In what sense is Descartes's dualism wrong?

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: In what sense is Descartes's dualism wrong?

Post by Skepdick » Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:22 am

Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:57 am
I don't understand why you are fixed with defining these words?
Because all that Philosophy has every fixated on for the last - EVER is definition! Semantics.

What do words mean? What IS meaning?
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:57 am
For me these terms are self-evident and do not need further clarification.
Great! It sounds like you know exactly what those terms mean. But I don't (because I can't read your mind). Go ahead and define them.

Philosophy is (and has always been) the game of expressing your thoughts in a language other people can understand. Philosophy teaches you HOW to USE language. Philosophy doesn't teach you what language IS and HOW language works. Computer science does.
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:57 am
I can only use analogies. For example, if a couple of marbles in NY collide and cause pigs to fly in Beijing, then I have a "problem" with that, which needs an "explanation"/"solution".
If a couple of marbles in NY collide and cause pigs to fly in Beijing then a couple of marbles collided and caused pigs to fly in Beijing. Why is that a problem to you?
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:57 am
Whereas you tell that it is just a causal chain we should no further question. From A follows B and you are happy with that. I'm not.
WHY aren't you happy with that?

Are you saying you don't WANT that to happen?

Great! Lets talk about your wants, needs and desires - that would be a very human conversation. But lets not pretend that the conversation has anything to do with "the state of affairs", and everything to do with our discontentment with it.

It OUGHT to be different! Right?
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:57 am
No, I thought it is clear that I'm a dualist (... well not even that... but I don't want to digress on this).
Sure. Dualism/monism - it's just definitions.

The fundamental challenge with dualism is the problem of mental causality.

Just because nobody has an answer for HOW experience happens, it doesn't mean that it DOESN'T happen.

The problem is that if science (which only ever gives causal answers, A -> B) can't explain/account how experience emerges, then nothing can explain it. So where does that leave you in asking the question?
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:57 am
Stating that a physical process gives rise to an experience is a mystical claim as well.
Yes, but it's LESS mystical than "something completely unknown, undetectable and beyond human comprehension gives rise to experience"!

You are committing the fallacy which Isac Asimov calls "The Relativity of Wrong".

When people thought the earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together.

Both views are wrong. One of those views is less wrong.
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:57 am
There is no obvious logic in saying that a physical process implies experience other than by a leap of faith.
Yes. One leap, not two. Dualism requires to take another kind of leap: it requires you to reject causality.

Ignore time.
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:57 am
Your claim is reminiscent of panpsychism that equates matter as a form of mind/experience as fundamental and prior to matter itself.
If that's what panpsychism is then that's not what my claim is. My view is mind-matter inter-dependence.

Mind and matter are the same thing - humans create the difference. Through definitions.
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:57 am
Take a chemical reaction. Does it give rise to a subjective experience of someone/something becoming sentient? If the answer is yes, then you are making a mystical claim.
It's not mystical if you are a Monist. Everything in the Universe is "chemical reactions" therefore subjective experience is a chemical reaction. What else could it be?

All you have done is you've adopted the language (perspective?) of chemistry.
If you had adopted the language (perspective?) of quantum physics there are no such things as chemical reactions.

There are only wave functions. Everything in the Universe is "wave functions" therefore "subjective experience" is a wave function. "Chemical reactions" are also wave functions. What else could they be?

Rinse, repeat for every other language/perspective.
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:57 am
If the answer is no, then back to the basics....
What do you think "the basics" are, exactly?
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:57 am
the hard problem of consciousness did not receive any kind of answer.
So why are you dichotomising it then? :)

Does a chemical reaction, or a wave function give rise to consciousness?

If you choose agnosticism the answer is "I don't know" (maybe we will find out, maybe we won't)
if you choose monism the answer is "yes" (if there's an answer - this is the way to go)
if you choose dualism the answer is "no" (and there is no hope of ever getting an answer).

How do you choose one?
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:57 am
We only know that in this universe, from the causal chain of processes that we can described from a third-person perspective something emerges that can only be experienced from a first-person perspective.
You do realise that the "3rd person perspective" is imagined, right?

That perspective IS subjective experience. And so that which you are calling "the universe" at this very moment IS subjective experience. It's all in your head.
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:57 am
There is an abysmal explanatory gap. that is not in the least addressed by talking about algorithms, recursions, models, neural networks, neurobiology, etc. It completely misses the point.
Yes! The explanatory gap starts with you defining what an "explanation" is! And the reason why you think all of the above things "miss the point" is because you've never tried to define "definition".

Can you define "definition" ? What does it mean to define something? What does it mean for consciousness to define itself?
Is consciousness defining itself the same thing as defining "definition"?

It's precisely because you take these things as "self-evident" (instead of being sceptical!) is why you miss the importance and significance of recursion/self-reference.

You can't define "definition", but through defining things (over and over and over and over again) you develop an empirical understanding of what a definition IS.

That's what programming is. Practice! Practice! Practice! Practice!

Everything that Philosophy can teach you about language games - about using, learning and inventing meaningful new languages, Computer Science can teach you better.

Satyavan
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2019 8:54 pm

Re: In what sense is Descartes's dualism wrong?

