• Possibility
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    Yes DNA is alive as part of a system. It is probably not the dominant brain of the system, it is capable of creating messenger RNA, and they, in their many guises, are seeming to be the epigenetics of the system. They can transcribe from DNA, but also reverse transcribe, to alter DNA.Pop

    A multi-cellular organism relies on a number of additional integrated system structures, within which DNA (as molecular-level information) is subject to variability in interpretation, expression, editing and transmission. Saying DNA is the dominant brain would be like saying the bible is the ‘dominant brain’ of Christianity, so to speak.

    I concentrate on the fundamentals of a system to try and unentangle the qualitative ( emotional ) and quantitative information. There are only tiny little straws on offer to do this with. Thus far microbes respond to painful stimuli, the selfish gene, the bias to be, and gradient tracking - all suggest emotions at the fundamental level. We know information, energy and matter are present at this level, we know there is life, but for consciousness we need emotion to be present at this level, and I think there is a strong case. I am convinced , at least.Pop

    There are only tiny little straws because you’re not really at the fundamentals of that system. You’ve consolidated molecular relations within a living system, and you’re arguing for the existence of relational information as proof that ‘consciousness’ exists at this level. Relational information at the level of biochemistry - as a variability in 3D structure (attention) and energy (effort) - pertains to the potential for ‘life’ in relation to a living organism, in the same way that affect - as a variability in valence (attention) and arousal (effort) - pertains to the potential for ‘consciousness’ in relation to a conscious organism.

    The way I see it, all of existence has a six-dimensional structure of relational possibility. In this way, we often relate to animals and even rocks as if they were conscious - attributing attention and effort as valence and arousal - but we have no reason to assume they are even vaguely aware of relations at that level of complexity. You can say that DNA is alive and emotional because it moves and responds to interaction in a way that supports the awareness and intentionality of the organism, but that’s because DNA is always subject to the awareness and intentionality of the organism through interpretation and epigenetics. You seem to be arguing that DNA has its own agenda within a living system, but there is no evidence of that.

    Relational aspects of life are well established. Once emotion at the fundamental level is established, then we start to get an understanding of how consolidation or a nucleus to relational self organization forms. That qualia cause self organization is a good bet. Dose qualia = emotion? If so, and this is my understanding, then it is consciousness that emerges as self organization, not life. Life is a concept that obscures this understanding, and I wish I could erase it from common usage, as it is redundant and makes my case difficult to explain. Consciousness arises as a system of self organization - this is what you are seeing in those cellular animations. An extremely sophisticated system of self organization. This system of self organization is common to all of life, and as we come to understand it better, we must attribute its spectacular complexity, to either god, or a consciousness.Pop

    At the fundamental level, even sub-atomic particles are contingent upon relation. It’s not a matter of establishing emotion at the level of DNA, but recognising that each ‘fundamental’ level of consolidation is dependent upon underlying relations, and so this relational information that we perceive as ‘emotion’ (from our conscious perspective) points to the potentiality of a higher level of ‘self’-organisation. But don’t confuse the potentiality of DNA with that of the living or conscious system that interprets the relation. The perceived potentiality of a rock is enhanced exponentially by my own capacity for awareness, connection and collaboration with its relational structure. I wouldn’t claim that capacity is inherent to the rock, though.

    Both emotion and qualia are relational information, but they relate to different consolidated structures, so they are not the same. It isn’t surprising that equating these two is difficult to explain. I understand your wish to remove consolidated structures such as ‘life’ from an explanation of relational information. If you are to take this seriously, though, you would need to remove ALL consolidated structures: DNA, molecules, atoms and sub-atomic particles - even consciousness. Because they, too, are constructed by relational information. This system of self-organisation is common to all of existence, but it goes further than attributing its complexity to ‘a consciousness’.

    Do you include your own consciousness within that consciousness, or in external relation to it? Be careful how you answer this question: the former suggests determinism, the latter suggests a god. Or is it your own consciousness that you’re referring to? In which case, you have many conscious subjects, each with their own potential structure of reality, within the possible existence of a more complex relational structure than consciousness. This is the sixth dimension, an aspect of meaning and possibility.

    Yes, DNA can only exist in a living system, and is biased to be. Fundamentally it is biased to be, as the universe is biased to be, so all of the component parts of the universe in turn are biased to be. So it would seem emotion is fundamental as well as information. This is how I understand Panpsychism.Pop

    You’re missing the point. The universe as a whole is not biased to be - what you’re able to interact with is structured to enable this interaction, but there is much more to the possible universe than this. Emotion IS information - there is no ‘as well as’ and we need to stop making this distinction. It isn’t helpful. The difference is only in how we perceive it: as consolidated or relational. When we consolidate, we also perceive a one-dimensional, surface relation between ourselves and the world, which we refer to as ‘emotion’ or bias. But the reality is that information is relational across multiple dimensions, affecting the system as one, two, three, four and five-dimensional relational structures within an integrated system. We always need to locate our perception in relation to the world, and be honest about attributing this relational information that you package as ‘emotion’.

    The truth is that this ‘emotion’ is both our relation to the system and its relation to ours. When we consider ourselves to be a wholly rational, consolidated structure, then we attribute all ‘emotion’ to the system - the object of our attention and effort. When we consider this object to be the wholly rational, consolidated structure (as materialists do), then we must attribute all ‘emotion’ to ourselves. When we consider all of existence - ourselves included - to be purely relational in its structure, then everything is information and everything is relational, and we can more honestly attribute attention and effort, beyond the limitations and bias of consolidated structures.
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    Saying DNA is the dominant brain would be like saying the bible is the ‘dominant brain’ of Christianity, so to speak.Possibility

    That is not a bad analogy. But I said it was probably not the dominant brain. However that there is mind at the cellular level is without doubt. You have described it as "molecular-level information". So we have information, and there is a good argument for emotion, and they are the two ingredients of consciousness - of course it is entangled into matter. Specifically, entangled into DNA, which is a symbolic representation of information, much like the sentence I'm writing. So we have abstract thought at the cellular level.

    There would be an underlying quantum layer, but I don't want to go there for now, as it is too theoretical.
    The biological data - that information, and emotion, and abstract thought are present, is not theoretical. That we are blind to it is a hangover from materialism, I believe.

    Again, I like your relational explanation of things, but its not how I experience the world. It is how you experience the world. Both views work, but they are different expressions of consciousness, and I suspect underlying these expressions is a simple algorithm that we both posses, that expresses itself in a myriad of different ways, through life and life's activities.

    Do you include your own consciousness within that consciousness, or in external relation to it?Possibility

    My own consciousness is the extracellular consciousness of the cellular master consciousness, and I am emotionally driven. That is the logic of it. So make what you will of that. Just to clarify - I am a very normal functional person. :meh:

    Emotion IS information - there is no ‘as well as’ and we need to stop making this distinction. It isn’t helpful.Possibility

    If emotion is information, then you should be able to inform me exactly how you feel, such that I could feel it also, but you cannot for the same reason you couldn't describe red. Information and emotion exist in consciousness, emotion entangles information, but it is only information that exists in transit from one consciousness to another. Perhaps it is better described as biased information, and we can to some extent discern the bias. It is biased because it is entangled by emotion.

    Emotion is a subjective quality that arises in relation to integrated information. Every thought has a corresponding quale, that orients us in our personally constructed reality. The whole conscious experience gets reduced to an emotional symbol representing the experience. Once we are in possession of the emotional symbol ( quale ), we understand the implications of the information we have integrated. My quale would be located on a point on the PPS, but yours would perhaps be a multidimensional PPS. Regardless, it is at this point that we have an experience, that we take to be reality.
  • Possibility
    1.6k
    However that there is mind at the cellular level is without doubt. You have described it as "molecular-level information". So we have information, and there is a good argument for emotion, and they are the two ingredients of consciousness - of course it is entangled into matter. Specifically, entangled into DNA, which is a symbolic representation of information, much like the sentence I'm writing. So we have abstract thought at the cellular level.Pop

    Your first and last sentences here are examples of confusing dimensional levels. I recognise that you don’t see the world this way, but this is where you fail to see that your theory is an over-simplification, so it’s worth getting your head around it. Molecular-level information is not ‘mind’: mind refers to five-dimensional structure, molecular-level information refers to three-dimensional structure. DNA consists of four-dimensional information, rendered in a three dimensional structure as organisational code (an arrangement of chemical potential) by its relation to four-dimensional systems. The sentence, on the other hand, consists of five-dimensional information rendered in a four-dimensional structure as organisational code (a sequence of observable letters) by its relation to five-dimensional systems.

    But the sentence also relies on four-dimensional information (your actions) rendered in a three-dimensional structure as organisational code (keyboard hits), and then rendered by your computer into a one-dimensional system as binary code. This is not an integrated process, but must be monitored and maintained by five-dimensional integrated systems, to adjust for errors and damage. DNA, on the other hand, requires integration with four-dimensional (living) systems to monitor and maintain its process. DNA does not require emotion or mind - a five-dimensional relation - to produce life; only a four-dimensional relation is required.

    That said, some potential for a resulting four-dimensional system to relate to another four-dimensional system in a five-dimensional relational structure is written into most DNA structural information - but doesn’t exist as emotion or mind, and varies both within every DNA code and for every type of living cell. In the same way, the structural information of a carbon atom has a vastly different potential to form molecular relations than that of a helium atom, but whether any molecular relation will even occur is indeterminate at the level of atomic structural information.

    You keep constructing the result of DNA information in your mind as if it already exists.

    There would be an underlying quantum layer, but I don't want to go there for now, as it is too theoretical.
    The biological data - that information, and emotion, and abstract thought are present, is not theoretical. That we are blind to it is a hangover from materialism, I believe.
    Pop

    Emotion and abstract thought consist of information - this must be the case if, as you say, everything is information. They cannot then be present alongside information in biological data. You keep consolidating information at a particular level of awareness, and then treat what remains as something else. It isn’t - it’s all information. You will need to come to terms with this as a monist, otherwise you will keep contradicting yourself.

    If emotion is information, then you should be able to inform me exactly how you feel, such that I could feel it also, but you cannot for the same reason you couldn't describe red. Information and emotion exist in consciousness, emotion entangles information, but it is only information that exists in transit from one consciousness to another. Perhaps it is better described as biased information, and we can to some extent discern the bias. It is biased because it is entangled by emotion.

    Emotion is a subjective quality that arises in relation to integrated information. Every thought has a corresponding quale, that orients us in our personally constructed reality. The whole conscious experience gets reduced to an emotional symbol representing the experience. Once we are in possession of the emotional symbol ( quale ), we understand the implications of the information we have integrated. My quale would be located on a point on the PPS, but yours would perhaps be a multidimensional PPS. Regardless, it is at this point that we have an experience, that we take to be reality.
    Pop

    There seems to be a contradiction here. You have been arguing:

    1. Everything is information. (Monism)
    2. Emotion is not information. (Dualism)

    Can you explain this?

    Referring to emotion as a ‘quality’ does not explain its existence as something other than information, unless by ‘information’ you mean only consolidated information.

    To resolve this as a monist, either everything is information (and emotion is information), OR everything is emotion (and information is emotion). Where do you fall?
  • Pop
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    Your first and last sentences here are examples of confusing dimensional levels. I recognise that you don’t see the world this way, but this is where you fail to see that your theory is an over-simplification, so it’s worth getting your head around it.Possibility

    Dimensionality is a great way to contemplate relational structures of information, but at the end of the day you still have to reduce your deliberations to a symbiology of some kind. Consciousness integrates information and reduces it to an emotional symbol. This creates , from your perspective, affect. But I have a more detailed understanding where each instance of consciousness results in a corresponding emotional symbol - each instance of consciousness has its quale. From another part of the forum, If each quale were a note, then when strung together they would cause a tune. This tune describes how you feel about your reality. It is an emotional understanding. If it is unpleasant, you act to make it more pleasant, If it is pleasant you enjoy the ride. This is what causes behavior.

    Reducing complexity is what happens at the cellular level also. Complexity is reduced to a symbiology that is DNA. Likewise consciousness is a reduction of complexity, an integration of information, a sort of biological black hole that integrates information to a symbol that is ultimately understood as an emotion. Each instance has its own emotion. That is how we know it is unique.

    You keep constructing the result of DNA information in your mind as if it already exists.Possibility

    Are you saying it doesn't exist. Are you saying that molecules are not formed from amino acids. That information processing is not going on? That there is no mind making choices and decisions at the cellular level? It is a difficult conclusion to make - I admit, but not because of the facts of the matter, but because of the paradigm we inhabit.

