• Belter
    89
    Individuals, minds and brains are clearly different and also their mutual relations.
    Sociology explains the society through individual mechanisms.
    Psychology explains the individual through mental mechanisms.
    Biology explains the mind through brain mechanisms.
    Why the relation between theses concepts and scientific domains is considered often as a philosophical puzzle?

  • SteveKlinko
    290
    I think the problem with Biology and Brain Mechanisms can be summed up by asking a simple question about a one particular aspect of Consciousness ... Given:

    1) Neural Activity for Red happens
    2) A Conscious Red experience happens

    How does 1 produce or cause 2?

    Nobody knows the answer to this. It is the Hard Problem of Consciousness and it is also the Explanatory Gap of Consciousness.
  • Belter
    89


    I think that 1) is not the cause of 2) but its biological mechanism.
    Causes of Red experience are related with seeing a red objetc, to be alucinating with it, etc.
  • Pattern-chaser
    531
    I don't want to disrupt your thread, but I observe that you are deploying exclusively scientific tools to address these issues. Sociology tells us what an intelligent alien could deduce about us by remote observation. I think this problem could use a more intimate understanding than that. We need the human version of sociology, I think. I don't know what you'd call it, but it concerns what being a human means to a human. Similarly for psychology.

    The mind-brain problem is a tricky one that requires (IMO) all the tools, techniques and perspectives we have available. Science is only part of that.
  • Belter
    89
    Thanks
    My interest is not to elude the philosophical problems but try to understand them. But in this matter I sincerely cannot see it.
    In my view, it is possible another minds that they do not use brains, such as the I.A. or an hypothetical alien civilization with a very different biology, but I cannot see the philosophical problem of a mind operating with other things that human neurons.
  • SteveKlinko
    290
    I think that 1) is not the cause of 2) but its biological mechanism.
    Causes of Red experience are related with seeing a red objetc, to be alucinating with it, etc.
    Belter
    There may be multiple reasons why the Red experience happens but with a normal Human being, if Red Neurons fire there will be a Red experience. Seems to me a Biological Mechanism is a cause. I just want to know what the Biological Mechanism is that accomplishes this.
  • tom
    1.5k
    There may be multiple reasons why the Red experience happens but with a normal Human being, if Red Neurons fire there will be a Red experience. Seems to me a Biological Mechanism is a cause. I just want to know what the Biological Mechanism is that accomplishes this.SteveKlinko

    When the red sensors in a CCD fire, will there be red experience?
  • Harry Hindu
    1.4k
    In my view, it is possible another minds that they do not use brains, such as the I.A. or an hypothetical alien civilization with a very different biology, but I cannot see the philosophical problem of a mind operating with other things that human neurons.Belter
    What is a mind for you to start declaring what has it and what doesn't?

    What does it mean to "think", or to "have experiences"? What is "consciousness"?

    It seems to me that problem lies in dualism itself - the idea that somehow the mind and body are so totally different that they cannot relate or interact. You seem to think that it is impossible for a particular set of active neurons represent some active part of the mind. Why? What argument do you have against it?

    Seeing a bent stick in water is evidence that we see a model of the world based on the information we receive in light when it enters our eyes. We don't see bent straws in water. We see bent light passing through the water and glass.

    In the same manner, when we look at other people and their brains, we see a model that is constructed with the information we receive from the light entering our eyes. Their body and their brain is a model for the underlying mental processes that they experience. Brains are mental models of other people's mental activity. You might say that the brain is the macroscopic expression of mental processes, which could be extremely small, or part of another process that we have yet to discover and explain.
  • Belter
    89
    Seems to me a Biological Mechanism is a causeSteveKlinko

    In my view, the brain is not the cause of mind in the same way temperature is not an effect of the molecular movement but it physical mechanism (how hot happens at the most detailed and reliable level).
    People think by using their brains, and objects become hot with the increasing of the movement in their molecules.
    Causes are the "why" something happens and mechanism are the "how" one.
    People think due to many different causes, but they seem to make it with a only one mechanism (neural synchrony), in the same way than an object can become hot due to many causes, but it seems to be always by the same mechanism (molecular movement).
    That is, the individual "X", the mind state "M" of X, and the brain state "B" of M are not identical, so the relation between X and M corresponds to psychology, and of M and B one to biology.
    If you think that between brain and mind there is a causality relation then you should must think that the cause of your onions cutting is the knife, and not the objective of making a salad.
  • Belter
    89
    What does it mean to "think", or to "have experiences"? What is "consciousness"?Harry Hindu

