• Coben
    832
    I don't know what you mean by 'rational apprearances' I think it would be good if you define that. And also if you respond to my examples in my previous post. There have been many beliefs held by many that are false. Kim Khardishan is considered important by many, much more important than many scientists, religious leaders, hard working social workers. Is she? People have all sorts of folk beliefs about their own minds that are not true. It seems to me you are appealing to the popularity of an idea, which is a fallacy.
  • fishfry
    789
    ↪fishfry How does assuming everything is conscious help explain how a lump of meat can be? It's no explanation at all.

    Plus, the 'problem' is not explaining how meat can be conscious. The problem is that we have rational intuitions that represent all material things to be lacking in mental properties. And it's not a problem, unless you've started out assuming that we're material things.
    Bartricks

    Like I say, I'm not in a position to defend panpsychism intellectually, since I haven't studied the literature. It's just a personal belief, and one not strongly held.
  • Bartricks
    626
    But my claim is not about beliefs. No premise of my argument mentioned beliefs. The claim, is NOT that if enough people believe something that will make it true. That's obviously fallacious (and the fallacy in question involves confusing a belief with its object and has nothing to do with numbers - one commits the same basic fallacy if one thinks that believing something will make it true).

    The claim is that if the reason of most people represents a proposition - p - to be true, then other things being equal that is good evidence that p is true.

    What is a rational appearance? Well, just as there are visual and tactile appearances, so too there are rational ones. For instance, how do you know that there cannot exist any square circles? Because your reason and the reason of virtually everyone represents such things to be impossible.

    All attempts to argue for anything - so all appeals to evidence - are ultimately appeals to rational appearances.

    Anyone who rejects my premise on the grounds that rational appearances have no probative force will - by hypothesis - be rejecting it on no rational basis or being inconsistent.
  • Bartricks
    626
    My point is that the view has nothing to be said for it - until or unless we can explain in a rationally satisfying way how it is that an extended thing can be conscious, then positing that all extended things are conscious will do nothing whatever to help.

    Why do so many recognise that there is a problem explaining how extended things can be conscious? Well, because the reason of virtually everyone represents extended things to be positively lacking in mental states, and the reason of virtually everyone represents their own minds to be positively lacking in the kinds of properties characteristic of extended things.

    Note, however, that to even think this is a 'problem' is to have assumed that our minds are extended things. I think it is perverse to think it is a problem. Why not just follow reason and conclude that our minds are not extended objects?
  • Bartricks
    626
    Re your other points - no premise in my argument implies that the world is flat (or that it is flat if enough people believe it to be). So you're attacking a straw man. You need to address my premises, not replace them with quite different, wholly implausible ones.

    As to your claim that we reason our way to thinking we have free will - what is that reasoning process? And on what basis do you make this claim? It sounds like a conspiracy theory.

    Did you just decide you have free will? Or does your reason represent you to have it?
  • Coben
    832
    Re your other points - no premise in my argument implies that the world is flat (or that it is flat if enough people believe it to be)Bartricks
    And I never said that anything in your posts had to do with a flat earth. However lots of people went by rational appearances that it was. I was showing what might be entailed by your argument. Here for example you could show why people believing the earth is flat does not count as a rational appearance.

    Did you just decide you have free will? Or does your reason represent you to have it?Bartricks
    Or is it an illusory byproduct?
  • PoeticUniverse
    622
    Or does your reason represent you to have it?Bartricks

    What appears as going on 'now' to us is like a slightly tape-delayed broadcast. Who's going to notice that?
  • Bartricks
    626
    Can you show me, by using a premise from my argument and adding to it other ones, how to derive the conclusion "therefore the earth is flat"? I think you'll only be able to do that by adding very implausible premises to it.
    If that is correct, no premise of my argument is called into question by the fact that, at one time, a lot of people falsely believed that the earth is flat.
  • Coben
    832
    s
    But my claim is not about beliefs. No premise of my argument mentioned beliefs. The claim, is NOT that if enough people believe something that will make it true. That's obviously fallacious (and the fallacy in question involves confusing a belief with its object and has nothing to do with numbers - one commits the same basic fallacy if one thinks that believing something will make it true).Bartricks
    To me those are quite different ideas. One is that believing in something CAUSES it to become true. The other that a good heuristic for deciding something is true is if many people believe it.

