• Luke
    2.6k
    Daniel Dennett posted a link to this article on Twitter recently. The article proposes a solution to the hard problem of consciousness.

    "The hard problem of consciousness asks why and how humans have qualia or phenomenal experiences." - Wikipedia

    I won't try and summarise the already succinct Aeon article (which describes itself as being "only in bare outline"). However, what I found most fascinating is the idea that qualia constitute the self, rather than being something perceived by the self.

    As the article notes in relation to blindsight patients who function as sighted despite lacking visual qualia, "they don’t take ownership of their capacity to see. Lacking visual qualia – the ‘somethingness’ of seeing – they believe that visual perception has nothing to do with them." Extend this lack of ownership via lack of qualia to all qualia and the self itself disappears.

    In his article Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness (1995), David Chalmers posed the (hard) question: "Why doesn't all this information-processing go on "in the dark", free of any inner feel?"

    If its claims are true, I believe the article may be on the right path to dissolving this problem - especially the question of why we experience qualia at all.
  • Banno
    23.5k
    A good read.

    I noted the similarity between the "thick moment" and Douglas Hofstadter's I am a strange loop. Prophetic stuff.

    That and the suggestion that having a self is evidenced by wanking.
  • Philosophim
    2.4k
    Fantastic article! This is where philosophy gets exciting.
  • 180 Proof
    14.5k
    I won't try and summarise the already succinct Aeon article (which describes itself as being "only in bare outline"). However, what I found most fascinating is the idea that qualia constitute the self, rather than being something perceived by the self.Luke
    :cool: :up:

    If you haven't already read them, I recommend Peter Watt's first contact hard scifi novel Blindsight (2006) and R. Scott Bakker's hard scifi psychothriller Neuropath (2008) – both heavily influenced by neuroscientist-philosopher (& Buddhist) Thomas Metzinger's monumental work Being No One (2003). The Aeon article you've linked, Luke, summarizes many of the ideas Metzinger et al's had derived from their research.
  • Ludwig V
    1k


    Very interesting.

    The idea that feedback loops are critical to understanding what goes on seems absolutely right to me. Certainly they make all the difference between a reflex and an action, and seem to explain the phenomenon of blind sight.

    But any theory that requires positing a "mental representation" which implies an internal observer (visible in the diagrams of the brain after the paragraph beginning "The key to acquiring phenomenal properties..."} is postponing the hard problem and for that reason seems implausible to me.

    I'll have to read this more carefully.
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    Very interesting theory and simply explained.

    In this way, sentition evolves to be a virtual form of bodily expression – yet still an activity that can be read to provide a mental representation of the stimulation that elicits it.

    But, as luck would have it, the privatisation has a remarkable result. It leads to the creation of feedback loops between motor and sensory regions of the brain. These loops have the potential to sustain recursive activity, going round and round, catching its own tail. And, I suggest, this development is game-changing. Crucially, it means the activity can be drawn out in time, so as to create the ‘thick moment’ of sensation (see Figure 2c above). But, more than that, the activity can be channelled and stabilised, so as to create a mathematically complex attractor state – a dynamic pattern of activity that recreates itself.

    - Nicholas Humphrey

    Nice.
  • schopenhauer1
    10.3k
    But any theory that requires positing a "mental representation" which implies an internal observer (visible in the diagrams of the brain after the paragraph beginning "The key to acquiring phenomenal properties..."} is postponing the hard problem and for that reason seems implausible to me.Ludwig V

    Homunculus fallacyWiki
    Easy problems can be quite elaborate and even proven accurate, but still don’t actually touch upon the hard problem itself.
  • Ludwig V
    1k


    I didn't mean to be too dismissive because I hadn't read the article carefully enough to be sure. I was very surprised that the homunculus turned up. It's such a cliché.

    It's quite simple, really. We think of the box on the wall that contains a thermometer and a switch and think that controls the heat. Which it does, in a way. But when you take the box apart, you find, to your dismay, that no part of the box controls the heat. It's the system that controls the heat, not any part of it.

    A different kind of example is in the orbit of the planets, etc around the sun. No part of the system that produces that effect is in control of it. It is the balanced system as a whole that keeps the planets in line.