    In my opinion, they are concepts that explain what happens with individuals. Mind is that we postulated for modelating how individuals make which they make. Brain activity is that we postulated for modelating how minds make which they make.
  • SteveKlinko
    290
    When the red sensors in a CCD fire, will there be red experience?tom
    I doubt it but who knows? If we knew how maybe we could ask the Conscious Mind, if there is one, that is connected to the camera if it had a Red experience.However, I do know that when Red Neurons fire there is a Red experience for Humans.
  • SteveKlinko
    290
    Causes are the "why" something happens and mechanism are the "how"Belter
    I think it would be proper grammar to say that I want to know the Mechanism that Causes the Conscious Red experience to happen. I believe this means the Mechanism is the Cause. Of course this is all semantics.
  • Wayfarer
    6.8k
    We need the human version of sociology, I think. I don't know what you'd call it, but it concerns what being a human means to a human.Pattern-chaser

    That's possibly the original intent of philosophy itself.

    Sociology was devised by Auguste Comte, and is an important aspect of the European Enlightenment. As such it was intended to move from an understanding based on metaphysics to one based on science. This however was long before all of the drawbacks of such positivism - and that term was also devised by Comte - became fully apparent.
  • Belter
    89
    I believe this means the Mechanism is the Cause. Of course this is all semantics.SteveKlinko

    It is not semantic in my opinion. Smoking causes cancer, but the mechanism of the cancer is other thing than to smoke.
  • Harry Hindu
    1.4k
    In my opinion, they are concepts that explain what happens with individuals. Mind is that we postulated for modelating how individuals make which they make. Brain activity is that we postulated for modelating how minds make which they make.Belter
    Huh..wha?
  • tom
    1.5k
    I doubt it but who knows? If we knew how maybe we could ask the Conscious Mind, if there is one, that is connected to the camera if it had a Red experience.However, I do know that when Red Neurons fire there is a Red experience for Humans.SteveKlinko

    I think it's jumping the shark to entertain the idea that a CCD possesses qualia. Asking the conscious mind attached to the CCD would be no more useful than asking the conscious mind attached to a retina.

    Yes, we get it, humans have qualia, but if "red neurones" cause qualia in humans, then why don't they in animals, or robots.
  • Belter
    89


    My lemma is this matter is: "Individuals think through the brain"

    "Mind" is which we postulate to explain individual performance, for example:
    - Why John is crying? (action)
    - Because he feels pain (mind).
    A very different question is:
    - How he feels pain? (mind)
    - Through the activation of C-Fibers in his brain. (brain)

    The Hard Problem, as I understand it, claims that, in one hand, there is 1) a "descriptive" problem, often called the NCC (neural correlates of conscience) one; and 2) another "theoretic" one, which fits obtaining a theory about how these correlates "cause" experience or conscience.

    In my opinion, this view fails directly insofar "Y" can not be simultaneously a "correlate" (relation between two effects) and a "cause" of X (relation between cause and effect). When two variables are correlated (show the same effects) is assumed that there is common factor (cause) acting in it. For example, hair loss and the decreasing of tall in humans could be correlated, due to aging in both cases.
    Thus, the NCC is only "philosophical" problem insofar it says us what is the "matter" or the "substance" of conscience; the physical mechanism through we think. But it might be transformed into the NMC problem, that is: neural mechanism of conscience.

    Brain can not the cause of mind in the same way that your intestinal procedure are not the cause of your digestion but (part of) its mechanism.
  • Harry Hindu
    1.4k
    but what I've been saying is what if the mind creates the brain and its neurons as a model of others mind? When you look at another person's mind, you see a brain.
  • MiloL
    23
    Yes, we get it, humans have qualia, but if "red neurones" cause qualia in humans, then why don't they in animals, or robots.tom

    I've mentioned this in part before but I'll try this a little different. Machine = Body, Brain = Mind, Self = Self. Ok so the Self operates the machine by way of the mind. Frequently the comparison between human and animals questions why/how us and not them. This is easily explained if you consider that the non human inhabitants of this planet are in so many ways anthropomophized because of those examples of emotion that challenges our conceptions that of their intellect and senscience. I mean if they were anything like us really why would they still live in the condition they do. Obviously not smart enough right? Ok I'll give you that but macro it out for a second.