    There seems to be a contradiction here. You have been arguing:

    1. Everything is information. (Monism)
    2. Emotion is not information. (Dualism)
    Possibility

    Emotion is information in consciousness. But it is not something reducible to information absolutely. Information can hint at it, but not dissect and describe and convey it absolutely. The emotional charge at one consciousness can not be reduced to information absolutely such that it ca be felt equally at another consciousness, in the same way that a concept can be described and understood. Emotion is information that has an affect on a consciousness, so it acts more like a force.
  • Possibility
    1.6k
    Dimensionality is a great way to contemplate relational structures of information, but at the end of the day you still have to reduce your deliberations to a symbiology of some kind.Pop

    Only if you consider a DNA molecular structure, the various cell structures it manifests and maintains, the organism they form and sustain, and the consciousness that develops, each as distinct living systems. But that would be ridiculous. Dimensionality IS a kind of symbiology: one that recognises everything (including emotion) as relational information.

    Consciousness integrates information and reduces it to an emotional symbol. This creates , from your perspective, affect.Pop

    No, that’s not quite how I see it. Consciousness is the result of a continual correlation between interoceptive and conceptual predictions of reality, as four-dimensional relational structures. Affect is the relative difference interpreted by our interoceptive network (a purely relational system) which manifests as a distribution of effort and attention; emotion is how our conceptual systems - particularly in relation to language and culture - make sense of that difference in a prediction. This continual interplay and adjustment is the process of integration in a conscious organism. But we are not conscious of it all - only what required our carefully distributed attention at the time.

    But I have a more detailed understanding where each instance of consciousness results in a corresponding emotional symbol - each instance of consciousness has its quale. From another part of the forum, If each quale were a note, then when strung together they would cause a tune. This tune describes how you feel about your reality. It is an emotional understanding. If it is unpleasant, you act to make it more pleasant, If it is pleasant you enjoy the ride. This is what causes behavior.Pop

    This all sounds very reasonable, but it’s pure speculation based on ignorance. ‘Qualia’ and ‘emotion’ are placeholder concepts for unconsolidated information - they reify qualitative relations so that reductionists can deal with them as if they are ‘things’ among consolidated concepts. You pretend you understand what they are, because they are named. ‘If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride’ - but metaphor is not a detailed understanding, it’s an expression of subjective experience. One instance of relation is not a definition. Because we DON’T always act to make an unpleasant feeling more pleasant, and we DON’T always simply go along with a pleasant one. This type of over-generalised thinking is what perpetuates bigotry, religious hatred and other prejudicial assumptions - blinding us to the anomalies, inaccuracies and prediction errors that point to a flawed methodology. Acknowledging and relating to the variability (especially the inconsistencies) in relational behaviour, instead of focusing on the ‘essence’, is the key to understanding. This is how Copernicus and Galileo changed the world.

    Reducing complexity is what happens at the cellular level also. Complexity is reduced to a symbiology that is DNA. Likewise consciousness is a reduction of complexity, an integration of information, a sort of biological black hole that integrates information to a symbol that is ultimately understood as an emotion. Each instance has its own emotion. That is how we know it is unique.Pop

    It’s interesting that you use the analogy of a ‘black hole’ - this suggests an event horizon: a lack of understanding, rather than a ‘more detailed’ one.

    Reductionist methodology is not simply reducing complexity for the sake of it. We can reduce by consolidation, or by attempting to render complex information in a simpler relational structure. Consolidating information reduces volume by discarding information deemed irrelevant. Rendering increases the volume of information, like 7 being ‘reduced’ to 0111 in binary. Barrett uses the computer analogy of ‘sampling’ to describe the conceptual process, which combines both these methodologies in a complex structural relation that maximises the relation between efficiency and accuracy. It refers not just to a symbol, but to a ‘cascade’ of conceptual structures that build on each other in relation to interaction with the environment, like the construction of a snowflake.

    Each snowflake is unique, but the relational structure of a snowflake lends itself to ultimately being understood in relation to our capacity to collaborate. Reducing snowflake structure to an ‘essential’ geometric pattern doesn’t help us to understand or predict each snowflake construction, because it is the relative conditions of each instance within that construction process that determines its uniqueness, step by step.

    In the same manner, the relational structure of consciousness can be understood - not by reducing it to an essential geometric pattern, but by recognising that there is an existing conceptual structure, unique to the experiencing subject, upon which any instance of emotion is constructed. And that conceptual structure is a result of millions of ‘emotional instances’, each manifest according to their relative conditions at the moment of construction.

    Barrett shows that ‘emotional instances’ are formed from a relation between the prediction generated by conceptual structure, and the prediction generated by interoception (ie. the relative conditions). Part of that instance is relational behaviour, as affect, and part of it is restructuring the conceptual system (including the predictive pattern of emotion) to enable a ‘reasonable’ justification of that affect, so that the result is an ongoing alignment of conceptual structure and interoception.

    Are you saying it doesn't exist. Are you saying that molecules are not formed from amino acids. That information processing is not going on? That there is no mind making choices and decisions at the cellular level? It is a difficult conclusion to make - I admit, but not because of the facts of the matter, but because of the paradigm we inhabit.Pop

    Using our minds, we can perceive that information potential exists in DNA, but it only manifests in relation to certain relative conditions. I am saying, however, that there is no mind making choices and decisions at the cellular level. These ‘choices and decisions’ are determined and initiated by the relation of potentiality in this DNA structure to relative conditions. You can probably argue that there is will at the cellular level, but not mind, and not with any degree of freedom. Will - the faculty by which any action is determined and initiated - traverses three main gateways, regardless of mind: ignorance/awareness, isolation/connection and exclusion/collaboration. These ‘choices’ are predetermined to the extent that the relative conditions of this DNA structure - particularly of the cell it resides within - are narrow in relation to that DNA’s full potentiality. Furthermore, even the limited potentiality of its conditions is unknown at the cellular level.

    Emotion is information in consciousness. But it is not something reducible to information absolutely. Information can hint at it, but not dissect and describe and convey it absolutely. The emotional charge at one consciousness can not be reduced to information absolutely such that it ca be felt equally at another consciousness, in the same way that a concept can be described and understood. Emotion is information that has an affect on a consciousness, so it acts more like a force.Pop

    It seems you are saying here that emotion is relevant information only at the level of consciousness, and has a complexity that renders it irreducible to consolidated information. I agree with this. All emotion is relational information - but not all relational information is emotion.

    When you say ‘emotional charge’, then, I gather you’re referring to a one-dimensional relation attributed to a consolidated consciousness? In that sense, I agree that defining a particular ‘emotional charge’ will not enable it to be ‘felt equally’ by another. However, it is possible to describe and understand its relation to a relational consciousness, and determine where information is missing, by recognising that each relational structure aligns with another within a six-dimensional reality.

    This ‘emotional charge’ can be more accurately described as a relation between five-dimensional structures: our personal conceptual structure or mind, and the structure of human logic or reason. When we perceive human logic/reason to be fixed, then all relational information is attributed to ourselves, our thoughts, etc as an emotional charge: a necessary property of experience, or a force that acts upon consciousness. But I would argue that relational information at this level is not emotion but meaning, and within this, the structure of human logic or reason is as variable and subject to criticism as our own value systems.
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    No, that’s not quite how I see it. Consciousness is the result of a continual correlation between interoceptive and conceptual predictions of reality, as four-dimensional relational structures. Affect is the relative difference interpreted by our interoceptive network (a purely relational system) which manifests as a distribution of effort and attention; emotion is how our conceptual systems - particularly in relation to language and culture - make sense of that difference in a prediction. This continual interplay and adjustment is the process of integration in a conscious organism. But we are not conscious of it all - only what required our carefully distributed attention at the time.Possibility

    And all of this has to be reduced to a specific emotional symbol - a pin point - on the pain pleasure spectrum, for you to orient yourself in it. You have to know where you stand in regard to the reality you create for yourself. Each moment of consciousness creates a note. The notes in sequence create a tune - this is what we dance to.

    Consolidating information reduces volume by discarding information deemed irrelevantPossibility

    That is not so. A cellular protein is reduced to a pattern of genes - no information is lost.

    In the same manner, the relational structure of consciousness can be understood - not by reducing it to an essential geometric pattern, but by recognising that there is an existing conceptual structure, unique to the experiencing subject, upon which any instance of emotion is constructed. And that conceptual structure is a result of millions of ‘emotional instances’, each manifest according to their relative conditions at the moment of construction.Possibility

    These are expressions of consciousness - these are the branches of the trees you are talking about, these are not consciousness itself. Consciousness is something common to everything in monism.

    Barrett shows that ‘emotional instances’ are formed from a relation between the prediction generated by conceptual structure, and the prediction generated by interoception (ie. the relative conditions). Part of that instance is relational behaviour, as affect, and part of it is restructuring the conceptual system (including the predictive pattern of emotion) to enable a ‘reasonable’ justification of that affect, so that the result is an ongoing alignment of conceptual structure and interoception.Possibility

    All you are telling me here is that integrated information, results in emotion, which I have no problems with.

    I am saying, however, that there is no mind making choices and decisions at the cellular level. These ‘choices and decisions’ are determined and initiated by the relation of potentiality in this DNA structure to relative conditions. You can probably argue that there is will at the cellular level, but not mind, and not with any degree of freedom.Possibility

    There has been a quantum leap in cellular biology in the last 10 to 15 years, due to advances in technology. For anybody wishing to get up to speed on these developments I can recommend the youtube channel ibiology for state of the art information from the horses mouth. The old idea that this happens by chance somehow is a nonsense, but Descartes did his job well, so it is still considered a mechanical duck. It is an extremely sophisticated system of self organization, and self organization is consciousness, in my theory.

    the structure of human logic or reason is as variable and subject to criticism as our own value systems.Possibility

    It is indeed, but nevertheless meaning arises due to emotions! For a P.zombie it is all meaningless.

    My understanding of emotions leans heavily on the Philosophical Zombie argument. Not that such a person can exist, but precisely that such a person can not exist. Without emotions, there can be no consciousness ( self organization ), and hence no life. It really gets to the essential primacy of emotions.


    It seems you are saying here that emotion is relevant information only at the level of consciousness, and has a complexity that renders it irreducible to consolidated information. I agree with this. All emotion is relational information - but not all relational information is emotion.Possibility

    Lets forget our differences on the other matters and concentrate on this topic?
    We agree on your first sentence.
    "All emotion is relational information" - maybe. It is information that causes affect, in relation to integrated information. Note, we don't know how the information becomes integrated. We become aware of the integrated information, and the emotion it is accompanied with.
    "but not all relational information is emotion" - correct, but it seems all information is entangled with emotion? Can you think of any unemotional information - not a possibility. But can something outside of ourselves produce unemotional information?
  • Possibility
    1.6k
    And all of this has to be reduced to a specific emotional symbol - a pin point - on the pain pleasure spectrum, for you to orient yourself in it. You have to know where you stand in regard to the reality you create for yourself. Each moment of consciousness creates a note. The notes in sequence create a tune - this is what we dance to.Pop

    No - you don’t HAVE to reduce this to a defined pinpoint on a constructed spectrum. Most humans and animals are more than capable of acting without that knowledge. What you act on is affect: an ongoing allocation of attention and effort to align ‘where you stand’ (as an interoception) and ‘the reality you create for yourself’ (as a conceptual structure), whether or not you can distinguish these constructions from consciousness.

    Consciousness cannot be quantised into ‘moments’, anymore than what we dance to is reducible to ‘notes in sequence’ without losing information. What moves us is our subjective relation to the qualitative structure of the music as it is played: we are not moved only by the notes in sequence, but by how we relate to how they relate to each other - how the potentiality of a tune is perceived and expressed. This is what we dance to. We cannot dance to notes on a page. Their organisation into sequence (including supposedly ‘uncoded’ relational structure) remains an unconsolidated potential. We dance only in relation to a perception and expression of that potential: creating our own (predictive) expression of what we would ‘feel’ (perceive) in the performance.

    That is not so. A cellular protein is reduced to a pattern of genes - no information is lost.Pop

    Cellular protein is produced from an integrated system, which is not just consolidation, but, like the conceptual process, must involve both methodologies to maximise the relation between accuracy and efficiency. The relational structure that produces cellular protein is not just a pattern of consolidated ‘genes’ - the notes in sequence - but which notes and how/when those notes are to be ‘played’ by the cell structure are subject to relative conditions within the living organism. To say that cellular protein is reducible to a pattern of genes is like saying that consciousness is reducible to a pattern of brain states. Information is most certainly lost.

