We ourselves, as physical organisms, are part of [the] universe, composed of the same basic elements as everything else, and recent advances in molecular biology have greatly increased our understanding of the physical and chemical basis of life. Since our mental lives evidently depend on our existence as physical organisms, especially on the functioning of our central nervous systems, it seems natural to think that the physical sciences can in principle provide the basis for an explanation of the mental aspects of reality as well — that physics can aspire finally to be a theory of everything.
However, I believe this possibility is ruled out by the conditions that have defined the physical sciences from the beginning. The physical sciences can describe organisms like ourselves as parts of the objective spatio-temporal order – our structure and behavior in space and time – but they cannot describe the subjective experiences of such organisms or how the world appears to their different particular points of view. There can be a purely physical description of the neurophysiological processes that give rise to an experience, and also of the physical behavior that is typically associated with it, but such a description, however complete, will leave out the subjective essence of the experience – how it is from the point of view of its subject — without which it would not be a conscious experience at all. — Thomas Nagel, Core of Mind and Cosmos
we will see Hagel’s dielectric at work. — Paulm12
Does Pinter account for what generates the structure and properties of (the) mind(s) which generates the structure and properties of the world / cosmos? — 180 Proof
What Hoffman claims is that the way objects appear to us is dictated by considerations of fitness and not realism. What an animal experiences seeing may be unlike a high-fidelity reproduction of reality, with all its complexity and inscrutability—yet it may be far more helpful when the animal needs to size up the current situation correctly and act appropriately. The claim is that so long as all the experiences a creature has with objects are consistent with one another—with no discrepancies of any kind—the creature is far better off interacting in mind with usefully simplified and schematized replicas.
Let’s begin with a thought-experiment: Imagine that all life has vanished from the universe, but everything else is undisturbed. Matter is scattered about in space in the same way as it is now, there is sunlight, there are stars, planets and galaxies—but all of it is unseen. There is no human or animal eye to cast a glance at objects, hence nothing is discerned, recognized or even noticed. Objects in the unobserved universe have no shape, color or individual appearance, because shape and appearance are created by minds. Nor do they have features, because features correspond to categories of animal sensation. This is the way the early universe was before the emergence of life—and the way the present universe is outside the view of any observer. — Pinter, Charles. Mind and the Cosmic Order (p. 1)
When we open our eyes and observe the world around us, we don’t see a smooth, evenly distributed continuum, but a scene that is sharply and unambiguously divided into separate objects. Each of these objects is familiar to us, we know their identities, and we are able to name them. To the animal [i.e. sensory] mind, the world is subdivided into separate, discrete things. Without a separation into independent parts, nothing would be comprehensible, there could be no understanding, and thought would not be possible.
...Common sense has us believe that the world really does consist of separate objects exactly as we see it, for we suppose that nature comes to us ready-carved. But in fact, the animal visual system does such a thorough job of partitioning the visual array into familiar objects, that it is impossible for us to look at a scene and not perceive it as composed of separate things. — (p. 67)
with no color, appearance, feel, weight or any other discernible features. In fact, every feature which might impact the senses—hence produce an impression of some kind—is absent because in this hypothetical universe there is no life and there are no senses. Everything material may be there, but not the senses. As Kant said about the noumenal world (which is the same as the mind-independent world), nothing can be said about its objects except that they exist. — p.118
When you speak of a straight line in science, you must suppress the image of the taut string in mind. You must force yourself to forgo any mental picture of what a straight line looks like, and instead, think of it as nothing but an empty word. When you use that word, you may hold the image of the taut string in mind, but that’s for your own benefit: It may guide your intuition but should not participate in your reasoning. ...If that were permitted, then the laws of science would depend on the meanings we attach to concepts—on the mental images we hold in mind. — Pp118-120
Newton’s equations, which apply to pairs of bodies in space, determine the trajectories of planets around the sun. However, these trajectories are meaningful only to beings who see and conceive in Gestalts. The shape of an orbit, though it exists only in the eyes of a Gestalt observer, is a direct consequence of Newton’s laws, and no further principle is needed to account for it. Although the shapes of orbits are fully determined by the underlying physics (that is, by addition of simples), orbits exist only in the scheme of reality of Gestalt observers. The reality which a Gestalt observer perceives is quite different from that of the underlying physical world. In the Gestalt whole, the observer sees patterns—and these patterns do not exist in the ground reality because patterns emerge only in spread-out wholes and exist only in Gestalt perception. — p124
Sensations, beliefs, imaginings and feelings are often referred to as figments, that is, creations of the mind. A mental image is taken to be something less than real: For one thing, it has no material substance and is impossible to detect except in the mind of the perceiver. It is true that sensations are caused by electrochemical events in a brain, but when experienced by a living mind, sensations are decisively different in kind from electrons in motion. They are indeed “figments” because they exist nowhere except in awareness. As a matter of fact, they exist only as claims made by sentient beings, with no material evidence to back up those claims. Indeed, brain scans reveal electrical activity, but do not display sensations or inner experience. — (p. 52).
