• jorndoe
    668
    Well, individuation (self-identity, self-awareness is essentially indexical) is inherently part of it.
    You're apart from the rest/others, yet interact with it all.
    You don't have to become something/someone else to know thereof (in which case you wouldn't be the same individual any longer anyway), right?
    Furthermore, whatever we all are, we're still parts of the same larger universe/environment, with regularities, similarities and differences alike, sufficiently regular/similar that my neighbor can meaningfully interact with their dog and Armstrong could walk on the Moon.
    Interaction at one end is part of my constitution (identity), which, in turn, is rendered as personal experiences (like noumenistic occurrences of qualia), though of course none of this explains their particular format.
  • Theorem
    56
    If there is no hard problem, we should be able to reach scientific or philosophical consensus on those types of questions.Marchesk

    I think we will, more or less. As artificial intelligence develops and machine behavior becomes more and more convincing, most people's intuitions about mind and mechanism will shift and the vast majority of the human populace will have little/no qualms with ascribing phenomenal consciousness to their robot friends, much as they have no problem ascribing it to their human friends. Sure, there will be luddite communities that cling to metaphysical arguments "demonstrating" the irreducibility of mind to matter, much as small numbers of people today still promulgate arguments and theories supporting astrology, alchemy, flat-earthism, geocentrism, creationism, vitalism, the luminiferous ether, etc. The hard problem will technically go unsolved, but practically no one will care. For most it will become categorized as a pesudo-problem that, while nominally interesting, is not worth seriously worrying about, similar to how the problem of solipsism is treated today by practically everyone who is not suffering from schizophrenia, despite the inability of anyone to solve it.
  • Harry Hindu
    2.1k
    Sure. But you've made indirect realism difficult by locating all the properties with the perceiver.Marchesk
    I'm not making it difficult. What I'm asserting IS indirect realism.

    https://www.iep.utm.edu/perc-obj/

    The indirect realist agrees that the coffee cup exists independently of me. However, through perception I do not directly engage with this cup; there is a perceptual intermediary that comes between it and me. Ordinarily I see myself via an image in a mirror, or a football match via an image on the TV screen. The indirect realist claim is that all perception is mediated in something like this way. When looking at an everyday object it is not that object that we directly see, but rather, a perceptual intermediary. This intermediary has been given various names, depending on the particular version of indirect realism in question, including "sense datum, " "sensum," "idea," "sensibilium," "percept" and "appearance." We shall use the term "sense datum" and the plural "sense data." Sense data are mental objects that possess the properties that we take the objects in the world to have. They are usually considered to have two rather than three dimensions. For the indirect realist, then, the coffee cup on my desk causes in my mind the presence of a two-dimensional yellow sense datum, and it is this object that I directly perceive. Consequently, I only indirectly perceive the coffee cup, that is, I can be said to perceive it in virtue of the awareness I have of the sense data that it has caused in my mind. These latter entities, then, must be perceived with some kind of inner analog of vision. — Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

    Think of light as the TV screen. We don't see objects. We see light, which explains the optical illusions of mirages and bent sticks in water. We look at the TV to indirectly get at the football game in another city. We don't see the game, we see the TV, which transmits information via causation.

    If effects are about their causes, then I don't see the problem of how you get at the properties of those external objects with your perceptions.

    Minds do perceive shapes, but as far as we can tell, shape does not depend on the perceiver. That's what makes it an objective property.Marchesk
    ...an objective property of perceptions.

    When looking at a distant star, the light takes thousands of years to reach your eye. The star could have exploded yet the light is still traveling across space and interacting with your eyes. When you see the "star" what is it that you are attending in your mind?

    Probably because that's the biological center for having minds.Marchesk
    I didn't ask about location. I asked about shape. Why do minds take the shape of brains when I look at them? The mind can still be located in the head, but why the shape of a brain in the head?

    Why does the mind take a shape in another mind at all?
  • Terrapin Station
    10.4k
    This is all assuming physicalism is everything else that we have to fit consciousness into. Like Schop, I don't know anymore than anyone else does.

    But we can make it broader than that. It's fitting the subjective into the objective, on the empirical grounds that the objective is what gives rise to minds that have experiences.

    But yeah, if we're giving an account of reality that leaves out imagination, that's a problem.
    Marchesk

    Huh?

    I'm not following you, really.

    The point I was making is that properties have to be properties of something. Do you agree with that?