    Easy problems can be quite elaborate and even proven accurate, but still don’t actually touch upon the hard problem itself.schopenhauer1

    I haven't worked out my approach to the problem. It's on my list of chestnuts that I would like to get my head around one day. But I would start by making sure that the problem isn't in the way it is formulated. My suspicion is that it is not capable of solution and merely demonstrates that Wittgenstein was right about subjective experiences (which is what, I think, "qualia" are supposed to be). I will concede, however, that his response to the expostulation that there is a difference between you experiencing a pain and me experiencing the same pain. He asks what greater difference there could be. I don't think that's enough.

    I apologize if I seem dismissive. I don't mean to be. People who deserve respect take the hard problem very seriously.
  • prothero
    429
    Almost all of perceptual processing takes place at a level below "conscious awareness".
    We as an organism are aware of much that we as a "conscious self" are not.
    Experience and awareness (forms of mind) are ubiquitous in nature (unconscious experience).
    That inner dialogue and self awareness that we focus on so hard is just a small portion of mental processing and environmental awareness.
    Can there be any doubt that mind, experience and consciousness are evolutionary products?
    "The jellyfish advances and withdraws" A.N Whitehead
    Attraction and repulsion one of natures most fundamental features the forerunners to emotion and feeling which are the forerunners to what we call "self conscious awareness".
    The neurology literature is full of examples of the disassociation of the conscious self from the awareness, experience and perception of the organism, blind sight is merely one example.
  • schopenhauer1
    10.3k
    I haven't worked out my approach to the problem. It's on my list of chestnuts that I would like to get my head around one day. But I would start by making sure that the problem isn't in the way it is formulated. My suspicion is that it is not capable of solution and merely demonstrates that Wittgenstein was right about subjective experiences (which is what, I think, "qualia" are supposed to be). I will concede, however, that his response to the expostulation that there is a difference between you experiencing a pain and me experiencing the same pain. He asks what greater difference there could be. I don't think that's enough.

    I apologize if I seem dismissive. I don't mean to be. People who deserve respect take the hard problem very seriously.
    Ludwig V

    So my response is based on the fact that describing the mechanisms of how phenomenal experience evolved, doesn't account for the phenomenal experience itself. It gives an origin story, but not an ontological account of the inner aspect itself. Here are keywords that become a sort of "hidden Cartesian theater" from the article:

    "Response becomes Privatized...

    "Phenomenolization" "recursive activity".

    "Sentition evolves to be a virtual form of bodily expression"

    These are all pointing to the easier problems/ideas of the mechanics but not what this virtual, recursive, phenomenolization is as to its ontological nature as compared with the other parts of nature.

    If there is a bifurcation of "mental" and "physical" it still only gets at the physical mechanisms underpinning the mental. You lose the bifurcation, fine but then what? Proto-panpsychism? Most people can't tolerate that view. Pan-semiotics? Great, but you simply accounted for the computation and not the thing-itself (the phenomenal inner aspect).
  • 180 Proof
    14.5k
    The neurology literature is full of examples of the disassociation of the conscious self from the awareness, experience and perception of the organism, blind sight is merely one example.prothero
    :up:
  • L'éléphant
    1.4k
    First of all, using the title "A potential solution to the hard problem" is itself biased already because, without first allowing the thread responses to express their criticisms to the points discussed in the article, saying it ahead of time is leading.

    I haven't worked out my approach to the problem. It's on my list of chestnuts that I would like to get my head around one day. But I would start by making sure that the problem isn't in the way it is formulated. My suspicion is that it is not capable of solutionLudwig V
    Not to be dismissive of the article myself either. Roughly I agree with you -- the "proposed solution" that the article offers is not the problem (the inquiry) that the ongoing philosophical movement of consciousness is facing.

    I can already see some good objections and points of weaknesses. It's because there are neuroscientific studies out there that can deny what his article said. I also find some points to be coming out of thin-air.

