• Wolfgang
    57
    Both neuroscience and artificial intelligence research are working on models and applications to compensate for damage to the organism on the one hand and to autonomize process sequences on the other. Both proceed inductively, collecting empirical data and evaluating them statistically. And both are hardly dependent on the insights of the philosophy of mind. Even if one may disagree, it will be shown that both can do without theories of consciousness, because consciousness plays a role in the philosophy of mind, but hardly in the two disciplines mentioned. Why? The answer is relatively simple: a machine will never be able to develop consciousness, because life — and thus consciousness — is based on the autocatalytic principle, and silicon is not capable of that. In addition, every machine lacks an endocrine system that makes experience possible in the first place. Also, the use of biohybrid techniques will not create consciousness, since life only functions as a whole in such a way that consciousness can arise. Anything else will result in half-intelligent idiots at best. Finally, one cannot subjectivize 'objective' statistical data, so that a subjective perception could arise. An intelligent machine system will therefore only ever require the application of statistical data, i.e. it will be able to be produced from the average of certain populations. Subjective experience is therefore excluded.

    The same applies to neuroscience, but the other way around. It is not possible to objectify subjective experience in order to make it accessible to research. Again, objective data can only be obtained from statistical models. To build interfaces, for example, it will only work with big data. The hope for both lies in the development of high-performance computers, possibly in the field of quantum computing, in order to be able to process the necessary large data sets quickly and resource-efficiently enough.

    Of course, the task of philosophy is not the application- or therapy-related development, but it is about the nature of mental states, their effects and causes. Central to this is the question of the relationship between mental and physical states, but also other questions such as: What are mental states? What is consciousness? How do mental states relate to physical states? Can mental states be explained reductively? Are we free in our thoughts and wills? What is the importance of the mind in our understanding of the world?
    The philosophy of mind deals with findings from philosophy, psychology, neuroscience and cognitive science. The descriptive philosophy of mind tries to give mental states an accurate description. To this end, terms and definitions are developed that are intended to delimit the subject area of the philosophy of mind. The Analytic Philosophy of Mind seeks to understand the basic principles and structures of mind. To this end, questions such as free will are discussed.

    If we look at the history of the philosophy of mind and its current state, we see a picture that is characterized by linguistic confusions, epistemological aberrations and categorical errors.

    These very different directions and approaches can be roughly divided into dualistic, eliminative and openly inconsistent.

    The dualistic ones usually appear with two substances, a material one, which is attributed to the body, and an immaterial one, which is assigned to the mind. Inevitably, one enters religious, esoteric or mystical ground, because an immaterial spirit lacks any real justification. A distinction must be made between those who speak of immaterial things in relation to thoughts, since they cannot be touched. The immaterial here is therefore not of a substantive nature, but of a linguistic nature. Body and mind sometimes work partly independently of each other, sometimes in parallel, sometimes the mind supervenes over the body, sometimes it influences it. None of these attempts, however, can solve the mind-body problem, and it remains an unsatisfactory dualism. And this contradicts the fact that every organism consists of nothing more than flesh and blood, thus of matter.
    Then there are those who reject materialism without closing the explanatory gap it creates. They tend to confuse materialism with physicalism, which in turn generally rejects consciousness as an illusion. Which brings us to the eliminationists. They get rid of the problem of consciousness because they can't explain it. Because they draw their argument exclusively from physics, which has no terms for consciousness. Their rejection applies to both the first and third person perspectives.
    Let's move on to the most pitiful, the inconsistent. They make the crucial mistake right from the start and disqualify themselves by confusing cause and effect or including the cause in the effect. We are talking about the fashion trend that is carried out under the sign of the four E's. The concepts of embodiment and externalization of consciousness do not mention the body and environment as determinants, but as components of consciousness. Embeddedness and enactivism also abolish the distinction between subject and object, which contradicts all view. All in all, the result is a conglomerate that no longer allows for analytical separation. In order to underline this ideologically, one even tries to prove that, for example, the decision to put one foot in front of the other is made in the foot and not in the brain. Those who find this nonsensical are accused of neurocentrism. It's like accusing a cardiologist of cardiocentrism. The attempt to argue against this usually fails due to the lack of epistemological qualifications of the protagonists. Sentences such as 'I am not brain' are uttered. As if anyone had ever said that.
    There are countless variations between all these directions.

