• Uber
    147
    Aaron,

    Your interpretation of superconductivity as an identical feature of some quantity of oxides is total nonsense that no physicist would endorse. Superconductivity is the absence of electrical resistance; it is an emergent property of certain materials under special conditions. The superconductivity of the material cannot exist apart from the material, but it is wrong to conclude from this that the superconducting state is equal to the material itself. Likewise, consciousness is an emergent subsystem of the body under certain conditions.

    The terms used to describe qnything is just arguing over semantics. The point is that conscious mental states can be physically distinct, and still physical (ie. subject to energetic constraints in one way or another).
  • Marcus de Brun
    264
    They somehow emerged from the physical brain during the course of evolution. Consciousness itself is not so mysterious. What is mysterious is just how the brain creates it.George Cobau

    Why must the Brain create consciousness?
    This is homocentric, neurocentric and egocentric. There is absolutely not one shred of evidence for this commonly held and entirely self serving belief. It is a rather weak attempt at preserving the notion of self against the realities of will and determinism. It is a delusion of modernity and yet is medieval in its origins. Why must Galileo continually be compelled to recant; the Universe is outside our heads not inside!

    Let it go, let it go... can't hold it back anymore! (Queen Elsa:Frozen)

    The Brain (it appears to me at least) merely participates in 'thought' and its participation in or engagement with exogenous thought, gives rise to this thing we refer to as consciousness, and we subsequently or simultaneously manifest as' being'.... or that which Heidegger referred to as 'Dasein'



    M
  • George Cobau
    38


    You have no idea what you are talking about. You don't seem to want to learn anything new. You are a waste of my time. Don't reply to me as I will no longer reply to you.
  • Wayfarer
    6.2k
    I think your view of history is a little off. I don't believe that science was formed within a materialistic mindset as you claim. It appears to me that modern science began with Copernicus, Bacon, Galileo, Descartes, and others of that time, which was well before materialism became ascendant in the twentieth century. Some have thought of Newtonian mechanics as being materialistic but this appears to be a overreach. (At least it is an overreach to think that it can be applied to absolutely everything, although admittedly many did.) Nonetheless, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, idealism was the dominant philosophy. It was only in the twentieth century that materialism became ascendant and got to be associated with science.George Cobau

    Agree, George, and also welcome. As one of the resident anti-materialists it's great to see your posts. However, I probably would go further than yourself, in that I think even naturalism is bound to be problematical. And this is because naturalism is ultimately claiming that any genuine knowledge or even insight is ultimately scientific or 'left-brain rational' in orientation. One effect of this, is that the human scientist is really the only perceptible rational intelligence in the universe. 'The world' is still essentially matter-energy, simply unfolding as a consequence of what happened to occur at the time of the big bang, but other than the intelligence of us human observers, it is, as far as we can empirically discern, all simply dumb stuff.

    Now, I hasten to add, I'm not about to pitch any form of ID here. My argument against materialism is traditionalist: that the nature of meaning, and therefore reason, inference, mathematics and so even science itself, cannot be understood as a consequence of the kinds of forces and empirically observable entities that naturalism studies, because reason, meaning, intentionality, and so forth, are required and assumed, before science itself can even be established. This is the sense in which reason (and so on) transcends the naturalist description, as reason is essentially prior to the empirical sciences as such. Reason dictates what to consider, what to study, and so on, prior to any actual observation being made.

    So in the current cultural idiom, 'the mind' is simply an evolved product, arrived on the scene in the blink of an eye, in geological and evolutionary terms, and is the product of the same forces which produced flatworms and cockroaches, albeit elaborated over vastly longer periods of time. But my argument is, that once h. sapiens evolves to the point of being a language-using, story-making being, then she is no longer simply a biological specimen, but a being. (This is why our designation as 'beings' has overlooked significance.)

    This view is often accused of being anthropomorphic, but materialism is much more so. Why? Because it attributes to the human faculties, a universal significance, which it then immediately denies by reducing such faculties to being of the same order as peacock's tails. (Richard Dawkins has gone in to bat for the exact argument.) By viewing reason in terms of evolutionary biology, 'naturalism' reduces everything to the level of what the theory of evolution explains, which is 'why species survive and propagate'. This is then mistaken for a philosophy - which it is not.

    And you can make that argument without any reference to ID whatever.

    Incidentally, if you haven't discovered it, there's quite a useful resources website with the same name as your thread - http://www.newdualism.org/
  • George Cobau
    38


    I think you misunderstand my position. I don't see mind and brain as being different independent substances with the mind being supernatural. That's the old dualism. Clearly, mind and brain are different, and yet the mind depends on the brain in a naturalistic way. I believe in naturalism but not materialism. I don't get how Uber cannot understand this, but that's his problem.

    You say the brain does information processing. How could it do that without a mind?
  • Wayfarer
    6.2k
    I also have to add, that there’s an underlying issue in many of these debates as to the meaning of ‘substance’. The word has a very different meaning in philosophy than in everyday usage. Etymollogically it comes from the Latin translation of the Greek word ‘ouisia’ which is much nearer in meaning to what we would call ‘being’ than to what we now think of as ‘stuff’. So it might be useful to consider ‘mind’ in terms of the word ‘being’ than the word ‘substance’, as the mind certainly doesn’t exist as an object of perception in the way that we understand ‘substances’ to do.
  • apokrisis
    4k
    My argument against materialism is traditionalist: that the nature of meaning, and therefore reason, inference, mathematics and so even science itself, cannot be understood as a consequence of the kinds of forces and empirically observable entities that naturalism studies, because reason, meaning, intentionality, and so forth, are required and assumed, before science itself can even be established. This is the sense in which reason (and so on) transcends the naturalist description, as reason is essentially prior to the empirical sciences as such. Reason dictates what to consider, what to study, and so on, prior to any actual observation being madeWayfarer

    You seem to be conflating reason and sentience here.