    For example this passage:

    Whenever it happened, it’s bound to have been a psychological and social watershed. With this marvellous new phenomenon at the core of your being, you’ll start to matter to yourself in a new and deeper way. You’ll come to believe, as never before, in your own singular significance. What’s more, it will not just be you. For you’ll soon realise that other members of your species possess conscious selves like yours. You’ll be led to respect their individual worth as well.
    I find the underlined cringe-worthy as an analysis of a philosopher. We've always had awareness of the plurality of existence and our own existence. In fact, to refer to "us" presupposes already that I am counting "myself", and vice versa. When philosophers say that the "self" came later after the awareness of others like ourselves, it doesn't mean that we were not aware of our private sensations and perceptions apart from others' private sensations and perceptions. It means that philosophically, or metaphysically, we did not first deliberate on what a "self" is. It was Descartes who first formalized (you can correct me on this) the duality of mind and body. But as common observers of our environment, the early humans and modern humans had it. They got it.

    Anyone who wants to deny what I said just above is welcome to correct me.

    (Some more criticisms -- "sentition" and "feedback loops". I do get the need in our theory to name our terms as long as we're not trying to re-invent the wheel. And I find that the article attempts to do that. I maybe wrong. )

    To cap this, you’ll soon discover that when, by a leap of imagination you put yourself in your fellow creature’s place, you can model, in your self, what they are feeling. In short, phenomenal consciousness will become your ticket to living in what I’ve called ‘the society of selves’.
    Again, semantic invention. Except that it didn't happen this way.
  • Antony Nickles
    1.1k

    The article draws a conclusion from a patient who can find objects in the range of an eye that is blind. Whatever the mechanics of that, Humphrey takes it that there is a difference between sensation and perception—there’s sight, then there’s “the mysterious feel… [of] our subjective, personal sense of interacting with stimuli”—he calls it the “somethingness of seeing”, and this is the underpinning for our having “consciousness”.

    Why are we using science to attempt to back up our “feeling” of having a “personal” sense? Why is the feeling “mysterious”?

    “With this marvellous new phenomenon [the “phenomenal self”] at the core of your being, you’ll start to matter to yourself in a new and deeper way. You’ll come to believe, as never before, in your own singular significance.”

    Ah. It’s this “mattering” and “significance” that we wanted all along, and all the rest is to justify that (that I begin being special)—are we just going to finish the job Descartes started? He goes on to say that if it could be proved that we each have a given, undeniable “self” that we would treat each other better, which implies we could wash our hands of having to see others as human, having to treat them, as Wittgenstein would say, as having a soul (p 178), and the inevitability that sometimes we do not.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    12.6k
    I noted the similarity between the "thick moment" and Douglas Hofstadter's I am a strange loop. Prophetic stuff.Banno

    The "thick moment", or what I call the breadth of the present, is what I've been arguing for for years, as what is necessary for an adequate understanding of the reality of free will. This is better known as the concept of a two dimensional time. The second dimension of time allows that one aspect of reality is ahead of another, thereby causal in that relationship of priority, while both are sharing the same 'now' of the present in relation to a linear representation of time.

    I call it the "thick moment" of consciousness. What matters is that I feel myself alive now, living in the present moment. What matters is at this moment I'm aware of sounds arriving at my ears, sight at my eyes, sensations at my skin. They're defining what it's like to be me. The sensations they arouse have quality. And it's this quality that is the central fact of consciousness. — https://www.edge.org/conversation/nicholas_humphrey-chapter-11-the-thick-moment

    The simple fact of the matter is that we sense the reality around us as activity rather than as a serious of static states, like a movie of still frames. And, since sensation is what provides us with a presentation of what is, at the present in time, we must conclude that there is activity at the present time. Since the passage of time is a requirement for activity, we must conclude that there is actually passage of time at the present. This time which passes at the present cannot be accounted for with a linear representation of time which posits a non-dimensional point at the present, to separate future from past. It must be considered to be a duration of time which is neither past nor future.
  • Manuel
    4k
    A solution to the hard problem is to recognize that it is merely one of many.

    Back in the 17th century the "hard rock of philosophy" was the problem of motion, in which "motion has effects which we in no way can conceive".

    What happened with that problem? It was accepted and science and philosophy continued - in fact, to this day, the hard problem of motion has not been solved, but we work with what we have.

    I suspect the same solution applies to today's peculiar hard problem. We have to accept it as fact, as Locke recognized long before Chalmers.
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    We have to accept it as fact, as Locke recognized long before Chalmers.Manuel

    Indeed. It's interesting also to me that despite indirectly launching a million easy mystical solutions to the hard problem, Chalmers himself is without spiritual beliefs. He agrees with you.

