• TheMadFool
    4.9k
    Fractals are objects that are self-similar which I understand as the preservation of a pattern at different levels of organization.

    We have minds and the superorganism that we're part of - communities, cities, states, nations - behave remarkably like individuals.

    If this pattern - having a mind - is part of the fractal structure then organs, cells, atoms, electrons, quarks, in fact everything, should have a mind.

    Panpsychism, both in upwards, towards greater complexity and downwards, towards greater simplicity.

    I think the universe is thinking about the quark and the quark about the universe.
  • BrianW
    962
    I think the universe is thinking about the quark and the quark about the universe.TheMadFool

    Figuratively yes. I also think you just hinted that everything is conscious, not strictly in the metaphysical sense but in the representational analogy sense as explained through fractal patterns (micro/macro-cosm), the inter-connectivity of everything (perhaps through a fundamental principle e.g. energy) and the consequent implied unity (e.g. universe, reality, life, etc).

    Music is like magic... — Eminem, Till I Collapse

    There's a certain mystique to the real when we accept it and it reverberates through our feelings and thoughts. Great intelligence reflected in magnificent patterns or activities is awe-inspiring whether they move our passions or intrigue our rationale.
  • TheMadFool
    4.9k
    Thanks for the reply.

    I was thinking how nature is fractal:
    2797414.jpg
    4261877.jpg
    Fractal_Broccoli.jpg

    I think I made an error though. It depends on what you're looking for doesn't it?

    If you look for similarities (fractal nature) then you'll see it. It's quite amazing why the microcosm resembles the macrocosm.

    Anyway...

    If you look for dissimilarities, you'll see that too.

    Perhaps the visible/perceptible dissimilarities depend on what is NOT same.
  • TheMadFool
    4.9k
    I was hoping to present an argument for panpsychism
  • fresco
    578
    I suggest there is some circular thinking going on here. For example, the assertion that..
    We have minds and the superorganism that we're part of - communities, cities, states, nations - behave remarkably like individuals.
    ...
    could amount to mere 'anthropmorphism', or the confusion of psychological mechanisms with sociological ones.
    Argument 'by analogy' is of course attractive and often underpins what we mean by 'understanding', but it has its limitations. For example, looking at a neural network could be from the paradigm of 'logic circuitry', but there is a competing paradigm of a 'finite machine under going temporal state transitions'.

    This is not to say that I am against the concept of 'panpsychism' but merely to advise caution aginst what consider might be 'evidence'.
  • unenlightened
    4.2k
    Big fleas have little fleas
    That feed on them and bite them,
    And little fleas yet smaller fleas,
    And so ad infinitum.

    The intuition preceded the mathematics. But the last line turns out to be false; not ad infinitum because at the quantum scale the universe is very different. Even the cells of the cauliflower do not have the form of a cauliflower. In reality (even virtual reality), fractals have a range of application as to extent and 'depth'.
  • Fine Doubter
    97
    I would evince slightly stronger caution than fresco simply because what faintly shadows "mind", in rocks, trees or stars, is of a far smaller kind than we individual humans have.

    Then what arises in communities is anarchic fragments of unresolved thinking from individuals who did or didn't try to contribute towards decision-making. Either the structure wasn't suited, or dominant personalities derailed matters.
  • Sir Philo Sophia
    189
    If this pattern - having a mind - is part of the fractal structure then organs, cells, atoms, electrons, quarks, in fact everything, should have a mind.

    Panpsychism, both in upwards, towards greater complexity and downwards, towards greater simplicity.
    TheMadFool

    wasn't Panpsychism thoroughly proven to not be viable by this author's publication below?:

    Bishop, J.M. (2009). A Cognitive Computation Fallacy? Cognition, Computations and Panpsychism, Cognitive
    Computation, 1, pp. 221–233.
  • Pfhorrest
    1.3k
    Care to elaborate on that / quote us a passage? Because from the title alone it sounds like they're not talking about the kind of consciousness that actual contemporary panpsychists are actually on about, if it's anything to do with cognition or computation.
  • Sir Philo Sophia
    189

    e.g., see this passage quoted below.

