• Cavacava
    2.4k


    Do you propose that there can be mind where there is no matter?

    No, I agree no matter no mind and if so then mind emerges (evolves or develops?) out out of a particular arrangement of matter...an arrangement that is up to the task.
  • T Clark
    3k
    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.bahman

    Absolutely - I think consciousness is an emergent property of matter. I could have used that as my example of emergence except I thought it might complicate things. Other emergent phenomena - the market, climate, ecological communities, human communities, etc., etc., etc.
  • bahman
    530
    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.)tim wood

    I believe in mind separated from matter. Consciousness is a property of matter is another approach. But consciousness cannot emerge if it is not a property of matter. That is what I am arguing. I think one will find it difficult to convince scientific community that consciousness is a property of matter.
  • bahman
    530
    Absolutely - I think consciousness is an emergent property of matter. I could have used that as my example of emergence except I thought it might complicate things. Other emergent phenomena - the market, climate, ecological communities, human communities, etc., etc., etc.T Clark

    No, consciousness is not an emergent property but a property of matter. Otherwise your argument wouldn't cut. I however think that you will have difficult time to convince people that consciousness is a property like charge and mass of electron.
  • tim wood
    1.3k
    bahman, I cannot make sense of your arguments. Likely you can express them clearly and unambiguously in fewer than five short and simple propositions. Please do so, otherwise I shall have to give up because of what appears to be incoherence on your part.
  • bahman
    530
    bahman, I cannot make sense of your arguments. Likely you can express them clearly and unambiguously in fewer than five short and simple propositions. Please do so, otherwise I shall have to give up because of what appears to be incoherence on your part.tim wood

    Lets see if this works. What I am trying to say is that can not observe consciousness if matter which is constitutes of electron, proton and neutron (quarks) considering the fact that they have properties like, mass, charge, etc. but not consciousness. You could say that consciousness is a property of matter. I have other have other arguments for the fact that materialism is not correct.
  • tim wood
    1.3k
    Lets see if this works. What I am trying to say is that can not observe consciousness if matter which is constitutes of electron, proton and neutron (quarks) considering the fact that they have properties like, mass, charge, etc. but not consciousness.bahman
    But this merely leaves consciousness - mind - as grounded in matter at some higher level of aggregation. This seems not only reasonable, but also the only way it can be. Else mind without matter, which is already rejected.

    For purposes of present exposition, let's suppose that there is some minimum of matter required for mind to exist.

    It seems, then, that mind must come into being as mind qua mind. How is this coming into being not an emergent quality from parts that don't have the quality?
  • T Clark
    3k
    No, consciousness is not an emergent property but a property of matter. Otherwise your argument wouldn't cut. I however think that you will have difficult time to convince people that consciousness is a property like charge and mass of electron.bahman

    I guess I misunderstood what you meant by "property of matter." What I was trying to say was that consciousness is a physical process. It results, emerges, from the behavior of the brain and other parts of the body.
  • bahman
    530
    It seems, then, that mind must come into being as mind qua mind. How is this coming into being not an emergent quality from parts that don't have the quality?tim wood

    There is still an issue even if you assume that parts are conscious: How a unique consciousness could arises from parts motions and configurations? We don't observe separate consciousness related to separate parts.
  • bahman
    530
    What I was trying to say was that consciousness is a physical process. It results, emerges, from the behavior of the brain and other parts of the body.T Clark

    Then you have to deal with my argument.
  • Cavacava
    2.4k


    In reading about Enactivism it cites what Merleau-Ponty said in his 'Phenomenology of Perception'

    "The whole universe of science is built upon the world as directly experienced, and if we want to subject science itself to rigorous scrutiny and arrive at a precise assessment of its meaning and scope, we must begin by reawakening the basic experience of the world of which science is the second-order expression"

    If Enactivism then cognition/consciousness is the result of our organisms interaction with the world and each other, is not emergent and science's task is explicate it as a system of autopoiesis
  • T Clark
    3k
    Then you have to deal with my argument.bahman

    I went back through the past 10 or so of your posts but I'm not sure what your argument is in this context. Can you briefly restate it.
  • Akanthinos
    1k
    That simply mean that science cannot explain consciousness.bahman

    I don't see where you read that. That simply means that some properties will appear as emergent as long as we have not found the proper scientific paradigm to make them fit. Re consciousness, that again simply means that, if consciousness appears to be an emergent property, then it is because we have no scientific paradigm ready to explain away those properties. Or perhaps that the properties we ask to explain away themselves no longer fit the scientific paradigm we use to explain away everything else.

