• Robert Lockhart
    170
    I’ve heard of a recently proposed theory relating to the subject of moral knowledge, admittedly in its current form very speculative, which, based on the idea that the human perception of moral values cannot be accounted for fundamentally in terms of those cerebral processes, such as intellectual reasoning, of which the brain is known to be capable, concludes that such perception if it be possible may therefore act to provide objective evidence indicative that there exists an element involved in certain types of human understanding which is extra – neural in nature, with all that this would then imply.

    Among many speculative ideas, the theory involves the contentious claim that moral values are objective in nature, and not idiosyncratic to individuals, but the reasoning and the implications involved are nonetheless quite fascinating.
  • T Clark
    10.2k
    based on the idea that the human perception of moral values cannot be accounted for fundamentally in terms of those cerebral processes, such as intellectual reasoning, of which the brain is known to be capable,Robert Lockhart

    Of course I'm pretty skeptical, but you've given us nothing to work with here, just that you heard of something that might do something. How about some more detail.
  • Robert Lockhart
    170
    Well, yes what I've described is very sketchy. The theory involves the idea of ancient pedigree that, concomitant with the material brain, there exists also a distinct and irreducable non-material mind, this being proposed as the fundamental agent of our moral awareness capable of enabling a type of insight not explicable in terms of the neural processes by which intellectual reasoning occurs and hence forcing a recourse to the idea of extra neural processes in order to account for such putative insight.
  • T Clark
    10.2k
    Well, yes what I've described is very sketchy. The theory involves the idea of ancient pedigree that, concomitant with the material brain, there exists also a distinct and irreducable non-material mind, this being proposed as the fundamental agent of our moral awareness capable of enabling a type of insight not explicable in terms of the neural processes by which intellectual reasoning occurs and hence forcing a recourse to the idea of extra neural processes in order to account for such putative insight.Robert Lockhart

    How is that different from what dualists have been saying for thousands of years? From your original post I had assumed that we are talking about physical evidence.
  • ucarr
    390
    The theory involves the idea of ancient pedigree that, concomitant with the material brain, there exists also a distinct and irreducable non-material mind, this being proposed as the fundamental agent of our moral awareness capable of enabling a type of insight not explicable in terms of the neural processes...Robert Lockhart

    How is that different from what dualists have been saying for thousands of years? From your original post I had assumed that we are talking about physical evidence.T Clark

    In context, the claim seems to be about a certain type of human behavior i.e., moral behavior. Proceeding from there, the claim is that moral behavior is not traceable to cognitive operations rooted in neural networks.

    So, the objective (physical) evidence of non-material cognitive operations is moral behavior.

    As I see it, the argument now focuses upon whether or not moral behavior is traceable to cognitive operations of neural networks.

    Suppose moral behavior is merely an effect of the logical operations of neural networks.

    One counter-narrative to this supposition relates the example of self-sacrifice motivated by agape love, as in the case of the Catholic priest who took the place of a prisoner sentenced to death within a Nazi concentration camp. There's nothing blatantly self-serving or logical about such behavior.
  • T Clark
    10.2k


    Note that this short thread is four years old. I don't remember it at all. I don't think I have anything to add.
  • EugeneW
    1.7k
    There's nothing blatantly self-serving or logical about such behavior.ucarr

    The priest just wants to be remembered for his good deed. As he should. By doing so he shows that there exists something non-material, something non-explainable by material processes. Something contained in the matter. Call it love, hate, divine, good, or bad.
  • ucarr
    390
    The priest just wants to be remembered for his good deed. As he should. By doing so he shows that there exists something non-material, something non-explainable by material processes. Something contained in the matter. Call it love, hate, divine, good, or bad.EugeneW

    :up:
  • Deleted User
    0
    I’ve heard of a recently proposed theory relating to the subject of moral knowledge, admittedly in its current form very speculative, which, based on the idea that the human perception of moral values cannot be accounted for fundamentally in terms of those cerebral processes, such as intellectual reasoning, of which the brain is known to be capable, concludes that such perception if it be possible may therefore act to provide objective evidence indicative that there exists an element involved in certain types of human understanding which is extra – neural in nature, with all that this would then imply.

