, a human head stop working in the biological sense and falls apart.
If 'everything IS consciousness', yet consciousness is not homogeneous, then some bits of consciousness must be differentiated in some way from other bits. Yes, we could reserve the word 'consciousness' for 'everything', but then we are going to have to think up new words to describe the dualisms within consciousness; 'experience' / 'imagination' or whatever. Then we ask; Why isn't consciousness all the same? And the same problem re-emerges.
Again I can't make sense of this. Why SHOULD there be one thing that's homogeneous and one that's not? Homogeneous - not homogeneous is another human-made duality.
I do not see that my reasoning is circular. I am saying that the nature of conscious is such that neither an idealist or materialist/physical account completely describes our experience. But nor can we produce some sort of combined account, since the two are exclusive.
You assume two things and then discard things that don't take into account two things, that's the dualistic circular reasoning.

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

Post by Londoner » Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:31 am

Atla wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 3:58 pm

I think you missed the point, they are different because different parts of your brain/mind look different on the inside. Or do you not know that when you think about the physical, experience the physical, you still see a part of your head on the inside?
I'm afraid I do not understand what you are saying here.
Me: But the flash of green and the molecules are not the same thing; one sort of description excludes the other.

They are referring to the same thing. Why couldn't something have two kinds of descriptions?
It can. That is the problem of consciousness; we can describe consciousness in two ways, around physical objects like brains, or around subjective experiences. But the problem is that (a) neither description is complete and (b) neither is compatible with the other.
Me: If we describe things in terms as molecules, then experiences like colour have no place in that system.

That's again dualistic circular reasoning. You may have two ways of thinking but it is also possible to only have one. It takes a few years though.
I would disagree. The point about scientific descriptions is that they are purely objective. They do not deny the subjective but they do not describe it. If you believe you can combine the two you are doing bad science.
Of course there is a sharp difference, but the whole topic isn't about human consciousness, it's about consciousness in general. You are in a topic about the hard problem of consciousness.
What leads you to believe that an object like a rock is conscious? How would we tell if it was conscious or not? Unless we can know what that claim of 'consciousness' means, then the claim is meaningless.
Imo there is no point in even going into that debate, one can arrive at the realization that there are no separate things directly or scientifically or psychologically etc. How could you even experience anything more than one particle at a time if things were seperate.
I am not sure what you are getting at here.
Me: In that case you cannot make claims about the nature of 'reality'. If you describe something then you must necessarily be outside it, such that you can say 'this is a true description' or 'that is a false description'.

That's again dualistic circular reasoning, reality has no outside. You make false assumptions and then from there you expect the impossible from me.
Well, you are claiming to know something of the nature of 'reality'. I am asking how you know. You say 'one can arrive at the realization', but that sounds like some sort of religious or spiritual revelation. If that is the case, fine. But then it isn't the result of 'logical' reasoning.
I don't understand the question. Of course all concepts are made up, all dualities are made up. But we have to communicate somehow. So everything is "real".
If 'everything is "real" then the description 'real' is meaningless. The word 'real' can only have a meaning if some things are not-real.
Me: Some aspects of my consciousness are forced upon me. Also, there is certainly the appearance that consciousness ceases with death, which suggests that it can be destroyed irrespective of the wishes of the person who has that consciousness.

Nothing is "destroyed". And consciousness itself is not yours. You are just another experience. Of course the individual experience falls apart thogh. From the outside you can see that after death, a human head stop working in the biological sense and falls apart.
So, do I gather your understanding of 'consciousness' is of something that exists in its own right, separately from 'individual consciousnesses'? One type of consciousness is the property of individuals but not the other.

Again, I would like to know how you know this, but leaving that aside I note that we have yet another dualism; the 'consciousness of the individual' and 'consciousness itself'.