    Sometimes I get the impression that what folks mean by "nonphysical(s)" is something like, "We're just not going to bother doing ontology and we're instead going to talk about things in 'functional' terms per common language."
  • Marchesk
    2.7k
    Think of light as the TV screen. We don't see objects. We see light, which explains the optical illusions of mirages and bent sticks in water. We look at the TV to indirectly get at the football game in another city. We don't see the game, we see the TV, which transmits information via causation.Harry Hindu

    That doesn't sound right. We see the game via the TV. Otherwise, how would you be able to see what goes on? The tv is a means by which we can remotely watch a game. Even in person, we're still seeing the action via light. That's how vision works.

    When looking at a distant star, the light takes thousands of years to reach your eye. The star could have exploded yet the light is still traveling across space and interacting with your eyes. When you see the "star" what is it that you are attending in your mind?Harry Hindu

    The star as it was thousands of years ago.

    didn't ask about location. I asked about shape. Why do minds take the shape of brains when I look at them? The mind can still be located in the head, but why the shape of a brain in the head?Harry Hindu

    For whatever evolutionary and biological reasons brains are needed to take that shape. It sounds like you're saying a brain in a head is an image that might not reflect the actual geometry of heads. But geometry is something that's easy to figure out from light. That's why visual perception is so advantageous.

    Why does the mind take a shape in another mind at all?Harry Hindu

    It has to do with color experience in spatial arrangement forming shapes.
  • Marchesk
    2.7k
    Sometimes I get the impression that what folks mean by "nonphysical(s)" is something like, "We're just not going to bother doing ontology and we're instead going to talk about things in 'functional' terms per common language."Terrapin Station

    You have an idiosyncratic definition of physical where it becomes almost impossible to discuss non-physical options. I don't believe in winning arguments by definition.

    But so you know, qualia, universals, mathematical platonism, and supernatural are considered examples of non-physical something. And property dualism would mean non-physical properties in addition to the physical properties of brain states or whatever.
  • Terrapin Station
    10.4k


    How about this part:

    "properties have to be properties of something. Do you agree with that?"

    (This is why I usually try to not type more than one thing at a time now)
  • Marchesk
    2.7k
    "properties have to be properties of something. Do you agree with that?"Terrapin Station

    I guess if "something" is defined sufficiently broadly to include more than objects.
  • Terrapin Station
    10.4k


    It would have to be some sort of substance, object, etc., no? Even if you're positing nonphysical objects, substances--whatever that would be. Otherwise, you'd be positing "free floating" properties. I don't know how we'd make any sense of that. They'd be properties that aren't properties of anything.
  • Marchesk
    2.7k
    t would have to be some sort of substance, object, etc., no? Even if you're positing nonphysical objects, substances--whatever that would be.Terrapin Station

    Yeah, there's something that has properties. It could be a field, particle swarm, ordinary object, process, brain state, whatever.

    I mention property dualism because it doesn't say there is a nonphysical substance mental states belong to. Rather, brain states have non-physical properties.
  • Terrapin Station
    10.4k
    I mention property dualism because it doesn't say there is a nonphysical substance mental states belong to. Rather, brain states have non-physical properties.Marchesk

    So you're not positing nonphysical properties of some nonphysical substance, but nonphysical properties of physical substance? (Remember that I'm asking you about this in terms of ontology)
  • Marchesk
    2.7k
    So you're not positing nonphysical properties of some nonphysical substance, but nonphysical properties of physical substance? (Remember that I'm asking you about this in terms of ontology)Terrapin Station

    I don't know what the answer is to the hard problem. But I would be very hesitant to support substance dualism. I mention property dualism as a more reasonable possibility.
  • Andrew M
    667
    If there is no hard problem, we should be able to reach scientific or philosophical consensus on those types of questions.Marchesk

    There is lack of consensus whenever testable hypotheses are absent. One of the consequences of that absence is language on holiday which is what dualism is.

    Consider the opening sentence on Wikipedia for the hard problem: "The hard problem of consciousness is the problem of explaining how and why sentient organisms have qualia or phenomenal experiences ..." (italics mine).

    You can see how dualism is built into the problem statement. Remove the italicized words and the problem becomes the much clearer one of explaining sentience - something that scientists can work with. That is, differentiating sentient creatures from non-sentient creatures (which we can point to) and providing testable hypotheses for explaining those differences.

