There is no emergence

How does science work? And what's all this about quantum mechanics?

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seeds
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Re: There is no emergence

Post by seeds »

seeds wrote: Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:50 pm And yet even though consciousness will never be found in any list of brain components, it nevertheless not only makes an appearance once those components are arranged in just the right way, but it also presents itself as being the only reason for the existence of the brain in the first place.
bahman wrote: Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:34 pm Every brain component is conscious.
Hold on there cowboy, you specifically asserted that there is no such thing as consciousness among the properties of matter.

Brains are composed of matter.

Hydrogen (H) is a property (component) of the brain. So, are you now implying that hydrogen is conscious?

Are you a proponent of panpsychism?
the dictionary wrote: pan•psy•chism
noun
panpsychism
1. the doctrine or belief that everything material, however small, has an element of individual consciousness.
Furthermore, are you now suggesting that your earlier listing of the properties of matter:

“...mass, charge, spin, etc...”

...should have looked more like this:

“...mass, charge, spin, consciousness, etc...”?
bahman wrote: Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:34 pm Having a specific structure cannot give rise to consciousness.
Repeating the same wrong-minded assertion over and over again isn’t going to make it right. For, clearly, the highly specific structuring of brain matter does, indeed, give rise to consciousness.
bahman wrote: Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:34 pm The core of my argument is that there is an explanation for everything. Do you think that there is an explanation for everything or not?
Of course I think that there is an explanation for everything.

However, as I pointed out earlier, the fact that there surely exists an explanation for how and why a brain can do what it does, has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that consciousness (at least from our limited perspective) seems to be something that “emerges” from the non-conscious fabric of brain matter.

In which case, it is quite obvious that you are using what is basically a strawman type of argument (“everything has an explanation”) to defend your stance against the concept of emergence.
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uwot
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Re: There is no emergence

Post by uwot »

seeds wrote: Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:40 amNow, now, uwot (me old bean) there’s no need to be rude. We’re all just having a little fun here, sharing our delusions and flawed blatherings in this online virtual nuthouse.
Aw seeds, what makes you think I'm having a pop at you?
seeds wrote: Thu Aug 29, 2019 6:35 pmI just figured that it would be a given that the idealist being referenced in my reply would be the one typing the reply.
Ah! I see your point. Nah, not you seeds, I have nothing but respect for anyone as deluded and flawed as yours truly.
seeds wrote: Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:40 am
uwot wrote: Thu Aug 29, 2019 7:27 pm Some will say there is no noumenon, it's all just phenomena. That's yer entry level idealist.
Care to provide a few notable (linkable) examples as to who those particular idealists might be?
Depends what you mean by phenomena. Um, and noumenon. You could try Plotinus. Schopenhauer. Hegel. None of them believed that our phenomenal reality is in any way a projection of 'physical' noumena. The One, Will and Spirit being their mental noumena respectively.
seeds wrote: Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:40 am...we’ve all heard of Bishop Berkeley. And, of course, you don’t need to be a theologian to see the logic in that particular line of reasoning.
Well no, but yer kinda have to believe in god to find it plausible.
seeds wrote: Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:40 am...the possible holographic-like nature of reality, of which (as you know) I am a super fan.
I know. And as you know, I don't think we have exhausted the possibility that the universe is pretty much what it appears to be.
seeds wrote: Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:40 am
uwot wrote: Thu Aug 29, 2019 7:27 pm I mean; how long ya got? Descartes was absolutely on the money when he said:
There is nothing so strange and so unbelievable that it has not been said by one philosopher or another.
Sounds a little like one your other favorite “go to” quotes:

“Nothing is too ridiculous to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature...” Faraday
Yeah, I'm a bit like a stuck record. Ya gotta admit they're good quotes though.
seeds wrote: Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:40 amWas he talking about the “laws” that somehow magically came into existence via the blind and mindless meanderings chance?
Well, yes, that is one possibility. I really don't buy any version of a 'fine tuned argument' as proof of anything.
seeds wrote: Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:40 am(I’m sure that you know better than to get me started on that trail of rants. :D)
(And I'm sure you know better than to try and persuade me that there is only one possible conclusion.)
seeds wrote: Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:40 amIn the meantime, so as not to derail this thread, how do you feel about bahman’s claim of there being no such thing as “emergence” in any form or context?
Frankly, I suspect the whole universe is an emergent property.
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Dontaskme
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Re: There is no emergence

Post by Dontaskme »

seeds wrote: Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:41 amFor, clearly, the highly specific structuring of brain matter does, indeed, give rise to consciousness.
Brain matter doesn't do anything of the sort...because it takes a conscious knower to inform itself there is a brain at all. All material information is simply an observation consciousness is experiencing as a concept known to itself, and then superimposing that known infomation upon it's screen of awareness to be recognised as an image, there is nothing behind the image apart from the imageless screen on which it appears. ..reality is an illusion albeit a persistent one. A Einstein.

