What is Consciousness?

How does science work? And what's all this about quantum mechanics?

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Izzywizzy
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What is Consciousness?

Post by Izzywizzy »

I would like to consolidate here, the findings within science and evidencing the findings in neuro science about Memory, Consciousness and the entire Body being a thinking over mind of sorts, as opposed to reductionist science which fails to describe adequately what Consciousness actually means and is?

Ray Tallis wrote in New Scientist
You won't find consciousness in the brain

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.

This was well captured in a 2009 article in Perspectives on Psychological Science by Harold Pashler from the University of California, San Diego, and colleagues, that argued: "...these correlations are higher than should be expected given the (evidently limited) reliability of both fMRI and personality measures. The high correlations are all the more puzzling because method sections rarely contain much detail about how the correlations were obtained."

Believers will counter that this is irrelevant: as our means of capturing and analysing neural activity become more powerful, so we will be able to make more precise correlations between the quantity, pattern and location of neural activity and aspects of consciousness.

This may well happen, but my argument is not about technical, probably temporary, limitations. It is about the deep philosophical confusion embedded in the assumption that if you can correlate neural activity with consciousness, then you have demonstrated they are one and the same thing, and that a physical science such as neurophysiology is able to show what consciousness truly is.

Many neurosceptics have argued that neural activity is nothing like experience, and that the least one might expect if A and B are the same is that they be indistinguishable from each other. Countering that objection by claiming that, say, activity in the occipital cortex and the sensation of light are two aspects of the same thing does not hold up because the existence of "aspects" depends on the prior existence of consciousness and cannot be used to explain the relationship between neural activity and consciousness.

This disposes of the famous claim by John Searle, Slusser Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley: that neural activity and conscious experience stand in the same relationship as molecules of H2O to water, with its properties of wetness, coldness, shininess and so on. The analogy fails as the level at which water can be seen as molecules, on the one hand, and as wet, shiny, cold stuff on the other, are intended to correspond to different "levels" at which we are conscious of it. But the existence of levels of experience or of description presupposes consciousness. Water does not intrinsically have these levels.

We cannot therefore conclude that when we see what seem to be neural correlates of consciousness that we are seeing consciousness itself. While neural activity of a certain kind is a necessary condition for every manifestation of consciousness, from the lightest sensation to the most exquisitely constructed sense of self, it is neither a sufficient condition of it, nor, still less, is it identical with it. If it were identical, then we would be left with the insuperable problem of explaining how intracranial nerve impulses, which are material events, could "reach out" to extracranial objects in order to be "of" or "about" them. Straightforward physical causation explains how light from an object brings about events in the occipital cortex. No such explanation is available as to how those neural events are "about" the physical object. Biophysical science explains how the light gets in but not how the gaze looks out.

Many features of ordinary consciousness also resist neurological explanation. Take the unity of consciousness. I can relate things I experience at a given time (the pressure of the seat on my bottom, the sound of traffic, my thoughts) to one another as elements of a single moment. Researchers have attempted to explain this unity, invoking quantum coherence (the cytoskeletal micro-tubules of Stuart Hameroff at the University of Arizona, and Roger Penrose at the University of Oxford), electromagnetic fields (Johnjoe McFadden, University of Surrey), or rhythmic discharges in the brain (the late Francis Crick).

These fail because they assume that an objective unity or uniformity of nerve impulses would be subjectively available, which, of course, it won't be. Even less would this explain the unification of entities that are, at the same time, experienced as distinct. My sensory field is a many-layered whole that also maintains its multiplicity. There is nothing in the convergence or coherence of neural pathways that gives us this "merging without mushing", this ability to see things as both whole and separate.

And there is an insuperable problem with a sense of past and future. Take memory. It is typically seen as being "stored" as the effects of experience which leave enduring changes in, for example, the properties of synapses and consequently in circuitry in the nervous system. But when I "remember", I explicitly reach out of the present to something that is explicitly past. A synapse, being a physical structure, does not have anything other than its present state. It does not, as you and I do, reach temporally upstream from the effects of experience to the experience that brought about the effects. In other words, the sense of the past cannot exist in a physical system. This is consistent with the fact that the physics of time does not allow for tenses: Einstein called the distinction between past, present and future a "stubbornly persistent illusion".

