Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Is the mind the same as the body? What is consciousness? Can machines have it?

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Atla
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Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Atla » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:27 pm

thought addict wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:48 pm
To rephrase based on the above quote about Watts, the underlying substrate would be the "cosmic Self". It would be underlying in the sense that it is not in plain view because "we are all IT in disguise".
Yes (I think). You're it, tat tvam asi. And once this really hits you, it's no longer in disguise for you.

They say this is the end of all spiritual search. And you also realize that you have actually always been there. All that is left is a good laugh. Most people also seem to get a massive bliss out of this, I certainly didn't. I find the truth (in case this is the truth) rather boring and disappointing, but also very calming, pleasant. And some existential frustrations cease completely.
Well, self illusion is an incoherent, religious concept to me that I am not interested in examining further at this time.
Yeah I don't think this one can be skipped. If you are like most people, then in nondualism the false concept/hallucination is the one that you are having now. The hallucination that "you" really exist as a separate, free agent, that "does" things, "has" things etc. You do exist in some sense, just not quite how you think.

Whatever we do, we already experience ultimate reality, even if we don't know it, so there is actually no need to get into nondualism if you don't like it.

Atla
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Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Atla » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:57 pm

Anyway I'm no authority on the subject by any stretch of the imagination. I stumbled on nondualism by studying science, not philosophy, which is a rather unusual route. :)

Belinda
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Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Belinda » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:32 pm

Maybe, since Atla likes Alan Watts, Atla may agree that Yin and Yang are aspects of the same.

Atla
Posts: 487
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:27 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Atla » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:00 am

Atla wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:27 pm
thought addict wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:48 pm
To rephrase based on the above quote about Watts, the underlying substrate would be the "cosmic Self". It would be underlying in the sense that it is not in plain view because "we are all IT in disguise".
Yes (I think). You're it, tat tvam asi. And once this really hits you, it's no longer in disguise for you.

They say this is the end of all spiritual search. And you also realize that you have actually always been there. All that is left is a good laugh. Most people also seem to get a massive bliss out of this, I certainly didn't. I find the truth (in case this is the truth) rather boring and disappointing, but also very calming, pleasant. And some existential frustrations cease completely.
Well, self illusion is an incoherent, religious concept to me that I am not interested in examining further at this time.
Yeah I don't think this one can be skipped. If you are like most people, then in nondualism the false concept/hallucination is the one that you are having now. The hallucination that "you" really exist as a separate, free agent, that "does" things, "has" things etc. You do exist in some sense, just not quite how you think.

Whatever we do, we already experience ultimate reality, even if we don't know it, so there is actually no need to get into nondualism if you don't like it.
But once we see through the hallucination of the separate self, "we" can then choose to buy into it anyway, perhaps even more so than before, things can become hyper-real, while also being aware of it way down on some subtle level that this is actually roleplaying. This is probably the "best of both worlds" and what Watts calls being a genuine fake. It's actually hilarious.

Which is why I don't understand some Buddhists, why do they throw themselves out as much as possible, logically their stance is equivalent, but it's horrible for everyday life. Unless in the end, despite what they claim, their "philosophy" really is just the denial of life. In my opinion some variations of Buddhism give nondualism a bad name.

Londoner
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Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Londoner » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:34 am

Atla wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:27 pm
Whatever we do, we already experience ultimate reality, even if we don't know it, so there is actually no need to get into nondualism if you don't like it.
In the western philosophical tradition, we would want to unpack phrases like 'experience ultimate reality'

seeds
Posts: 461
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Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by seeds » Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:43 pm

Atla wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:12 pm
Your experiences do not have a magical reality of their own.
Your inner subjective experiences (your thoughts and dreams) most certainly do have a magical reality of their own. Would you like to argue that point with someone like Tolkien, for example?