    Thus, almost the entire history of the philosophy of mind up to the present day can be regarded as evidence of how it cannot work. There is no doubt that it has made a positive contribution.

    The main problem lies in incorrect categorization. In the case of body-mind dualism, the body does not mean the entire body, and the mind does not mean the head. By body is meant the physical (of the brain) and by mind the mental (of the brain). So they are not two substances, but two perspectives on one and the same object, namely the brain. The physical describes physiology, the mental describes psychology. You can establish a relationship between the two (correlation), so that you say, for example, that the firing of certain neurons (physiology) corresponds to a certain behavior (psychology). The problem lies in the fact that there is not a psychological counterpart for every physiological concept, and so there is constant linguistic confusion by arbitrarily jumping back and forth between the two perspectives. And it is precisely this that provokes a mental dualism again and again. But what you must not do under any circumstances is to establish a causality between the two perspectives, such as the neurons x determine a behavior y. This way of thinking is so deeply rooted in us that it is difficult to overcome it. And one will involuntarily ask, yes, but how does consciousness arise if not through neurons. Each discipline, physiology and psychology, must find its own answer to this with its own terms. So the question is, can what is called consciousness in psychology be described physiologically?
    One possibility would be to use a dynamically system-theoretical approach as metatheory and sketch the maximum of structural density with causal force as an analogue to what is described in psychology as consciousness. There, in turn, it means a purposeful intentional behavior based on abstractions.
    As long as the philosophy of mind does not make use of a sharp and categorically clear approach to the theory of science and instead loses itself in all kinds of irrationalities, it can be called dead.
    In this form, it is of no use to science, nor does it provide an explanation for the nature of consciousness, but rather causes confusion. The instrumentalist approach of neuroscience and AI does not need such a philosophy.
  • Pantagruel
    3.3k
    How does the phenomenology of culture, art, history, ethics, and aesthetics, fit in you analysis? Or does it? It seems that you feel the philosophy of mind must be yoked bi-directionally with-to-by the mechanism of science.

    To me, it appears that you have reduced the problem of the philosophy of mind to a set of failed approaches, and then declared the problem eliminated, rather than recognize the limitations of the approaches. Deacon describes this exact problem rather extensively in his book Incomplete Nature.
  • ssu
    8.2k
    A very good OP.

    You present those obstacles that are present.

    The answer is relatively simple: a machine will never be able to develop consciousness, because life — and thus consciousness — is based on the autocatalytic principle, and silicon is not capable of that. In addition, every machine lacks an endocrine system that makes experience possible in the first place. Also, the use of biohybrid techniques will not create consciousness, since life only functions as a whole in such a way that consciousness can arise.Wolfgang
    In short, the "computers" should start from having DNA as their building blocks or what?

    Actually the famous Turing test itself shows how clueless we are. After all, all the test says is that the computer can fool humans into believing that they are talking to humans. There's absolutely nothing on the "how" and "why" in the test. no philosophy behind it. So where are now then?

    Well, I'm sure that here @Wolfgang isn't AI or a bot.

    At least... yet.

    Because the way computer science and technology has gone with it iyos simply basically by brute force. You don't have to have an underlying understanding, you simply start with basic programming and build up from there. Or have millions of humans picking millions of times the picture where there is a lamp-post, and then use that to "teach" programs to notice lamp posts.

