Can Science Explain Consciousness?

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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk » Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:32 pm

When I'm dead, I can be dissected, each piece of me examined and cataloged, volumes written about every organ, and -- in the end -- not one word or number or chart or graph will explain why I loved or hated, why 'this' slice of pizza was, to me, preferable to 'that' slice, why my autonomy was so important to me. The why of me can only be found with 'me', can never be teased out of my pieces and parts.

To understand 'I-ness' you gotta interrogate that which recognizes itself as 'I'...you gotta deal with the person, not his parts or processes.

The whole shebang.

Nick_A
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Re: Can Science Explain Consciousness?

Post by Nick_A » Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:40 pm

There is a difference between consciousness and the contents of consciousness. Science studies the production of contents of consciousness which doesn’t explain what consciousness is,
“My brain is only a receiver, in the Universe there is a core from which we obtain knowledge, strength and inspiration. I have not penetrated into the secrets of this core, but I know that it exists.” attributed to Nikola Tesla
So if the brain is a receiver rather than a creator of this core of essential ideas, it also explains Einstein’s respect for the source of our intuition. This source exists regardless of us.

Mathematical expression is double edged. It is a good for speculations on quantity but relatively useless for understanding objective value.

https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/06/2 ... ve-of-god/

From Simone Weil’s essay titled “Reflections on Quantum Theory.”
She admonishes, increasingly dangerous reliance on mathematical expression as the most accurate expression of reality, flattening and making artificially linear the dimensional and messy relationships of which reality itself is woven:………………………………….

Weil argues that this creates an incomplete and, in its incompleteness, illusory representation of reality — even when it bisects the planes of mathematical data and common sense, such science leaves out the unquantifiable layer of meaning:

If the algebra of physicists gives the impression of profundity it is because it is entirely flat; the third dimension of thought is missing.

That third dimension is that of meaning — one concerned with notions like “the human soul, freedom, consciousness, the reality of the external world.”
Can we really be expected to have a greater understanding of consciousness without the union of science and ontology? I don't see how. The essential projection of objective meaning is its relationship to the Source. To deny objective meaning in favor of pragmatic subjective reactions some call meaning has nothing to build on. It makes no sense.

The objective study of meaning is a concern for ontology and not science. But understanding consciousness as the Source which enables Man to put facts or the contents of consciousness into a conscious perspective will bring meaning to science. But who knows how to experientially study ontology when the study of being is considered fantasy? They are complimentary pursuits that have been put into opposition by the blind belief of religious fundamentalism and the blind denial of secular intolerance. But for those not afflicted by either it is obvious that when facts compliment a conscious perspective that furthers the advancement of human “being,” the lunacy we witness in the world today would no longer dominate. Is it possible? When you consider the great lengths society will go to prevent it and preserve its prestige, IMO it is doubtful

Robert Paster
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Re: Can Science Explain Consciousness?

Post by Robert Paster » Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:37 pm

Here are the two sentences in this article which create the flaw in the author's argument: "It's hard to see how these sensory qualities could be captured in the abstract, austere vocabulary of mathematics. How could an equation capture the taste of spicy paprika?"

Stated baldly, the taste of spicy paprika is a single number!

To understand this, learn about p-adic mathematics, which is the only completion of the rational numbers besides real numbers. P-adic mathematics is the natural mathematics of cognition.

P-adic numbers record specific paths within an information hierarchy tree. But p-adic numbers operate in a vast informational space (this is because to close the p-adic completion of the rational numbers is much more elaborate than real numbers' very simple closure as complex numbers), so as a result each p-adic number represents a vast hierarchy of interconnected paths.

The p-adic norm (how p-adic numbers are measured) measures information. So the brain continually identifies p-adic paths that maximize information content.

This is explained in more detail at www.digitalmindmath.com/Math.html

Digital Mind Math is the detailed development of the cognitive aspect of the theory of particle physics, cosmology, biophysics, and cognition called Topological Geometrodynamics www.tgdtheory.fi

jayjacobus
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Re: Can Science Explain Consciousness?

Post by jayjacobus » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:26 pm

Scientists may discover the circuits that surround consciousness and declare EUREKA! but until they can create artificial consciousness (not just a mimic) they won't understand consciousness. Consciousness is an issue without a likely solution.

Already scientists claim that a computer can see. If computers are not aware, they can't see. They process and interpret data from light waves. This is not seeing.

edalorzo
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Re: Can Science Explain Consciousness?

Post by edalorzo » Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:47 pm

jayjacobus wrote:
Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:26 pm
Scientist may discover the circuits that surround consciousness and declare EUREKA! but until they can create artificial consciousness (not just a mimic) they won't understand consciousness. Consciousness is as issue without a likely solution.
The problem with consciousness is that one cannot tell if somebody is conscious or not. Therefore, if scientists could create a machine with human artificial intelligence they still couldn't tell if it is conscious or just a zombie (i.e. just passing the Turing test is no guarantee of being conscious).

