• creativesoul
    11.6k
    how would you attribute meaning to an experience without a description of its conditions?Mww

    Am I answering for your viewpoint or mine?

    ...the candidate under consideration(the creature having the experience) must be capable of attributing meaning to different things.
    — creativesoul
    Mww

    We must first have an experience as well as the ability to reflect upon it prior to being able to describe the conditions thereof/therein. You're starting at some of the most complex sort of meaningful experience(s) we know of.

    I think one important thing to keep in mind is that meaningful human experience happens long before we begin to take account of it. I would go as far as to say that meaningful human experience began happening prior to language creation, acquisition, usage, and/or mastery of it.

    Some meaningful experience involves talking about it. Not all. We're looking for both kinds of cases some and all.

    Seems to me that all meaningful experience consists of an agent capable of meaningful attribution. Attributing/recognizing causality seems a rather uncontentious time/place to think about. It counts as meaningful experience. If the endeavor of meaningful attribution does not count as meaningful experience, then nothing will. We attribute meaning to many different things within our personal experience. This approach promises to offer a glimpse of all sorts of different creatures drawing correlations between different things.

    This language less creature need not be able to describe the conditions of its own experience in order to be capable of having it solely by virtue of attributing meaning to different things. It is capable of having meaningful experiences even if language is not a part thereof; even if it has no capability of describing anything at all; even if we never know.

    The candidate under consideration(the creature having the experience) must only be capable of drawing correlations, associations, connections, etc., between different things in order to attribute meaning to different things. Language use is not necessary for the emergence of meaningful experience. Despite the fact that it has long since become an inevitable/irreplaceable/irrevocable part of ours. It was not always that way. It does not begin that way.

    We are a fine example proving both, that your criterion is shared by most humans, and that a more foundational one must be shared by all. That is also the aim.

    If we are capable of having meaningful experience prior to and/or in complete absence of language use, then that fact and that fact alone demands explanation/answer. Any adequate bare minimum criterion for/of meaningful experience will be amenable.
  • creativesoul
    11.6k
    I agree we start with us, because “us” is what we know, it is that by which all else is judged. When we examine “us”, we find that the bare minimum form of experience is the very multi-layered complexity of the human cognitive system. No experience is possible at all, without the coordinated systemic process incorporated in human intelligence.Mww

    Thought and belief. Thinking about thought and belief. Thought and belief come prior to thinking about
    thought and belief. Some experience does not include a creature capable of thinking about its own meaningful experience. That alone refutes/disproves/falsifies your bare minimum criterion.




    If meaning is a relation, wouldn’t the relations need to be describable in order to comprehend that they belong to each other...Mww

    Meaning is not just a relation. We need not comprehend that we are having meaningful experiences in order to have them. That sort of consideration requires talking about our own experiences as a subject matter in their own right. We have meaningful experiences long before we begin talking about it.

    What does our own language less meaningful experience consist in/of? Bare minimum criterion.

    If meaningful experience happens prior to our awareness of it(prior to language), then any notion of meaning under our consideration better be amenable. Evolutionary progression demands it as well.
  • Janus
    15.7k
    Thanks it seems I misunderstood the Kantian idea of intuition.

    :up:
  • creativesoul
    11.6k
    Bottom line….in examining meaningful experience the first thing to be done is to eliminate instinct, or any condition that could be attributed to mere instinct. And the best, more assured way to eliminate instinct, is to ground the necessary conditions for experience, as such, in reason alone.Mww

    If a cat instinctually chases a mouse, then according to your method, hunting mice is not a meaningful experience for/to the cat. That doesn't seem right M.

    Instinct when compared/contrasted to reason is used when setting out why/how creatures behave(what drives/causes the behaviour). It has nothing to do with whether or not that behaviour is part of a meaningful experience for the behaving creature.
  • creativesoul
    11.6k
    I think one important thing to keep in mind is that meaningful human experience happens long before we begin to take account of it.
    — creativesoul

    Oh, absolutely.
    — Mww

    How do you square that with your minimum criterion presented earlier which demanded being able to describe the conditions of one's own experience in order to count as meaningful experience?

    You see the problem?
    — creativesoul

    There shouldn’t be one. I said describes even if only to himself. To describe conditions to oneself, is to think; to think is to synthesize conceptions contained in the conditions into a cognition.
    Mww

    Describing conditions to oneself is practicing language. One issue is that your bare minimum criterion for meaningful experience includes/requires language use and yet you've "absolutely" agreed that we have meaningful experience prior to ever taking account of it(taking account of it is necessary on your proposal and doing so requires language use). That is a contradiction. Either we have meaningful experience prior to being able to take account of it, or we don't. Your suggestion fits only into the latter. They are mutually exclusive.

    Another issue(shown by reductio) is that the result of the criterion you've suggested, when taken to its logical conclusion, is that only humans capable of describing the conditions of their own experience can be admitted having meaningful experience.

    At what age do we begin being capable of describing the conditions of our own experiences?
  • AmadeusD
    1.9k
    Idealism as I described and as entertained in the article I linked is completely consistent with external objects beyond your immediate experience so the idea of external objects is completely consistent, they just happen to be mental or experiential.Apustimelogist

    But do you not see - this IS incoherent? If everything is mental, there are not external objects. That can only appear external. There is nothing to be aware of, outside of mind as you've stipulated a mind-only universe. So this simply is not a consistent notion. If what you're driving at is a reading along the lines of 'transcendental idealism' i think perhaps you're not doing justice to what you're trying to get across. You've posited that this theory holds everything as mental. If that's hte case, there cannot be anything with extension - nothing can be external on that account. That's just not allowed by the theory, on it's own terms. You might need to
    elaborate to make sense of how everything could be mental, yet 'something' has extension to be aware of?

    I think your notion of idealism is far narrower than most people seriously entertaining idealism today.Apustimelogist

    I seriously., seriously think you're reading into utterances about it more than is intended. Perhaps you're thinking of some type dualism as analogous? Idealism is necessary precluded from including extension on it's own terms. It deny's the physical. Idealism is a narrow conception. Formal Idealism simply is not idealism, in any proper sense. It's just the same as a Kantian reading, which is actually fundamentally not idealistic. Its a form of mysterianism about perception. It's merely a description of our access to knowledge and not a metaphysical theory of what is available to be aware of.
    In the alternative, where I am entirely wrong about how these things are being put forward in current times, I would just say given what I've described in these replies my position is: They are plainly wrong, and there's not really any grey areas to canvass. They are misusing words to maintain incoherent positions. Ryle would be proud.

    The idealist would agree and then they would say the physical simply does not exist so there is no problem. There is no need to reduce the mental to the physical because the physical just doesn't exist. All there is are experiences. Consciousness doesn't supervene on the physical because consciousness is all there is.Apustimelogist

    And this position entails all i've said(you'll note this does fatal damage to the position, as above). I do apologise, but this is becoming very much an exercise in trying to understand how you're confusing certain concepts.