    Besides that, if panpsychism was true then would not you expect that the lowest forms of animals with brains could share very similar abilities of material consciousness and experiential consciousness as do humans b/c they all have practically the same hardware (neurons, nerves, connectivity, etc.)? However, we already know that few animals are even self-aware (e.g., few are able recognize themselves and ID their own agency) let alone having EC.

    panpsychism supporters should start by experimentally making the above case before going to untestable near supernatural theories of quantum/atomic sources, etc..

    Why are you so convinced that qualia consciousness must arise from things like quantum effects instead of simply being a macro-scale phenomenon w/o requiring the quantum effects to do its cool stuff?

    There is nothing about panpsychism continuity or some kind of universal qualia that precludes machine implemented emergent AI conscious agents. If anything, they could be more in touch with the quantum continuum via things like q-bits, quantum wells, single particle systems, etc.

    Anyhow, the panpsychism continuity concept seems unworthy of serious consideration b/c for it to matter the continuum chain would have to transmit a continuum of meaning, which I posit is impossible to preserve between dimensions and even between orders of magnitude in scale. For example, Peirce’s synechism concept fails in the simplest of examples like the party game where you get many people (say 10) side by side and have one at one end tell a message to their adjacent, and each repeats the same message to the next. The meaning of the message always is altered, even if subtlely, by the time it is repeated at the other end. Thus, it fails even in that ideal case, of nearly identical cognitive agents speaking the same language living in the same culture. So, we should have almost zero confidence in any kind of meaning existing in subparticles, in far remote locations, being able to communicate their meaning through quantum mechanical random fluctuations to neurons that communicate that as the same meaning to the conscious agent.

    Bishop quote:
    ------------
    That this result leads to panpsychism is
    clear as, equating FSA Q(I) to a specific computational
    system that is claimed to instantiate phenomenal states as it
    executes, and following Putnam’s procedure, identical
    computational (and ex hypothesi phenomenal) states can be
    found in every open physical system.
    Formally DwP is a simple reductio ad absurdum argument
    that endeavours to demonstrate that:
    – IF the assumed claim is true: that an appropriately
    programmed computer really does instantiate genuine
    phenomenal states
    – THEN panpsychism holds
    – However, against the backdrop of our immense
    scientific knowledge of the closed physical world,
    and the corresponding widespread desire to explain
    everything ultimately in physical terms, panpsychism
    has come to seem an implausible view...
    – HENCE we should reject the assumed claim.
    The route-map for this endeavour is as follows: in the
    next section I introduce discrete state machines (DSMs)
    and FSAs and show how, with input to them defined, their
    behaviour can be described by a simple un-branching
    sequence of state transitions. I subsequently review Putnam’s
    1988 argument [52] that purports to show how every
    open physical system implements every input-less FSA.
    Then I apply Putnam’s construction to one execution trace
    of any FSA with known input, such that if the FSA instantiates
    genuine phenomenal states as it executes, then so
    must any open physical system. Finally I apply the procedure
    to a robotic system that is claimed to instantiate
    machine consciousness purely in virtue of its execution of
    an appropriate program. The article is completed by a brief
    discussion of some objections to the DwP reductio and
    concludes by suggesting, at least with respect to ‘hard’
    problems, that it may be necessary to develop an alternative
    metaphor for cognition to that of computation.
  • Pfhorrest
    1.3k
    Yeah no, you don't seem to understand what contemporary panpsychists even believe. It has nothing to do with quantum woo.
  • jgill
    318
    We have minds and the superorganism that we're part of - communities, cities, states, nations - behave remarkably like individuals.TheMadFool

    Really? Does a government act like an individual? If so, then most individuals wouldn't make it through the day. Waffling and indecisive, of two minds, making huge mistakes in physical conflicts, and throwing away their savings at the drop of a hat.

    I don't really see fractals associated with panpsychism. Couple animism with panpsychism and you have a soulful but mentally acute chunk of rock. Just doesn't seem that nature would err that much. :roll:
  • TheMadFool
    4.9k
    Really? Does a government act like an individual? If so, then most individuals wouldn't make it through the day. Waffling and indecisive, of two minds, making huge mistakes in physical conflicts, and throwing away their savings at the drop of a hat.jgill

    Just as there are failed humans, there are failed communities.