    Ex, if you expect an explanation of consciousness to consist mostly in terms of biology, then you probably won't ever agree to an explanation which consists almost exclusively in cognitive terms. If you expect the explanation to consists mostly in cognitive terms, but we present you an explanation of consciousness in terms of general system organisation, then you probably won't ever agree to it. People who claim that "science" cannot explain consciousness a) always bring in their own unjustified expectations of what consciousness is and what its explanation should look like, and b) almost always assume that it is not perfectly normal that we have no current complete explanation of consciousness.
  • T Clark
    3k
    I don't see where you read that. That simply means that some properties will appear as emergent as long as we have not found the proper scientific paradigm to make them fit. Re consciousness, that again simply means that, if consciousness appears to be an emergent property, then it is because we have no scientific paradigm ready to explain away those properties. Or perhaps that the properties we ask to explain away themselves no longer fit the scientific paradigm we use to explain away everything else.Akanthinos

    When I say "emergence" I'm not talking about a phenomenon having unknown properties because we don't have enough information or a "proper scientific paradigm." I'm talking about a phenomenon made up of interactions of smaller phenomena that has properties which can not be predicted, even theoretically, from the properties of constituent phenomena. I think thats the correct usage of the word. Yes? No?
  • Akanthinos
    1k
    How a unique consciousness could arises from parts motions and configurations? We don't observe separate consciousness related to separate parts.bahman

    Because each parts are vested in the same context, from the same point of view, that of a singular organism.

    The problem of passive synthesis is solved through a proper analysis of the multitude of "selves" generated by a living organism, and even more dramatically by a mature human being. We don't "observe separate consciousness related to separate parts" because we are normally functionning living beings that relate directly to their sense-data through a unification of those different inputs on a singular field. This could and sometime is different. Alien Hand Syndrome is a thing, you know.
    We also don't have a tendency to question the unity of our consciousness because we all have an autobiographical and historical selves which remain more or less the same in-between our daily losses of consciousness. Everytime I wake up I could start by questionning who I am, if I'm not a new being that just started existing. But then I would each time remember that I am myself, that I have my particular history, and that as far as I can tell, that history is just about the same one as the one I would have come up with yesterday, and would come up with tomorrow. That, although it is not an exercise we actually need to consciously perform, unifies my experiences and consciousness just as much as the peculiarity that is passive synthesis.

    I think thats the correct usage of the word. Yes? No?T Clark

    Emergence is not an easy thing to define, and how you define it is half the problem itself, so the idea of a correct usage is already deleterious. Emergence can be presented as an acausal synchronic supervenience of properties, or it can be presented as a dynamical nonsynchronic causal relata, like Timothy O'Connor does. And in dozens of other ways. I would agree that standard supervenience emergentism is wrong, at least because it does not properly explain how these relata could be primitives.

    This, however, is completely beyond scope of Bahman's OP, which is trivially dismissed because of its profound inadequacy.
  • T Clark
    3k
    Emergence is not an easy thing to define, and how you define it is half the problem itself, so the idea of a correct usage is already deleterious. Emergence can be presented as an acausal synchronic supervenience of properties, or it can be presented as a dynamical nonsynchronic causal relata, like Timothy O'Connor does. And in dozens of other ways. I would agree that standard supervenience emergentism is wrong, at least because it does not properly explain how these relata could be primitives.Akanthinos

    I have no idea what this means. I'm ok with that.
  • bahman
    530
    I went back through the past 10 or so of your posts but I'm not sure what your argument is in this context. Can you briefly restate it.T Clark