Post by Satyavan » Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:15 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:22 am
If a couple of marbles in NY collide and cause pigs to fly in Beijing then a couple of marbles collided and caused pigs to fly in Beijing. Why is that a problem to you?
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:22 am
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:57 am
Whereas you tell that it is just a causal chain we should no further question. From A follows B and you are happy with that. I'm not.
WHY aren't you happy with that?
I'm baffled. I even can't imagine someone having no problem with that. If this is normal to you, fine. But this means to shut down our brains, don't ask questions and embrace a religion. Nothing for me.
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:22 am
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:57 am
Take a chemical reaction. Does it give rise to a subjective experience of someone/something becoming sentient? If the answer is yes, then you are making a mystical claim.
It's not mystical if you are a Monist. Everything in the Universe is "chemical reactions" therefore subjective experience is a chemical reaction. What else could it be?
The question was not what a subjective experience is. Therefore the answer missed the point again.
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:22 am
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:57 am
We only know that in this universe, from the causal chain of processes that we can described from a third-person perspective something emerges that can only be experienced from a first-person perspective.
You do realise that the "3rd person perspective" is imagined, right? That perspective IS subjective experience. And so that which you are calling "the universe" at this very moment IS subjective experience.
Exactly! That's why idealism is inescapable.
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:22 am
It's all in your head.
Ouch... no, you fall into the same trap you warned from yourself. ;)
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:22 am
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:57 am
There is an abysmal explanatory gap. that is not in the least addressed by talking about algorithms, recursions, models, neural networks, neurobiology, etc. It completely misses the point.
Yes! The explanatory gap starts with you defining what an "explanation" is! And the reason why you think all of the above things "miss the point" is because you've never tried to define "definition".

Can you define "definition" ? What does it mean to define something? What does it mean for consciousness to define itself?
Is consciousness defining itself the same thing as defining "definition"?
So, please define it for me....
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:22 am
It's precisely because you take these things as "self-evident" (instead of being sceptical!) is why you miss the importance and significance of recursion/self-reference.
There is no need for recursion. Everything becomes self-evident without need for explanation if we take the first-person perspective as fundamental. Why should I be skeptical of the only thing which I can be sure of, namely having experiences? Recursions arises only when you look outside and insists on a physicalist third-person perspective.

Skepdick
Posts: 3716
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: In what sense is Descartes's dualism wrong?

Post by Skepdick » Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:34 pm

Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:15 pm
I'm baffled. I even can't imagine someone having no problem with that If this is normal to you, fine. But this means to shut down our brains, don't ask questions and embrace a religion.
Why are you strawmanning me like that? I AM asking you a question. The questions that I am asking you is "WHY aren't you happy with that?" and "WHY do you have a problem with it?"

Be charitable and observe that I am actually asking you the hardest question there is: WHY?

You are the one who claims that the answers are "self-evident" (like God). You are the religious one in this interaction (and the reason I was able to turn the tables on you like that is because I know how to leverage recursion).

The fundamental, problem of recursion boils down to this: Why does this question exist?
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:15 pm
The question was not what a subjective experience is. Therefore the answer missed the point again.
While I busy dismantling the religion of "self-evidentness", could you tell me what a "question" is? Or is that question not allowed in your religion?

Obviously, I know how to USE questions (that's what I am DOING in this conversation), but could you actually tell me (e.g DEFINE) what a question IS?

If you can't even explain what a question is, how are you going to explain consciousness?
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:15 pm
Exactly! That's why idealism is inescapable.
Great. We are on the same page, so I am firing another nuclear missile at your foundations:

What is a "question?". What is an "answer"?

For the record: the notions of "questions and answers" are formally covered in any undergraduate Computer Science course on database systems and declarative/query languages.

Like SQL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SQL
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:15 pm
Ouch... no, you fall into the same trap you warned from yourself. ;)
I haven't. I can navigate around recursion/self-reference - you can't.

My thoughts are in my head. My words are on your screen.
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:15 pm
So, please define it for me....
I CAN'T define it! That's my point.

But I CAN say that I know what definition IS, because I am well-experienced in defining things in Programming languages, and I CAN say that I know what definition can and can't do. That is to say - I understand the limits of languages/definitions. Do you?

That is the fundamental implication of Kolmogorov: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kolmogorov_complexity
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:15 pm
There is no need for recursion. Everything becomes self-evident without need for explanation if we take the first-person perspective as fundamental.
But the first-person perspective IS subjective experience! How can you take as fundamental the very thing you are trying to explain?

Why does the thing you take as fundamental require an explanation if you've already accepted it as being true?

Your fallacy has a name: Begging the question

You haven't answered the question - in assuming the answer you've ignored it!
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:15 pm
Why should I be skeptical of the only thing which I can be sure of, namely having experiences?
Because you don't know HOW it works.

Isn't that why you are asking the "How does experience arise...?" question?
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:15 pm
Recursions arises only when you look outside and insists on a physicalist third-person perspective.
No. Recursion arises every time you use the word "I".

Self-reference is recursion.

Satyavan
Posts: 16
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Re: In what sense is Descartes's dualism wrong?

