Philosophy of Mind

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

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puto
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Re: Philosophy of Mind

Post by puto » Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:21 am

You can take on memory without knowing the function it serves.

Izzywizzy
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Re: Philosophy of Mind

Post by Izzywizzy » Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:59 am

[quoteYou can take on memory without knowing the function it serves.

][/quote]

depends on your example? I would argue most have memory because they KNOW ie are conscious of the function it serves..is this thing called their memory reliable? in some cases i would argue it isn`t..but it serves them to think that way..a salve to their consciousness..memory works subconsciously aswell which is what i think you are saying? correct me if I am wrong. But subconscious is still consciousness..its a part of it in fact it can be just as intentional

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attofishpi
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Re: Philosophy of Mind

Post by attofishpi » Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:33 am

To me...the mind has three states as it only has to deal with three things regarding its path through time. The past, the present and the future:-

The past is a memory.

The present is a process.

The future is speculation..also a process.

adge
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Re: Philosophy of Mind

Post by adge » Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:04 pm

From stuff i’ve read on the subject there certainly seems to be majority in favour of what Tallis sees as a reductive explanation of human consciousness, but i’ld be hard pressed to give stats showing a majority neuroscientists or philosophers in favour.
I think what’s more important is to explore the concepts outlined by Tallis (i haven't read the article, but i’ve read other stuff by Tallis) and I tend to agree with his claims about the prevailing neuromythology which is presented as orthodoxy.
But i think a discussion of this kind would be good.




Thundril wrote:Introductory paragraph from an article by Ray Tallis, entitled 'You won't find consciousness in the brain.'
(Don't know how to do the linky thing to the whole article, sorry.)

"MOST neuroscientists, philosophers of the mind and science journalists feel the time is near when we will be able to explain the mystery of human consciousness in terms of the activity of the brain. There is, however, a vocal minority of neurosceptics who contest this orthodoxy. Among them are those who focus on claims neuroscience makes about the preciseness of correlations between indirectly observed neural activity and different mental functions, states or experiences."

I've been struggling with this article for a week or two. Would this be a good place to discuss it? For example, is the first sentence actually true? Are there examples to support the assertion?

EmilyBaker
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Re: Philosophy of Mind

Post by EmilyBaker » Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:50 pm

Hi everybody!

I recently watched a fantastic talk, 'Mazes of the Mind', on the contrasting contributions of neuroscience and philosophy to account for consciousness. I think it might be really insightful for the present debate.

http://iai.tv/video/mazes-of-the-mind

Enjoy!

Emily.

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attofishpi
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Re: Philosophy of Mind

Post by attofishpi » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:54 am

Hi Emily, thanks for that link, what a fantastic website.

Not sure i got a lot out of that discussion to be honest. It appears that the result of a scan provides little indication as to the 'mindset' of an individual. Such that if two different people were watching a cartoon that they both found funny, their scans can still appear very different. Which suggests to me that in the future being able to 'scan' someones brain will unlikely result in gaining any meaningful information-such as knowing the entire past of someones existence...as per the kind of technology portrayed in cyberpunk.

It was quite recently that a doctor told me our synapses are binary which i found really interesting. With something like x10^6 or more connections its literally mind blowing the potential configurations of ones mind!

I think the day when we have technology capable of ascertaining the 'on' or 'off' condition of each synapse, coupled with the processing power of a computer far superior to todays supercomputers, only then will be able to truly understand how our minds and consciousness actually work...

chaz wyman
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Re: Philosophy of Mind

Post by chaz wyman » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:41 am

attofishpi wrote:Hi Emily, thanks for that link, what a fantastic website.

Not sure i got a lot out of that discussion to be honest. It appears that the result of a scan provides little indication as to the 'mindset' of an individual. Such that if two different people were watching a cartoon that they both found funny, their scans can still appear very different. Which suggests to me that in the future being able to 'scan' someones brain will unlikely result in gaining any meaningful information-such as knowing the entire past of someones existence...as per the kind of technology portrayed in cyberpunk.

It was quite recently that a doctor told me our synapses are binary which i found really interesting. With something like x10^6 or more connections its literally mind blowing the potential configurations of ones mind!

