There is no emergence

• 13
I thought you might be going for something like that, just figuring out what the argument was for
• 527
See? Here's an example of the kind of problem we're having. I understand perfectly well that usually gas in a container can exert pressure on the walls of the container, the pressure depending in part on temperature. But what you said is that "the pressure is a property of gas." It isn't. I doubt if it's even correct to say that pressure is a property of gas in a container. I don't think it's a property at all. Rather it is something that happens, depending on circumstances.

It seems that you have problem with the word property. Can I use parameter? I used property for a purpose. Moreover, pressure is defined in term of average force exerted to the wall by particles.

Pardon, but "Duck" has no mind whatsoever. And it's clear that when you say, "in general," in general cannot be what you mean, because it simply isn't true, or a fact, in general. If nothing else, "Duck" makes that clear.

So duck in your opinion is a set of particles. Something mindless?

And do the particles that make up concrete have the properties of concrete?

Concreteness is defined in term of properties of particles.
• 3.8k
It seems that you have problem with the word property.
No, I don't. You do. You say that x has property p, then you say that property p is provided by y.
You "use property for a purpose." Fine. If you're going to use a word idiosyncratically, it's best if you let your readers know. But what in the world do you mean by it?
So duck in your opinion is a set of particles. Something mindless?
I don't know what you're referring to. I have only referred to "Duck." It is you who have insisted on deciding what it meant. Meaning, of course, that "Duck" does not fully represent itself, contra your argument. Arguably, "Duck" in itself by itself represents nothing at all. It is not even communicative as muteness, by itself. To borrow a dash of Heidegger, "Duck," by itself, does not even nothing.

And concrete is a phenomenon of an amalgam, not of particles.

Back and forth. You don''t seem to grasp what I'm saying to you. Let me be explicit. By your language you represent yourself as incoherent. I've been pointing at and pointing to that incoherence. You don't address it.

I do note this:
That is the problem that I am arguing against. Brain cannot become conscious if atoms and molecules are not conscious. That is the main argument presented in OP:
This is ridiculous, but at least (at best) it has the virtue of being clear. What's ridiculous about it? I'll answer that if you first defend/support the proposition. As it sits it's mere assertion without evidence, which under a well-known rule can be, and in this case should be, dismissed without evidence
• 2

Since we evolved in a field of relations with other objects, you can never actually say "the whole is in the part", insomuch as the emergent wholes - such as organisms in interaction - played an ontological role in 'revealing' dimensions which exist only implicitly in the part, but depend on actual relations of complementarity in a horizontally extended environment (in cognitive science this is the three E's of enactive, embodied and embedded' aspects of the functional whole) to be actually and explicitly made manifest.

All in all, the truth is, we're moral beings to our core. Were motivational creatures which have an arc that begins on an observer pole, which extends in a circle to the object pole. Our minds are an emergent function of a scaffolding of processes - shaped like a pyramid - that makes your observing consciousness an emergent effect, which in neuroscience lingo, happens between 200 to 300 milliseconds, whereas feeling, or affect, is an essential background process that cannot be denied its primacy.

As relational psychoanalysts know best of all, the mind is a representation of the dyadic interaction between self and other. Nothing more.
• 527
It seems that you have problem with the word property.
— bahman
No, I don't. You do. You say that x has property p, then you say that property p is provided by y.
You "use property for a purpose." Fine. If you're going to use a word idiosyncratically, it's best if you let your readers know. But what in the world do you mean by it?

Well, think of a particle, electron for example. It has a set of properties: mass, charge and spin. I put the position, speed and acceleration into the same package, properties.

I do note this:
That is the problem that I am arguing against. Brain cannot become conscious if atoms and molecules are not conscious. That is the main argument presented in OP:
— bahman
This is ridiculous, but at least (at best) it has the virtue of being clear. What's ridiculous about it? I'll answer that if you first defend/support the proposition. As it sits it's mere assertion without evidence, which under a well-known rule can be, and in this case should be, dismissed without evidence

What I am arguing is that you cannot expect consciousness as a result of motion of electrons in the brain. How? Any state of a system with a set of particles with properties P is only a function of properties of particles. Consciousness is not a property of electron therefore you cannot have a state in which system is conscious. Unless you accept that a magic can happen.
• 527

I don't think so. We have electrons and nucleons each have specific charge, mass, spin, position and speed, lets call them properties, in the brain. What I am arguing is that any state of system is a function of these five variables. You cannot have a conscious state since non of the properties which mentioned has any relationship with consciousness.
• 353
Brain cannot become conscious if atoms and molecules are not conscious.

So there can be no correlation between variables unless variables are of the same type?
• 527
So there can be no correlation between variables unless variables are of the same type?

I believe that there could be a correlation between different variables depending on state of system. I however don't recall any physical example. Correlation is the result of interaction. It however cannot leads to consciousness.
• 353
I believe that there could be a correlation between different variables depending on state of system. I however don't recall any physical example. Correlation is the result of interaction. It however cannot leads to consciousness.

