Do we need consciousness?

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

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Skepdick
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Re: Do we need consciousness?

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SteveKlinko wrote: Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:51 pm Inanimate objects do not learn.
Correct. But computers do learn. Therefore they can't be inanimate.
SteveKlinko wrote: Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:51 pm Less technical people are fooled into believing that Computers are more like Humans than they are.
And who fooled you into believing that humans and computers are different things?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_ ... scription)
SteveKlinko wrote: Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:51 pm Does the thermostat in your home "Know" how to keep the temperature regulated?
Yes. The thermostat in my home has know-how. That is why it can keep the temperature regulated.
SteveKlinko wrote: Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:51 pm Or is it actually something else when talking about Inanimate objects?
The thermostat has an effective mechanism to actuate change. Nothing that can actuate change it is inanimate.


The fact that Babbage's Analytical Engine was to be entirely mechanical will help us rid ourselves of a superstition. Importance is often attached to the fact that modern digital computers are electrical, and the nervous system is also electrical. Since Babbage's machine was not electrical, and since all digital computers are in a sense equivalent, we see that this use of electricity cannot be of theoretical importance. ... If we wish to find such similarities we should look rather for mathematical analogies of function --Alan Turing (1950). Computing machinery and intelligence. Mind 59. In J. Copeland (Ed.), The essential Turing (pp. 433–460). Oxford: Clarendon Press, p. 446.
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bahman
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Re: Do we need consciousness?

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commonsense wrote: Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:20 pm
bahman wrote: Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:05 pm
SteveKlinko wrote: Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:21 pm
I'm not quite following this. Let me ask: What kind of change in the system are you referring to?
Think of a billiard ball moving on the table from one position to another. This is a change.
Wouldn’t a melting ice cube be a better example? After all, the billiard ball per se is unchanged even though its location in space has changed. Or is it fair to say that it’s location is one of the attributes that belong to it, and therefore it has changed its state as well?
There are a lot of motion in molecules of water in the ice. They vibrate. What happens during the process of melting is that the vibration becomes so strong that molecules cannot stay together.
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bahman
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Re: Do we need consciousness?

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SteveKlinko wrote: Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:55 pm
bahman wrote: Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:05 pm
SteveKlinko wrote: Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:21 pm
I'm not quite following this. Let me ask: What kind of change in the system are you referring to?
Think of a billiard ball moving on the table from one position to another. This is a change.
So then you are looking at reality as being a series of freeze frames. The frame at State A appears then disappears and then the frame at State B appears and disappears etc. It's a Speculation that could be true. Nobody knows. Seems easier to just assume continuous movement without all the appearing and disappearing.
Can you define continuous motion? The only definition that I know is the one in math which is a limit of discrete motion. This means that accepting that my picture is true one can always get the continuous limit.
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Re: Do we need consciousness?

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bahman wrote: Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:17 pm
SteveKlinko wrote: Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:55 pm
bahman wrote: Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:05 pm
Think of a billiard ball moving on the table from one position to another. This is a change.
So then you are looking at reality as being a series of freeze frames. The frame at State A appears then disappears and then the frame at State B appears and disappears etc. It's a Speculation that could be true. Nobody knows. Seems easier to just assume continuous movement without all the appearing and disappearing.
Can you define continuous motion? The only definition that I know is the one in math which is a limit of discrete motion. This means that accepting that my picture is true one can always get the continuous limit.
When you reach the Continuous limit you will have crossed over a threshold into a different reality than any Discrete reality. There will be no need for things to disappear and reappear. The logic that you might use for Discrete realities does not apply in a Continuous reality. For an object to move one inch in a Continuous reality it would have to disappear and reappear an Infinite amount of times. Infinities are impossible in any real physical reality. So you would have to accept that the Object does not disappear and reappear but rather it just moves smoothly. It's simply a different reality than a Discrete reality.
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Re: Do we need consciousness?