    Let me if I can summarize the discussion. Matter is made of parts which each part has a set of properties. For example electron has, charge, mass, spin, position and motion. The properties of the system however is a function of its parts' properties. There is always an observable which is defined as average of properties of parts. Let me give you an example: Think of pressure that a gas exerts to the wall of container. Pressure is an observable. It is related to average force which atoms/molecules of gas exert to the wall of container. That is true for any other observable such as density, average velocity, temperature, and more complex things such as conductivity in more complex system such as superconductor, etc. In all these physical examples an observable in macro scale is expressed in term of average properties of the parts. There is no such a thing as emergence in physics.
  • bahman
    530

    Well, this thread was about emergence. I argue that it is impossible. Please read this post for further illustration.

    For what regards consciousness which is a side topic one can argue that it is impossible to measure it. Therefore consciousness does not belong to scientific/physical realm.
  • bahman
    530
    Because each parts are vested in the same context, from the same point of view, that of a singular organism.

    The problem of passive synthesis is solved through a proper analysis of the multitude of "selves" generated by a living organism, and even more dramatically by a mature human being. We don't "observe separate consciousness related to separate parts" because we are normally functionning living beings that relate directly to their sense-data through a unification of those different inputs on a singular field. This could and sometime is different. Alien Hand Syndrome is a thing, you know.
    We also don't have a tendency to question the unity of our consciousness because we all have an autobiographical and historical selves which remain more or less the same in-between our daily losses of consciousness. Everytime I wake up I could start by questionning who I am, if I'm not a new being that just started existing. But then I would each time remember that I am myself, that I have my particular history, and that as far as I can tell, that history is just about the same one as the one I would have come up with yesterday, and would come up with tomorrow. That, although it is not an exercise we actually need to consciously perform, unifies my experiences and consciousness just as much as the peculiarity that is passive synthesis.
    Akanthinos

    We were discussion whether electron for example is conscious. He answered yes. Then I question how a unique consciousness is possible when all parts of your body are conscious separately?
  • Akanthinos
    1k
    For what regards consciousness which is a side topic one can argue that it is impossible to measure it.bahman

    The smallest measurement possible is a token of presence : if you can't measure something, you either haven't defined it well enough for measurement, or there is nothing at all there to measure.

    We were discussion whether electron for example is conscious. He answered yes. Then I question how a unique consciousness is possible when all parts of your body are conscious separately?bahman

    Then my answer still holds, despite not being about electrons. A unique consciousness is possible through the passive synthesis of our inputs, when it is acheived. If it is not, and perhaps it is the normal state of affairs for certain living beings, then you truly have multiple consciousness related to different body parts in a single organism. There is nothing a priori wrong with this, and there is no deep philosophical connection to make with this, except perhaps in regards to the fact that, seemingly, most living beings do unify their experiential data into a single "stream of consciousness".

    Well, this thread was about emergence. I argue that it is impossible.bahman

    I've already shown you why your, let's say, your meriology doesn't represent O'Connors type of causal asynchronous emergence, but it doesn't represent the standard supervenience account of emergence either.

    In your account, all properties are defined en bloc, at once, with no regards to dynamic relations. In the standard supervenience account, it becomes necessary to define further subsets of Pi, where each of those subsets may also be attributed properties. The relational properties of those subsets are seen, by virtue of their structural peculiarity, as equally primitive as those properties we generally would define as primitives. Since the effects described are not technically the result of causal relationships, but of relationships betweens sets of causally entangled properties, they are additionnally often not described as 'causal' events, but rather as 'synchronous' events.
  • T Clark
    3k
    Let me if I can summarize the discussion. Matter is made of parts which each part has a set of properties. For example electron has, charge, mass, spin, position and motion. The properties of the system however is a function of its parts' properties. There is always an observable which is defined as average of properties of parts. Let me give you an example: Think of pressure that a gas exerts to the wall of container. Pressure is an observable. It is related to average force which atoms/molecules of gas exert to the wall of container. That is true for any other observable such as density, average velocity, temperature, and more complex things such as conductivity in more complex system such as superconductor, etc. In all these physical examples an observable in macro scale is expressed in term of average properties of the parts. There is no such a thing as emergence in physics.bahman

    I don't have any problem with the examples you provide, except they are not examples of emergence. They are examples of statistical mechanics. Those are completely different things.