In this dualism 'consciousness itself' appears to be a metaphysical construct, indeed the language is somewhat mystical.
Again I can't make sense of this. Why SHOULD there be one thing that's homogeneous and one that's not? Homogeneous - not homogeneous is another human-made duality.
You have confused what I am saying. I am pointing out that even if we say there is only one thing; 'consciousness', that would not solve the problem. It would not solve the problem because then we would have to explain why consciousness was not all alike; why some experiences are forced upon me. That is the duality that needs explaining. One explanation why this might be the case is that I am sometimes interacting with a material world, outside of my consciousness. OK. We don't have to accept that explanation, but we will need some explanation. It is no good just saying the duality isn't there. If you compare the experiences of imagining you are jumping out of a high window and actually jumping out of one, you will find that, whether you want it or not, the second will be accompanied by some quite different sensations to the first.
You assume two things and then discard things that don't take into account two things, that's the dualistic circular reasoning.
I am not assuming anything; I'm simply pointing out what the problem is. I understand you believe you have an answer, but I honestly do not understand what it is. I am not sure whether it is some metaphysical construct, that needs to be grasped through a form of vision, or whether it is philosophic in the sense usually understood in the west.

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

Post by Atla » Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:51 am

Londoner wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:31 am
I'm afraid I do not understand what you are saying here.
You really don't know that whatever you experience, technically you see the inside of your head?
You think you directly see what's "out there" when you see the physical world? Of course not. You see a representation of the outside world in the inside of your head. That too is a "conscious experience", I don't know why you keep claiming that it isn't.
It can. That is the problem of consciousness; we can describe consciousness in two ways, around physical objects like brains, or around subjective experiences. But the problem is that (a) neither description is complete and (b) neither is compatible with the other.
Yes and that is the dualistic circular reasoning, see my first post.
I would disagree. The point about scientific descriptions is that they are purely objective. They do not deny the subjective but they do not describe it. If you believe you can combine the two you are doing bad science.
Then you haven't followed science lately, there is no more such a thing as "purely objective" in science anymore. They have disproven this idea of theirs like 100 years ago.
What leads you to believe that an object like a rock is conscious? How would we tell if it was conscious or not? Unless we can know what that claim of 'consciousness' means, then the claim is meaningless.
Everything is conscious in the hard problem sense. A rock is part of everything.
Well, you are claiming to know something of the nature of 'reality'. I am asking how you know. You say 'one can arrive at the realization', but that sounds like some sort of religious or spiritual revelation. If that is the case, fine. But then it isn't the result of 'logical' reasoning.
What do you mean? We observe things and when everything we see behaves in certain ways, then we say that things are probably that way, as far as we can tell.
Isn't that what everyone does, you too? Why are you on a philosophy site when you think that nothing can be said about anything? And yet at the same time you claim that the nature of reality is dualistic, a completely unsupported position?
How did religion enter the picture here?
If 'everything is "real" then the description 'real' is meaningless. The word 'real' can only have a meaning if some things are not-real.
Of course ultimately all descriptions are meaningless, that's the point. You seem to lack the basics about how human understanding and language works.
With that said though, there are actual uses for "real". For example, as far as we can tell, a pink unicorn god, creator of the universe, doesn't exist so it's not real. Or when you get the sense that there is some point of singular awareness in your head, that too is mostly a hallucination, not real the way we think it is.
So, do I gather your understanding of 'consciousness' is of something that exists in its own right, separately from 'individual consciousnesses'? One type of consciousness is the property of individuals but not the other.
Of course not, you misunderstood that too. Most people think that "consciousness" is only in the head or not even that, I merely meant that consciousness in the "hard problem sense" is everywhere and one and the same with the physical.
You have confused what I am saying. I am pointing out that even if we say there is only one thing; 'consciousness', that would not solve the problem.
That's stance number 5 in my first comment, a form of idealism. I'm a nondualist. You don't seem to have understood my stance yet, it is "outside" dualism from your perspective.
I am not assuming anything; I'm simply pointing out what the problem is. I understand you believe you have an answer, but I honestly do not understand what it is. I am not sure whether it is some metaphysical construct, that needs to be grasped through a form of vision, or whether it is philosophic in the sense usually understood in the west.
Of course I have the "answer", my stance is the natural stance. Your stance, dualism, is an exotic stance completely unsupported by any evidence. You are the one making up a major additional assumption about reality.