    These are expressions of consciousness - these are the branches of the trees you are talking about, these are not consciousness itself. Consciousness is something common to everything in monism.Pop

    A relational information-based monism does not need to argue for ‘consciousness’ as a common property of every ‘thing’, only relational information. A rock is not conscious, and cannot be shown to be conscious. Every molecule of that rock, however, consists of relational information that extends beyond its molecular-level consolidation to interact with the world, to inform and be informed according to its (limited) capacity. This combined relational structure looks like a rock in the world, but is not integrated as such. If you hit that rock with a hammer, it is not conscious of being hit with a hammer, or of being split in two. But those molecules suddenly exposed to air molecules instead of rock will interact with them, and are open to change and forming new bonds from chemical reactions, oxidisation, etc. according to the relative conditions of each molecular interaction, not of the rock itself. For the rest of the molecules that make up the rock, nothing will change.

    So one could argue that the relational properties of a molecule equate to ‘consciousness’, but it’s not the same ‘consciousness’ attributed as a property to humans. The difference in complexity is not accounted for in your theory. You could just as easily argue that consciousness is about the role of electrons, as much as it is about emotion. I would argue that there is something it is like to be a water molecule, but not an ice block - although I would not argue that a water molecule has ‘consciousness’ as a property. It has a pattern of relational properties, determined by its relational structure interacting in relational conditions. Consolidating all potential patterns of relational properties in a water molecule as ‘consciousness’ would imply that the molecule is informed of the variability in either its relational properties, structure or conditions. You may be informed of these, but the molecule is not. So you’re attributing your relational information to the molecule. That’s fine, as long you’re only referring to your relation to the molecule, and not the molecule’s relation to the world regardless of your observation. This is where quantum physics recognises the difficulties in untangling the potentiality of relational properties from the observation/measurement event.

    Consciousness in your conceptual reality, therefore, is attributable to everything. But this is not consciousness in itself.

    There has been a quantum leap in cellular biology in the last 10 to 15 years, due to advances in technology. For anybody wishing to get up to speed on these developments I can recommend the youtube channel ibiology for state of the art information from the horses mouth. The old idea that this happens by chance somehow is a nonsense, but Descartes did his job well, so it is still considered a mechanical duck. It is an extremely sophisticated system of self organization, and self organization is consciousness, in my theory.Pop

    I have not said this is ‘chance’, but I maintain that calling it ‘consciousness’ is a case of false attribution. You’re implying that the DNA molecule is informed of the variability in its relational properties, structure or conditions. But only the epigenetic system has access to this information.

    It is indeed, but nevertheless meaning arises due to emotions! For a P.zombie it is all meaningless.

    My understanding of emotions leans heavily on the Philosophical Zombie argument. Not that such a person can exist, but precisely that such a person can not exist. Without emotions, there can be no consciousness ( self organization ), and hence no life. It really gets to the essential primacy of emotions.
    Pop

    No, it doesn’t. The way I see it, meaning is pure relational information: its existence is possible, regardless of whether or not emotions can be constructed from this possibility. A p.zombie is a thought experiment in imagining a structure that excludes any potential for meaningful relations. Its possible existence is therefore meaningless in itself - regardless of whether it can have emotions, consciousness, life, or anything else. The possibility of meaning is the foundation of existence, from which the query ‘to be or not to be?’ arises as a question of potentiality, from which arises a question of occurrence, then space, then shape, then potential distance/energy, and finally +/- charge (which I argue is really affect, as a relation of arousal/effort and attention/valence).

    Emotion, on the other hand, is contingent upon the consolidation of relational information at the level of mind/potentiality, which is contingent upon the consolidation of relational information at the level of life, which is contingent upon the consolidation of relational information at the level of molecular DNA...and so on, down to contingency upon an answer to the binary question above, but you’ll just ignore all this underlying structure as irrelevant, because the answer is assumed. You perceive emotion as essential to your existence (as a person who is not a p.zombie), and therefore essential to your constructed conceptual reality. Without disentangling your description of reality from your relation to it, you can make no claim to the ‘essential primacy’ of anything beyond the event horizon of your own existence.

    Lets forget our differences on the other matters and concentrate on this topic?
    We agree on your first sentence.
    "All emotion is relational information" - maybe. It is information that causes affect, in relation to integrated information. Note, we don't know how the information becomes integrated. We become aware of the integrated information, and the emotion it is accompanied with.
    "but not all relational information is emotion" - correct, but it seems all information is entangled with emotion? Can you think of any unemotional information - not a possibility. But can something outside of ourselves produce unemotional information?
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    All information is relationally structured. We cannot relate to any information without constructing affect from an interaction between relational properties at minimum. This is essential to any relational process in the organism regardless of consciousness, but a construction of ‘emotion’ can be engineered by arbitrarily attributing relational properties in conceptual reality: such is the capacity of self-organisation at the level of human consciousness.

    Let’s say, for example, that I consider myself to be an entirely rational person, in full control of my emotions. Instead of getting ‘emotional’ at someone cutting me off in traffic, I attribute all ‘emotion’ to the information - they must have seen me and therefore maliciously intended to cut me off, and my leaning on the horn and yelling at them is then a perfectly justified, rational action in the circumstances: an expression of ‘emotional’ information. Do you notice how easily we disassociate ourselves from the conceptualised ‘emotion’ we construct from relational properties?

    But we cannot disassociate ourselves from interoception, which not only determines our effort and attention, but continually informs, and is informed by, our conceptual reality. And we can develop an awareness, connection and collaboration both with the limitations of interoception and how it then interacts with our conceptual system - particularly, how relational information becomes integrated. Saying ‘we don’t know’ is a cop-out: the neuroscience research into the interoceptive network, conceptual cascades and constructionist theories of emotion show extensive understanding in this area. Ignoring it because it doesn’t support your theory is, well, ignorant.

    A computer that randomly generates numbers or letters can be said to produce ‘unemotional information’, but in order to use that information, we look for the potential in its relational structure. Our consciousness is such that it doesn’t interact directly with the world, but predicts relational structure and assumes self-organisation, even where none exists. Like how we select lotto numbers. When there is no relational information, we attribute it from our own experience. If you look at three dots on an otherwise blank page, you will perceive a triangle - a potential relational structure between the dots. You know that there is no actual triangle, and yet it seems you cannot relate to all three dots without it, even as reason dismisses the information. As humans, our mind always relates potentially or predictively to the world: not as it is, but as it would be for us, if.... The neuroscience behind this fascinating temporal shift is explained in Barrett’s book.
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    No - you don’t HAVE to reduce this to a defined pinpoint on a constructed spectrum. Most humans and animals are more than capable of acting without that knowledge. What you act on is affect: an ongoing allocation of attention and effort to align ‘where you stand’ (as an interoception) and ‘the reality you create for yourself’ (as a conceptual structure), whether or not you can distinguish these constructions from consciousness.Possibility

    What creates affect? "where you stand’ (as an interoception) ". Interoception, in its many guises, that you are aware of, reduces to feelings, and feelings can only be understood as something pleasant or painful. We can call it interoception, or a feedback loop, or self organization, it is consciousness.

    What else also causes affect? " the reality you create for yourself’ (as a conceptual structure)".

    It follows this form:

    1: Senses input information
    2: Information is integrated to reason
    3: Reason is experienced
    4: Experience is translated to emotion
    5: Emotion is translated to a feeling
    6: A feeling is located as a point on a pain / pleasure spectrum ( PPS)
    This cognizes the instance of consciousness - the point on the pain / pleasure spectrum tells you what this instance of consciousness means for you. At this point, the reason is understood by the whole body; whole body consciousness understands this language.

    Again it is a feeling that causes affect, regardless of the conceptual structure that creates your reality.

    So feelings always cause affect, and feelings reduce to something painful or pleasant.

    Consciousness is subject to a causal chain - the next moment of consciousness is determined by the present moment, but it is not necessarily a simple linear progression, and there can be several trains of thought occurring simultaneously, with interruptions and resumptions in focus, etc. It is not possible to predict the next moment without first orienting yourself in the present moment. It is the present moment of consciousness and its associated emotional state - the feeling - that affects and causes the next moment.

    So one could argue that the relational properties of a molecule equate to ‘consciousness’, but it’s not the same ‘consciousness’ attributed as a property to humans.Possibility

    When you define consciousness as self organization it is.

    I have not said this is ‘chance’, but I maintain that calling it ‘consciousness’ is a case of false attribution. You’re implying that the DNA molecule is informed of the variability in its relational properties, structure or conditions. But only the epigenetic system has access to this informationPossibility

    And what is epigenetics?

    No, it doesn’t. The way I see it, meaning is pure relational information: its existence is possible, regardless of whether or not emotions can be constructed from this possibilityPossibility

    Before you have meaning you have to have consciousness, before you can have that you have to have emotion. This is why emotional information is important. If emotional-information is fundamental, then consciousness is fundamental.

    and so on, down to contingency upon an answer to the binary question above, but you’ll just ignore all this underlying structure as irrelevant, because the answer is assumed.Possibility

    I ignore it because it is a dead end, due to lack of information.

    Saying ‘we don’t know’ is a cop-out: the neuroscience research into the interoceptive network, conceptual cascades and constructionist theories of emotion show extensive understanding in this area. Ignoring it because it doesn’t support your theory is, well, ignorant.Possibility

    I do not ignore it. As per above explanation. I see no conflict with my theory.
  • Possibility
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    What creates affect? "where you stand’ (as an interoception) ". Interoception, in its many guises, that you are aware of, reduces to feelings, and feelings can only be understood as something pleasant or painful. We can call it interoception, or a feedback loop, or self organization, it is consciousness.

    What else also causes affect? " the reality you create for yourself’ (as a conceptual structure)".

    It follows this form:

    1: Senses input information
    2: Information is integrated to reason
    3: Reason is experienced
    4: Experience is translated to emotion
    5: Emotion is translated to a feeling
    6: A feeling is located as a point on a pain / pleasure spectrum ( PPS)
    This cognizes the instance of consciousness - the point on the pain / pleasure spectrum tells you what this instance of consciousness means for you. At this point, the reason is understood by the whole body; whole body consciousness understands this language.

    Again it is a feeling that causes affect, regardless of the conceptual structure that creates your reality.

    So feelings always cause affect, and feelings reduce to something painful or pleasant.

    Consciousness is subject to a causal chain - the next moment of consciousness is determined by the present moment, but it is not necessarily a simple linear progression, and there can be several trains of thought occurring simultaneously, with interruptions and resumptions in focus, etc. It is not possible to predict the next moment without first orienting yourself in the present moment. It is the present moment of consciousness and its associated emotional state - the feeling - that affects and causes the next moment.
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    We are a long way from each other here.

    Your description suggests that sensory information is processed through reason before an experience of reason is translated to emotion, which is then translated to feeling, and then justified by reduction to a point on an evaluative spectrum. You cannot explain how information is integrated to reason, and yet you assume that this is what happens, and you intellectualise an ‘experience’ of reason as integrated information, plus emotion. But so much has already occurred in relation to affect.

    The way I see it:
    1. The conceptual system predicts an interoception of affect from existing conceptual structures;
    2. Affect determines attention and effort across the organism to align with this prediction;
    3. This alignment adjusts interaction, directing the organism’s experience of sensory information;
    4. Sensory information informs the interoceptive network of errors in the prediction-alignment process;
    5. The interoceptive network translates these errors into a dialogue determining the attention/valence and effort/arousal required to most efficiently and effectively re-align with the conceptual system, given the organism’s other anticipated energy requirements.

    This is accomplished by the interoceptive network adjusting its internal distribution of attention and effort, including reasoning and critical adjustment of conceptual structures to integrate new information for future predictions, and subsuming the remaining ‘feelings’ of valence and arousal under constructed ‘emotion’ concepts that justify further adjustments of attention and effort in the organism.

    So your experience of reasoned information plus emotion is only what affect has directed your internal attention towards: what requires a level of self-awareness beyond conceptual structure. The majority of affect occurs with minimal self-conscious or reflective input. Anyone who thinks reason is calling the shots in consciousness is deluding themselves - reason deals only with what is contentious in experience.