I mean, how is it not magical when you can be immersed in a peaceful dream of an island paradise at one moment and then chased by phantasmagorical entities in the next?
Atla wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:12 pm
Your experiences do not have special power or meaning.
Your inner-experience is composed of an ability to control an infinitely malleable substance that is capable of being formed into absolutely anything you can imagine or desire. Now if you don't think that meets the definition of being a “special power,” then I don’t know what does.
Atla wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:12 pm
They are mostly representations, but also part of the world.
In what way are the three-dimensional features of your dreams a part of the world?
Atla wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:12 pm
They are not always accurate.
“Accurate” in comparison to what?

And what does accuracy have to do with anything being discussed here?
Atla wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:12 pm
They are not showing how things "really are".
I suggest that our thoughts and dreams are indeed showing us exactly how things “really are,” in that, again, they are composed of a substance that is capable of becoming anything imaginable – just like the substance that forms the universe.

We are talking about a nebulous and informationally-based substance whose transformation from “noumena” into “phenomena” seems to be dependent upon the participation of consciousness (both inwardly and outwardly).
Atla wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:12 pm
Sometimes you experience things that aren't actually out there.
Does that mean that you are at least acknowledging the contrasting duality that exists between an “out there” and an “in there”?
Atla wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:12 pm
Dreams are not representations of the outside world.
Dreams are indeed representations of the outside world – a bit skewed, unpredictable, and lower in resolution, but “representations” nonetheless.
_______

Atla
Posts: 487
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Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Atla » Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:33 am

I thought most of these issues were clear even without nondualism.
seeds wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:43 pm
Your inner subjective experiences (your thoughts and dreams) most certainly do have a magical reality of their own. Would you like to argue that point with someone like Tolkien, for example?

I mean, how is it not magical when you can be immersed in a peaceful dream of an island paradise at one moment and then chased by phantasmagorical entities in the next?
1. Imagination is not a representation of the outside world. And no matter how wonderful it is, in the end it's "just" an experience in the head.

2. I read LOTR like 3 times when I was young. FYI, there are special cases of the human brain/mind, that can enhance someone's imagination way beyond what's "normal". Just to name two (and they may be related):

- The brain/mind has built-in filters, so you don't get overwhelmed by sheer amounts of data/experiences or unnecessary data/experiences etc. And some of these filters break down in some people, especially in various forms of schizophrenia.

- Some people can pretty much willfully access their subconscious, and have an access to unbelievable amounts and depths of data/experiences.

Those people who have some of this stuff, say milder versions, and don't go crazy, can sometimes experience or make up the most wonderful things and we can only be grateful to Tolkien that he was able to express his "inner world" in his works.
Your inner-experience is composed of an ability to control an infinitely malleable substance that is capable of being formed into absolutely anything you can imagine or desire. Now if you don't think that meets the definition of being a “special power,” then I don’t know what does.
1. It's not an infinite ability. Try to correctly imagine a 679 dimensional cube for example. Or try to imagine an infinitely big image. You can't.
Try to correctly imagine Graham's number. You can't, if you were able to, your head would collapse into a black hole.
etc.
I would go on and say we can't even imagine nondualism correctly, it's impossible.

2. It's not a different substance, just the inside of your head.

3. Ultimately we only have the illusion of free will, and the illusion that the "I" is controlling things. Imo by all means we should live our everyday lives like these things were real however, buying into such illusions, because why not.

Sorry to disappoint but you don't have a special power.
In what way are the three-dimensional features of your dreams a part of the world?
Dreams aren't representations of the outside world.
“Accurate” in comparison to what?

And what does accuracy have to do with anything being discussed here?
Sensory experiences are not always accurate representations of the outside world. (And sometimes things can go very seriously wrong.)

The guy I replied to seemed to take his sensory experiences at face value, he seemed to think they were accurate. That's actually a very dangerous state of mind to be in.
I suggest that our thoughts and dreams are indeed showing us exactly how things “really are,” in that, again, they are composed of a substance that is capable of becoming anything imaginable – just like the substance that forms the universe.