    Once you formulate an idealist universe as identical to a physicalist one except that everything is made out of mental stuffApustimelogist

    "made of mental stuff" is literally incoherent. If there is extension, there is matter. Either everything is internal, seemingly external(mind), which is entailed by a 'mental-only' Universe (A'), or we're looking at a world in whcih there are things, proper(A - apparently, the actual world). To put this more clearly, if there are only experiences there are no things. There just isn't, on the theory's own terms. Again, I'm having trouble understanding how you could posit a universe that is 'only mental' yet has 'objects'. Objects have extension. Mentation does not. Is the theory just more speculative, in that the mental can in some peculiar way extend, or something similar, in that Universe?

    There will always be some point where it just doesn't have an answer - we don't know why things exist or don't exist.Apustimelogist

    I think this is a little bit of a cop-out - but there are clearly some base-levels that wont have a further explanation. So, yes, i agree with this statement, but I don't think this question is one of them. Either there are physical things, or there are no physical things. 'Why' is literally irrelevant. But that's like.. my opinion man. LOL.

    The problem of why experience exists would reduce to exactly that problem for an idealist.Apustimelogist

    Hm, I can clearly see the confusion in this one, and it is plainly wrong to me. The existence of 'things' and 'experience' are not at all analogous. Again, having trouble. I've been over this twice I think. The two questions are entirely different questions. The idealist has an entirely different question to answer than "why is there something rather than nothing?" because they actually hold that there is nothing. Just experience. So, why the experience? Same question. But in world A' we also want to know why there are 'things' which are not conscious, for lack of a better delineation. One does not reduce to the other. One simply disappears, magically, if you posit idealism. This is why its such a faulty, untenable position to most. It simply says 'that's not real' without a shred of good reason.
    Though, this is tied to it's fundamental incoherence, You cannot be experiencing an experience. This is one point Banno has made, that I agree with *but totally ruins his take*. You can't be aware, in consciousness, of perception. Experience is of something. Perception without content is no experience. So, where is the idealist drawing phenomena from? After several hours with Kastrup (not personally) it seems totally clear this is just ignored. Though, I note that given the idealist pretends there is no question to answer about matter, they just run with it as a free lunch. But that is ... really, really dumb. We have phenomena. You can't get around that in explaining reality. Mental "objects" giving rise to conscious experience sans anything else is just dumb. You'll need simulation theory or something behind it.

    So the hard problem doesn't exist for the idealist and this is probably one of the major advantages amy idealist will give you to their theory.Apustimelogist

    I agree this si what they would say - but it's stupid. It's raises even less-sensible questions, to my mind. It isn't an advantage at all. Simply saying "i'll ignore that explanatory gap by making an extreme claim that is tenuous and essentially a spiritual position" isn't helpful.

    The reply is saying that a dualist reality where there is a metaphysical divide between the mental and physical is unfounded. It has no basis in scienceApustimelogist

    This seems patently wrong, also. This seems more like a dogma. In fact, I am quite convinced it is a dogma. It's just uncomfortable. Property Dualism explains the data better than physicalism, currently. We have zero scientific basis to claim that consciousness is a physical thing. None. Zip. Nada. Your later quotes seem to exemplify this, on idealist terms, well.

    Now I can also say that I have experiences but the fact that I say I have experiences doesn't entail that there must be some other physical substance which is profoundly metaphysically different and from which experiences arise.Apustimelogist

    Semantically it doesn't but given that the conscious does not supervene on the physical, it is a better explanation than "Muhhh.. duhh Mysterianism". It's not logically entailed, but no other doors are unlocked in that room. Either you need to posit something supernatural causing phenomena of objects, or objects.
    In any case any even semi-serious dualism doesn't posit that the Mental is some separate physical substance that is a plain mis-reading. It posits that Consciousness is a fact about the physical (a property - a 'further fact') which does not reduce to the physical (you've noted this.. Makes this an awkward clarification). Natural supervenience is the term used here, as opposed to Logical supervenience. Property Dualism avoids literally all the issues you've brought up, and raises little more than doubts about its reality, not it's coherence.

    We have no idea about the intrinsic nature of what we scientifically observe beyond our experiences ..... there is absolutely no reason why we should be able to have any tangible access to some fundamental metaphysical nature of how the universe is, whether from science or perception. None of this comes from a particular realist viewpoint which I think is probably key.Apustimelogist

    Agreed. This doesn't seem to have much effect on either of our positions. It just sort of points out that where we see explanatory gaps, you're happy to lean into mysterianism. Not an invalid view, But i think its premature here. Though, again, prima facie, totally agree. We may just be incapable, regardless of what theory we posit. However, I don't think your reasoning entails that position.

    But then again, neither the notion of "structure" or "what it is like"(experience) have any substantive definitions that let me pick out anything metaphysically or scientifically meaningful,Apustimelogist

    Ooof. That seems like a bear trap you've put your own foot in. We can absolutely pick out metaphysical notions based on empirical/mental structure. Given consciousness fails to supervene on the physical we actually have really, really good reason to think we are currently beginning to identity some metaphysically distinct concepts. And, it only makes sense that conscious experience alone would even give rise to the question, i think. Nothing else fails to logically supervene, in some way that explains it's emergence.
    Experience clearly does. It just doesn't allow you to convey it. I couldn't possibly know that you are having a profound idea about X, but you are having it, on your own account. You dont need to prove it to another mind for that to be the case. So, "scientifically meaningful' would be wrong, practically but theoretically, its actually the closest to the bone you're ever going to get - entirely removing the problem of induction(or hard sci realism) you laid out further up this paragraph (which I note seems empirically true as a limitation of knowledge and does put a spanner in having strong views either way),

    let alone any dichotomy between experience and the physical which would only lead to an incoherent type of epiphenomenalism.Apustimelogist

    It does not but even where it points toward EP, it's not incoherent at all. I would recommend reading Chalmers section-long treatment of epiphenomenalism (150-160 or so) in the face of his property dualism. It is very compelling. There really is no problem here as I see it. Further work since publication seems to do nothing for either side (other than we still have no fucking clue what's going on - as Koch has had to admit). To taste:

    Epiphenomenalism is counterintuitive, but the alternatives are more than counterintuitive. They are simply wrong, as we have already seen and will see again. The overall moral is that if the arguments suggest that natural supervenience is true, then we should learn to live with natural supervenienceChalmers(1996)

    I don't think you have said anything here that distinguishes realism about scientific theories from that about objects of perceptual.Apustimelogist

    I clearly have. One is about experience, and one is about hte external world. Scientific realism posits there is an external world we can accurately measure. Perceptual realism posits that we, without measurement, can directly access an external world. They are plainly different considerations. One is necessarily prior to the other in explanatory terms. Ill leave that there.

    seems to me just as much a concernApustimelogist

    It may, but it's obviously not. It simply doesn't matter in A', as an example of why they're separate. You can subtract the one, and still ahve the other open question.

    The question of "why the universe is the way it is?" is the same for any kind of metaphysical position because you can imagine the universe in a vast number of differentApustimelogist

    Yes, that's right and exactly why an idealist actually does not avoid any problems entailed by this question. I may prematurely be thinking you're starting to grok it here... Onward.

    just as arbitraryApustimelogist

    Not at all, on my account. Physicalists cannot entertain the majority of metaphysical theories because they posit something over and above hte physical, or remove/re-cast the physical as something other than it is currently understood. This is one of the biggest drawbacks. Physicalism begs several questions about it's foundational tenets. The problem of consciousness seems to pretty squarely jettison the sanguine notions of physicalists.