Post by Satyavan » Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:21 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:34 pm
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:15 pm
I'm baffled. I even can't imagine someone having no problem with that If this is normal to you, fine. But this means to shut down our brains, don't ask questions and embrace a religion.
Why are you strawmanning me like that. I AM asking you a question. The questions that I am asking you is "WHY aren't you happy with that?" and "WHY do you have a problem with it?"
Marbles making pigs fly.... hmm... why is this a problem? Ok, then let us put it into the causal language you seem to like so much. One does not see the connection between one even and the other.
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:34 pm
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:15 pm
Exactly! That's why idealism is inescapable.
Great. We are on the same page, so I am firing another nuclear missile at your foundations:
Strange, I still din't see any of my arguments destroyed in the least. Self-assuredness makes blind.... ;)
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:34 pm
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:15 pm
Ouch... no, you fall into the same trap you warned from yourself. ;)
I haven't. I can recursion/self-reference (it LOOKS like circularity) - you can't.
There is no head. It is a figment in your consciousness. You can not self-reference because there is no self- and non-self in the first place. This appears only at the instant of reification in a mental space. Which is a figment already.
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:34 pm
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:15 pm
So, please define it for me....
I CAN'T define it! That's my point.

But I CAN say that I know what definition IS. And I CAN say that I know what definition can and can't do.
Great! Then stop asking me for that. Definitions are mental constructs. Mind is experienced, therefore they become useless for that wich is beyond mind. It is like defining "life" and "dead" or "beauty" and "ugly" or "good" and "bad". Words can not exhaust some aspects of our life like "consciousness", "sentience", "feelings", etc., there never won't be an ultimate convergence and agreement accepted by all on these matters.
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:34 pm
That is the fundamental implication of Kolmogorov: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kolmogorov_complexity
I don't see what Kolomogorv's complexity theory is supposed to tell us about consciousness other than saying that reason can't get it.
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:34 pm
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:15 pm
There is no need for recursion. Everything becomes self-evident without need for explanation if we take the first-person perspective as fundamental.
How can you take as fundamental the very thing you are trying to explain? Consciousness!
I'm trying to explain it? Did I? I have never asked to explain it.
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:34 pm
Why does the thing you take as fundamental require an explanation if you've already accepted it as being true?
Exactly. It doesn't need any explanation. That's what I'm trying to explain ... aehm.... clarify you all the time. This has nothing to do with the hard problem of consciousness.
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:34 pm
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:15 pm
Why should I be skeptical of the only thing which I can be sure of, namely having experiences?
Because you don't know how it works.
'Workings' are events IN consciousness. Therefore there is no need for knowledge how it works, because there is no working in the first place.
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:34 pm
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:15 pm
Recursions arises only when you look outside and insists on a physicalist third-person perspective.
No. Recursion arises every time you use the word "I".

Self-reference is recursion.
Of course, the third-person-perspective presupposes an "I" vs. a "non-I". You are only confirming my argument. ;)

Skepdick
Posts: 3716
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Re: In what sense is Descartes's dualism wrong?

Post by Skepdick » Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:48 pm

Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:21 pm
Marbles making pigs fly.... hmm... why is this a problem?
I don't know why it's a problem TO YOU. That is why I am asking you the question "WHY is it a problem?"

Why is a hypothetical situation OF YOUR OWN MAKING a "problem" to you?

You are the one who said it's a problem and that it was "self-evidently so".
It's not as "self-evident" to me as it is to you - that is why I followed up your statement with a question.
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:21 pm
Ok, then let us put it into the causal language you seem to like so much. One does not see the connection between one even and the other.
I don't "like" or "dislike" the causal language - it's one of the many languages I use. It's the same language you used when making the statement.

IF marbles made pigs fly would that be a problem, or would that not be a problem?

Why, or why not?
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:21 pm
Strange, I still din't see any of my arguments destroyed in the least. Self-assuredness makes blind.... ;)
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:21 pm
Of course, the third-person-perspective presupposes an "I" vs. a "non-I". You are only confirming my argument. ;)
Have you heard of confirmation bias? That's where reflection and introspection comes really handy ;)

I am not here to destroy your arguments, because as far as I am concerned you haven't made anything that I would consider to be "an argument".
You've said a bunch of things having paved over a foundation of "experience". Hume did that a few centuries ago.

P.S What is "an argument" exactly? What is "experience"?
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:21 pm
You can not self-reference because there is no self- and non-self in the first place.
But literally in the last post you said that "experience exists". Isn't conscious experience the very thing that we call "the self"?

Does it exist, or doesn't it exist?

Make up your mind.
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:21 pm
Great! Then stop asking me for that. Definitions are mental constructs.
No, they aren't. Definitions are LINGUISTIC EXPRESSIONS of mental constructs.

The ability to turn your mental constructs into definitions is called self-expression.
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:21 pm
Mind is experienced
So there is something to experience mind? OK, what is mind experienced BY?
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:21 pm
, therefore they become useless for that wich is beyond mind. It is like defining "life" and "dead" or "beauty" and "ugly" or "good" and "bad". Words can not exhaust some aspects of our life like "consciousness", "sentience", "feelings", etc., there never won't be an ultimate convergence and agreement accepted by all on these matters.
Great! So what definition of explanation are you looking for then?
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:21 pm
I don't see what Kolomogorv's complexity theory is supposed to tell us about consciousness other than saying that reason can't get it.
It tells us, fundamentally that defining things is HARD, if not impossible!