There are also problems with notions of the self, with the initiation of action, and with free will. Some neurophilosophers deal with these by denying their existence, but an account of consciousness that cannot find a basis for voluntary activity or the sense of self should conclude not that these things are unreal but that neuroscience provides at the very least an incomplete explanation of consciousness.

I believe there is a fundamental, but not obvious, reason why that explanation will always remain incomplete - or unrealisable. This concerns the disjunction between the objects of science and the contents of consciousness. Science begins when we escape our subjective, first-person experiences into objective measurement, and reach towards a vantage point the philosopher Thomas Nagel called "the view from nowhere". You think the table over there is large, I may think it is small. We measure it and find that it is 0.66 metres square. We now characterise the table in a way that is less beholden to personal experience.

Thus measurement takes us further from experience and the phenomena of subjective consciousness to a realm where things are described in abstract but quantitative terms. To do its work, physical science has to discard "secondary qualities", such as colour, warmth or cold, taste - in short, the basic contents of consciousness. For the physicist then, light is not in itself bright or colourful, it is a mixture of vibrations in an electromagnetic field of different frequencies. The material world, far from being the noisy, colourful, smelly place we live in, is colourless, silent, full of odourless molecules, atoms, particles, whose nature and behaviour is best described mathematically. In short, physical science is about the marginalisation, or even the disappearance, of phenomenal appearance/qualia, the redness of red wine or the smell of a smelly dog.

Consciousness, on the other hand, is all about phenomenal appearances/qualia. As science moves from appearances/qualia and toward quantities that do not themselves have the kinds of manifestation that make up our experiences, an account of consciousness in terms of nerve impulses must be a contradiction in terms. There is nothing in physical science that can explain why a physical object such as a brain should ascribe appearances/qualia to material objects that do not intrinsically have them.

Material objects require consciousness in order to "appear". Then their "appearings" will depend on the viewpoint of the conscious observer. This must not be taken to imply that there are no constraints on the appearance of objects once they are objects of consciousness.

Our failure to explain consciousness in terms of neural activity inside the brain inside the skull is not due to technical limitations which can be overcome. It is due to the self-contradictory nature of the task, of which the failure to explain "aboutness", the unity and multiplicity of our awareness, the explicit presence of the past, the initiation of actions, the construction of self are just symptoms. We cannot explain "appearings" using an objective approach that has set aside appearings as unreal and which seeks a reality in mass/energy that neither appears in itself nor has the means to make other items appear. The brain, seen as a physical object, no more has a world of things appearing to it than does any other physical object.

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Ray Tallis trained as a doctor, ultimately becoming professor of geriatric medicine at the University of Manchester, UK, where he oversaw a major neuroscience project. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and a writer on areas ranging from consciousness to medical ethics

Cellular memory hints at the origins of intelligence
Slime mould displays remarkable rhythmic recall.

Phillip Ball said in Nature News
Learning and memory — abilities associated with a brain or, at the very least, neuronal activity — have been observed in protoplasmic slime, a unicellular organism with multiple nuclei.

When the amoeba Physarum polycephalum is subjected to a series of shocks at regular intervals, it learns the pattern and changes its behaviour in anticipation of the next one to come1, according to a team of researchers in Japan.
Remarkably, this memory stays in the slime mould for hours, even when the shocks themselves stop. A single renewed shock after a 'silent' period will leave the mould expecting another to follow in the rhythm it learned previously. Toshiyuki Nakagaki of Hokkaido University in Sapporo and his colleagues say that their findings “hint at the cellular origins of primitive intelligence”.

It is well-established that cells receive, interpret and adjust to environmental fluctuations, says microbiologist James Shapiro of the University of Chicago, Illinois. But if the results stand up, he says, “this paper would add a cellular memory to those capabilities”.

The organism chosen by the Japanese team could scarcely seem less promising as a quick learner. Physarum polycephalum is a slime mould belonging to the Amoebozoa phylum. It moves at a steady rate of about one centimetre per hour at room temperature, but this changes with the humidity of its environment. It slows down in drier air, and Nakagaki's team used this sensitivity to stimulate learning. The team found that when the mould experienced three episodes of dry air in regular succession an hour apart, it apparently came to expect more: it slowed down when a fourth pulse of dry air was due, even if none was actually applied. Sometimes this anticipatory slow-down would be repeated another hour later, and even a third.
The same behaviour was seen when the pulses were experienced at other regular time intervals — say, every half hour or every 1.5 hours.