I think the day when we have technology capable of ascertaining the 'on' or 'off' condition of each synapse, coupled with the processing power of a computer far superior to todays supercomputers, only then will be able to truly understand how our minds and consciousness actually work...
There are some things we will be able to do, and some things that will always ellude us.

Science has a way of making us think that the future things will just keep on getting bigger, smaller, more detailed, faster, more efficient etc. - but nature has a way of setting limits.
Archimedes once said - give me a place to stand and I will lift the world - so optimistic was he about his discovery of levers. We know know this is impossible.
In the 19thC the search was on to invent a perpetual motion machine to exploit the knowledge that energy cannot be created or destroyed - it was thought possible to recover the efficiency from a machine to re-use the energy. This also proved to be nothing but a dream.

So too with neuroscience. There will be limits to what degree our scanning technologies will actually represent, store and retrieve the information in the brain. And I think we already know where and how those limits will be reached; observation always affects the data. The simply act of gathering the information will in part destroy or change the information gathered. Where it is stored will not be the brain, fidelity will be lost; limits will be reached.

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The Jesus Head
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Re: Philosophy of Mind

Post by The Jesus Head » Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:07 pm

Izzywizzy wrote:Barbara wrote
Action have consequences
Barbara actions only have consequences if INTENT can be shown or premeditation.
How absurd ! Consequences arise from any action.

Ginkgo
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Re: Philosophy of Mind

Post by Ginkgo » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:58 am

EmilyBaker wrote:Hi everybody!

I recently watched a fantastic talk, 'Mazes of the Mind', on the contrasting contributions of neuroscience and philosophy to account for consciousness. I think it might be really insightful for the present debate.

http://iai.tv/video/mazes-of-the-mind

Enjoy!

Emily.

Interesting how things divide into two camps. Those who think the mind is the brain and those who think that the mind and brain are two separate entities. The first two speakers appear to support the idea of mind brain dualism. We have brain but the mind is something different than just a collection of neurons firing. Daniel Dennett points out this is a common error because many of us are still suffering from the Cartesian legacy of mind body dualism.

It it wrongly assumed that because we constantly have all of this sense data flowing into our eyes and ears there must be a purpose and it all must be going somewhere. It is a very appealing idea to say that all of this sensory" stuff" is being processed into conscious awareness . It seems there must be a 'I' or a Homunculus(little man inside of the head) creating all of this awareness. It is this "I" that can make sense of all this data and make the appropriate responses. This also has lead us to think there must be a neural core of consciousness. Apparently not according to the latest research.

There are three competing theories of consciousness that can be considered relevant to this issue.

Firstly, there is a unity theory of consciousness as articulated by Bayne and Chalmers. Basically this theory says that consciousness is a unified experience. When we experience a cup of coffee we might see the visual qualities of the cup and the liquid. We might smell and taste the liquid. All of these three things give us a coffee experience experience. However, the important point is that all of these sensory qualities are subsumed into a single new experience. The separate sensory information that went into making up the coffee experience are no longer recognizable they are melded together to give us a new experience. This idea holds onto the possibility that consciousness is a single experience and therefore fits well with a neural core of consciousness theory.

Secondly, there is a binding theory of consciousness which claims that consciousness is a bound experience. When we experience a cup of coffee the contours of the cup are bound to the liquid, and if we taste and smell the coffee these are also bound to the cup and the liquid. Unlike unity the parts remain separate experiences. There is never any one single experiential state with binding. We can have many different bound experiences just as there can be many unbound experiences.

Thirdly, there is attention and attentional blindness. The classical example of attentional blindness is a video of two people passing a basket very quickly to each other. The job of the viewers is to count the number of pass made in a minute. The number of passes is just a diversion because the question asked at the end is, "Did anyone see the guy in the gorilla suit walk past in the background?" No one didn't because everyone as attending to what was happening in the foreground. Attentional blindness fails under certain circumstances so it can be shown that just because were were not attending to what was happening in the background does mean we were not consciousness of it. Everyone saw the guy in the gorilla suit, it was just that no one was attending to it.