    Consciousness is not subject to a causal chain - this is a false assumption. There is no ‘moment of consciousness’ that you can isolate and examine in itself, no ‘present moment’, no ‘train of thought’ you can draw out on a map, and no ‘emotional state’ you can define. These are heuristic devices that have, at best, a metaphorical relation to reality, describing the relation between self-consciousness and consciousness. A causal chain is a temporal sequence of observable/measurable events. Consciousness perceives these temporal sequences from a position outside the structure of time, reduced to a relation between two temporal structures: interoception and conceptual prediction. Self-consciousness, on the other hand, is an internal perception of this relation from an ‘external’ position: one beyond these affect-level relational structures of the organism itself.



    I think what we agree on is that we cannot escape the relational aspect of information, no matter how ‘rational’ we think the process might be. Any information that is presented as ‘unemotional’ has no relevance to reality, and therefore no meaning in itself. Information is meaningful only in a relational structure.

    Where we differ is in the complexity of that structure. For you, it seems the entire top-end of that structure is collapsible when we subsume the relational aspects under the concept of ‘emotion’. Exclude this emotional aspect, and self-consciousness is equal to consciousness which is equal to life which is equal to DNA. My position with regard to this is that the entire structure of informational existence works the same way - all the way down. If you exclude the relational aspects of information at any structural level, then no substance remains to be called ‘information’. So your decision to draw the line at ‘DNA plus emotion’ is arbitrary, and suggests that you see no difference between ‘emotion’ at the level of DNA and at the level of self-conscious reflection, but you don’t refer to relational aspects at the level of sub-atomic structure as ‘emotion’. Monism cannot support such a distinction, though, which seems to be why you ignore sub-DNA structural relations for the purpose of your argument.

    Acknowledging the relational aspect of information at the level of DNA I think is a useful step - I don’t want to take away from that. Equating that relational aspect to ‘emotion’, however, I think is ignorant of the multi-dimensional complexity in the differences between these aspects. What turns a line into a square in reality is not the same as what turns a cube into a tesseract, even though the dimensional complexity ratio is the same. My focus is on developing and improving reductionist methodology in a way that more accurately renders the complexity of ‘emotion’ as a constructed five-dimensional structure, instead of an ‘add-on’ relational aspect that can be applied to any structural level.

    Feeling is not what causes affect, but is the raw internal sensory information that both affect and emotion consist of. The difference is that affect is constructed by interoception, whereas emotion is constructed by conceptual reality, which relies on the interoceptive network both for its sensory information and for its interaction with reality - through affect. Simply put, affect is the base language of the organism.

    The aim of the organism is to make the most efficient and effective use of information under the circumstances. Information comes in as directed by the attention/valence and effort/arousal of the organism, is translated into affect (effort/arousal and attention/valence), filtered through an amorphous structure of interrelated value systems that run simulations in collaboration with the interoceptive network, enable adjustments to its various structures, and continually re-organise the structure of affect according to current best practise while applying it as an ongoing directive to the organism.

    The most efficient way to structure so much information is by forming concepts: patterns of information that act as ‘sampling’ of more complex information, which are themselves samples of more complex information again. Language, social relationships and culture contribute to an interrelated value system that transcends the organism, and the base language of affect enables us to share patterns of information that amount to complex instructions for adjusting value systems and structures in each other. We even learn to align our emotion concepts and behaviour with the culture and language in which we interact most intimately, without being conscious of the gradual change, until someone points it out.

    Further, while I understand your use of ‘self-organisation’ as a description of consciousness, there is some confusion in applying this across dimensional complexity with the identification of ‘self’. For a self-conscious subject, re-organisation occurs to the ‘self’, but is orchestrated by a relation between value systems within an understanding of meaning or purpose beyond this ‘self’. For a conscious subject (whose self-awareness is inconclusive), re-organisation occurs in intentional behaviour, but is orchestrated by a relation between ongoing events within a value structure - what we often assume to be ‘self’. For a living system (whose consciousness is inconclusive), re-organisation occurs in the spatial structure of a bio-chemical system (DNA), but is orchestrated by a relation between bio-chemical systems within an organism. And for a bio-chemical system (whose ‘life’ is inconclusive), re-organisation occurs in the overall molecular pattern, but is orchestrated by a chemical relation between molecular shapes within that pattern.

    So, it seems that what you call ‘self-organisation’ is what I refer to as unconsolidated relational information. From the perspective of the system in question, what you refer to as ‘self’ is only a vague awareness of some kind of relational structure to the ‘universe’.
  • Possibility
    1.6k
    I have not said this is ‘chance’, but I maintain that calling it ‘consciousness’ is a case of false attribution. You’re implying that the DNA molecule is informed of the variability in its relational properties, structure or conditions. But only the epigenetic system has access to this information
    — Possibility

    And what is epigenetics?
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    Epigenetics is a relational event structure between the DNA molecule and the living system.

    No, it doesn’t. The way I see it, meaning is pure relational information: its existence is possible, regardless of whether or not emotions can be constructed from this possibility
    — Possibility

    Before you have meaning you have to have consciousness, before you can have that you have to have emotion. This is why emotional information is important. If emotional-information is fundamental, then consciousness is fundamental.
    Pop

    Again, we are a long way from each other here. Before you can understand what meaning is, you have to have consciousness - but the relational structure of meaning is what makes all existence possible. Emotion is a construction of information in relation to an experiencing subject. Before you can have emotion, therefore, you need relational information AND an experiencing subject, ie. consciousness. Emotion requires consciousness and relational information, consciousness requires life and relational information, life requires bio-chemical systems plus relational information, bio-chemical systems require molecular structure plus relational information, molecular structure requires atoms plus relational information, atoms require sub-atomic particles plus relational information...
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    Your description suggests that sensory information is processed through reason before an experience of reason is translated to emotion, which is then translated to feeling, and then justified by reduction to a point on an evaluative spectrum.Possibility

    What I describe is a general formula which accounts for all instances of consciousness derived from external sensory information. The choice of words, I admit, could be better. Quantitative information might be better then reason, but it depends on what is being integrated. There are no assumptions here however, that information is integrated is evidenced by the Euclidian space you see. The rate at which this is sampled is an interesting question. Given there exists a plank length of time, we know consciousness is not a smooth process, as you have conceived it. That information is sampled at the plank length is highly unlikely, given that we are unable to distinguish between 30 Fps and smooth continuous time. So it is unlikely to be more then 30 to 40 a second. Energy efficiency being the pertinent consideration.

    I also provide some proof of the construction through an articulation of qualia.

    The qualia of life is consciousness
    The qualia of consciousness are experiences.
    The qualia of experiences are emotions.
    The qualia of emotions are feelings.
    The qualia of feelings are points on the PPS
    The qualia of points on the PPS are death - pain / pleasure - life.
    The qualia of life is consciousness – this completes the consciousness loop.

    You see there is a loop that binds my construction together - all these elements are related by qualia and so no individual element can exist on it's own. When you consider one element you can not do so without all the others. Your understanding dose not recognize this at all. You would have to disprove this conception in order to logically dismiss it.

    Your conception has a gaping hole, In my opinion, in that you do not describe an experience at all. You skip from information integration to Affect arbitrarily. In so doing you do not account for what it feels like to be conscious. You skip the pertinent aspect of consciousness - how experience is emotional, how feelings are painful or pleasurable. And so you create a conception of consciousness befitting a P.Zombie.
    Every one of your 5 points contains an unprovable assumption. It is a typical and reasonable proposition of how information might be integrated, but that is all. There is no hint as to why this should be happening.

    My theory contains:
    1. A provable definition of consciousness - every instance of consciousness is self organization - for everything - always. It is a dynamic system even for rocks.
    2. How experiences are emotional, ( contain carrot and stick ), as an explanation of what animates the biological system
    3. How inanimate matter becomes conscious - through self organization, that has almost universal acceptance in abiogenesis theory.

    You may not agree with it, but I don't believe you can reasonably disprove it. So far you have made some dints in certain aspects ( and I thank you for your help ), but it still floats. You offer up an alternative theory, which contains no explanation for the three points I mention, and so from a philosophical point of view I wonder why you even bother with it. Your theory is like dozens of reasonable theories that do not address the hard problem, but wait to be rescued by more information down the track. Unless they address the points I mention, they are just not in the race as an explanation of consciousness, in my opinion.

    From my perspective, all of your vertical down conceptions are P.Zombies without emotion providing impetus. Unemotional Information, energy and matter cannot create consciousness - we know this from an understanding of ourselves. Add emotion, and you have consciousness! It is consciousness that requires emotion, not the other way around. Relational information on it's own cannot create an enduring consciousness until a self is created. Once a self is created then self organization can take place around this nucleus. That a self is created suggests a bias to be, or at least we know that the self that is biased to be will prevail. Selves that are random, or indifferent to be, will disintegrate. Relational information is already consolidated to a higher system, so it is elements of a higher system that are relating and consolidating, and disintegrating, but then a certain type of relational information contains a bias to be, and consolidates and breaks away from the higher system, in the formation of a self. Then enduring self organization can take place ( consciousness ).


    Emotion is information, but it is a private information only you can experience. Why do we have these internal carrot and stick communications? Who or what is communicating internally?
  • Possibility
    1.6k
    What I describe is a general formula which accounts for all instances of consciousness derived from external sensory information. The choice of words, I admit, could be better. Quantitative information might be better then reason, but it depends on what is being integrated. There are no assumptions here however, that information is integrated is evidenced by the Euclidian space you see. The rate at which this is sampled is an interesting question. Given there exists a plank length of time, we know consciousness is not a smooth process, as you have conceived it. That information is sampled at the plank length is highly unlikely, given that we are unable to distinguish between 30 Fps and smooth continuous time. So it is unlikely to be more then 30 to 40 a second. Energy efficiency being the pertinent consideration.Pop

    Consciousness is derived from an ongoing relation between external and internal sensory information, among other relations. I am not disputing that information is integrated prior to consciousness, but I do dispute that any external sensory information is integrated quantitatively (ie. consolidated) prior to experience. You’re assuming this evidence of Euclidean space can be ‘seen’ by all life. But I would argue that the capacity to ‘see’ Euclidean space is contingent upon a self-conscious, reasoning system, and assumes that a consolidated, bio-molecular structure exists at zero. This is the rational framework of human conception. Incidentally, an application of Euclidean n-space to a monist reality that is inclusive of both particle physics and consciousness requires a challenging paradigm shift: that no assumption of consolidation exists at zero-point energy. This changes the way we look at reality.

    We commonly refer to sampling in terms of ‘rate’ - a relative temporal quantity - only because Shannon information assumes the existence of a consolidated 3D structure at 0. But life is an integrated four, five or six-dimensional system, so qualitative sampling can re-organise information, even in a single-celled organism, across sub-atomic particles, atoms and molecular systems according to its relational structure, and all at once. Every level of relational structure in an integrated system recognises affect (effort and attention) in one form or another - this is why life differs markedly from computer systems - where effort (hardware) and attention (software) are isolated system structures.

    I also provide some proof of the construction through an articulation of qualia.

    The qualia of life is consciousness
    The qualia of consciousness are experiences.
    The qualia of experiences are emotions.
    The qualia of emotions are feelings.
    The qualia of feelings are points on the PPS
    The qualia of points on the PPS are death - pain / pleasure - life.
    The qualia of life is consciousness – this completes the consciousness loop.

    You see there is a loop that binds my construction together - all these elements are related by qualia and so no individual element can exist on it's own. When you consider one element you can not do so without all the others. Your understanding dose not recognize this at all. You would have to disprove this conception in order to logically dismiss it.
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    This is not proof of the construction - you apply the term ‘qualia’ as a placeholder concept, a metaphor for any type of relational aspect: kind of like ‘God’. Quale is commonly defined as: a quality or property perceived or experienced by a person. The problem with defining any qualitative property with a concept such as ‘qualia’ is that a self-conscious system can then apply the term to refer to objects as if they were consolidated information in themselves. But the only consolidated information in the concept ‘qualia’ is the ‘person’, as a conscious system. Everything else is relative. It makes more sense to state:

    Experience is a qualitative property of consciousness.

    It’s important to note that ‘experience’ as a qualitative property is not the same as quantified or consolidated information. The process of integrating properties of consciousness into relational structure is not necessarily causal or temporal. This gradually developed, tested and refined structure enables self-consciousness and reason, in which ‘experiences’ - as potentially quantifiable patterns of relation - can be probabilistically conceptualised and re-structured into potentially consolidating information, leaving only ‘feeling’ in relation to these experiences, as an unconsolidated/qualitative property of what is a potentially consolidating (conceptual) ‘reality’.

    Feeling is a qualitative property of self-consciousness.