    So too you can have an idealist universe where even what you are thinking of as non-experiential cognition is still experience or consciousnessApustimelogist

    This is a plain contradiction, unless your position is that I am empirically wrong - that doesn't seem to be what you're saying, so i remain in the position that this sentence is self-contradictory and does nothing for you. If A'- (our world, exactly, but there is no consciousness) exists, there just is no experience. Nothing else changes. Cognition and behaviour remains exactly the same, but is not accompanied, ever, by an experience in S. This specifically disallows phenomenal experience while losing precisely zero about our world that we actually know in the scientific sense.

    An 'idealist' universe, on your account, is pure experience. Nothing else. Not experience of anything - just experiences on experiences on experiences. So, you've baked into your notion that both your sentence must be contradictory, and that you can't take an idealistic Universe seriously - you're trying to maintain non-experiential cognition in a world of experience - not cognition - from which experience can be subtracted without a loss of form, structure or function from what we know currently about A.

    Personally I don't believe in some strong distinction between "conscious" and "non-conscious" cognition in the way that I believe you are thinking about it.Apustimelogist

    What's your take here, then? Pure curiosity. To come to table, 'cognition' doesn't seem to me something that is the same as experience. So, all cognition is 'conscious' but barely any cognition arises in experience

    The problem of consciousness is only in contrast to the metaphysics of the physical and functional.Apustimelogist

    While, semantically, I agree, and I wrongly formulated discussions about hte Hard Problem earlier, i'm sorry, but the question of 'why is there conscious experience' is simply live on any theory that allows for experience. Nothing in those quotes changes this. The problem of experience looms over any theory that doesn't deny it. Which is why many theories simply deny it. Idealism being one that does the opposite - denies the physical s a non-problem. They are exactly the same tactics in terms of theorizing. And both are as silly as the other, imo. If the idealist position rested on cognition which is far more coherent than resting on experience you can see that this question is just as much a problem for the idealist.
  • creativesoul
    11.6k
    I think it's important to draw a distinction between what's important for the creature and what's important to the creature. The sun is very important for the survival of all creatures on earth, for instance. So, in that sense the sun is significant, it affords the creature the ability to live, etc. However, it is not necessarily the case that the sun is meaningful to the creature.creativesoul

    The sun is a necessary elemental constituent of all interactions between it and other things(all interactions it becomes part of). Not all interaction affecting/effecting individual creatures is meaningful to them. As before, the sun is important - vital, in fact - for all life on earth as we know it to emerge, survive, and/or thrive. The interaction is vital/causal. Significant for the creatures' emergence/persistence, but not necessarily meaningful to the creatures' mind(s).

    The language less creature has no inkling of just how important a role the sun plays in its own existence.

    Significance to the creature is what we're after here, not just significance for the creature to emerge and/or persist as they do/have.

    Meaningful experiences of the sun require creature(s) capable of drawing a correlation, making an association, attributing, and/or otherwise discovering some sort of meaningful connection between the sun and something else. Meaningful experiences of the sun require the sun to somehow or other attain some sort of significance/importance to/within the mind of the candidate under our consideration. It does so by virtue of becoming meaningful to the creature(as compared/contrasted with significant for the creature). This is true concerning previously existing meaningful things as well as novel(newly connected) ones.

    Earlier I mentioned the difference between something being significant for a creature and that same something being significant to a creature. In the paragraph above, I offered an outline covering all meaningful experiences of the sun. All meaningful experiences of the sun are meaningful to the creature drawing and/or discovering meaningful correlations, associations, and/or connections between the individual elements of its own thought/belief/experience at that time(to the creature having the experience).

    Meaningful experience requires - at a bare minimum - some things to become meaningful, a biological creature/agent for things to become meaningful to, and a means/method/process for those things to go from being meaningless to being meaningful to the biological creature/agent.

    The sun is a meaningful part of each and every individual experience of the sun. It is not meaningful to everything that it effects/affects.
  • Mww
    4.6k
    Meaningful experience requires…..creativesoul

    I agree with all that, which means I accept your general argument, perhaps while disputing the minutia of the grounds for it.

    We must first have an experience as well as the ability to reflect upon it prior to being able to describe the conditions thereof/therein.creativesoul

    Would it have been better for me to have said the conditions for the possibility of our experiences must be apprehended beforehand, rather than described?

    The candidate….must only be capable of drawing correlations…between different things in order to attribute meaning to different things.creativesoul

    In my world, apprehending the conditions for, manifests in the same mental process as drawing correlations between. I overlooked the pervasiveness of language-use conjoined to descriptive practices, insofar as I see no reason why the human cognitive system in itself, in its synthesis of conceptions to each other, have not in effect described the conditions by which an experience is given, without ever expressing a single linguistic representation of those conceptions or the cognition which follows from them.

    The language less creature has no inkling of just how important a role the sun plays in its own existence.creativesoul

    I submit that kind of creature has insufficient rational capacity to apprehend the conditions by which the sun attains its role in a necessary relation to said creature’s existence, from which follows the only creatures known to function under such criteria, is the human creature.
    ————-

    Question: of all that supposedly attributable to lesser animals, in your opinion which is the primordial consideration such creature must attain antecedent to all else, in order for him to be afforded meaningful experiences?
  • ENOAH
    494


    Question: of all that supposedly attributable to lesser animals, in your opinion which is the primordial consideration such creature must attain antecedent to all else, in order for him to be afforded meaningful experiences?Mww

    Pardon my presumptuous intrusion.

    My hastily surfacing answer is, "nothing." No so called lesser animal (a label which I dispute) has any hope/fear of having meaningful experience because meaning is precisely what distinctly human mind constructs out of its incessant and autonomous dialectical processes. Animals, like our own "Real" being, the Organic aware-ing human animal, "independent" of the constructions with which mind has displaced its aware-ing, have no "concern" for meaning.

    Upon further thought, however, I think I can answer the question at least hypothetically. [Assuming I am interpreting "consideration" fittingly] The primordial consideration such creature must attain antecedent to all else if they were to similarly construct meaning, is to have evolved organically a system with similarly sophisticated image-ing, similar memory, and a feedback loop involving endorphins and the like.

    Why? These allow for what has evolved into the human mind. An image-ing system so complex it no just longer recalls image of tiger to trigger flight; it now calls and recalls, structures and restructures, arranges and rearranges Signifiers to trigger all of our feelings and actions. Part of the evolution of that system of signifiers involved meaning. The system "wants" to thrive in order to best serve the "host" organism; and it is what it is today, because the constant constructing of meaning to displace reality evolved, leading to an astronomical growth of the Brain's image-ing sense. And it's still growing as we construct novel variations (like this) of meaning perpetually.

    So yes, indirect realism gets my vote. There is a Real world--we are that real organism in that real world--but we have displaced that real world, its drives, feelings, sensation, with desires, emotions, perception. The former just are; the latter construct meaning in their process of becoming.
  • ENOAH
    494
    insofar as I see no reason why the human cognitive system in itself, in its synthesis of conceptions to each other, have not in effect described the conditions by which an experience is given, without ever expressing a single linguistic representation of those conceptions or the cognition which follows from them.Mww

    That's what I'm saying. (Although it may not be what you're really saying). These signifiers, the vast majority of them, Freud on stilts, operate subtly. So that it seems like they are not expressing a single linguistic representation. But they are. If not the words "its a beautiful day" when you instantly apprehend that it is, there are nonetheless signifiers working, moving, until finally the apprehension surfaces as...