    Now I have to say I'm a complete atheist. I have no religious views myself and no spiritual views, except very watered down humanistic spiritual views. And consciousness is just a fact of life. It's a natural fact of life.
  • Manuel
    4k


    Oh sure, plenty of silly mysticism surrounding this topic. Which is strange, because, as I think you would agree, consciousness is what we are most acquainted with out of everything there is. So the problem must be elsewhere, and lamentably, I agree with Chomsky again (lamentable, because I have difficulty disagreeing with him): the problem is matter, not experience.

    We can't understand how the thing we study through physics and biology could possibly lead to experience, that's the problem.

    Locke put the issue in a religious matter, which can be interpreted naturalistically, and be on the same page w/Chalmers, or to be more accurate, Chalmers with Locke, as when the latter says:

    "We have the ideas of matter and thinking, but possibly shall never be able to know
    whether any mere material being thinks or no; it being impossible for us, by the contemplation of our own ideas, without revelation, to discover whether Omnipotency has not given to some systems of matter, fitly disposed, a power to perceive and think, or else joined and fixed to matter, so disposed, a thinking immaterial substance: it being, in respect of our notions, not much more remote from our comprehension to conceive that GOD can, if he pleases, superadd to matter a faculty of thinking, than that he should superadd to it another substance with a faculty of thinking; since we know not wherein thinking consists, nor to what sort of substances the Almighty has been pleased to give that power, which cannot be in any created being, but merely by the good pleasure and bounty of the Creator."

    [Bold added]

    Replace "God" with "nature", and you have the hard problem, stated over 300 years ago.

    Apologies for the length, I got motivated. :cool:
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    Apologies for the length, I got motivated. :cool:Manuel

    :up:

    Oh sure, plenty of silly mysticism surrounding this topic. Which is strange, because, as I think you would agree, consciousness is what we are most acquainted with out of everything there is.Manuel

    Yes, the thing we are most familiar with is also the thing which seems strangest. Reminds me of Montaigne, 'We laugh and cry at the same thing.'

    Replace "God" with "nature", and you have the hard problem, stated over 300 years ago.Manuel

    Indeed. If humans are still a thing in 300 years, I wonder where culture will locate this problem. I suspect a breakthrough, even if I am a mysterian by nature.
  • Luke
    2.6k
    A good read.

    I noted the similarity between the "thick moment" and Douglas Hofstadter's I am a strange loop. Prophetic stuff.

    That and the suggestion that having a self is evidenced by wanking.
    Banno

    Well, it rings true! :rofl:
  • Luke
    2.6k
    If you haven't already read them, I recommend Peter Watt's first contact hard scifi novel Blindsight (2006) and R. Scott Bakker's hard scifi psychothriller Neuropath (2008) – both heavily influenced by neuroscientist-philosopher (& Buddhist) Thomas Metzinger's monumental work Being No One (2003). The Aeon article you've linked, Luke, summarizes many of the ideas Metzinger et al's had derived from their research.180 Proof

    Thanks 180, I'll check them out. :up:
  • Luke
    2.6k
    Fantastic article! This is where philosophy gets exciting.Philosophim

    :smile:
  • Luke
    2.6k
    Very interesting theory and simply explained.Tom Storm

    Yes, I agree.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    12.6k
    Back in the 17th century the "hard rock of philosophy" was the problem of motion, in which "motion has effects which we in no way can conceive".

    What happened with that problem? It was accepted and science and philosophy continued - in fact, to this day, the hard problem of motion has not been solved, but we work with what we have.
    Manuel

    We develop "work-arounds", such as the idea of entropy, and then the problem gets hidden behind these strange terms. In this way, the problem will be sufficiently suppressed until in the future sometime it rears its ugly head again, in a new problematic form.
  • Luke
    2.6k
    Why are we using science to attempt to back up our “feeling” of having a “personal” sense?Antony Nickles

    Are we?

    Why is the feeling “mysterious”?Antony Nickles

    Because the hard problem of consciousness is a mystery in need of an explanation.

    Ah. It’s this “mattering” and “significance” that we wanted all alongAntony Nickles

    No, it's an answer to the hard problem that we wanted all along.

    He goes on to say that if it could be proved that we each have a given, undeniable “self”...Antony Nickles

    Where does he say this?

