Sappho de Miranda;
I apologize for taking so long to respond.
Sappho de Miranda wrote:
Gee wrote:Well, I don't do science, I do philosophy. Specifically I study consciousness. Decades of study have produced my definition of consciousness as a "self-balancing chaos, motivated by want, in perpetual motion". Some physics people at a science forum noted that my definition could also be applied to matter, so I think that ordinary observation and perception can have some merit.
I don’t 'do' science either Gee. And to be perfectly frank with you, I don't 'do' Philosophy. Nor do I 'do' Law, Psychology, Neurology, Mythology, Mathematics or any other discipline. I 'do' think however upon all those disciplines and many others not mentioned. I 'do' read within those disciplines and many others not mentioned. I 'do' learn the skills I need to think about those disciplines and many others not mentioned. I 'do' explore and re-evaluate my thinking with likeminded people .
These are the same reasons why most of us are here. I stated that I don't do science, but do philosophy, because I believe that the two disciplines require a different mind-set and methodology to do them correctly. When one mixes the methodologies of a scientific study of knowns with a philosophic study of unknowns, one can end up with a great deal of garbage and Misconceived Truth. I suspect that this is why the disciplines separated in the first place.
Sappho de Miranda wrote:As to consciousness, I'm rather impressed with the thinking of Dan Dennett, even though his philosophical thinking is founded in cognitive science. He would argue and rather persuasively that consciousness is nothing more than an illusion.
I wonder though how you feel about the philosophies of Dan Dennett given that you don't 'do' science?
Dennett is difficult for me to understand. I watched a video about his book, Consciousness Explained, where the speaker stated that if one follows all of the thinking in that book and applies it, then Google should be conscious. As far as we know, Google is not conscious.
Then consider that Dennett is a philosopher, not a scientist, but he has adopted science's definition of consciousness as conscious thought -- produced by a brain. But the philosophical definition of consciousness is awareness -- no actual thought or brain required. If you go to the on-line SEP (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) and look up consciousness, the first explanation and level of consciousness is sentience. All life is sentient, this is not disputed by anyone, but all life does not have a brain and thought. An example of this would be trees, as they have no brain, no thought, yet they are aware. So in studying cognitive science, Dennett is studying conscious thought, not consciousness. This is very misleading.
If Dennett argues that consciousness is illusion, then he is stating that it is different from matter which would make him a dualist -- which I am sure he would deny, as being a dualist is not popular at this time. But if you think about it, the only difference in stating that consciousness is illusion or stating that consciousness is souls and "God" is belief. One accepts the "illusion", the other does not, but it is still dualism.
I can not make up my mind if Dennett is a wannabe scientist or a wannabe philosopher. So, I can not say that I am pleased with him.
Sappho de Miranda wrote:With regard to Descartes, I note that the quote you provide supports the idea of movement so we are on the same page after all. I am curious however to know what perpetual motion means to you . . .
A very brief explanation would be in an understanding of ecosystems. If you look closely at a forest, what you will find is thousands of different species attacking other species or fighting for dominance. One would think that eventually someone would win, but it does not happen. We have learned that if we remove or add a specie, we can actually damage and potentially destroy the ecosystem. This is because the ecosystem is self-balancing. Now when we discuss balance, one may think of a teeter-totter, or a scale, but when these things are in balance they stop. An ecosystem's balance is based on motion. If some or all of the species stopped, the ecosystem would die. So the ecosystem perpetuates itself through constant motion and can last for thousands of years, maybe tens of thousands. This is just one example, but seems to be a common theme in all life and consciousness.
Sappho de Miranda wrote:though and how Descartes 'may deny a large body of cause and effect' given that idea?
I've lost you here. You will have to explain what you mean in order for me to answer you.
Sappho de Miranda wrote:Are you suggesting that consciousness is not of this 'energy' to which you refer. If not, what is it?
I am not up for the Nobel Prize. (chuckle) Anyone who can answer that question would be.
Sappho de Miranda wrote:As a side note, Descartes also taught that the one thing we cannot question and so can never doubt is that I exist. I don't know if you exist mind... but I do know without a doubt that I think, therefore, I am.
Descartes was a brilliant, rational, logical man, who taught us a great deal about rational thought. But that was before Freud taught us that the rational aspect of mind is only part of our minds, and a small part at that. It was also before psychology taught us that we don't even have the rational aspect of mind until we are around seven years of age. And it was before we learned that a brain is actually a processor, which processes thought and allows for choice.
So it looks like maybe you can't think without a brain, so you would need a body, so after you die, you would not be. But Descartes was a religious man, so he believed in the afterlife. Maybe if he lived today, he would realize that consciousness is what we think, but it is also more -- it is what we think, know, and remember, and also how we feel, our emotions, and our awareness.