• 180 Proof
    41
    So thermodynamics is against you as much as the rest of physics. For the brain to do the work of constructing states of integrated-differentiated information, it must create even more entropic waste. There is a reason why the brain is 2% of our body weight but consumes 20% of our energy.apokrisis
    :fire: :100: :strong:
  • Wayfarer
    21
    The arrangement of these words and letters.Pop

    I don't know if I agree. Consider that the same sentence can be conveyed in any kind of media whatever. It doesn't matter with it's written, engraved in metal, or converted into binary code. The media is different in every case while the information remains the same.


    I think you're making a good point that perhaps relates to higher levels of intentionality, but could you be more specific? Don't mean to put you on the spot necessarily, be as concise as you like, or just ignore meEnrique

    Well, when you say:

    Imagine being able to draw a diagram in a textbook that represents the chemistry of qualitative perceptionEnrique

    The problem I see is you're conflating two very different kinds of things perspectives. Objective description is third-person, by definition (or inter-subjective if you like). But the qualitative nature of consciousness, 'what it is like to feel something', is what makes the hard problem a problem. And the reason it's a hard problem is because it can't be represented in the third person, only experienced or felt or lived in the first person. You can't extract it and present it as any kind of object or thing. When you write something, and I understand it, then you're relying on the fact that we have a shared 'experience of being', if you like. (The ability to do that is what makes novelists and screenwriters successful.) But if you tried to communicate an experience to a non-human being or to a computer, then it would require something radically different, even if it were possible, which I doubt. (I think that is why Wittgenstein said 'if a lion could speak, we wouldn't understand what it said'.)

    So the 'chemistry of qualitative perception' is, I'm afraid, an iredeemably materialist perspective, because it's based on the 'principle of objectification'. That gets into deep epistemological territory but I'll try and explain it. I've been reading a bit from the later philosophical writings of Erwin Schrödinger. He said that objectification is:
    "… a certain simplification which we adopt in order to master the infinitely intricate problem of nature. Without being aware of it and without being rigorously systematic about it we exclude the Subject of Cognizance from the domain of nature that we endeavour to understand. We step with our own person back into the part of an onlooker who does not belong to the world, which by this very procedure becomes an objective world.Schrödinger, Mind and Matter

    And I think here that you are doing that, namely, forgetting that the very subject of your analysis is not objectively existent. Experience doesn't exist without a subject, but as Schrödinger pointed out, science by design excludes the subject from its reckonings. It was precisely the 'observer problem' encountered in quantum physics that forced Schrodinger and others to recognise the philosophical implications of 'exclusion of the subject'. Recognising that, is the cardinal distinction between classical and quantum physics (although I don't see how it says anything directly about the constitution of the observing mind, to me, it is simply a statement about the inevitable limitations of objectivity.)

    That's why I asked you the question of what problem you're trying to solve. I think that if your theory was to have any applicability - still not sure about that, I'm afraid - then it would be in cognitive science, not philosophy. You're trying to account for the physiological or neurological bases of cognition, not 'the nature of consciousness', as such.

    //ps// found an interesting-looking paper on pan-proto-psychism.//
  • Enrique
    1
    And what we can say is the brain is very concerned about shuttling ions to build up local mechanical gradients across membranes regulated by pores.apokrisis

    Not merely mechanical, but quantum mechanical, meaning that principles of tunneling, entanglement, superposition and nonlocality are at work. This must be especially true of the leakage of electrical waves through the synaptic cleft into the soma where delicate and diverse biochemical pathways as standing wave structures are more sustainable than in axons or dendrites.

    If brain waves are measurable on a macroscopic scale, you can't tell me that almost every cell body isn't saturated with electric charge, the main mechanism of emergent organization from quantum nonlocality amongst all electromagnetic matter. Brain waves and their effects as mediated by electric charge, exacted on various scales of emergence, must engage in not just vertical causality but lateral causality, so that top-down effects on tissue are produced.