Anyway, let's agree to disagree.

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

Post by Atla » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:24 am

Maybe there is something I should clarify in more detail: most people think that "pure" materialism (only the physical exists, consciousness is just an illusion/hallucination) and "pure" idealism (only consciousness exists, the physical is just an illusion/hallucination) are not dualistic.

They are seen as monistic, we've been told by generations of philosophers that they are. We think that way from birth till death. It's not that the philosophers were lying, they were just mislead too, they didn't know any better.

This kind of fake monism is NOT nondualism. This kind of fake monism is still very much dualistic: first you need to "split" reality into the physical and the consciousness, to be then able to deny that one of those exists.

So the vast majority of people in the West who think that they are monists or nondualists, are actually still dualists deep down. They just don't know it. The original split is so deep deep down and ingrained in every thought process you have, that you can't see it. So these sentences I write probably look like word salad too.

Genuine nondualism denies the original split into consciousness and matter, and so sees every form of materialism and idealism as dualistic, these philosophies are the two sides of the same made-up coin.

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

Post by Londoner » Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:07 am

Atla wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:51 am
You really don't know that whatever you experience, technically you see the inside of your head?
You think you directly see what's "out there" when you see the physical world? Of course not. You see a representation of the outside world in the inside of your head. That too is a "conscious experience", I don't know why you keep claiming that it isn't.
I was confused by your use of the word 'see'.

If we say we 'see' the representations of the world inside our heads, that implies that there are the representations and then there is something else - a viewer of those representations, a something 'having the experience' of those representations. This gets us into an infinite regress. See 'The Homunculus Argument'.
Then you haven't followed science lately, there is no more such a thing as "purely objective" in science anymore. They have disproven this idea of theirs like 100 years ago.
I think you have misunderstood this, but since you do not expand on your answer I cannot tell how.
Everything is conscious in the hard problem sense. A rock is part of everything.
No, it really isn't. But again, since you do not explain why you think otherwise there isn't anything I can add.
What do you mean? We observe things and when everything we see behaves in certain ways, then we say that things are probably that way, as far as we can tell.
Yet you say above: You think you directly see what's "out there" when you see the physical world? Of course not.
How did religion enter the picture here?
Because you have referred several times to 'the realization' and because your theory seems to be metaphysical in that says that everything, including rocks, have consciousness, but also that there is a something; 'consciousness', that exists independently of any subject.
Of course ultimately all descriptions are meaningless, that's the point. You seem to lack the basics about how human understanding and language works.
With that said though, there are actual uses for "real". For example, as far as we can tell, a pink unicorn god, creator of the universe, doesn't exist so it's not real. Or when you get the sense that there is some point of singular awareness in your head, that too is mostly a hallucination, not real the way we think it is.
But you said ''everything is "real'. Now you want to exclude the pink unicorn god!
That's stance number 5 in my first comment, a form of idealism. I'm a nondualist. You don't seem to have understood my stance yet, it is "outside" dualism from your perspective.
I understand your stance, but not your argument.
Genuine nondualism denies the original split into consciousness and matter, and so sees every form of materialism and idealism as dualistic, these philosophies are the two sides of the same made-up coin.
That is not an argument. It does not explain why our consciousness is not all of the same type, why some of our experiences are imposed upon us, whether we like them or not.

You seem to want to get round the problem by simply declaring that both the material and mental are part of some larger category; 'consciousness' or 'reality' or whatever, one that covers 'everything'. We can do that, but it doesn't answer the question. It is like somebody who is asked 'Why is a mouse different to an elephant?' They reply; 'There is no difference between mice and elephants; both are animals'.

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

Post by Atla » Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:24 pm

Londoner wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:07 am
I was confused by your use of the word 'see'.