the meaningful connectedness between things — the hierarchical organization of all we perceive — is the result of the Gestalt nature of perception and thought, and exists only as a property of mind. These insights give the first glimmerings of a new way of seeing the cosmos: not as a mineral wasteland but a place inhabited by creatures.
The connection between the ritual and moral dimensions of karma is especially evident in the notion of karma as a causal law, popularly known as the “law of karma.” Many religious traditions —notably the Abrahamic religions that emerged in the Middle East (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam)—place reward and punishment for human actions in the hands of a divine lawgiver. In contrast, the classical traditions of India—Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, much like the Vedic sacrificial theology that preceded them—view karma as operating according to an autonomous causal law. No divine will or external agent intervenes in the relationship of the moral act to its inevitable result. The law of karma thus represents a markedly nontheistic theodicy, or explanation of why there is evil in the world.
. I am not the expert, but my suspicion is that the doctrine does not come from Buddha himself, but is an accretion that probably predates him. — unenlightened
instead of promoting resigned powerlessness, the early Buddhist notion of karma focused on the liberating potential of what the mind is doing at every moment. Who you are—what you come from—is not anywhere near as important as the mind’s motives for what it’s doing right now. Even though the past may account for many of the inequalities we see in life, our measure as human beings is not the hand we’ve been dealt, for that hand can change at any moment. We take our own measure by how well we play the hand we’ve got. If you’re suffering, you try not to continue the unskillful mental habits that would keep that particular karmic feedback going. If you see that other people are suffering, and you’re in a position to help, you focus not on their karmic past but your karmic opportunity in the present: Someday you may find yourself in the same predicament they’re in now, so here’s your opportunity to act in the way you’d like them to act toward you when that day comes.
It fits right in with the caste system, and helps to sustain it along with rampant toxic sexism — unenlightened
Myanmar. Plenty of instances of violence there openly encouraged by buddhist monks. — I like sushi
I think viewing misfortune in this life as some kind of penance for misgiving in some imagined previous life is an abhorrent idea that essentially has some people categorised as ‘deserving their fate’ by simply being born with some form of disability or other. — I like sushi
I don't think that Aristotle's metaphysics is consistent with what is today referred to as platonic realism. — Metaphysician Undercover
Intelligible objects must be independent of particular minds because they are common to all who think. In coming to grasp them, an individual mind does not alter them in any way; it cannot convert them into its exclusive possessions or transform them into parts of itself. Moreover, the mind discovers them rather than forming or constructing them, and its grasp of them can be more or less adequate. Augustine concludes from these observations that intelligible objects cannot be part of reason's own nature or be produced by reason out of itself. They must exist independently of individual human minds.
Frege believed that number is real in the sense that it is quite independent of thought: 'thought content exists independently of thinking "in the same way", he says "that a pencil exists independently of grasping it. Thought contents are true and bear their relations to one another (and presumably to what they are about) independently of anyone's thinking these thought contents - "just as a planet, even before anyone saw it, was in interaction with other planets." '
I believe, for instance, that the Pythagorean theorem in geometry states something that is approximately true, independent of the existence of man. — Albert Einstein
In other words, something similar to the Buddhist idea that we, or our destiny, are just an element of the whole universe, so that separated subjectivities are just our mental creation. This way, there is not me, you, they, but just the whole, with some kind of apparent distinctions not very important. — Angelo Cannata
What you seem to be missing is the advancements which Aristotle and Aquinas have made — Metaphysician Undercover
When I read that reductionism can be "the sum can be explained by its parts" I was a bit confused. That can't be what it really means. Is that just a bad definition? — musicpianoaccordion
Karma in this sense doesn’t permit the ability to change for the better or for the worse. — Benj96
The Harvard philosopher Hilary Putnam criticizes philosophers who advocate scientism: the view that science offers the only true and correctdescription of the world. Scientism, for Putnam, undermines the finite and contextual nature of human perception. Putnam is also critical with the plurality of worlds espoused by Nelson Goodman in which different and incompatible ways of seeing things are actually valid. The problem with this idea for Putnam is that it undermines the fact that we interact with the same piece of reality and so there can be an interface despite diversity and incompatibility of description. ...Putnam points out that conceptual relativity or the different ways of seeing the same state of affairs internal to a conceptual scheme steers a middle course between the excess of scientism and relativism. The paper argues that conceptual relativity rejects scientism and relativism while still affirming science and plurality of views.