    So if you want a general mechanism that applies to near instantaneous entanglement, superposition and tunneling, a coordinating phenomenon that effectuates simultaneity and integration, it is probably charge distribution. Perhaps it is not matter waves analogous to a liquid, but rather pulsing charge fluctuations that result in brain waves, and this would most certainly have nondissipative effects.
  • Pop
    14
    The arrangement of these words and letters.
    — Pop

    I don't know if I agree. Consider that the same sentence can be conveyed in any kind of media whatever. It doesn't matter with it's written, engraved in metal, or converted into binary code. The media is different in every case while the information remains the same.
    Wayfarer

    Rather, consider a **substance that has no information - has no edges, shape, perturbations, surface, texture - nothing.
    How will you know about it?
  • Wayfarer
    21
    Have a look at the quote I provided in this comment which touches on this. But I think we're digressing (something which I'm particularly prone to doing. :yikes: )
  • apokrisis
    9
    Brain waves are closely related to states of awareness, reducible to increasingly local behaviors of brain matter which produce unique signatures that blend into the emergent patterns current EEG technology observes.Enrique

    Your precious EEG rhythms are an artefact of a measuring method that offers 1ms temporal resolution but 1cm spatial resolution. So all that alpha, beta, theta, type traces tell you is that the brain is quite busy and contrasty, or relatively quiescent and trance-like. Acting or waiting.

    As I’ve already said - and you tellingly ignored - EEG was able to give a certain kind of valuable data in evoked potential work. The 1ms temporal resolution meant you could see that the brain does process information over a characteristic time. The P300 and N400 related to important steps in cognition.

    But you build your story on the early brain wave stuff which had none of this later experimental refinement. You get excited by the 1ms scale crackles in a 1cm smear of outer cortex - the noise of the slow dendritic potentials and not even the sharp snap of the axonal spikes. You pretend this is like some kind of peak in the temporal evolution of a quantum wave function. As a spatial pattern, you presume what was recorded from the small region under an electrode is in fact a global brain-wide quantum superposition - that somehow stops at the brain even if it leaks past the scalp and isn’t collapsed by a recording device.

    It is nonsense stacked on nonsense.

    And what do you make of functional MRI? Again, you can stand outside and probe the brain in terms of the material energy expenditure that underwrite the information processing. fMRI tells us the same story of integration and differentiation - patterns of coherent incoherence, or incoherent coherence, whichever way you want to look at it. :lol:

    But now the EM field signal is changes in cerebral blood flow. Do you want to claim that blood flow is the generator of a conscious quantum waveform? You still have the same kind of correlations of busy and quiet blood flow changes with a busy and quiet mind. It all seems very mysterious that blood flow somehow has this globally coordinated pattern such as the same mental states show the same fMRI pattern. And where there is global coherence in terms of local events, surely only “quantum superposition” can be the mechanism?

    If brain waves are measurable on a macroscopic scale, you can't tell me that almost every cell body isn't saturated with electric charge,Enrique

    The word is equilibrated, not saturated. Like biochemistry in general. Every positive charge is balanced by a negative charge to the level where charge fluctuations don’t make a difference and every charge is under the cell’s regulatory thumb.
  • Pop
    14
    'If you look at something mutable, you cannot grasp it either with the bodily senses or the consideration of the mind, unless it possesses some form…If this form is removed, the mutable dissolves into nothing… Through eternal Form every temporal thing can receive its form and, in accordance with its kind, can manifest and embody number in space and time…Everything that is changeable must also be formable…Nothing can give itself form, since nothing can give itself what it does not have.' ~ Augustine.Wayfarer

    Augustine of Hippo 430AD, describing information! Wonders will never cease!

    I probably should make a thread - what is information?

    The information philosopher has quite good info, but again he diverges to a dualistic understanding, whereas my understanding is monistic.
  • prothero
    1
    I wonder what anyone thinks (or what your expectations are) of a complete, adequate and satisfactory scientific explanation of consciousness, mind and experience (not synonyms in my view) would look like?

