• Andrew4Handel
    793
    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
    4.5k
    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
    793


    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
    793
    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?
  • SteveKlinko
    326
    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
    Andrew4Handel
    Exactly. I too have been driven to Dualism. I decided to concentrate mostly on how Visual perception works. I like to specifically understand How we experience Color and more specifically How we experience the Color Red.

    The Physicalists will say that the Conscious experience of Red is just an Illusion or it at least is not very important. They will say that it is just an emergent Property of the Neurons and that is all you have to know. They say that Consciousness is all already Explained.

    I think what the Physicalists must do to understand the Dualist position is to give the Conscious experience more importance. In order to do this the Physicalists need to think more Deeply about the Conscious experience itself. In the case of the Color Red they should understand that the Conscious experience of Red is a thing in itself that exists in the Mind. I like to tell the Physicalists to think about the Redness of the Red. I like to say Redness because it directs attention more to the Conscious Phenomenon of perceiving Red. It impedes the Diversion of Physicalists talking about the Wavelength of Red Electromagnetic Light. We are trying to think about the Conscious Redness that exists only in the Mind, and not about the external Electromagnetic Phenomenon.

    After getting a good grasp on what the Conscious Phenomenon is I like to ask the question ... Given:

    1) Neural Activity for Red Happens in the Brain
    2) A Conscious experience of Redness Happens in the Mind

    How can the Neural Activity produce the Conscious experience?

    This is also the question you asked about: What Properties of Neurons can produce Consciousness?
    It is the Chalmers Hard problem of Consciousness. Science has Zero answers to these basic questions about Consciousness.
  • Terrapin Station
    5.5k
    materialism about the mind leads to too much mind emerging indiscriminately and without clear location.Andrew4Handel

    I'm not sure what "emerging indiscriminately" amounts to, but you feel that dualism rather gives you a "clear location"?

    I don't think life and mind have anything in common.Andrew4Handel

    ?? So would you say that you're not alive, or would you say that you have no mind?
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.8k
    Exactly. I too have been driven to Dualism.SteveKlinko

    Dualism appears to be the only resolution to many philosophical problems. This was demonstrated thousands of years ago by the ancient Greeks. At that time, there were two distinct forms of monism, the Pythagorean idealism displayed by Parmenides, stating that all reality consisted of "being", and the empirical (physicalist) approach of the Greeks, expressed as all reality consists of "becoming".

    Plato investigated both avenues, and found them to be incompatible with each other, but each in itself, deficient in its capacity to account for the entirety of reality. So he turned toward an (at that time) ancient dualist perspective, and adapted it to fit the knowledge of his day. Aristotle then developed this dualism by defining and explaining terms of usage, and explaining the separation between the active and passive aspects of existence.
  • Terrapin Station
    5.5k


    I'm not saying that I do this, necessarily, but might not someone posit passive physical existents?
  • Terrapin Station
    5.5k
    After getting a good grasp on what the Conscious Phenomenon is I like to ask the question ... Given:

    1) Neural Activity for Red Happens in the Brain
    2) A Conscious experience of Redness Happens in the Mind

    How can the Neural Activity produce the Conscious experience?
    SteveKlinko

    If you're asking that question in the manner of looking for a blueprint of it, we don't know exactly how it works yet.

    If you're asking more "loosely" than that, the answer is simply that the conscious experience of a color is what it's like to be a particular brain in a particular state. In other words, it's the properties of a brain in that state, from the reference frame of being that brain in that state.
  • Andrew4Handel
    793
    So would you say that you're not alive, or would you say that you have no mind?Terrapin Station

    If things can be alive but not conscious that means life doesn't entail consciousness.

    I think we need to find an entailment relationship for a correlate of consciousness.

    Functionalism does not rely on correlation however so a functional account would concern a particular structural-functional relationship leading to a function that entailed mind, although I am not sure what consciousness as a function means.

    People advocate functionalism sometimes because they say if the brain correlations are too specific it would rule out a lot of animals having particular mental states.
  • Terrapin Station
    5.5k
    If things can be alive but not conscious that means life doesn't entail consciousness.Andrew4Handel

    I agree with that. "Life and mind don't have anything in common" would be an unusual way to say that, though. If a subset of some category has a particular property, we'd not usually say that the category has nothing in common with the property that a subset of that category has.

    I don't really understand your comments about correlation.
  • Andrew4Handel
    793


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

    For an explanation I think you have to give an explanation of the relationship between parts or structures/functions such as a causal or entailment account. For example you might say what all pumps have in common to give them the property of being a pump. or you might detail how a specific pump is made.

