• SteveKlinko
    372
    Do you have a link to your Paper or is your Paper the original post for this thread?
  • Terrapin Station
    9.1k
    Oops, started typing this reply a few days ago and forgot about it.



    You didn't understand my comment at all. I'm not saying remotely like "we need to list all of the explanations" and I'm not even specifically saying something specifically about explanations of consciousness.

    What I'm talking about is that if we're going to say that x doesn't count as an explanation, for any arbitrary x, for any arbitrary subject matter, then we'd better damn well have practically workable criteria for just what counts as an explanation or not and why; criteria that would serve for a broad range of explanations.

    Because the alternative is that anyone can reject any proposed explanation for something for any vague, half-assed reason(s) at all--often folks don't bother with any reason whatsoever--and that's just lame.
  • SteveKlinko
    372
    You didn't understand my comment at all. I'm not saying remotely like "we need to list all of the explanations" and I'm not even specifically saying something specifically about explanations of consciousness.

    What I'm talking about is that if we're going to say that x doesn't count as an explanation, for any arbitrary x, for any arbitrary subject matter, then we'd better damn well have practically workable criteria for just what counts as an explanation or not and why; criteria that would serve for a broad range of explanations.

    Because the alternative is that anyone can reject any proposed explanation for something for any vague, half-assed reason(s) at all--often folks don't bother with any reason whatsoever--and that's just lame.
    Terrapin Station

    Ok, but I don't understand why the Explanatory Gap is a Red Herring (from your previous post). If there is no Explanatory Gap then I assume you believe that Consciousness is Explained. I can't remember where you stand on this. But I guess a Red Herring is a diversion. A diversion from what?
  • Terrapin Station
    9.1k


    I think it's explained as well as anything is explained. The resistance to that stems from inconsistent, incomplete and/or unanalyzed views of just what it is that explanations are (and are not), just what explanations do/don't do, just how they do it, etc.

    It's not a discussion I'd get into in any depth until my fellow discussants are ready to set forth their explanation criteria in a plausible manner (so that the criteria work for many different things re what that person intuitively considers explained versus unexplained).
  • SteveKlinko
    372


    Thank You for the link. I have been busy and just started reading your paper. You come to an important conclusion early in the paper that I m not quite sure I understand. The paragraph I am having trouble with is:

    It is valid to ask why a stone continues in being. Scientists are used to such questions, answering that natural laws explain it. If the question is valid, it is valid to pursue it to a conclusion. Iterate and ask, “Why do conservation laws continue to operate?” As the constancy of energy re-quires a law of conservation of energy, so the law’s constancy requires a conserving meta-law. Iterating yields a meta-meta-law. An infinite regress of meta-meta-meta-laws leads nowhere. The only way to satisfy the scientific requirement for an explanation is with a self-conserving source of law, God. Unless some reality holds itself in existence, the principle that all phenomena have explanations fails. We must either accept God’s existence and on-going operation, or abandon science.

    Are you talking about the Conservation of Energy law? Then that is a law that has been proven to be true in all cases of Scientific experiemnts and observations that have ever been done. That isn't to say that an exception will not be found someday. In anycase the Stone is never the same Stone it was just an instant ago. It is always changing, heating up under the Sun or cooling down at night. Just these simple Phenomena slightly change the Stone every day. So what actually is constant? Is it the Electrons, Protons, Neutrons, and etc. that makes it up? These elementary particles are actually made from Energy. So a simpler question should be asked: Why does the Energy in the Universe keep on existing? But a Deeper question is: What is this Energy in the first place?

    Exactly how do you define a Meta-Law? How would you apply this Meta-Law to the Existence of Energy? I don't see why it all necessarily has to lead to some sort of God.

    Also if God is directing Evolution then it seems absurd that we had 200 million years of Dinosaurs. What was he thinking?
  • SteveKlinko
    372
    I think it's explained as well as anything is explained. The resistance to that stems from inconsistent, incomplete and/or unanalyzed views of just what it is that explanations are (and are not), just what explanations do/don't do, just how they do it, etc.