    My point (and--because all of our Narratives are written with and for others--I hope this is what you were saying, if not, please correct me) is that though you use "apprehended"
    and that triggers belief that at least in some cases when you "know," you are getting it directly from the source, Reality, and only afterwords superimposing "description" (or constructed meaning), its too late for you to hang anything at all on the so called apprehension. Its not that its gone, its that its only there in the present. And you're not. You're already in the description, the constructing of meaning. Sensation is instantly displaced by perception. The fact that there is apprehension is moot. We abide in the constructions of meaning.

    Why I think/thought we agreed is because though you said, "without ever expressing linguistic etc." You also said "in effect described the conditions by which an experience is given." I'm inferring that you are holding nonetheless that experiences are their descriptions. That this seemingly silent apprehension, is in fact, yet a subtle description.
  • Mww
    4.6k
    No so called lesser animal (a label which I dispute) has any hope/fear of having meaningful experience because meaning is precisely what distinctly human mind constructs out of its incessant and autonomous dialectical processes.ENOAH

    My sentiments exactly.

    And I mean “lesser” animal to indicate precisely that missing primordial consideration. And I mean “consideration” insofar as only in speculative metaphysics is that missing piece proven logically necessary.

    The primordial consideration such creature must attain antecedent to all else if they were to similarly construct meaning…..ENOAH

    While this is sufficient cause for a given effect, whatever form the cause has, is reducible. I want to know to what it is reducible, such that THAT is irreducible, hence, primordial.

    Part of the evolution of that system of signifiers involved meaning.ENOAH

    That’s gonna get a great big HOOYAH!!! from my most worthy dialectical cohort, .
    ——————

    So that it seems like they are not expressing a single linguistic representation. But they are. If not the words…..ENOAH

    The words just ARE the linguistic representations, of the conceptions apprehended as belonging to each other, from which a cognition, hence a possible experience, follows. Before they become words, they are schemata, that which as a multiplicity of minor conceptions, is subsumed under a major. You touched on it with your “image-ing”, which I hold as a requisite component of human intelligence, in that we actually think in images. But we cannot express an image, project it beyond ourselves, so we developed language to do just that.
    ——————

    That this seemingly silent apprehension, is in fact, yet a subtle description.ENOAH

    Pretty much, yep. A strictly internally constructed, and systemically employed, description. To descend another step into the metaphysical morass…..

    …..the relation between the apprehension, re: the thought of “this” (an iteration of your “from the source, Reality”),
    …..and the description, re: the cognition (your “constructed meaning”) of “this” as “that”…..
    …..resides in pure reason, which subsumes the correspondence between “this” and “that” under pure principles a priori, in order for the ensuing experience, whereby “this” becomes knowledge, to be non-contradictory, not with itself, but with some other extant experience “that”, albeit of the same perceived thing…
    …..and herein is a form of your implication of time, which follows from my position that experience is an end, a terminus of a speculative procedural methodology.

    (From the cognitive neurobiology point of view, “this” is some initially stimulated neural pathway, “that” is a previously enabled pathway, the correspondence manifests in the meeting of the two pathways into a common network, from which the currently perceived thing becomes the same as, or sufficiently congruent with, the “dump truck”….or whatever….. experienced last week)
    —————

    ….indirect realism gets my vote.ENOAH

    Mine as well. The real that is direct is so from its perception; the real that is indirect is so from its representation. It is by representation alone that knowledge of the real is possible, and knowledge is what we’re after, the real be what it may. The dual nature of human intelligence is required for these to subsist at the same time with respect to the same thing.

    Anyway….fun to play with, plus, it’s legal.
  • creativesoul
    11.6k
    Meaningful experience requires - at a bare minimum - some things to become meaningful, a biological creature/agent for things to become meaningful to, and a means/method/process for those things to go from being meaningless to being meaningful to the biological creature/agent.creativesoul

    I agree with all that, which means I accept your general argument, perhaps while disputing the minutia of the grounds for it.Mww

    Perhaps, but I'm leaning more towards the idea that our positions are incompatible as a result of being based upon very different notions of human thought, belief, and/or meaningful experience. Hence, we have incompatible views about the third prong of the criterion. It's became clearer over time that our respective views regarding what exactly counts as the means/method/process for things to go from being meaningless to being meaningful to the creature are seemingly incompatible with one another.


    In my world, apprehending the conditions for(one's own experience), manifests in the same mental process as drawing correlations between.Mww

    Correlations are no longer sensibly called "a mental process" on my view. The very notion of mental implies internal, in the sense of residing/existing/happening completely in the brain/mind, body, etc. I've a more holistic approach that makes the most sense of meaningful experience as neither exclusively internal nor external, but rather - consisting of both; as neither exclusively physical nor mental, but rather - consisting of both; as neither exclusively objective nor subjective, but rather - consisting of both; as neither exclusively material nor immaterial, but rather consisting of both.



    The language less creature has no inkling of just how important a role the sun plays in its own existence.
    — creativesoul

    I submit that kind of creature has insufficient rational capacity to apprehend the conditions by which the sun attains its role in a necessary relation to said creature’s existence, from which follows the only creatures known to function under such criteria, is the human creature.
    Mww

    I agree, setting aside a quibble about the use of "follows".

    Stark differences between our views stem from what rightfully counts as meaningful human experience. I strongly suspect you're already well aware of this. My own view regarding what counts as meaningful human thought, belief, and/or experience permits/admits/allows much simpler iterations/forms of human experience than yours can. Again, on my view, one's position regarding meaningful human experience must be able to take proper account of the evolutionary progression of it. This holds good not only in terms of the overall evolution of the species, but it also pertains to all individual humans' lives. Our thought/belief about the world and/or ourselves(hence meaningful experience) evolves from birth(arguably a few months prior to) until death.

    From past discussions, you're already aware of a foundational premise of mine; at the moment of biological conception there is no such thing as an experiencing creature. There is no such thing as thought, belief, or meaningful experience of the creature, for the creature does not yet have what that takes. Thought, belief, and meaningful experience begins simply and grows in its complexity over time.



    Question: of all that supposedly attributable to lesser animals, in your opinion which is the primordial consideration such creature must attain antecedent to all else, in order for him to be afforded meaningful experiences?Mww

    This is an interesting question that I find helpful for better understanding the differences between our positions. I'm glad you asked it. The question presupposes any candidate under consideration be capable of what we'd call/classify a "consideration" of some sort or other prior to or perhaps simultaneously with being admitted of having meaningful experience. That's perfectly consistent with your own position. However, I reject that requirement altogether. There is no primordial consideration necessary for admission into the group of creatures capable of having meaningful experience(s). While the ability to consider things highlights perhaps the most significant difference between human minds and other animals'(which I completely agree with), the question points straight at the heart/source/basis of many of the differences between our views. Any notion of human thought, belief, and/or meaningful experience that requires the capability of consideration to admit meaningful experience is utterly incapable of admitting that humans have meaningful experiences prior to and/or during language acquisition; prior to becoming capable of considering anything at all. I'm not at all claiming that language is necessary for all kinds of consideration. However, all kinds of consideration presuppose a creature that knows of more than one option(volition) as well as some basis or other from which to perform comparative assessment.

