• Corvus
    38
    Consciousness could access all parts of mental activity and state, not just memory but also imagination, various emotions and inference for the future events too.
  • Tyler
    41

    So your saying the psychological agency of figure-ground is a phenomenological act, because it's an act in the mind relevant to the way we experience the world right?
    And your saying determinism is irrelevant to figure-ground?
    But in the context here, of distinguishing and explaining consciousness. If the functions of the mind, including figure-ground, are worked out, that is evidence for determinism and against any unexplained agency.
    Determinism seems pretty relevant to consciousness, if there is a functional explanation for it.
  • Tyler
    41
    Consciousness could access all parts of mental activity and state, not just memory but also imagination, various emotions and inference for the future events too.Corvus
    >But what is imagination or inference, other than combining pieces of memories?
    And what are emotions, other than triggers for memories?
  • Ying
    165
    So your saying the psychological agency of figure-ground is a phenomenological act, because it's an act in the mind relevant to the way we experience the world right?
    And your saying determinism is irrelevant to figure-ground?
    Tyler

    Did you read the link about bracketing? No? Well then, I guess you should. Otherwise we are going to keep talking past each other.

    But in the context here, of distinguishing and explaining consciousness. If the functions of the mind, including figure-ground, are worked out, that is evidence for determinism and against any unexplained agency.

    Yeah, that's a non sequitur. Figuring out how the mind operates on a phenomenological level doesn't imply ontological determinism in any way whatsoever.

    Anyway, since you want to argue, fine. You conceded this point already when you stated:

    Spinning eyes in a circle would be a "conscious decision", but I was referring to subconscious or instinctual action (as I specified "without attentive direct"), because I thought that is what your point was about gaze shift etc.. When you mentioned gaze shifting, was your point, that it occurs without conscious thought, or with?

    ... So, since you insist on some form of determinism, you'll have to account for said "conscious decision" as being predetermined in some way or the other or risk being inconsistent in your views (which would be your problem, not mine). And if you're going to insist on some kind of "illusion of choice", well then, we are back to bracketing, making the whole "illusion" part nonsense.
  • Ying
    165
    You know what, I have some spare time, so I might as well:

    Pro: Some sort of mental determinism is implied by the experiments of Benjamin Libet (you can look this up yourself).

    Counter: We still don't know how the brain operates specifically. Neural activity can be measured and correlated to certain functions but claims of the sort Libet makes are very liable to be post hoc fallacies.

    Contra: Determinism doesn't exist because we have what's called "free won't", the ability to veto actions at any point.

    Counter: Free won't also is predetermined by as yet to be uncovered neurological structures (Weaksauce argument, I know. But: "Because of his love of humanity the Skeptic wishes to cure by argument, so far as he can, the conceit and precipitancy of the Dogmatists. Accordingly, just as the doctors who treat physical symptoms have remedies that differ in strength, and prescribe the severe ones for people with severe symptoms and milder ones for those mildly affected, so too the Skeptic sets forth arguments differing in strength." -Sextus Empiricus, "Outlines of Pyrrhonism" book 3, ch. 32)

    What does this leave? Well, I don't know. Better to postpone judgment imho. So let's just bracket the issue and move on to phenomenology instead of running around in circles.
  • Tyler
    41
    Did you read the link about bracketing? No?Ying
    >Yes, I did. Maybe I misunderstand something, but I gather bracketing is basically choosing to focus on the minds experience, not on the function of that which is bracketed.
    So related to your statement: "Figure-ground is a phenomenological act, and that's all it needs to be, since the rest is "bracketed" out.",
    do you mean figure-ground is just an experience, and we'll leave it at that?
    If so, this is why I then mentioned: "But in the context here, of distinguishing and explaining consciousness...",
    because I think the point, is to work out the function of the minds processes.

    Figuring out how the mind operates on a phenomenological level doesn't imply ontological determinism in any way whatsoever.Ying
    >Explaining the mechanical function of the mind, implies determinism because if there is a scientific and measurable method which causes the mind to operate the way it does, then functions of the mind like choices, and decisions are predictable and determined.

    So, since you insist on some form of determinism, you'll have to account for said "conscious decision" as being predetermined in some way or the other or risk being inconsistent in your viewsYing
    >Yes, I thought that was the whole point of that part of the discussion.
    Which is why I did theorize an account for the conscious decision, with the follow-up of that paragraph as here;
    "If conscious viewing (such as rolling eyes); that's when the quantity and diversity of causes becomes very in depth and complex. But if you believe in determinism, then all conscious choices such as spinning your eyes, do have a rational calculable cause, even if its so complex, that we cant pin point it.

    A basic (thought maybe incomplete) answer to your question might be: the instinct that is being fulfilled by spinning my eyes in that context, would be task accomplishment. The instinct of task accomplishment and motivation, was likely developed through evolution for individuals to attempt to accomplish something within a complex environment, therein causing them to be more likely to survive."

    Counter: We still don't know how the brain operates specifically.Ying
    >This seems to only suggest that there is insufficient knowledge on the topic at this point, which is true, but doesn't really evidence against the evidence.