If we say we 'see' the representations of the world inside our heads, that implies that there are the representations and then there is something else - a viewer of those representations, a something 'having the experience' of those representations. This gets us into an infinite regress. See 'The Homunculus Argument'.
On the contrary - you are the one dualistically assuming that there must be a representation and a viewer. You don't understand that a part of the whole can represent the whole.
I think you have misunderstood this, but since you do not expand on your answer I cannot tell how.
You're wrong, please familiarize yourself with modern physics.
No, it really isn't. But again, since you do not explain why you think otherwise there isn't anything I can add.
Of course everything is conscious in the hard problem sense. You seem to assume that consciousness is restricted to your head or it's some kind of soul or whatever because - well because magic.
Yet you say above: You think you directly see what's "out there" when you see the physical world? Of course not.
Taken way out of context.
Because you have referred several times to 'the realization' and because your theory seems to be metaphysical in that says that everything, including rocks, have consciousness, but also that there is a something; 'consciousness', that exists independently of any subject.
1. What you are saying is also religious and metaphysical then, actually you assume more than I do, and that assumption is unsupported by facts. I still don't get the religion argument.
2. Now you really seem to be talking about two different consciousnesses, I said there aren't. The consciousness of a human brain/mind and the consciousness of a rock is of the same nature. And there is no 'consciousness' that exists independently of subject, it is one and the same with the subject.
But you said ''everything is "real'. Now you want to exclude the pink unicorn god!
Taken way out of context again.
I understand your stance, but not your argument.
You don't understand my stance at all, you have dualistically misinterpreted every comment I wrote so far.
That is not an argument. It does not explain why our consciousness is not all of the same type, why some of our experiences are imposed upon us, whether we like them or not.
What are you talking about, nothing is "imposed" on anything.
You seem to want to get round the problem by simply declaring that both the material and mental are part of some larger category; 'consciousness' or 'reality' or whatever, one that covers 'everything'. We can do that, but it doesn't answer the question. It is like somebody who is asked 'Why is a mouse different to an elephant?' They reply; 'There is no difference between mice and elephants; both are animals'.
That's an umm strawman based on a strawman, two levels of dualism placed upon each other. I said something completely different.

I won't respond to you any further, as I said let's agree to disagree. To me, at this point everything you seem to write is a misunderstanding or a strawman or a circular reasoning or a factual inaccuracy.

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

Post by Londoner » Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:49 pm

Atla wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:24 pm

On the contrary - you are the one dualistically assuming that there must be a representation and a viewer. You don't understand that a part of the whole can represent the whole.
'Represent' begs the question.
Of course everything is conscious in the hard problem sense. You seem to assume that consciousness is restricted to your head or it's some kind of soul or whatever because - well because magic.
You do understand that 'the hard problem' is a specific question about the way we (humans) experience, usually associated with the philosopher Chalmers?

It does not include the notion that rocks etc. are conscious.
2. Now you really seem to be talking about two different consciousnesses, I said there aren't. The consciousness of a human brain/mind and the consciousness of a rock is of the same nature. And there is no 'consciousness' that exists independently of subject.
Well, you seem to be of two minds about 'consciousness'. However, I understand that you think rocks etc. are conscious, but I do not understand why you say it. To me, rocks and human brains seem very different; what is it about a rock that makes you infer it is conscious?
Me: That is not an argument. It does not explain why our consciousness is not all of the same type, why some of our experiences are imposed upon us, whether we like them or not.

What are you talking about, nothing is "imposed" on anything.
Really? If you poke yourself with a stick, can you decide whether or not you have a 'feeling of being poked' sensation. I can't. I notice that every time I am conscious of 'doing the poking' this is always accompanied by the consciousness of a 'feeling of being poked' . It is imposed on me, whether I want it or not.

By contrast, I can think about being poked with an imaginary stick, but in that case it is not accompanied by the same 'feeling of being poked' .

So, even though both events take place in my consciousness they are of different types. This has led us to posit that there is a difference between 'real' sticks and 'imaginary' sticks - perhaps there is an external world that is not part of our consciousness but can affect our consciousness?

