Comments

  • Immaterialism

    If you agree that the mind is not noise, what is it equal to? The brain?
  • Immaterialism
    If "it's all noise" and "all" includes "minds" and it is "mind" that "attaches meaning to a bit of noise and calls it a signal", then, in effect what you're saying is, noise generates signals from noise.180 Proof

    Do you think mind=noise???
  • Immaterialism
    Other than via physical instantiation (re: Boltzmann, Turing, Shannon, Von Neumann et al), how can we differentiate signals from noise?180 Proof

    It's all noise until a mind comes along and attaches meaning to a bit of noise and calls it a signal. If a simulation of a tornado is running on a computer with no one observing it, is it still a simulation? It's interesting that the issue of observers pops up in physics.
  • Why do we do good?
    I do not belong to a society, I belong to myself.Garrett Travers

    Of course you do, you rugged individualist.
  • Why do we do good?
    I love this quote:

    "There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."

    And also Roger Ebert reviewing Atlas Shrugged:
    "For me, that philosophy reduces itself to: "I’m on board; pull up the lifeline."
  • Why do we do good?
    The fact that there are forces in the world that can implement overwhelming force over me to steal my house and enslave my body, does not negate the fact that they are mine and not everyone else's. This kind of argument has no place in an ethical discussion. We aren't discussing the violation of an individuals rights. We're talking about the difference between public and private and how the two concepts can be disentangled. Not what justifies, or what can be used to revoke property from people and enslave them. I genuinely have no clue why you even said this.Garrett Travers

    Because there is a tension between your bodily/property rights and society's right to govern itself. You belong to a society, and you presumably (are you an anarchist?) agree that society has a right to imprison you and take your stuff if conditions warrant it. You do not have an exclusive right to your body and possessions. You've agreed that you will voluntarily give up those rights (again, assuming you don't shoot it out with the cops if the police ever do show up with a warrant) if society has a good enough reason. I also assume you won't fight to the death to defend your house against eminent domain.

    Also, you're kind of a jerk.
  • Why do we do good?
    Yes, I most certainly can. My body is private, as in exclusively mine. My house is private, as in exclusively mine. My art, my theories, my values, my interests, all exclusively mine. Private is that which no access is granted to without the consent of the owner.Garrett Travers

    Your body and house are private only in so far as you obey the laws of whatever society you're in. If you violate those laws, or if you simply give the state good reason to think you've violated them, your body and possessions are no longer exclusively yours to do with as you see fit. We can never completely disentangle from society, unless we're off in the woods somewhere, and even then, you can be subject to eminent domain.

    I'm not just nitpicking. In a society, we all agree that our privacy and property rights aren't absolute. We can lose those rights pretty easily if the other members of our society suspect we're up to no good. I think that's what the other poster was talking about with his comment about entanglement.
  • Why do we do good?
    Do we have any ethical obligations to our future selves?
  • A Physical Explanation for Consciousness
    Are fields rational? Are fields meaningful? Does the sunset I'm imagining exist in a field in my skull? When I think of my favorite song, is there music playing in a field somewhere in my brain? The mind is definitely not a field. You could say it's caused by fields, but that is also a tricky claim. The simplest thing is to stop assuming there's any mind-independent stuff.
  • A Physical Explanation for Consciousness
    I think it's easier to ditch all the talk of fields and assume mind is primary. That seems to require less assumptions.
  • What if everyone were middle class? Would that satisfy you?
    You'll be a lot happier if you give your marbles to someone else. I'm someone else.
  • Is consciousness, or the mind, merely an ‘illusion’?
    1. What about the qualia of a sunset? What information message is being sent viz-a-viz being awed by a beautiful sunset or painting?
    2. What biological advantage does qualia provide? Presumably, information about bodily injury could be sent without any qualia at all, so what purpose does the feeling of pain serve? Also, do robots that have sensory apparatuses that send information to a CPU have qualia?
  • Is consciousness, or the mind, merely an ‘illusion’?
    The qualia of our inner conscious world are information messages.Raymond

    What about qualia associated with hallucinations? In the case of phantom limb pain, what information message is there? Is it a mistaken information message? What about the beauty of a sunset?
  • Michael Graziano’s eliminativism
    Just like processes in the physical world follow a path of least resistance, so do brain processes.Raymond

    So what else in the physical world is conscious besides brains? Rivers? Electric currents?
  • The 'hard problem of consciousness'.
    According to my description of consciousness: "I believe that the concurrent experience of these two perspectives (inner/external) is what we experience as consciousness. Our internal quasi-perceptual awareness combined with what we are able to perceive directly" I guess that any thing that can do this is conscious.Brock Harding

    That sounds very panpsychist.
  • The 'hard problem of consciousness'.
    we'd have to precisely know what consciousness isHermeticus

    Therein lies the rub. Not only do we not have a precise definition, we have no scientific definition. We have to go by folk definitions. Science is also unable to tell us if a 6-month old fetus is conscious, or if the latest Boston Dynamics robot is conscious (or even Stockfish). I don't see science answering these questions anytime soon, so I think the continued failure of science to say whether machine x is conscious or not is catastrophic to the question of whether science will ultimately explain how unconscious matter can produce conscious states.
  • The 'hard problem of consciousness'.
    What things, besides us, are conscious?
  • Is consciousness, or the mind, merely an ‘illusion’?
    This sounds like functionalism. Do you think mind is the program that the brain is running?
  • Language, Consciousness and Human Culture?
    Walking is not as real as legs that do the walking.

