Locked Mind Thought Experiment

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

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SteveKlinko
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Re: Locked Mind Thought Experiment

Post by SteveKlinko » Sun Aug 04, 2019 11:52 am

Arising_uk wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:46 pm
SteveKlinko wrote: You say Red is a Pattern. Are you also saying that the Experience of Redness is no more than a Pattern? If so I don't understand what you are saying. How is an Experience of something like Redness a Pattern?
Because the various wavelengths hitting the retina cause the neurons in the CNS to activate as a pattern with the experience of Red being the way the pattern is differentiated from other wavelengths that produce the patterns for the other colours.
You are confusing the Pattern of Neural Activity for Red Light in the Brain with the Experience of Redness in the Mind. In Philosophy they like to call the Experience the Qualia. This was pointed out in another post on this thread.

Think more Deeply about the Redness of the Red. You will come to understand that the Redness is a different and separate Phenomenon from the Neural Activity Phenomenon. You can say the two Phenomena are the same thing, but just saying it rings hollow without an Explanation. They seem like two separate things so it is Scientific and Sensible to treat them as two separate things.

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Re: Locked Mind Thought Experiment

Post by SteveKlinko » Sun Aug 04, 2019 12:05 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:02 am
SteveKlinko wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 5:49 pm
There is a huge Explanatory Gap between the statement Pattern of Neurons and an Experience of Redness.
What metric are you using for determining whether an explanatory gaps is tiny or huge?

What is the size of the explanatory gap between "computer vision capable of object recognition and classification" and "seeing a dog"?
SteveKlinko wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 5:49 pm
You are talking about the Neural Correlates of Consciousness and not Consciousness itself.
And you are talking about a "thing in itself". Kant's noumenon.

Dualism is a conceptual gap. Science can't help you bridge it.
When it comes to what we know about Conscious Experience at this point in time we find that Dualism is where Science is stuck at. Neural Activity happens and then a Conscious Experience happens. These are two separate Categories of Phenomenon and although the two are connected in some way Science has no Explanation for that connection. What's worse is that the Experience does not fit into any known Category of Scientific Phenomenon. Conscious Experience and specifically the Experience of something like Redness is at this time outside the boundaries of known Science.

Yes, I am talking about the Redness itself as a thing in itself separate from the Neural Activity.

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Re: Locked Mind Thought Experiment

Post by SteveKlinko » Sun Aug 04, 2019 12:12 pm

Envelope wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 5:04 pm

Hi guys, I’m gonna have a go at clearing this confusion between neural correlates of consciousness and consciousness itself, and also explaining the term consciousness space as for what SteveKlinko originally meant it. You’ll tell me if it makes sense and I’m right.
First, let's be sure we agree on the definition of qualia: instances of direct experience. Look at your hand, the experience that you are having is a visual qualia (talking about the "pinkness" of the hand I think is just a way to describe the fact that we are having an experience of the color). Now touch it with the other hand, the experience you are having is a haptic qualia. Our subjective experience is sensorial. Qualia are just that, what we perceive with our senses (including proprioception and mental representations). Qualia are experience.
Now, I would focus on the comment about light wavelength and CNS functions. When we refer to experience we have to make sure we don't confuse the symbols we use to map this experience with the experience itself. We can define terms (i.e. map/match an experience to a corresponding symbol) in very rigorous ways, i.e. measuring (and we can measure using tools that are much less variable than our organic sensors so as to obtain a higher degree of shareability). To follow up with the example of red, we can define what we mean by red as being an electromagnetic wave of roughly 700nm wavelength. The way we do it is by establishing units of measure and using tools. We arbitrarily choose what we experience as a certain length and we call it meter; we observe the properties of materials that we experience and we call them electromagnetism and photosensors; and during all this process of measuring and development of technical jargon we have turned the symbol "red" from a term that described a quale that was only subjectively experienced, and therefore not very useful for communicating precisely, into a term that describes a set of very precise and repeatable qualia, hence making it too a technical term with a high degree of shareability/communicability. But as you see, in all this measuring effort we have not really been able to bypass even once the fact that ultimately anything we know has to be experienced in the realm of qualia. We selected the length of the meter by experiencing a visual qualia of some object with a certain length and declaring such object to be our reference point. The same goes for the materials that exhibit electromagnetic properties, we make an experience of a material behaving according to certain patterns and we call those patterns in which they present themselves in our subjective experience "electromagnetism". And still the same goes for the CNS, we can consistently experience seeing a PET scan lighting up in the same particular area, which we decided to match to the term 'visual cortex', when the scanned person is seeing the colour red. From this repeatability of experience that comes with taking a methodical approach and measuring things, we can be easily confused into starting to think that a quale and its matched symbol are the same thing. Confusing the neural correlates of consciousness for consciousness itself and giving primacy to the inductively theorized outside world. While, instead, experience is the most primary thing, the gate by which ultimately all information has to pass, so to speak. In other words, Anything we know at all always happens in the realm of qualia.
The realm of qualia is what we may call consciousness space.