    I am very impressed with neuroscience and the progress that is being made is just astounding.
    It does seem to me that most of the mental functioning and processes of the brain are not conscious and are not available for conscious introspection. Human consciousness, human mind and human experience do seem to be inextricably linked to human brains. No fan of free floating consciousness or universal mind, here. I do think that experience and mind come in various degrees and forms and that both are more ubiquitous in nature than we acknowledge and that most discussions give inadequate consideration for non- human varieties of mental activity and inner experience. Consciousness seems like a special unified and integrated form of experience but I doubt it comprises more than 10% of the activity and processes of the brain. Our brains keep doing a lot of work when we are sleeping or when we are unconscious or when we are incapacitated by drugs or disease. We solve problems in our sleep we retrieve memories after we consciously stop trying. We all have first hand experience of these phenomena. Mind and consciousness must have evolved in nature and thus must be present in some precursor form or forms throughout nature. I think experience (in non conscious forms) precedes mind and mind precedes consciousness.

    Somehow, I doubt, however, that there is any entirely complete objective material empirical or scientific description which is forthcoming. This is probably a philosophical inclination that studying things from the outside never gives one a complete view of the inner nature of any actuality or existent. I view science as a tool, not a philosophy. Science has been unparalleled in giving us useful information about nature and reality. Science itself does not entail “scientism” the notion that science will ultimately answer every and all questions worth asking. Nor does science itself entail metaphysical commitments to materialism, determinism or reductionism as is too often asserted.

    Science especially neuroscience will undoubtedly give us much interesting, elegant and useful information about our brains and the nature of mind, experience and consciousness but certain aspects of the subjective inner nature of experience may forever remain beyond empirical inquiry and we may have to be content with metaphysical speculation for those aspects of our experience in and of the world. This is after all a philosophy forum and thus speculative metaphysics about ontology does not seem entirely out of place.
  • Wayfarer
    21
    Augustine of Hippo 430AD, describing information! Wonders will never cease!Pop

    It's a more a comment on Aristotelian 'form and substance'. However, the meaning of 'form', 'substance' and 'matter' has changed completely in the intervening centuries.

    I probably should make a thread - what is information?Pop

    Before you do, have a browse of this one.
  • Enrique
    1
    The word is equilibrated, not saturated. Like biochemistry in general. Every positive charge is balanced by a negative charge to the level where charge fluctuations don’t make a difference and every charge is under the cell’s regulatory thumb.apokrisis

    Sure electric charge in the brain is relatively balanced on a global scale, but obviously ion flow induces charge fluctuations that pervasively disequilibrate pockets of brain tissue and which must be producing brain "waves" or periodic oscillations if you like (exactly how the combinatorial process unfolds is admittedly still uncertain). Soma are billions of pockets, replete with trillions of pockets of quantum machinery, and electric charge is the binding agent that integrates the brain's electromagnetic field with this quantum machinery's tunnelings, superpositions and entanglements. So perhaps what we lacked was a binding mechanism more technical than the liquid analogy. The mechanism might be electric charge! What say you?
  • Pop
    14
    I'm glad you provided the link. You have a dualistic understanding of information - you believe it can be abstracted from the material, like the information philosopher.
    But there is no evidence of this,nor can there ever be - given we are dependent on form to provide the information encoded in it. There is no other way for information to exist other than in the form of a substance. Except for dualists, where it can exist formless as an immaterial mind? :chin:

    Of course you are free to think as you like, but it would help my understanding if you could provide a reason?
  • Wayfarer
    21
    You have a dualistic understanding of information - you believe it can be abstracted from the material, like the information philosopher.Pop

    Mathematics, in general, is primarily concerned with real abstractions. But let's not get into that here.
  • Pop
    14

    My theory is that we are not free to think as we like. That we are a body of information ( as a self ). So in order to be self consistent we have to continue our historical narrative. What we thought yesterday causes our thoughts today, as todays thoughts cause tomorrows. In this way the body of information evolves. It can not tolerate a sudden change in thinking - there is no facility for this, such a thing could be traumatic , so only happens very rarely. Rather a change of thinking evolves slowly over time.