    Also, forgive me for being a nitpicker, but temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy of the particles, not force. I recognize that doesn't affect the point you're trying to make.
  • bahman
    530
    For what regards consciousness which is a side topic one can argue that it is impossible to measure it.
    — bahman

    The smallest measurement possible is a token of presence : if you can't measure something, you either haven't defined it well enough for measurement, or there is nothing at all there to measure.
    Akanthinos

    It is not about being small or large. Consciousness is a first person phenomena so you cannot measure it from third person view. All which you can observe is motion of electrons if consciousness is really related to motion of electron which in my opinion it doesn't have any relation.

    We were discussion whether electron for example is conscious. He answered yes. Then I question how a unique consciousness is possible when all parts of your body are conscious separately?
    — bahman

    Then my answer still holds, despite not being about electrons. A unique consciousness is possible through the passive synthesis of our inputs, when it is acheived. If it is not, and perhaps it is the normal state of affairs for certain living beings, then you truly have multiple consciousness related to different body parts in a single organism. There is nothing a priori wrong with this, and there is no deep philosophical connection to make with this, except perhaps in regards to the fact that, seemingly, most living beings do unify their experiential data into a single "stream of consciousness".
    Akanthinos

    The question is how a unified subjective experience is possible when each part experience different thing. You are not providing an answer to that.

    Well, this thread was about emergence. I argue that it is impossible.
    — bahman

    I've already shown you why your, let's say, your meriology doesn't represent O'Connors type of causal asynchronous emergence, but it doesn't represent the standard supervenience account of emergence either.
    Akanthinos

    I am not claiming that emergence of any kind is possible. I am claiming that any property of a system is a function of properties of system's parts. There is nothing extra. I would be happy to know an example rather than consciousness.

    In your account, all properties are defined en bloc, at once, with no regards to dynamic relations. In the standard supervenience account, it becomes necessary to define further subsets of Pi, where each of those subsets may also be attributed properties. The relational properties of those subsets are seen, by virtue of their structural peculiarity, as equally primitive as those properties we generally would define as primitives. Since the effects described are not technically the result of causal relationships, but of relationships betweens sets of causally entangled properties, they are additionnally often not described as 'causal' events, but rather as 'synchronous' events.Akanthinos

    Dynamic is important and I included it as a property of parts.
  • bahman
    530
    I don't have any problem with the examples you provide, except they are not examples of emergence. They are examples of statistical mechanics. Those are completely different things.T Clark

    Can you give me an example, except than consciousness, of a property of a system that is not function of properties of system's parts?

    Also, forgive me for being a nitpicker, but temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy of the particles, not force. I recognize that doesn't affect the point you're trying to make.T Clark

    I am aware of that and I didn't say that temperature is related to force.
  • T Clark
    3k
    Can you give me an example, except than consciousness, of a property of a system that is not function of properties of system's parts?bahman

    The other example I gave was life.

    I am aware of that and I didn't say that temperature is related to force.bahman

    You're right.
  • aporiap
    102
    Dynamic is important and I included it as a property of parts.

    This idea is problematic, relations are not intrinsic properties of parts.

    As a quick example, the words 'Dog' and 'God' are composed of the same letters but form different words. The difference is in the relative position of each letter. If you decompose these words into letters, you don't conserve the relations between the parts and so you loose the properties intrinsic to the whole word (that it sounds like 'dog' vs 'god'; that it means 'dog' and not 'god'). You can make the same point with molecular systems -- e.g. constitutional isomers. These are compounds that are formed of the same atoms but with a different bonding pattern [e.g. 2OH vs H2O2; 1-propanol vs 2-propanol]. It's the bonding pattern in combination with the properties of the constituent atoms that determine the properties of the whole compound.

