• Mark Nyquist
    744

    I referenced a University of Minnesota psychiatric intervention program in another thread. I'll give the reference again here.

    YouTube...search UMN psychiatric intervention.

    From what I know it's typical of the programs in that school. Heavily financed by pharma. It's an example of neurology that leans heavily toward physicalism and because of financing, alternatives are discouraged.

    A lot of their studies get discredited. Twins study for example.

    Oops....try YouTube. Search for UMN Interventional Psychiatry.
  • Wayfarer
    21k
    Seems to me basically everything we experience is modeled off activity at our sensory boundaries. Things like math are just an abstraction of that information from our sensory boundariesApustimelogist

    You may or may not be interested, but here is an essay by a Aristotelian Thomist on why human intellectual capacity is different in kind to sense-perception. The section immediately after III is relevant to your claim. (Probably not the ideal thread to discuss it, but it is connected to your remark.)
  • Apustimelogist
    357

    I'm not sure I understand where you're coming from. I'm pretty sure its been proven neural networks are like universal computers that can pretty much learn to perform any task in principle.
  • Apustimelogist
    357


    Reading this article is like trying to translate a completely different Kuhnian paradigm. Its just completely disconnected from the way I think about it that I don't think it is saying anything or addressing anything that touches how I conceive of things. The brain is basically a neural network that can make inferences about sensory data, predict what goes next, generate behavior under a model of what should come next embodied in its physiology/anatomy. Abstractions are just a product of what these neural networks are calable of doing. Just completely alien to what this article talks about.
  • Wayfarer
    21k
    The brain is basically a neural network that can make inferences about sensory data, predict what goes next, generate behavior under a model of what should come next embodied in its physiology/anatomy. … Abstractions are just a product of what these neural networks are capable of doing.Apustimelogist



    But we know that because of the ability to make inferences, to infer causality, to say that this phenomena must mean that [x]. And that, I say, is epistemologically prior to whatever we deem to be physical, as the definition of physical relies on just those rational abilities - abilities which are quite separate from sensory perception. I see the claim that abstractions are ‘a product of’ physical causation as incoherent, as the notion of causation itself is an abstraction, relying on the ability to abstract and generalise. That’s the point of Maritain’s argument:

    For Empiricism there is no essential difference between the intellect and the senses. The fact which obliges a correct theory of knowledge to recognize this essential difference is simply disregarded. What fact? The fact that the human intellect grasps, first in a most indeterminate manner, then more and more distinctly, certain sets of intelligible features -- that is, natures, say, the human nature -- which exist in the real as identical with individuals, with Peter or John for instance, but which are universal in the mind and presented to it as universal objects, positively one (within the mind) and common to an infinity of singular things (in reality).

    Thanks to the association of particular images and recollections, a dog reacts in a similar manner to the similar particular impressions his eyes or his nose receive from this thing we call a piece of sugar or this thing we call an intruder; he does not know what is sugar or what is intruder. He plays, he lives in his affective and motor functions, or rather he is put into motion by the similarities which exist between things of the same kind; he does not see the similarity, the common features as such. What is lacking is the flash of intelligibility; he has no ear for the intelligible meaning. He has not the idea or the concept of the thing he knows, that is, from which he receives sensory impressions; his knowledge remains immersed in the subjectivity of his own feelings -- only in man, with the universal idea, does knowledge achieve objectivity. And his field of knowledge is strictly limited: only the universal idea sets free -- in man -- the potential infinity of knowledge.

    Such are the basic facts which Empiricism ignores, and in the disregard of which it undertakes to philosophize.
  • Apustimelogist
    357


    I don't know if I think epistemological priority comes into this. For me its about consistent observations we make.