We are talking about a nebulous and informationally-based substance whose transformation from “noumena” into “phenomena” seems to be dependent upon the participation of consciousness (both inwardly and outwardly).
Well your suggestion is wrong. You also don't seem to understand what information is. Guess what, you will never find information independent of matter, because they are nondual. Matter and information are two conceptualizations of the same thing.
Does that mean that you are at least acknowledging the contrasting duality that exists between an “out there” and an “in there”?
Well again, your head isn't the only thing that exists in spacetime. The tree 10 meters in front of you is not the same thing as your head.
You are talking from the standpoint of your head, and from that point of view, the tree is outside in spacetime. The I and the self-awareness and the experiences of the head etc. are in the head, spacetime wise. The "I" as first-person view is universal however.
Sensory experiences are both part of the world and are representations of the world. So it's really hard to talk about a human mind without "inside" and "outside".
Dreams are indeed representations of the outside world – a bit skewed, unpredictable, and lower in resolution, but “representations” nonetheless.
Dreams aren't representations of the outside world. They are probably maintenance mechanisms of the brain/mind, just as sleep is a maintenance mechanism. If we don't sleep for a long time, we die. You may encounter prior sensory experiences in dreams, as they are being re-processed.

Londoner
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Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Londoner » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:14 pm

Atla wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:33 am

Dreams aren't representations of the outside world.
So there is the 'outside world' and also 'dreams'. And there is the implied claim that we can experience this 'outside world'. (If we couldn't, how could we have compared it to dreams and know that dreams didn't represent it.)

If we are judging our internal experiences against an (assumed) external standard, 'the outside world', then that is dualism.
Sensory experiences are not always accurate representations of the outside world. (And sometimes things can go very seriously wrong.)

The guy I replied to seemed to take his sensory experiences at face value, he seemed to think they were accurate. That's actually a very dangerous state of mind to be in.
They are all we are ever going to have. We cannot get outside our own heads and see what the 'outside world' really looks like, then climb back inside our skulls, take a normal look, and compare the two.

So to say that a certain experience is not an 'accurate representations of the outside world' cannot be an observation that the experience is faulty, or unreal, because we can never make such an observation. Rather, we first construct a notion of what 'the outside world' is like, then accept or reject experiences depending on whether they conform to that notion. In order to make our notion of 'the outside world' coherent, we have to exclude all those types of experience which do not fit. So, for example, a scientific description of the world works as long as we do not include the sort of experiences we have in dreams. But that is different from saying that science proves dreams aren't real experiences, it doesn't deny we dream, it simply doesn't deal with them.

Is that good enough? Are we content with saying our ideas of 'the outside world' are (as far as we can know) just ideas. They are true in the sense that they work for us, they are useful. Or are we claiming they are 'accurate' in the sense of meaning they are 'accurate representations' of something beyond perceived phenomena? The noumenal. Things as they are 'in-themselves'. If we do, then we are back with two things, ideas and things, us and them.

Atla
Posts: 487
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Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Atla » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:48 pm

Londoner wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:14 pm
Atla wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:33 am

Dreams aren't representations of the outside world.
So there is the 'outside world' and also 'dreams'. And there is the implied claim that we can experience this 'outside world'. (If we couldn't, how could we have compared it to dreams and know that dreams didn't represent it.)

If we are judging our internal experiences against an (assumed) external standard, 'the outside world', then that is dualism.
Sensory experiences are not always accurate representations of the outside world. (And sometimes things can go very seriously wrong.)

The guy I replied to seemed to take his sensory experiences at face value, he seemed to think they were accurate. That's actually a very dangerous state of mind to be in.
They are all we are ever going to have. We cannot get outside our own heads and see what the 'outside world' really looks like, then climb back inside our skulls, take a normal look, and compare the two.

So to say that a certain experience is not an 'accurate representations of the outside world' cannot be an observation that the experience is faulty, or unreal, because we can never make such an observation. Rather, we first construct a notion of what 'the outside world' is like, then accept or reject experiences depending on whether they conform to that notion. In order to make our notion of 'the outside world' coherent, we have to exclude all those types of experience which do not fit. So, for example, a scientific description of the world works as long as we do not include the sort of experiences we have in dreams. But that is different from saying that science proves dreams aren't real experiences, it doesn't deny we dream, it simply doesn't deal with them.