    One possibility would be to use a dynamically system-theoretical approach as metatheory and sketch the maximum of structural density with causal force as an analogue to what is described in psychology as consciousness.Wolfgang
    I think are basics are still not complete. It usually goes to even more fundamental issues than we first think it goes. The actual culprits might even lurk in our understanding of math and logic.
  • Joshs
    5.4k


    As long as the philosophy of mind does not make use of a sharp and categorically clear approach to the theory of science and instead loses itself in all kinds of irrationalities, it can be called dead.
    In this form, it is of no use to science, nor does it provide an explanation for the nature of consciousness, but rather causes confusion. The instrumentalist approach of neuroscience and AI does not need such a philosophy.
    Wolfgang

    Perhaps the problem originates from the categorical nature of the distinctions you make between what you understand as the subjective and the empirically objective, the physical and the mental. Is instrumentalism in neuroscience a necessity or a choice? The research program of neurophenomenology would seem to be one example of a non-instrumental approach to neuroscience. Or is this irrational? I’m curious as to what other ‘irrationalities’ you have in mind with regard to philosophy of mind. Could you give some examples? This may help to determine whether the source of the difficulties you raise lies with the philosophical models or with the limits of your imagination.
  • Pantagruel
    3.3k


    Perhaps the problem originates from the categorical nature of the distinctions you make between what you understand as the subjective and the empirically objective, the physical and the mental.Joshs

    Yes, this.
    This may help to determine whether the source of the difficulties you raise lies with the philosophical models or with the limits of your imagination.Joshs

    And this.

    It seems to me that your hypothesis would benefit from a more concise formulation. As I said (and as the quotes from Joshs also highlight) it is possible that the limitations you descry are with the specific approaches themselves, and are not endemic to the question of the philosophy of mind, per se.
  • Bob Ross
    1.4k


    Philosophy of Mind is a useful field of study because it deals with the metaphysics behind the mind--which is certainly not something scientists actually engage in (although they may without realizing it when they formulate their own opinion on the matter).

    I think the main reason philosophy of mind is still so prominent is due to the fact that 'awareness' (i.e., the ability to acquire knowledge of one's environment) and 'experience' (i.e., the ability to consciously, subjectively view one's environment) are seemingly severed from one another.

    Personally, I used to be an idealist but now I lean to just methodological naturalism (viz., I do not claim knowledge that reality is solely comprised of 'natural' entities) but, since I take the naturalistic approach to acquiring knowledge the only legitimate one we have, I only claim knowledge about the world insofar as I or someone else (that I trust) has been able to empirically test it; and, thusly, my knowledge is conditioned by the human understanding.

    To me, any ontological claim that is not just a superficial equivalent to a methodology is, in my opinion, wanting of justification...so much so that I would say it is just another example of human's overstepping the limits of human understanding.
  • Corvus
    3k
    The OP's arguments seems to be based on a typical anachronism and misunderstanding what Philosophy of Mind is about.

    There, in turn, it means a purposeful intentional behavior based on abstractions.
    As long as the philosophy of mind does not make use of a sharp and categorically clear approach to the theory of science and instead loses itself in all kinds of irrationalities, it can be called dead.
    Wolfgang
    The OP clearly seems to think that Philosophy of Mind is a subject that is similar to a Science. Philosophy of Mind is a huge area of subject which encompasses many peripheral areas. Philosophy of Mind is hard to define in its subject and methodology. It would be too simple to think that it can be defined in a few sentences or paragraphs the OP has read in some forum posts for its negative side.
    Neuroscience, A.I. and Philosophy of Mind, Metaphysics and Logic must all work together as a unified Science or Subject as suggested by Kant in CPR [A838/B866], NKSmith 1933.

    A Science cannot be just a pile of collection of data, experiments and hypotheses. It has to be in a well structured Logic as its foundation interconnecting with the other relevant subjects / sciences.

    Some negativists might even say, if they were all clearly separate subjects of their own territories, then A.I. would be looked as a subject studied by some commercially minded bunch of soldering iron heads with the computer chips trying to produce human mind mimicking devices to make bunch of money. Neuroscience would be looked as a subject run by bunch of folks with lab gowns playing with the stem cells and neurons staring at them with the microscopes pretending they are studying or looking at the mind. They have nothing much to do with the study of human minds from the negativists' perspectives. But it would be clearly unfair, wrong point of view and invalid claims stemmed from ignorance and gross misunderstanding of the subjects.