    This stuff:

    ability to make inferences, to infer causality, to say that this phenomena must mean that [x].Wayfarer


    Might be one.
    Facts about things like brains can be another. They don't really contradict each other at all, and why would they? What we know about the world and have observed tells us that they are intimately related to a deep, deep extent. Its pretty much certain at this point that our abilities to do anything mental - to see, think, behave, whatever - are a direct consequence of brain function. Thats just the status of our knowledge about the world at the moment and I don't think things like the hard problem of consciousness give us any reason to doubt that. In light of the hard problem, nothing about the mind can be reduced, abstract or not. That doesn't mean these things are not a consequence of brain function. Computers and machine learning programs can perform abstraction. In theory, any kind of abstraction could be performed by some kind of neural network.
  • Wayfarer
    21k
    What we know about the world and have observed tells us that they are intimately related to a deep, deep extent. Its pretty much certain at this point that our abilities to do anything mental - to see, think, behave, whatever - are a direct consequence of brain function.Apustimelogist

    And I think the motivation for that is to try bring the issue into the ambit of science, neuroscience in particular, as if this makes it tractable to scientific method. It is exactly one of the targets of the hard problem.

    In theory, any kind of abstraction could be performed by some kind of neural network.Apustimelogist

    We can imbue machines with that ability, because we already possess it. If we can discern it in brain functions to some extent it's because we know what it is, and so, what we're looking for. And we know what it is, because it is internal to thought. If it were not already so, we would not be able to discern it in anything. We can't see it from the outside, though, because in order to see it, we must already possess it. Instead we project it onto the physical domain, although it is not innately present in it.
  • Corvus
    3k
    From what I know it's typical of the programs in that school. Heavily financed by pharma. It's an example of neurology that leans heavily toward physicalism and because of financing, alternatives are discouraged.

    A lot of their studies get discredited. Twins study for example.
    Mark Nyquist
    Thanks for the Youtube info. Yes, it looks like they are very active in promoting their Dept.

    Scientific theories will often have internal and external contradictions arising from different theories and previous experimental and observational data, which require philosophical investigations and logical enquiries clarifying and concluding for the best principles. Without Philosophy of Mind, it would be daunting and impossible task to carry out such academic and critical processes for A.I. or Neuroscience subjects.
  • Mark Nyquist
    744

    You can say everything is brain biology, brain state and brain process.

    My perspective is you can develope theory of mind a little more. A lot of what we discuss here can fit a universal form like this:

    Physical brain; (abstractions)
    Physical brain; (concepts)
    Physical brain; (sensing physical environment)
    Physical brain; (muscle control)
    Physical brain; (thinking)
    Physical brain; (ideas)
    Physical brain; (knowledge)
    Physical brain; (information)
    Physical brain; (consciousness)
    Physical brain; (language)
    Physical brain; (mathematics)
    Physical brain; (science)
    Physical brain; (philosophy)
    Physical brain; (non-physicals)
    Physical brain; (time perseption)
    Physical brain; (visualizing)
    Physical brain; (manipulating physical matter)
    Physical brain; (manipulating non-physicals)
    Physical brain; (how to communicate)
    Physical brain; (how to encode and decode physical matter)

    On and on

    The notation semicolon parentheses means such that the subject in the parentheses is supported by physical brain state.

    Given in this form I think it's easier to understand the debate of monism or dualism.

    Also things like the word information in language isn't something that can exist outside this brain supported form.
  • Apustimelogist
    357


    Yes, I think this is reasonable insofar as it doesn't devolve into dualism.
  • Apustimelogist
    357
    And I think the motivation for that is to try bring the issue into the ambit of science, neuroscience in particular, as if this makes it tractable to scientific method. It is exactly one of the targets of the hard problem.Wayfarer

    I think science is just how human knowledge naturally manifests for particular kinds of subject matter. If the hard problem cannot be resolved in science, it cannot be resolved in any area of human knowledge.

