The Physical, Life, Consciousness, and The Human Mind—A Preface

So what's really going on?

Moderators: AMod, iMod

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 1725
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

The Physical, Life, Consciousness, and The Human Mind—A Preface

Post by RCSaunders » Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:09 pm

[NOTE: This preface, and the following four articles, "The Nature Of Life," "The Nature Of Consciousness," "The Nature of Mind," "An Analogy, From Physical To Mind," were originally intended as a response to Raymond Tallis' article, "Against Panpsychism." As a response it is much to long for Philosophy Now, which is why it has been broken up into five separate posts.]

In the most recent issue of, Philosophy Now, Raymond Tallis does a fair job outlining what is frequently referred to as the 'mind-body problem.' Tallis regards the problem an ontological question regarding the ultimate nature of existence itself which he divides into two classes, monism and dualism: which he describes as follows:

"There are two main versions of monism—the idea that there is just one kind of stuff in the universe. Materialism claims that all is matter, whatever matter boils down to.... Idealism, ... [claims] all is mind, making the material world a construct of the mind.... The alternative to monism is dualism, which ... proposes that there are two kinds of fundamental substance: material objects that are located in space and time and have physical properties such as size and weight; and mental items that are not located in space and time and do not have physical properties such as size and weight."

The word, "substance," in Tallis's description of dualism is unfortunate. Monism is undoubtedly the view closest to reality but to call whatever exists, mind or matter, "substance," is an unjustified assumption. It would be better to say there is only one existence that includes all that exists with the nature it has independently of anyone's consciousness or knowledge of it. Existence includes everything that exists with whatever nature it has, known or unknown.

The physicalist (what Tallis calls materialist) assumption is that the physical attributes of existence are the only attributes of existence. The success of the sciences in discovering and identifying those physical attributes no doubt contributes to that view.

The physical world is all that exists that we can be directly conscious of, that is, that we can directly perceive: see, hear, feel, smell, and taste, which includes interoception, the direct awareness of our internal physiological states. The physical includes all that we can learn about that which is directly perceived by studying and observing it, by experimentation, by means of instruments (telescopes, microscopes, and a plethora of electronic devices), and reasoning about that evidence—i.e., the physical sciences.

The physicalists, who are certain the physical is all there is, have a good reason for that belief. If all that we can be directly conscious of is the physical with physical attributes, what else can there be? There are, however, three kinds of physical entities that we can directly perceive and study that have attributes that no physical attributes can explain. Those three attributes are life, consciousness, and the human mind. Those attributes can only be observed in the behavior of the physical entities with those non-physical attributes, with the exception of human beings, who can also observe these attributes by introspection, i.e. the identification of one's own consciousness.

As a preface to the remainder of this explanation I want to point out that while life, consciousness, and mind are not physical attributes, they are perfectly natural attributes just as all the physical attributes are. There is a kind of hierarchy of living physical existents. Life can only exist as an attribute of a physical entity. A physical entity with the attribute life is called an organism. Consciousness can only exist as an attribute of a living organism, and mind can only exist as an attribute of a conscious organism.

There is one statement by Tallis that illustrates the confusion on the whole ontological issue of life, consciousness, and mind. Tallis says, "material objects ... are located in space and time and have physical properties such as size and weight; and mental items ... are not located in space and time and do not have physical properties such as size and weight."

This is the same confusion raised by calling mind a "substance." Life, consciousness, and mind are not entities or substances, they are attributes. They have a very definite location in space and time, they are located in the organism they are the attributes of just as all of an organism's physical attributes are. Since they are attributes in addition to the physical attributes, they themselves cannot have physical attributes such as size, weight, color, or temperature, but have their own attributes that identify them.

Material Existence

Materialism, in modern parlance, means physicalism, because most philosophers, if they are monists, believe the physical is all there is. I use the word "material," to identify all that exists, and has the nature it has, independent of anyone's consciousness or knowledge of that existence.

"Independent of," anyone's consciousness or knowledge does not mean, "separate from," it means, "whether or not," anyone is aware of that existence and its nature.

Material existence is synonymous with ontological existence or, "the natural world." Material existence is not dependent on or contingent to any other thing.

Material existence includes all of physical existence, defined as all of that which his physical attributes which can be directly (consciously) perceived, and is that which the physical sciences study. In addition to the physical attributes, material existence includes the attributes of life, consciousness, and human minds which are attributes in addition to the physical attributes of organisms and human beings.

The behavior of all merely physical existents, which is most of all that exists, is determined entirely by the principles identified by the physical sciences. In those rare existents (organisms) with the additional natural attributes of life, consciousness, and mind, the behavior is determined by those additional attributes within the limits of what the physical attributes make possible. No physical principle is violated by life, consciousness, or the human mind.

The following four articles will provide a detailed explanation of the ideas introduced in this preface:

"The Nature Of Life," "The Nature Of Consciousness," "The Nature of Mind," and, "An Analogy, From Physical To Mind."
Last edited by RCSaunders on Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Dontaskme
Posts: 8368
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2016 2:07 pm

Re: The Physical, Life, Consciousness, and The Human Mind—A Preface

Post by Dontaskme » Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:00 am

No one is physical.

No one is conscious.

No one is human.

No one is a mind.

.

Ramu
Posts: 161
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:55 pm

Re: The Physical, Life, Consciousness, and The Human Mind—A Preface

Post by Ramu » Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:46 am

Consciousness is the only No Thing in existence.

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 1725
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: The Physical, Life, Consciousness, and The Human Mind—A Preface

Post by RCSaunders » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:33 am

Dontaskme wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:00 am
No one is physical.
No one is conscious.
No one is human.
No one is a mind.
Thanks for the comment.