    Would you roughly agree?

    In a sense, we do not do the thinking, what we do actually is: we connect new information to existing informational structure.
  • Enrique
    1
    But the qualitative nature of consciousness, 'what it is like to feel something', is what makes the hard problem a problem. And the reason it's a hard problem is because it can't be represented in the third person, only experienced or felt or lived in the first person.Wayfarer

    The reason I think a quantum theory of consciousness could be a leap beyond current neuroscience in solving the hard problem is because, if we consider visualizing an image in our minds or feeling a sensation, the image or sensation is no longer merely produced by action potentials or neurotransmitters as some mysterious supervenient substance, it is the quantum superposition, precisely. The resonant color of the superposition is the subjective color of the mental image, and the quantum resonance of the sensation is the feeling. We will have identity rather than correlation, no gap between matter and percepts, and the basic mind/body problem is resolved. Of course it will turn out to be more complex than only that, but research in principle might be able to model percepts as if they are objects.

    This does not diminish the fact that a subjective aspect of experience exists which in its stark immediacy proves ineffable or personal from a certain perspective, but we would be able to perform feats such as creating elements of humanlike subjectivity in electronic devices or repairing, treating and enhancing the physiology and biochemistry of subjectivity in organisms because this subjectivity will at that point be modeled as a material substance with physical structure.
  • Enrique
    1
    Your precious EEG rhythms are an artefact of a measuring method that offers 1ms temporal resolution but 1cm spatial resolution.apokrisis

    Much more sensitive EEG devices capable of reading periodic oscillations or "waves" as you're so loathe to think of them from the brain's deep structure are being developed as we speak. Very influential and moneyed organizations such as governments have recognized that brain wave analysis is key to comprehending consciousness. EEG is going to be extremely useful in modeling brain function as this technology advances. This isn't your 70's EEG!
  • Mark Nyquist
    0
    Of course it will turn out to be more complex than only that, but research in principle might be able to model percepts as if they are objects.Enrique

    Have you ever used a contour gauge? They are made of flat, parallel strips in a frame and when applied to a curved surface the shape of the curve is reproduced. Maybe something like that is happening when our brains/neurons encounter a physical object. And if a brain has this ability then modeling percepts works on the same principle.
    I would identify this as the brains ability to instantiate mental content. For example:
    BRAIN(mental content) as a universal form.
    and specifically for physical objects,
    BRAIN(a rock)
    BRAIN(a tree)
    BRAIN(a mountain)
    and specifically for non-physical objects,
    BRAIN(information)
    BRAIN(thoughts)
    BRAIN(beliefs)
    BRAIN(percepts)
    and some others
    BRAIN(time perception)
    BRAIN(language)
    BRAIN(mathematics)
    and so on.
    So my point is the physical brain (either classical or quantum) has the ability to contain mental content. I think you are mistaking mental content for quantum states. As here:

    The reason I think a quantum theory of consciousness could be a leap beyond current neuroscience in solving the hard problem is because, if we consider visualizing an image in our minds or feeling a sensation, the image or sensation is no longer merely produced by action potentials or neurotransmitters as some mysterious supervenient substance, it is the quantum superposition, precisely. The resonant color of the superposition is the subjective color of the mental image, and the quantum resonance of the sensation is the feeling.Enrique
  • apokrisis
    9
    This isn't your 70's EEG!Enrique

    But the point was that you still employ a 1970s bastardisation of 1950s EEG tech. Brainwaves were already pseudoscience half a century ago.
  • Enrique
    1
    So my point is the physical brain (either classical or quantum) has the ability to contain mental content. I think you are mistaking mental content for quantum states.Mark Nyquist

    Brain function isn't only neural memory, though representations etched in biochemical and physiological structure are of course important. That kind of process is certainly a component, but the brain projects as much if not more than it absorbs from the environment. So all those classifications you listed are significantly generated from within the brain itself, as a spontaneous outcome of its internal composition.