    Right, dualism is just one possible answer to the hard problem.Marchesk

    So my claim is that dualism is the root cause of the hard problem.

    I see your argument as not advancing anything other than what we know. People experience quale, we can converse about it.schopenhauer1

    People converse about ghosts too. I'm suggesting that if we seek to define the problem in natural language then the ghosts will eventually fade away. See my reply to Marchesk above.
  • Marchesk
    2.7k
    omething that scientists can work with. That is, differentiating sentient creatures from non-sentient creatures (which we can point to) and providing testable hypotheses for explaining those differences.Andrew M

    Assuming two things:

    1. We can differentiate sentient from non-sentient creatures.
    2. Sentience captures everything qualia or phenomenal does.

    If we can't reliably do #1, then we still have a harder problem (epistemic), and if sentience is leaving something out, then we're just redefining the problem away, which is ignoring the issue.
  • Janus
    7.7k
    Why do minds take the shapes of brains when I look at them? — Harry Hindu


    Probably because that's the biological center for having minds.
    Marchesk

    I don't get this. We don't look at minds at all. We attribute the functions that we call mental to the perceptible physical object we call the brain. Of course, the CNS and in fact the living body with its essential to life functions are necessary for the occurrence of mental phenomena, so it's not merely the brain.
  • Marchesk
    2.7k
    I don't get this. We don't look at minds at all.Janus

    Right, but we experience a mental life for ourselves, and infer that in others based on behavior and similar biology. That's what's laid out with the start of the harder problem.
  • Janus
    7.7k
    I don't even like to say that we "infer" the mental lives of others. We live in an inter-subjective world such that the mental lives of others are beyond doubt, until we start thinking artificially in terms of minds being radically private and hence separated. I'm not saying there is a definitively right or wrong way to look at this, quite the opposite; I say there is no right or wrong way, but merely more or less useful and/or fruitful ways. I think starting from the presumption of radical private-ness and separation is one of the less fruitful ways, since it's logic leads straight to epistemological solipsism.
  • Marchesk
    2.7k
    e live in an inter-subjective world such that the mental lives of others are beyond doubt,Janus

    Do we really? It's not like I can read people's thoughts or have their experiences. What I think's happening is that inferring other people's minds is such a natural thing that it appears we live in an inter-subjective world. Just like it appears I'm looking out at the world through my eyes.

    How good are we at detecting lying? How well do we really know other people? There have been cases of friends and families (including spouses) not knowing that someone was a serial killer.

    If I'm day dreaming, you might be able to tell that I'm lost in my thoughts and not paying attention to my surroundings, but you don't experience what I'm imagining. Yes, I can tell you. But from your perspective, all you have to rely on is my word and behavior. You can lie. You can omit the embarrassing part. We often don't get the full truth from people about what they're thinking or feeling.

    Also, this inter-subjectivity is not so natural for everyone. Some people, notably autistic folks and maybe sociopaths (lack of empathy), have a certain mind-blindness. This would indicate that mind-inferring is an ability. Some would say that we simulate other people's minds to try and predict their behavior.
  • Marchesk
    2.7k
    I think starting from the presumption of radical private-ness and separation is one of the less fruitful ways, since it's logic leads straight to epistemological solipsism.Janus

    Yes, just like indirect realism leads to a veil of perception and potentially radical skepticism. But maybe that's just our epistemic position as animals. And perhaps it's not quite so radical, but just enough that skepticism can get a foot hold.

    We have the similar issues with memories, dreams and sanity.
  • Harry Hindu
    2.1k
    Think of light as the TV screen. We don't see objects. We see light, which explains the optical illusions of mirages and bent sticks in water. We look at the TV to indirectly get at the football game in another city. We don't see the game, we see the TV, which transmits information via causation.Harry Hindu

    That doesn't sound right. We see the game via the TV. Otherwise, how would you be able to see what goes on? The tv is a means by which we can remotely watch a game. Even in person, we're still seeing the action via light. That's how vision works.Marchesk
    Isn't that what I said, just using different words?

    What happens when the TV screen goes black? Why are you not seeing the game any longer, even though the game is still going on? What happens when you have no light? What happens to objects and their shapes? What happens when you use a colored light bulb - what happens to the colors of the objects? Are the properties of the objects changing, or the property of light changing? Can't you talk about both objects or light by talking about your visual perceptions?