    There are two levels of explanation you could have. You could explain how neurons firing produce mental states or you could give a broader (functional) explanation of what something has to do to have a particular mental state such as to be a memory.

    You could say there is something unique to brains that is required to create minds or there is a function being performed that can be recreated in other material. I think one tactic is to specific and another is too broad.
  • Terrapin Station
    5.5k
    I still don't see anything life and mind have in common.Andrew4Handel

    Don't you believe that you're living and you have a mind? That would be something they have in common, right? They're both "things that you currently have/that you're currently doing."

    Re "you have to give an explanation," the reason that we have to give an explanation is? (I'm simply trying to understand the context of this as a requirement in your view.)
  • Harry Hindu
    1.5k
    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.
    Andrew4Handel
    Your questions show that you have already turned dualist. These are questions a dualist would ask. They stem form the faulty premise of dualism.

    What is matter? What is mind? How do they differ? You need to ask those questions before you can ask how one influences the other.

    It seems to me that if indirect realism is the case then neurons are just models of mental processes. Minds create models of the world. When you look at things, you have visual models of external processes - which includes other people. People's bodies are models of their life processes. Brains are just one kind of life process - mental processes.

    So, it isn't that brains and their neurons create mind. It's the other way around. Or more accurately - the mind creates models of processes - processes that exist independent of the mind modeling them (indirect realism). The way the models are rendered leads us to believe in the existence of objects and matter - as if the models were the way reality really looks, or appears, or is.

    This doesn't mean that I'm an idealist. I believe in the existence of other processes that aren't mental (that aren't mind), therefore everything isn't mind, or mental. Everything is process and relationships. Our minds are just one type of those processes.
  • Andrew4Handel
    793
    Your questions show that you have already turned dualist.Harry Hindu

    I think for a monist/materialist/idealist position you have to be functionalist about mind and cannot pin it down to one type of matter such as neurons. Otherwise you have an identity problem.

    It is hard to see how neuronal firings and neurotransmitters could be identical to an experience or memory. So functionalism is seen as the solution. But then it creates things like The China Brain problem. However if dualism is true I don't know what that entails.

    Personally I am worried about the possibility of reincarnation. I don't think materialism or computational views of mind rule out reincarnation because you can imagine someones mind on a disk being installed in another body.

    However if the mind is very closely aligned with a particular brain that raises issues about how we alter the mind to do things like improve our mental health, happiness and treat mental illness.

    Dualistic attitudes might cheer people up if they think they can somehow transcend their body. A brain based view might lead someone to endorse medication or a new health regime. At the moment I favor chemical intervention myself.
  • Andrew4Handel
    793
    Don't you believe that you're living and you have a mind? That would be something they have in common, right? They're both "things that you currently have/that you're currently doing.Terrapin Station

    I have the experience of inhabiting a body and experiencing that body and also of being a subject of experiences of thoughts and other mental states.

    Over all I feel like a subject encountering a wide array of differing entities from thoughts to colors, an external world, an internal world etc and I don't see myself as identical to anything of this.
  • Terrapin Station
    5.5k
    I have the experience of inhabiting a body and experiencing that body and also of being a subject of experiences of thoughts and other mental states.Andrew4Handel

    So isn't that something in common with respect to life and mind?
  • Terrapin Station
    5.5k
    cannot pin it down to one type of matter such as neuronsAndrew4Handel

    Saying something like "it's just neurons" would probably be like saying that a guitar making sounds is "just the neck" or "just the frets" or "just the bridge" or something like that. What results in a guitar making sounds is a bunch of things working in conjunction with each other. You need certain material stuff, and it needs to be in particular dynamic states. That's what makes the sounds of a guitar.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.8k
    I'm not saying that I do this, necessarily, but might not someone posit passive physical existents?Terrapin Station

    Yes, I think that what is developed in Aristotle's analysis, is that in each of the two classical categories, mind and body, there are both active and passive aspects. So both the physical and the non-physical would have active and passive aspects. This is where "accidentals" come into play. If we describe physical existence as essentially active, there are still passive aspects, and these would be accidental to the active nature of physical existence. And if we describe non-physical existence as essential passive, there are still active aspects which are accidental. It is by means of these accidentals that the two categories, mind and body, interact.

    I still don't see anything life and mind have in common.Andrew4Handel

    Try this. All minds have life, but not all lifes have minds. What life and mind have in common therefore is life, but not mind.
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