In a way the article about Integrated Information Theory of Consciousness presents an interesting perspective because it is a scientific alternative to say if a given artificial intelligence is allegedly conscious based on their Φ.
jayjacobus wrote:
Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:26 pm
Already scientists claim that a computer can see. If computers are not aware, they can't see. They process and interpret data from light waves. This is not seeing.
Interestingly, that's exactly what we, humans, do. We take light waves of certain type through our eyes, which transform them into bioelectrical signals and send them to our brain which process that data and interprets our own personal version of the world. Perhaps we shouldn't assume that an artificial intelligence has to be exactly like us.

tbieter
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Re: Can Science Explain Consciousness?

Post by tbieter » Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:06 am

Regarding the following article,
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=22495&p=323024#p322482 ,

this text from the U.S. Supreme Court reflects the current prevailing secular Weltanschauung:

“Our precedents "have respected the private realm of family life which the state cannot enter." Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158, 166 (1944). These matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State.” [505 U.S. 833, 852] Planned Parenthood of Southeastern PA v. Casey, 505 US 883 (1992)

I suggest that the Court’s language implies the following secular worldview:

My consciousness is autonomous, unlimited, and sovereign. It defines things. It determines beliefs and doctrines. It determines the truth.

Thus, Rachel Dolezal, born of two white parents, persistently asserts that she is an African American. In the short video below the psychiatrist calls her delusional. He asserts that she denies reality. If you listen carefully, you will see that he expresses the secular worldview described above.


Rachel Dolezal
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/02/26/ra ... eless.html

jayjacobus
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Re: Can Science Explain Consciousness?

Post by jayjacobus » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:02 pm

]Interestingly, that's exactly what we, humans, do. We take light waves of certain type through our eyes, which transform them into bioelectrical signals and send them to our brain which process that data and interprets our own personal version of the world. Perhaps we shouldn't assume that an artificial intelligence has to be exactly like us.[/color]
Consciousness interprets a scene. The brain creates a scene. The scene is not data but a compilation of signals. If you don't see a scene and are not aware of the scene, you don't see.

edalorzo
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Re: Can Science Explain Consciousness?

Post by edalorzo » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:17 pm

jayjacobus wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:02 pm
Consciousness interprets a scene. The brain creates a scene. The scene is not data but a compilation of signals. If you don't see a scene and are not aware of the scene, you don't see.
Alright, seeing implies experiencing it, and without consciousness there is no experiencing it and therefore it is not seeing. However, how can we prove there is not consciousness?

You also said:
jayjacobus wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:02 pm
Already scientists claim that a computer can see. If computers are not aware, they can't see. They process and interpret data from light waves. This is not seeing.
Suppose I show two images to a 5-year-old kid, one of a cat and one of a dog, and I ask her to point to the image of the cat and kids does so correctly every time. Most us would say she sees the images and chooses accordingly. But how do we know the she's is actually experiencing seeing?

Let's say we show the same images to a computer with an optical device, and the computer choose the cat correctly every time. How could you tell if the computer is not experiencing seeing? It takes light waves, process them, interprets them and react accordingly, pretty much like our brains do. How can we tell if the computer is a just a zombie or if it is actually conscious?

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PauloL
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Re: Can Science Explain Consciousness?

Post by PauloL » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:03 pm

edalorzo wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:17 pm

Suppose I show two images to a 5-year-old kid, one of a cat and one of a dog, and I ask her to point to the image of the cat and kids does so correctly every time. Most us would say she sees the images and chooses accordingly. But how do we know the she's is actually experiencing seeing?

Let's say we show the same images to a computer with an optical device, and the computer choose the cat correctly every time. How could you tell if the computer is not experiencing seeing? It takes light waves, process them, interprets them and react accordingly, pretty much like our brains do. How can we tell if the computer is a just a zombie or if it is actually conscious?
I think the 5-year-old sees, but don't ask me why. This is the same common sense that allows us to discuss consciousness.

For the computer to choose correctly, you only need an optical device and an algorithm. Then, choosing correctly an image may not be part of consciousness.

edalorzo
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Re: Can Science Explain Consciousness?

Post by edalorzo » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:39 am

PauloL wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:03 pm
For the computer to choose correctly, you only need an optical device and an algorithm. Then, choosing correctly an image may not be part of consciousness.
And how do we know we're not just a complex biological algorithm? For all we know, consciousness may just be a by-product of running such biological algorithm.

Computers today run neural networks that allows them to do tasks that would require fundamental levels of cognition. Those algorithms are complex and the neural network constantly changes as the sensors provide input. Let's suppose the computer from our earlier discussion has a bigger neural network, a computer from some years into our future. It follows complex algorithms similar to those of the neural networks on the kid choosing the pictures of cats.