    Since the relations are unique to the whole and determine the whole's properties, you can make a case for a kind of 'soft' emergence:

    1) The properties of wholes are determined by the parts of a whole and their unique relations with each other [e.g. [behind(x, y); in front of(x, y)]:

    2) A system is reducible if all components are reducible

    3) Relations are not reducible

    Therefore by (1), (2), (3) the properties of wholes are not reducible.
  • Akanthinos
    1k
    The question is how a unified subjective experience is possible when each part experience different thing. You are not providing an answer to that.bahman

    That question is essentially like wondering why is it that an entire car is capable of movement when that movement is entirely born out of motion of its parts. It is not terribly relevant philosophically. In General System terms, it marks the difference between an output of a part of the system, and an output of the system itself, that is all.

    Can you give me an example, except than consciousness, of a property of a system that is not function of properties of system's parts?bahman

    Urban traffic, movements in flock of birds, hell, even hashtags and retweets.
  • bahman
    530
    The other example I gave was life.T Clark

    Life simply is what you call statistical mechanic when you subtract consciousness from it. It doesn't think and it doesn't have any feeling either. You know that sperm follow the path toward egg because of distribution of chemical, etc.
  • bahman
    530
    This idea is problematic, relations are not intrinsic properties of parts.aporiap

    I just put them in the same package giving them a name. What you wishes?

    As a quick example, the words 'Dog' and 'God' are composed of the same letters but form different words. The difference is in the relative position of each letter. If you decompose these words into letters, you don't conserve the relations between the parts and so you loose the properties intrinsic to the whole word (that it sounds like 'dog' vs 'god'; that it means 'dog' and not 'god'). You can make the same point with molecular systems -- e.g. constitutional isomers. These are compounds that are formed of the same atoms but with a different bonding pattern [e.g. 2OH vs H2O2; 1-propanol vs 2-propanol]. It's the bonding pattern in combination with the properties of the constituent atoms that determine the properties of the whole compound.aporiap

    Yes, and there is no emergence up to here.

    Since the relations are unique to the whole and determine the whole's properties, you can make a case for a kind of 'soft' emergence:

    1) The properties of wholes are determined by the parts of a whole and their unique relations with each other [e.g. [behind(x, y); in front of(x, y)]:

    2) A system is reducible if all components are reducible

    3) Relations are not reducible

    Therefore by (1), (2), (3) the properties of wholes are not reducible.
    aporiap

    What do you mean with relations are not reducible?
  • bahman
    530
    The question is how a unified subjective experience is possible when each part experience different thing. You are not providing an answer to that.
    — bahman

    That question is essentially like wondering why is it that an entire car is capable of movement when that movement is entirely born out of motion of its parts. It is not terribly relevant philosophically. In General System terms, it marks the difference between an output of a part of the system, and an output of the system itself, that is all.
    Akanthinos

    No, the problem of emergence of a unique consciousness is different from example you gave.

    Can you give me an example, except than consciousness, of a property of a system that is not function of properties of system's parts?
    — bahman

    Urban traffic, movements in flock of birds, hell, even hashtags and retweets.
    Akanthinos

    Of course urban traffic is a function of number of cars and structure of road. We are dealing with conscious beings in movements in flock of birds...
  • Akanthinos
    1k
    No, the problem of emergence of a unique consciousness is different from example you gave.bahman

    No, it's essentially the same. See, I too I'm allowed to disagree without arguments, and it doesn't move the conversation along anymore than you! Yeah! :confused:

    Of course urban traffic is a function of number of cars and structure of road.bahman

    The structure of a city isn't planned ahead in block, contrary to what peeps in Urban Dev might tell you. Modern cities have evolved from multiple neighbourhoods merging together, each with their own initial planning (or lack of planning), driving bylaws and specifications due to the make-up of the area. Traffic is an emerging feature from the interrelations of the properties of each of those categories.
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