    We can imbue machines with that ability, because we already possess it. If we can discern it in brain functions to some extent it's because we know what it is, and so, what we're looking for. And we know what it is, because it is internal to thought. If it were not already so, we would not be able to discern it in anything. We can't see it from the outside, though, because in order to see it, we must already possess it.Wayfarer

    Yes, but surely this is the case with all knowledge. Knowledge doesn't come in a vacuum without our own prior knowledge, prior abilities. I don't think it changes the empirical relationships we observe, which suggest that the cause of what we possess is brains.
  • Mark Nyquist
    744

    I don't think dualism is an issue as long as the relation is understood. But subject matter appears to drive the physical world both by our experience and observation.
  • Manuel
    4k
    So the question is, can what is called consciousness in psychology be described physiologically?Wolfgang

    No, because we do not know enough and lack the capacity to make the leap from physiology to consciousness. Some may say that just wait for technology to advance and we'll show you. Well, it's been a good 40 years or so in research of the brain sciences, but we cannot even explain how the taste of chocolate could be explained neurophysiological. Asking for the taste of chocolate or the color blue, are not particularly ambitious things to ask an explanation for. But, so far, virtually nothing.

    But this I think overlooks the issue, we have experience, through which we can see brains in other people (or more accurately, we designate an organ in another person and consider it a brain). But when we do brain science, we are not seeing the inside of persons thoughts, we are having perceptions of the brain of another person, and assume, quite correctly, that the thought comes from the brain, but we do not see how the brain yields thoughts, only that it does so.
  • jkop
    709
    we cannot even explain how the taste of chocolate could be explained neurophysiological.Manuel

    Perhaps the taste of chocolate is not in the neurophysiology of the brain but in the chocolate :cool:
    There is, of course, neurophysiological activity going on in the brain that is constitutive for tasting the chocolate, i.e. experiencing the taste, but the chocolate that you taste is elsewhere, not a part of the brain activity.
  • Wayfarer
    21k
    If the hard problem cannot be resolved in science, it cannot be resolved in any area of human knowledge.Apustimelogist

    That is similar to the logical positivism of the mid 20th Century - 'whatever can be known, can be known by means of science'.
  • Wolfgang
    57
    You can investigate anything scientifically. But you cannot scientifically answer questions that are asked incorrectly.
    Many believe that one can combine the first and third person perspectives of consciousness simply because they are the same term, consciousness. But both have nothing to do with each other, they are completely different levels.
    You cannot objectify qualia, therefore you cannot examine them scientifically.
    The phenomenologists can't do it either, they just don't know it yet. :wink:
  • AmadeusD
    1.9k
    I understand that you are convinced consciousness is not even considerable other than as a property emergent from brain activity. Is that correct, Dr?
  • Manuel
    4k


    You are pointing out the description of what Wilfred Sellars' says when he mentions the Manifest Image of Man, and the Scientific image of man, as you seem to indicate, two distinct perspectives which someone, at least in an ideal science, could explain with some clarity and insight, but which for now, we designate, roughly, between common-sense understanding and science.

    I agree there is no mind-body problem, because we don't know what a body is, literally. Physicists don't even know what a particle is, though they do agree on some of its properties. And Newton demolished the one clear conception of materialism that existed, which was mechanical materialism. Now it's taken to mean, whatever physics says.

    That can't be right, for today's physics will be different tomorrow, and physics does not tell us anything about the mind or brain, only that they are at the very bottom, made of the stuff physics describes, but that leaves a lot of stuff out.

    I also agree that the hard problem of consciousness is extremely misleading, because we have many hard problems, not least the nature of motion, which Newton, Locke, Hume, Priestley, Russell and Chomsky have pointed out.

    Sure, we can say that thoughts arise from brain, somehow, but we aren't too clear on how it does so.

