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

Post by raw_thought » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:16 pm

Read what you quoted. Basically what I said was EVEN IF the information is embedded that has no impact on the argument. * Saying that our visualized triangle is identical to neurons firing ( but not in a triangular form ) is like saying that holding a CD of Mozart ( yes Mozart's music is embedded in the CD) is the same as hearing Mozart's music.
In other words there is the form of the visualized triangle ( if there wasn't then visualizing triangles would be impossible) but it has no physical form. There is nothing physical in the brain that is triangular and corresponds to the visualized triangle.
* if the triangle is embedded in a non-triangular form has nothing to do with what we are talking about.

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

Post by Greta » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:49 pm

raw_thought wrote:Perhaps, but that does not address the point of Leibniz's mill. The point is, is that there is nothing in the brain that resembles a thought or in this particular example a triangle. There is an insurmountable explanatory gap between the brain and our experiences.
I seems to me that the explanatory gap is only tangentially related with the problem of non-correlation between your visualised triangle and neuronal firings. That's easily explained by the fact that the brain has its own "language" and that is what researchers are compiling now, eg. image of apple = x changes to brain state, sound of thunder = y changes, etc. By the same token, we don't much worry about the lack of ostensible correlation between 1s and 0s and the concepts that we are discussing here. Same issue.

The hard problem is not the disconnect between neuronal dynamics and the things they describe but the fact that we don;t know why we have a sense of experience. My own guess that the brain does not produce qualia but can allow it, and that the actual sense of experience is generated by the systems of organs in our torso - the metabolism. Brains aren't needed to be alive, nor to detect food, flee from threats or to find mates. Plenty of simple brainless microbes can do all those things without a single ganglion.

These microbes surely experience life in a way that our computers do not. However, the experience would be subtle and entirely moment-to-moment, like the weak experience of deep sleep - sense and response unknowingly present. The usual assumption is that there is no sense of experience during deep sleep. Actually, the sense of experience is just very subtle, akin to the waking state of simple organisms. Since this minimal experience contains almost none of the major features of our rich waking human consciousness, we dismiss it as "null".

Brains are needed to stay alive and, thus, they process the information encountered by an organism in its environment, with its own internal "language" of neuronal connections. However, qualia strikes me as more likely to be generated by the entire body system, especially the digestive system, and these already-generated sensations are regulated and protected by the brain.

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

Post by raw_thought » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:56 pm

Yes, the brain has its own language, instead of letters and words its neurons firing. However, that does not bridge the explanatory gap. The fact remains that there is a triangular form ( otherwise we could not visualize triangles) that has no physical form. The neurons do not fire in a triangular shape etc. My response to Hobbes Choice , above your post explains further.

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

Post by raw_thought » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:01 pm

"The hard problem is not the disconnect between neuronal dynamics and the things they describe ..." Actually, that is the definition of the hard problem. The hard problem is that there is an explanatory gap between ( for example ) C fibers firing and the experience of pain.
"Pain is and only is C fibers firing" is obviously false. Pain hurts! There is a subjective feeling of pain ( qualia ).

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

Post by Impenitent » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:06 pm

triangles have no physical space in the brain...

Euclidean triangles have no physical space anywhere...

hardness must occur in non-Euclidean space...

-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 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:11 pm

Impenitent wrote:triangles have no physical space in the brain...

Euclidean triangles have no physical space anywhere...

hardness must occur in non-Euclidean space...

-Imp
I don't think this follows.

Triangles don't exist because they are only 2D and reality is 3D.
Non-Euclidian triangles can exist and they describe a path into the third dimension.
Hardness is just another abstraction.

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

Post by raw_thought » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:16 pm

Interesting, but lets get back on topic

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

Post by Impenitent » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:24 pm

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Impenitent wrote:triangles have no physical space in the brain...

Euclidean triangles have no physical space anywhere...

hardness must occur in non-Euclidean space...

-Imp
I don't think this follows.