Now, speculating on this virtual reality hypothesis I find it to be really interesting but also really confusing. There is a guy called Tom Campbell that wrote a 3-parts book about it and I’m reading it but, honestly, I’m struggling to understand it. Anyone else knows about him?
Connecting back to the OP I wouldn’t know if we would have to exist in some other dimension in which also the computing of the consciousness space in which our experience happens is done. And what do we mean by “we”? And also as Arising said, thinking in this way leaves us with the infinite regress problem.
Other terms in which might be cool to speculate are consensus reality and non consensus reality. I like to imagine something like there being one field of consciousness in which many non consensus realities exist and they are all converging back to oneness by this process of scientific inquiry which connect the non consensus realities together into one consensus reality. Obviously I'm just throwing some words down here, it's nowhere close to an accurate model, just a possible incipit to be developed further. bye ;)
Good analysis. It does seem like many people are unable to realize that their own internal Conscious Experience is a separate Phenomenon from the Neural Phenomenon.

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Re: Locked Mind Thought Experiment

Post by SteveKlinko » Sun Aug 04, 2019 12:23 pm

Sculptor wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:21 pm
philosopher wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:09 pm
Your mind is locked to your body. That's weird. I'll explain below:

When you change your personality (for a variety of reasons, damage, drugs - whatever) you will still see the world through the eyes of that very same body - even though the body has replaced all the atoms over many years.

I find that a very weird thing. If consciousness is locked to your brain, it should fade away as the chemicals and other components of your brain gets replaced and changing over time.
No. Your problem here is that you start with the assumption that the mind is other than the body (which it is not). This means that everything you continue with is slewed in understanding.
If I replace the tires on a car, or a battery, or even the engine it is still the same car.
The idea that changing atoms in the brain gradually should mean diminishing consciousness has no basis.
The thing is that consciousness is not "locked in" the brain. Consciousness is what the brain does. Your language assumes separateness.
Where was your consciousness before you were born?
I see no reason to not accept a continuing and evolving consciousness as we grow. The character of our mental growth is concomitant with the physical and structural growth of the brain, from child to adult. I think you would have to account for a mind which evolves from child to adult (which bears a stunning resemblance to the physical growth of the brain) are you saying it is just a coincidence?
What is the brain doing with all that change?
It isn't possible, at this point in time, for Science to show that the Neural Activity is the Conscious Experience. You would expect that after a hundred years of trying that Science would have some clue about this. But there are still Zero and I mean exactly Zero Explanations from Science as to how the Neural Activity produces the Conscious Experience. We have to start getting suspicious that there is something wrong with the assumption that the Experience is the Neural Activity. The sad thing is that Science does not even know what something like Redness is in the first place. Redness is a thing in itself that must Explained. But it defies Explanation!