There is the appearance, rise in the level of consciousness, within consciousness itself according to the complexity of the instrument in which the consciousness expresses itself as and though that instrument, and so for the human brain, it just got too big, and is why it is more complex than say the consciousness that is a tree, but all of this knowledge is occuring within consciousness itself. There is nothing outside of that arena that is all knowing consciousness, the brain does nothing, the brain is being done.


.
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Dontaskme
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Re: There is no emergence

Post by Dontaskme »

uwot wrote: Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:29 amFrankly, I suspect the whole universe is an emergent property.
That which appears to emerge has emerged from within itself only to appear on the outside of it's inside.

Therefore, that which appears to emerge, never actually emerges at all. Appearances are the emergence of that which never emerged.

Emergence is self owned.

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uwot
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Re: There is no emergence

Post by uwot »

Dontaskme wrote: Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:23 amThat which appears to emerge has emerged from within itself only to appear on the outside of it's inside.

Therefore, that which appears to emerge, never actually emerges at all. Appearances are the emergence of that which never emerged.

Emergence is self owned.
Deep.

No, on seconds thoughts, it's complete gibberish. The whole point of emergence is that the emergent property is completely different from the components and...oh man, why am I even bothering?
PTH
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Re: There is no emergence

Post by PTH »

seeds wrote: Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:39 amI’m talking about a non-conscious substance (brain matter) that took approximately nine months to arrange (via DNA instructions) into just the right configuration before said awakening could take place.

Now, granted, it may not be a formally presented process that some preeminent neurologist might sign-off on, but surely we can all agree that at least what “appears” to be going on between brains and consciousness is something that the word “emergence” seems to fittingly describe. Yes? No? Maybe?
I'd say maybe.

My only problem is us making statements as if we knew that emergence was the explanation.

As I see it, we know that consciousness exists. Or, at least, it's profitless and useless to doubt it. I wouldn't be posting here if I didn't believe I was exchanging thoughts with other people.

We know there's a problem in accounting for this consciousness, and the features it seems to have. We give great credence to those features. For example, the law of contract assumes that contracts are freely entered into - they are invalid if a party was compelled, or lacked the capacity to make a choice. Electoral law assumes that voters are exercising a free choice, and goes to lengths to make sure they can exercise that choice in privacy, free from any interference. That's despite any philosophical doubts over the existence of free will.

On the other hand, we know there's a brain. We know quite an amount about its mechanics. But we don't know how that connects to consciousness. It could emerge, in some unknown way, from the physical. Or it could be something else.

And, yes, both monism and dualism have unsolved problems. If we assume dualism as the explanation, it doesn't explain how mental activity changes physical outcomes.

That said, mental activity must change physical outcomes. Unless our contention is that no-one, ever, was influenced enough to change their behaviour because of something they read. So if I read instructions on how to operate a piece of machinery, do we think that simple conscious understanding of that instructive text had no impact on what I did next?
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bahman
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Re: There is no emergence

Post by bahman »

seeds wrote: Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:41 am
seeds wrote: Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:50 pm And yet even though consciousness will never be found in any list of brain components, it nevertheless not only makes an appearance once those components are arranged in just the right way, but it also presents itself as being the only reason for the existence of the brain in the first place.
bahman wrote: Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:34 pm Every brain component is conscious.
Hold on there cowboy, you specifically asserted that there is no such thing as consciousness among the properties of matter.

Brains are composed of matter.

Hydrogen (H) is a property (component) of the brain. So, are you now implying that hydrogen is conscious?
Ok, that is how I see the reality: Reality is made of minds and physical. Mind is the essence of any being/thing with the ability to experience (consciousness), decide and cause. The physical is what mind experiences and causes such as the thought that is internal objects and mater which are external objects (by causing mater I mean we can affect them). Mater is made of minds that they interact with each other. The medium that minds interact with each other is of course physical. There is a hierarchy of minds in mater some of them perform simple tasks and some complicated tasks. The behavior of those minds that perform simple tasks can be formulated in terms of a set of properties, such as mass, charge, etc. So that is how I see things. Consciousness is the ability to experience whereas mass, for example, is a property.
seeds wrote: Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:41 am Are you a proponent of panpsychism?
Yes.
seeds wrote: Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:41 am
the dictionary wrote: pan•psy•chism
noun
panpsychism
1. the doctrine or belief that everything material, however small, has an element of individual consciousness.
Furthermore, are you now suggesting that your earlier listing of the properties of matter:

“...mass, charge, spin, etc...”