The question is: why is it impossible for the brain to be conscious if atoms and molecules are not conscious?
• 527
The question is: why is it impossible for the brain to be conscious if atoms and molecules are not conscious?

Because the state of system is a function of the properties of its parts.
• 353
Because the state of system is a function of the properties of its parts.

There is a correlation between height and gender. The taller the person, the more likely the person is a man. And vice versa. That's an example of a very simple system. You have two variables that are related to each other in a specific way. One of the variables is quantitative (height) the other is qualitative (gender.) So how is it possible for a quality such as male/female to arise from quantity?
• 527
There is a correlation between height and gender. The taller the person, the more likely the person is a man. And vice versa. That's an example of a very simple system. You have two variables that are related to each other in a specific way.

Yes, that is a good example.

One of the variables is quantitative (height) the other is qualitative (gender.) So how is it possible for a quality such as male/female to arise from a quantity?

Gender to me is similar to state of a system, like gas, liquid, solid in water.
• 353
Gender to me is similar to state of a system, like gas, liquid, solid in water.

The state of a system is simply the set of values its variables are assuming. If the system has two variables such as height and gender then its state would be something like "190cm, male" or "170cm, female". Gender need not be a state. The same applies to consciousness.
• 3.8k
What I am arguing is that you cannot expect consciousness as a result of motion of electrons in the brain. How? Any state of a system with a set of particles with properties P is only a function of properties of particles. Consciousness is not a property of electron therefore you cannot have a state in which system is conscious. Unless you accept that a magic can happen.

Maybe this. There are minimums for pretty much everything, under which the thing doesn't exist. Water can stand as the example. Water is a molecule. If you go to the level of atoms, water does not exist: there is no atom of water. The properties of water - the properties of the whole - do not exist at the level of the parts. Concrete is another example (not to be confused with cement). Sand, water, cement combined yield concrete. As parts, no concrete. Music: notes are necessary, but not sufficient. Think about it. Emergent as a term of art is problematic, but clearly subatomic particles in themselves simply do not possess the properties that aggregates of them may have.

Another way: the variety - the kinds - of particles is limited. If all the varieties of everything in the world devolve down to a relatively few particles, then how do you account for the variety? How do the few particles figure out how to be water in one case, gold in another, a jackrabbit in a third, and so on into the variety of things we call a universe?
• 527
The state of a system is simply the set of values its variable assume. If the system has two variables -- height and gender -- then its state would be something like "190cm, male" or "170cm, female". Gender need not be a state. The same applies to consciousness.

Let me correct myself. Gender is like an index which defines state of a system. Of course there is a correlation between an observable variable and state of system, the index. The state of system however is a function of properties of its parts. We know this by fact that that is our genes which dictate how the atoms should arrange in our body in order to give a gender to a person. As I said the gender is an index which defines state of a system. Gender is pretty similar to an index which defines different state of water. Different state of water however is a function of properties of water's molecules. I mean given the property of water's molecules you can find whether it is in state of gas or liquid. That cannot applies to consciousness. Why? Because there exist not an order parameter which can indicate the state of consciousness. Order parameter is simply a variable which is function of properties of parts of a system and changes when a phase transition occurs. The comprehensibility is the order parameter in case of gas to liquid phase transition. Comprehensibility however is related to change of density respect to volume. The density is a function of number of atoms/molecules. Do you think that you can find an order parameter which is a function of mass, charge, spin and configuration atoms and electron in the brain? Consciousness is not a property like charge, mass, or spin.
• 527
Maybe this. There are minimums for pretty much everything, under which the thing doesn't exist. Water can stand as the example. Water is a molecule. If you go to the level of atoms, water does not exist: there is no atom of water. The properties of water - the properties of the whole - do not exist at the level of the parts. Concrete is another example (not to be confused with cement). Sand, water, cement combined yield concrete. As parts, no concrete. Music: notes are necessary, but not sufficient. Think about it. Emergent as a term of art is problematic, but clearly subatomic particles in themselves simply do not possess the properties that aggregates of them may have.

Great. Water for example has a set of properties: density, temperature, volume, shear tension and pressure. All these variable are a function of water's molecules properties: "mass, charge, spin, speed, number of water molecules and their arrangement. Consciousness is not like mass, charge, spin,... and it cannot be a function of these properties either. Temperature is related and similar to speed. Density is related and similar to mass. Spin for example can be observed as ferromagnetic state in iron, so ferromagnetic is like spin etc.
• 527
How could consciousness or subconsciousness be a function of anything!? It create things, in case of human, thoughts, ideas, feelings.
• 3.8k
How could consciousness or subconsciousness be a function of anything!? It create things, in case of human, thoughts, ideas, feelings.
The whole can always be expressed in term of its constitute therefore there is no emergence.
To elaborate consider a system made of "n" particles in which particle "i" has a set of properties Pi={Pi1,..., Pim}, where "m" is number of properties of a particle and Pjk is the property "k" of particle "j". Any measurable property of the system is only a function of {P1,...,PM}. Therefore there is no emergence.
Do you see a problem here? And with the water. You say the whole, water, is expressed through its parts. But it isn't. Consciousness isn't "expressed" through it parts - what are the parts of consciousness?