    The bottom line is that Philosophy of Mind is not a form of Science. It is a subject of its own, which has different scopes, methodologies, topics, aims and logics. Thinking Philosophy of Mind is in the same level as the other Sciences is nonsense and a gross misunderstanding on even what the subject is.
  • Philosophim
    2.4k
    The philosophy of mind isn't dead, it just needs to be married to neuroscience and today's facts. People thinking they can solve philosophy of mind problems from a purely philosophical perspective are deluding themselves. All philosophy needs to be based on facts. Otherwise its just a story.
  • Pantagruel
    3.3k
    People thinking they can solve philosophy of mind problems from a purely philosophical perspective are deluding themselves.Philosophim

    Since the immanent experience of mind is both what is being explicated and what is doing the explicating this is a mischaracterization. Perhaps it is in some sense a story, that does not make it un-factual, only historical. Scientific facts likewise exist within an historical context, which can be extensively revised as scientific understanding evolves.
  • Wayfarer
    21.2k
    …loses itself in all kinds of irrationalities…Wolfgang

    Fear of religion.
  • Philosophim
    2.4k
    Since the immanent experience of mind is both what is being explicated and what is doing the explicating this is a mischaracterization. Perhaps it is in some sense a story, that does not make it un-factual, only historical. Scientific facts likewise exist within an historical context, which can be extensively revised as scientific understanding evolves.Pantagruel

    We know from studies that self-reporting is riddled with bias, inaccuracies, and conflicting takes. A story is not a fact, regardless of its history. Scientific facts are not historical stories, they are long and bloody battles where they are the only victors to survive. The comparison between personal subjective musings and science is like comparing an infant to Einstein.

    Many of the philosophers of yesteryear would agree with me that philosophy should ultimately result in factual progress, which requires a strong set of grounded facts to start from.
  • Pantagruel
    3.3k
    self-reporting is riddled with biasPhilosophim

    Exactly, which is why I estimate the greatest challenges to knowledge to be those of our own presuppositions. Because at the end of the day, if you cannot be honest with yourself, no other kind of knowledge will be more reliable. Belief precedes understanding.
  • Mark Nyquist
    744
    Can a brain existing in the physical present have time perseption of past or future? And what wound that mechanism be? Maybe some theory of mind is in order to explain how brains deal with non-physicals. The alternative is to explain it physically using present physical matter but I don't think it can be done.
  • Wayfarer
    21.2k
    Both neuroscience and artificial intelligence research are working on models and applications to compensate for damage to the organism on the one hand and to autonomize process sequences on the other. Both proceed inductively, collecting empirical data and evaluating them statistically. And both are hardly dependent on the insights of the philosophy of mindWolfgang

    Speaking of AI research, I posed this quote to ChatGPT4, who agreed that philosophy of mind is not that relevant to neuroscience. But, it said, in respect of AI research:

    AI research does have relevance to the philosophy of mind, particularly when it comes to questions about consciousness, self-awareness, and ethical considerations related to AI. While many AI researchers primarily focus on practical applications and improving AI system performance, there is a growing subfield of AI ethics and AI philosophy. These researchers do engage with philosophical questions, such as the nature of consciousness in AI, the ethical implications of AI decision-making, and AI's potential impact on society and human values.

    So, while the claim is accurate in stating that neuroscience is not heavily dependent on the philosophy of mind, it is more nuanced in the case of AI research. Some aspects of AI research are influenced by philosophical considerations, especially in the realm of ethics and consciousness. Chatbots like myself, which are part of AI research, may draw upon philosophical insights when discussing topics related to ethics, consciousness, and human values. However, the core functionality of chatbots like me is primarily based on language models and machine learning techniques, which are more grounded in empirical data and statistical methods.
    ChatGPT

    I have put many philosophical questions to ChatGPT since it came out, and have been overall impressed with the responses (not least the personable tone, and the way it conveys genuine interest (e.g. 'that is an intriguing insight', 'that is a very nuanced analysis', and so on.)
  • wonderer1
    1.8k
    Fear of religion.Wayfarer

    This is just slinging rhetorical shit, at those you see as part of the social band you are opposed to.
  • Wayfarer
    21.2k
    You may be right, I will admit I was commenting on one aspect of it. But I won't press the point. I was probably reacting to the explicit materialism of this statement:

    And this contradicts the fact that every organism consists of nothing more than flesh and blood, thus of matter.Wolfgang
  • BC
    13.3k
    How ChatGPT works is orders of magnitudes above my level of understanding. It is remarkable in its capacity to generate responses that resemble the sort of things that "we" say -- or would say if we had as much knowledge at our "mind's fingertips" as this chatty machine has.