    That basis is past experience.

    To put this in the most telling context I can think of at the moment; <-------That's one kind of consideration, and a very complex one at that. Not all are. None are necessary for perhaps the simplest kinds/forms of meaningful human experience. The following example is a favorite of mine.

    A toddler need not consider anything at all prior to touching fire for the first time. They learn that touching fire causes pain. They attribute/recognize/discover causality. No language is necessary here. I suspect this holds good for all other language less creatures capable of having meaningful experience. The attribution/recognition of causality may serve as a placemark/benchmark for rationality, reason, and/or the complex sort of cognition your criterion seeks(the distinction between considered acts and instinctual ones). I digress, the toddler is amidst a meaningful experience. The fire becomes meaningful to the creature(toddler in this case) by virtue of the correlations drawn by the creature between the fire, the act of touching the fire(their own behavior), and the immediate subsequent pain that ensues.

    The next time they encounter fire, they will consider.
  • Apustimelogist
    355


    Everything I am saying about idealism is just the basic contemporary opinion on it. I linked an article by David Chalmers as the source for my definition and conceptualization of idealism. Notable contemporary idealists like Bernardo Kastrup and his followers thinking about idealism in precisely this way, as you may have seen.

    I feel like you have this strong preconception that any kind of phenomena is necessarily internal to some kind of external physical things, because you are dualist. But I don't see how this view is strictly necessary and how other kinds of views of phenomena as ontology are not at least conceivable.

    You seem to agree that:

    "We have no idea about the intrinsic nature of what we scientifically observe beyond our experiences ..... there is absolutely no reason why we should be able to have any tangible access to some fundamental metaphysical nature of how the universe is, whether from science or perception"

    Elaborating (in a similar way to the Chalmers chapter you linked): all we have direct access to is our personal experiences; our engagement with and articulation of physical theories is through experience; and the content of physical theories is relational or functional.

    So if physical theories are defined purely functionally or relationally and say absolutely nothing about the intrinsic nature of what is beyond our personal experiences, I think you have to give an argument to rule out the idea that what is beyond our personal experiences can conceivably be more experiences and nothing else.

    Again, we have established that you have no idea about the intrinsic nature of what is going on beyond your immediate experiences so I don't see what standard you are using to judge that what is going on beyond cannot be experiential. There are various options such as one universal mind filled with mental things interacting or many different individual minds interacting. What we think of as physical objects can still exist, just they have to be made of phenomena. What is the basis for saying that "Mental "objects" giving rise to conscious experience sans anything else is just dumb"? I haven't seen justification. What standard are you using if you don't even know what physical things intrinsically are? Does a standard even exist if physical concepts are purely relational?

    It then seems pretty clear that if everything were phenomenal, an idealist would avoid the hard problem in its most basic sense (perhaps not the combination problems). The question of "why do experiences exist?" would be no different from the question of why any other different kind of intrinsic stuff were to exist (e.g. why does material exist? (perhaps in a hypothetical universe that only has material and no consciousness)).

    With regard to dualism?

    There have been absolutely no discoveries in science that suggest some kind of inherent metaphysical separation between mental and physical stuff in any sense. Such a dualism is incoherent.

    My main argument against dualism is probably the "paradox of phenomenal judgment" that Chalmers talks about in chapter 5 of the Chalmers link you gave, and it is a consequence of epiphenomenalism (it follows soon after the pages you recommended). The problem is that consciousness is rendered causally irrelevant not only to our behavior but to our own knowledge of consciousness. The absurdity suggests that dualism is an illusion and that there is no dual-aspect.

    There is no need for a dual-aspect. Physical theories are just models that are used within the human experience to predict and carve out abstract functional relations to other intrinsic experiences. They cannot tell me anything about the intrinsic nature behind "physical" objects. In fact, I think that not only are all physical theories relational and functional… all beliefs, hypotheses, knowledge, etc, etc, etc, are relational and functional. No knowledge, as a cognitive process, can ever tell you anything about any kind of intrinsicness, simply by the nature of what descriptions and explanations do and that is also why phenomenal experiences are fundamentally ineffable. I think this is less mysterianism than the fact that if you endorse kinds of scientific and metaphysical deflationism / antirealism, then the need for inherent dual-aspects is not pressing. The fact that there is no accepted peer review published scientific evidence for non-physical properties and the incoherence from the "paradox of phenomenal judgment" then presses even more against the idea of dualism. Because this view doesn't rely on falsifying phenomenal experiences, it evades Chalmers' responses. I don't think Chalmers would see this view as adversarial to his though, even if he may not necessarily agree with it.

    I think the closest we can get to characterizing reality is that there are objective structures in reality which we cannot directly access; my experiences are what it is like to be some of that structure at some particular scale (or I guess even what it is like to be information to move closer to Chalmers' thoughts). And as more or less an instrumentalist about cognition and knowledge, that characterization doesn't even necessarily mean much other than a story that helps conceptualize the world. At the same time, the brain, information processing and cognition should still in principle be the ultimate basis for explaining why people have difficulties articulating things about consciousness and why explanations about it fail (given the p-zombie who is confused by the hard problem because of his brain independently of consciousness).

    Scientific realism posits there is an external world we can accurately measure. Perceptual realism posits that we, without measurement, can directly access an external worldAmadeusD

    Your latter definition only accounts for direct realism, not indirect realism. Also, scientific realism is not about positing an external world per se, it posits that our theories about the world are true. Doesn't seem very different from the idea of perceptions being true representations or giving true access to the world.

    What's your take here, then? Pure curiosity. To come to table, 'cognition' doesn't seem to me something that is the same as experience. So, all cognition is 'conscious' but barely any cognition arises in experienceAmadeusD

    Cognition is just a higher-order description of what is happening in the flow of experience imo. The difference between "conscious" and "non-conscious" cognition essentially comes down to differences in this flow of experience.
  • ENOAH
    494
    I want to know to what it is reducible, such that THAT is irreducible, hence, primordial.Mww

    Do you mean further reduced organically, what are the cellular or bio electrical impulses? Deeper?
    The molecular? Atomic?

    I know you mean metaphysical, right? And if so, I'm placing that outside of this, the Organic/evolutionary. The metaphysical is an incessant pursuit because (and I am not blind to the hypocrisy/irony: I engage in it wholeheartedly, but I'll comment later)...because it is not going to uncover anything. Mind (the locus of the metaphysical) cannot uncover reality, it can only construct "reality."

    But still, though I'm constructing it, I know what you're after. The Real "thing" being while being-displaced-by-becoming is aware-ing, natural consciousness. That is the primordial condition, to be an aware-ing Being. (It's the Body, BTW, aware-ing its sensations, feelings, image-ings, drives, movements--but these become overshadowed by the projections of mind).

    But that's not what you're looking for. You/we desire the metaphysical, the brilliant constructions triggering Body to feel that eureka, but getting it through, sure, a special kind, but no less, fiction. Because, every living thing has the primordial condition for Mind, aware-ing. Trees grow to the sun, single cells react to environment. But only our level of image-ing could become its own thing and fool not only its now, host, but even itself into belief.