Many scientific theories were done in attempt to show that binding was the neural core of consciousness. However a problem developed when it came to fitting the theory to various types of brain scans. If binding is correct then we would expect to see a certain type of brain activity when someone was attending to a stimulus in the foreground. So when we are looking at someone passing a basketball, brain activity is characterized by a certain type of pattern. Presumably associated with binding. Because the background was not being attended there should be no binding going on. If that is the case then we would expect to find a different type of brain activity to explain is lack of binding in the background. As it turned out this was not the case. There was no difference between foreground and background brain activity. So binding can't be the neural core of consciousness.

To cut a long story short attention coupled with unity theory now seems to be the main candidate for consciousness. Consciousness is unified but never in any one place. So it would seem there is no neural core of consciousness, but many places where consciousness is unified. Dennett would probably want to say that as far as the Homunculus or little man is concerned he must be everywhere at the same time.

madera
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Re: Philosophy of Mind

Post by madera » Fri May 23, 2014 12:07 am

puto wrote:Rick Lewis, are you begging the question, and why? Is it an epiphenomenon of evolution? Do you want John Locke's use of the term, or Thomas Hobbes use of the term "conscious?" Knowing, and consciousness are two different claims, but what about reflective consciousness? Mental achievements are not necessary for self-consciousness, so would the latter be contingent, or necessary? I am more questions than answers, and have just begun to study consciousness. Will this section appear in the magazine with answers? My reason for studying is not one of Philosophy of the Mind, but one of Existentialism, yes I'm still studying the former if you care.
Why does one have to study consciousness?

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NielsBohr
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Re: Philosophy of Mind

Post by NielsBohr » Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:20 pm

RickLewis wrote:This section of the forum is for the discussion of anything to do with philosophy of mind.

For clarity, this includes anything to do with consciousness, cognitive science and artificial intelligence as well as traditional philosophy of mind.

Should this section also include threads on phenomenology? How about psychology? I'm not sure. I'll assume that this is the best place for such discussions, but if you radically disagree this thread would be a good place to say why.
-Psychology should have its place in the topics about mind for sure... at the condition to mention this and develop the ideas.

The reverse would be as to say that mind had no right in trying to explain himself at some levels of abstraction, what would be sad.

pljamesone@att.net
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Re: Philosophy of Mind

Post by pljamesone@att.net » Sun Nov 02, 2014 1:40 pm

The mind is metaphysical within our brain. Is our brain conscious of itself and the mind plus our body? All I know is our mind-brain and body work together, when it is necessary. But then we lose our mental faculties, because our brain-mind and body disagree on the cause of the problem. It would seem we live better, when we as a whole person of mind body and brain are in some sort of a order contrary to disorder. Thoughts? Paul

Ginkgo
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Re: Philosophy of Mind

Post by Ginkgo » Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:07 am

pljamesone@att.net wrote:The mind is metaphysical within our brain. Is our brain conscious of itself and the mind plus our body? All I know is our mind-brain and body work together, when it is necessary. But then we lose our mental faculties, because our brain-mind and body disagree on the cause of the problem. It would seem we live better, when we as a whole person of mind body and brain are in some sort of a order contrary to disorder. Thoughts? Paul
More or less Descartes solution to the mind-body problem.

bergie15
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Re: Philosophy of Mind

Post by bergie15 » Tue Nov 04, 2014 11:50 pm

Yes, our mind and body work together, as was discussed by Descartes-the mind-body problem. When we do any sort of action, it is first registered in the brain-then the body completes the action.

cirin
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Re: Philosophy of Mind

Post by cirin » Fri Nov 14, 2014 5:31 pm

EmilyBaker wrote:Hi everybody!

I recently watched a fantastic talk, 'Mazes of the Mind', on the contrasting contributions of neuroscience and philosophy to account for consciousness. I think it might be really insightful for the present debate.

http://iai.tv/video/mazes-of-the-mind

Enjoy!

Emily.
Modern classical medicine can not explain what consciousness is.They try to find consciousness in the physical brain. :(

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