How materialists know brain produces mind

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

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MozartLink
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How materialists know brain produces mind

Post by MozartLink » Sun Feb 05, 2017 10:57 am

Actually, forget my whole "theory." Since I couldn't find an article at the time, then I had to resort to my own personal explanation of things which didn't work out at all. Therefore, here is what I truly wish to talk about here:

I have heard Graziano say that awareness doesn't exist and that it is a simplified model of attention in the brain fooling you into thinking you are aware and are having actual experiences. But my question is, do awareness and actual experience exist by his very definition? In other words, isn't this simplified model of attention the actual awareness and experience itself? If that is so, then I think scientific materialism is still a valid worldview. If not and he is truly saying that experience and awareness are illusions and the brain fooling itself, then I am not so sure.

If he is saying that awareness and experience do not exist at all, then that doesn't make sense to me. When you perceive an optical illusion, that illusory perception is still information in the brain. If we were to take a look inside your brain, then we should find information of a perceived image that wasn't there in the physical world. This should also apply to awareness and experience itself. In other words, awareness and experience should also be information in the brain.

It should be that simplified model in the brain. To say that awareness and experience do not exist at all just doesn't make sense to me. He says that awareness and experience are mere concepts. But even concepts are information inside the brain. Therefore, awareness/experience and information in the brain are actually the same thing according to his theory. The brain just has a different way of looking at that information then. This different way of looking at it is what would yield awareness/experience.

It is no different than a situation where you have a clock. Looking at it from the front side, it goes clockwise. But looking at it from the back side, it goes counter clockwise. But the question is, does it go clockwise or counter clockwise? The answer here would be both. To see it going counter clockwise is just simply a different way of looking at the clock. This analogue would also apply to the physical stuff (neurons) in the brain and awareness/experience.

You can look at the brain as being nothing more than information. That is, nothing more than physical stuff. But a person would report to you how this information was awareness/experience for him/her. So the question is, is the brain nothing more than just information? Is the information nothing more than just physical stuff? Or is all that physical stuff (information) actual awareness and experience? The answer here would be both as well. To have awareness and experience is just simply a different way of looking at that information in the brain.

Also, my whole analogue with the clock makes me think whether this was nothing more than an analogue, or if there is actually some scientific connection here. I wonder if there is some actual science here that connects my analogue with awareness and experience. Maybe perhaps a new theory of consciousness can come from this. Or maybe it is nothing more than just an analogue. I lack the scientific knowledge to determine which is the case. But maybe someone who has a lot of scientific knowledge can make this determination.

Here is the video in which he explains:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsRb5PJcBP4

I have also watched this video as well:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89PXnHjGkDA

My question here is, if our experiences are nothing more than just some simplified inaccurate model that our brains construct, then why is it that experience is so powerful and profound to us? Why is it that we would prefer to have experiences of joy, meaning, and value in our lives over being a biological non-sentient machine? This, to me, implies that experience is something more than a mere simplified model. It must of had a greater reason for having come about through evolution.

My next question is, why isn't this simplified model in the brain just simply simplified information in the brain and nothing more? Why is it experience at all? Aren't we still at the hard problem here then? He attempts to explain how our brains construct our sense of experience, but doesn't this still need to be taken further into trying to explain how simplified models in the brain become experiences for us? Even if you take the idea that it is just information of having an experience, then why isn't that still just information? There needs to be an actual transfer from brain processes over to experience and I am still not seeing that even in Graziano's theory.

Thirdly, why wouldn't a full accurate model also have awareness? Why is it that only the simplified model has awareness? If you can't get awareness from a full accurate model, then what makes you think that you can get awareness from a simplified inaccurate model? I would imagine that a full model of paying attention to something would bring full awareness.
Last edited by MozartLink on Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Harbal
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Re: How materialists know brain produces mind

Post by Harbal » Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:30 pm

You could have said this in one sentence, rather than taking four paragraphs. Why you thought it was worth saying at all is rather puzzling.