Defining quarks, leptons and electrons in the language of Mathematics is HARD, and they are tiny, tiny things.
Defining consciousness (which is made up of quintillions of quarks, leptons and electrons) is closer to the the "IMPOSSIBLE" side of the scale.
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:21 pm
I'm trying to explain it? Did I? I have never asked to explain it.
You asked a question about it, did you not? If you didn't expect an answer, why did you ask the question?
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:21 pm
Exactly. It doesn't need any explanation.That's what I'm trying to explain ... aehm.... clarify you all the time. This has nothing to do with the hard problem of consciousness.
It has everything to do with the "hard problem of consciousness. The "HARD PROBLEM" is about answering the questions!

If it doesn't need explanations then why are you still asking questions?

No question - no problem!
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:21 pm
'Workings' are events IN consciousness. Therefore there is no need for knowledge how it works, because there is no working in the first place.
So you don't know that conscious experience exists?

Satyavan
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2019 8:54 pm

Re: In what sense is Descartes's dualism wrong?

Post by Satyavan » Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:19 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:48 pm
P.S What is "an argument" exactly? What is "experience"?
I don't know how to define "argument", I know the question "what is experience?" does not need an answer because every answer needs experience a priori. It is like trying to characterize milk by cheese.
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:48 pm
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:21 pm
You can not self-reference because there is no self- and non-self in the first place.
But literally in the last post you said that "experience exists". Isn't conscious experience the very thing that we call "the self"?

Does it exist, or doesn't it exist?

Make up your mind.
No, the self is part of the experience. My head even more so, it makes part of the phenomenal consciousness. So, it would be contradictory to state that everything is in your head.
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:48 pm
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:21 pm
Mind is experienced
So there is something to experience mind? OK, what is mind experienced BY?
Consciousness. Mind and consciousness are not the same.
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:48 pm
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:21 pm
, therefore they become useless for that wich is beyond mind. It is like defining "life" and "dead" or "beauty" and "ugly" or "good" and "bad". Words can not exhaust some aspects of our life like "consciousness", "sentience", "feelings", etc., there never won't be an ultimate convergence and agreement accepted by all on these matters.
Great! So what definition of "consciousness" are you looking for then?
What makes you think I'm looking for a definition of consciousness? I never asked for that either.
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:48 pm
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:21 pm
I don't see what Kolomogorv's complexity theory is supposed to tell us about consciousness other than saying that reason can't get it.
It tells us, fundamentally that defining things is HARD, if not impossible!
If you look it from the experiential point of view it becomes almost self-evident. Every definition requires a (more or less direct or indirect) reference to a phenomenal experience. Therefore, especially when it comes to defining things which are manifestly experiential it becomes obviously recursive. It is like the infinity illusion mirror. It is an illusion.
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:48 pm
Defining quarks, leptons and electrons in the language of Mathematics is HARD, and they are tiny, tiny things.
Defining consciousness (which is made up of quintillions of quarks, leptons and electrons) is closer to the the "IMPOSSIBLE" side of the scale.
In fact, I never felt it useful to come up with definitions in the domain of the philosophy of mind. It is only by a inner investigation, going inward, that things can become clearer. It is by introspection instead of 'extrovert' everything into a third-person perspective or into logic formalism that things reveal itself for what they are. (And, BTW, I don't think consciousness is made up of quintillions of quarks, leptons and electrons).
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:48 pm
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:21 pm
I'm trying to explain it? Did I? I have never asked to explain it.
You asked a question about it, did you not? If you didn't expect an answer, why did you ask the question?
I asked for what Descartes' error was.... obviously we went somewhat off-topic and now it is about the hard problem of consciousness. Should be another thread, perhaps...
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:48 pm
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:21 pm
Exactly. It doesn't need any explanation.That's what I'm trying to explain ... aehm.... clarify you all the time. This has nothing to do with the hard problem of consciousness.
It has everything to do with the "hard problem of consciousness. The "HARD PROBLEM" is about answering the questions!
If it doesn't need explanations then why are you still asking questions?
No, the so called hard problem of consciousness (that of the philosophy of mind of D. Chalmers, the problem of qualia, etc.) does not ask for what consciousness is or explain it as such. It is about the question why that grey stuff in our skull is supposed to produce subjective experiences. A completely different question that involves completely different issues.
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:48 pm
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:21 pm
'Workings' are events IN consciousness. Therefore there is no need for knowledge how it works, because there is no working in the first place.
So you don't know that conscious experience exists?
Not sure what you mean? I know that 'workings' (I understand by that word 'processes', 'events' in time) exist as a conscious experience. But one does not need to know the workings of consciousness to know what it is. Here knowledge is not intellectual it is experience itself. I don't find this cryptic. It is an obvious fact of everyday .... experience.

Skepdick
Posts: 3716
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: In what sense is Descartes's dualism wrong?

Post by Skepdick » Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:34 pm

Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:19 pm
I don't know how to define "argument", I know the question "what is experience?" does not need an answer because every answer needs experience a priori. It is like trying to characterize milk by cheese.
Then why are you asking it?
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:19 pm
No, the self is part of the experience. My head even more so, it makes part of the phenomenal consciousness. So, it would be contradictory to state that everything is in your head.
How is that possible? Your head is not PART of the experience, you having any experiences depends on you having a head.