    ...that we would treat each other better, which implies we could wash our hands of having to see others as humanAntony Nickles

    If we treated each other better, then "we could wash our hands of having to see others as human"??
  • Antony Nickles
    1.1k
    Why are we using science to attempt to back up our “feeling” of having a “personal” sense” — Antony Nickles

    Are we?
    Luke

    Well the article starts with a study; there’s neuroscience behind it attempting to understand “consciousness”; and the whole point is making a problem out of the “body”, which is able to be empirically studied, related to the idea of a persons’s individuality, pictured as their “consciousness”. Which hair are you trying to split?

    Why is the feeling “mysterious”? — Antony Nickles

    Because the hard problem of consciousness is a mystery in need of an explanation.
    Luke

    This is circular. The question was meant to spur the thought that we (philosophers) have created a “problem”, manufactured the philosophical idea of “consciousness” for a purpose we are not examining; that, philosophically, this is old ground, even the attempt to bring it certainty (Descartes, Positivism, etc.).

    Ah. It’s this “mattering” and “significance” that we wanted all along
    — Antony Nickles

    No, it's an answer to the hard problem that we wanted all along.
    Luke

    Again, here is the quote at the end where he reveals what he wanted and admits why he wanted.

    “With this marvelous new phenomenon [the “phenomenal self”] at the core of your being, you’ll start to matter to yourself in a new and deeper way. You’ll come to believe, as never before, in your own singular significance.”

    The quote is a conclusion unattached to his entire derivation for the purpose of justifying this “self”. And he is telling you his motivation. Maybe we are confusing his motivation with your own; I submit he is admitting something more self-reflective and honest which is typical of this project. You seem to be just expressing your opinion without explaining why you want “an answer”.

    He goes on to say that if it could be proved that we each have a given, undeniable “self”... — Antony Nickles

    Where does he say this?
    Luke

    “So, think back to the transformation that must have taken place when your ancestors first woke up to the experience of sensations imbued with qualia, and – out of nothing – the phenomenal self appeared… ‘I feel, therefore I am.’”

    He feels he’s solved the skepticism of the foundational self (rewording Descartes) by implying that there is something special about my sensations (which are a given). It’s the point of the whole article.

    that we would treat each other better, which implies we could wash our hands of having to see others as human — Antony Nickles

    If we treated each other better, then "we could wash our hands of having to see others as human"??
    Luke

    No, not if we treated each other better—?? I said “if it could be proved… we each have a… self”, as we wants. Basically, he's saying if we had knowledge of the other (before acting), then we would be moral. Hello Socrates, Kant, yada, yada. Not a new idea, but not one that pans out (ask Dostoyevsky, Nietszche, Wittgenstein). This is a philosophical misconception turned into a scientific or intellectually theoretical problem.

    And just saying no it’s not isn’t an argument, it’s just a contradiction.
  • Philosophim
    2.4k


    I feel your reading intentions into the article that are not being insinuated. I would re-read it once more. This is proposing a mechanism to explain how the subjective experience occurs within the brain. That's the crux and really nothing more.
  • Antony Nickles
    1.1k

    "We have the ideas of matter and thinking, but possibly shall never be able to know whether any mere material being thinks or no; it being impossible for us… to discover, by the contemplation of our own ideas… a power to perceive and think.
    Manuel, quoting Locke

    Humphrey, and many others, take this as a statement of a problem, seeing only that Locke (and Descartes) found it “impossible” because he was merely working from the “contemplation of [their] own ideas”. The feeling is that now, with science or some other intellectual solution, we can “discovery” and “know” the “power to perceive and think”. The “discovery” is, however, that it is impossible to know.

    The sneaky part is the first step (as Wittgenstein will say, PI, #308). What Locke wants is knowledge of the other (and ourselves), which is to say, certainty, justified, immutable. What he is saying, despite his hopeful qualifications, is a statement of fact. We will never be certain the other is thinking, because, as Wittgenstein sees, the criteria of thinking is not knowledge—not everything is thought. The other may be quoting, brainwashed, serving platitudes, or just plain making stuff up. The answer is not one of “knowing” it is working to find out what the other is trying to point out in the context we’re in (being drawn in Heidegger will say), given the intelligible possibilities, or to make them intelligible. To trust that they are individuating themselves, until it is clear they are not. We must “contemplate” the other as other, treat them as someone who is seeing something different.