    Bear with me here.

    If you were designing this planet and the life on it. Seems perfectly reason that you would have all your creations serving a particular purpose all in the greater purpose of your greater creation. Following this logic everyone but us has a purpose. The dung beetles, the lions, blah, blah....you get where I'm going. Humans however doing have anything specific that ties us to terrain or the planet (in general terms) for that matter. At least until the lack of gravity issue brings further word. In the meantime we remain significantly different and capable but what makes us different.

    For this we look at a simple PC. Why? The Machine operated by the self via the mind is built with bios and an OS. In animals the OS is preloaded in humans it is not. Our children are helpless at birth because they have only the bios installed. Sleep, eat, cry...fear, happy...all the basics preload but human are the original AI. Our desire and efforts are nothing more than an extension of our collective need for answers about our creation less our creators. We are trying to recreate ourselves.

    The human operating system is build almost entirely on experience. It is a model of the adaptive AI programming being dreamed about. As many of you know the BIOS and OS maybe work in concert but they are entirely separate and as humans the variations is evident in the people around us. Now animals while prone to surprise us and certainly must have mechanisms to adapt their OS where it comes to interacting and understanding their surroundings, they are bound to the limitations of their preloaded OS. Kind of reminds me of a Tandy from years ago.

    Which is interesting since what I'm really talking about is design and since you are the creator and you've created a slew of different types of animals, insects, birds, etc and wanted to build something without the limitations of that which you've created so far. You've started countless projects a watched as they evolved. This time you wanted to do something different, better. So. you create something that can learn from everything else you created. Can survive in all the places you've made and endure all the conditions of life you've put in place.

    Then it hits you. You have to create something not specifically attached as with fins, wings and the symbiotic relationships designed between creatures. This time you'd have to ensure they didn't have any of the predefined attachments like the others. This time the focus would be on the adaptive learning but it would have to start empty and collect data as it goes. It would have that preload bios to ensure it at least have a basic idea about danger and things that threaten its survival much in the way a child knows its hungry and must eat but has to learn to meet the need. In this way it can learn from the area in which it is. It's why frogs aren't born in the desert looking for flies near a lake (crude example I know but its late and you still get what I mean). The end result is a creature who can do well everything we've done leading us to this point and while the risk is certainly huge for such a creator because no one wants their creation to destroy itself but that adaptive learning is what allows us to become what we have and will while animals remain animals.
  • Belter
    89


    I'm agree in part. But "mind" does not "create" the brain. A "model" and the phenomena modeled are two thing completely different.
  • SteveKlinko
    290
    I doubt it but who knows? If we knew how maybe we could ask the Conscious Mind, if there is one, that is connected to the camera if it had a Red experience.However, I do know that when Red Neurons fire there is a Red experience for Humans. — SteveKlinko
    I think it's jumping the shark to entertain the idea that a CCD possesses qualia. Asking the conscious mind attached to the CCD would be no more useful than asking the conscious mind attached to a retina.

    Yes, we get it, humans have qualia, but if "red neurones" cause qualia in humans, then why don't they in animals, or robots
    tom
    Ok I was just playing along with you in answering the question the way I did. The reality is that we don't know anything about how our own Conscious experience of Red happens. We need to figure that out first before we can ask questions about CCDs.
  • SteveKlinko
    290
    I believe this means the Mechanism is the Cause. Of course this is all semantics. — SteveKlinko
    It is not semantic in my opinion. Smoking causes cancer, but the mechanism of the cancer is other thing than to smoke.
    Belter
    Your Smoking analogy has added a step in front of the problem. Smoking could be analogous to Looking at something Red. If I said that Looking at something Red causes the Red experience then that would be the same as saying Smoking causes cancer. Then you could say that Looking does not cause the Red experience but that there is some deeper Mechanism involving Neurons that is the cause. With the Consciousness problem we are already deep into the problem from the start. The analogous starting point in the Smoking analogy would be to ask the question how does Tar and Nicotine cause Cancer? It is Semantics.
  • tom
    1.5k
    The reality is that we don't know anything about how our own Conscious experience of Red happens. We need to figure that out first before we can ask questions about CCDs.SteveKlinko

    We know that neither "red neurones" nor CCDs cause qualia. That is impossible
  • BelterAccepted Answer
    89
    The reality is that we don't know anything about how our own Conscious experience of Red happensSteveKlinko