    At the risk of committing the fallacy of composition I'd say since a community and its governing council are constituted of people, their actions and reactions would necessarily correspond to human behavior, subject to alterations caused by agreement/disagreement on what the community's list of priorities should be.
  • Possibility
    1k
    Fractals are objects that are self-similar which I understand as the preservation of a pattern at different levels of organization.

    We have minds and the superorganism that we're part of - communities, cities, states, nations - behave remarkably like individuals.

    If this pattern - having a mind - is part of the fractal structure then organs, cells, atoms, electrons, quarks, in fact everything, should have a mind.

    Panpsychism, both in upwards, towards greater complexity and downwards, towards greater simplicity.

    I think the universe is thinking about the quark and the quark about the universe.
    TheMadFool

    How would you define ‘mind’?

    The capacity to relate - to be aware, to connect and collaborate - seems to me to be essential to all matter, including cells, atoms, electrons and quarks, all the way up to communities, cities, states and nations.

    The ‘fractal’ structure, in my view, is one that preserves a pattern of this developing capacity at each level of dimensional relation: from a relation between fields manifesting quantum particles, which distinguish and relate to manifest atomic structures, which distinguish and relate to manifest chemical structures, which distinguish and relate to manifest reactions or cellular structures, which distinguish and relate to manifest organisms or event structures, which distinguish and relate to manifest associations or value structures, which distinguish and relate to manifest meaning.
  • armonie
    58

    Of course, but where is the evidence that at another level of organization you will find the same qualia? You can only get data from your scale, whithout know who is thinking who for default. Maybe the phenomenon, because of its temporal succession or preset, does not allow you to know who looks at who through the spiral.
  • TheMadFool
    4.9k
    How would you define ‘mind’?Possibility

    To me mind is the sum total of all thoughts - the immaterial or so it seems and the apparent physical origin of mental activity (thoughts) the brain - the material. As far as the OP is concerned, both the immaterial - the plans and policies of a community as a super-organism correspond to thoughts and the people, as physical bodies can be taken as the brain. There is a remarkable similarity between societies and individual humans; for instance take racism in which we have one community against another and the actions and reactions of these communities is comprehensible in terms of individual human feelings of hate, outrage, respect, contempt, etc.

    I don't know how this pattern manifests at the cellular level but if a cell eats, grows, shits, senses, then maybe, just maybe, it can think too.
  • jgill
    318
    I don't know how this pattern manifests at the cellular level but if a cell eats, grows, shits, senses, then maybe, just maybe, it can think too.TheMadFool

    And if so, would it have inhibitions, like humans? In social psychology, groups tend to act more strongly with fewer inhibitions than individuals. When a large group of cells get together all hell could break loose. As in the growth and spread of cancer.
  • TheMadFool
    4.9k
    And if so, would it have inhibitions, like humans? In social psychology, groups tend to act more strongly with fewer inhibitions than individuals. When a large group of cells get together all hell could break loose. As in the growth and spread of cancer.jgill

    Right on the money I believe. I know my opinion doesn't count as truth but have you noticed that, according to Agent Smith of Matrix fame, the way humanity has populated the earth looks very much like a virus spreading across the planet - consuming everything in its path as it were. So, though I believe in the idea of a super-organism I'm not yet convinced that humanity's head or heart is in the right place, at least not yet.

    The same applies to the body and its cells which form a kind of mini eco-system kept stable by means of the immune system that detects and eliminates rogue cells but every now and then some of them break through our best defenses and become cancer.
  • Possibility
    1k
    To me mind is the sum total of all thoughts - the immaterial or so it seems and the apparent physical origin of mental activity (thoughts) the brain - the material. As far as the OP is concerned, both the immaterial - the plans and policies of a community as a super-organism correspond to thoughts and the people, as physical bodies can be taken as the brain. There is a remarkable similarity between societies and individual humans; for instance take racism in which we have one community against another and the actions and reactions of these communities is comprehensible in terms of individual human feelings of hate, outrage, respect, contempt, etc.