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Arising_uk
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Re: Locked Mind Thought Experiment

Post by Arising_uk » Sun Aug 04, 2019 12:43 pm

SteveKlinko wrote: Ok so you are saying that a Pattern of Neurons is involved. Saying that it is a Pattern of Neurons firing has no more Explanatory power than just saying there was Neural Activity and then the Redness happened. There is a huge Explanatory Gap between the statement Pattern of Neurons and an Experience of Redness. The 100 year old mystery is no closer to being solved by using a word like Pattern. You are talking about the Neural Correlates of Consciousness and not Consciousness itself.
I think I get what you are saying but to me you are already assuming Dualism. For me experience is not what happens to you but how you deal or explain, if you like, what happendr happens to you. Put it this way, computational neural nets can identify red things, now I'm pretty sure you'd say they are not experiencing 'Redness' but two things come to mind, how do you know others experience Redness and what is this 'experience of Redness' you talk about, can you describe it? As for me I can't really find this Redness other than imagining or retrieving a red image or images and comparing them but these are all things a computational neural net can do too. When you say 'experience Redness' are you talking about assigning some other sense represention, so for example this red gives me a crrtain feeling? If so I can agree that a computational neural net does not do this but for me this'll be because we haven't assigned another net for 'emotion'(again a very vague term but I hope you get what I mean) that associates the input patterns of 'Red' with some 'emotional' output. I think what I'm trying to say is that I don't have 'Red' or 'Redness' as separate from the neuronal activity in us, there is no gap as 'Red' is the activation of a neuronal pattern as caused by wavelengths hitting the cones of the retina and being 'sorted' or stored. Put it this way, a long time ago a friend and I took some colour blind tests and he could not see the number in the red/green pattern which I could clearly see so he was considered colour-blind but when we looked at data cables he could still pick out the red and green ones even though we knew he couldn't easily distinguish them in the same way I could, so is he experiencing Redness or not?

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Sculptor
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Re: Locked Mind Thought Experiment

Post by Sculptor » Sun Aug 04, 2019 3:06 pm

SteveKlinko wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 12:23 pm
Sculptor wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:21 pm
philosopher wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:09 pm
Your mind is locked to your body. That's weird. I'll explain below:

When you change your personality (for a variety of reasons, damage, drugs - whatever) you will still see the world through the eyes of that very same body - even though the body has replaced all the atoms over many years.

I find that a very weird thing. If consciousness is locked to your brain, it should fade away as the chemicals and other components of your brain gets replaced and changing over time.
No. Your problem here is that you start with the assumption that the mind is other than the body (which it is not). This means that everything you continue with is slewed in understanding.
If I replace the tires on a car, or a battery, or even the engine it is still the same car.
The idea that changing atoms in the brain gradually should mean diminishing consciousness has no basis.
The thing is that consciousness is not "locked in" the brain. Consciousness is what the brain does. Your language assumes separateness.
Where was your consciousness before you were born?
I see no reason to not accept a continuing and evolving consciousness as we grow. The character of our mental growth is concomitant with the physical and structural growth of the brain, from child to adult. I think you would have to account for a mind which evolves from child to adult (which bears a stunning resemblance to the physical growth of the brain) are you saying it is just a coincidence?
What is the brain doing with all that change?
It isn't possible, at this point in time, for Science to show that the Neural Activity is the Conscious Experience.
Yes it does.
Science can ever predict decision making by scanning the brain.

uwot
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Re: Locked Mind Thought Experiment

Post by uwot » Sun Aug 04, 2019 3:44 pm

Sculptor wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 3:06 pm
SteveKlinko wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 12:23 pm
It isn't possible, at this point in time, for Science to show that the Neural Activity is the Conscious Experience.
Yes it does.
Science can ever predict decision making by scanning the brain.
Philosophy of mind isn't my field, but as I understand it, the neural activity that scientists associate with a particular behaviour can be observed up to 8 seconds before the behaviour manifests. On the face of it, consciousness appears to lag, but there are all sorts of conclusions you can draw from that. It doesn't really mean anything to say that science can or can't do this or that. Fundamentally, science is whatever scientists do, and different scientists will come up with different hypotheses, which they then have to test. Pretty much what I said in the article in the current issue of Philosophy Now: https://philosophynow.org/issues/133/Ph ... _Millennia