    What about if you get cataracts and the shapes of objects change? Is it the properties of the object that are changing, or the properties of your visual system? Can't you talk about objects, light or your visual system by talking about your visual perceptions? What is your eye doctoring trying to get at when he asks you about your visual perceptions of objects - like a sheet of paper with ink scribbles taped to the wall?

    Which one do you want to talk about? How is it that you can look at an apple and get at all three? And in determining which one we are talking about, we determine what change the perception of the object undergoes based on the change in the other two. If changing the light bulb changes the color of the object, then the color has to do with the light, not the object. If you have cataracts, and your visual perception of objects that you remember change, then the shape of objects has to do with your visual system. If there are changes in the perception of the object without changes in the other two, then we can say that is a changing property of the object.

    The star as it was thousands of years ago.Marchesk
    So what are you saying - that you're watching a "home video" of the star as it was when it was a "adolescent"?

    You say, "star", but the star is presently gone. So what are you referring to when you say "star"?

    Note that what is happening here is ambiguous language use, not the ambiguity of stars, the light they emit and your visual perception. Which one are you referring to when you say, "star"?


    Why do minds take the shapes of brains when I look at them? — Harry Hindu


    Probably because that's the biological center for having minds.
    — Marchesk

    I don't get this. We don't look at minds at all. We attribute the functions that we call mental to the perceptible physical object we call the brain. Of course, the CNS and in fact the living body with its essential to life functions are necessary for the occurrence of mental phenomena, so it's not merely the brain.
    Janus
    But what is being questioned are the existence and nature of "physical" objects, which a brain would qualify as being. I don't really see the need to bring in the incoherent "physical" vs. "non-physical" distinction. Let's just say that there are objects. What is being questioned is whether or not these objects are of the mind only (solipsism), of the world only (naive realism), or something else, like a (causal) relationship between the two - mind and world?

    What I can be sure of is the existence of my own mind. Whether or not there are other minds, I can only induce from the existence of my mind as it relates to the behavior of my body, and the behavior of other similarly shaped and behaved bodies. But then, why does something that doesn't have a shape (whether it does or not is still something that probably needs to be established) - my mind that I'm sure exists - take on a shape in another mind? Why does my own mind take the shape of my brain when I look at in a mirror? If my mind is not shaped, then why does it appear that way to others and even myself when looking in a mirror?

    And if the mind (again the one thing I'm sure exists) is not shaped, yet it is mentally modeled with shapes, what does that say about all the other stuff in the world that we perceive as having shapes?
  • SteveKlinko
    382
    The question about whether Data has Consciousness or not cannot be answered at this time. We don't even know what our own Consciousness is. I think when we come to understand what our Consciousness is then we will understand all Consciousness. I suspect that there is no Harder Problem, and there is only the original Hard Problem. I have to further Speculate that Science will one day be expanded to be able to deal with Consciousness. It will probably take new ways of thinking.

    The problem with the Physicalist/Materialist position is that they assume Science has discovered everything about the Universe that it will ever will, as far as the big Categories of Phenomena are concerned. They of course understand that there are holes in even the known big Categories of Phenomena. But at least the Categories themselves have been discovered and are known.

    I would put Consciousness and in particular Conscious Experience into a new big Category of Phenomena. We know Conscious Experience already exists as a known Phenomenon that happens in the Universe. I'm going to say that the Category of Conscious Phenomena is a Category of Scientific knowledge because we know it exists.

    So the Problem comes down to the fact that there can be an Event happening in the Material Neural Activity Category that affects the Conscious Experience Activity in the Conscious Phenomena Category. These are two Scientific Categories of Phenomena with one Category affecting the other. The point is that Conscious Experience already is part of Science, it's just that Science does not have any good Explanations for it yet. Also, Science needs to at least recognize that there is a big Scientific Category of Phenomena that needs an Explanation.

    I think a good start would be to Hypothesize that there is some sort of Conscious Space that exists in the Universe where Conscious Phenomena happens. Conscious Space would not be like any kind of Physical Space. First of all it would be dimensionless. It would be where the Redness of Red happens. It would be where the Standard Tone C happens. It would be where Pain happens. Human Reason and Sensibleness demands that this Conscious Space must exist. If you do not assume a Conscious Space then the Phenomena of Conscious Experience still floats separate from the Material Neural Activity out in some other Realm of Reality. I just like to nail down this Reality a little better.
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