    Once again, not the same as quantified or even potentially consolidating information. The process of integrating properties of self-consciousness into relational structure is not necessarily conscious or rational. To understand it, we construct ‘emotion concepts’: predictive patterns of relational structure between a potentially consolidating ‘self’ and a potentially consolidating ‘reality’. What needs to be recognised here is that nothing in this relational structure is ever actually consolidated. It all consists of conceptualised relational structure, effectively in a ‘superpositioned state’, so to speak.

    But let’s go back a couple of steps and ask: is consciousness a qualitative property of life? It can be assumed - given that there IS a qualitative property to life - but there is no proof that all life is conscious. I would argue, however, that consciousness is enabled at the most basic level by integrating qualitative properties of life into relational structure, in a process that is not necessarily observable or measurable. I would also argue that Barrett demonstrates that:

    Affect is a qualitative property of life.

    I’ll admit that definitions of words commonly available to us are not helping our discussion. There is a dimensional distinction between the qualitative properties of living (affect), of conscious (qualia), and of self-conscious/reasoning systems (emotions). You seem to assume that these qualitative properties are the same (qualia), but it seems evident to me that they are structurally different, each perceptibly and apperceptively contingent upon a certain structural complexity in the system. What’s more, looping your metaphorical conception back onto itself excludes any relation to the physical or chemical structures of reality - once again suggesting a dualism that appears to contradict your position.

    So, I would argue instead that:

    Affect is a qualitative property of life.
    Integrating affect in relation to life develops consciousness.
    Experience is a qualitative property of consciousness.
    Integrating experience in relation to consciousness develops self-consciousness and enables reason.
    Feeling is a qualitative property of self-consciousness.
    Integrating feeling in relation to self-consciousness develops the possibility of meaning and purpose.
    Emotion is a predictive relational structure between a potential self and a potential reality.

    Your conception has a gaping hole, In my opinion, in that you do not describe an experience at all. You skip from information integration to Affect arbitrarily. In so doing you do not account for what it feels like to be conscious. You skip the pertinent aspect of consciousness - how experience is emotional, how feelings are painful or pleasurable. And so you create a conception of consciousness befitting a P.Zombie.Pop

    I don’t think I’ve skipped this aspect of consciousness at all. Experience is not emotional - a self-conscious system I can be described as emotional in relating a potential self to a potential reality. Feelings are not EITHER painful or pleasurable - feeling has a dual aspect of valence (pleasant/unpleasant) and arousal (low/high) as the qualitative property of a self-conscious system.

    We both understand what it feels like to be conscious - I don’t need to explain that to you. How I understand it is always going to be different from how you understand it, and any attempt I make to describe an experience will necessarily be positioned within consciousness, and so cannot create a complete explanation of consciousness - only a subjective expression of it.

    To explain consciousness, you need to propose and refine a perspective of consciousness beyond ‘feeling’. This is not a p.zombie conception, but rather re-examines Kant’s proposal of a ‘Copernican Turn’: to reject the assumption that human reason is motionless, and that our perspective of reality is central.

    The way I see it:
    1. The conceptual system predicts an interoception of affect from existing conceptual structures;
    2. Affect determines attention and effort across the organism to align with this prediction;
    3. This alignment adjusts interaction, directing the organism’s experience of sensory information;
    4. Sensory information informs the interoceptive network of errors in the prediction-alignment process;
    5. The interoceptive network translates these errors into a dialogue determining the attention/valence and effort/arousal required to most efficiently and effectively re-align with the conceptual system, given the organism’s other anticipated energy requirements.
    Possibility

    Every one of your 5 points contains an unprovable assumption. It is a typical and reasonable proposition of how information might be integrated, but that is all. There is no hint as to why this should be happening.Pop

    I have never assumed that this should be happening. That it is a reasonable proposition of how information might be integrated at this level is a start. But I’ve specifically described it to align it with current neuroscience on emotion-related information. So that, as research improves our understanding of interoception, the theory becomes scientifically provable.

    My theory contains:
    1. A provable definition of consciousness - every instance of consciousness is self organization - for everything - always. It is a dynamic system even for rocks.
    2. How experiences are emotional, ( contain carrot and stick ), as an explanation of what animates the biological system
    3. How inanimate matter becomes conscious - through self organization, that has almost universal acceptance in abiogenesis theory.

    You may not agree with it, but I don't believe you can reasonably disprove it. So far you have made some dints in certain aspects ( and I thank you for your help ), but it still floats. You offer up an alternative theory, which contains no explanation for the three points I mention, and so from a philosophical point of view I wonder why you even bother with it. Your theory is like dozens of reasonable theories that do not address the hard problem, but wait to be rescued by more information down the track. Unless they address the points I mention, they are just not in the race as an explanation of consciousness, in my opinion.
    Pop

    As I have said from the start, you do not have an explanation of consciousness - all you have is an expression of consciousness, from a position within consciousness.

    1. This is not a definition of consciousness. But let me see if I can position your thinking here.

    A. Examples of self-organisation occur at every level of dimensional structure.
    B. Human consciousness can be described as a form of self-organisation.
    C. In human consciousness, organisation occurs at every level of dimensional structure.
    D. “Every instance of consciousness is self-organisation - for everything - always.”
    E. Conversely, every instance of self-organisation is consciousness - “It is a dynamic system even for rocks”.
    F. Therefore, panpsychism.

    I wanted to point out, first of all, that I agree with statements A, B and C. Self-organisation in human consciousness is a highly integrated system, effective all the way down to the sub-atomic level. This is not the same type of self-organisation that occurs in crystallisation or other rock formations, though. Crystallisation is a form of self-organisation that occurs only on one level of dimensional structure - specifically at the level of molecular relations - there is no organisation occurring at any other level. Just because it seems (from our limited perspective of consciousness) that every instance of consciousness can be described as a form of self-organisation, it does not follow that every instance of self-organisation is equal to consciousness. This distinction between self-organisation and integrated self-organisation is explained more clearly in Tononi’s Integrated Information Theory (IIT) of consciousness.

    2. Experiences are not emotional - a self-conscious system is emotional in relating a potential self to a potential reality. What motivates a biological system is affect: relational/qualitative information as a four-dimensional structure of effort and attention. Any ‘emotion’ in relation to that structure is attributed from your consciousness.

    3. Inanimate matter is attributed consciousness from your relation to it, particularly from your perception of its potential in relation to yours. But inanimate matter is really only vaguely aware of a certain variability in its organisational structure at each moment of interaction, and only in relation to that particular interaction. All other information regarding its capacity for self-organisation is attributed in your conception by your own relation to it.

    From my perspective, all of your vertical down conceptions are P.Zombies without emotion providing impetus. Unemotional Information, energy and matter cannot create consciousness - we know this from an understanding of ourselves. Add emotion, and you have consciousness! It is consciousness that requires emotion, not the other way around. Relational information on it's own cannot create an enduring consciousness until a self is created. Once a self is created then self organization can take place around this nucleus. That a self is created suggests a bias to be, or at least we know that the self that is biased to be will prevail. Selves that are random, or indifferent to be, will disintegrate. Relational information is already consolidated to a higher system, so it is elements of a higher system that are relating and consolidating, and disintegrating, but then a certain type of relational information contains a bias to be, and consolidates and breaks away from the higher system, in the formation of a self. Then enduring self organization can take place ( consciousness ).Pop

    Consciousness isn’t just a matter of adding emotion to information. Unemotional information exists only in our misconception of reality. Information cannot exist without relational structure - that we isolate ‘information’ from ‘emotion’ is a fundamental misconception in human reasoning. Relational information is primal, so yes, it CAN ‘create’ an enduring consciousness simply by interacting with other relational information - because it is relational information (and nothing else) that constitutes a potential self.

    It seems you’re assuming that a consolidated higher system precedes self-organisation, but I would dispute this. What precedes self-organisation is a vague perception of potential, of variability in organisational structure. But as a self-conscious, reasoning observer, who may be more informed of this potential (from previous experience) than the structure itself, YOU attribute consolidation to this higher system - because the ‘higher system’ is your consciousness. And any interaction you then have with the structure necessarily informs it of this potential you perceive. So what you’re describing is your conception of the relational process between your consciousness (the ‘consolidated higher system’) and the relational information in question, at this point in time. Once you recognise this, you can work on a clearer understanding of the relational information in question, in terms of how conception of it might vary in relation to a differently consolidated consciousness.

    Consolidation is a perception, a form of self-organisation that isolates relational structures within an integrated system, in order to specifically attribute attention/effort as required. Only a self-conscious system has the capacity to conceptualise ‘emotion’, and attribute it as a property to any isolated relational structure within its conception.

    Emotion is information, but it is a private information only you can experience. Why do we have these internal carrot and stick communications? Who or what is communicating internally?Pop

    Only you can experience your emotion as such because of the unique way that you structure relational information, according to the relational structure of your past experience. But if you consider that ‘emotion’ is just a predictive pattern of relational structure between a potentially consolidating self and a potentially consolidating reality - then theoretically it may be possible to map all relational information as affect in a superposition state. The challenge is for physicists to recognise that this is essentially what quantum mechanics does: reduces relational information to a dimensionally-structured prediction of attention and effort when aligned with an observer’s defined position. But that’s another discussion.

    The communication occurs between conceptually isolated relational structures within an integrated system, in order to maximise the efficiency of awareness, connection and collaboration. The system communicates with itself through complex organisational systems of ongoing consolidation, relation and integration. It is the integration capacity that is often overlooked in seeking to explain consciousness: we are motivated not just to exist or survive as we are, but to increase awareness, to connect and collaborate with all of existence, regardless of our perceived limitations.

    Kant refers to three categories of quantity: existence as if one (unity), as one of (plurality), and as the only one (totality). The extent to which a system achieves a dynamic balance between all three is the ultimate success of relational structure - not human consciousness or reason.
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    Hi, we may be setting a record for size of posts, so instead of addressing all of your points separately Ill try and cut to the chase, but firstly to clarify some points.

    y
    You’re assuming this evidence of Euclidean space can be ‘seen’ by all lifePossibility

    No, the Euclidian space was bought up as evidence that consciousness is not continuous, as you proposed, but exists as discreet frames for us. How consciousness exists for other life forms is endlessly variable and open ended, but that it should be continuous would seem an unnecessary waste of energy.

    I also provide some proof of the construction through an articulation of qualia.

    The qualia of life is consciousness
    The qualia of consciousness are experiences.
    The qualia of experiences are emotions.
    The qualia of emotions are feelings.
    The qualia of feelings are points on the PPS
    The qualia of points on the PPS are death - pain / pleasure - life.
    The qualia of life is consciousness – this completes the consciousness loop.

    You see there is a loop that binds my construction together - all these elements are related by qualia and so no individual element can exist on it's own. When you consider one element you can not do so without all the others. Your understanding dose not recognize this at all. You would have to disprove this conception in order to logically dismiss it.
    — Pop

    This is not proof of the construction - you apply the term ‘qualia’ as a placeholder concept, a metaphor for any type of relational aspect: kind of like ‘God’. Quale is commonly defined as: a quality or property perceived or experienced by a person. The problem with defining any qualitative property with a concept such as ‘qualia’ is that a self-conscious system can then apply the term to refer to objects as if they were consolidated information in themselves. But the only consolidated information in the concept ‘qualia’ is the ‘person’, as a conscious system. Everything else is relative. It makes more sense to state:
    Possibility

    You have focused on the word qualia, whilst ignoring that the elements of this construction are inseparable. You cannot have life without consciousness. You can not have consciousness without experience. You can not have experience without emotion. You can not have emotion without feeling. You can not have feeling without a pain / pleasure spectrum. Qualia articulates them, and they are logically inseparable. Each element is a quality of the element next to it. You can not have one of these elements without also incurring the entire cascade.

    It is a logical construction, confirmed by introspection. So people can check against themselves. I have floated this idea without incurring objection, even my nemesis Banno did not object to the logic. I believe it is logically impeccable. When you experience one of these elements you must also experience all the others, and it must occur in the order stated. This is what animates the biological system. The end result is a feeling that is either painful or pleasurable. This creates Affect. The intensity and energy of Affect (effort and attention) is determined by where on the pain / pleasure spectrum the moment of consciousness resolves to. The more extreme the point - the greater the affect, and so on.