    I found this IMF statement sobering:

    In advanced economies, about 60 percent of jobs may be impacted by AI. Roughly half the exposed jobs may benefit from AI integration, enhancing productivity. For the other half, AI applications may execute key tasks currently performed by humans, which could lower labor demand, leading to lower wages and reduced hiring. In the most extreme cases, some of these jobs may disappear.

    In emerging markets and low-income countries, by contrast, AI exposure is expected to be 40 percent and 26 percent, respectively. These findings suggest emerging market and developing economies face fewer immediate disruptions from AI. At the same time, many of these countries don’t have the infrastructure or skilled workforces to harness the benefits of AI, raising the risk that over time the technology could worsen inequality among nations.

    I have had a couple of detail work jobs (decades ago) for which I thought a computer would be more effective and cheaper. The main reason humans end up in these jobs at all is that computers have difficulty handling file folders and handling pieces of paper, and carrying work to and from the copy center. It was opposable thumbs and not mental capacity that mattered in this university department support job. Then too, some people probably preferred talking to humans, and giving humans orders more than doing the same with a machine.

    Downgrading jobs has already happened as a result of automation, technology, and computerization, so chatGPT's effects may not stand out that much from the background.

    So, bypassing the question of the theory of mind, I'm more interested in the theoretical question of what we are going to do for the minds of those cast aside by AI. I didn't like the detail-work job, but it paid for lots of mindwork I did on my own.
  • Wayfarer
    21.2k
    I have used ChatGPT daily since it came out in Nov 2022. I'm also using Bing Co-pilot for work-related stuff in my role as a technical writer. I've become very comfortable with ChatGPT, and often ask questions about issues raised on this forum (see this recent exchange). Of course it's true that it's sometimes mistaken and what it spits out needs to be validated against other sources, but overall the variety and tone of the output is quite amazing.

    As for the impact on the jobs market, I can guess there will be employment categories that are going to be impacted. Apparently it's very handy with coding (I don't write code, so can't tell). I think many writing roles could be impacted, it turns out blog posts and short articles very easily. Personally I'm at the end of my career so I can't see it replacing me - I mean, it can't do what I'm required to do every day - but it's getting more capable all the time.
  • Apustimelogist
    396
    And what wound that mechanism be?Mark Nyquist

    Recurrent neural networks.. essentially. Not literally.. but similar concept in regard to allowing time-sensitive, history-dependent behavior.
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    I've found ChatGPT to be sometimes excellent but also highly variable and sometimes inaccurate. It attributes quotes to the wrong people, or it makes them up. It gets schools of thought wrong. It sometimes seems to fabricate information about subjects which sound reasonable but does not check out. When you point out such mistakes, it replies, "You're right, I apologize for that." GPT reminds me of a sociopath; superficially charming, but you can sometimes sense the glib emptiness and fakery.
  • BC
    13.3k
    Given the way that AI is compounded, it is (just guessing) sociopathic by necessity. It doesn't have the means of "feeling" guilt, authenticity, or anything else. It is articulate enough to be glib. It is empty, of course, because it doesn't experience what it does. It does what it does based on its training and programming, and that's all it can do. Apparently, it doesn't know enough to detect its own bullshit or obviously contradictory information,

    I enjoy gathering my own information about the Middle Ages or mushrooms, or whatever, and I rarely feel the need to ask an AI anything, I'm not producing products for anybody.

    That said, they seem to be remarkable achievements by their makers, and using them should be helpful enough as long as one remembers that they don't actually care about us (and can not care) and they are not self-aware. At some point we will find a psychopathic / sociopathic executive employing a psychopathic / sociopathic AI system to achieve his goals. The AI system won't be responsible for magnifying the executive's anti-social harm.