    Before they become words, they are schemata, that which as a multiplicity of minor conceptions, is subsumed under a major. You touched on it with your “image-ing”, which I hold as a requisite component of human intelligence, in that we actually think in images. But we cannot express an image, project it beyond ourselves, so we developed language to do just that.Mww

    Very nicely worded, and, if I may, exactly what I so clumsily beg to say.
  • Mww
    4.6k
    The very notion of mental implies internal, in the sense of residing/existing/happening completely in the brain/mind, body, etc. I've a more holistic approach that makes the most sense of meaningful experience as neither exclusively internal nor external, but rather - consisting of both…..creativesoul

    I’m never going to be happy with that approach. Experience is an abstract conception, is entirely a mental construct, hence exclusively internal. What the experience is of, that which is represented by the mental construct, is not, hence is exclusively external.

    It is impossible to arrive at experience without an object, but the object itself is not the experience. So rather than consisting of both, I find the one’s relation to the other to have the more explanatory power.
    ————-

    My own view (….) allows much simpler iterations/forms of human experience than yours can.creativesoul

    Mine doesn’t have form at all; there is, or there is not, experience, period. In that respect, mine is far the simpler iteration. Yours might be simpler iff you meant to say the process by which experience occurs. Still, whatever process you might invoke should capture that which is established as human intellectual composition, such as judgement, understanding…..those abstract conceptions manufactured in order to comprehend something we know so little about we are forced to speculate if we wish to say anything at all.
    ————

    Question: of all that supposedly attributable to lesser animals, in your opinion which is the primordial consideration such creature must attain antecedent to all else, in order for him to be afforded meaningful experiences?Mww



    In other words, what is it about a candidate that experiences, such that he must consider something, the negation of which is impossible.

    Answer: he must consider himself as subject. He is that to which all representations, all objects of consciousness belong, such that there resides an implicit unity in the manifold of all rational/intellectual doings.

    What is authorized for humans to claim, is that iff lesser animals do not consider themselves as subjects, they will not experience in the same manner as those higher animals that do. Which is all the original claim meant to emphasize in the first place.
  • Mww
    4.6k
    Very nicely worded….ENOAH

    Thanks; much appreciated. But in all honesty, taken from a moldy Enlightenment tome, formerly a positive paradigm shift in philosophical thought but now in somewhat diminished favor.
  • ENOAH
    494
    what is it about a candidate that experiences, such that he must consider something, the negation of which is impossible.

    Answer: he must consider himself as subject. He is that to which all representations, all objects of consciousness belong, such that there resides an implicit unity in the manifold of all rational/intellectual doings.
    Mww

    I agree with that, because of the qualifier, "such that there resides an implicit unity," which of course is the function of the Subject. That is, to unify the movements under a surrogate "self" displacing/standing in for, the "embodied" being.


    formerly a positive paradigm shift in philosophical thought but now in somewhat diminished favor.Mww

    No kidding? It seems "ahead" of its time to me. Regardless, I like it. A lot.
  • AmadeusD
    1.9k
    Sorry I missed all this - It wasn't in my notification list!

    feel like you have this strong preconception that any kind of phenomena is necessarily internal to some kind of external physical things, because you are dualist. But I don't see how this view is strictly necessary and how other kinds of views of phenomena as ontology are not at least conceivable.Apustimelogist

    I have explained why (it is irrelevant what Kastrup or Chalmers think - though, as far as I;m concerned you are seriously misunderstanding what is entailed by 'mental only' and perhaps not reading that into the theories presented. Or, i could be wrong.

    So if physical theories are defined purely functionally or relationally and say absolutely nothing about the intrinsic nature of what is beyond our personal experiences, I think you have to give an argument to rule out the idea that what is beyond our personal experiences can conceivably be more experiences and nothing else.Apustimelogist

    I have. "What are the experiences of" is a good enough question to at the very least, put the position you're driving at on the rocks, if not infer a position that requires externalities (in a 'proper' use of the word - not the economic one) to inform any type of experience. Otherwise, we have infinite regress - at what point would content be involved, if it's experience all the way down? Seems a massive gap here.

    Again, we have established that you have no idea about the intrinsic nature of what is going on beyond your immediate experiences so I don't see what standard you are using to judge that what is going on beyond cannot be experientialApustimelogist

    Its incoherent, on my account. You don't need a standard. It's logically unsound..As noted a couple of times, and apparently ignored: Experiences must be OF something(if you do not accept this, we may be at an end of the road we travel together). Sure, an experience can be of another experience, on (the surface of) an idealist account but this cannot explain anything about content. That we have experiences of 'things' that must have come from somewhere, even if it isn't 'actually there' in any particular instance (given regress is a fine method for establishing this, to a point). The basis for its invocation cannot be a further, necessarily empty, experience.

    What we think of as physical objects can still exist, just they have to be made of phenomena.Apustimelogist

    IN.CO.HERENT. I'll leave that there, adding that I think this ridiculous claim is why Kastrup is alternatively considered a genius, and a total idiot.

    I haven't seen justification.Apustimelogist

    You have.

    what physical things intrinsically are?Apustimelogist

    not-mental. This is the exclusion you seem to just straight-up ignore. Something cannot be physical and mental at once. Mental objects do not exist outside of mind, by definition. What's not getting through?

    The question of "why do experiences exist?" would be no different from the question of why any other different kind of intrinsic stuff were to existApustimelogist

    You seem to have completley ignored that this raises the exact same problem of 'why experience'. All you have done is removed the difference between 'why anything' and 'why experience'. They are both still live questions in an Idealist world. This is not displaced by the removal of physical objects in an account. We could equally say, in a world with no mentation whatsoever(obviously, this is metaphysically impossible) "why does anything exist?" "why isn't anything conscious"? The latter is not irrelevant, in the discussion we're having.

    There have been absolutely no discoveries in science that suggest some kind of inherent metaphysical separation between mental and physical stuff in any sense. Such a dualism is incoherent.Apustimelogist

    We cannot explain plenty of non-physical phenomena, and the fact that apparently the expectation of a physical explanation is the only way to get past this just ignores the problem. The explanation wont be physical. And given we have absolutely failed to do anything whatsoever with our physical theories to explain consciousness, I'm just not interested in ignoring that problem. Discovering that the consciousness does not logically supervene on the physical is a discovery that literally discounts a fully physicalist account of mind (if it holds).

    The problem is that consciousness is rendered causally irrelevant not only to our behavior but to our own knowledge of consciousness. The absurdity suggests that dualism is an illusion and that there is no dual-aspect.Apustimelogist

    This is not a problem, and it does not suggest this. I would recommend reading all of Chalmers, if this is where you're going.

    I think this is less mysterianism than the fact that if you endorse kinds of scientific and metaphysical deflationism / antirealism, then the need for inherent dual-aspects is not pressing.Apustimelogist

    Not for scientific reasoning, but for understanding consciousness it remains the central issue. I wont address your other Chalmers-related comments other than to say he's predicted them and responded to them. He wouldn't agree; you're right. He would posit that nothing you've said changes the fact that Consciousness is irreducible. In that sense, property dualism is almost a given (whether hte premise holds is the big Q).