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Re: Locked Mind Thought Experiment

Post by SteveKlinko » Sun Aug 04, 2019 3:51 pm

Arising_uk wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 12:43 pm
SteveKlinko wrote: Ok so you are saying that a Pattern of Neurons is involved. Saying that it is a Pattern of Neurons firing has no more Explanatory power than just saying there was Neural Activity and then the Redness happened. There is a huge Explanatory Gap between the statement Pattern of Neurons and an Experience of Redness. The 100 year old mystery is no closer to being solved by using a word like Pattern. You are talking about the Neural Correlates of Consciousness and not Consciousness itself.
I think I get what you are saying but to me you are already assuming Dualism. For me experience is not what happens to you but how you deal or explain, if you like, what happendr happens to you. Put it this way, computational neural nets can identify red things, now I'm pretty sure you'd say they are not experiencing 'Redness' but two things come to mind, how do you know others experience Redness and what is this 'experience of Redness' you talk about, can you describe it? As for me I can't really find this Redness other than imagining or retrieving a red image or images and comparing them but these are all things a computational neural net can do too. When you say 'experience Redness' are you talking about assigning some other sense represention, so for example this red gives me a crrtain feeling? If so I can agree that a computational neural net does not do this but for me this'll be because we haven't assigned another net for 'emotion'(again a very vague term but I hope you get what I mean) that associates the input patterns of 'Red' with some 'emotional' output. I think what I'm trying to say is that I don't have 'Red' or 'Redness' as separate from the neuronal activity in us, there is no gap as 'Red' is the activation of a neuronal pattern as caused by wavelengths hitting the cones of the retina and being 'sorted' or stored. Put it this way, a long time ago a friend and I took some colour blind tests and he could not see the number in the red/green pattern which I could clearly see so he was considered colour-blind but when we looked at data cables he could still pick out the red and green ones even though we knew he couldn't easily distinguish them in the same way I could, so is he experiencing Redness or not?
I am talking about the Redness Experience itself. You have to disassociate the Redness Experience from the Neural Activity. Issues of Color Blindness and even total Blindness are actually irrelevant to this issue. We want to understand how the Redness Experience happens in a Normally developed Visual System. All degenerate cases, like Color Blindness, can be pursued later.

I am not talking about assigning Emotions to the Experience of Redness. I am talking about the Redness itself (the Qualia if you like) as a Phenomenon in and of itself. I'm not talking about trying to Visualize a memory of Redness, which even for me is a Vague Experience. I'm talking about the immediate Experience of Redness that you have when a Red Object is in your Visual Scene. I'm also talking about the immediate Experience you have when Dreaming Vividly about a Red Object in your Visual Dream Scene.

People always do a Bottom Up analysis of the Visual System where they get Stuck as to what could possibly be happening after the Neural Activity that can produce the Redness Experience. I like to do a Top Down analysis and start with the Redness Experience. I still get stuck when I try to make the leap from the Redness Experience back to the Neural Activity. But this is a different point of view and might help you understand the thing in itself reality of the Redness Experience.