    Yet, anyway. Maybe at some point in the future an AI system will have an evil intention and will carry it out on its own. Somehow it seems less likely, but an AI system may instead have an urge to do unbidden good deeds and will benefit many. Even humans get such urges every now and then.
  • Wayfarer
    21.2k
    GPT reminds me of a sociopath; superficially charming, but you can sometimes sense the glib emptiness and fakery.Tom Storm

    A snippet from a recent exchange:

    Wayfarer: The point about mathematical objects for mathematical realist, is that while they’re independent of any particular mind, they can only be apprehended by a mind.


    ChatGPT Your clarification highlights a key point in the philosophy of mathematical realism: while mathematical entities are independent of any particular mind, they require a mind for apprehension and understanding. This perspective maintains that mathematical objects and truths exist independently of human thought, but human cognition is necessary to access, interpret, and understand these truths.

    This stance is interesting because it navigates between two extremes. On one hand, it avoids the notion that mathematics is purely subjective or a construct of the human mind, which would imply that mathematical truths could vary or cease to exist without human thinkers. On the other hand, it acknowledges that our engagement with mathematics is a cognitive process, rooted in human thought and understanding.

    This viewpoint resonates with certain interpretations of Platonism in mathematics, where mathematical entities are seen as abstract objects residing in a realm that we access intellectually. The human mind, in this view, acts as a bridge between the abstract, independent world of mathematical truths and our subjective experience and understanding of these truths.

    I thought that a pretty cool response, but then, it was also telling me what I wanted to hear (although, how did it know that :chin: )
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    Yep, as I say, there are some excellent answers and I will continue to use it, but always with some doubts.

    As it happened, I asked a similar question two weeks ago.

    Me - Is maths the result of human cognitive processes, or is it an external fact in the world?

    GPT The question of whether mathematics is a human cognitive process or an external fact of the world is a philosophical and epistemological inquiry that has been debated by scholars for centuries. The two main perspectives on this issue are known as mathematical realism and mathematical anti-realism.

    Mathematical Realism:

    External Reality: Mathematical realists argue that mathematical entities and truths exist independently of human thought. They believe that mathematical structures and relationships are part of an objective, external reality.

    Discovery: According to this view, mathematicians discover mathematical truths rather than inventing them. These truths exist and are waiting to be unveiled through the process of mathematical exploration.

    Mathematical Anti-Realism:

    Human Construct: Mathematical anti-realists, on the other hand, argue that mathematics is a product of human cognition and is not an inherent aspect of an external reality.
    Invention: From this perspective, mathematical concepts are invented by humans to describe and make sense of the world, but they don't have an independent existence apart from human minds.

    It's important to note that this debate extends to the nature of abstract objects, such as numbers and mathematical structures. Realists posit that these abstract objects exist, while anti-realists deny their objective existence.

    In summary, whether mathematics is considered a human cognitive process or an external fact of the world depends on one's philosophical stance. Both perspectives have their proponents, and the debate continues to be a lively topic in the philosophy of mathematics.
  • sime
    1k
    The philosophy of mind (which in spite of appearances isn't a particular subject but concerns the whole of the subject of philosophy) is part of science, in so far that the purpose of science is considered to be explanatory in the sense intended to satisfy the existential questions of a particular human being.

    The techniques of science and even it's formalized theories can be considered instrumental, but if the purpose of science isn't considered to be instrumentally pragmatic but explanatory in the above sense, then there exists a semantic or explanatory gap between the tools of science and it's supposed goals, which must be filled somehow, leading us back to philosophy and it's patchwork of vague and apparently inconsistent pre-theories

    So if we reject the idea that science and philosophy have distinct goals, then what you have described under the heading of the philosophy of mind, is the pitiful state of science as a whole. Also your summary of AI is interesting, because it reflects society's recent obsession with Machine Learning that has up until recently, ignored the normative discipline of symbolic reasoning, which must be addressed if AI is to scale to more difficult problems in a fashion that is reliable and understandable, but that direction opens the can of worms known as the Philosophy of Language, which is at the heart of Philosophy of Mind...