    Because this view doesn't rely on falsifying phenomenal experiencesApustimelogist

    Property dualism doesn't either. Can you explain why this would have any weight in displacing the (potential) property dualist account?

    Your latter definition only accounts for direct realism, not indirect realism. Also, scientific realism is not about positing an external world per se, it posits that our theories about the world are true. Doesn't seem very different from the idea of perceptions being true representations or giving true access to the world.Apustimelogist

    I'm beginning to think you're confusing yourself. It applies to both, but you must reverse the onus of the sentence. Your final sentence betrays the failure of your attempted delineation.
    You would need scientific realism to hold to ever establish this position. This is because they are relevant to separate questions, as noted.

    Bold: Do you know any idealist scientific realists?
    The difference between "conscious" and "non-conscious" cognition essentially comes down to differences in this flow of experience.Apustimelogist

    But we know, for sure, that cognition happens sans any experience. How could you posit that experience is included in non-experienced cognition?
  • creativesoul
    11.6k
    ...we find that the bare minimum form of experience is the very multi-layered complexity of the human cognitive system.Mww

    Mine doesn’t have form at all...Mww

    Self-contradiction is a form of unacceptable argument.
  • creativesoul
    11.6k
    I've a more holistic approach that makes the most sense of meaningful experience as neither exclusively internal nor external, but rather - consisting of both; as neither exclusively physical nor mental, but rather - consisting of both; as neither exclusively objective nor subjective, but rather - consisting of both; as neither exclusively material nor immaterial, but rather consisting of both.
    — creativesoul

    I’m never going to be happy with that approach.
    Mww

    Individual personal happiness is not necessary. Either meaningful experience consists of more than just internal parts/components/elements, or it does not.



    Experience is an abstract conception, is entirely a mental construct, hence exclusively internal.Mww

    Nah. Maps and territories doesn't quite describe what you're doing here, but it's the same general kind of mistake. Conflation between distinct entities/things.

    Picking oranges on a rainy day is neither an abstraction nor a mental construct. It's an experience. Picking oranges on a rainy day does not consist of meaningful marks. All abstract notions do. It does not require meaningful marks in order to happen. All abstract notions do.

    Certainly, at numerous times prior to the emergence of humans, oranges were picked. All abstract conceptions are existentially dependent upon language use. Picking oranges is not. Where there has never been language, there could have never been any notion of "picking oranges". Picking oranges quite simply does not share that existential dependency. It's an activity that does not require being take account of.

    "Picking oranges" is a grouping of common experience(s). The group itself consists of all the separate instances of picking oranges. They do not require being taken account of. They would all be orange picking either way. Each and every uniquely individual experience of orange picking consists of orange trees bearing fruit, and a creature capable of picking the oranges.

    A personal bit of my own life...

    There were several different people and/or groups thereof who all participated in picking some very juicy, slightly tart, amazingly sweet and deliciously tangy tangelos from a very particular tree. They were sooo easy to peel, seedless, and virtually no chewy fibrous internal membranes to speak of. We did not reach inside of ourselves to fetch a few seductively acidic sweets. To quite the contrary, we all reached for the tree that grew in yard of the very special lady who cultivated and nurtured that tree. She was very good at what she loved to do. The sheer amount of fruit her plants produced was astounding. The height of that particular tree was such that all the glistening orange orbs were well within reach of the picker/basket she had thoughtfully placed beside the tree, ready at hand. Everyone loved them so much, and she was a very generous soul with them, hanging a basket of freshly picked fruit on the outside of the fence, with a sign bringing people's attention to them. She liked being a positive member of her community, even in such simple ways.

    The exact same tree played a pivotal role within each and every single one of our respective individual particular subjective experiences that included fruit from that tree.

    Without that tree, numerous experiences never could have happened. That tree was located in her yard. Her yard was not located internally within any single one of the aforementioned peoples' minds/bodies. It was a necessary elemental constituent of each and every individual experience mentioned heretofore.

    That's back on topic as well.
  • creativesoul
    11.6k
    ...something we know so little about we are forced to speculate if we wish to say anything at all.Mww

    We know enough to figure some things out.
  • Mww
    4.6k
    Your proposal has several layers of complexity; several layers of existential dependency. We're looking for a bare minimum form of meaningful experience. We start with us. We set that out.
    — creativesoul

    I agree we start with us, because “us” is what we know, it is that by which all else is judged. When we examine “us”, we find that the bare minimum form of experience is the very multi-layered complexity of the human cognitive system.
    Mww

    In the examination of “us” as the bare minimum form of the possibility of experience is itself a multi-layered complexity.
    ————

    My own view (….) allows much simpler iterations/forms of human experience than yours can.
    — creativesoul

    Mine doesn’t have form at all
    Mww

    In the first exchange, the subject was “us”; in the second exchange the subject is…..I understood to be….experience. I guess I figured you’d distinguish the first as the form of the possibility of experience, that is, the necessary conditions for it, while the latter presupposed experience as given. Dunno how to think a form into that which either is or is not.
    ————

    I’m never going to be happy with that approach.
    — Mww

    Individual personal happiness is not necessary.
    creativesoul

    C’mon, man. Really? Would you rather I said…..here is an perfect example of an aesthetic judgement of mine in complete irreconcilable discord with a phenomenal observation?
    ————-

    Picking oranges on a rainy day is neither an abstraction nor a mental construct. It's an experiencecreativesoul

    There is a physical activity understood by a certain relation; the relation is then cognized as picking oranges, and THAT is the experience.
    ————

    Certainly, at numerous times prior to the emergence of humans, oranges were picked.creativesoul

    No, there was not. Never before humans were there oranges; there was, after humans, only non-contradictory inference for the existence of a certain kind of thing, eventually cognized post hoc as an orange by a human. Conception of a thing is not proof of existence.

    Picking an orange implies intentionality. Before humans, from whence would intentionality in fact arise such that picking oranges was an existential activity?
    ————

    All abstract conceptions are existentially dependent upon language use.creativesoul

    No, they are not; they are entirely dependent on deductive thought alone, from which they obtain their logical validity whether or not there ever is any existential representation at all.
    ————

    Where there has never been language, there could have never been any notion of "picking oranges".creativesoul

    Notions, insofar as the conceptions representing them are predicated on sensuous image, re: phenomenal intuition, don’t need language anyway. The notion of “picking oranges” makes no sense to me; we pick oranges or we don’t. Picking oranges makes explicit we know what we’re doing; “picking oranges” implies we don’t. What’s the big deal?
    ————

    The group itself consists of all the separate instances of picking oranges. They do not require being taken account of.creativesoul

    Maybe not, but the metaphysics of it all, does.
  • Apustimelogist
    355
    what is entailed by 'mental only'AmadeusD

    Well what is entailed by it then? I haven't understood from what you have said so far. I don't recall talking to or reading about anyone else who has this issue with the notion of idealism.

    I have. "What are the experiences of" is a good enough question to at the very least, put the position you're driving at on the rocks, if not infer a position that requires externalities (in a 'proper' use of the word - not the economic one) to inform any type of experience. Otherwise, we have infinite regress - at what point would content be involved, if it's experience all the way down? Seems a massive gap here.AmadeusD

    Why do experiences have to be of anything? All I know is that I have experiences. Why can't experiences be externalities? I don't see any justification here for an infinite regress.