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Skepdick wrote: Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:31 pm
SteveKlinko wrote: Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:51 pm Inanimate objects do not learn.
Correct. But computers do learn. Therefore they can't be inanimate.
SteveKlinko wrote: Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:51 pm Less technical people are fooled into believing that Computers are more like Humans than they are.
And who fooled you into believing that humans and computers are different things?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_ ... scription)
SteveKlinko wrote: Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:51 pm Does the thermostat in your home "Know" how to keep the temperature regulated?
Yes. The thermostat in my home has know-how. That is why it can keep the temperature regulated.
SteveKlinko wrote: Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:51 pm Or is it actually something else when talking about Inanimate objects?
The thermostat has an effective mechanism to actuate change. Nothing that can actuate change it is inanimate.


The fact that Babbage's Analytical Engine was to be entirely mechanical will help us rid ourselves of a superstition. Importance is often attached to the fact that modern digital computers are electrical, and the nervous system is also electrical. Since Babbage's machine was not electrical, and since all digital computers are in a sense equivalent, we see that this use of electricity cannot be of theoretical importance. ... If we wish to find such similarities we should look rather for mathematical analogies of function --Alan Turing (1950). Computing machinery and intelligence. Mind 59. In J. Copeland (Ed.), The essential Turing (pp. 433–460). Oxford: Clarendon Press, p. 446.
So Computers and Thermostats are not Inanimate Objects in your view of reality. There's not a lot I can say if that's the basis of your Philosophy. We are at a standoff.
Skepdick
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Re: Do we need consciousness?

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SteveKlinko wrote: Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:24 pm So Computers and Thermostats are not Inanimate Objects in your view of reality.
In my view of reality "inanimate" is just a label. An arbitrary, subjective categorisation. You are welcome to label them however you want if the nomenclature triggers you.

Re-describing reality has absolutely no effect on reality.
SteveKlinko wrote: Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:24 pm There's not a lot I can say if that's the basis of your Philosophy. We are at a standoff.
You aren't really paying attention, are you? Philosophy doesn't have a basis - that's why I am not a philosopher, and take a militant anti-foundationalist view when engaging dogmatists such as yourself.

We can't possibly be at a "stand-off" because as a philosopher you have no leg to stand on.
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bahman
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Re: Do we need consciousness?

Post by bahman »

SteveKlinko wrote: Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:18 pm
bahman wrote: Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:17 pm
SteveKlinko wrote: Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:55 pm
So then you are looking at reality as being a series of freeze frames. The frame at State A appears then disappears and then the frame at State B appears and disappears etc. It's a Speculation that could be true. Nobody knows. Seems easier to just assume continuous movement without all the appearing and disappearing.
Can you define continuous motion? The only definition that I know is the one in math which is a limit of discrete motion. This means that accepting that my picture is true one can always get the continuous limit.
When you reach the Continuous limit you will have crossed over a threshold into a different reality than any Discrete reality. There will be no need for things to disappear and reappear. The logic that you might use for Discrete realities does not apply in a Continuous reality. For an object to move one inch in a Continuous reality it would have to disappear and reappear an Infinite amount of times. Infinities are impossible in any real physical reality. So you would have to accept that the Object does not disappear and reappear but rather it just moves smoothly. It's simply a different reality than a Discrete reality.
Infinite number of events that each separated from another by the infinitesimal amount of time is possible since it takes a finite amount of time.
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Re: Do we need consciousness?

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Skepdick wrote: Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:55 pm
SteveKlinko wrote: Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:24 pm So Computers and Thermostats are not Inanimate Objects in your view of reality.
In my view of reality "inanimate" is just a label. An arbitrary, subjective categorisation. You are welcome to label them however you want if the nomenclature triggers you.

Re-describing reality has absolutely no effect on reality.
SteveKlinko wrote: Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:24 pm There's not a lot I can say if that's the basis of your Philosophy. We are at a standoff.
You aren't really paying attention, are you? Philosophy doesn't have a basis - that's why I am not a philosopher, and take a militant anti-foundationalist view when engaging dogmatists such as yourself.

We can't possibly be at a "stand-off" because as a philosopher you have no leg to stand on.
Labels are not arbitrary. We have to label things in order to be able to have coherent conversations. If you are just going to play word games then you are not a serious debater. But, funny last line. Let's try this: I think we are at an Impasse.
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Re: Do we need consciousness?