    It's been a mystery how percepts are projected and combined at all within the brain when matter has thus far been regarded as trillions of separate, quantized atoms. At this point, I'm suggesting that the binding agent is electric charge interactions which sustain coherences (entangled superpositions) between the brain's electromagnetic field and multimolecular quantum fields in biochemical pathways, binding trillions of particles into a fairly integrated stream of consciousness that appears to us as an array of simultaneous percepts (images, thoughts, feelings, etc.) within the medium of awareness.

    So what I'm explaining is consciousness' contribution to appearances as opposed to what impinges on it from the environment, which is a nebulous distinction at this stage of neuroscience.
  • Mark Nyquist
    0
    It's been a mystery how percepts are projected and combined at all within the brain when matter has thus far been regarded as trillions of separate, quantized atoms.Enrique

    This suggests a singular dynamic network since (Item A) can always interact with (Item B) and again it's useful to consider change of mental content as a change in the supporting biology. It appears supported mental content has input and output capabilities.
    Consciousness itself may be partially understood as Brain(mental content) form as a component. But the entire biological organism and environment should also be studied.
    Roger Penrose wrote "The Emperors New Mind" published Nov. 9, 1989. Some things on consciousness. It ended up in my 'bad books' shelf. I didn't throw it out just in case.
  • prothero
    1
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2931585/

    Anatomic pathologies associated with vegetative state, minimally conscious state, and severe to moderate cognitive disability following severe injuries have several common features. Autopsy studies of both traumatic and non-traumatic injuries resulting in permanent VS (vegetative state((a prognostic assessment rather than diagnosis, see [10]) identify widespread neuronal death throughout the thalamus in patients [11]. Importantly, the evident severe bilateral thalamic damage after either trauma or anoxia in permanent VS is not invariably associated with diffuse neocortical neuronal cell death. Moreover, the observation indicates the key functional role for the thalamus for integrative function of the forebrain corticothalamic systems.
    Recent studies have shown that specific subnuclei of the thalamus demonstrate greater neuronal cell loss as a result of such global and multi-focal cerebral injuries [12]. The nuclei within the central thalamus (the intralaminar nuclei and related paralaminar nuclei) are most involved typically and the degree of neuronal loss observed within these neuronal aggregates grades with outcome [12]. In patients with only moderate disability following severe traumatic brain injury, neuronal loss is primarily identified within the anterior intralaminar nuclei (central lateral nucleus, central medial, paracentralis). Patients with progressively severe disabilities demonstrate neuronal loss involving more ventral and lateral nuclei of the central thalamus (posterior intralaminar group) as diagrammed in Figure 2A. These observations are likely a consequence of the unique geometry of connections of the central thalamus. Neurons in these subnuclei have wide point to point connectivity across the cerebral hemisphere and are thus likely to integrate neuronal cell death across these large territories [13,14].


    One can learn a great deal about the function and importance of various brain structures and areas through studying brain injuries and pathology and highly specific mental functions are located in very specific brain structures and areas. One can stimulate memories (complete with experienced, smells, sounds and visions) by stimulation of very small areas of the temporal cortex. Every stimulation will result in experience replay.

    Permanent or Prolonged or Temporary Loss of Consciousness can result from injury to rather small areas of the thalamus (where neuronal pathways connecting large areas of the frontal cortex coverage and cross). Destruction of these small areas by stroke or other injury will result in permanent coma or persistent vegetative state, whereas more minor injury (anoxia, drugs, anesthesia). will result in temporary loss of global consciousness.

