• Andrew4Handel
    638
    If matter creates mind then what type of matter causes mind and why that arrangement of matter and what properties?

    For example if it is neurons creating mind what material properties predict this and causally necessitate it.

    However if you see mind as functionally emerging from patterns in the brain then why are certain functional patterns of matter causing mind
    and what prevents any matter and any arrangement of matter from causing a mind or experience to occur.

    This kind of question makes me turn dualist because it seems like materialism about the mind leads to too much mind emerging indiscriminately and without clear location.
  • apokrisis
    4.3k
    For example if it is neurons creating mind what material properties predict this and causally necessitate it.Andrew4Handel

    The causality works the other way round. Life and mind rely on the functional trick of getting an informational grip on the material flows of the world. So the key material properties are those that permit information to have this power. The material world does nothing directly to necessitate the existence of neurons. What matters is that the material world could in fact itself be constrained by the free and independent informational activities of a system of switches.

    Or if you like, the key material property is that material physics could be controlled that way. Genes and neurons and other kinds of biological information could bend its entropic flows to their own ends. Neurons evolved as that negentropic step was energetically favoured.

    ...and what prevents any matter and any arrangement of matter from causing a mind or experience to occur.Andrew4Handel

    Life and mind depend on that possibility of switching and controlling that emerges in very precise physical conditions. It has to cost next to no effort to choose the direction of the material flow being regulated. The actual material effort being expended must be as close to zero as possible.

    So that means bodies and brains can only evolve when conditions are right. Recent biophysics shows that we are talking about the quasi-classical nanoscale of molecular action in liquid water. That happens to represent a convergence zone where all the key structure-creating forces of nature become matched in size.

    At a scale of 10^-9 metres (the average distance of energetic interactions between molecules) and 10^-20 joules (the average background energy due to the “warmth” of water), all the many different kinds of energy become effectively the same. Elastic energy, electrostatic energy, chemical bond energy, thermal energy – every kind of action is suddenly equivalent in strength. And thus easily interconvertible or switchable.

    There is no real cost to turning one form of action into another. And so also – from a semiotic or informational viewpoint – no real problem getting in there and regulating the action. It is like a railway system where you can switch trains on to other tracks at virtually zero cost. The mystery of how “immaterial” information can control material processes disappears because the conversion of one kind of action into a different kind of action has been made cost-free in energetic terms.

    See http://thebigone.stanford.edu/papers/Phillips2006.pdf and http://lifesratchet.com/

    So life and mind colonise a seam of physical freedom that arises right at the point where quantum physics is itself "switching" with classical physics. It sort of become frictionless for information. It can get in there and regulate material flows for virtually no material cost. That then opens up the possibility of vast and unhindered evolutionary complexity. Nature has this new direction represented by living and mindful structure.

    This kind of question makes me turn dualist because it seems like materialism about the mind leads to too much mind emerging indiscriminately and without clear location.Andrew4Handel

    Well science says there is a kind of dualism here in that you can make a distinction between dumb physics and smart life. But there is nothing indiscriminate about where or what happens. You need the very lucky thing of there being this nanoscale convergent zone where a variety of energy forms intersect closely enough to become switchable at "no real cost". And then from there, it becomes inevitable that a switching machinery is going to evolve to exploit that particular seam of material freedom to its own ends.
  • Andrew4Handel
    638


    I don't think life and mind have anything in common.

    I don't believe that most life has mind or is conscious, most notably plants and also amoeba,bacteria or individual cells. Or that life entails mind in any way.

    Life and physics are concepts of the mind so it seems unlikely mind emerges from concepts. (as opposed to isolating specific causal relations and mechanisms) (Where do mechanisms come from)

    I don't think complexity implies mind either, although it may allow for the impression of life. By the "impression of life" I mean activity we interpret as life. I don't think you can isolate one process and call it life. Is life just complex processes?

    I don't see how "cost free interactions" entail no need for a rigorous explanation of a property or emergent property.

    The definition of information is controversial or multifaceted. I think there is a difference between conscious & symbolical information and physical non-symbolic interactions. You could say that the physical interactions involved in making a cake were information transfers but not the kind involving awareness just alterations in properties. Non-conscious information leads to the zombie hypothesis. Or panpsychism with any info becoming conscious.

    I also don't think that the problem is solved concerning which process are adequate to give rise to minds

    If the processes are vague or broad like computation or energy transfers it does not offer a restriction on what can be conscious or a true rigorous causal account. For example if I said I am a mixed race male that would describe me loosely and not be false but it is not a causal description or something you could identify me with. You would need more precise, specific or detailed info.
  • Andrew4Handel
    638
    The causality works the other way round. Life and mind rely on the functional trick of getting an informational grip on the material flows of the world.apokrisis

    I don't know what you mean here.

    Are you saying that life and mind are not emergent properties and or that they preexist basic matter?

    What is getting a grip on what? Is it matter getting a grip on itself? What is an information flow precisely?
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