If the dry episodes did not recur after the first three, the amoeba's sense of expectation gradually faded away. But then applying a single dry pulse about six hours later commonly led to another anticipatory slowing in step with the earlier rhythm.

The same team has previously shown that these amoebae can negotiate mazes and solve simple puzzles2,3. So the new finding adds to “the cool things Physarum can do”, says applied mathematician Steven Strogatz of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

Like all living organisms, slime moulds have built-in biochemical oscillators, like the human body clock. In other kinds of slime mould, these oscillators can create periodic ripple patterns in response to environmental stress, helping the organism coordinate its movements. Nakagaki's group thinks that the versatile rhythmic sense of Physarum stems from many different biochemical oscillators in the colony operating at a continuous range of frequencies.

The team's calculations show that such a group of oscillators can pick up and 'learn' any imposed rhythmic beat, although the knowledge decays quickly once stimulus ceases. The calculations also show that a memory of the beat can stay within the system, and be released again by a single, later pulse — just as the researchers observed.

http://www.bioedonline.org/news/news.cfm?art=3750






Body Memory, is the theory that the body, as well as the brain, is capable of storing memories. Body memory is sometimes cited to explain certain claims of having memories for events where the brain was not in a position to store memories.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_memory

Dr. Candace Pert, a professor in the department of physiology and biophysics at Georgetown University, believes "the mind is not just in the brain, but also exists throughout the body." Dr. Pert is an expert in peptide pharmacology. "The mind and body communicate with each other through chemicals known as peptides," she claims. "These peptides are found in the brain as well as in the stomach, muscles and all of our major organs. I believe that memory can be accessed anywhere in the peptide/receptor network. For instance, a memory associated with food may be linked to the pancreas or liver, and such associations can be transplanted from one person to another."*

More On Cellular Memory. New Heart, New Personality,
Too?

I am not here to promote nor deny the existence of cellular memory I just find the topic fascinating especially because so many of my readers do. Not long ago The Discovery Health Channel aired a program titled “Transplanting Memories.” http://dsc.discovery.com/ In the show experts explained why they believe in the concept. Georgetown University Professor, Dr. Candace Pert, said she believes the mind is not just in the brain, but also exists throughout the body. “The mind and body communicate with each other through chemicals known as peptides,” she said. “These peptides are found in the brain as well as in the stomach, muscles and all of our major organs. I believe that memory can be accessed anywhere in the peptide/receptor network. For instance, a memory associated with food may be linked to the pancreas or liver and such associations can be transplanted from one person to another.”

Another expert, German neurologist, Leopold Auerbach, discovered over a century ago that a complex network of nerve cells, like those of the human brain, exist in the intestines. And — Professor Wolfgang Prinz, of the Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research, Munich, discussed the “second brain” in Geo, a German science magazine. Prinz said the digestive track is made up of a knot of about 100 billion brain nerve cells, more than found in the spinal cord. The article suggested the cells may save information on physical reactions to mental processes and give out signals to influence later decisions. It may also be involved in emotional reactions to events.



Perhaps all of this explains the many stories on the internet of transplant patients taking on the personalities of their donors.



If you really want to explore this phenomenon I strongly encourage you to read Knowing By Heart: Cellular Memory in Heart Transplants by Kate Ruth Linton in the MONTGOMERY COLLEGE STUDENT JOURNAL OF SCIENCE & MATHEMATICS

Volume 2 September 2003,



Several transplant surgeons have contributed to a theory for cellular memory essentially based on psychological and metaphysical conditions, which Dr. Paul Pearsall has pieced together. Pearsall is a psychoneuroimmunologist, or a licensed psychologist who studies the relationship between the brain, immune system, and an individual’s life experiences. Pearsall calls this theory the “Lowered Recall Threshold” Basically, it suggests that the immunosuppressive drugs that transplant recipients must take are what bring about associations to donor experiences in recipients. Immunosuppressive drugs minimize the chances of rejection of the new, foreign heart by suppressing the recipient’s immune system. Scientists believe these drugs could also possibly act as psychotropic, meaning “acting on the mind.”