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bahman wrote: Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:52 pm
SteveKlinko wrote: Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:18 pm
bahman wrote: Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:17 pm
Can you define continuous motion? The only definition that I know is the one in math which is a limit of discrete motion. This means that accepting that my picture is true one can always get the continuous limit.
When you reach the Continuous limit you will have crossed over a threshold into a different reality than any Discrete reality. There will be no need for things to disappear and reappear. The logic that you might use for Discrete realities does not apply in a Continuous reality. For an object to move one inch in a Continuous reality it would have to disappear and reappear an Infinite amount of times. Infinities are impossible in any real physical reality. So you would have to accept that the Object does not disappear and reappear but rather it just moves smoothly. It's simply a different reality than a Discrete reality.
Infinite number of events that each separated from another by the infinitesimal amount of time is possible since it takes a finite amount of time.
But Infinity really is a Mathematical fiction. Infinity has no reality in any Physically Manifested Universe.
Skepdick
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Re: Do we need consciousness?

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SteveKlinko wrote: Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:27 pm Labels are not arbitrary.
They are.
SteveKlinko wrote: Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:27 pm We have to label things in order to be able to have coherent conversations.
Before we can have a coherent conversation we have to agree on the meaning of a label.

How can you and I agree on the meaning of 'consciousness' when you can't even agree with yourself on what it means?
SteveKlinko wrote: Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:27 pm If you are just going to play word games then you are not a serious debater.
I am not here to debate - I am here to have a conversation.

Do observe though. You can't even decide whether we are debating or conversing.

It's difficult to make any headway with indecisive people...
SteveKlinko wrote: Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:27 pm But, funny last line. Let's try this: I think we are at an Impasse.
That's what I am trying to communicate to you! We can't make any progress in our conversation until you figure out what you mean by "consciousness".

When you are ready to tell me - let me know.
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Re: Do we need consciousness?

Post by SteveKlinko »

Skepdick wrote: Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:37 pm
SteveKlinko wrote: Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:27 pm Labels are not arbitrary.
They are.
SteveKlinko wrote: Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:27 pm We have to label things in order to be able to have coherent conversations.
Before we can have a coherent conversation we have to agree on the meaning of a label.

How can you and I agree on the meaning of 'consciousness' when you can't even agree with yourself on what it means?
SteveKlinko wrote: Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:27 pm If you are just going to play word games then you are not a serious debater.
I am not here to debate - I am here to have a conversation.

Do observe though. You can't even decide whether we are debating or conversing.

It's difficult to make any headway with indecisive people...
SteveKlinko wrote: Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:27 pm But, funny last line. Let's try this: I think we are at an Impasse.
That's what I am trying to communicate to you! We can't make any progress in our conversation until you figure out what you mean by "consciousness".

When you make up your mind - let me know.
Since nobody knows what Consciousness is, your mandate that I must figure out what Consciousness is before we can progress, is really just childish Sophistry.
Skepdick
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Re: Do we need consciousness?

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SteveKlinko wrote: Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:46 pm Since nobody knows what Consciousness is
What does the label "consciousness" refer to then? Are you telling me you have no referent for the very words you are using ?!?

I know what consciousness is! I am consciousness.
SteveKlinko wrote: Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:46 pm your mandate that I must figure out what Consciousness is before we can progress, is really just childish Sophistry.
Yes! It's how science works! First you discover "it" - then you give "it" a label!

Have you found the referent for consciousness or are you still looking for it?

You are doing it backwards - that's Sophistry.
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Re: Do we need consciousness?

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Skepdick wrote: Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:55 pm
SteveKlinko wrote: Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:46 pm Since nobody knows what Consciousness is
What does the label "consciousness" refer to then? Are you telling me you have no referent for the very words you are using ?!?

I know what consciousness is! I am consciousness.
SteveKlinko wrote: Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:46 pm your mandate that I must figure out what Consciousness is before we can progress, is really just childish Sophistry.
Yes! It's how science works! First you discover "it" - then you give "it" a label!

Have you found the referent for consciousness or are you still looking for it?

You are doing it backwards - that's Sophistry.
You fail to realize that nobody knows what Consciousness is. Science does not have even the first clue as to how to begin the research. The Explanatory Gap seems insurmountable at this point in time. The Hard Problem has stymied mankind ever since mankind has had an inner thought. So I have a question for you, Here's the two things we know:

1) Neural Activity Happens in the Brain.
2) Conscious Activity Happens in the Mind.