If you're so sure the kid is conscious, when could we be sure the computer is?

My point simply is that because computers are artificial things, and because they use artificial devices as their senses, that does not necessarily preclude them from being conscious and having some sort of qualia, possible very different than what we, biological beings, could have.

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PauloL
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Re: Can Science Explain Consciousness?

Post by PauloL » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:18 am

edalorzo wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:39 am
.





I don't know if we are a complex algorithm and I think no one does. This is because of consciousness peculiar nature. That's why something so hard to perplex us, like an optical device and an algorithm, can barely be accepted as a consciousness analogy.

I'm as sure about kid's consciousness as you are. But at 5-years-old it's hard to believe the kid isn't conscious.




.

jayjacobus
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Re: Can Science Explain Consciousness?

Post by jayjacobus » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:43 pm

Let's say we show the same images to a computer with an optical device, and the computer choose the cat correctly every time. How could you tell if the computer is not experiencing seeing? It takes light waves, process them, interprets them and react accordingly, pretty much like our brains do. How can we tell if the computer is a just a zombie or if it is actually conscious?

A computer is neither conscious nor a zombie. We know that the results do not define the operator but do define the operation. A horse is not a person even though both can travel. And a computer is not a human even though the computer can mimic many of the results of human consciousness. The computer does not see a scene and then decide what to focus on. The computer sorts, merges and reacts to the results. But the computer falls short of creating images and interpreting those images. The brain has many switches (similar to a computer) but the brain produces images which consciousness interprets. The interpreter is not the brain but consciousness. The computer's interpreter is not consciousness because the computer's interpreter is understood while consciousness isn't.

The computer creates a chain reaction which ultimately results in words and definitions. The brain creates a chain reaction that result in images. Consciousness is not a chain reaction. It is subjective. That is baffling to me and computer scientists.

edalorzo
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Re: Can Science Explain Consciousness?

Post by edalorzo » Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:44 am

PauloL wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:18 am
I'm as sure about kid's consciousness as you are. But at 5-years-old it's hard to believe the kid isn't conscious.
That's en empirical inference. You say so because the kid behaves like a conscious being. I thought this would be a good point to quote Searle
John Searle wrote: According to the argument from analogy, I infer the existence of mental states in other people, by analogy with myself. Just as I observe a correlation of my own behavior with my mental states, so I can infer the presence of appropriate mental states in others when I observe their behavior. I have already pointed out the limitations of this form of argument. The problem is that in general with inferential knowledge there must be some independent check on the inference if the inference is to be valid. Thus, for example, I might discover that a container is empty by banging on the container and inferring from the hollow sound that there is nothing in it, but this inferential form of knowledge only makes sense given the assumption that I could open up the container and look inside and thus noninferentially perceive that the container is empty. But in the case of knowledge of other minds there is no noninferential check on my inference from behavior to mental states, no way that I can look inside the container to see if there is something there.
In the same line of thought, we could easily conceive a computer program that behaves like a philosophical zombie.
jayjacobus wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:43 pm
A computer is neither conscious nor a zombie. We know that the results do not define the operator but do define the operation. A horse is not a person even though both can travel. And a computer is not a human even though the computer can mimic many of the results of human consciousness [...]
That perspective is a bit neuron chauvinistic. You seem to assume that a computer needs to be a human and probably have a human brain to be conscious.

Let's say I am computer programmer, and I write a piece of software that emulates me in every single way. No matter what question you ask to the computer program, it would answer exactly as I would do. I once put the program in my phone, and make it answer my WhatsApp messages for a few days. Not a single person, neither my friends and family noticed any difference from talking directly to me.

So, now I decide to create an android, and put the software in it. The android looks exactly like me, and my software, that emulates me in any possible way, controls the android. Once I sent the android to work in my instead for a week, and nobody at work noticed any difference.

Now, since you were so sure the 5-year-old kid was conscious, now imagine that once I show you my replica and ask you to distinguish which one is conscious and which one is not. Quite a pickle, right?

My replica may be a philosophical zombie, it is allegedly unconscious, but we cannot know. If that's so, how can we be so certain the 5-year-old is conscious? For all that matters, I could be alone in the universe (Obviously if I believe that I wouldn't be writing this, but that's besides the point).

At the same time, as a computer programmer, and as a scientist, how could I be certain that my android is not conscious at all? Perhaps he is truly conscious and experiences the world just as I do.

jayjacobus
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Re: Can Science Explain Consciousness?

Post by jayjacobus » Fri Aug 18, 2017 3:09 am

At the same time, as a computer programmer, and as a scientist, how could I be certain that my android is not conscious at all? Perhaps he is truly conscious and experiences the world just as I do.
But you know that's not true. You know it's not true because the computer follows a chain of switches without subjectivity and you know that computer experts don't understand consciousness and can't program it. Let's say that they are pretending to do what they can't,

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