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 1725
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: The Physical, Life, Consciousness, and The Human Mind—A Preface

Post by RCSaunders » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:35 am

Ramu wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:46 am
Consciousness is the only No Thing in existence.
Were you unconscious when you wrote that?

User avatar
Dontaskme
Posts: 8368
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2016 2:07 pm

Re: The Physical, Life, Consciousness, and The Human Mind—A Preface

Post by Dontaskme » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:27 am

RCSaunders wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:35 am
Ramu wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:46 am
Consciousness is the only No Thing in existence.
Were you unconscious when you wrote that?
Yes, there is no conscious entity aware of it's own consciousness.

You cannot show up to your own show.

.

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 1725
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: The Physical, Life, Consciousness, and The Human Mind—A Preface

Post by RCSaunders » Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:29 pm

Dontaskme wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:27 am
Yes, there is no conscious entity aware of it's own consciousness.
Speak for yourself. You cannot possibly know what anyone else is or is not aware of.

User avatar
Dontaskme
Posts: 8368
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2016 2:07 pm

Re: The Physical, Life, Consciousness, and The Human Mind—A Preface

Post by Dontaskme » Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:15 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:29 pm
Dontaskme wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:27 am
Yes, there is no conscious entity aware of it's own consciousness.
Speak for yourself. You cannot possibly know what anyone else is or is not aware of.
You can when they tell you..especially when you've asked them.
Ramu is me. He’s my other half.

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 1725
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: The Physical, Life, Consciousness, and The Human Mind—A Preface

Post by RCSaunders » Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:15 am

Dontaskme wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:15 pm
RCSaunders wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:29 pm
Dontaskme wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:27 am
Yes, there is no conscious entity aware of it's own consciousness.
Speak for yourself. You cannot possibly know what anyone else is or is not aware of.
You can when they tell you..especially when you've asked them.
Ramu is me. He’s my other half.
I see you have fallen for one of the mistakes that plague the pseudo-science of psychology. There is no way to be certain the testimony of another about their own conscious experience is not a lie.

User avatar
Dontaskme
Posts: 8368
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2016 2:07 pm

Re: The Physical, Life, Consciousness, and The Human Mind—A Preface

Post by Dontaskme » Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:50 am

RCSaunders wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:15 am
Dontaskme wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:15 pm
RCSaunders wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:29 pm


Speak for yourself. You cannot possibly know what anyone else is or is not aware of.
You can when they tell you..especially when you've asked them.
Ramu is me. He’s my other half.
I see you have fallen for one of the mistakes that plague the pseudo-science of psychology. There is no way to be certain the testimony of another about their own conscious experience is not a lie.
There’s no such thing as a you or any other you having a conscious experience period!!

Things don’t experience anything things are being experienced by no thing.

.

Walker
Posts: 7265
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2015 12:00 am

Re: The Physical, Life, Consciousness, and The Human Mind—A Preface

Post by Walker » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:14 am

RCSaunders wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:09 pm
This is the same confusion raised by calling mind a "substance." Life, consciousness, and mind are not entities or substances, they are attributes. They have a very definite location in space and time, they are located in the organism they are the attributes of just as all of an organism's physical attributes are. Since they are attributes in addition to the physical attributes, they themselves cannot have physical attributes such as size, weight, color, or temperature, but have their own attributes that identify them.
Form is always necessary for life to be.
Life is not necessary for form to be.
Therefore, form is a necessary attribute of life.
Life is not a sometimes attribute of form.

User avatar
Dontaskme
Posts: 8368
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2016 2:07 pm

Re: The Physical, Life, Consciousness, and The Human Mind—A Preface

Post by Dontaskme » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:55 am

RCSaunders wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:33 am
Dontaskme wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:00 am
No one is physical.
No one is conscious.
No one is human.
No one is a mind.
Thanks for the comment.
Do you understand the concept of empty consciousness absent of an object?

Do you understand the concept of a non-conceptual concept?

.

For example: do you agree or disagree with the following quote....

“Consciousness does not shine by itself. It shines by a light beyond it. The mind must learn that beyond the moving mind there is a background of awareness which does not change. The mind must come to know the true self and respect it and cease covering it up, like the moon which obscures the sun during a solar eclipse.”

~Sri Nisargadatta

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 1725
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: The Physical, Life, Consciousness, and The Human Mind—A Preface

Post by RCSaunders » Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:18 pm

Dontaskme wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:55 am
... do you agree ... with the following quote....

“Consciousness does not shine by itself. It shines by a light beyond it. The mind must learn that beyond the moving mind there is a background of awareness which does not change. The mind must come to know the true self and respect it and cease covering it up, like the moon which obscures the sun during a solar eclipse.”
No! But I know a few people (currently institutionalized) who probably would. Where do you live?

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 1725
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: The Physical, Life, Consciousness, and The Human Mind—A Preface

Post by RCSaunders » Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:23 pm

Walker wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:14 am
Form is always necessary for life to be.
Life is not necessary for form to be.
Therefore, form is a necessary attribute of life.
Life is not a sometimes attribute of form.
Can you parse this for me? I have no idea what it is supposed to mean. Begin with what you mean by "form." I suspect it's some kind of Platonic nonsense.

Ramu
Posts: 161
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:55 pm

Re: The Physical, Life, Consciousness, and The Human Mind—A Preface

Post by Ramu » Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:28 pm

RC: Non dualists such as the Aztecs understood Consciousness as the only thing in existence. We've actually understood Consciousness and what it is and what it is NOT for over 5000 years....and NO, consciousness is not an epiphenomenon of brains. Brains and neuroscience occur IN Consciousness.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests