• SteveKlinko
    185
    It is? It looks to me like the Hard Problem of (misapplied) science. For good reasons (that we don't really want to investigate here), science reduces humans to impartial observers, or ignores them altogether. This makes it difficult or impossible to come up with a scientific way of studying humans as active participants (in the world), instead of impartial observers. The success of science is (for me) beyond challenge, but it is not a tool that fits every problem, and this is one of the ones it doesn't fit.

    These matters can be investigated, but it looks to me like we need to use considered, structured, thought to do it. No theories, no falsifiable hypotheses (and so forth), just careful consideration. It's what we have. We must use it, or we have nothing.
    Pattern-chaser

    The Hard Problem is a Philosophical not a Scientific proposition. I agree we can only use the tools that are available at this moment in history. If Considered, Structured, Thought is all we have then we must use it.
  • Tyler
    45
    but how can any kind of Neural Activity result in that Experience?SteveKlinko
    > Do you mean, how it can result in specifically the Red experience, or generally any experience?
    Do you agree that simpler neural activity, results in simpler experiences?
    eg. audio sensory input, results in the experience of simply hearing a bell

    Scientists have no idea how Neural Activity causes or results in the Red experience.SteveKlinko
    > If its agreed that simpler sensory input causes simpler experiences, then I believe (just as with consciousness) the Red is caused in a similar process, just involving multiple simultaneous experiences.

    Scientists do not yet have a method for studying the Experience or the Experiencer.SteveKlinko
    > If the experience is caused by neural activity, then the experience and the experiencer are simply neural activity. There may be nothing more to it.
  • Tyler
    45
    correlation between brain activity and consciousness, but this in no way implies the euphemistic application of correlation with the notion 'cause'Marcus de Brun
    > I'd argue that correlation does imply cause. It doesn't prove cause, but correlation implies a higher probability that it is also a cause.

    yet there is no evidence to suggest that it is caused.Marcus de Brun
    > There may be no conclusive evidence at this time, but I believe there is still supportive evidence that consciousness is caused by neural activity. The supportive evidence would be similar to what I mentioned of currently known neuroscience. There is evidence that neural activity does cause simpler specified processes of thought. and since consciousness is correlated with thought processes, this is supportive evidence of the high probability that neural activity causes consciousness as well. This is why I believe consciousness is just a more complex combination of neural activity, than the specific thought processes (which are caused by neural activity).

    I might just as easily assert that brain activity is in fact caused by consciousnessMarcus de Brun
    > Since elements involved with conscious experiences, are measurable and evident to occur regardless of consciousness, this suggests that those elements are the cause of consciousness, rather than consciousness being the cause of those elements.

    If its agreed that consciousness is directly linked with sensory experiences, then it is evident that the original cause of those sensory experiences occurs regardless of consciousness, and therefore the cause is not consciousness. For eg. a tree falls in the forest with nobody to witness. The tree falling is measurable and evident to occur, regardless of sensory experience witness (brain activity). This suggests that in an alternate case of brain activity witnessing a tree falling, the cause of the sensory experience was the tree actually falling. If the cause of the sensory experience was consciousness, then the tree falling would not occur without the cause of consciousness.
  • SteveKlinko
    185
    but how can any kind of Neural Activity result in that Experience? — SteveKlinko> Do you mean, how it can result in specifically the Red experience, or generally any experience?
    Do you agree that simpler neural activity, results in simpler experiences?
    eg. audio sensory input, results in the experience of simply hearing a bell
    Tyler
    I'm not quite sure what is simpler when it comes to Sensory inputs but I suppose a Bell and a Flashing Light would be more complicated and would result in a more complicated experience (I see a Light and hear a Bell).

    Scientists have no idea how Neural Activity causes or results in the Red experience. — SteveKlinko> If its agreed that simpler sensory input causes simpler experiences, then I believe (just as with consciousness) the Red is caused in a similar process, just involving multiple simultaneous experiences.Tyler
    But to me Red is a very simple basic Experience.

    Scientists do not yet have a method for studying the Experience or the Experiencer. — SteveKlinko> If the experience is caused by neural activity, then the experience and the experiencer are simply neural activity. There may be nothing more to it.Tyler
    There's nothing more to it than Explaining how the Experience and Experiencer are Neural Activity. The Hard Problem remains.
  • Marcus de Brun
    245
    Tyler

    You appear to me to be attempting to justify a common place conclusion, rather than allowing the known facts direct you towards a new view or an evolution of the current paradigm..

    Your alignment with the pedestrian notion that consciousness is caused by brain activity is boring, in the sense that it is commonplace and predictable.

    Indeed there is a correlation between both neural activity and consciousness. It is very easy then to join the herd in the assumption that consciousness is the 'effect' and private neural activity is the 'cause'.

    I have already pointed out that this view is homocentric and does not address the reality that neural activity and the identification of such activity is both contained and consequential to, consciousness.

    If you liberate yourself from the commonplace and consider consciousness with impartiality we can then consider the fundamental question pertaining to its creation of the experience of material reality. This starting point is more interesting because it reconciles many profound philosophical questions, principally because we do not venture into assumptions that result in the need for further false assumptions.

    Consciousness as an entity outside of or uncaused by neural activity, becomes relieved of temporality, and therefore satisfies Hume's critique of casualty itself. It also satisfies the empirical nature of determinism and offers the possibility of an evolved view of the universe and the reconciliation of quantum mechanical paradox.

    Wilful adherence to the old but persistent paradigm does not advance the agreed correlation between consciousness and neural activity, it merely reasserts the current paradigm.
  • Pattern-chaser
    94
    Scientists do not yet have a method for studying the Experience or the Experiencer. — SteveKlinko

    > If the experience is caused by neural activity, then the experience and the experiencer are simply neural activity. There may be nothing more to it.
    Tyler

    And yet Steve's point remains unanswered: scientists do not have a method for studying the Experience or the Experiencer. Science is the (valuable and useful) perspective you get when you reduce humans to impartial observers. The study of experience and experiencers requires that humans be considered as active participants. This requires a tool that is science's complement. Science cannot extend itself to cover what it explicitly and deliberately rejects. Those rejections, as well as what is included, define science, and make it what it is.

    To investigate experience and experiencers, a tool other than science is needed. :chin:
  • Pattern-chaser
    94
    I'd argue that correlation does imply cause. It doesn't prove cause, but correlation implies a higher probability that it is also a cause.Tyler

    I don't think it does. In scientific phraseology, correlation does not disprove the existence of causation. We cannot safely go beyond this, without going beyond the evidence of the real world. You are contradicting a long-held piece of wisdom here. See what wikipedia has to say.
    This fallacy is also known as cum hoc ergo propter hoc, Latin for "with this, therefore because of this," and "false cause." A similar fallacy, that an event that followed another was necessarily a consequence of the first event, is the post hoc ergo propter hoc (Latin for "after this, therefore because of this.") fallacy. — wikipedia
  • Pattern-chaser
    94
    elements involved with conscious experiences, are measurable and evident to occur regardless of consciousnessTyler

    Doesn't this presuppose knowledge of consciousness that we do not currently have? :chin:

    ...and exactly what are these "elements" that are measurable and evident, and have they actually been measured, and found to be evident? :chin: Just asking. :wink:
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.