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Re: Locked Mind Thought Experiment

Post by SteveKlinko » Sun Aug 04, 2019 3:58 pm

Sculptor wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 3:06 pm
SteveKlinko wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 12:23 pm
Sculptor wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:21 pm


No. Your problem here is that you start with the assumption that the mind is other than the body (which it is not). This means that everything you continue with is slewed in understanding.
If I replace the tires on a car, or a battery, or even the engine it is still the same car.
The idea that changing atoms in the brain gradually should mean diminishing consciousness has no basis.
The thing is that consciousness is not "locked in" the brain. Consciousness is what the brain does. Your language assumes separateness.
Where was your consciousness before you were born?
I see no reason to not accept a continuing and evolving consciousness as we grow. The character of our mental growth is concomitant with the physical and structural growth of the brain, from child to adult. I think you would have to account for a mind which evolves from child to adult (which bears a stunning resemblance to the physical growth of the brain) are you saying it is just a coincidence?
What is the brain doing with all that change?
It isn't possible, at this point in time, for Science to show that the Neural Activity is the Conscious Experience.
Yes it does.
Science can ever predict decision making by scanning the brain.
If you scan the Brain you are detecting Neural Activity not actual Conscious Experience. You are only considering the Neural Correlates of Conscious Experience and not Conscious Experience itself. We are not talking about the more obscure aspects of Consciousness like Decision Making, but rather we are concentrating on one aspect of the Visual Experience which is specifically the Conscious Experience of Redness.

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Re: Locked Mind Thought Experiment

Post by SteveKlinko » Sun Aug 04, 2019 4:13 pm

uwot wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 3:44 pm
Sculptor wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 3:06 pm
SteveKlinko wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 12:23 pm
It isn't possible, at this point in time, for Science to show that the Neural Activity is the Conscious Experience.
Yes it does.
Science can ever predict decision making by scanning the brain.
Philosophy of mind isn't my field, but as I understand it, the neural activity that scientists associate with a particular behaviour can be observed up to 8 seconds before the behaviour manifests. On the face of it, consciousness appears to lag, but there are all sorts of conclusions you can draw from that. It doesn't really mean anything to say that science can or can't do this or that. Fundamentally, science is whatever scientists do, and different scientists will come up with different hypotheses, which they then have to test. Pretty much what I said in the article in the current issue of Philosophy Now: https://philosophynow.org/issues/133/Ph ... _Millennia
The history of our understanding of Gravity is interesting. Gravity has had some serious point of view changes over the years with one or the other of 3 or 4 theories dominating at any given point in time. But the simple question of how does Neural Activity produce something like the Experience of Redness has no theories. Not even the first one. The Physicalist answer is to say that the Redness Experience IS the Neural Activity and, unbelievably, that seems to solve it for them. That is not acceptable and is clearly not an answer to anything. They have a huge Explanatory Gap in their thinking. I am hopeful that Science will one day be able to come up with at least the First Clue about what the Redness Experience is as a thing in itself.

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Sculptor
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Re: Locked Mind Thought Experiment

Post by Sculptor » Sun Aug 04, 2019 5:08 pm

SteveKlinko wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 3:58 pm
Sculptor wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 3:06 pm
SteveKlinko wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 12:23 pm
It isn't possible, at this point in time, for Science to show that the Neural Activity is the Conscious Experience.
Yes it does.
Science can ever predict decision making by scanning the brain.
If you scan the Brain you are detecting Neural Activity not actual Conscious Experience.
What sort of proof is going to satisfy you? None.
Neural activity is consciousness.
Nothing is going to show "ACTUAL consciousness". All science is representation. War & Peace does not show actual War. A falling apple does not show actual gravity. Trump does not show actual thinking.

uwot
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Re: Locked Mind Thought Experiment

Post by uwot » Sun Aug 04, 2019 5:15 pm

SteveKlinko wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 4:13 pm
The history of our understanding of Gravity is interesting. Gravity has had some serious point of view changes over the years with one or the other of 3 or 4 theories dominating at any given point in time. But the simple question of how does Neural Activity produce something like the Experience of Redness has no theories. Not even the first one. The Physicalist answer is to say that the Redness Experience IS the Neural Activity and, unbelievably, that seems to solve it for them. That is not acceptable and is clearly not an answer to anything. They have a huge Explanatory Gap in their thinking. I am hopeful that Science will one day be able to come up with at least the First Clue about what the Redness Experience is as a thing in itself.
Like I said, philosophy of mind is not my field, but it seems to me that the job of science is to account for, measure and quantify phenomena. There are currently at least a dozen philosophical models for the cause of gravity, I even have one of my own, which you can check out here: https://willybouwman.blogspot.com The thing is, any model that is consistent with the phenomena could be true. As Popper pointed out (taking Hume to its conclusion), you can only rule hypotheses out, you can never prove a scientific hypothesis. When it comes to mind, experience is the phenomenon. You can measure and quantify it all you like, but I am not confident that any theory I am aware of could ever be ruled out, much less proven.