    The Hard Problem is that thinking should feel like something (when allegedly it could feel like nothing). How humans can develop the linguistic habits involved in reasoning would be one of those "easy problems" already answered by neurobiology, social science and philosophy of science.

    So you want to focus on the mystery of "creative insight". But what part of that is not explained by neurobiological habits of induction and generalisation? Where is the evidence that there is something else going on beyond some kind of materially-grounded information process?
  • George Cobau
    38


    You appear to be a beacon of light in a sea of ignorance. You make some good points about the difference between the mental and physical. One point I would quibble with is when you say the mind is apparently indivisible. To me it appears that the mind can be divided into feeling, thought, memory, imagination, consciousness, etc. Still your other points appear to ring true. Of course, it is unknow just how brain and mind interact, but it appears to be beyond all reasonable doubt that they do in fact interact. To think that they could not possibly interact because they are so different is reading too much into our ignorance. It would be like saying that because you don't know why the sun is hot, it could not possibly be hot.
  • apokrisis
    4k
    I think you misunderstand my position. ... I believe in naturalism but not materialism ... I don't get how Uber cannot understand this, but that's his problem.George Cobau

    Maybe you haven't presented a position that is understandable as yet.

    You said your naturalism is dualistic in terms of believing in two kinds of substance - material substance and ... immaterial substance???

    You also said you have ruled out some kind of panpsychism or dual aspect monism.

    So I struggle to see what is "new" about your new dualism. It seems the regular kind so far.

    You say the brain does information processing. How could it do that without a mind?George Cobau

    Are you claiming that the brain doesn't do information processing? On what grounds? Why did neuroscience look and find this going on?

    Sure, you can be an old school dualist and say this ain't enough for you. But you can't question that information processing happens, and so mainstream science is already "dualistic" in accepting that physicalism includes more than just materialism. It now includes information as a second kind of thing.
  • Aaron R
    178
    Do you think that the state of superconductivity is something over and above the concrete material substrates that exemplify it? If yes, then you're not a materialist. If no, then your use the term "emergence" is essentially vacuous.
  • George Cobau
    38

    I think you are right that we have pre-ordered templates that should be challenged. It appears to be human nature to overreach, and I believe that is what materialists have done. What theory do you believe is violating Occam's razor, and why? That appears unclear to me from your post.
  • Wayfarer
    6.2k
    You seem to be conflating reason and sentience here.apokrisis

    Emphatically not. Animals are sentient, but not rational - they are not capable of philosophy or science because they don't possess the faculty of reason, the ability to abstract, compare - in short, to reason.

    I agree that there are coherent evolutionary accounts of how linguistic capacity and reason evolved, but that doesn't explain the horizons that these faculties open up - which include the ability to devise such explanations! The attempt to explain reason in those terms is precisely where it becomes reductionist.

    what the empiricist speaks of and describes as sense-knowledge is not exactly sense-knowledge, but sense-knowledge plus unconsciously-introduced intellective ingredients, - sense-knowledge in which he has made room for reason without recognizing it. A confusion which comes about all the more easily as, on the one hand, the senses are, in actual fact, more or less permeated with reason in man, and, on the other, the merely sensory psychology of animals, especially of the higher vertebrates, goes very far in its own realm and imitates intellectual knowledge to a considerable extent.1 — Maritain
  • Aaron R
    178
    Oh, and I forgot to mention - you still haven't addressed the problem, which is the disanalogy between superconductivity and consciousness. The former is quite obviously a property of materials, whereas the properties of the latter are manifestly not.
  • George Cobau
    38
    I believe that I have a pretty good idea of what I know and what I don't know, but of course I am fallible. I don't know exactly how the brain creates conscious experience, but it appears beyond all reasonable doubt that it really does this. To me this implies a new kind of dualism. This is obviously "softer" than the old Cartesian dualism. Perhaps it is conceptually similar to nonreductive physicalism, but to me nrp appears to be contradictory. If the mind does not reduce to the brain, then it appears not to really be physicalism.
  • Uber
    147
    "Something and above" is philosopher's talk that means nothing. I have told you that superconductivity is an emergent physical state, and that emergent states result from the collective interactions of microscopic or mesoscopic parts.
  • Uber
    147
    It is quite manifestly obvious by now, after a century of empirical research, that consciousness is absolutely a physical product of material entities.
  • apokrisis
    4k
    Emphatically not. Animals are sentient, but not rationalWayfarer

    Yeah. And isn't the physicalist problem allegedly to do with that sentience rather than that rationality?

    I agree that there are coherent evolutionary accounts of how linguistic capacity and reason evolved, but that doesn't explain the horizons that these faculties open upWayfarer

    So you are saying that consciousness isn't an issue. What is causally surprising is that reality has an intelligible structure?

    Can't you see that you are mixing up two questions in your haste to make this about Platonic form?
  • Aaron R
    178
    Repeating an assertion doesn't make it true.
  • Uber
    147
    Do you have a point to make, or are you just going to repeat yourself?
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