    The hard problem introduce a new additional problem that in my view does not exist. When Red-Neurons are firing in X, the conscious experience of Red happen in X (X experiences a qualia). We know it due to psychological experiments. But qualia, like digestion, are nontransferable: they are referred to concrete individuals. You can not see what another person sees in the same way that you can not make the same digestion than him but your our digestion. Qualia is like time in relativity theory: it is referred to a reference systems, which experience it, but it is not absolute.
    The question "How C-fibers permit subject to feel pain?" is answered "Through their fired when harm in he is perceived". And we can continue questioning: "Why it happens?", so to respond: "Because evolution selected this way of feeling pain in humans". Some people think that it is insufficient, but there is not more steps.
  • tom
    1.5k
    When Red-Neurons are firing in X, the conscious experience of Red happen in X (X experiences a qualia). We know it due to psychological experiments.Belter

    You know it's true from psychological experiments on fish, lizards, and robots. I doubt it.
  • Belter
    89
    You know it's true from psychological experiments on fish, lizards, and robots. I doubt it.tom

    Fish, lizards and robots all use some kind of "brain", in the sense of a material system for thinking. Mind happens without some form of brain is for my not conceivable.
  • tom
    1.5k
    Fish, lizards and robots all use some kind of "brain", in the sense of a material system for thinking. Mind happens without some form of brain is for my not conceivable.Belter

    Fish, lizards and robots don't have minds though. None of them possess qualia.
  • Belter
    89


    Fish, lizards and robots don't have minds though. None of them possess qualia.tom

    They have qualia (except robots if they have not a "brain", even when it is not "cellular") due to the same (evolutionary) reasons that us: to perceive and predict the world and to our self.
  • tom
    1.5k
    They have qualia (except robots if they have not a "brain", even when it is not "cellular") due to the same (evolutionary) reasons that us: to perceive and predict the world and to our self.Belter

    Robots can be programmed to do all that without qualia.

    You are simply making an unwarranted assumption, when the opposite is practically certain. What we know of qualia, apart from our personal exeriences, is that only knowledge-creating entities can have them. Fish don't create knowledge, and they don't possess qualia. They have no use for it.
  • Belter
    89
    Robots can be programmed to do all that without qualiatom

    If you program the robot for view colors, why do you think that it has not a "qualia" such as of humans for which evolution programmed them for that? For my it is an unwarranted assumption.
    Brain was the evolutionary solution to the necessity of representing the world for individuals which need to move. Any reason justify that only the human brain, but any other, permit individuals to think. Why only humans are "knowledge-creating entities"?
  • wellwisher
    163


    The difference between brain and mind is analogous to the differences between hardware; biology, and software; psychology. Software, by itself, is a nothing but a static DVD or thumb drive with semi-conductor bits and bytes. You need hardware to run it to see what it does. Hardware, by itself, is also inert, without an operating system and software. You need both to get the full affect of consciousness.

    Hardware is easier to investigate, since this is outside us, and therefore it is a third person object that is more in tune with the philosophy of science. Software is not as tuned to the philosophy of science, since you can't necessarily infer what a static software can do, by looking at it in the third person, unless you are an expert at coding.

    The variety of orientations in psychology shows that there is no coding standard. Therefore, this half of the puzzle becomes more subjective. Hardware is easier to standardize because we can see the processor versus the mother board and this can be standardized.

    Learning the coding for the brain software is an internal process of introspection. You cannot learn this from the outside, since output affects always involve hardware; cross contamination. If someone smiles, this may start with software, but an outside observation become filtered through the hardware, thereby biasing any attempt to infer the software due to this extra second hard data.

    For example, game software played through different quality hardware, can be quite different in terms of performance. One set of hardware can show a lag that has nothing to do with the software, but is a hardware affect. Another set of hardware can show fidelity enhancements that may be do more to better hardware or secondary sound and video software.

    As such, one needs to filter out the hardware through self observation, so you can factor out any third person hardware affects, and observe the software in the first person. However, this approach is not fully supported by the philosophy of science, since it cannot be observed by others.

    For example, if I am having a dream, there is no way for others to see these dream details, that I can see, to verify what I see. However, this is first hand data for software analysis. It occurs deep in the brain and my consciousness is not aware of my legs moving or my facial expressions changing. It is closer to software only. Enough practice and experience allows one to narrow down coding loops. Over time one can even map out the software side of the psyche.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.