MozartLink
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Re: How materialists know brain produces mind

Post by MozartLink » Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:36 pm

Harbal wrote:You could have said this in one sentence, rather than taking four paragraphs. Why you thought it was worth saying at all is rather puzzling.
That's as brief as I could possibly get. It's not too much to read anyway. There is no way I could of summarized that in a few sentences. Also, I thought it was worth talking about since the mind-body problem has been a debate that has been going on for such a long time and I would like to see the debates of others against the effective personal explanation of materialism I have put forth.

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Re: How materialists know brain produces mind

Post by Harbal » Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:54 pm

MozartLink wrote: That's as brief as I could possibly get.
Nonsense! You could have said nothing at all and no one would have been any less informed.

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Re: How materialists know brain produces mind

Post by Impenitent » Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:35 am

If the brain didn't produce the mind, lobotomies wouldn't work.

-Imp

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Greta
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Re: How materialists know brain produces mind

Post by Greta » Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:56 am

MozartLink wrote:In order for the brain to have experiences, then you need the capacity to have experience in the first place because without the capability of having experiences in the first place, then you cannot have any experience at all in the brain. So what is it that unlocks this capacity? I am quite sure it is something known as 'awareness.'
Doesn't simply being alive with sensory organs unlock the capacity to experience?

Even brainless microbial life gain impressions of their own functioning and environment, using sensory and processing structures analogous to brains. Brains refine and add detail to sensory data, providing an ever broader context.

osgart
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Re: How materialists know brain produces mind

Post by osgart » Mon Feb 06, 2017 6:00 am

lobotomies destroy all outward expression and manifestation of the mind. The mind is still there.
:mrgreen:

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Re: How materialists know brain produces mind

Post by Necromancer » Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:15 pm

osgart wrote:lobotomies destroy all outward expression and manifestation of the mind. The mind is still there.
:mrgreen:
:mrgreen:

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Re: How materialists know brain produces mind

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:01 pm

Greta wrote:
MozartLink wrote:In order for the brain to have experiences, then you need the capacity to have experience in the first place because without the capability of having experiences in the first place, then you cannot have any experience at all in the brain. So what is it that unlocks this capacity? I am quite sure it is something known as 'awareness.'
Doesn't simply being alive with sensory organs unlock the capacity to experience?

Even brainless microbial life gain impressions of their own functioning and environment, using sensory and processing structures analogous to brains. Brains refine and add detail to sensory data, providing an ever broader context.
You are making a false claim here.
You assert without evidence that microbes gain impressions. As they have no brain they can have no impressions.
There is nothing to say a bacteria can hold and gain from an experience.
That they change is wholly the result of unfavourable mutations failing to divide, and those with currently favourable ones persisting to divide and then becoming the typical form of the next generation.
Thus microbes themselves do not carry impressions, thought the environment can leave an impression on the population as a whole.
According to Edelman's theory of brain development our community of brain cells also has a Darwinian developmental system and cells that are used get promoted, whilst those that are not die away. It is in this way that learning happens, but also habitually successful behaviours.
Obviously there is a massive difference between the inter-dependant integrated cerebral structure of out brains, and the disparate teeming biome of the bacterial world.

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Greta
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Re: How materialists know brain produces mind

Post by Greta » Mon Feb 06, 2017 3:02 pm

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Greta wrote:
MozartLink wrote:In order for the brain to have experiences, then you need the capacity to have experience in the first place because without the capability of having experiences in the first place, then you cannot have any experience at all in the brain. So what is it that unlocks this capacity? I am quite sure it is something known as 'awareness.'
Doesn't simply being alive with sensory organs unlock the capacity to experience?

Even brainless microbial life gain impressions of their own functioning and environment, using sensory and processing structures analogous to brains. Brains refine and add detail to sensory data, providing an ever broader context.
You are making a false claim here.
You assert without evidence that microbes gain impressions. As they have no brain they can have no impressions.
There is nothing to say a bacteria can hold and gain from an experience.
I was thinking of eukaryotes, not prokaryotes, say, protozoans. They find food, they avoid dangers, they find mates and they have sex. All without a brain. So they appear to be gaining some degree of impressions of their environment, certainly more so than rocks.