    What should be clear is you will not find consciousness in an EEG or in Quantum states, or any specific structure or neurotransmitter. Consciousness requires an intact, functional, unified integrated neural network other mental functions require the intactness of different brain networks and structures. Consciousness is only one of many brain functions. Most of what your brain does (laying down memories, processing sense data, etc. is not done by the neural networks required for consciousness.
  • Pop
    14
    What should be clear is you will not find consciousness in an EEG or in Quantum statesprothero

    Before even first base can be reached, a definition of consciousness is required. Consciousness is something different for a monist, dualist, idealist, realist, etc. One's intuition is not a definition.
    One's intuition is something unique, that absolutely nobody else posses in exactly the same way.
  • Enrique
    1
    What should be clear is you will not find consciousness in an EEG or in Quantum states, or any specific structure or neurotransmitter. Consciousness requires an intact, functional, unified integrated neural network other mental functions require the intactness of different brain networks and structures.prothero

    I'm not saying everything the brain does is consciously aware, and that's why my view is panprotopsychism. But I do regard consciousness as relatively fundamental. How frequently during the day are you unconscious yet functional? Probably only while in certain sleep stages, and it is a very constrained functionality.

    If my quantum theory is accurate, it might be possible to experience percepts without being aware of it, in bacteria for instance, or to be aware without much sense of self and no concept of identity, as is probably the case in an organism such as a caterpillar.

    I think it is becoming outdated to think of the mind as built primarily out of neural connections. That stratum of functionality has an important role, but so much of what we experience cannot be explained by action potentials or synapses. Percepts such as feelings, images and thoughts must in large measure be caused by something more that we haven't discovered yet. Finding the mechanisms of percepts, the classes of molecule involved in new kinds of biochemical pathways, can in my opinion help transition neuroscience from correlation to direct causation.

    But great post nonetheless, doing research into the details of neurology is helpful for this topic.
  • prothero
    1
    I'm not saying everything the brain does is consciously aware, and that's why my view is panprotopsychism. But I do regard consciousness as relatively fundamental. How frequently during the day are you unconscious yet functional? Probably only while in certain sleep stages, and it is a very constrained functionality.Enrique

    Do you distinguish between experience, mind, awareness and consciousness? How do you define consciousness, because definitions become important and these terms are bandied about like synonyms. Human consciousness must have its evolutionary antecedents and thus there are varying degrees of mind and experience throughout nature. All may have the same ontologic or metaphysical source which is where speculative metaphysics may come in. However,, any speculative metaphysics which ignores or contradicts the recent findings in evolutionary biology and corresponding interspecies neuroscience is I suspect heading in entirely the wrong direction.
  • bert1
    19
    Prothero, is x conscious if there is something it is like to be x?
    Is x conscious if x is capable of experience?

    I think neurowhatsits have a lot to say on what we experience, but nothing at all to say on how experience came to be. I just haven't heard anything remotely convincing.
  • Enrique
    1
    Do you distinguish between experience, mind, awareness and consciousness? How do you define consciousness, because definitions become important and these terms are bandied about like synonyms. Human consciousness must have its evolutionary antecedents and thus there are varying degrees of mind and experience throughout nature. All may have the same ontologic or metaphysical source which is where speculative metaphysics may come in.prothero

    I come from the perspective that all definitions are going to be anthrocentric, so I accept a somewhat biased perspective as a valid starting point for determining what consciousness is instead of seeking an absolute definition.

    From an earlier post: "I regard human sentience as the somewhat arbitrary standard for what is conscious, just as the visible spectrum is our standard for what light is, corresponding to the brain and eye respectively." So if it has percepts of feeling, sensation, thought, etc., it is indisputably conscious to some degree, kind of like an expanded Turing test including objective factors. If it has the same or similar brain physiology and chemistry to the kind that produces consciousness in humans, it is especially certain that it is conscious, so all of kingdom animalia for instance is obviously conscious in my opinion. (We know this intuitively anyways, but it is possible to strongly prove it scientifically).