    You would have to invalidate the logic of this construction to accept Barrett's interpretation of emotions, I believe. So I look forward to your objections. :smile:

    To give you a head start. Materialism and consciousness are incompatible. The nature of consciousness is idealistic, so an understanding of consciousness negates materialism, and visa versa. All materialist philosophers who tackle consciousness either end up as idealist ( or thereabouts ) like Koch, or deny consciousness like Dennett. The area that they attack consciousness in is the specific point that experience entails emotion - that emotion creates experience, so they attack the P.Zombie argument, qualia, deny consciousness itself. It is why we have no consensus on consciousness and emotion, and will not have any, any time soon. You seem to place a lot of faith in neuroscience, academia, and interoception, and these are important and worthy areas of research, but I think you should consider to what extent materialism influences the outcomes of such research.
    It is in this area that Barrett also diverges - she jumps from experience to Affect, thus avoiding the emotional nature of consciousness, which is indeed a problem for such notions as empiricism, objectivity, physicalism, and materialism in general.

    We both understand what it feels like to be conscious - I don’t need to explain that to you. How I understand it is always going to be different from how you understand it, and any attempt I make to describe an experience will necessarily be positioned within consciousness, and so cannot create a complete explanation of consciousness - only a subjective expression of it.

    To explain consciousness, you need to propose and refine a perspective of consciousness beyond ‘feeling’. This is not a p.zombie conception, but rather re-examines Kant’s proposal of a ‘Copernican Turn’: to reject the assumption that human reason is motionless, and that our perspective of reality is central.
    Possibility

    I particularly want to avoid a third person perspective of consciousness , as it is a fantastic notion that nobody can ever experience. It is like trying to describe a reality that everybody subsumes to, when in fact reality is personally constructed. I would like to paint a first person perspective of consciousness - just the basic structure which enables self organization, that can be personally confirmed or negated with introspection. As you say, the difficulty is that I only have my own consciousness to base it on, but I have a hunch the basic algorithm is the same for all of life, the trick is to conceptualize it. I have nailed the definition of art, and that was supposed to be impossible - you can never know for sure until you try.

    I am out of time today, so will continue to answer you later.
  • Possibility
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    No, the Euclidian space was bought up as evidence that consciousness is not continuous, as you proposed, but exists as discreet frames for us. How consciousness exists for other life forms is endlessly variable and open ended, but that it should be continuous would seem an unnecessary waste of energy.Pop

    Let me clarify here. My description of affect as ‘continuous’ refers to its relational structure as an ongoing informative event. I don’t agree that consciousness exists for us in discreet, temporally located frames, like a film. What you refer to as ‘instances of consciousness’ are arbitrarily isolated patterns of information for the purpose of introspection and discussion. They are heuristic devices, and are not indicative of how this information exists in a conscious being, only how it can be employed in a rational, self-conscious subject, such as yourself. Euclidean space is a self-conscious rationalisation of only what can be isolated from the ‘self’. It has nothing to do with consciousness, per se.

    Incidentally, you seem to ignore this distinction I continue to make between conscious and self-conscious. I find this distinction is important, because a reasoning, self-conscious system is capable of isolating ‘emotion-information’ from ‘rational information’ (for the purpose of reasoning), whereas a merely conscious system is not.

    You have focused on the word qualia, whilst ignoring that the elements of this construction are inseparable. You cannot have life without consciousness. You can not have consciousness without experience. You can not have experience without emotion. You can not have emotion without feeling. You can not have feeling without a pain / pleasure spectrum. Qualia articulates them, and they are logically inseparable. Each element is a quality of the element next to it. You can not have one of these elements without also incurring the entire cascade.Pop

    Actually, you have focused on the word qualia by using it as the only form of connection between your statements, and therefore THE reason why you apparently ‘cannot have life without consciousness’. But, as you cannot objectively prove the existence or absence of consciousness, you cannot conclusively prove its existence or absence in any form of life, except your own. I believe that you CAN have life without consciousness, and that you cannot prove otherwise. I would also argue that you CAN have experience without emotion (but not without feeling), you CAN discuss and think about (but not experience) emotion without feeling, and can even describe feeling without reference to either pain or pleasure. There are a number of different feelings that fall in neutral territory here. How do you use the pain-pleasure spectrum to distinguish between sleepy and nervous, for instance?

    It is a logical construction, confirmed by introspection. So people can check against themselves. I have floated this idea without incurring objection, even my nemesis Banno did not object to the logic. I believe it is logically impeccable. When you experience one of these elements you must also experience all the others, and it must occur in the order stated. This is what animates the biological system. The end result is a feeling that is either painful or pleasurable. This creates Affect. The intensity and energy of Affect (effort and attention) is determined by where on the pain / pleasure spectrum the moment of consciousness resolves to. The more extreme the point - the greater the affect, and so on.

    You would have to invalidate the logic of this construction to accept Barrett's interpretation of emotions, I believe. So I look forward to your objections. :smile:
    Pop

    First of all, I don’t have to invalidate your logic to accept an alternative interpretation of emotions, because frankly, as a self-conscious, reasoning system, I’m not bound by your logic.

    Secondly, we’re not talking about logic, we’re talking about relational information. Logic recognises ‘feeling’ only as a product of emotion, because it consists only of consolidated information. You’ve effectively isolated relational information at each level with ‘qualia’ as a placeholder, allowing you to form a logical construction that has no relational structure at all. Any self-conscious, reasoning system - with a similar capacity to isolate relational information and imagine a conceptual reality of pure logic, before ‘adding emotion’ back in - will have no issue with this form of construction. But this is not an honest introspection.

    You need to address the anomalies I have pointed out. Until such time, your theory is as accurate an explanation of consciousness as any geocentric model is an explanation of the solar system...
  • Possibility
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    To give you a head start. Materialism and consciousness are incompatible. The nature of consciousness is idealistic, so an understanding of consciousness negates materialism, and visa versa. All materialist philosophers who tackle consciousness either end up as idealist ( or thereabouts ) like Koch, or deny consciousness like Dennett. The area that they attack consciousness in is the specific point that experience entails emotion - that emotion creates experience, so they attack the P.Zombie argument, qualia, deny consciousness itself. It is why we have no consensus on consciousness and emotion, and will not have any, any time soon. You seem to place a lot of faith in neuroscience, academia, and interoception, and these are important and worthy areas of research, but I think you should consider to what extent materialism influences the outcomes of such research.
    It is in this area that Barrett also diverges - she jumps from experience to Affect, thus avoiding the emotional nature of consciousness, which is indeed a problem for such notions as empiricism, objectivity, physicalism, and materialism in general.
    Pop

    Your biased approach to dialogue between materialism and idealism doesn’t help your understanding. It’s clouding your judgement. You keep attributing emotion to the object of your focus, but have you considered that this emotion is just as much a property of your relational structure as observer?

    I’m well aware of the materialist influences in scientific outcomes - which is why I’m not as interested in the outcomes as the questions raised by the research. If you think that Barrett avoids the emotional nature of consciousness, then you haven’t really read her work at all. What she demonstrates is that experience consists of affect, most of which can be conceptualised into a rational structure of reality plus emotion, which then informs affect. But much of affect is either conceptualised inaccurately or not at all. She is not ‘jumping’ from experience to affect, but showing with extensive research that affect is generated by the organism, with or without restructuring from an established conceptual system. It is the integration of affect that constructs our conceptual system.

    The bottom line is this: the human brain is anatomically structured so that no decision or action can be free of interoception and affect, no matter what fiction people tell themselves about how rational they are. Your bodily feeling right now will project forward to influence what you will feel and do in the future. It is an elegantly orchestrated, self-fulfilling prophecy, embodied within the architecture of your brain. — Lisa Feldman Barrett, ‘How Emotions Are Made’
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    . I don’t agree that consciousness exists for us in discreet, temporally located frames, like a film. What you refer to as ‘instances of consciousness’ are arbitrarily isolated patterns of information for the purpose of introspection and discussion.Possibility

    You would then need to argue against the Planck length of time. If you accept the Planck length of time, then it is not a matter of whether frame rates exist, but what are the rates for human consciousness.
    Given we mistake 30Fps for continuous time, what would natural selection select?

    Incidentally, you seem to ignore this distinction I continue to make between conscious and self-conscious. I find this distinction is important, because a reasoning, self-conscious system is capable of isolating ‘emotion-information’ from ‘rational information’ (for the purpose of reasoning), whereas a merely conscious system is not.Possibility

    Regardless of the focus of consciousness, it always follows the sequence as set out above. Whether the object of focus is external or internal , you always incur the cascade as previously described. If the object is feeling, then you incur the cascade in regard to feeling - you end up with a feeling about feeling.

    But, as you cannot objectively prove the existence or absence of consciousness, you cannot conclusively prove its existence or absence in any form of life, except your own. I believe that you CAN have life without consciousnessPossibility

    You can have life without self organization? :chin: Consciousness = an evolving process of self organization, in my theory.

    I would also argue that you CAN have experience without emotion (but not without feeling),Possibility

    How can you have a feeling without emotion?
    Wikipedia: The Oxford Dictionaries definition of emotion is "A strong feeling deriving from one's circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.

    you CAN discuss and think about (but not experience) emotion without feeling,Possibility

    Really? What dose that feel like? :lol: All instances of consciousness have feelings associated with them. You can not separate experience and consciousness - they are qualities of each other. The Barrett quote you provided argues much the same!

    and can even describe feeling without reference to either pain or pleasure. There are a number of different feelings that fall in neutral territory here. How do you use the pain-pleasure spectrum to distinguish between sleepy and nervous, for instance?Possibility

    Sleepy is an uncomfortable / unpleasant feeling , whilst nervous is an unpleasant fear of an eventuality.
    Feelings resolve to an emotional gradient I call the pain / pleasure spectrum. All feelings are either painful or pleasurable, or something in between - what else can they be? How would they be meaningful If they did not resolve to something, and provide impetus to behavior / cause affect?

    Every instance of consciousness has to be resolved to an emotional point - a singularity, for the purpose of orientation in ones personally constructed reality. How could our actions be meaningful if we were disoriented in our reality? Note , we can only make one action at a time. Sure life is a juggling act, but we can only catch and throw one ball at a time!

    First of all, I don’t have to invalidate your logic to accept an alternative interpretation of emotions, because frankly, as a self-conscious, reasoning system, I’m not bound by your logic.Possibility

    It is not my logic, it is just logical. But as I have said before, it is consciousness that must decide what consciousness is, so when logical / rational defenses of one's self organization fail, emotional one's kick in to save the day. This is a universal phenomena and a great demonstration of how we are emotionally driven.

    Secondly, we’re not talking about logic, we’re talking about relational information. Logic recognises ‘feeling’ only as a product of emotion, because it consists only of consolidated information. You’ve effectively isolated relational information at each level with ‘qualia’ as a placeholder, allowing you to form a logical construction that has no relational structure at all. Any self-conscious, reasoning system - with a similar capacity to isolate relational information and imagine a conceptual reality of pure logic, before ‘adding emotion’ back in - will have no issue with this form of construction. But this is not an honest introspection.

    You need to address the anomalies I have pointed out. Until such time, your theory is as accurate an explanation of consciousness as any geocentric model is an explanation of the solar system...
    Possibility

    I'm sorry, but I find the above statements a mess of confusion. I will try to rephrase the cascade.

    The quality of life is consciousness - when you are alive you are conscious
    The quality of consciousness is experience - you cannot have consciousness without experience.
    The quality of experience is emotion - all experience is emotional / has feelings
    The quality of emotion is a feeling - emotions are feelings
    The quality of a feeling is a point on the PPS. - all feelings are ultimately painful, or pleasurable, or something in between. There are no unresolved feelings - they may be something vague and fuzzy, but this too is a feeling.

    This cascade is inseparable. When you have one of these elements you must have all the others. You cannot have an unconscious experience, nor an unexperienced consciousness - you cannot separate the two as they are a quality of each other, just like all the other elements. Surely you can see that?

    The feelings are what we act upon, what creates affect. When the feeling is painful we move to alleviate the pain, when the feeling is pleasurable, we want more, when it is neutral / something in between, as it normally is, we can choose to continue as is, or do something to make it more pleasurable. The drive to make the feeling more pleasurable, but not knowing how, is what is responsible for substance abuse . The desire for greater pleasure is what provides impetus to behavior in general. The belief that externalities are the solution for more pleasurable internal states is what creates the world.