    As noted a couple of times, and apparently ignored: Experiences must be OF something(if you do not accept this, we may be at an end of the road we travel together).AmadeusD

    You should then be able to give a logically entailed justification why an experience must be of something or come from somewhere.

    Mental objects do not exist outside of mind, by definition. What's not getting through?AmadeusD

    This issue can bypassed by just postulating that the universe is a mind or made out of minds. At the same time, I see nothing here suggesting that minds need to be supported by something else like the physical.

    This is the exclusion you seem to just straight-up ignore.AmadeusD

    If it looks like I am ignoring what you have said, it is because you haven't given sufficient justification. You just keep reiterating your position that experiences must be a certain way and must be related to some other external stuff in a certain way. But from what I gather, this is just based on definitions you have started with that you perhaps find very intuitive. You haven't logically ruled out alternatives in any case. You just keep going on that it must be this way without giving me a further reason.

    "why isn't anything conscious"? The latter is not irrelevant, in the discussion we're having.AmadeusD

    Yes, but questions like these and "why is there experience?" are no more or less difficult than asking why the world isn't some other metaphysical kind of way. The point was that the issue of why there is experience is no longer the hard problem of consciousness, which is specifically about the inability to explain consciousness through physical and functional explanation. In an idealist universe, this is no longer a problem.

    This is not a problem, and it does not suggest this. I would recommend reading all of Chalmers, if this is where you're going.AmadeusD

    I recommend you reading it because he says this paradox is probably the greatest tension created by dualism. It is definitely a big problem. A p-zombie believes they have consciousness, they report on it in ways identical to any non-p-zombie. Whats worse is they do it for the exact same reasons we do. We report our experiences and profess them because our brain fires in a certain way which leads to our behaviours and reports. Your beliefs about consciousness then seem to have nothing to do with consciousness itself and all to do with the causal action of whats going on in your brain. Chalmers' only response to this is pretty much that we are directly aquainted with out consciousness which is not something I am denying. But I am denying dualism because that story makes no sense, and the only way it can make sense is if there wasn't really any dualism at all.

    From this point of view, "Discovering that the consciousness does not logically supervene on the physical" is not saying something about the profound ontology of the world but about how information processing and explanations work, which is exactly why a zombie would come up with the same conclusions. There is no reason why a zombie could know anything about the profound ontologies of the world just from the functional interactions that go on in a brain. There is no reason to think we do either.

    Can you explain why this would have any weight in displacing the (potential) property dualist account?AmadeusD

    I think the story of a world that logically makes sense but we don't have direct access to for pretty reasonable justofications regarding how minds and brains work - is a much better explanation than a world which doesn't logically make any sense at all and then postulates two different ontological categories which we can't even explain anyway under this view.

    He would posit that nothing you've said changes the fact that Consciousness is irreducible.AmadeusD

    Well then you have not understood a thing I have said. *I am not motivated to change the irreducibility of conscious experiences, only the idea that this represents some fundamental ontological category that sits beside some other fundamental ontological category called the physical*. As I just happened to say earlier in this thread, my view is probably closest to a kind of neutral monism which Chalmers goes through briefly on page 153 - 156 of the excerpt of his book you linked me.

    I'm beginning to think you're confusing yourself.AmadeusD

    No, I think you are confused if you think indirect perceptual realism is about directly accessing the world.

    Do you know any idealist scientific realists?AmadeusD

    There is nothing necessarily inherent that contradicts it if you are open to the kinds of definition in the article on idealism that I linked which the majority of other people seem to think is a reasonable definition.

    But we know, for sure, that cognition happens sans any experience.AmadeusD

    I disagree. I think all of what we call cognition is things we observe ourselves through experience. The difference between conscious and non-conscious experience is to do with things like whether we perceive cognition to be automatic or deliberative, or whether our attention is strong or weak. But they all still occur through the flow of experience and the kinds of non-experiential aspects that explain the flow are the same for both conscious and non-conscious cognition, involving dynamics of brain activity. There is a non-trivial difference in the experiences of conscious and non-conscious cognition, but they are both experiential and are underlaid by the same kind of non-experiential explanations.


    Edit: * *
  • creativesoul
    11.6k
    Your proposal has several layers of complexity; several layers of existential dependency. We're looking for a bare minimum form of meaningful experience. We start with us. We set that out.
    — creativesoul

    I agree we start with us, because “us” is what we know, it is that by which all else is judged. When we examine “us”, we find that the bare minimum form of experience is the very multi-layered complexity of the human cognitive system.
    — Mww

    In the examination of “us” as the bare minimum form of the possibility of experience is itself a multi-layered complexity.
    Mww

    Another weird use of "I agree"; as if I said what followed it.

    Your proposal is that in order for one to have meaningful experience they must at least be capable of describing the conditions of their own experience to themselves.

    I would hazard a speculation... there is no human capable of doing that until long after they've already began naming and descriptive practices in full earnest... oblivious to the fact that they're learning language. Language changes the way the world is. Language changes the way the world looks.

    One can be picking oranges as a very young child. Prior to potty training. One cannot describe the conditions of their own potty training until long after they experience it. It is here, at these early developmental stages that your notion of "experience" is incapable of taking proper account of basic simple forms of human thought/belief/experience.
  • creativesoul
    11.6k
    I’m never going to be happy with that approach.
    — Mww

    Individual personal happiness is not necessary.
    — creativesoul

    C’mon, man. Really?
    Mww

    My apologies.
  • creativesoul
    11.6k
    Picking oranges on a rainy day is neither an abstraction nor a mental construct. It's an experience
    — creativesoul

    There is a physical activity understood by a certain relation; the relation is then cognized as picking oranges, and THAT is the experience.
    Mww

    Do you have a valid objection to what I wrote?
  • AmadeusD
    1.9k
    I think all of what we call cognition is things we observe ourselves through experience.Apustimelogist

    Forgive what must appear a quite glib response, but this line, to me, explains your entire rationale. This seems plainly, empirically wrong. Ants, cilliates and even slime molds are examples which make the vast majority of what you're saying, which basically relies on the assumption above more-or-less moot arguments. There are extant examples of complex behavioural outputs from complex reaction and adaptive cognition without any hint of anything like conscious experience.
    In the cases where this isn't what defeats your points, I think my previous comments are adequate to outline my thoughts. If they are not convincing, so be it :) Such is life. I may be dead wrong.

    Probably worth noting. cognition is not 'things', it is not 'experience' - cognition is the processing element of perception. thinking. Experiencing that cognition is a separate, and i posit, further element of our world and this is, in fact, in what the mystery, such as it is, consists. Even on the reductionist account, the missing piece of the puzzle is still how consciousness arises from any level of cognition. It clearly does, though. Which is why it is such an enduring problem for thinkers of the bent to approach it. It is patent, inarguable and fundamental.
    And yet, all the fun starts here.. how to solve the problem. Waving it away wont do.
  • Mww
    4.6k
    Do you have a valid objection to what I wrote?creativesoul

    Of course I do, to some of what you wrote. We call it a mere difference of opinions, but that reduces to a disparate sets of logical inferences, which are, in my case, themselves the valid objection. Just as are yours relative to me.

    No harm no foul?
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