    It's not a discussion I'd get into in any depth until my fellow discussants are ready to set forth their explanation criteria in a plausible manner (so that the criteria work for many different things re what that person intuitively considers explained versus unexplained).
    Terrapin Station

    Since Consciousness is such a completely unexplained Phenomenon, I would say that all attempts at an Explanation are on the table. When an Explanation is presented that solves the Hard Problem, it will be obvious and will resonate around the World as one of the greatest intellectual achievements of all time. That would be my criteria for a good Explanation.
  • Dfpolis
    700
    Are you talking about the Conservation of Energy law? Then that is a law that has been proven to be true in all cases of Scientific experiemnts and observations that have ever been done. That isn't to say that an exception will not be found someday. In anycase the Stone is never the same Stone it was just an instant ago. It is always changing, heating up under the Sun or cooling down at night. Just these simple Phenomena slightly change the Stone every day. So what actually is constant?SteveKlinko

    The fact that the law of conservation of energy is empirically verified makes it (the conservation of mass-energy) a phenomenon to be explained. If, at come later time, we find that the law, as we now articulate it, is only an approximation, then the true law still needs to be explained.

    Persistence is not immutability. It just means that the stone continues in being as an observable object. To say that an object is "the same" object as it was a moment ago is to say it is has the same essential character and is dynamically continuous with the object a moment ago, not that it is identical. It is an equivocation to confuse these two meanings of "the same."

    Why does the Energy in the Universe keep on existing? But a Deeper question is: What is this Energy in the first place?SteveKlinko

    The first question is that which I pursue in the argument and answer by saying that we must ultimately come to a self-conserving meta-law which answers the dictionary definition of God.

    The second question is answered by the rather complex operational definition of energy. It is that measured by the specified operations.

    Exactly how do you define a Meta-Law?SteveKlinko

    A meta-law is a law applying to a law. As I know no law requiring the existence of energy, I also know of no corresponding meta-law.

    I don't see why it all necessarily has to lead to some sort of God.SteveKlinko

    The dictionary defines "God" as "the supreme being, creator and ruler of the universe." Surely what ultimately holds the universe in being is supreme. What is responsible for the laws yielding the cosmos is its creator, and the source of its laws is properly called its ruler. So, what the reflection discovers meets the dictionary definition of God.

    Also if God is directing Evolution then it seems absurd that we had 200 million years of Dinosaurs. What was he thinking?SteveKlinko

    That dinosaurs are worthy of existence.
  • Aadee
    27


    "4. Intentional realities are information based. What we know, will, desire, etc. is specified by actual, not potential, information. By definition, information is the reduction of (logical) possibility. If a message is transmitted, but not yet fully received, then it is not physical possibility that is reduced in the course of its reception, but logical possibility. As each bit is received, the logical possibility that it could be other than it is, is reduced."

    Reality is information based. Intentions-what we will and desire are conscious efforts to detect information. Information exists regardless of our ability to detect or use it. If a message is transmitted but not fully received means only a more contained unit of information was either transmitted or received than was requested or offered. Logic and semantics are simply the agreed upon structure with which information exchange can occur. Paraphrasing Einstein "without time everything would happen at once". In this case the answer to every question would be "everything"
  • Joshs
    628
    Just keep in mind that your understanding of intentionality as information-based, while adequate for the purposes of artificial intelligence, doesn't jibe with more recent approaches within cognitive science and philosophy.
  • Dfpolis
    700
    If a message is transmitted but not fully received means only a more contained unit of information was either transmitted or received than was requested or offered.Aadee

    It meant in my example that the reception is not yet complete and has little to do with the choices of those communicating.

    Logic and semantics are simply the agreed upon structure with which information exchange can occur.Aadee

    Logic is not a convention, but reflects the nature of reality. If we want our conclusion to describe reality, then the premises must be true and our logical moves must reflect the nature of existence/being.

    Semantics is conventional, because language is.
  • Aadee
    27


    Your second reply point brings out something i have thought might be for a new thread. If the universe is a giant enormously complex and multi level information engine/machine and life's function to detect and use information.( Just an idea) Than ALL structures of human thought are by their own nature information limiting in total. For instance the scientific method is a wonder structure for investigating the universe, ordering thought, and determining a more reliably consistent cause effect relationship. Far better than the Theology led structure of the catholic church. Yet, it limits information to that which fits its format. I have said before that science does not care how you feel about something, but how you feel is part of the information of the universe. Anyway... :smile: As far as your first part I understand now that my original interpretation was not complete, but we do agree it's information.
  • Aadee
    27


    Absolutely agree, the bricks I am trotting out for critiques and reduction are just that bricks. The philosophy i am attempting to reflect and represent w/ comments to others is an "in work " effort. Where I hope to go with this, eventually, is a consciousness theory that is, sometimes unfortunately, a bit more than machine learning. As well it should be to begin to even hope to grasp the depth of you or I.
  • SteveKlinko
    372
    Are you talking about the Conservation of Energy law? Then that is a law that has been proven to be true in all cases of Scientific experiemnts and observations that have ever been done. That isn't to say that an exception will not be found someday. In anycase the Stone is never the same Stone it was just an instant ago. It is always changing, heating up under the Sun or cooling down at night. Just these simple Phenomena slightly change the Stone every day. So what actually is constant? — SteveKlinko
    The fact that the law of conservation of energy is empirically verified makes it (the conservation of mass-energy) a phenomenon to be explained. If, at come later time, we find that the law, as we now articulate it, is only an approximation, then the true law still needs to be explained.