http://bobsnewheart.wordpress.com/2009/02/17/more- on-cellular-memory-new-heart-new-personality-too/
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Aetixintro
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Post by Aetixintro »

Dr. Raymond Tallis seems to elegantly skip the much acclaimed modularity! I think this is a significant weakness if he cares so much about it!
converge
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Post by converge »

The first article reminds me of the torturous linguistics-wrangling going on in the religion thread that I'm posting in. The argument is basically "Since we are thinking about thinking, and thinking must be presupposed to think about thinking, then thinking can't be thinking, it must be a separate uber-thinking that happens above thinking". This isn't true... if you whittle away the confusion of the sentence and all the self-referencing of the words, you can see that it's perfectly fine to think about thinking, without there needing to be any sort of "special case". It's just self-referencing.
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Post by Izzywizzy »

I can tell by reading both the answers thus far that neither of you are demonstrating to me that you have bothered to read fully any of the articles or links placed in my opening post. Further there is a no answer forthcoming from you on the question placed, what is consciousness? do please address what is asked and not just think up how you can deride the study. Note there were a few contemporary scientists mentioned and not just Ray Tallis. I certainly didn`t get anything from your comments thus far. :roll:
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thalarch
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Post by thalarch »

Consciousness, on the other hand, is all about phenomenal appearances/qualia. As science moves from appearances/qualia and toward quantities that do not themselves have the kinds of manifestation that make up our experiences


It's good to finally see "manifestation" mentioned, rather than the distractive wrangling that goes on over how the content of experience should be conceptualized (as objects, feels, qualia, etc). Who gives a flip about those quibbling distinctions -- the basic mystery would be this overall brute add-on of some configurations of electrochemical activity in the brain suddenly exhibiting internally to themselves as "something" rather than the supposed usual absence of anything.

If there was an underlying framework in physics that could explain this (rather than leaving it a brute add-on in biology), then that would help detract from the fantastical nature of it. But unfortunately there isn't such (at least in the mainstream) -- secondary properties/qualities have arguably been systemically eliminated from that level of science at least since Galileo. Tack on the influences of Descartes' utterly non-mental materialism in classical mechanics times (with the other half of his problematic dualism having been discarded).

IMO, researchers and theorists excusing themselves from solving Chalmers' hard problem because they're content with the lameness of inexplicable emergence or buy into Chalmers' own phrasing of it as a metaphysical "why" question rather than a "how" one, are just a pack of indolent pricks. This isn't a case of methodological "caution" as Margaret Mead's quote below concerned, because these cowards are avoiding it because they actually are intimidated by the problem. The same consequences result, though: The crackpots squat on territory that science doesn't have the balls to plant a flag on. And yes, I'm well aware that trying to inflame any passing researcher/theorist with such a rant isn't really going to spur any progress, but my ex-scientism self of many years ago still has to get the frustration out in a primal spasm of arsehole-ism every once in a while. ;)

Margaret Mead: "The negative cautions of science are never popular. If the experimentalist would not commit himself, the social philosopher, the preacher, and the pedagogue tried the harder to give a short-cut answer.
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Post by Izzywizzy »

I am interested to share in this study in the sciences. Noetic meaning to "know" by inner knowing.

Noetic science is a study of "consciousness" and various methods of studying what is and why is consciousness. It studies intuition, reason, feelings and all the senses. If mind can influence matter then noetic science could be described as a form of materialism.

What it ends up finding could be the shift not to religion but what they used to call science fiction I used to watch Star Trek in the early day`s, and they had tannoy systems and cordless mobile phones. 30 years later we got mobile phones.

:P
What is noetic science and why is it important? We need to remind ourselves from time to time why this endeavor in which we have joined seems significant, and to reassess where we are.

A new science is arising, a science of the human mind much broader than psychology has been to date. We have called it "noetic" science, after the Greek word for intuitive knowing. Perhaps it is somewhat inaccurate to speak of it as though it were totally new; it might be better to refer to a noetic emphasis in the human sciences. But the radical nature of the developments should not be underestimated. It is the second stage of a two-stage process.

The first stage, the rise of modern materialistic science, is one of the most important evolutionary leaps in human history. Its essence embodies a remarkable proposition, namely that knowledge of the objective sense-perceived world should not be based on religious or traditional authority, nor the guarded property of an elite priesthood, but should be empirically based and publicly verifiable, open and free to all. Thus there is not Russian chemistry and American chemistry, or Hindu physics and Christian physics. There is only science—the best framework of empirical relationships and conceptual models currently available, continuously tested in public by agreed-upon procedures.

The goal of the second stage, just begun, is creation of a similar body of knowledge, empirically based and publicly validated, about the realm of subjective experience. For the first time in history we are beginning to create a growing, progressively funded body of established experience about humanity's inner life—and particularly about the perennial wisdom of the great religious traditions and gnostic groups. For the first time there is hope that this knowledge can become—not a secret repeatedly lost in dogmatization and institutionalization, or degenerating into manifold varieties of cultism and occultism—but rather the living heritage of all humankind.

This extension of scientific exploration, which we have termed noetic, differs from the materialistic science of the past in a number of ways. It is centrally concerned with subjective experience where materialistic science has dealt almost entirely with objective, sensory experience. To the reductionistic models of materialistic science it adds holistic models; to deterministic explanations of events it adds teleological, purpose-recognizing explanations. Where materialistic science was largely value-inattentive, noetic science is centrally concerned with value issues. Materialistic science has tended to test knowledge by noting whether it leads to the ability to predict and control; while the consensus on validation of noetic sciences has not yet emerged, it seems clear that it will have more to do with understanding than prediction, and more with joining than control.

Furthermore, it seems likely that the noetic sciences will evolve in a way quite different from the evolution of materialistic science. The latter dealt with genuinely new discoveries, and as a result the changing view of reality in the culture tended to lag behind that of the scientists. In the case of the new science of subjective experience it is otherwise. In part, at least, we are dealing here with rediscovery of truths that in some sense have been discovered over and over again, and have left their track in the culture more rapidly than in the scientific community. Changes in the view of reality held in the culture tend to lead to corresponding changes in the sciences; for example, the role of psychological attitudes such as faith in healing, and the conviction of spiritual reality that comes with certain altered states of consciousness.

Because the noetic sciences are partially a process of rediscovery it is possible to anticipate what some of the essential characteristics will be. The new science is not really new. It is the esoteric core of all the world's religions, East and West, ancient and modern, becoming exoteric, "going public." As Aldous Huxley describes this "perennial wisdom," it "recognizes a divine Reality substantial to the world of things and lives and minds . . . finds in the soul something similar to, or even identical with, divine Reality . . . places man's final end in the knowledge of the immanent and transcendent God of all Being."

Whether it is implied by extrapolation from biofeedback training or psychic phenomena and the evidence for psychosomatic origins of illness, or whether arising from immediate intuitive experience, the fundamental profound insight appears to be recognition that in some important sense "I am cause and creator." In some sense much more fundamental than is implied in conventional psychology, our belief systems create our reality.

The fact that the key characteristics of the emerging knowledge can be anticipated is very significant. It means that there is no need to wait decades, until the new science begins to take more definite shape, before beginning to act on its basic principles. The influence of these principles can be brought to bear on social and business decision-making right now.

It is generally recognized that industrialized society is at a crisis point. Choices relating to energy, environment, control of technology, growth, employment, land use, economic incentives, government and business roles, all seem to present more and more unpalatable trade-offs, and seem in this fact to indicate an underlying fundamental change of direction. Western political tradition, based in a Judeo-Christian ethic, a force that has declined as the industrial-era paradigm has gained in influence, is wracked with self-doubts. Nation after nation is retreating from democracy. Contemporary political, economic, environmental, and social crises are reflections of an underlying moral and spiritual crisis of industrial civilization. Their resolution depends on the resolution of that crisis.

A noetic science—a science of consciousness and the world of inner experience—is the most promising contemporary framework within which to carry on that fundamental moral inquiry which stable human societies have always had to place at the center of their concerns. We do well also to recall that it was this nation more than any other in recent times which has clearly—at its inception—given this knowledge the capstone position, as symbolized by the All-seeing Eye in the Great Seal on the back of the dollar bill.

Public acceptance of the validity of a noetic emphasis in the human sciences has been rising. More importantly, there is widespread recognition of the need for deeper understanding of our spiritual nature and of the essential goals and characteristics of a workable humane society.

Reprinted from IONS Newsletter, Vol. 6, No. 1, Spring 1978.
Izzywizzy
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Post by Izzywizzy »

Noetic Science
Traveling back to Earth, having just walked on the moon, Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell had an experience for which nothing in his life had prepared him. As he approached the planet we know as home, he was filled with an inner conviction as certain as any mathematical equation he'd ever solved. He knew that the beautiful blue world to which he was returning is part of a living system, harmonious and whole—and that we all participate, as he expressed it later, "in a universe of consciousness"
Trained as an engineer and scientist, Captain Mitchell was most comfortable in the world of rationality and physical precision. Yet the understanding that came to him as he journeyed back from space felt just as trustworthy—it represented another way of knowing.

This experience radically altered his worldview: Despite science's superb technological achievements, he realized that we had barely begun to probe the deepest mystery of the universe—the fact of consciousness itself. He became convinced that the uncharted territory of the human mind was the next frontier to explore, and that it contained possibilities we had hardly begun to imagine. Within two years of his expedition, Edgar Mitchell founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences in 1973.



http://www.noetic.org/about/founder.cfm
Highlighted Projects
• Consciousness and the Physical World –—
This project studies two fundamental challenges in understanding the nature of consciousness:
In psychology, it’s the problem of how immaterial mind arises from the material world; in physics, it’s the problem of how and why observation affects activity in the quantum realm. One experiment currently under way is studying how the “mind’s eye” interacts with photons in a doubleslit optical apparatus. This and other experiments are moving beyond mere demonstrations of mind-matter interactions and linking the effects to well-established physical theories.

• Nondual States of Awareness –—
Mystics, meditators, and everyday people who have had peak experiences describe subjective states of awareness in which they experience what has been termed “nondual awareness”—the dissolving of boundaries between self and other, feeling at one with everything that is, and often a sense of timelessness. Are these experiences fantasy, hallucinations, or do they accurately reflect awareness extending beyond the accepted boundaries of time and space? We are studying this question by monitoring brain activity during states of nondual awareness and assessing brain and autonomic reactions to sensory stimuli. We hope to upgrade our equipment and expand our work to include a larger participant population and more comprehensive assessments.

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Re: What is Consciousness?

Post by Izzywizzy »

It can be rationally argued and demonstrated that Consciousness aka Awareness is in itself the creative and destructive kinectic driving force behind nature herself.

Izzy
lancek4
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Post by lancek4 »

admittedly, I do not have time right now to read the essays' I will soon; such metaphysical diagrams and constructions are fun to contemplate.

I agree, consciousness will not be found in the brain, but neither will it be 'found' in science. Science may posit a good facimile that lots of poeple will go 'hey that makes sense', but then humanity and thought will move on an there will be another paradigmic version of what consciousness is.

I offer only this of consciousness: it processes and it culminates.


This 'is' of consciousness is a meaning of an object (the object that we call consciousness). Such an object allows for the positing of the Ego, ID, and all those Fruedian notions, including the positing of the more 'objective' formulas of science and the universe, like diagramic relations of memory, phenomenality and such (of which you have given an example). Because once we have an object we have to 'explain' it through other objects, which are merely representations of the moment, not part of some eternal 'day of epiphany' that we will get to through progress. Such progress does not happen in humanity as a whole, only in our moment meaning of humanity.

Meaning does not expose anything true except as one has faith on the route of meaning that granted the 'true' meaning.

That is, and, the culmination of meaning only exposes truth to the moment, to coin a term, of the paradigm, not to some 'whole' of the universe or 'greater humanity': only to the moment.

I will try to get to the essays, and then I will offer a comment upon the points.
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Re: What is Consciousness?

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Izzywizzy wrote:I would like to consolidate here, the findings within science and evidencing the findings in neuro science about Memory, Consciousness and the entire Body being a thinking over mind of sorts, as opposed to reductionist science which fails to describe adequately what Consciousness actually means and is? ...
By "reductionist science" you mean Physics? If so I doubt anything will be replacing this as the 'reductionist' Science but I suspect your 'reductionism' is religiously based. I also think what you say ironic as you are describing, I suspect, the beginning of the process of reducing the terms 'memory', 'consciousness' and body in a way you decry.