    A knowledge that these feelings are malleable, if not entirely controllable, is something worth pursuing, in my opinion. This is my area of interest, and I have experimented with this and can attest that it is possible. Thus far, it is nothing like a pleasure beyond pleasure, but more a mild joy where there was previously a mild melancholy. It is not difficult, the difficulty is in understanding and accepting the cascade, and thus inhabiting the paradigm that makes it real, and possible.
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    So, it seems that what you call ‘self-organisation’ is what I refer to as unconsolidated relational information. From the perspective of the system in question, what you refer to as ‘self’ is only a vague awareness of some kind of relational structure to the ‘universe’.Possibility

    Yes, our different terminology is an impediment. I would not call it unconsolidated information. I would call it integrated information or information consolidated in relation to self. Yes, self is a vague term - perhaps totally empty, except for a bias to be. The entire vertical down system has to agree on something, my bet is emotions / feelings. We are the bus driver in terms of the information we become aware of, but the bus is full of interrelated and interdependent stuff which we are not aware of. There is a feel to the bus which all the stuff inside contributes to, in my opinion.

    The communication occurs between conceptually isolated relational structures within an integrated system, in order to maximise the efficiency of awareness, connection and collaboration. The system communicates with itself through complex organisational systems of ongoing consolidation, relation and integration. It is the integration capacity that is often overlooked in seeking to explain consciousness: we are motivated not just to exist or survive as we are, but to increase awareness, to connect and collaborate with all of existence, regardless of our perceived limitations.Possibility

    I would agree with most of what you say here, but it all relates back to the self. It is meaningful only in terms of self organization, and at the heart of self organization ( consciousness ) there must be a force creating the self. It is meaningful only in terms of a bias to be, as far as I can see. Otherwise why bother?
  • Possibility
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    You would then need to argue against the Planck length of time. If you accept the Planck length of time, then it is not a matter of whether frame rates exist, but what are the rates for human consciousness.
    Given we mistake 30Fps for continuous time, what would natural selection select?
    Pop

    We mistake 30fps for continuous time, not because this is the rate of human consciousness, but because it is the rate of human apperception. This is a common error that language conceals, because ‘consciousness’ is both a developing process and a completed system. What information human organisms process and what we think we can consciously process are both perceptibly and dimensionally different, even though they point to the same structural level of information. Much of the first occurs unconsciously or sub-consciously, even though such informational processes necessitate consciousness. Subliminal messaging, instinctive reasoning, sleepwalking, intuition and other evidence that suggest a conscious system without being conscious of it, all point to this confusion. We perceive so much more than we apperceive (ie. than we think we do).

    The second refers to how we conceptualise the conscious process (thoughts, emotions, instances, etc) - this requires self-consciousness. Self-consciousness excludes unconsolidated relational information for the purpose of reasoning thought, restructuring the process logically: ie. sequentially, abiding by the laws of logic that exclude possibilities such as contradiction and simultaneity - even though they exist. It is this discarding of relational information, which cannot be structured according to logic, that concerns me. Is contradiction emotion-information? Can we accept that two conflicting ideas come to mind simultaneously, or that we can feel both happy and sad (melancholy) all at once? Or does logic eliminate these possibilities, even as they occur?

    Human apperception is bound by a limited distribution of attention and effort in time, but consciousness, self-consciousness and reason are not necessarily bound by anthropocentric logic. It is here that you will find the real source of bias in your theory. Consciousness is not temporally, but potentially, located. The Planck length of time refers to this uncertainty in the location of an ‘instance’. We cannot apperceive each frame because there is no frame, only local fluctuations in attention and effort.
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    Can we accept that two conflicting ideas come to mind simultaneously, or that we can feel both happy and sad (melancholy) all at once? Or does logic eliminate these possibilities, even as they occur?Possibility

    Nothing is impossible in mind, but in the real world we make one action at a time, so it seems a decision was made / complexity and potential reduced.
    I am not suggesting I am describing the actual physical process that creates consciousness, just characterizing logically what seems to occur.

    Human apperception is bound by a limited distribution of attention and effort in time, but consciousness, self-consciousness and reason are not necessarily bound by anthropocentric logic. It is here that you will find the real source of bias in your theory.Possibility

    Yes, there is plenty of bias there. :smile: It is both a great weakness and a great strength.
  • Possibility
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    Regardless of the focus of consciousness, it always follows the sequence as set out above. Whether the object of focus is external or internal , you always incur the cascade as previously described. If the object is feeling, then you incur the cascade in regard to feeling - you end up with a feeling about feeling.Pop

    Yes - or more accurately, a feeling about a sense of feeling. This is what you’re referring to with emotion producing affect, not to feeling as it is in itself.

    The quality of life is consciousness - when you are alive you are conscious
    The quality of consciousness is experience - you cannot have consciousness without experience.
    The quality of experience is emotion - all experience is emotional / has feelings
    The quality of emotion is a feeling - emotions are feelings
    The quality of a feeling is a point on the PPS. - all feelings are ultimately painful, or pleasurable, or something in between. There are no unresolved feelings - they may be something vague and fuzzy, but this too is a feeling.
    Pop

    When I recognise that you are alive, I can deduce that I am conscious - but it doesn’t necessarily follow that you are conscious. One can be alive without being conscious. Consciousness is a potential property of life, not a necessary one.

    You cannot recognise what is conscious without experiencing its distinction from what is not-conscious. But one can be conscious without developing a capacity to distinguish between experiences. Experience is a quality of consciousness, the relational structure of which is self-consciousness.

    Experience generates affect in relation to a conscious organism, a sense of its overall state which motivates that organism in its environment, regardless of self-consciousness. When I recognise that you are affected by experience, I can deduce a sense of feeling, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that you can sense feelings. One can be affected without recognising it as a feeling. Feeling is a potential property of self-consciousness, not a necessary one.

    Emotions are a reasoning of this sense of feeling, and can occur either before (prediction) or after (justification) the organism is affected. The structure of emotion is a reasonable prediction/justification of affect, based on your conceptual systems. Any structural reduction of emotion (to a point on a PPS, for example) has no direct relation to reality, but is necessarily limited by your self-conscious process.
  • Possibility
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    Nothing is impossible in mind, but in the real world we make one action at a time, so it seems a decision was made / complexity and potential reduced.
    I am not suggesting I am describing the actual physical process that creates consciousness, just characterizing logically what seems to occur.
    Pop

    And I am arguing that your logical characterisation excludes key relational information that affects how we make these decisions and actions, rendering your structure inaccurate, despite its logic. Contradiction is apparently excluded from emotion, but I would argue that contradiction can and does continue to exist in affect, leading to common occurrences of words that contradict one’s behaviour, or thinking one thing while saying another.
  • Possibility
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    How can you have a feeling without emotion?
    Wikipedia: The Oxford Dictionaries definition of emotion is "A strong feeling deriving from one's circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.
    Pop

    Feeling is unconsolidated relational information, so it’s different from ‘a feeling’ - which appears consolidated only within a relational structure of self-consciousness. Affect is feeling, emotion is a feeling.

    you CAN discuss and think about (but not experience) emotion without feeling,
    — Possibility

    Really? What dose that feel like? :lol: All instances of consciousness have feelings associated with them. You can not separate experience and consciousness - they are qualities of each other. The Barrett quote you provided argues much the same!
    Pop

    When you discuss and think about emotion as a concept, you are not experiencing that emotion. There is no necessary relation between emotion and consciousness. When you discuss and think about what an experience feels like, then you cannot separate it from consciousness. Again, I cannot stress enough this difference between feeling (affect) and a feeling (emotion).

    Sleepy is an uncomfortable / unpleasant feeling , whilst nervous is an unpleasant fear of an eventuality.
    Feelings resolve to an emotional gradient I call the pain / pleasure spectrum. All feelings are either painful or pleasurable, or something in between - what else can they be? How would they be meaningful If they did not resolve to something, and provide impetus to behavior / cause affect?

    Every instance of consciousness has to be resolved to an emotional point - a singularity, for the purpose of orientation in ones personally constructed reality. How could our actions be meaningful if we were disoriented in our reality? Note , we can only make one action at a time. Sure life is a juggling act, but we can only catch and throw one ball at a time!
    Pop

    Sleepy can also be a comfortable, pleasant or neutral feeling, whilst nervous can also be a pleasant or neutral anticipation of an event. It’s the something in between that is particularly significant. When sleepy and nervous are neither particularly pleasant nor unpleasant, if they are both located at the same point on your PPS, then what distinguishes between them? The answer is arousal. What they resolve to is not a singularity, but affect. This is the impetus to behaviour.

    We are often disoriented in our reality, and yet our actions are still meaningful in that disorientation. Incidentally, we can make more than one action at a time - I can pat my head and rub my belly simultaneously, and I can throw two balls at once, or catch one and throw another...
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    Yes - or more accurately, a feeling about a sense of feeling. This is what you’re referring to with emotion producing affect, not to feeling as it is in itself.Possibility

    I don't quite understand you. A feeling is sensed - always.

    When I recognise that you are alive, I can deduce that I am conscious - but it doesn’t necessarily follow that you are conscious. One can be alive without being conscious. Consciousness is a potential property of life, not a necessary one.Possibility

    In my theory, consciousness is self organisation, and all of life possesses self organisation. You would call it consolidated relational information, I think. The core of consciousness / consolidated relational information possesses a quality that is different to other consolidated relational information that is not enduring - that disintegrates. The difference, I believe, is a bias to be, which I interpret as emotional information. So it is emotional information, from the outset that causes consciousness.

    When you consider your own consciousness, you integrate information in relation to this bias to be, and the result is an answer that is biased to be! It is a very clear emotional answer that the entire, vertical down system, agrees upon. Every instance of consciousness relates to this bias to be, in the form of the cascade as previously described, so the bottom line is always emotional / has feeling that causes affect.
    When you query your own consciousness you are querying this bias to be, and it returns a resounding -YES. When you query my consciousness, the answer is nowhere near as clear. You are nowhere near as biased to be about my consciousness as you are about your own!

    Emotions are a reasoning of this sense of feeling, and can occur either before (prediction) or after (justification) the organism is affected. The structure of emotion is a reasonable prediction/justification of affect, based on your conceptual systems. Any structural reduction of emotion (to a point on a PPS, for example) has no direct relation to reality, but is necessarily limited by your self-conscious process.Possibility

    I think I see the difference in our understandings. You have a third party understanding of consciousness, and from that perspective there is little to no sense of emotion - as there is no skin in the game. From a first party understanding there is always skin in the game, so the importance of emotion is much more evident.

    Emotions are feelings that are either painful or pleasurable. A thought process has to land on the emotional gradient before it is understood, before it can cause affect. It makes no sense to say experience causes affect, without describing why. The affect is caused because the information being integrated has either painful or pleasurable or something in between consequences - which you feel. It is an ongoing process of course, but it is a one way process - the cascade starts with integration and ends on an emotional gradient - we need to know what the feeling is, before we know what will be its Affect. It is the feeling that causes affect. It can not work in reverse, in my opinion, it wouldn't be logical.

    If you accept the cascade as logical, and inseparable, then you need to explain affect in terms of it. I think the result is more sensible this way.

    One can be affected without recognising it as a feeling. Feeling is a potential property of self-consciousness, not a necessary one.Possibility

    All instances of consciousness are associated with feeling - necessarily. All instances of information integration relate to the bias to be, and when you relate any information to the bias to be, the integrated product will be emotional. It will be Information and emotion - thus causing affect. Feeling / emotion is the necessary ingredient in the Philosophical Zombie argument that causes consciousness.

    And I am arguing that your logical characterisation excludes key relational information that affects how we make these decisions and actions, rendering your structure inaccurate, despite its logic. Contradiction is apparently excluded from emotion, but I would argue that contradiction can and does continue to exist in affect, leading to common occurrences of words that contradict one’s behaviour, or thinking one thing while saying anotherPossibility

    I would agree with you. In many respects I have only just scratched the surface, there is so much more to consider.

    Affect is feeling, emotion is a feeling.Possibility

    Emotion is a feeling - yes. Affect is the response to a feeling, but it is also an instance of consciousness so incurs its own cascade, and hence feeling. It is an oversimplification of course, as there are multiple trains of thought and action occurring which cloud and complicate feelings and thoughts.

    Again, I cannot stress enough this difference between feeling (affect) and a feeling (emotion).Possibility

    Yes I see. Our different understanding has been a source of confusion for sure. I understand it in terms of the cascade, and so emotion is a feeling, which is pleasant or not, which Affects me so, and so on.

    Sleepy can also be a comfortable, pleasant or neutral feeling, whilst nervous can also be a pleasant or neutral anticipation of an event. It’s the something in between that is particularly significant. When sleepy and nervous are neither particularly pleasant nor unpleasant, if they are both located at the same point on your PPS, then what distinguishes between them? The answer is arousal. What they resolve to is not a singularity, but affect. This is the impetus to behaviour.Possibility

    But can you have two or more Affects simultaneously? I think this gets to the how Red is my Red argument, and how qualia and the PPS is something personally constructed and interpreted, and thus personally affected. It has to make sense within one's belief system, and there is plenty of room for interpretation.