    Among many speculative ideas, the theory involves the contentious claim that moral values are objective in nature, and not idiosyncratic to individuals, but the reasoning and the implications involved are nonetheless quite fascinating.
    Robert Lockhart

    Modern neuroscience puts the idea that they cannot be accounted for to sleep, definitively. Examples:

    "In conclusion, the current review highlights representative samples from a recent boom of concept learning studies. By leveraging well developed computational models to interrogate neural mechanisms and representations, this work has implicated a broad network of brain regions including the hippocampus, PFC, and parietal cortices. Importantly, this work has significantly advanced our understanding of concept learning by characterizing the nature of the component mechanisms and their underlying neural machinery. The result is a converging neurocomputational account of concept learning that integrates brain systems involved in attention, memory, reasoning, cognitive control, and reward processing. " https://www.jneurosci.org/content/39/42/8259 2019

    " Our data particularly highlight the role of the dorsomedial PFC and anterior STS in upward shifts in LOA. Such shifts make it possible for people to conceive the ‘here-and-now’ of physical reality—including their own bodies—in abstract terms. This, in turn, gives us the power to appreciate that even the simplest of motor actions can carry information about who we are and what we care about most."
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4927039/ 2015
  • Joshs
    4k
    Modern neuroscience puts the idea that they cannot be accounted for to sleep, definitively.Garrett Travers

    Do you think that it is a central capability of science that when empirical method proves a set of facts to be the case, this means that this locks in a piece of truth definitely?
    If so, what do you think makes possible such nailing down of definitive truth? Is it the nature of the world itself that makes this possible , or is it the product of a presupposition that organizes our scientific theorizing about the natural world?
    If the latter, then perhaps we could call this presupposition the ‘morality’ of scientific truth, and recognize it to be transcendent to the neural processes we discover.
  • Deleted User
    0
    Do you think that it is a central capability of science that when empirical method proves a set of facts to be the case, this means that this locks in a piece of truth definitely?Joshs

    Such happens quite frequently. Hubble's Constant put to rest the idea of the heliocentric model of the universe, did it not? There are certain claims science puts to rest. The idea that science doesn't, or cannot address moral and conceptual framework neurologically, is itself a claim. One that is not true.

    If so, what do you think makes possible such nailing down of definitive truth? Is it nature of the world itself that makes this possible , or is it the product of a presupposition that organizes our scientific theorizing about the natural world?Joshs

    It's clearly both. The universe is self-evidently so, in whatever manner it so arranges itself. This includes producing a planet that produces life that can detect the world that created it. How we discover that universal manner is up to us, our paradigms, and our paradigm shifts.

    If the latter, then perhaps we could call this presupposition the ‘morality’ of scientific truth, and recognize it to be transcendent to the neural processes we discover.Joshs

    I don't see a problem with that at all. All I ask of my fellow philosophers, is to not disregard science that is conclusive. For example, we know now that the earth is not 7000 years old, don't we? All I ask, is that when science comes along and knocks such kinds of claims out of the explanatory running, that we accept such as what we have to work with. You may conclude what you wish, and I'll even explore it with you.
  • Tom Storm
    5.3k
    Nicely articulated.
  • creativesoul
    10.8k
    The idea that science doesn't, or cannot address moral and conceptual framework neurologically, is itself a claim. One that is not true.Garrett Travers

    Science has nothing at all to say about what we ought do.
  • Deleted User
    0
    Science has nothing at all to say about what we ought do.creativesoul

    Point out where I asserted anything different. Because, that there quote, doesn't do it.
  • ucarr
    390


    You say,

    Modern neuroscience puts the idea that they cannot be accounted for to sleep, definitively.Garrett Travers

    I infer that they has moral values for its antecedent.

    and then you provide us with,

    By leveraging well developed computational models to interrogate neural mechanisms and representations, this work has significantly advanced our understanding of concept learning by characterizing the nature of the component mechanisms and their underlying neural machinery. The result is a converging neurocomputational account of concept learning that integrates brain systems involved in attention, memory, reasoning, cognitive control, and reward processing.Garrett Travers

    Is the above quote the section of your evidence that specifically accounts for moral values (through the lens of materialism-physicalism) neuroscientifically?

    Is the upshot that moral values are one example of concept learning that is processed by the neural machinery of the brain?