    I did explain how I use the term belief. It is any conclusion about the world via whatever epistemological process: deduction, intuition, popularity, science, religion, common sense. It is neither a negative nor a postive term, just a category. If someone thinks we should treat idea A as true, they believe A is true.
    The claim is that if the reason of most people represents a proposition - p - to be true, then other things being equal that is good evidence that p is true.Bartricks
    I see most people sending out mixed messages about their free will. Sometimes they talk about themselves as free, sometimes as being forced by their emotions, their situation. Yes, when people sum up, they often do sum up in favor of free will, but there is tremendous evidence that the idea of not having free will is unpleasant. IOW that it is not a reasoned conclusion, but a preferred for
    emotional reasons conclusion. So when thinking of the whole category, that's who they think, but embedded in life they indicate both beliefs. And then we have tremendous evidence that all events are caused. And people also, themselves, refer to causes. I wanted to do that because and they refer to antecedent events and feelings and urges and needs in themselves that led to choice A.

    All attempts to argue for anything - so all appeals to evidence - are ultimately appeals to rational appearances.

    Anyone who rejects my premise on the grounds that rational appearances have no probative force will - by hypothesis - be rejecting it on no rational basis or being inconsistent.
    Bartricks
    Then there are differences between rational appearances OR we must always agree with the majority and there is no difference between belief that is knowledge and belief that is not. I cannot see in practical terms how your rational appearances differs from popular ideas.
  • Janus
    8.2k
    The claim is that if the reason of most people represents a proposition - p - to be true, then other things being equal that is good evidence that p is true.Bartricks

    Other things bring equal to what?
  • Bartricks
    626
    So are you denying the probative force of rational intuitions? If so, how do you argue for anything?
  • Bartricks
    626
    It is just there because it is possible for a rational intuition to count for nothing if, for example we can give an undercutting explanation of how we have come to possess it. But that undercutting explanation will itself have to appeal to rational intuitions
  • Coben
    832
    It has nothing to do with premise one. I think it is clear that this came out of premise two. That's what lead to our discussion of rational appearances, which I now see you are calling rational intuitions. And it is not 'in' the premise, it is in your justification, when asked, for why we should take that premise as true. I could dig in those words that you wrote in premise two forever and not find rational appearances or rational intuitions being presented as part of your epistemology. But when we went into, in further discussion, your reasoning, that is what we hit.
    So are you denying the probative force of rational intuitions?Bartricks
    I don't think what you are calling rational is rational, or perhaps better put, some of what you are categorizing as rational intutions is rational some is not. And I see this when people talk about what they believe. For example, they often say they believe X, but act like they do not or even believe the opposite. I also see people saying that X is true for all sorts of reasons, sometimes having nothing to do at all with rational or intuition - for example, cultural habits. They grew up in the assumption, for example. Others can come from language, where paradigmatic ideas are built in, in dead metaphors for example.

    In a way we are having the empicist vs rationalist argument, but I am not a pure empiricist. i am also a rationalist. I just don't see people using the same faculty in their various rationalist or habitual conclusions. And I don't believe their official stories about themselves and the world just because they say that is what they believe.
  • Bartricks
    626
    A rational intuition is an apparent representation of reason.

    You can't argue for anything without making an appeal to reason. The validity of any argument you employ is itself something that can only be seen with our reason.

    You still haven't answered my question - do you deny that rational intuitions have probative force?
  • Janus
    8.2k
    So, how do we know which rational intuition to trust? Personal preference? Consensus? Or?

    This is nonsense. We don't "appeal to reason", we use reason to argue consistently for premises which are assumed, but cannot themselves be defended other than by empirical observation, coherence with an overall body of accepted knowledge or the claim that they are a priori true or analytically self-evident.
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.8k
    I am only interested in what reason says, not what some crazy book written by people who know less than we do says.Bartricks