    Persistence is not immutability. It just means that the stone continues in being as an observable object. To say that an object is "the same" object as it was a moment ago is to say it is has the same essential character and is dynamically continuous with the object a moment ago, not that it is identical. It is an equivocation to confuse these two meanings of "the same."
    Dfpolis
    Ok good.

    Why does the Energy in the Universe keep on existing? But a Deeper question is: What is this Energy in the first place? — SteveKlinko
    The first question is that which I pursue in the argument and answer by saying that we must ultimately come to a self-conserving meta-law which answers the dictionary definition of God.

    The second question is answered by the rather complex operational definition of energy. It is that measured by the specified operations.
    Dfpolis
    Ok.

    Exactly how do you define a Meta-Law? — SteveKlinko
    A meta-law is a law applying to a law. As I know no law requiring the existence of energy, I also know of no corresponding meta-law.
    Dfpolis
    Ok.

    I don't see why it all necessarily has to lead to some sort of God. — SteveKlinko
    The dictionary defines "God" as "the supreme being, creator and ruler of the universe." Surely what ultimately holds the universe in being is supreme. What is responsible for the laws yielding the cosmos is its creator, and the source of its laws is properly called its ruler. So, what the reflection discovers meets the dictionary definition of God.
    Dfpolis
    I still don't get to a God concept just because we don't know everything yet.

    Also if God is directing Evolution then it seems absurd that we had 200 million years of Dinosaurs. What was he thinking? — SteveKlinko
    That dinosaurs are worthy of existence.
    Dfpolis
    Now you are just apologizing for what is obviously an absurd thing that God did with the Dinosaurs. Looks like Dinosaurs would have gone on forever if it were not for the random impact of an asteroid that destroyed them. Or you could say that maybe God got tired of his Dinosaur toys and threw that asteroid himself. It all gets kind of cartoonish.
  • Terrapin Station
    9.1k
    That would be my criteria for a good Explanation.SteveKlinko

    What would your criteria have to do with whether, say, clorophyll or dark matter or "the rule of thirds" in visual art or photons or anything else is(/are) explained or not?

    Your criteria for explanations need to be a set of GENERAL criteria that serves as a plausible demarcation tool for ALL explanations.
  • Dfpolis
    700
    Than ALL structures of human thought are by their own nature information limiting in total. For instance the scientific method is a wonder structure for investigating the universe, ordering thought, and determining a more reliably consistent cause effect relationship. Far better than the Theology led structure of the catholic churchAadee

    Of course, knowledge is informative, limiting the possibility of contrary states, but hopes, believes and desires are not informative, as they assume noting about extramental reality.

    I do not see that your position stands in opposition to theology. As you may know, Christian theology sees the Second Person of the Trinity as the Logos -- the principle of rationality and order in nature, the Tao of Eastern thought.
  • Galuchat
    565

    Of course, knowledge is informative, limiting the possibility of contrary states, but hopes, believes and desires are not informative, as they assume noting about extramental reality. — Dfpolis

    Hopes, beliefs, and desires are propositional attitudes. They have direction of fit (the relation between a proposition and the world, or existence).

    If:
    1) Information (a decoded message) is the result of communication (data encoding, transmission, conveyance, reception, and decoding). And,
    2) I communicate my hopes, beliefs, and desires to others.
    Then:
    My hopes, beliefs, and desires are information possessed by those recipients who have decoded my message(s).

    A definition of information in terms of possibility can only be a definition of mathematical information. It is unsuitable for use as a general definition which also pertains to physical and semantic information.

    The repetition of the same message from the same source yields no information when defined mathematically (in terms of possibility), because there is no uncertainty to reduce. Yet, physical and/or semantic information is produced every time the message is decoded.