    We are often disoriented in our reality, and yet our actions are still meaningful in that disorientation. Incidentally, we can make more than one action at a time - I can pat my head and rub my belly simultaneously, and I can throw two balls at once, or catch one and throw another...Possibility

    :smile: Ha,Ha. Can you do it one handed? I would say we are always disoriented in reality, but oriented in our personally constructed reality - we have a sense of whether we are standing on solid or shaky ground.
  • Possibility
    1.6k
    Emotion is a feeling - yes. Affect is the response to a feeling, but it is also an instance of consciousness so incurs its own cascade, and hence feeling. It is an oversimplification of course, as there are multiple trains of thought and action occurring which cloud and complicate feelings and thoughts.

    Again, I cannot stress enough this difference between feeling (affect) and a feeling (emotion).
    — Possibility

    Yes I see. Our different understanding has been a source of confusion for sure. I understand it in terms of the cascade, and so emotion is a feeling, which is pleasant or not, which Affects me so, and so on.
    Pop

    But your cascade is a process of self-consciousness (not consciousness), hypothetically re-organising concepts according to an arbitrary relation between logic and emotion. Affect is not the response only to emotion, it is a rendering of the entire self-conscious structure back into conscious structure.

    Any organism acts in relation to information by generating an instruction of attention and effort across its structure: simple, event-level affect. Conscious organisms develop a relational structure of affect across the life of the organism - a structure of value/potentiality to which all new information is related as potential affect, a relation which renders the form of affect we recognise as ‘feeling’. Self-conscious organisms develop a conceptual system of purpose/meaning to which new information can be related as potential structures of value, this relation rendering a prediction of affect (of which emotion is an arbitrary distinction), which then relates to back to the incoming potential affect, rendering a form of affect that you recognise as ‘emotional’ because you have attributed all the logical information to structure.

    Where we differ at this point is that I don’t believe this self-consciously rendered affect is the response just to ‘a feeling’, but to the entire relational structure in which that feeling exists. Any ‘logical’ structure in which ‘a feeling’ or emotion exists is also rendered in this affect, as well as other relational information generating potential affect in the organism, even if it cannot be accounted for in the conceptual system (see Kant’s aesthetics - the fourth moment).

    Yes - or more accurately, a feeling about a sense of feeling. This is what you’re referring to with emotion producing affect, not to feeling as it is in itself.
    — Possibility

    I don't quite understand you. A feeling is sensed - always.
    Pop

    Feeling is sensed, but ‘a feeling’, an emotion, is contingent upon its perception in potentiality, and felt in relation to potential affect. It can then be sensed as feeling/affect in interoception, justifying the prediction, but this isn’t necessary. Feeling is not always anticipated, though - it can be felt and sensed as a difference between interoception and conception, affecting the self-conscious system as new, unconsolidated relational information. It is this new information that occupies our attention and effort, raising the question at the highest level, and driving self-organisation through awareness/ignorance, connection/isolation and collaboration/exclusion.

    When you refer to it as a feeling, an emotion - predicting consolidation through your logical structure - it is a comfort to you that whatever this ‘feeling’ is, it must fit into a logical structure of reality. When I refer to it as relational information - predicting consolidation through a relational structure - it is a comfort to me that however this information may be consolidated, it must fit into an existing relational structure. What I find most problematic with your theory is that ‘emotion’ is an indeterminate concept that you’re claiming to be substantial, and your structure of reality, while logical (among many, many logical possibilities with no substance), is so riddled with inaccuracies that it expresses an ignorant, isolated and exclusive perspective of reality at best. How is this an explanation of anything? It’s an empty structure that you populate with empty structures - meaning without substance.

    In my theory, consciousness is self organisation, and all of life possesses self organisation. You would call it consolidated relational information, I think. The core of consciousness / consolidated relational information possesses a quality that is different to other consolidated relational information that is not enduring - that disintegrates. The difference, I believe, is a bias to be, which I interpret as emotional information. So it is emotional information, from the outset that causes consciousness.Pop

    I have already mentioned that what you refer to as ‘self-organisation’ - consolidation of relational information - occurs all the way down to sub-atomic particles, and yet ‘self’ is the construction of a self-conscious system only. Consolidation is always a process, always dis-integrates at some level, and is necessarily incomplete.

    The difference you are referring to is unconsolidated relational information, which you interpret as ‘emotion’ - another construction unique to a self-conscious system. But this unconsolidated relational information has a different form for a conscious system, and a different form again for a living organism, and so on down to sub-atomic particles. This is important because a self-conscious understanding of consciousness is not just about this unconsolidated relational information, but about ALL the information in an integrated system, because all of it is relational, and therefore subject to the consolidation/self-organisation process.

    When you consider your own consciousness, you integrate information in relation to this bias to be, and the result is an answer that is biased to be! It is a very clear emotional answer that the entire, vertical down system, agrees upon. Every instance of consciousness relates to this bias to be, in the form of the cascade as previously described, so the bottom line is always emotional / has feeling that causes affect.Pop

    I don’t think the entire system does or has to agree - an integrated system is organised so that those elements that disagree on certain aspects are positioned in a way that benefits the system as a whole. For example, the cell membrane consists of biochemical structures that let some aspects of the environment through but not others. In a multicellular system, skin cells die off, forming a barrier with their carcasses that protects the overall system. Integration requires awareness, connection and collaboration at the highest level of organisation only. So when you consider your own consciousness, you’re simply self-organising to formulate the answer you’ve already decided on.

    When you query your own consciousness you are querying this bias to be, and it returns a resounding -YES. When you query my consciousness, the answer is nowhere near as clear. You are nowhere near as biased to be about my consciousness as you are about your own!Pop

    ‘Biased to be about my consciousness’ doesn’t even make sense. If a query about consciousness is something only that consciousness can answer for itself, then why even try to explain what it is? Why go to all this trouble trying to justify your logic to someone else? Idealism leads inevitably to solipsism.
  • Possibility
    1.6k
    I think I see the difference in our understandings. You have a third party understanding of consciousness, and from that perspective there is little to no sense of emotion - as there is no skin in the game. From a first party understanding there is always skin in the game, so the importance of emotion is much more evident.Pop

    Well of course the importance of ‘emotion’ is more evident in your understanding, because the only way to relate to it is to attribute your own subjective experience of ‘emotion’. This is the problem with a first party understanding: it is a self-fulfilling prophecy, a closed system. To have ‘skin in the game’ is to incur risk by being involved in achieving a goal, but too much skin neglects transparency and fiduciary obligations - it does more harm than good here. Your understanding is empty logic without ‘emotion’ and the subjective experience you attribute to it. As an explanation of consciousness, it has no substance in itself. So, you can propose a logical structure that might explain consciousness in some situations, but certainly not all - we’ve already shown that. This is why I keep drawing parallels between your logical explanation and geocentric models of the solar system. They, too, were logical structures - and highly inaccurate.

    ”Logic is the art of going wrong with confidence” - Joseph Wood Krutch

    ”Logic: an instrument used for bolstering a prejudice” - Elbert Hubbard

    ”Most of our so-called reasoning consists in finding arguments for going on believing as we already do” - James Harvey Robinson

    By proposing a relational structure instead of a logical one, one can personally test the theory at any point by consolidating all the information of experience according to this relational structure.

    Emotions are feelings that are either painful or pleasurable.Pop

    I’ve already demonstrated that this is inaccurate. Many feelings are neither, and some are both. Why do you continue to claim this?

    [quote="Pop;471156"A thought process has to land on the emotional gradient before it is understood, before it can cause affect. It makes no sense to say experience causes affect, without describing why. The affect is caused because the information being integrated has either painful or pleasurable or something in between consequences - which you feel. It is an ongoing process of course, but it is a one way process - the cascade starts with integration and ends on an emotional gradient - we need to know what the feeling is, before we know what will be its Affect. It is the feeling that causes affect. It can not work in reverse, in my opinion, it wouldn't be logical.[/quote]

    You don’t need to know what a feeling is, or how it will affect you, to be affected. Affect has nothing to do with logic. But if you don’t know what it is that you’re affected by, or you cannot describe how you are affected, then you must conclude that something in this experience is not logical: it must be emotion. This is a self-conscious re-structuring - a collapsed view of potentiality that claims the ‘feeling’ existed as such all along. We may attempt to structure our conceptual reality according to logic, but that doesn’t make it accurate. Reality doesn’t conform to logic - if it did, then we wouldn’t be affected by the world: we would already have it figured out.

    You may have noticed that I don’t subscribe to a causal description of affect. It doesn’t make sense to say that anything in particular causes affect. Affect occurs regardless of what informs it, and is not a one-way process, but a manifest relation between potentialities. It is temporally indeterminate. Emotion, however, has no temporal structure at all - it is a potentiality that informs affect, but does not cause it.

    If you accept the cascade as logical, and inseparable, then you need to explain affect in terms of it. I think the result is more sensible this way.Pop

    Let me be clear here: I acknowledge that your cascade as described is a logical structure, but I do not accept it for its many inaccuracies, including:

    - your claim that all emotion is either painful or pleasurable;
    - your claim that affect is caused by emotion;
    - your claim that senses input directly to reason, and only reason is experienced;
    - your claim that all life must be conscious.

    None of these claims are grounded in conclusive evidence, and all of them can be contradicted by subjective experiences that point to gross inaccuracies in the structure, and cannot be explained away. So, no - I don’t agree that it’s ‘more sensible’ to accept your cascade.

    One can be affected without recognising it as a feeling. Feeling is a potential property of self-consciousness, not a necessary one.
    — Possibility

    All instances of consciousness are associated with feeling - necessarily. All instances of information integration relate to the bias to be, and when you relate any information to the bias to be, the integrated product will be emotional. It will be Information and emotion - thus causing affect. Feeling / emotion is the necessary ingredient in the Philosophical Zombie argument that causes consciousness.
    Pop

    Affect is the necessary ingredient that enables consciousness - but in self-consciousness, this information is often separated by reason into logic and emotion, and so when we think about feelings, only ‘emotion’ is perceived as available to ‘cause’ affect in a logically structured explanation of consciousness. This is a misunderstanding of the consolidated-relational duality of information, that disregards the full role of all relational information in the re-structuring (conscious) capacity of any integrated system, and the corresponding capacity for ignorance, isolation and exclusion in consolidated logical structures.
  • Pop
    425
    Affect is the necessary ingredient that enables consciousnessPossibility

    I find this illogical - you are placing the cart before the horse. I have provided you with an alternative explanation, which you agree is logical, so I take it you agree that the cascade is inseparable - that to incur one element, is to also incur all the others. This puts in doubt your own theory, in this regard, as you have conveyed it. But instead of altering your own theory, you instead argue the fallibility of logic. I find that illogical.

    ”Logic is the art of going wrong with confidence” - Joseph Wood Krutch

    ”Logic: an instrument used for bolstering a prejudice” - Elbert Hubbard
    Possibility

    As I have said before, consciousness must decide what consciousness is, and it wont let mere facts, such as a causal chain, stand in its way. I am surprised you have gone this far, as I would have thought arguing the fallibility of logic was suicide for a philosopher. What can we possibly agree on now?

    I will not debate this with you any further. Instead I will thank you for your input, and insight. This exchange has helped me a lot in many different ways, and I thank you for that.
  • Possibility
    1.6k
    I find this illogical - you are placing the cart before the horse. I have provided you with an alternative explanation, which you agree is logical, so I take it you agree that the cascade is inseparable - that to incur one element, is to also incur all the others. This puts in doubt your own theory, in this regard, as you have conveyed it. But instead of altering your own theory, you instead argue the fallibility of logic. I find that illogical.Pop

    That you argue this statement to be ‘illogical’ is what points to the problem with logic. ‘X is the necessary ingredient that enables Y’ only fails logically when applied to your understanding of what X and Y correspond to. I have argued against this understanding - and with it your claim that to incur one element of your structure is to incur all others in the relational structure as stated. This casts doubt on the applicability of your theory beyond your own conception of reality. But instead of re-examining your theory, you hide behind the one aspect of it that has nothing at all to do with reality: its existence as a logical possibility. I’m not disputing the logic, only how you apply it.

    Consciousness is a consequence of the causal chain - it decides only what it can be, from the potential it perceives.
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