Triangles don't exist because they are only 2D and reality is 3D.
Non-Euclidian triangles can exist and they describe a path into the third dimension.
Hardness is just another abstraction.
"triangles don't exist because they are only 2D and reality is 3D"

the idea of a triangle exists ... but not really because it isn't 3D?

-Imp

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

Post by raw_thought » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:24 pm

" "Qualia" is an unfamiliar term for something that could not be more familiar to each of us: the ways things seem to us. As is so often the case with philosophical jargon, it is easier to give examples than to give a definition of the term. Look at a glass of milk at sunset; the way it looks to you--the particular, personal, subjective visual quality of the glass of milk is the quale of your visual experience at the moment. The way the milk tastes to you then is another, gustatory quale, and how it sounds to you as you swallow is an auditory quale; These various "properties of conscious experience" are prime examples of qualia. .... At first blush it would be hard to imagine a more quixotic quest than trying to convince people that there are no such properties as qualia; hence the ironic title of this chapter. But I am not kidding. "
FROM
http://cogprints.org/254/1/quinqual.htm
My seminar paper at university ( concerning "Quining Qualia" ) was well received. I showed that Dennett's argument is circular. 1. Qualia is partly defined as ineffable. 2. Dennett shows that qualia are ineffable. 3. Nothing ineffable can exist. 4. therefore qualia cannot exist...In other words, the ineffable is impossible because the ineffable is impossible.
In the above quote, Dennett is basically saying that pain does not hurt etc. A professor friend of mine talked with Dennett after Dennett's lecture and Dennett told him that he says such outrageous things, not because he believes them but because it gets him publicity. Dennett told him that he also does not believe that an "on" light switch knows that the light is on. He just knows that such statements are shocking and get him publicity.

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

Post by raw_thought » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:42 pm

Dennett at least has the guts to take his proposition ( that qualia do not exist ) to its absurd conclusion, that pain does not hurt. Or at least he says stuff like that. If he believes it or not is another story.

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

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:46 pm

Impenitent wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Impenitent wrote:triangles have no physical space in the brain...

Euclidean triangles have no physical space anywhere...

hardness must occur in non-Euclidean space...

-Imp
I don't think this follows.

Triangles don't exist because they are only 2D and reality is 3D.
Non-Euclidian triangles can exist and they describe a path into the third dimension.
Hardness is just another abstraction.
"triangles don't exist because they are only 2D and reality is 3D"

the idea of a triangle exists ... but not really because it isn't 3D?

-Imp
How does the 'idea' exist - is the whole point!!
That fact it is that a triangle is not real.

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

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:48 pm

raw_thought wrote:Dennett at least has the guts to take his proposition ( that qualia do not exist ) to its absurd conclusion, that pain does not hurt. Or at least he says stuff like that. If he believes it or not is another story.
It's one thing to say qualia do not exist, but poke him in the eye and ask him "does that hurt you bearded tosser??"

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

Post by raw_thought » Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:23 am

To say that qualia do not exist = to say that pain does not hurt

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

Post by raw_thought » Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:27 am

How does the 'idea' exist - is the whole point!!
That fact it is that a triangle is not real.
Hobbes
What you just said is an idea. Eliminative materialists are in the curious position of expounding ideas while simultaneously saying that ideas ( concepts) do not exist.

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

Post by raw_thought » Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:29 am

raw_thought wrote:Read what you quoted. Basically what I said was EVEN IF the information is embedded that has no impact on the argument. * Saying that our visualized triangle is identical to neurons firing ( but not in a triangular form ) is like saying that holding a CD of Mozart ( yes Mozart's music is embedded in the CD) is the same as hearing Mozart's music.
In other words there is the form of the visualized triangle ( if there wasn't then visualizing triangles would be impossible) but it has no physical form. There is nothing physical in the brain that is triangular and corresponds to the visualized triangle.
* if the triangle is embedded in a non-triangular form has nothing to do with what we are talking about.
Anyway, Hobbes reply to that!

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