The question is: How does 1 produce or lead to 2?

Simple question.
Nobody knows.

This is the question we should be working on rather than playing idiotic semantic games.

By the way I am not going first define the words Brain, Mind, Simple, Question, Nobody, Knows, Semantic, Games, or any other word, just in case that is part of your next reply.
Skepdick
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Re: Do we need consciousness?

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SteveKlinko wrote: Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:58 pm You fail to realize that nobody knows what Consciousness is.
No Steve, I am not failing to realize it. You are failing to realize that I have realized it.

"nobody knows what Consciousness is." is a statement that I wholeheartedly agree with.

I am nobody and I know what consciousness is.

I am Consciousness.
SteveKlinko wrote: Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:58 pm Science does not have even the first clue as to how to begin the research.
Science doesn't have any knowledge - it is just a method for acquiring knowledge.
SteveKlinko wrote: Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:58 pm 1) Neural Activity Happens in the Brain.
Agreed.
SteveKlinko wrote: Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:58 pm 2) Conscious Activity Happens in the Mind.
How do you know?
SteveKlinko wrote: Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:58 pm The question is: How does 1 produce or lead to 2?
That wouldn't be my first question. My first question would be "Does 1 lead to 2?"
My second question would be "Is a mind sufficient for consciousness?"
My 3rd question would be "Is a brain necessary for a mind?"
SteveKlinko wrote: Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:58 pm This is the question we should be working on rather than playing idiotic semantic games.
How do you know that your question isn't wrong?
SteveKlinko wrote: Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:58 pm By the way I am not going first define the words Brain, Mind, Simple, Question, Nobody, Knows, Semantic, Games, or any other word, just in case that is part of your next reply.
That's fair, lets not get bogged down in semantics - lets us focus onto something more meaningful.

Do you mind explaining what the concept (N.B not the word) of 'explanation' means to you?

What does it feel like when your mind assimilates an explanation?
What does it feel when a possible explanation fails to cross the explanatory gap?
What does it feel when a possible explanation crosses the explanatory gap?
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Re: Do we need consciousness?

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Skepdick wrote: Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:01 pm
SteveKlinko wrote: Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:58 pm You fail to realize that nobody knows what Consciousness is.
No Steve, I am not failing to realize it. You are failing to realize that I have realized it.

"nobody knows what Consciousness is." is a statement that I wholeheartedly agree with.

I am nobody and I know what consciousness is.

I am Consciousness.
SteveKlinko wrote: Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:58 pm Science does not have even the first clue as to how to begin the research.
Science doesn't have any knowledge - it is just a method for acquiring knowledge.
SteveKlinko wrote: Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:58 pm 1) Neural Activity Happens in the Brain.
Agreed.
SteveKlinko wrote: Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:58 pm 2) Conscious Activity Happens in the Mind.
How do you know?
SteveKlinko wrote: Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:58 pm The question is: How does 1 produce or lead to 2?
That wouldn't be my first question. My first question would be "Does 1 lead to 2?"
My second question would be "Is a mind sufficient for consciousness?"
My 3rd question would be "Is a brain necessary for a mind?"
SteveKlinko wrote: Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:58 pm This is the question we should be working on rather than playing idiotic semantic games.
How do you know that your question isn't wrong?
SteveKlinko wrote: Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:58 pm By the way I am not going first define the words Brain, Mind, Simple, Question, Nobody, Knows, Semantic, Games, or any other word, just in case that is part of your next reply.
That's fair, lets not get bogged down in semantics - lets us focus onto something more meaningful.

Do you mind explaining what the concept (N.B not the word) of 'explanation' means to you?

What does it feel like when your mind assimilates an explanation?
What does it feel when a possible explanation fails to cross the explanatory gap?
What does it feel when a possible explanation crosses the explanatory gap?
We all experience Consciousness with our inner subjective view but we don't know what it actually is. We don't actually know What we are. Saying that "I am Consciousness" sounds like some sort of hollow New Age mantra.

Your first 3 questions are good questions. What do you think the answers are?

If the question is wrong then you must show why it's wrong. It could be wrong but it is where Science and Philosophy are at right now.

I think it is counterproductive to try to put the concept of Explanation into some definitional box.

Your last three questions are good questions. What do you think the answers are?
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