Is that good enough? Are we content with saying our ideas of 'the outside world' are (as far as we can know) just ideas. They are true in the sense that they work for us, they are useful. Or are we claiming they are 'accurate' in the sense of meaning they are 'accurate representations' of something beyond perceived phenomena? The noumenal. Things as they are 'in-themselves'. If we do, then we are back with two things, ideas and things, us and them.
I won't repeat what I already explained 5 times. Either you lack basic comprehension skills, or you are a troll.

Londoner
Posts: 790
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:47 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Londoner » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:23 pm

Atla wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:48 pm
I won't repeat what I already explained 5 times. Either you lack basic comprehension skills, or you are a troll.
Believe it or not, before you came along the problem of consciousness had already featured in philosophy. I am not pointing out anything that those interested in the subject would find original or unusual.

You wrote:
Of course I'm not on the same page as anyone else, I'm a nondualist. That's like 1 in 1000 in the West or less. Nondualism is the correct view, which is why Western philosophy has been running in nonsensical circles for hundreds of years.
Almost no one ever understands my position so I'm used to that actually.
(on page 13)

So, if I lack basic comprehension skills, or am a troll, then it seems I am not alone. It applies to 99.9% of 'the West' and:
Most of the East doesn't seem to understand it either.
So in your opinion pretty much everyone in the world lacks basic comprehension skills, or is a troll, except you.

Yes, that is one possibility...

Atla
Posts: 487
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:27 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Atla » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:02 pm

Londoner wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:23 pm
Atla wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:48 pm
I won't repeat what I already explained 5 times. Either you lack basic comprehension skills, or you are a troll.
Believe it or not, before you came along the problem of consciousness had already featured in philosophy. I am not pointing out anything that those interested in the subject would find original or unusual.

You wrote:
Of course I'm not on the same page as anyone else, I'm a nondualist. That's like 1 in 1000 in the West or less. Nondualism is the correct view, which is why Western philosophy has been running in nonsensical circles for hundreds of years.
Almost no one ever understands my position so I'm used to that actually.
(on page 13)

So, if I lack basic comprehension skills, or am a troll, then it seems I am not alone. It applies to 99.9% of 'the West' and:
Most of the East doesn't seem to understand it either.
So in your opinion pretty much everyone in the world lacks basic comprehension skills, or is a troll, except you.

Yes, that is one possibility...
And once again you missed the point, deliberately misinterpreting what I said to make me look bad.

Belinda
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Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Belinda » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:43 pm

Atla wrote:

Almost no one ever understands my position so I'm used to that actually.
And how would you like it if someone with no acquaintance with the lexicon or frames of reference tried to reasonably discuss a scientific topic with you ?

Atla
Posts: 487
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:27 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Atla » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:01 pm

Belinda wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:43 pm
Atla wrote:

Almost no one ever understands my position so I'm used to that actually.
And how would you like it if someone with no acquaintance with the lexicon or frames of reference tried to reasonably discuss a scientific topic with you ?
Things are fine unless I have to explain the same thing over and over and over and over again to someone and yet not a word gets across, and I'm the one blamed for it.

Atla
Posts: 487
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:27 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Atla » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:13 pm

Belinda wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:43 pm
Atla wrote:

Almost no one ever understands my position so I'm used to that actually.
And how would you like it if someone with no acquaintance with the lexicon or frames of reference tried to reasonably discuss a scientific topic with you ?
Also, you don't seem to understand that your philosophical lexicon of dualistic thinking IS the main problem here.

Londoner
Posts: 790
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:47 am

Re: Leibniz's mill and the "Hard problem of consciousness"

Post by Londoner » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:52 pm

Atla wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:13 pm
Belinda wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:43 pm
Atla wrote:

Almost no one ever understands my position so I'm used to that actually.
And how would you like it if someone with no acquaintance with the lexicon or frames of reference tried to reasonably discuss a scientific topic with you ?
Also, you don't seem to understand that your philosophical lexicon of dualistic thinking IS the main problem here.
Everyone's lexicon is wrong except yours. Perhaps we should move on to discussing Wittgenstein and 'private languages'.

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