    And when reason says nothing...? Just interested to see what you make of such things. :chin:
  • Bartricks
    626
    reason says what to do in such cases, namely appeal to analogous cases about which our reason is clearer.
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.8k
    ...and if there are no "analogous cases"? That was what I was trying to get at. :chin:
  • Coben
    832
    I responded by saying, amongst other things, that it is not a coherent category. it covers all sorts of phenomena, some rational, some not, some intuitions, some appearances, some what people say, but don't actually believe - and also believe to varying degrees sometimes also believing the opposite. It covers intuitions by people with and without expertise. It covers things built into cultures that can ONLY be thought by many people because they are limited from considering anything else. It covers observations that are trained into existence via parenting and implicit assumptions in texts, films, commercials, dead metaphors. It includes conclusions reached via so many different epistemologies or lacks thereof, that it is basically meaningless. You said at some point it was like a sense. So we have sense, appearance, and intuitions. And even your three categories don't cover the ground remotely. The ways people arrive at their folk beliefs vary radically and only some of the warrent the use of 'rational' in them. And, just to add, I do not reject non-rational processes, but you are batching these also under the term 'rational appearances or intuitions' without even seeming to think that the hundreds of epistemologies and differences matter in the least. There is no reason to assume these are rational, which should include some kind of reasoning. And just to doubly emphasize: I do think intuition can be heartily useful, however it is black boxed as far as rationality. It is precisely not a rational process, at least, not one we have access to the rationality of. Or we would call it reasoning. Rational intuition is an oxymoron. And for the third time, this does not mean someone cannot possess a great intuition, and be right often. Most experts have very useful intuitions. But it is precisely a non-rational process. People tend to see 'rational' as good. But it's actually a neutral descriptive term about process. Intuitions precisely do not have a rational process or it wouldn't be intuition. They tend to come as a whole, no deduction and no induction we can point to. Perhaps in the unconscious they are rational. But we don't have access to that. And that's fine. They can be great, but they ain't rational and there's nothting wrong with being non-rational. We are built to have a couple of processes for forming conclusions. And also some of us are vastly better at both reasoning and intuition. I absolutely do not take a poll to find out what the default position should be and who bears the onus. Most people have their beliefs, like the one in question, jammed into them before they are remotely rational or have developed good intuitions, if they ever do. I honestly don't care what their assumptions are. They are unskilled in both rationality and intuition and often in relation to sensing. The term covers a meaningless diconnected batch of processes, mainly the result of impressions drummed into people. I get my defaults elsewhere. And there are other problems, which I took up in the other post, about what we know about the appeal of free will - except when it doesn't, which brought me to the contradictory messages people who supposedly believe in free will send off. Or the emotions and how they are triggered by the specifics around determinism and free will. And....well, it's back there in the previous post. Even more than what I fleshed out here. To me you are asking an incoherent question: something like don't you think all the possible ways people arrive, often unconsciously, about what they say they believe is probative?
  • Bartricks
    626
    No, I am asking if you think rational intuitions are probative. That's what my premise assumes to be the case. But if you deny that they are probative, then what I want to know is what, exactly, you do take to be probative?
    The conventional beliefs of the current age, regardless of how they have been arrived at, perhaps?

    it is undeniable that we have rational intuitions and undeniable that they have probative force.

    For instance, which of these arguments is valid:

    A:
    Premise 1: If P, then Q
    Premise 2: P
    Conclusion: therefore Q

    B:
    Premise 1: if P, then Q
    Premise 2: Not P
    Conclusion: Therefore not Q

    The first is, the second isn't - and that's something we (most of us) recognise by rational intuition. You can't see it with your eyes, or smell it, or taste it, or touch it. It is a truth of reason and we find out about those via rational intuitions.

    Now we 'appear' - rationally - to have free will. Our reason - that is the reason of the bulk of humanity - represents us to have free will. If that isn't stunningly good default evidence that we do, then I don't know what you mean by evidence.
  • Bartricks
    626
    So far I have provided for arguments for the thesis that my mind is an immaterial soul. Each one was deductively valid and had premises that are far, far more plausible than their opposites. here's another:

    1. If an event harms a person, that person must exist at the time of the harm
    2. The total destruction of our material bodies are events that will harm us if or when they occur, other things being equal
    3. Therefore, we will exist at the same time as the total destruction of our bodies, if or when such events occur, and other things being equal.
    4. If we are our material bodies, then it is not possible for us to exist at the same time as the total destruction of our material bodies under any circumstances.
    5. Therefore, we are not our material bodies
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.8k
    The first is, the second isn't - and that's something we (most of us) recognise by rational intuition.Bartricks