Or consider a photograph. Is it expressed through its pixels? Only as an aggregate of them from a particular point of view, otherwise not at all.

There's something awry with your thinking through this thread. If anything you've succeded in disproving by reductio ad absurdum your own hypothesis. Nothing wrong with that, now just acknowledge it..
• 1k
I understand what he is trying to say but what I am arguing is that any macro-property is reducible to a set of micro-properties. What he is saying is that macro-properties are independent.

No, he semi-correlates the possibility to render a set of properties meaningful at a level of explanation with the specificities of those levels. An emergent property is emergent more because it simply could not be made sense of in the previous paradigm of explanation, as such, invisible in that paradigm, than because it is magically supervening over other properties.
• 527
Do you see a problem here? And with the water. You say the whole, water, is expressed through its parts. But it isn't. Consciousness isn't "expressed" through it parts - what are the parts of consciousness?

That is one problem that you noticed. Consciousness cannot be expressed as a function of properties of atoms.
• 3.8k
That is one problem that you noticed. Consciousness cannot be expressed as a function of properties of atoms.

And what do you say about how that qualifies the claim of the OP "
The whole can always be expressed in term of its constitute therefore there is no emergence.
• 527

Well, there is no emergent phenomena.
• 527
No, he semi-correlates the possibility to render a set of properties meaningful at a level of explanation with the specificities of those levels. An emergent property is emergent more because it simply could not be made sense of in the previous paradigm of explanation, as such, invisible in that paradigm, than because it is magically supervening over other properties.

That simply mean that science cannot explain consciousness.
• 3.8k
Then where does consciousness/intelligence come from. According to you it's not emergent. I accept that. But it means that the claim of the OP is false.
• 4.2k
The whole can always be expressed in term of its constitute therefore there is no emergence.

To elaborate consider a system made of "n" particles in which particle "i" has a set of properties Pi={Pi1,..., Pim}, where "m" is number of properties of a particle and Pjk is the property "k" of particle "j". Any measurable property of the system is only a function of {P1,...,PM}. Therefore there is no emergence.

To restate the above argument - There is no emergence because there is no emergence.
• 4.2k
What I am arguing is simple. Think of gas for example. It exerts a pressure on the wall of container. The pressure is a property of gas however it can be expressed in term of average forces that atoms of gas exert to the wall of container. There is no emergence here. Pressure simply is related to average force. In general any system made of bunch of particles in which each has a set of properties has a set of properties which can be explained in term of properties of the particles. That is all.

You're right, the behavior of a gas is not emergence, it's statistical mechanics. Emergence is something different. A commonly cited example of emergence is life. It is my understanding that living matter is made up of physical matter - atoms. It is a physical phenomenon, but living matter behaves differently, according to a different set of laws, than non-living matter. If it didn't, there would be no need to make the distinction between living and non-living.

Please explain evolution using only language and principles from physics.
• 527
Then where does consciousness/intelligence come from.

I believe that is a property of mind. Mind needs consciousness in order to be creative.

According to you it's not emergent. I accept that. But it means that the claim of the OP is false.

That doesn't indicate that OP is false. Mater does not have consciousness as a property and consciousness could not be emergent.
• 527
To restate the above argument - There is no emergence because there is no emergence.

No. Everything that we learn about material world indicates that the property of a system is a function of properties of its constitute. Matter is unconscious therefor we cannot have a conscious system.
• 527
You're right, the behavior of a gas is not emergence, it's statistical mechanics. Emergence is something different. A commonly cited example of emergence is life. It is my understanding that living matter is made up of physical matter - atoms. It is a physical phenomenon, but living matter behaves differently, according to a different set of laws, than non-living matter. If it didn't, there would be no need to make the distinction between living and non-living.

Please explain evolution using only language and principles from physics.

Then you have to accept that consciousness is a property of matter. Sometimes it shows up depending on something and sometimes doesn't show up. Otherwise we are dealing with magic.
• 3.8k
That doesn't indicate that OP is false. Mater does not have consciousness as a property and consciousness could not be emergent.
Interesting. Do you propose that there can be mind where there is no matter? That is, that mind is based in something not (in any way) matter out of which it emerges? Presumably you agree there is such a thing/phenomenon called mind. And presumably you agree it emerges. Or do you have it Athena-like coming into being (somehow) entirely complete? (Which would lead to either humans possessing a complete mind, or not any mind at all. In the latter case whatever it is still needs to be accounted for.)
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