As I have said several times, you don't have to agree with that theory, but I find it baffling that you do not see the problem.
That's an umm strawman based on a strawman, two levels of dualism placed upon each other. I said something completely different.
The longer this exchange goes on, the less clear I am about what you are saying.

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

Post by Atla » Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:25 pm

Fine I'll answer some more..
Londoner wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:49 pm
You do understand that 'the hard problem' is a specific question about the way we (humans) experience, usually associated with the philosopher Chalmers?
How humans experience the way they do are the SOFT problems of consciousness. This topic is about the HARD problem of consciousness: why there is experience in the first place, why does experience seem to go with the physical. As I said before, maybe you don't even understand what the topic is about. I never specifically addressed the soft problems.
Really? If you poke yourself with a stick, can you decide whether or not you have a 'feeling of being poked' sensation. I can't. I notice that every time I am conscious of 'doing the poking' this is always accompanied by the consciousness of a 'feeling of being poked' . It is imposed on me, whether I want it or not.

By contrast, I can think about being poked with an imaginary stick, but in that case it is not accompanied by the same 'feeling of being poked' .

So, even though both events take place in my consciousness they are of different types. This has led us to posit that there is a difference between 'real' sticks and 'imaginary' sticks - perhaps there is an external world that is not part of our consciousness but can affect our consciousness?

As I have said several times, you don't have to agree with that theory, but I find it baffling that you do not see the problem.
Really? This too is a soft problem, this isn't the topic I was talking about all along.

To be honest I really don't even understand where I should see the problem, this isn't even philosophical. When something pokes your leg, pain receptors are hit. When you imagine it in your head, that's just in your head, no pain receptors there. (Some people can trigger pain just by imagining things, but that's not the normal reaction.)

What does this have to do with decisions, being "conscious" of it (I used conscious in a soft problem sense here), or some kind of external world anyway?

Londoner
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Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:47 am

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

Post by Londoner » Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:56 pm

Atla wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:25 pm

How humans experience the way they do are the SOFT problems of consciousness. This topic is about the HARD problem of consciousness: why there is experience in the first place, why does experience seem to go with the physical. As I said before, maybe you don't even understand what the topic is about. I never specifically addressed the soft problems.
I cannot see that you have written anything about that; if you have I cannot tell what you think.

Remember, you consider rocks have consciousness. Thinking about a rock, in what sense does a rock 'experience'? Does it have sensory organs? Why do you think a rock has a 'rich inner life' (to quote Chalmers)? The 'hard problem of consciousness' as it is understood really isn't about rocks.

As a I say, I do not understand your position and it does not seem to be on the same page as anyone else!
Me: Really? If you poke yourself with a stick, can you decide whether or not you have a 'feeling of being poked' sensation. I can't. I notice that every time I am conscious of 'doing the poking' this is always accompanied by the consciousness of a 'feeling of being poked' . It is imposed on me, whether I want it or not.

By contrast, I can think about being poked with an imaginary stick, but in that case it is not accompanied by the same 'feeling of being poked' .

So, even though both events take place in my consciousness they are of different types. This has led us to posit that there is a difference between 'real' sticks and 'imaginary' sticks - perhaps there is an external world that is not part of our consciousness but can affect our consciousness?

As I have said several times, you don't have to agree with that theory, but I find it baffling that you do not see the problem.


Really? This too is a soft problem, this isn't the topic I was talking about all along.
You mostly seemed to be talking about 'dualism'. You are contemptuous of 'dualistic thought'. You did not see why people might propose dualistic models. I was explaining why.
To be honest I really don't even understand where I should see the problem, this isn't even philosophical. When something pokes your leg, pain receptors are hit. When you imagine it in your head, that's just in your head, no pain receptors there. (Some people can trigger pain just by imagining things, but that's not the normal reaction.)
OK. There are two things here.