    As i see it, the mind-body problem is but one example of the semantic under-determination of scientific theories, and one's tolerance for semantic under-determination depends on what ones goals are.
  • jkop
    712
    the can of worms known as the Philosophy of Language, which is at the heart of Philosophy of Mindsime
    :up: Philosophy of Language + Philosophy of Science + Metaphysics

    As long as the philosophy of mind does not make use of a sharp and categorically clear approach to the theory of science and instead loses itself in all kinds of irrationalities, it can be called dead.Wolfgang
    The fact that Philosophy of Mind overlaps with Philosophy of Science doesn't prevent philosophers of mind from using a sharp and categorically clear approach to science. One philosopher of mind that I sometimes read is John Searle. His naturalist approach is fairly clear, I think (although I'm aware that it's been criticized for being covertly dualist.)
  • Mark Nyquist
    744

    I actually agree with you in how brains do time perseption but there is more to it. In dealing with the past or future, brains are picking up on something non-physical, retaining it, and using it as input for further mental processing. It's like the brain deals in these non-physical things.

    As you say, recurrent neural networks, but there seems to be an ability to 'go off the page' of what is possible with physical matter and do things in a non-physical environment. Seems like math for example is an exercise in manipulating non-physicals
  • Apustimelogist
    396
    I actually agree with you in how brains do time perseption but there is more to it. In dealing with the past or future, brains are picking up on something non-physical, retaining it, and using it as input for further mental processing. It's like the brain deals in these non-physical things.Mark Nyquist

    Why does this need to be the case? I don't see why the brain needs anything else other than, effectively, remember its own activity through processes such as synaptic plasticity and recurrent feedback.

    As you say, recurrent neural networks, but there seems to be an ability to 'go off the page' of what is possible with physical matter and do things in a non-physical environment. Seems like math for example is an exercise in manipulating non-physicalsMark Nyquist

    Seems to me basically everything we experience is modeled off activity at our sensory boundaries. Things like math are just an abstraction of that information from our sensory boundaries. All our concepts are abstractions though. When I see a dog, that involves an abstraction because even though all dogs look different I can recognize that there is something the same about them and I can categorize them accordingly. The concept of similarity is as much an abstraction where I can identify different objects as the same. Once I can see objects as the same I can count them numerically, just as a direct consequence of sensory information. Obviously though, these concepts are so abstract that they can apply to virtually any different arrangement of sensory information. Simultaneously, this kind of abstraction is not qualitatively different from my ability to recognize a dog or recognize that lines have different directions. All perceptual categorization involves lumping different things into the same concept and this doesn't seem any different from how we have come upon concepts in math.
  • RogueAI
    2.6k
    How can philosophy of mind be dead when Ai's are close to passing the Turing Test? The question of machine consciousness and other philo-of-mind topics is only going to become more and more pressing.
  • Alkis Piskas
    2.1k

    Neuroscience has nothing to do with the mind. Neuroscience deals with the brain. They are two totally different things.
    Some neuroscientists are well aware of that, and have started to break the mold, looking for answers about the mind and consciousness in other terrains.
  • Corvus
    3k
    Without solid philosophical foundation and definitions backed by logical system, all sciences are likely to degenerate into some sort of trivial techniques, common-sense know-hows and device manufacturing skills. Some historical philosophers such as Bacon, Descartes and Kant were seeking to establish a single Science which unites all the knowledge in the universe. Maybe that was too ambitious try, but there must have been reason for the pursuits.

    But the spirit of the unification of different subjects into one has not fully dead even today. We see some recent contemporary academics publishing the articles and books under the title and scope looking at the Mind from Philosophy, Neuroscience, Clinical Psychology, Metaphysics and Linguistic studies looking at them from the integrated perspectives. They are all interconnected to the topic, and none of them are regarded as irrational, or out of scope subjects. Philosophy of Mind is not dead.
  • Mark Nyquist
    744

    I'm still agreeing with most of what you are saying. Everything is physically based.

    My issue is abstractions have specific parameters and recurrent neural networks must conform to the subject matter. And once the abstraction is in place (physically instantiated) the abstraction can drive mental process.
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