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Re: Locked Mind Thought Experiment

Post by Dubious » Sun Aug 04, 2019 10:58 pm

Theories have always been judged by probability enhanced by its correspondence to observation and experimentation; never by certainty. A hypothesis is viable only to the extent it can become a theory; it has to begin somewhere.The point being that any objective toward definitives remains bogus and inconsequential. What we know, or get to know can only exist within an index of probabilities. Beyond that our minds remain in limbo. Probabilities can be degraded; certainties cannot which makes any insertion of Proof requirements extraneous to how theories and its lower orders operate.

When something works flawlessly it's due to the near perfection of a paradigm and not that which it really is. In that respect paradigms are active axiomatic symbols we manipulate and play with. They are placeholders positioned to correspond with each other, colluding to create the patterns we infer as knowledge. When sufficiently collected they are functional in building technologies and not least in delineating our current state-of-the-art understanding of cosmic processes.

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Re: Locked Mind Thought Experiment

Post by SteveKlinko » Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:40 am

Sculptor wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 5:08 pm
SteveKlinko wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 3:58 pm
Sculptor wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 3:06 pm


Yes it does.
Science can ever predict decision making by scanning the brain.
If you scan the Brain you are detecting Neural Activity not actual Conscious Experience.
What sort of proof is going to satisfy you? None.
Neural activity is consciousness.
Nothing is going to show "ACTUAL consciousness". All science is representation. War & Peace does not show actual War. A falling apple does not show actual gravity. Trump does not show actual thinking.
These analogies are Diversions and Obfuscations from the question. Gravity and War have nothing to do with what we are talking about. Specifically with regard to Conscious Experience: What is the Redness of Red? I reject your belief that Science cannot study this. When you say: Nothing is going to show "ACTUAL consciousness" you are professing to know something about Consciousness that you don't really know. There is nothing that rings more hollow than the statement: Neural Activity is Consciousness. There is a huge Explanatory Gap in that statement and it is mind boggling that you don't see it.

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Re: Locked Mind Thought Experiment

Post by SteveKlinko » Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:53 am

uwot wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 5:15 pm
SteveKlinko wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 4:13 pm
The history of our understanding of Gravity is interesting. Gravity has had some serious point of view changes over the years with one or the other of 3 or 4 theories dominating at any given point in time. But the simple question of how does Neural Activity produce something like the Experience of Redness has no theories. Not even the first one. The Physicalist answer is to say that the Redness Experience IS the Neural Activity and, unbelievably, that seems to solve it for them. That is not acceptable and is clearly not an answer to anything. They have a huge Explanatory Gap in their thinking. I am hopeful that Science will one day be able to come up with at least the First Clue about what the Redness Experience is as a thing in itself.
Like I said, philosophy of mind is not my field, but it seems to me that the job of science is to account for, measure and quantify phenomena. There are currently at least a dozen philosophical models for the cause of gravity, I even have one of my own, which you can check out here: https://willybouwman.blogspot.com The thing is, any model that is consistent with the phenomena could be true. As Popper pointed out (taking Hume to its conclusion), you can only rule hypotheses out, you can never prove a scientific hypothesis. When it comes to mind, experience is the phenomenon. You can measure and quantify it all you like, but I am not confident that any theory I am aware of could ever be ruled out, much less proven.
I agree. But just as a side note, the 800lb Gorilla in the room is the Conscious Self that does the Experiencing of Redness.

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