    Free won't also is predetermined by as yet to be uncovered neurological structuresYing
    >This sounds like it involves part of the concept of consciousness. Free won't would be a result of conscious thought, which is unexplained, but the point of my initial post is to attempt to explain consciousness, and likely therein explain free wont.

    Better to postpone judgment imho. So let's just bracket the issue and move on to phenomenology instead of running around in circles.Ying
    Is the point of this discussion not directly related to this? as the mechanical function of the mind, choice, and consciousness.
  • Ying
    165
    >Yes, I did.Tyler

    Note to self: Don't assume silly things.

    Anyway, my bad. Sorry about that. :)

    do you mean figure-ground is just an experience, and we'll leave it at that?

    No. What I'm talking about is called the primacy of experience. It's looking at phenomenological content on it's own, temporarily disregarding other issues like neurological substructures. A precise correlation between such substructures and their phenomenological contents isn't an exact science at this point anyway, because of how FMRI functions. This way of looking at the mind and it's contents isn't new or anything, as it's employed by both phenomenologists and gestalt psychologists (figure-ground is a concept from gestalt psychology).

    Explaining the mechanical function of the mind, implies determinism because if there is a scientific and measurable method which causes the mind to operate the way it does, then functions of the mind like choices, and decisions are predictable and determined.

    We still have to pick our clothes in the morning, regardless of any kind of determinism. The same holds for breaking habits. You might not believe in will, but you're going to need it if you're going to quit smoking. We have what might be called "apparent choice" in such cases (if determinism is true or whatever). Here's the thing, though. That choice is a phenomenological act, and as such, there's nothing "apparent" about it. So, there's that (Didn't I go through this already?). Anyway, you basically stated:

    "...if there is a scientific and measurable method which causes the mind to operate the way it does, then functions of the mind like choices, and decisions are predictable and determined."

    Well, there is a so called "scientific" method to measure the mind. The field of psychometrics. Probably not what you mean though. :)
  • Tyler
    41
    Note to self: Don't assume silly things.
    Anyway, my bad. Sorry about that.
    Ying
    >No problem. Everything is an assumption to some degree (or so I assume).

    It's looking at phenomenological content on it's own, temporarily disregarding other issues like neurological substructures.
    >Is the purpose of this, to focus on the ways that different aspects of phenomenology react with each other, or react with external factors? Basically taking the concepts of mind functions to a more generalized degree, since the specifics aren't proven?

    We still have to pick our clothes in the morning, regardless of any kind of determinism. The same holds for breaking habits. You might not believe in will, but you're going to need it if you're going to quit smoking.
    >But that which causes the result of picking clothes, would be dependent on determinism. And I think the implications are quite significant whether determined or not.
    If determined the choice of clothes is based on:
    Subconscious influences (positive or negative influences of memories related to the clothes being chosen),
    + Conscious consideration (working memory analyzing more detailed effects of the result of clothing chosen)
    + State of Mind (current emotions/mood influencing decision, and amount of each type of neural activity used)
    =predetermined and predictable (if vast quantity of affecting variables were known)

    Or if free will:
    some factor is involved in the brain, causing the outcome of decision to be incalculable. This factor must be unknown to current math and science, and I would think would be an amazing discovery.

    Basically, same concept for quitting smoking.

    We have what might be called "apparent choice"
    That sounds like an accurate label for what is currently known about it.

    That choice is a phenomenological act, and as such, there's nothing "apparent" about it.
    I'm confused why you say there's nothing apparent about a phenomenological act?
    Isn't the idea behind phenomenology, to leave things unspecified, and so would indeed be "apparent", or seems to be a way but is uncertain?
    It seems like from a phenomenological perspective, "choice" would be left to that specificity, of "apparent", whereas from a deterministic perspective, "choice" would be analysed for the scientific mechanical cause and effect.

    The field of psychometrics.
    >That sounds similar to what I mean, as I think that would be a way of measuring and predicting results of mind activity. But I'm more concerned with the neurological function of the brain, in relation to memory storage.
  • Ying
    165
    >No problem. Everything is an assumption to some degree (or so I assume).Tyler

    >Is the purpose of this, to focus on the ways that different aspects of phenomenology react with each other, or react with external factors? Basically taking the concepts of mind functions to a more generalized degree, since the specifics aren't proven?
    In it's base, it's a fundamentally different stance on the question "what is the mind"? Instead of starting at concepts, phenomenology proposes that we start at our everyday, daily experience of ourselves. You can do the same thing with the question "what is life?" Instead of focusing on concepts, you focus on the sequence of ones everyday, mundane experiences. The same holds for how it's used in gestalt psychology. Perception for instance is studied as it's own thing, with it's own phenomenological properties, as a mental function. Considerations about non phenomenological entities don't figure into such accounts. They don't need to after all, since the mind functions as a unified whole.


    I'm confused why you say there's nothing apparent about a phenomenological act?

    That was badly worded on my part. Sometimes figures of speech don't translate well. Anyway, let's restate that: there's nothing fake or hypothetical about the choices we make because those choices are actual phenomenological acts.
123Next
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

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