Beheaded people don't have experiences.
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:19 pm
Consciousness. Mind and consciousness are not the same.
OK. I am happy to concede that consciousness doesn't require an explanation or definition.

Can you define/explain the mind then?
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:19 pm
What makes you think I'm looking for a definition of consciousness? I never asked for that either.
If you are asking questions - you are looking for something.
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:19 pm
If you look it from the experiential point of view it becomes almost self-evident. Every definition requires a (more or less direct or indirect) reference to a phenomenal experience. Therefore, especially when it comes to defining things which are manifestly experiential it becomes obviously recursive. It is like the infinity illusion mirror. It is an illusion.
It's not an illusion. Recursion is a fact. Computers recurse. Computers reflect. Computers introspect.

Exactly like humans.
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:19 pm
In fact, I never felt it useful to come up with definitions in the domain of the philosophy of mind.
Why not? You said that consciousness and mind are different.

Consciousness may not need an explanation, but surely mind does?
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:19 pm
It is only by a inner investigation, going inward, that things can become clearer. It is by introspection instead of 'extrovert' everything into a third-person perspective or into logic formalism that things reveal itself for what they are. (And, BTW, I don't think consciousness is made up of quintillions of quarks, leptons and electrons).
Wouldn't you say that IF consciousness experiences (observes?) the mind, then consciousness has a 3rd party perspective ON the mind?

That's not introspection. Consciousness is looking AT the mind, not INTO the mind.
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:19 pm
I asked for what Descartes' error was.... obviously we went somewhat off-topic and now it is about the hard problem of consciousness. Should be another thread, perhaps...
Right. Descartes' error was dualism. Drawing distinctions.

Like the erroneous distinction between Mind and Consciousness ;)
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:19 pm
No, the so called hard problem of consciousness (that of the philosophy of mind of D. Chalmers, the problem of qualia, etc.) does not ask for what consciousness is or explain it as such. It is about the question why that grey stuff in our skull is supposed to produce subjective experiences. A completely different question that involves completely different issues.
*cough* *cough*

Are you talking about the hard problem of CONSCIOUSNESS; or about the hard problem of MIND?

You said they are different. Is MIND a hard problem too?
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:19 pm
Not sure what you mean? I know that 'workings' (I understand by that word 'processes', 'events' in time) exist as a conscious experience. But one does not need to know the workings of consciousness to know what it is.
Sure you do! This is the Kantian Phenomena/Noumena distinction.

From a 3rd person perspective all you can ever do is know what things DO. Phenomena.

You have to look "inside" to know what things ARE. Noumena.

Dimebag
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Re: In what sense is Descartes's dualism wrong?

Post by Dimebag » Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:40 pm

edit: sorry misposted while composing
Last edited by Dimebag on Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

Dimebag
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Re: How can we determine if someone is conscious?

Post by Dimebag » Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:00 am

Our brains actually have a built in module for determining if someone or something APPEARS to have a mind. From an early age, young children develop an ability called “theory of mind”, that is, the ability to determine what another mind is thinking. Another description might be, the ability to take another person’s perspective.

The earliest form of this ability might be, the ability to follow the train of someone’s vision. You see a person looking in a particular direction, so you instinctively look in the direction their eyes are looking, and you look for what appears to be novel or pertinent to the moment. This is probably an implicit form of knowing someone’s mind.

Slowly, we learn to INFER the contents of someone’s mind based on logic and inference. We can never know 100% if what we think they are conscious of is what they are really conscious of, but it is usually a good bet.

For example. I am sitting down watching a movie with my wife. I am conscious of the movie. I then look over at my wife, see her eyes trained on the screen, see she is engrossed in whatever is in that direction, so I infer she is conscious of the movie. She might actually be trying to remember if she turned off the oven at home, but, as she hasn’t moved her eyes for the past half an hour, I can probably be safe in assuming she is conscious of the movie.

I can then ask her, “what were you just conscious of?” And if she is both honest and has half decent introspective abilities, she will tell me what she was conscious of that moment earlier. Now, we need to ask ourselves, does one actually have any half decent introspective ability to self report if they are conscious at all? If my confabulating mind decides it sees a purple monkey when there is clearly no purple monkey there, did I actually see a purple monkey hallucination, and did the confabulation merely report what it saw from a faulty perception, or was the confabulator itself faulty, and produced a wrong interpretation of the visual scene? And is there a difference between the two instances?

So the question here is, if I THINK I saw a purple monkey, if my confabulator says I saw a purple monkey, do I actually see that purple monkey? Is there a difference between hallucinating a purple monkey from my visual system, vs my language interpretation of my mind misreporting what is in the visual scene?

Satyavan
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Re: In what sense is Descartes's dualism wrong?

Post by Satyavan » Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:24 am

Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:34 pm
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:19 pm
I don't know how to define "argument", I know the question "what is experience?" does not need an answer because every answer needs experience a priori. It is like trying to characterize milk by cheese.
Then why are you asking it?
I'm slowly beginning to suspect you are a troll... ;) YOU asked for it, not me.
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:34 pm
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:19 pm
No, the self is part of the experience. My head even more so, it makes part of the phenomenal consciousness. So, it would be contradictory to state that everything is in your head.
How is that possible? Your head is not PART of the experience, you having any experiences depends on you having a head.
But of course it is. You experience your body, it is part of the experience. Think about it.
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:34 pm
Beheaded people don't have experiences.
Well, I will not go into a metaphysical discussion about the after-life here. ;)
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:34 pm
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:19 pm
Consciousness. Mind and consciousness are not the same.
OK. I am happy to concede that consciousness doesn't require an explanation or definition.