    We don't have a good standard yet for determining what the chemistry of percepts is, but if a quantum theory of perception supplies that, it will be possible to classify exactly how conscious many much simpler species or divergent structural forms are by comparison with humans, just as we use the presence of metabolism, membranes, reproduction etc. to decide whether a creature is living, and of course borderline cases occur.

    It might be necessary to modify this outlook somewhat as it relates to computers, but exactly how is not certain yet, and hopefully we can prevent the conundrum for some time by avoiding generalized AI (a sentient, independently evolving virtual organism) in favor of specialized AI (algorithms designed to work with specific analytical problems or tasks) until human society is ethically prepared, if ever.

    This definition is entirely epistemological, not metaphysical at all.
  • prothero
    1
    Prothero, is x conscious if there is something it is like to be x?
    Is x conscious if x is capable of experience?

    I think neurowhatsits have a lot to say on what we experience, but nothing at all to say on how experience came to be. I just haven't heard anything remotely convincing.
    bert1

    As one variety of panpsychist to another:
    Terminology and use of terminology are an area of both confusion and disagreement.
    In general I think overly broad use of the term “consciousness” engenders strong resistance to considering the ideas or metaphysical theory underlying panpsychism.

    Most people think of the kind of self- awareness, self-reflection and internal dialogue that we as humans possess when they read, hear or use the term “consciousness”. So panpsychists who go around asserting that “electrons” are conscious engender immediate resistance to their theory and speculative philosophy. Nagel’s “What is it like to be a Bat” introduces the “something it is like to be a bat”, something presumably not captured by any materialist, reductionist scientific explanation, description or investigation. I agree that there are aspects of “being a bat” which will never be captured by external investigation or descriptive language. I am not sure those aspects should be classified as “consciousness” given the way we typically understand or use the term. I do think bats have “experience” and given the presence of a CNS ( a system for unifying and integrating the experience of the organism or system as a whole), bats could be said to have mind.

    So for me, primitive (non-conscious) experience is the basis on which all higher forms of mind including consciousness are constructed. These are variations in form and degree but not in metaphysical kind.
    It roughly goes experience, then minds , then consciousness in the evolutionary history of mind in nature.

    Are electrons conscious? I would say no but they have a primitive form of experience (Whitehead’s prehension) which ties them to the future (possibilities), to the past (continuity) and to the external world around them (observers or interactions). Thus I am a panexperientialist (a particular form of panpsychist). The scientific explanation of an electron no more captures its inner realities or aspects than does the scientific description of a bat capture the inner reality of "being a bat"

    Are rocks conscious or do they have minds? No, rocks are simple aggregates or composites which do not have structures to unify or integrate the experience of their more primitive elements or units. It should be remembered the most primitive elements or units of reality are quantum events which are fluctuations in the quantum field of space time. I could go on but there is no point because we probably became separated somewhere long ago in our use of language and our metaphysical assumptions about the nature of reality.
  • prothero
    1
    We don't have a good standard yet for determining what the chemistry of percepts is, but if a quantum theory of perception supplies that, it will be possible to classify exactly how conscious many much simpler species or divergent structural forms are by comparison with humans, just as we use the presence of metabolism, membranes, reproduction etc. to decide whether a creature is living, and of course borderline cases occur.Enrique

    I think experience and consciousness can only be found in the systems and processes where they occur. Sufficiently complex computer neural networks may become indistinguishable from conscious organisms especially if they can alter their own hardware configuration as well. Although reductionist approaches will yield much interesting and useful information, consciousness will not be found at the quantum, atomic, physical, or chemical level, it is found are the level of sufficiently complex organism or systems and the processes which they produce.
    Consciousness is a process not an material object..
  • Pop
    14
    Consciousness is a process not an material object..prothero

    :up: Yes. "A process of integrating information for the purpose of self organization". I think this would capture everything in the same act. Can you think of an exception?
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