    Are the component mechanisms of concept learning physical or conceptual? I ask this question because "component mechanisms and their underlying neural machinery" suggests a bifurcation, with "component mechanisms" being conceptual and "underlying neural machinery" being physical.
  • Deleted User
    0
    Is the above quote the section of your evidence that specifically accounts for moral values (through the lens of materialism-physicalism) neuroscientifically?

    Is the upshot that moral values are one example of concept learning that is processed by the neural machinery of the brain?

    Are the component mechanisms of concept learning physical or conceptual? I ask this question because "component mechanisms and their underlying neural machinery" suggests a bifurcation, with "component mechanisms" being conceptual and "underlying neural machinery" being physical.
    ucarr

    Yeah, the problem that you're having is that there is no known difference between the "component mechanism," and the "neural machinery." That's something I've been trying to explain to people. The brain's functions generate the capacity to formulate conceptual frameworks from multisensory data, ethical frameworks fall within that category. Meaning, the human brain is the source of all ethical framework, and when people discuss cocneptual neural functions, they are implicitly talking about the ethical process, among other things. Meaning, neuroscience most certainly operates within the realm of ethics, even if it isn't a normative operation. Thoughts?
  • Joshs
    4k

    Hubble's Constant put to rest the idea of the heliocentric model of the universe, did it not? There are certain claims science puts to rest.Garrett Travers

    One could say that in the arts the advent of a new style puts to rest a previous modality of expression. Even when there are revivals of older styles these always reflect the influence of the new approach, so never actually return to the original mode of expression. But this meaning of ‘putting to rest” is clearly different from what one means when one talks about the falsification of a scientific theory. I mention this because of your reference to paradigm shifts.

    How we discover that universal manner is up to us, our paradigms, and our paradigm shifts.Garrett Travers

    You’re certainly free to use the concept of paradigm shift
    in your own way. Many do so. I just wanted to point out that Thomas Kuhn uses the phrase not to convey the falsification of a theory by a new theory but to show the similarity between change in the arts and the sciences.
    He doesnt believe science is a cumulative accretion of truths.

    “The most persuasive case for the concept of cumulativeness is made by the familiar contrast between the development of science and that of art. Both disciplines display continuity of historical development –
    neither could have reached its present state without its past – yet the relation of present to past in these two fields is clearly distinct.
    Einstein or Heisenberg could, we feel sure, have persuaded Newton that twentieth-century science has surpassed the science of the seventeenth century, but we anticipate no remotely similar conclusion from a debate between, say, Rembrandt and Picasso.
    In the arts successive developmental stages are autonomous and self-complete: no obvious external standard is available for comparisons between them.

    The creative idiom of a Rembrandt, Bach, or Shakespeare resolves all its aesthetic problems and prohibits the consideration of others. Fundamentally new modes of aesthetic expression emerge only in intimate conjunction with a new perception of the aesthetic problem that the new modes must aim to resolve. Except in the realm of technique, the transition between one stage of artistic development and the next is a transition between incommensurables. In science, on the other hand, problems seem to be set by nature and in advance, without reference to the idiom or taste of the scientific community. Apparently, therefore, successive stages of scientific development can be evaluated as successively better approximations to a full solution. That is why the present state of science always seems to embrace its past stages as parts, which is what the concept of cumulativeness means. Guided by that concept, we see in the development of science no equivalents for the total shift of artistic vision – the shift from one integrated set of problems, images, techniques, and tastes to another.”

    Kuhn disagrees with this cumulate e model of science:

    If we are to preserve any part of the metaphor which makes inventions and discoveries new bricks for the scientific edifice, and if we are simultaneously to give resistance and controversy an essential place in the development of science, then we may have to recognize that the addition of new bricks demands at least partial demolition of the existing structure, and that the new edifice erected to include the new brick is not just the old one plus, but a new building. We may, that is, be forced to recognize that new discoveries and new theories do not simply add to the stock of pre-existing scientific knowledge. They change it. (KuhnM2, p. 7)19