Can you define/explain the mind then?
No, for the same reasons. There can't be a universally accepted definition. Because every definition rests ultimately on mental phenomenal content. One can only indicate it making reference to an inner subjective phenomenal content. Can help a lot, but is and should not be a definition.
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:34 pm
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:19 pm
If you look it from the experiential point of view it becomes almost self-evident. Every definition requires a (more or less direct or indirect) reference to a phenomenal experience. Therefore, especially when it comes to defining things which are manifestly experiential it becomes obviously recursive. It is like the infinity illusion mirror. It is an illusion.
It's not an illusion. Recursion is a fact. Computers recurse. Computers reflect. Computers introspect.

Exactly like humans.
That's precisely the illusion. That recursion is not the psychological introspection humans talk about. If you look inside of you beyond the superficial flickering mental states, there is something that does not recourse at all. Quite the contrary, it is the most non recursive and yet self-referential "thing" there could be.
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:34 pm

Why not? You said that consciousness and mind are different.

Consciousness may not need an explanation, but surely mind does?
Only insofar to distinguish and discriminate in order to avoid confusion in a verbal and philosophical exchange. But for that strict definitions are neither necessary nor possible. Instead of definitions one should point at lived internal states that we are familiar with.
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:34 pm
Wouldn't you say that IF consciousness experiences (observes?) the mind, then consciousness has a 3rd party perspective ON the mind?
You can put it in that way, if you wish. The witness perspective. But it does not attempt to explain itself by something that is not itself, as the materialist tries to do.
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:34 pm
Right. Descartes' error was dualism. Drawing distinctions.

Like the erroneous distinction between Mind and Consciousness ;)
Mental content comes and goes. It is always different. Whereas, what experiences that change stays continuous, it is always the same one entity. Therefore they can't be the same.
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:34 pm
*cough* *cough*

Are you talking about the hard problem of CONSCIOUSNESS; or about the hard problem of MIND?
Yes Consciousness, never heard about the hard problem of mind.
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:34 pm
You said they are different. Is MIND a hard problem too?
Good question. I dunno.... But suspect yes.
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:34 pm
Satyavan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:19 pm
Not sure what you mean? I know that 'workings' (I understand by that word 'processes', 'events' in time) exist as a conscious experience. But one does not need to know the workings of consciousness to know what it is.
Sure you do! This is the Kantian Phenomena/Noumena distinction.

From a 3rd person perspective all you can ever do is know what things DO. Phenomena.

You have to look "inside" to know what things ARE. Noumena.
Consciousness experiences the phenomenon that represents the noumenon. One can never know the noumenon for what it is in-itself but the phenomenon experienced by consciousness is what it is and nothing else needs to be "known". It is mind which builds upon it intellectual constructs which are already representations, figments, fairy tails, so to speak.

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Re: In what sense is Descartes's dualism wrong?

Post by Skepdick » Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:50 am

Satyavan wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:24 am
I'm slowly beginning to suspect you are a troll... ;) YOU asked for it, not me.
I am doing EXACTLY what you proposed should be done (if you aren't religious): ask questions.

So I am asking you questions. If that makes me a troll, then it makes you a troll too.

Or a hypocrite.
Satyavan wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:24 am
But of course it is. You experience your body, it is part of the experience. Think about it.
I am thinking about it. I am almost certain (short of willing to actually try it) that if my head was removed from my body my 'experiences' would stop.

Therefore my experience depends on my head being attached to my body. And it seems to me that my "body" is the hardware on which my "experiences" (software) runs on.
Satyavan wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:24 am
Well, I will not go into a metaphysical discussion about the after-life here. ;)
OK, so lets just say that IF in this very instance you were to be beheaded, the experience WE are having (a conversation) will cease to be.

You may go into the after-life, but I can't follow you and so the experience of this conversation will certainly cease.
Satyavan wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:24 am
No, for the same reasons. There can't be a universally accepted definition.
I am not looking for a universal definition. Just looking for one you and I can agree upon.
Satyavan wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:24 am
Because every definition rests ultimately on mental phenomenal content. One can only indicate it making reference to an inner subjective phenomenal content. Can help a lot, but is and should not be a definition.
OK so where do phenomena happen? In the mind or in consciousness?

Also. Are "mind" and "consciousness" phenomena or not?
Satyavan wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:24 am
That's precisely the illusion. That recursion is not the psychological introspection humans talk about. If you look inside of you beyond the superficial flickering mental states, there is something that does not recourse at all. Quite the contrary, it is the most non recursive and yet self-referential "thing" there could be.
OK, but self-reference IS recursion. You are describing the exact process that I call "recursion" and then you are saying that it's NOT recursion.

You don't have to call it "recursion" if you don't like the word, but it's the common definition.
Satyavan wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:24 am
Only insofar to distinguish and discriminate in order to avoid confusion in a verbal and philosophical exchange.
OK, so it sounds like you are drawing the distinction between 'mind' and 'consciousness' for my benefit. I recognise and appreciate this gesture.

