• BrianW
    657
    Force often seems to invade matter, to exist within it and to co-exist with it. The forces organise themselves and act through their influence on matter. Our senses are primed to detect matter, as it comes into contact with them. However, the forces acting through the matter are not often as readily recognisable even when the action is very obvious to our senses. For example, the organisation of charge which precedes the activity which we call lightning.

    Could such an idea apply to mind and perhaps even consciousness?

    By that I mean, could it be that the processes of the mind are undetectable by the senses and yet the effect of its action through our brains is inescapably obvious? Could it be that we have not yet properly defined the force component behind the activity of the material brain?

    There is some 'meat' in this argument especially considering aspects like dna, genes, etc which are not only material (protein) elements but also possess certain unquantifiable degrees of value. So maybe the brain as the 'quantity' factor and the mind as the 'quality' factor is not too far fetched (is it?).

    Another way such a relationship could be viewed is by observing conductors of electricity which also conduct magnetism. And yet, the way we detect electricity is very different from how we detect magnetism.

    So, could the mind be the 'force' or 'quality' to the brains 'matter' or 'quantity'?
  • Terrapin Station
    7.8k
    I don't think it makes any sense to parse forces as something separate from matter.
  • BrianW
    657


    My point isn't that force and matter are separate but that they're different in how they are and that maybe we could recognise both in our mental faculties.
  • Akanthinos
    1k
    "Mind" is a concept which no longer belongs in philosophical discussions about the nature of biological behavioural and informational organisation. The appropriate context for further developpment is cognitive sciences, which includes a fair bit of philosophy and potential for philosophical inquiry, but which also requires that we review the previous paradigm of Philosophy of Mind and remove from it any abusive reification (which happened to be the major engine for previous attempts at Psychology, which was then just a branch of Philosophy like Ethics or Logic). "Mind" is such a reification.

    When you talk about "mind" in a non pop-psychology context, you must be very precise about what you mean. For many philosophers, mind refers only to our internal discourse, which is then imbued with quasi-mystical properties because it is then expected to answer for all the other properties and powers of the 'classical' concept of mind, such as emotivity and will. But of course any amount of research in current cognitive science papers will show that internal discourse can be entirely reduced to subvocalization, which is just another iteration of our brains potential for predictive virtualization. What you hear yourself think is already after the fact, and its one subvocalization selected amongst dozen others which you never 'hear yourself' think. And it doesnt have any 'active cognition' potential, thats probably the most important ; when you hear yourself thinking, you arent thinking, its all been done before, all you are doing cognitively is running a simulation of what it would sound like to say it, so as to perform as well as possible when you do have to say it.

    All of this points to, imho, the realization that language or thought is not the human miracle we make it to be. Philosophers have historically failed to understand the nature of cognition and language, and thus its always been almost impossible to understand why or how something that doesnt speak would have thoughts. Reducing thoughts to subvocalization however shows that, if the point of it is performance, then thats not predicated on the need for linguistic organisation. A cat probably has a certain value by which he can evaluate if his or her behaviour helps her reach her goal, and thus predictive virtualization would be useful to him or her. The human miracle in regards to language is not that we have it at all, its that we have managed to free it from its cognitive shackles, so to speak, and that we've made ourselves into being that basically can always freely engage in acts of subvocalization. Our thoughts arent specifically and immediately predicated by the end purpose of subvocalization, which is just to make sure we dont say embarrassing things or stutter.
  • BrianW
    657


    Reification aside, what would psychology and psychiatry be without reference to the psyche? And isn't psyche just another reference to mind and mental states and processes?

    I think the name 'mind' might have been misused too many times for comfort but the idea is still in use presently scientifically and philosophically.

    Mental states and processes are quite mysterious even when referring to the little that is known. Additionally, what is seen in the brain is far from representing everything we know and expect. So my point is this, to use another analogy: genetic material though protein in substance acts like software in the way that it propagates information. That, coupled with the body's response and we have an organisation far superior to any computer. Now, we know how much intelligence is applied in making computers and yet, our body organisation, having existed for more millennia than we could name, exhibit much greater intelligence than we can fathom presently. With the genetic material, the distinction between the information (if I may call it so) and the protein material has provided a more illuminating approach compared to the studies of the mental faculty. However, the mental faculty (and the nervous system) is so complex that no other biological system could stand in comparison. All I'm wondering is, could it be that such a relation as that observed in genetic organisation - fusion of capacities and networks of utility of different levels of operation - also exist within the mental and neural organisation?

    By mind I'm not referring to some mystical idealistic capacity. This is just about whether the mental faculty is as layered as the genetic?
  • Noah Te Stroete
    1k
    which is just to make sure we dont say embarrassing things or stutter.Akanthinos

    Obviously, then, there is something going wrong in MY brain because I am repeatedly saying inappropriate things and fumbling over words. Fuck it, Dude. Let’s go bowling.
  • Terrapin Station
    7.8k
    My point isn't that force and matter are separate but that they're different in how they are and that maybe we could recognise both in our mental faculties.BrianW

    Forces are simply matter in "action," in relation to other matter though.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    1k
    Is that how you would describe a gravitational field or a magnetic field, as matter in action? I think this requires explanation. (I’m not picking on you in multiple threads. I’m just interested in these things.)
  • Wayfarer
    7k
    Force often seems to invade matter,BrianW

    Maybe the term you're looking for here is not 'force' but 'energy'. Force doesn't 'invade' matter, it causes objects to move.

    'A force is a push or a pull which is easily demonstrated and felt but energy is a slightly more abstract concept. They are measured in different units: force in Newton's and energy in Joules. When a force is applied to an object, such as a supermarket trolley, the trolley accelerates and moves forwards.'

    In any case, 'mind' does something very distinct from what can be understood in terms of either 'energy' or 'force' as it reflects, considers, judges and interprets. I don't think any of those functions can be described in terms analogous to force or energy.
  • Terrapin Station
    7.8k
    Is that how you would describe a gravitational field or a magnetic field, as matter in action? INoah Te Stroete

    Yes, in motion/in relation to other matter.

    I don't see it as picking on anything if I'm simply reporting the truth to you. ;-)
  • Noah Te Stroete
    1k
    I don't see it as picking on anything if I'm simply reporting the truth to you. ;-)Terrapin Station

    Happy to be given some truth from time to time.
  • Galuchat
    524
    If mind can be most generally and comprehensively described as awareness (a condition) and intention (an action), and actuality (existence) consists of objects and events (events being: condition and/or action), then mind exists.

    My only question at this point is: if objects correspond to space, and events correspond to time, does mind have only temporal, and not spatial, extension?
  • Janus
    6.7k
    Force often seems to invade matter, to exist within it and to co-exist with it. The forces organise themselves and act through their influence on matter.BrianW

    I think it is more accurate to say that, from a physical perspective, the four fundamental forces or interactions: the strong, the weak, the electromagnetic and the gravitational, constitute matter. Physical particles are not understood as something separate that is acted upon by forces or interactions, which we might also refer to as 'energy', but are themselves constituted by them. In other words the four fundamental forces are inherent in matter, and give rise to all its forms.
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