    I'm not sure, but don't we have to learn such things? I wonder if intuition (rational or otherwise) alone is enough to result in that realisation? Is logic intuitive? :chin:
  • fishfry
    789
    ↪fishfry My point is that the view has nothing to be said for it - until or unless we can explain in a rationally satisfying way how it is that an extended thing can be conscious, then positing that all extended things are conscious will do nothing whatever to help.Bartricks

    My quarks are really annoyed at this! They have a rich inner life, you know. At the very least, by virtue of being the constituents of the atoms that are the constituents of the organic molecules that are the constituents of the basic processes of life; and that make up the organs and the body and the nervous system and the brain, which somehow has managed to achieve self-awareness and consciousness.

    Why should not the phenomenon of consciousness be experienced at every level of its existence?

    After all, our network of neurons is a grid for transmitting electrochemical signals. And at the bottom of reality, at the level of the particle physicists, it's quarks and electrons. Tiny bits of electricity.

    There's electricity at the bottom of creation. And it's electricity that implements consciousness, or could we say at the very least, hosts it, as a computer hosts its software.

    So yeah, you know, I was going to say that I don't have enough interest to defend my belief rationally. But it turns out I do have a bit of a plausible story. What do you think?
  • Coben
    832
    You didn't respond to anything I wrote. You did not explain what rational intuitions are, which you also called rational appearances,and you also refer as like a sense. Your example, here, is a poor one for two main reasons: 1) it is not, for example, an intution, rational or otherwise that lets me know that the second deduction is false. There is intuition involved, but not only that. 2) We have an abstract deduction, with no real world content in your example, when the issues deals with an extremely complicated concept that is supposed to describe something an extremely complicated organism (us) 'has', and that other things do not have, and given all the issues I raised in the post you ignored. Issues that make your question incoherent and your term, which even you can't keep a single label for, meaningless.

    Now we could go an have a discussion about that, but since you cannot be bothered to even respond to what I write, and now for the second time in a row, and simply repeat your posiition,

    I will not read what you write and will, therefore, also not respond anymore to any of your posts.

    I know you are sure you are right. I knew that already. And I know that in general this 'being sure' is so much easier when one repeats one's assertions and ignores what other people say. It's just, I'm not interested in being a part of that.

    Take care.
  • Bartricks
    626
    I did explain what a rational intuition is. It is a representation of reason. You can see that 2 + 3 = 5, yes? Do you see it with your eyes, smell it, taste its truth, feel its truth through the surface of your skin? No, you see its truth with your reason. That - that mental representation - is a representation of reason.
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.8k
    You can see that 2 + 3 = 5, yes?Bartricks

    Are you some kind of scientific literalist? Your arithmetic example is true by definition, if we first accept a raft of axioms and number-related mathematical theorems. If we don't, then "2 + 3 = 5" is a collection of meaningless symbols. You present your example as though it is indisputable, apparently unaware of its origins and meaning. You aren't helping your case.... :chin:
  • TheMadFool
    3.9k
    Good post. I liked it. Great analogies.

    You have speculated but not proved.
  • Swan
    20
    Hmm, well your mind "isn't your brain.." you're right. It's not synonymous, the mind is something that your brain is generating, in that way, they seem separate.

    It's a product of the brain and nervous system, and in order for your mind to even "consider that it might be separate from the brain.." in the first place, requires the brain and nervous system.

    Also, how do you figure the mind is a soul? And immaterial at that, if it's a part of your brain..? I'm not really getting the leaps, none of your previous reasoning follows or adequately leads to these conclusions, so I'm not sure where they are coming from. If anything, your reasoning would lead to more questions..
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.8k
    Also, how do you figure the mind is a soul? And immaterial at that, if it's a part of your brain..?Swan

    You answered this, just a few words previously:

    the mind is something that your brain is generatingSwan

    A running program is quite distinct from the hardware on which it runs. Although brain/mind-computer analogies aren't great, it will do in this case, I think. The mind is not part of the brain, it's an emergent property of the brain. Not the same thing at all.
  • PoeticUniverse
    622
    It's a product of the brain and nervous system,Swan

    Consciousness/mind is a brain process, then, a product, with the objects in the mind also a product/result, making the mind to be a reflection of what's already been figured out a split-second ago, all this not allowing for the mind to figure anything on its own, and thus not a soul.
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