...should have looked more like this:

“...mass, charge, spin, consciousness, etc...”?
I think I made a clear distinction between consciousness and mass. Consciousness is the ability to experience whereas mass is a property that allows us to formulate the behavior of mater.
seeds wrote: Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:41 am
bahman wrote: Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:34 pm Having a specific structure cannot give rise to consciousness.
Repeating the same wrong-minded assertion over and over again isn’t going to make it right. For, clearly, the highly specific structuring of brain matter does, indeed, give rise to consciousness.
The opposite is the wrong-minded assertion. The structure of the brain just allows that each element of mater, mind, interact with each other in a specific way and that allows a specific function.
seeds wrote: Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:41 am
bahman wrote: Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:34 pm The core of my argument is that there is an explanation for everything. Do you think that there is an explanation for everything or not?
Of course I think that there is an explanation for everything.

However, as I pointed out earlier, the fact that there surely exists an explanation for how and why a brain can do what it does, has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that consciousness (at least from our limited perspective) seems to be something that “emerges” from the non-conscious fabric of brain matter.

In which case, it is quite obvious that you are using what is basically a strawman type of argument (“everything has an explanation”) to defend your stance against the concept of emergence.
_______
If you accept that there is an explanation for everything then there can not be any emergence (strong emergence). That is true since the behavior of the whole is not the result of the behavior of the parts when we are dealing with emergence. There is something extra and inexplicable here. Where does the behavior of whole come from!?
Last edited by bahman on Sat Aug 31, 2019 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Skepdick
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Re: There is no emergence

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bahman wrote: Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:04 pm If you accept that there is an explanation for everything then there can not be any emergence (strong emergence).
But even you don't accept that, so why do you insist that we should accept it?

You are still refusing to answer:
1. Is there an explanation for explanations?
2. Is there an explanation for the universe?
bahman wrote: Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:04 pm There is something extra and inexplicable here. Where does the behavior whole come from!?
The correct epistemic answer is: 'I don't know. My knowledge of the complete whole is incomplete. The extras' are in my blind spot.'
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Re: There is no emergence

Post by Skepdick »

PTH wrote: Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:49 pm My only problem is us making statements as if we knew that emergence was the explanation.
Nobody has said that? Nobody has claimed that emergence is an explanation. Those are your words, your claims and you are using them to strawman everybody else.

Emergence is a fact. Emergence is a phenomenon. Like gravity is a phenomenon.

We can no more explain emergence than we can explain gravity.
PTH wrote: Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:49 pm As I see it, we know that consciousness exists. Or, at least, it's profitless and useless to doubt it.
It's profitless in exactly the same way as doubting emergence and gravity.

Emergence is symptomatic. The explanation for emergence is the incompleteness of human knowledge. If we were omniscient there would be no emergent phenomena.

Are we omniscient? No. Can we ever be omniscient? No. Given our current understanding of physics it violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

Till you overcome entropy - emergence will always be part&parcel of the human condition.
PTH
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Re: There is no emergence

Post by PTH »

Skepdick wrote: Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:51 amWe can no more explain emergence than we can explain gravity.
We can say considerably more about gravity. And we can say lots to explain lots of other stuff. For instance, we can explain how this screen displays characters composed quite a distance away.

What we can't say is whether the consciousness that composed the characters is a product of emergence.

We can say "emergence", and mean emergence. And, in different circumstances, we can say "emergence" when we mean we don't know.

You are trying to confuse the two.
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Re: There is no emergence

Post by Skepdick »

PTH wrote: Sat Aug 31, 2019 4:53 pm We can say considerably more about gravity.
No, you can't.

You can say considerably more about the consequences of gravity. You don't actually know what gravity is.
You can explain a bunch of phenomena with the concept of gravity. You don't actually know what gravity is.

The problem of ontology.
PTH wrote: Sat Aug 31, 2019 4:53 pm And we can say lots to explain lots of other stuff. For instance, we can explain how this screen displays characters composed quite a distance away.
Please don't distract yourself with screens and displays. If you are going to be answering HOW questions, I would like you to explain HOW gravity works.
PTH wrote: Sat Aug 31, 2019 4:53 pm What we can't say is whether the consciousness that composed the characters is a product of emergence.
I am NOT saying that "consciousness is the product of emergence". You are saying that. You are still straw-manning me.