    I don't know how this pattern manifests at the cellular level but if a cell eats, grows, shits, senses, then maybe, just maybe, it can think too.
    TheMadFool

    I don’t believe these ‘material/immaterial’ and ‘physical/mental’ dichotomies are helpful in understanding ‘mind’. The plans and policies of a community can be understood as material/immaterial as well as physical/mental, and so can the people.

    ‘Mind’ can be understood more broadly as a structure of relations between one system (the organism, inclusive of the brain) and another (its environment) that work to dissolve or maintain the distinction. A single cell structure, for instance, consists of chemical and spatial relations that collaboratively maintain a relative equilibrium between relation with, and distinction from, what lies beyond the structure. Relating too much with the environment risks the existing relational structure itself, but relating too little limits the potential energy available to the system. ‘Mind’ in this primitive sense refers to the extent to which the cell’s relational structure also relates beyond the system, as well as the extent to which it limits the system’s potential energy or capacity.
  • TheMadFool
    4.9k
    don’t believe these ‘material/immaterial’ and ‘physical/mental’ dichotomies are helpful in understanding ‘mind’. The plans and policies of a community can be understood as material/immaterial as well as physical/mental, and so can the people.

    ‘Mind’ can be understood more broadly as a structure of relations between one system (the organism, inclusive of the brain) and another (its environment) that work to dissolve or maintain the distinction. A single cell structure, for instance, consists of chemical and spatial relations that collaboratively maintain a relative equilibrium between relation with, and distinction from, what lies beyond the structure. Relating too much with the environment risks the existing relational structure itself, but relating too little limits the potential energy available to the system. ‘Mind’ in this primitive sense refers to the extent to which the cell’s relational structure also relates beyond the system, as well as the extent to which it limits the system’s potent
    Possibility

    Well, for there to be a relation there has to be things, here mind and its environment, that can be related. In other words, we must know and define mind before we can study its relations.
  • Possibility
    1k
    Well, for there to be a relation there has to be things, here mind and its environment, that can be related. In other words, we must know and define mind before we can study its relations.TheMadFool

    Well, no. For there to be a relation in the mind there has to be concepts, and the definition of those concepts is an expression of the extent to which they are related to other concepts, or to which their potential is limited.

    But why limit the scope of our understanding of ‘mind’ so narrowly, given that any understanding of it must be inclusive of ALL thoughts and concepts? Is it for the sake of certainty? Mind refers to a relative structure of relations, so any definition or ‘knowledge’ of mind is a reduction of information relative to the experience of the subject expressing the definition. We understand that there are other minds of enormous diversity, whose structural relations we cannot predict with certainty.

    If you’re aiming for a comprehensive understanding of the universe that lends itself to panpsychism, then I think it’s necessary to do away with the notions of dualism and the universe consisting of ‘things’. Otherwise I think you’ll keep running into walls...

    And if so, would it have inhibitions, like humans? In social psychology, groups tend to act more strongly with fewer inhibitions than individuals. When a large group of cells get together all hell could break loose. As in the growth and spread of cancer.
    — jgill

    Right on the money I believe. I know my opinion doesn't count as truth but have you noticed that, according to Agent Smith of Matrix fame, the way humanity has populated the earth looks very much like a virus spreading across the planet - consuming everything in its path as it were. So, though I believe in the idea of a super-organism I'm not yet convinced that humanity's head or heart is in the right place, at least not yet.
    TheMadFool

    Super-organisms have much greater perceived potential and courage to act than individuals. That can be a good or a bad thing, depending on what potential is perceived or communicated. So far, I think we’ve been largely limiting our perceived potential to the Darwinian system of survival, domination and proliferation. I wonder what it would take to change that to increasing awareness, connection and collaboration, and how that would impact on our relation with the planet.

    The same applies to the body and its cells which form a kind of mini eco-system kept stable by means of the immune system that detects and eliminates rogue cells but every now and then some of them break through our best defenses and become cancer.TheMadFool

    Cancer cells are a demonstration of the capacity of all our cells to act alternative to expectations, to change and perform a different role. It shouldn’t be a surprise that, as an organism, we’re becoming more inclusive of ‘rogue cells’ and ‘counter-cultural’ movements within the system.
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