In return, I ask: do you actually draw this distinction in your own head?

Because if you don't, then having two words for the same thing is superfluous and confusing - I am happy to collapse the mind/consciousness distinction and use the terms synonymously going forward.
Satyavan wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:24 am
But for that strict definitions are neither necessary nor possible. Instead of definitions one should point at lived internal states that we are familiar with.
Well, I dunno. If we get rid of one unnecessary distinction (mind/consciousness) we could find ourselves closer to agreement - you never know ;)
Satyavan wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:24 am
You can put it in that way, if you wish. The witness perspective. But it does not attempt to explain itself by something that is not itself, as the materialist tries to do.
OK. So are the "witness" and "consciousness" different like "mind" and "consciousness" different?

Because I just proposed that we collapse the mind/consciousness distinction. We might just end up collapsing the witness/consciousness distinction too...

And the self/I distinction.
And the I/consciousness distinction.

And we might just end up agreeing that self, I, mind, consciousness and witness are all synonymous.
Satyavan wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:24 am
Mental content comes and goes. It is always different. Whereas, what experiences that change stays continuous, it is always the same one entity. Therefore they can't be the same.
That's not my experience of experience. My experiences change. In fact, I am having trouble deciding whether change is an integral part of experience, of change and experience are synonymous too.

It may be one of those linguistic distinctions without an observable difference.
Satyavan wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:24 am
Yes Consciousness, never heard about the hard problem of mind.

Good question. I dunno.... But suspect yes.
You are consciousness, are you not? You are suggesting that the "mind" is a hard problem.

Surely "consciousness" has heard of the "hard problem of mind" - consciousness suggested it.

Based on your suspicion is consciousness a harder problem than mind?

Satyavan wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:24 am
Consciousness experiences the phenomenon that represents the noumenon. One can never know the noumenon for what it is in-itself but the phenomenon experienced by consciousness is what it is and nothing else needs to be "known". It is mind which builds upon it intellectual constructs which are already representations, figments, fairy tails, so to speak.
So according to this definition; and according to your prior claim that consciousness experiences mind.

It follows then that mind is a phenomenon. In as much as mind is a phenomenon, then consciousness can't know the noumenon of mind.
But consciousness can introspect, so consciousness can know the noumenon of consciousness?

Then I am going to go on a limb that IF consciousness can look inside itself but not inside the mind, then mind is a harder problem than consciousness.

Of course... all of this speculation may disappear IF we collapse the mind/consciousness distinction.

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Re: In what sense is Descartes's dualism wrong?

Post by SteveKlinko » Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:15 pm

Impenitent wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:37 pm
https://www.cliffsnotes.com/cliffsnotes ... to-dualism

if the "mind" and the brain were truly separate, lobotomies wouldn't appear to work...

maybe lobotomies don't actually work (but the person who has one isn't able to communicate otherwise)…

-Imp
If you consider the Body Mind problem through the lens of the Connection Perspective of Consciousness you can then come to different conclusions on things like Lobotomies. The Connection Perspective says that there is a Physical Mind (the Brain) and a Conscious Mind that make a connection to each other. Your personality, your Memories, and most of what you think is You is in the Physical Mind. But the Conscious Mind is where you experience the Light, Sound, and etc. of your Sensory Perceptions. These Conscious Experiences cannot be found in the Brain. You Are the things that your Brain is but you also Are the things that your Conscious Mind is. So when you get a Lobotomy your Personality (Physical Mind thing) will change accordingly, but your Conscious Mind will be unaffected by that. You know that you Are your Memories and Personality but you didn't realize that you Are also the Light and the Sound that you have always Seen and Heard. After death the connection will be broken between the Physical Mind and the Conscious Mind and you will then be a Conscious Mind of Light and Sound and etc. You will be born into a whole new form of existence. Religions try to tell you that after death you will be some sort of translucent Hologram version of yourself with all your Memories and Personality intact but the Connection Perspective shows that the thing remaining after death is quite a different thing than Religions can imagine.

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Re: In what sense is Descartes's dualism wrong?

Post by Impenitent » Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:30 pm

why stop at 2 minds?

is your disconnected mind that you had at 10 years old different from the disconnected mind that you have now?

join the collective, obey the priest of your new mind...

-Imp

Satyavan
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Re: In what sense is Descartes's dualism wrong?

Post by Satyavan » Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:07 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:50 am
Satyavan wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:24 am
But of course it is. You experience your body, it is part of the experience. Think about it.
I am thinking about it. I am almost certain (short of willing to actually try it) that if my head was removed from my body my 'experiences' would stop.
That is not the real point, we don't need to question ghostly subjects. Just see how you experience the world and yourself alive. What we call our "head", "body", "neurons" are only symbols, representations IN our mind itself. They can't have any reality in-itself since they are already figments and virtual projections IN us. It can't be otherwise. And these figments we then would like to put as basic stuff from which everything else comes from? One can't posit as essence of the world something which is already an illusion.
Skepdick wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:50 am
Satyavan wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:24 am
No, for the same reasons. There can't be a universally accepted definition.
I am not looking for a universal definition. Just looking for one you and I can agree upon.
Ok, colloquially I would say that "mind" is that part and inner plane in us that thinks, reflects, has analytic and rational functions, represents and organizes concepts by models discerns, discriminates, is thinking intelligence, is intellect. It is not consciousness. Because consciousness is pure awareness, pure 'beingness', pure existence pure sentience, absolute silence, spaceless, immobile, featureless, the knower who knows oneself which does not need mental constructs to know itself.
These are only words which, if you dissect it intellectually in a spatio-temporal context might not be meaningful. But if one looks for a moment inside instead of always externalizing ones mind being caught in external phenomena, then the distinction makes sense.
Skepdick wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:50 am
Satyavan wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:24 am
That's precisely the illusion. That recursion is not the psychological introspection humans talk about. If you look inside of you beyond the superficial flickering mental states, there is something that does not recourse at all. Quite the contrary, it is the most non recursive and yet self-referential "thing" there could be.
OK, but self-reference IS recursion. You are describing the exact process that I call "recursion" and then you are saying that it's NOT recursion.