I think it easier to just say that consciousness is the having of a sensing body in an external environment. 'Mind' is a whole 'nother term.
Ray Tallis wrote in New Scientist
...
Cellular memory hints at the origins of intelligence
Slime mould displays remarkable rhythmic recall.
...
Body Memory, is the theory that the body, as well as the brain, is capable of storing memories. Body memory is sometimes cited to explain certain claims of having memories for events where the brain was not in a position to store memories.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_memory
...
More On Cellular Memory. New Heart, New Personality,
Too?
Isn't this idea of cellular memory exactly the kind of reductionism you were decrying?

Why look else where for 'intelligence' other than at the Phenomenological level? Philosophically that is.
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Post by Izzywizzy »

lancek4 wrote
will try to get to the essays, and then I will offer a comment upon the points.
I Look forward to them! 8)

Arising-uk wrote
but I suspect your 'reductionism' is religiously based
Can you expand on that? I have no idea why you would suspect religion comes into this question? It might it might not..If this is your subtle way of suggesting I am here promoting a religion then your thoughts couldn`t be further from the truth.Instead of innuendo`s why not just ask me ?
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Arising_uk
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Post by Arising_uk »

Izzywizzy wrote:Can you expand on that? I have no idea why you would suspect religion comes into this question? It might it might not..If this is your subtle way of suggesting I am here promoting a religion then your thoughts couldn`t be further from the truth.Instead of innuendo`s why not just ask me ?
Your words in other posts lead me to think you have a religious bent to your thoughts and I find your "reductionist science" a common phrase used by those who have a need to weaken science's authority for some reason, which in this case appears to be to promote this 'noetic science'?

Personally I prefer Phenomenology to Science in Philosophy.
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Post by Izzywizzy »

Arising-uk wrote
Your words in other posts lead me to think you have a religious bent to your thoughts
Please quote them, to the letter and in context.. as what you assert i supposedly said doesn`t count..I think if you mean the political question i replied to about mainsteam religion, I stand by their doctrines, far be it for me or any scientist to tell the church their doctrines anymore than the church has a right to tell science theirs, but reductionist science seems to want to tell other genre`s how to behave which is them playing god..in my book ..after all god doesnt think he`s a doctor, why do doctors think they are god? :P many of faith don`t tell science how to behave and embrace their findings but reductionist establishment set in their ways scientists are as bad if not worse than fanatical theists and fanatical atheists.
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Arising_uk
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Post by Arising_uk »

Izzywizzy wrote:Please quote them...
Izzywizzy wrote:It can be rationally argued and demonstrated that Consciousness aka Awareness is in itself the creative and destructive kinectic driving force behind nature herself.
Izzywizzy wrote:..I think if you mean the political question i replied to about mainsteam religion, I stand by their doctrines, ...
Which "mainsteam religion"?
far be it for me or any scientist to tell the church their doctrines anymore than the church has a right to tell science theirs, but reductionist science seems to want to tell other genre`s how to behave which is them playing god..in my book ..after all god doesnt think he`s a doctor, why do doctors think they are god? :P many of faith don`t tell science how to behave and embrace their findings but reductionist establishment set in their ways scientists are as bad if not worse than fanatical theists and fanatical atheists.
You are making up a strawman to argue against. No one in Science is doing any of the above. You are believing the myths your priests and pastors are feeding you.
You're also assuming your 'god' exists with your doctor analogy, why do others 'gods' not exist as well? You are an atheist with respect to them are you not?
chaz wyman
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:31 pm

Re: What is Consciousness?

Post by chaz wyman »

Noetic Science is a contradiction in terms.
It is nothing more than a return to 19thC mysticism and spiritualism - which led to nothing.
This is simply the result of poor sad frightened people trying to overlay their experience of the world to pretend that they are part of something big and pure. It's just another way of trying to escape death.
You don't have to travel to the moon to achieve the false consciousness of being a part of Gaia, you can save $10billion by dropping a tab of ecstasy.
100s of years of patient study have revealed one earth shattering fact about the human spirit - it is an internal phenomenon- and when we recognise it in others we like to think that it we are part of something beyond ourselves. Why? - because we are evolved to swallow that illusion. It's the illusion which keeps a flock of birds in flight, and a pride of lions together.
Noetic science, mysticism, psychic study, ghosts and ghoulies, card reading, astrology - all demean that quality in us that enables us to live together as a group.
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