They sense all of these things without a nervous system. Clearly they have simple analogous structures to nervous systems. Note that I am not according great awareness to organism that would make flatworms look like Einstein, just some very small amount.
Microorganisms do not have neurons, however, there could be neurotransmitters or neurotransmitter-like (serotonin, GABA, acetylcholine, epinephrine, endorphins) molecules that relay the message and trigger the targeted specific response. In addition, ion or small molecules channels could also play a similar role in creating the action potential that moves all the way to the central regulator(s). Beside their role as a passage for transferred molecules outside the bacterial cells, efflux pumps that are widely present in bacteria, could play an essential role in changing the energy status of the microorganism by changing the electrical potential of the bacterial membrane and hence, like in neurons, could be the trigger that lead to a specific response to stresses in the environment.
http://www.frontiersin.org/blog/On_Micr ... ystem_/149

MozartLink
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Re: How materialists know brain produces mind

Post by MozartLink » Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:21 pm

Actually, forget my whole "theory." Since I couldn't find an article at the time, then I had to resort to my own personal explanation of things which didn't work out at all. Therefore, here is what I truly wish to talk about here:

I have heard Graziano say that awareness doesn't exist and that it is a simplified model of attention in the brain fooling you into thinking you are aware and are having actual experiences. But my question is, do awareness and actual experience exist by his very definition? In other words, isn't this simplified model of attention the actual awareness and experience itself? If that is so, then I think scientific materialism is still a valid worldview. If not and he is truly saying that experience and awareness are illusions and the brain fooling itself, then I am not so sure.

If he is saying that awareness and experience do not exist at all, then that doesn't make sense to me. When you perceive an optical illusion, that illusory perception is still information in the brain. If we were to take a look inside your brain, then we should find information of a perceived image that wasn't there in the physical world. This should also apply to awareness and experience itself. In other words, awareness and experience should also be information in the brain.

It should be that simplified model in the brain. To say that awareness and experience do not exist at all just doesn't make sense to me. He says that awareness and experience are mere concepts. But even concepts are information inside the brain. Therefore, awareness/experience and information in the brain are actually the same thing according to his theory. The brain just has a different way of looking at that information then. This different way of looking at it is what would yield awareness/experience.

It is no different than a situation where you have a clock. Looking at it from the front side, it goes clockwise. But looking at it from the back side, it goes counter clockwise. But the question is, does it go clockwise or counter clockwise? The answer here would be both. To see it going counter clockwise is just simply a different way of looking at the clock. This analogue would also apply to the physical stuff (neurons) in the brain and awareness/experience.

You can look at the brain as being nothing more than information. That is, nothing more than physical stuff. But a person would report to you how this information was awareness/experience for him/her. So the question is, is the brain nothing more than just information? Is the information nothing more than just physical stuff? Or is all that physical stuff (information) actual awareness and experience? The answer here would be both as well. To have awareness and experience is just simply a different way of looking at that information in the brain.

Also, my whole analogue with the clock makes me think whether this was nothing more than an analogue, or if there is actually some scientific connection here. I wonder if there is some actual science here that connects my analogue with awareness and experience. Maybe perhaps a new theory of consciousness can come from this. Or maybe it is nothing more than just an analogue. I lack the scientific knowledge to determine which is the case. But maybe someone who has a lot of scientific knowledge can make this determination.

Here is the video in which he explains:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsRb5PJcBP4

I have also watched this video as well:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89PXnHjGkDA

My question here is, if our experiences are nothing more than just some simplified inaccurate model that our brains construct, then why is it that experience is so powerful and profound to us? Why is it that we would prefer to have experiences of joy, meaning, and value in our lives over being a biological non-sentient machine? This, to me, implies that experience is something more than a mere simplified model. It must of had a greater reason for having come about through evolution.