You don't have to call it "recursion" if you don't like the word, but it's the common definition.
One has to put the label "self-" only because we are using words. In this case "self-referencing" means just being, not doing anything. This leads to a halt of the cognitive process, not to a circular process. It is a typical example where logic, which is a mind construct and that wants to talk about something which goes beyond itself, obviously loses itself in an endless loop. Because it can't capture these things. This does not mean however that we can't know it. It is a question of method. If you want to know what it is about you have to go inside without looking for models outside.
Skepdick wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:50 am
Satyavan wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:24 am
Only insofar to distinguish and discriminate in order to avoid confusion in a verbal and philosophical exchange.
OK, so it sounds like you are drawing the distinction between 'mind' and 'consciousness' for my benefit. I recognise and appreciate this gesture.

In return, I ask: do you actually draw this distinction in your own head?

Because if you don't, then having two words for the same thing is superfluous and confusing - I am happy to collapse the mind/consciousness distinction and use the terms synonymously going forward.
No, it is an experiential fact that they are distinct. The distinction is real as the distinction between the canvas and the painting colors or the cinema screen and the light of the film. It is a question to see clearly what it is as it is without constructing on it concepts. Whereas, if one conflates the two then we will be confused by things like we would by equating milk with cheese, ice with liquid water or waves with the ocean. Of course they are intimately related, but you will fall in lots of fallacies and misrepresentations and misinterpretations if you will take them as synonymous.
Skepdick wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:50 am
OK. So are the "witness" and "consciousness" different like "mind" and "consciousness" different?
Because I just proposed that we collapse the mind/consciousness distinction. We might just end up collapsing the witness/consciousness distinction too...
Right. We might collapse the witness with consciousness, provided however that we do not conflate also the witness with the individual (I, ego, one's individual mind, one's body, brain, etc.).
Skepdick wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:50 am
Satyavan wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:24 am
Mental content comes and goes. It is always different. Whereas, what experiences that change stays continuous, it is always the same one entity. Therefore they can't be the same.
That's not my experience of experience. My experiences change. In fact, I am having trouble deciding whether change is an integral part of experience, of change and experience are synonymous too.
Of course experiences change. I didn't write that experience does not change. What does not change is the witness in the background that is aware of that change. That does not change and that is consciousness. Therefore can not be mind, since mind changes.
Skepdick wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:50 am
Satyavan wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:24 am
Consciousness experiences the phenomenon that represents the noumenon. One can never know the noumenon for what it is in-itself but the phenomenon experienced by consciousness is what it is and nothing else needs to be "known". It is mind which builds upon it intellectual constructs which are already representations, figments, fairy tails, so to speak.
So according to this definition; and according to your prior claim that consciousness experiences mind.

It follows then that mind is a phenomenon. In as much as mind is a phenomenon, then consciousness can't know the noumenon.

Consciousness can't look inside "mind", but it can look inside itself.

Then I am going to go on a limb that IF consciousness can look inside itself, but it can't look inside "mind", then mind is a harder problem than consciousness.

Of course... all of this speculation may disappear IF we collapse the mind/consciousness distinction.
But the hard problem of consciousness is hard only for those who stick at the physicalist perspective. It is physicalism that wants to "explain" the thing instead of knowing it directly. If you take the first-person approach everything becomes clear, almost self-evident and there is nothing to explain yourself.

The 'almost' refers only at your last observation. Yes, since mind is already something "seen" we might not know it as it is in-itself. In fact, also from the subjective approach, it is harder to know our mind with all its subconscious and unaware workings, let alone to control it (that's why people developed meditation techniques). But knowing what consciousness is, is automatic and does not need any intellectual reasoning, since it is that which witnesses thought and does not need anything external to itself to know itself.

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Re: In what sense is Descartes's dualism wrong?

Post by SteveKlinko » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:21 pm

Impenitent wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:30 pm
why stop at 2 minds?

is your disconnected mind that you had at 10 years old different from the disconnected mind that you have now?

join the collective, obey the priest of your new mind...

-Imp
Two Minds makes sense because of the obvious duality of the Mind. There is the Physical Mind which is a Thing in the Physical World, and there is the Conscious Mind which is where Conscious Experiences like Redness, the Standard A Tone, and the Salty Taste happen. The Conscious Mind is probably where Conscious Volition originates from. But I do throw one more Mind into the mix. I think that there has to be some sort of Inter Mind that bridges the Gap between the Physical Mind and the Conscious Mind.

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