    Often a decision to embrace a new theory turns out to involve an implicit redefinition of the corresponding science. Old problems may be relegated to another science or may be declared entirely “unscientific.” Problems that, on the old theory, were non-existent
    or trivial may, with a new theory, become the very archetypes of significant scientific achievement. And, as the problems change, so, often, does the standard that distinguishes a real scientific solution from a mere metaphysical speculation, word game, or mathematical play. It follows that, to a significant extent, the science that emerges from a scientific revolution is not only incompatible, but often actually incommensurable, with that which has gone before. Only as this is realized, can we grasp the full sense in which scientific revolutions are like those in the arts. (Kuhn M1, pp. 17)
  • Deleted User
    0
    One could say that in the arts the advent of a new style puts to rest a previous modality of expression. Even when there are revivals of older styles these always reflect the influence of the new approach, so never actually return to the original mode of expression. But this meaning of ‘putting to rest” is clearly different from what one means when one talks about the falsification of a scientific theory. I mention this because of your reference to paradigm shifts.Joshs

    That's precisely why I mentioned it, as well. Science puts to rest all kinds of paradigms, and rather frequently historically. No difference here.

    I just wanted to point out that Thomas Kuhn uses the phrase not to convey the falsification of a theory by a new theory but to show the similarity between change in the arts and the sciences.
    He doesnt believe science is a cumulative accretion of truths.
    Joshs

    I know, I'm very familiar with his work. I'm a Kuhnian myself, I would say. Popper is great too. However, I can still conceptualize from abstractions of his work, which is what I am doing.

    The creative idiom of a Rembrandt, Bach, or Shakespeare resolves all its aesthetic problems and prohibits the consideration of others. Fundamentally new modes of aesthetic expression emerge only in intimate conjunction with a new perception of the aesthetic problem that the new modes must aim to resolve. Except in the realm of technique, the transition between one stage of artistic development and the next is a transition between incommensurables. In science, on the other hand, problems seem to be set by nature and in advance, without reference to the idiom or taste of the scientific community. Apparently, therefore, successive stages of scientific development can be evaluated as successively better approximations to a full solution. That is why the present state of science always seems to embrace its past stages as parts, which is what the concept of cumulativeness means. Guided by that concept, we see in the development of science no equivalents for the total shift of artistic vision – the shift from one integrated set of problems, images, techniques, and tastes to another.”Joshs

    Couldn't agree. My position is that old hypotheses that contradict science do get dispproved. And neuroscience has gathered no evidence whatsoever that support previous philosophical explorations of consciousness. Check out Global Workspace Theory, that's a good place to start checking this out.
  • Joshs
    4k
    Couldn't agree. My position is that old hypotheses that contradict science do get dispproved. And neuroscience has gathered no evidence whatsoever that previous philosophical explorations of consciousness are supported. Check out Global Workspace Theory, that's a good place to start checking this out.Garrett Travers

    That’s what I thought. You’re a Popperian, not a Kuhnian.
    Kuhn’s response to the argument that a particular approach in science has gathered no evidence to support the predictions of a previous theoretical paradigm is that it is a circular argument. When there is a paradigm shift , what constitutes evidence undergoes a transformation along with the paradigm itself. Thus it is not the same evidence that rival paradigms are talking about.
  • Deleted User
    0
    That’s what I thought. You’re a Popperian, not a Kuhnian.
    Kuhn’s response to the argument that a particular approach in science has gathered no evidence to support the predictions of a previous theoretical paradigm is that it is a circular argument. When there is a paradigm shift , what constitutes evidence undergoes a transformation along with the paradigm itself. Thus it is not the same evidence that rival paradigms are talking about.
    Joshs

    Now Josh, let me explain something. When I say something like "I'm a Kuhnian myself," and then you tell me, the person who just said that, that I am a "Popperian, not a Kuhnian," that's something I regard as being in the "not cool" category of behavior. I'll tell you what I think, not you tell me. I said I was a Kuhnian for a damn reason. And I also said that I abstract my own concepts from his work, and that's exactly what I meant. Now, moving on, what is really important in Kuhn's work to remember, is the cultural element of the paradigms. And in that regard, he's 100% right. The evidence itself does not cause some shift in thought and focus. But, he is not correct in the realm of the actual scientific facts. When Hubble developed his constant, the entire scientific community reoriented itself within three years. This was because his discovery was not only irrefutable, but totally wiped out the heliocentric model of the universe. And that's that. When it comes to neuroscience, the same is true for mind/body dualism and other mystical woo.
  • ucarr
    390


    Does the Kuhn content you've quoted contain a component of relativity?

