MarkM wrote:I believe that philosophy is the consideration of Everything.
Aptly put. And I agree. I find it interesting that you write Everything with a capital "E". It makes me curious about the difference between "Everything" and simply "everything".
MarkM wrote:It is not confined to a type of intellectual activity such as questioning without answering. That is like admonishing a sixty year old polymath to speak when spoken to as if they were a child.
Yes. My emphasis on questioning without answering was to highligt one important difference between science and philosophy. Philosophy knows no such boundaries and scientists of course engage in philosophy too.
MarkM wrote:Most nearly every academic pursuit is a branch of philosophy, or has some connection to Philosophy. Even Religion, which one might argue came before or precedes Philosophy has an inseparable Philosophical component.
Sure. I'm more comfortable with science being a "branch" of philosophy, than with philosophy somehow being a science, since science is restricted to the measurable, wile philosophy, as you say, considers everything.
MarkM wrote:Science has been very successful. It has given us this internet by which we communicate. Science's achievements are objective and plain to see. Philosophy is the same pursuit as it was in the time of Ancient Greece, when Philosophy included Math and Astronomy. Philosophy has not been stripped of its ancient questions by the subsequent development of Math and Astronomy. Philosophy still includes the consideration of Everything. If and when Science makes discoveries, it inevitably has consequences for philosophy, because Philosophy is the consideration of Everything.
And I agree with all of this also.
MarkM wrote:If you examine the profound reach of the issue of Consciousness, you may see the problem for Philosophy. In my opinion, if you think that there is a real prospect that Science can explain and even re-produce Consciousness, then you might ask questions about what will happen to Mankind in the aftermath. What will happen to the question of Human Agency when our Free Will is reduced to Scientific formaula? What will happen to legal culpability if our actions are reducible to some form of biological software? What will be the object of human aspiration and searching, if Science by its achievement puts human experience into a metaphorical Petri-dish? If you believe that Science will explain consciousness, then do you consider the above outcome ?
I believe that if science can explain consciousness, it will have unforseeable and far reaching practical
consequenses. Scientific disoveries often have. You might view the atom bomb and nuclear power as practical (though not direct) consequenses of Einstein's theory of relativity. And such developments of course raise new philosophical (particularly ethical) questions. However, I don't believe that a scientific explanation of consciousness would impact philosophy the way you suggest.
Let's take a look at your examle here:
MarkM wrote:What will happen to the question of Human Agency when our Free Will is reduced to Scientific formaula? What will happen to legal culpability if our actions are reducible to some form of biological software?
Philosophically, free will can already be reduced to something not at all free. And nobody can explain what it's supposed to be free from, anyway. Let me quote myself, since I've written extensively about free will all over this forum in the past:
Notvacka wrote:As a concept, free will is intrinsically linked to the concept of identity.
Free will and identity are core concepts of the human experience. Both may be mere illusions, bi-products of physical processes, but we all experience them, which makes them important to us.
Who am I? My identity is defined by circumstances and by my actions. Circumstances determine me, but I determine my actions. Objectively, you could exclude me from the equation and conclude that circumstances determine my actions. But that would be to deny my subjective existence as a human being.
Free will does not exist in a strictly objective sense. Neither do I. (I'm not talking about my body, which could probably be objectively verified to some degree. )
Without free will, we don't exist. And in some perversely objective way, we don't. But that's not how we experience it.
Free will and identity is what we experience between circumstances and actions.
On a purely subjective level, free will is experienced as having alternatives to choose from. On the same subjective level, identity is experienced as being the one doing the choosing.
My point being that the subjective experience is perhaps more important than any objective reality. We don't live in reality anyway, but rather in a collectively constructed and shared illusion.
To answer your question: Nothing will happen to free will or legal culpability, because our experience of consciousness from within
will essentially remain the same, regardless of scientific explanation. It's already perfectly possible to philosophically conclude that there is some
phyhsical process behind consciousness. Determining exactly how it works makes little to no difference in this context.