What I am saying is that consciousness is emergent from matter. Are you not understanding my meaning? In the language of systems/complexity theory this is a perfectly valid thing to say.

There is even a conspiracy going on with a whole lot of people using this forbidden word.
PTH wrote: Sat Aug 31, 2019 4:53 pm We can say "emergence", and mean emergence. And, in different circumstances, we can say "emergence" when we mean we don't know.
I am not confusing the two, any more than you are confused about gravity. You don't say "I don't know". You actually use the word "gravity" - even though you don't actually know what gravity is or how gravity works. You are talking about a phenomenon that you can't explain. So how about you spare us the linguistic prescriptivism?

The truth-value of "There is gravity" is equivalent to the truth-value of "There is emergence".
PTH wrote: Sat Aug 31, 2019 4:53 pm You are trying to confuse the two.
And you are most certainly trying to straw-man me once again.
I explicitly stated that emergence is the result of incomplete knowledge. Here is me - saying it.
Skepdick wrote: Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:51 am Emergence is symptomatic. The explanation for emergence is the incompleteness of human knowledge. If we were omniscient there would be no emergent phenomena.
Which really boils down to a simple question: do you believe in the possibility of human omniscience?
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Re: There is no emergence

Post by PTH »

Skepdick wrote: Sat Aug 31, 2019 5:00 pm
I explicitly stated that emergence is the result of incomplete knowledge. Here is me - saying it.
Skepdick wrote: Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:51 am Emergence is symptomatic. The explanation for emergence is the incompleteness of human knowledge. If we were omniscient there would be no emergent phenomena.
Which really boils down to a simple question: do you believe in the possibility of human omniscience?
There's stuff we know, and stuff we don't know.

Whether consciousness is emergent from matter is one of the things we don't know. And that's what you mean when you say emergence.

But its not what people mean when they say flight is emergent from a certain arrangement of matter.
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Re: There is no emergence

Post by Skepdick »

PTH wrote: Sat Aug 31, 2019 5:55 pm There's stuff we know, and stuff we don't know.
Whether consciousness is emergent from matter is one of the things we don't know.
Translation: You haven't decided whether to subscribe to a monist or a dualist metaphysic yet.

If you accept causality you have to reject dualism.
If you accept monism you have to reject meaning.

Trivial choice really. As a scientist - I don't believe in a theory of meaning. As a human I do.

This leaves little room for philosophy.
PTH wrote: Sat Aug 31, 2019 5:55 pm And that's what you mean when you say emergence.
But its not what people mean when they say flight is emergent from a certain arrangement of matter.
Wow! Where did you get your diploma in mind-reading? You should go back to that school and demand your money back.

In the realm of the inter-subjective (from which Philosophy is not exempt) use is meaning and meaning is use.

I know that consciousness is emergent from matter, because if it isn't then it's emergent from some mystical fairy dust.
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bahman
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Re: There is no emergence

Post by bahman »

Skepdick wrote: Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:46 am
bahman wrote: Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:04 pm If you accept that there is an explanation for everything then there can not be any emergence (strong emergence).
But even you don't accept that, so why do you insist that we should accept it?

You are still refusing to answer:
1. Is there an explanation for explanations?
Maybe, because by definition explanation is: a statement or account that makes something clear so we might need a new statement to make the statement clear. Normally a set of statements is enough to explain a subject matter exhaustively.
Skepdick wrote: Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:46 am 2. Is there an explanation for the universe?
Yes. Unstable vacuum.
Skepdick wrote: Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:46 am
bahman wrote: Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:04 pm There is something extra and inexplicable here. Where does the behavior whole come from!?
The correct epistemic answer is: 'I don't know. My knowledge of the complete whole is incomplete. The extras' are in my blind spot.'
Then you don't know what strong emergence is.
PTH
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Re: There is no emergence

Post by PTH »

Skepdick wrote: Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:02 pm If you accept causality you have to reject dualism.
If you accept monism you have to reject meaning.
But the problem really arises because we see that causality and meaning both exist.

And, sometimes, meaning is the cause.
Skepdick wrote: Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:02 pm I know that consciousness is emergent from matter, because if it isn't then it's emergent from some mystical fairy dust.
Once you recognise conscious exists, you are talking fairy dust.
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