    Consciousness/mind, just like walking, is an activity. To think that consciousness/mind is an object, like legs are, is a mistake; this error gives warrant to Dennett's claim that consciousness is an illusion.
    Agent Smith

    If minds are brains, then minds are nouns.
  • Is consciousness, or the mind, merely an ‘illusion’?
    If mind is a verb, why do we use it as a noun so often (e.g., my mind is made up)?
  • If Dualism is true, all science is wrong?
    Thanks, I just bought his book: Philosophy of Mind, a Beginner's Guide.
  • If Dualism is true, all science is wrong?
    I like that quote of Ed Feser a lot.
  • A Physical Explanation for Consciousness
    What else besides brains are conscious/can become conscious?
  • Michael Graziano’s eliminativism
    https://behavioralscientist.org/rethinking-consciousness-a-qa-with-michael-graziano/

    Sounds a lot like computationalism. If computers can be conscious, how will we verify that? Which computers, exactly, are conscious? Are some computers already conscious? Why are brains conscious? Because they compute? Is anything that computes conscious?
  • If Dualism is true, all science is wrong?
    I decide to imagine a blue elephant. As I do so my brain goes through a series of states dictated by my decision and its content. It's not so much that the mind moves physical things, rather the mind is physical things. There's only one world.Daemon

    If the mind IS a physical thing (i.e., mind=brain), then when you imagine a blue elephant in your mind, shouldn't there be a blue elephant inside your skull?
  • Are Minds Confined to Brains?
    Do you think minds can exist on other stuff than a working brain in a living body?Raymond

    The only thing we know that exists for sure is our own mind. If minds come from brains, how do brains produce minds?
  • Holiday Short Story Competition Discussion and Poll
    I think you did a great job presenting the stories and setting everything up. There were good stories and insightful commentary. I was very impressed with the whole thing, and hope we do it again.
  • A Cross for Maria by Baden
    Very atmospheric. This part, however, threw me off: "I almost bear her until the end, almost."
  • To What Extent are Mind and Brain Identical?
    Good points. Also, if mind is what the brain does, why is it just the brain that does mind? Why doesn't the heart do mind as well? Why do only specific parts of the brain do mind?
  • To What Extent are Mind and Brain Identical?
    Why would it look different?khaled

    Why would red to you look different than red to me? Maybe small changes in neural structure and brain chemistry. Who knows? My point is simply that looking at brain scans cannot tell you that red to me looks the same as red to you.

    If I clone you do you think there is a chance that “red” to the clone will look different from “red” to you?

    The clone would occupy a different point in space, would physically diverge from me right after the cloning process. These are very small changes, but who's to say whether they result in different mental states. Since the contents of my mind are a black box to you and vice-versa, you can't get around this problem. You will never know if red to me is the same as red to you. It's an insolvable problem.
  • To What Extent are Mind and Brain Identical?
    If you can see them, yes I think.khaled

    But the reverse isn't true. You couldn't reverse engineer a mental state by observing brain states. Even if you were looking at the brain states of someone you were convinced is seeing red, the inverted spectrum problem would pop up. Is the person with brain states "seeing red" really seeing red, or does red to them look blue to everyone else?
  • To What Extent are Mind and Brain Identical?
    Try it. Open up the motherboard and tell me what the first 10 switching operations for the Windows Kernel is.

    Of course, there are devices that can detect binary code. You can't do so with your eyes however. Similar to how you can't see feelings when looking at a brain without the use of special tools.
    khaled

    But it is possible to see the switching operations. For example, the first computers were the size of rooms and made of vacuum tubes. Could you "reverse engineer" the code from the switching operations, if you had the right tools?
  • To What Extent are Mind and Brain Identical?
    I didn’t say you can’t see code. I said you can’t see code by simply looking at a computer. You can bust open the motherboard and look at it all you want (like looking at a brain) and you won’t see what’s happening in there.khaled

    Wouldn't you see a set of particular switching operations? That's what code ultimately is.
  • A physical theory of the observer
    Which interpretations does it rule out? What does it say about MWI?
  • A physical theory of the observer

    Which interpretation of QM is correct?
  • Solution to the hard problem of consciousness


    Sorry, I totally skipped this: "(Not really "knows", but is constrained thus.)"

    Sorry!
  • Solution to the hard problem of consciousness
    Doesn't seem absurd to me.Kenosha Kid

    If we use the standard definition, how could a collection of switches have a justified true belief about anything? How would that work?