    The one explicit disagreement that I can see is that we can do so without metaphysics. Either something exists (in the world), or it does not. If we agree that something exists, it must have a nature - what's left to be determined is what the nature of the existing thing is. Crucially, whatever exists must accommodate both minds and brains, so the nature of things must allow for this continuity.
  • AmadeusD
    1.9k
    Sure, we can say that thoughts arise from brain, somehow, but we aren't too clear on how it does so.Manuel

    I'm unsure we can, other than as a position.
  • Manuel
    4k


    I'm not sure what you mean.
  • Wolfgang
    57
    "...whatever exists must accommodate both minds and brains..."
    No, that is exactly the dualism that we cannot get out of our thinking. The brain and the mind are not both up there in the head. Depending on who examines it, they call it a brain or a mind. Both together don't work.
  • Manuel
    4k


    I don't quite understand, how is it that the (to use a less problematic term - perhaps) mind/brain are not in the head?

    If we read a novel, we imagine the stuff the book tells us, that would be a mental representation. If a neuroscientist examines a person reading a book, then he is talking about a brain.

    But you can't invoke the brain at the level of novels, because we don't know nearly enough to say how mental representations, never mind concepts work, solely by appealing to the brain, or at least you're not going to get much depth by doing so.
  • wonderer1
    1.8k
    That can't be right, for today's physics will be different tomorrow, and physics does not tell us anything about the mind or brain, only that they are at the very bottom, made of the stuff physics describes, but that leaves a lot of stuff out.Manuel

    For a scientist's perspective, here's Sean Carroll:

    https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2010/09/23/the-laws-underlying-the-physics-of-everyday-life-are-completely-understood/

    https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2010/09/29/seriously-the-laws-underlying-the-physics-of-everyday-life-really-are-completely-understood/

    From my perspective, in light the huge variety of technology working as well as it does these days, it would seem rather ludicrous to think that physics of tomorrow will be much different in a pragmatic sense. The fact is, modern technology involves having gotten an awful lot of things pretty much right.

    Isaac Asimov's essay, The Relativity of Wrong, is well worth reading in considering this topic.
  • Manuel
    4k


    Well, if you keep in mind that we do not know what 95% of the universe is, aside from naming them "dark energy" and "dark matter" and to postulate them in order to make sense of the 5% we do know, I think there's a little bit more work to do.

    And even if we do get that, to say that physics can explain concepts or representations (which you have not said), is taking physics way outside of its purview.
  • AmadeusD
    1.9k
    I don't think we can say that, other than as a 'position' to take, rather than that it is the case. Isn't that what half of the questions in this arena relate to? The fact we don't know that that is the case?
  • Wayfarer
    21k
    For a scientist's perspective, here's Sean Carrolwonderer1

    From a philosopher's perspective, I feel Sean Carroll, exemplary science communicator and all around gentleman that he might be, is a poor philosopher. Prone to just this kind of error:


    You cannot objectify qualia, therefore you cannot examine them scientifically.
    The phenomenologists can't do it either, they just don't know it yet.
    Wolfgang
  • wonderer1
    1.8k
    From a philosopher's perspective, I feel Sean Carroll, exemplary science communicator and all around gentleman that he might be, is a poor philosopher. Prone to just this kind of error:Wayfarer

    I'm not sure what you see as the significance, of how you feel about it.

    Can you provide a quote by Carroll, that you see as exemplifying the sort of error you are talking about?
  • Wayfarer
    21k
    I'm sure the opportunity will arise.
  • jkop
    709
    You can investigate anything scientifically. But you cannot scientifically answer questions that are asked incorrectly.Wolfgang
    I agree :up:

    Many believe that one can combine the first and third person perspectives of consciousness simply because they are the same term, consciousness. But both have nothing to do with each other, they are completely different levels.Wolfgang
    Not only is the term 'consciousness' used in two different senses but also 'perspective'. A first person perspective is indeed a perspective, but a third person perspective isn't. There is no such thing as a third person perspective.

    You cannot objectify qualia, therefore you cannot examine them scientifically.Wolfgang
    Wait a minute. We epistemically objectify mental phenomena all the time by talking about them, studying behaviors etc. despite their mode of existing (first person) which makes them ontologically unavailable for other kinds of examination (third person).

    From defining mental phenomena as "subjective" and science as "objective" it doesn't follow that mental phenomena is unavailable for science. ´
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