    For example:
    The ringing of a doorbell produces the same physical and semantic information whenever it occurs.
    1) Physical information is produced by a sound wave stimulus (data), encoded by sensory transduction, conveyed by means of action potentials in excitable cells, received by various parts of the brain responsible for sensory processing, and decoded as perception.
    2) Semantic information is then produced by the perception message, decoded as an associated mental representation having meaning (i.e., doorbell ringing means someone is at the door).
  • SteveKlinko
    372
    That would be my criteria for a good Explanation. — SteveKlinko
    What would your criteria have to do with whether, say, clorophyll or dark matter or "the rule of thirds" in visual art or photons or anything else is(/are) explained or not?

    Your criteria for explanations need to be a set of GENERAL criteria that serves as a plausible demarcation tool for ALL explanations.
    Terrapin Station

    I think my criteria is a supremely good one for the specific problem at hand.
  • Terrapin Station
    9.1k
    I think my criteria is a supremely good one for the specific problem at hand.SteveKlinko

    If you have different "what counts as an explanation" criteria for different contexts, you'd need to justify that. Part of justifying it would involve being explicit about the differing criteria, so you'd still need to present "what counts as an explanation" criteria in general and not just for one context.
  • SteveKlinko
    372
    I think my criteria is a supremely good one for the specific problem at hand. — SteveKlinko
    If you have different "what counts as an explanation" criteria for different contexts, you'd need to justify that. Part of justifying it would involve being explicit about the differing criteria, so you'd still need to present "what counts as an explanation" criteria in general and not just for one context.
    Terrapin Station

    On further reflection I would say that my Criteria is as General as it gets. What could be better than peer reviewed World acceptance?
  • Terrapin Station
    9.1k
    On further reflection I would say that my Criteria is as General as it gets. What could be better than peer reviewed World acceptance?SteveKlinko

    I don't recall you mentioning that, but I could have just overlooked it. So you're saying that in your view, what matters is that some consensus of peers in the relevant field count something as an explanation?

    So, for example, eclipses were explained in, say, 200 CE, and the explanation was that they were an omen from the gods, or a warning from the gods, etc.?
  • SteveKlinko
    372
    On further reflection I would say that my Criteria is as General as it gets. What could be better than peer reviewed World acceptance? — SteveKlinko
    I don't recall you mentioning that, but I could have just overlooked it. So you're saying that in your view, what matters is that some consensus of peers in the relevant field count something as an explanation?

    So, for example, eclipses were explained in, say, 200 CE, and the explanation was that they were an omen from the gods, or a warning from the gods, etc.?
    Terrapin Station

    Of course you are just trying to be Sarcastic. But I think the Scientific knowledge we have today makes my criteria completely workable. We are not working with the same knowledge base today as that which existed 2000 years ago.
  • Terrapin Station
    9.1k


    I wasn't trying to be sarcastic. If that's your (sole) criterion for explanations, you'd have to say that in 200 CE, that was the explanation of eclipses, and there was nothing wrong with it as an explanation in 200 CE.

    If that's the criterion, then I'd agree that there's no way that a physicalist account of mental phenomena is going to be an explanation any time soon, but that simply tells us about biases at present.
  • Dfpolis
    700
    1) Information (a decoded message) is the result of communication (data encoding, transmission, conveyance, reception, and decoding). And,
    2) I communicate my hopes, beliefs, and desires to others.
    Then:
    My hopes, beliefs, and desires are information possessed by those recipients who have decoded my message(s).
    Galuchat

    That does not mean that hopes, beliefs, and desires are information, only that they are intelligible -- part of the state of the world we can be informed about, just as we can be informed whether a rock is sandstone or limestone.

    A definition of information in terms of possibility can only be a definition of mathematical information. It is unsuitable for use as a general definition which also pertains to physical and semantic information.Galuchat

    Clearly knowing about physical or semantic realities does reduce what is logically possible. As I just indicated, when we know a stone is limestone, the possibility that it is granite is gone. When we know a sentence is in Russian and speaks of the soul, the possibility that it is in English and does not speak of the soul no longer exists.

    Yet, physical and/or semantic information is produced every time the message is decoded.Galuchat

    No, what is produced is the intelligible fact that the message is so decoded. Something being intelligible means that it can be informative, but it is not actually informative until someone is actually informed.

    Your example does not rebut my position. The pressure wave produced but the doorbell is not information until its heard and understood. Before that it is merely audible and intelligible. Once the subject is informed, the logical possibility that bell is not ringing no longer exists. As a result the subject can combine the new information with prior learning and infer that someone is ringing the bell.
  • Galuchat
    565

    That's the kind of consistent elaboration I was expecting.
    So, you have developed the Mathematical Theory of Knowledge.
    I'll probably stick with the Communication Theory of Metaphysics.
    Cheers!
  • Dfpolis
    700
    The best to you.
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