    Thus, there is no “power” to discover, no continuous “thought” or special, ever-present “perception” leading to a “consciousness”; something always there and yours alone. We want others (and ourselves) to be able to be always thinking, everything said be “intended”, so that we can simply take their words on their face, take ours as clear without being responsible for them further, because they come from “our consciousness” which is the desire for something foundational.
  • Antony Nickles
    1.1k

    I feel your reading intentions into the article that are not being insinuated. I would re-read it once more. This is proposing a mechanism to explain how the subjective experience occurs within the brain. That's the crux and really nothing more.Philosophim

    I am claiming that there is a reason he is imagining a “subjective experience”, the evidence being that he says it. That he wants it to be “explained” by a “mechanism” is not me “reading intentions”, it is the implications of his getting to his reason from those means. The idea that there is “nothing more” is skipping over how this is set up from the history of philosophy. The “problem” is assumed without considering whether it is framed correctly (see post re Locke above).
  • Philosophim
    2.4k
    I am claiming that there is a reason he is imagining a “subjective experience”, the evidence being that he says it. That he wants it to be “explained” by a “mechanism” is not me “reading intentions”, it is the implications of his getting to his reason from those means.Antony Nickles

    Having written several complex and complicated papers that examine every angle before coming to a conclusion, I have some background to note that this is actually terrible writing. Writing should narrow in on a point so the reader has clarity. After the point is written, let the reader expand from there.

    He is right to use the terms and points he is so that even a reader not well versed in philosophy can understand his point. That's fantastic writing. His reference is to sight blindness, and he's attempting to use medical and scientific terminology to explore a concept. Nothing wrong with that. His lack of exploring Locke is not an intention we can fairly make.

    He has a problem. He has certain knowledge and vocabulary. From there he constructs an idea that is simple, relatable, powerful, and succinct. That's fantastic philosophy. Critique his main conclusions, the idea of solving the hard problem. If he chooses to sprinkle meaning behind it, why is that relevant to his main point at all? It sounds like you're more upset with where you think this can go than with his immediate idea.
  • Luke
    2.6k
    He feels he’s solved the skepticism of the foundational self (rewording Descartes) by implying that there is something special about my sensations (which are a given). It’s the point of the whole article.Antony Nickles

    That’s not what he’s doing, or at least not how I read it.

    The section you quoted does not support your claim that the author’s goal is to “prove” that we each have an undeniable, given self. The fact that we have phenomenal consciousness is simply a given. That’s the hard problem: why do we have phenomenal consciousness (or qualia or feelings) if the brain could function without it? The author is offering a theory of the evolution and purpose of phenomenal consciousness/qualia; a theory of why it evolved.

    Towards the end of the article he says that if it evolved the way he suggests, then it might account for empathy, social living, etc., but this is not the main point of the article.
  • Antony Nickles
    1.1k

    ”I am claiming that there is a reason he is imagining a “subjective experience”, the evidence being that he says it. That he wants it to be “explained” by a “mechanism” is not me “reading intentions”, it is the implications of his getting to his reason from those means.
    — Antony Nickles

    …this is actually terrible writing. Writing should narrow in on a point so the reader has clarity.
    Philosophim

    I am narrowly focused on his point that knowledge of the self will make us matter, and I am trying to show how the desire to matter creates the need for the certainty. Maybe I can help with something you’re not clear on.

    He is right to use the terms and points he is so that even a reader not well versed in philosophy can understand his point.Philosophim

    But he does bring up Descartes; he does imagine these findings have philosophical import. Just because he doesn’t get into the place his claims stake in the history of philosophy doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be subject to its critique.

    His lack of exploring Locke is not an intention we can fairly make.Philosophim

    I’m not saying there is a fault in not discussing Locke. I thought you might understand my point better in reviewing my response to Manuel’s bringing up Locke.

    Critique his main conclusions, the idea of solving the hard problem. If he chooses to sprinkle meaning behind it, why is that relevant to his main point at all? It sounds like you're more upset with where you think this can go than with his immediate idea.Philosophim

    I’m not worried “where… this can go”. I’m saying it got started from a hidden desire and a misconception. Sometimes philosophy can’t be done so close in; this is how someone objecting to skepticism gets stuck trying to prove it wrong.
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