First, the connection between 'pain receptors' and our personal experience of pain. The pain receptors send signals, but those signals are biochemical; they are not little bits of pain, however we do not experience the 'biochemistry', we experience pain. All the workings of the pain receptors etc. are measurable and can be described scientifically. Yet our own experience of pain itself is subjective, it cannot be objectively measured. The connection between the two is 'the hard problem of consciousness'.

The second thing, which was the point of what I wrote, is the explanation of why people have dualistic models. In your explanation you agree that 'something pokes your leg' is different to 'imaging something poking your leg'. So you posit that certain experiences are the result of a 'something' outside your head, independent of imagination. Well - the explanation you have just given is dualism. The idea that there is a mental realm and also a material realm, outside our heads, containing those 'somethings' that do the poking.
What does this have to do with decisions, being "conscious" of it (I used conscious in a soft problem sense here), or some kind of external world anyway?
I do not understand what you mean by 'conscious in a soft problem sense'.

Atla
Posts: 2513
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:27 am

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

Post by Atla » Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:29 pm

Londoner wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:56 pm
I cannot see that you have written anything about that; if you have I cannot tell what you think.
That's the problem.
Londoner wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:56 pm
Remember, you consider rocks have consciousness. Thinking about a rock, in what sense does a rock 'experience'? Does it have sensory organs? Why do you think a rock has a 'rich inner life' (to quote Chalmers)? The 'hard problem of consciousness' as it is understood really isn't about rocks.

As a I say, I do not understand your position and it does not seem to be on the same page as anyone else!
As far as I know Chalmers is a not too bright dualist, he doesn't understand the full extent of the hard problem.
Of course in actuality, the hard problem has nothing to do with sensory organs. And I never said that rocks have 'rich inner life', on the contrary, it probably mostly would be like "static noise" compared to a human's experience, would you stop quoting things I didn't write?

Of course I'm not on the same page as anyone else, I'm a nondualist. That's like 1 in 1000 in the West or less. Nondualism is the correct view, which is why Western philosophy has been running in nonsensical circles for hundreds of years.
Almost no one ever understands my position so I'm used to that actually.
You mostly seemed to be talking about 'dualism'. You are contemptuous of 'dualistic thought'. You did not see why people might propose dualistic models. I was explaining why.
Why wouldn't I see it? Again you are claiming something I never said.
I was born in the West so I was a dualist for the first 30 years too. Then I did some research how the West invented this nonsense in the first place. Looks like it happened mostly at the time of Descartes, first he was seen as completely crazy, later his view was universally accepted. But his dualism was probably an answer to an even older delusion going back to at least the ancient Greeks.
First, the connection between 'pain receptors' and our personal experience of pain. The pain receptors send signals, but those signals are biochemical; they are not little bits of pain, however we do not experience the 'biochemistry', we experience pain. All the workings of the pain receptors etc. are measurable and can be described scientifically. Yet our own experience of pain itself is subjective, it cannot be objectively measured. The connection between the two is 'the hard problem of consciousness'.
Again, you are wrong. Some of the biochemisty IS the experience of pain. In time everything will be measurable "objectively", it's just a matter of technology. It's that simple. You are trapped in dualistic circular reasoning.
The second thing, which was the point of what I wrote, is the explanation of why people have dualistic models. In your explanation you agree that 'something pokes your leg' is different to 'imaging something poking your leg'. So you posit that certain experiences are the result of a 'something' outside your head, independent of imagination. Well - the explanation you have just given is dualism. The idea that there is a mental realm and also a material realm, outside our heads, containing those 'somethings' that do the poking.
I don't know what you are talking about, there was zero hint in your example about actual dualism. All I see is you made up some material-mental categories and trying to misinterpret everything that way. Do you cherrypick which word is "mental" and which is "material" or how does that work? Do things change magically when they enter the head? Or what? You are trapped in dualistic circular reasoning.
I do not understand what you mean by 'conscious in a soft problem sense'.
As opposed to the hard problem sense. Conscious, consciousness has many different definitions, uses depending on context, at least 3-4, don't tell me you use one?

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