    Is Kuhn's statement implying that just as the rate at which time elapses is specific to a local inertial frame of reference, so is an artistic or scientific paradigm (frame of reference) comprised of local beliefs and local evidence that warrant consideration on ther own terms, thus crediting such paradigms as being modular?
  • Joshs
    4k
    Does the Kuhn content you've quoted contain a component of relativity?

    Is Kuhn's statement implying that just as the rate at which time elapses is specific to a local inertial frame of reference, so is an artistic or scientific paradigm (frame of reference) comprised of local beliefs and local evidence that warrant consideration on ther own terms, thus crediting such paradigms as being modular?
    ucarr

    They are modular , but in a different sense than relative space-time location. The latter is a relativity defined as objective relations structured mathematically. Kuhn’s paradigmatic relativity isnt based on objective structures but subjective values systems.
  • ucarr
    390


    So, our sense of good & evil, no less than our sense of true & false, gets instantiated by neural processing?

    Does the literature of neural concept processing say anything about neural networks doing something akin to statistical analysis of individual instances of "right" and "wrong," leading to a model?
  • ucarr
    390
    They are modular , but in a different sense than relative space-time location. The latter is a relativity defined as objective relations structured mathematically. Kuhn’s paradigmatic relativity isnt based on objective structures but subjective values systems.Joshs

    I'm thinking subjective values systems, almost by definition, are rooted in relativity, as subjectivity is always local to the individual. Paradigmatic subjectivity therefore implies zeitgeist, ethos. How does Kuhn separate his ideas from such?
  • Deleted User
    0
    So, our sense of good & evil, no less than our sense of true & false, gets instantiated by neural processing?

    Does the literature of neural concept processing say anything about neural networks doing something akin to statistical analysis of individual instances of "right" and "wrong," leading to a model?
    ucarr

    Our sense of good and evil, is the source of both. And yes, concept generation is by its nature, a behavior refining tool evolutionarily evolved to help us adapt to the chaos of Earthly environments. However, this isn't something that's just stated in a study, it requires a bit of meta-analysis. You can start that with this, and see how the brain uses reason to regulate things like emotion to deal with certain issues across primate species:

    "The anterior cingulate is a critical hub in prefrontal networks through connections with functionally distinct areas. Dorsolateral and polar prefrontal areas that are associated with complex cognition are connected with the anterior cingulate in a pattern that allows them to indirectly control downstream activity from the anterior cingulate to the subgenual cingulate, which is associated with heightened activity and negative affect in depression. This set of pathways provides a circuit mechanism for emotional regulation, with the anterior cingulate playing a balancing role for integration of cognitive and emotional processes. Disruption of these pathways may perturb network function and the ability to regulate cognitive and affective processes based on context."

    https://www.jneurosci.org/content/40/43/8306
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    10.6k
    Our sense of good and evil, is the source of both.Garrett Travers

    I think the question was, what is the source of the sense of good and evil.
  • Joshs
    4k
    I'm thinking subjective values systems, almost by definition, are rooted in relativity, as subjectivity is always local to the individual. Paradigmatic subjectivity therefore implies zeitgeist, ethos. How does Kuhn separate his ideas from such?ucarr

    A paradigm is an intersubjective , social achievement, the product of reciprocal interchange among subjectivities. A new theory can spring up in the head of a solitary individual, but the practice of science is a social endeavor. So we don’t get to the point of having an accepted working paradigm until it is embraced by a scientific community.
  • ucarr
    390
    Okay. Very clear. Can I think of Kuhn as one who examines the (scientific) zeitgeist?
  • Deleted User
    0
    I think the question was, what is the source of the sense of good and evil.Metaphysician Undercover

    Perceived homeostasis vs homeostatic disruption is the basic sense. Equilibrium vs chaos from the level of individual perception.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    10.6k

    Obviously not, because good is attributed to acts, and equilibrium is attributed to a lack of activity. "If you want to get to heaven, you got to raise a little hell".
  • Deleted User
    0
    good is attributed to acts, and equilibrium is attributed to a lack of activity.Metaphysician Undercover

    Where did you generate this idea from? That's not true at all. Humans (all life forms, really) achieve homeostasis through acts that accrue the resources that allow them to do so. Homeostasis is the basic impetus to action.
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