My next question is, why isn't this simplified model in the brain just simply simplified information in the brain and nothing more? Why is it experience at all? Aren't we still at the hard problem here then? He attempts to explain how our brains construct our sense of experience, but doesn't this still need to be taken further into trying to explain how simplified models in the brain become experiences for us? Even if you take the idea that it is just information of having an experience, then why isn't that still just information? There needs to be an actual transfer from brain processes over to experience and I am still not seeing that even in Graziano's theory.

Thirdly, why wouldn't a full accurate model also have awareness? Why is it that only the simplified model has awareness? If you can't get awareness from a full accurate model, then what makes you think that you can get awareness from a simplified inaccurate model? I would imagine that a full model of paying attention to something would bring full awareness.

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: How materialists know brain produces mind

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:15 pm

Greta wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Greta wrote: Doesn't simply being alive with sensory organs unlock the capacity to experience?

Even brainless microbial life gain impressions of their own functioning and environment, using sensory and processing structures analogous to brains. Brains refine and add detail to sensory data, providing an ever broader context.
You are making a false claim here.
You assert without evidence that microbes gain impressions. As they have no brain they can have no impressions.
There is nothing to say a bacteria can hold and gain from an experience.
I was thinking of eukaryotes, not prokaryotes, say, protozoans. They find food, they avoid dangers, they find mates and they have sex. All without a brain. So they appear to be gaining some degree of impressions of their environment, certainly more so than rocks.
The same applies to protozoans, as they have no brain, they follow chemical algorithms. How many, and which of them have sex. I understood that they budded, or divided. But having sex is not evidence for "having impressions"/

They sense all of these things without a nervous system. Clearly they have simple analogous structures to nervous systems. Note that I am not according great awareness to organism that would make flatworms look like Einstein, just some very small amount.

No they do not have anything like nervous systems. What do you mean? An impression reuqires storage where do you think they store those impressions?
Microorganisms do not have neurons, however, there could be neurotransmitters or neurotransmitter-like (serotonin, GABA, acetylcholine, epinephrine, endorphins) molecules that relay the message and trigger the targeted specific response. In addition, ion or small molecules channels could also play a similar role in creating the action potential that moves all the way to the central regulator(s). Beside their role as a passage for transferred molecules outside the bacterial cells, efflux pumps that are widely present in bacteria, could play an essential role in changing the energy status of the microorganism by changing the electrical potential of the bacterial membrane and hence, like in neurons, could be the trigger that lead to a specific response to stresses in the environment.
http://www.frontiersin.org/blog/On_Micr ... ystem_/149
PS Okay read the article. There is nothing analogous to "Brains" here as you suggest above.
Chemical pathways, and autonomic algorithmic responses do not amount to "impressions", "experience", or anything like it. But the article is interesting even so.

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Re: How materialists know brain produces mind

Post by Impenitent » Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:19 pm

osgart wrote:lobotomies destroy all outward expression and manifestation of the mind. The mind is still there.
:mrgreen:
taken on faith?

-Imp

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Re: How materialists know brain produces mind

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:08 am

osgart wrote:lobotomies destroy all outward expression and manifestation of the mind. The mind is still there.
:mrgreen:
Err no. But what is interesting about lobotomies is that they can change the nature of the "mind". which tends to point the the fact that mind is matter., not immaterial.

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Re: How materialists know brain produces mind

Post by Beauty » Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:04 pm

Brain cannot produce mind. When we die, body goes, but our spirit is still there according to which we have our mind and body. So mind is above brain. So according to our spirit we have our body and body has wireless connection to our mind. Our mind features our interests and so forth. Mind is spiritual, brain is physical. Brain can go through death, mind does not go through death upon our death here on earth. Life goes on according to our spirit and its desires. According to our thinking, feeling, understanding, memory etc. we tap the resource of our mind. If this mind has a connection to the infinite cosmic mind(if there is something like that), then that would be why we will never run out of ideas. Maybe if our mind's connection to the cosmic mind goes away, then our spirit is no more in the cosmos. Brain is just a processor of information to and fro, from mind to body and back. Mind is the reservoir of all information. Mind is the database, mind is the hard drive.

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