Am I correct in my thinking? — musicpianoaccordion
1. What do you think about how people use "holistic approach"? Used in the wrong way? — musicpianoaccordion
2. Are "reductionism vs holism" really that helpful? — musicpianoaccordion
3. Aristotle issupposed to have said that "The whole is more than the sum of its parts.". Does it make him a supporter of holism and an antireductionist? — musicpianoaccordion
4. For me as a musician — musicpianoaccordion
Is that what I'm doing if I look at a fMRI of someone looking at a cup? Modelling the model? — Isaac
To have a model of a cup necessarily implies there's a cup. — Isaac
Common to Schopenhauer on the one hand and Buddhism on the other is the notion that the world of experience is something in the construction of which the observer is actively involved; that it is of its nature permanently shifting and, this being so, evanescent and insubstantial, a world of appearances only. — Bryan Magee, Schopenhaur's Philosophy
I think we could call “spirituality” the search, practice, and experience through which the subject carries out the necessary transformations on himself in order to have access to the truth. We will call ‘spirituality’ then the set of these researches, practices, and experiences, which may be purifications, ascetic exercises, renunciations, conversions of looking, modifications of existence, etc., which are, not for knowledge but for the subject, for the subject’s very being, the price to be paid for access to the truth ~ Michel Foucault, The Hermeneutics of the Subject
The decisive distinguishing feature of Western philosophical spirituality is that it does not regard the truth as something to which the subject has access by right, universally, simply by virtue of the kind of cognitive being that the human subject is. Rather, it views the truth as something to which the subject may accede only through some act of inner self-transformation, some act of attending to the self with a view to determining its present incapacity, thence to transform it into the kind of self that is spiritually qualified to accede to a truth that is by definition not open to the unqualified subject.
Then you come across Tom Storm's problem of explaining the consistency between us. If there's no intrinsic property which causes us to treat an object a certain way, then why do we so consistently do so? — Isaac
There is no one “correct” way of carving up a scene. What is important for us may be of no interest in the life of a tiger or a fly, so every species has its own scheme for carving up the world according to its interests. In technical language, we say that every animal has its species-specific segmentation of reality, linked to its world-model. We are hard-wired to believe that our scheme for dividing the world into objects is the real one, because such a belief is necessary for existence. Though our segmentation of reality is partly bound to physical facts, much of it is arbitrary. However, there is one aspect of any segmentation which is non-negotiable: It must be self-consistent. What this means is that regardless of how information is received from the environment—whether visually, by sound or by touch—there can be no conflict: All the items of information must support one another. Also, when the organism undertakes actions, its plan of action must be fully aligned with its scheme of segmentation, so no discrepancy is ever encountered. So long as its segmentation is self-consistent, the animal cannot ever become aware of a difference between its world-model and reality.
So there are attributes... — Isaac
One of the most important insights of contemporary brain science is that the visual world is a constructed reality. When we look, what we hold in awareness is not an optical array but a mental construct, built from information in the array, which presents us with all that is of value to us in a scene.
for the second option we're having to invoke a whole load of speculated realms and mechanisms, just to avoid there being intrinsic properties and I can't see why. — Isaac
That's why I keep going back to the distinction based on truth, and maintaining that there are unknown truths. — Banno
It must be understood that nature does not aim to deceive us, but the very opposite: We imagine objects to be in surrounding space because that’s where they’re supposed to be—that’s where we reach out for them. Likewise, we experience visual objects as “holographic” images because that is the most informative and practical way of getting the information about them into our mind. Surely, however, the physical world consists of solid three-dimensional objects, so it seems that we must be seeing them correctly. Again, we are mistaken: The appearance of a three-dimensional object such as a teacup is a product of the visual brain. The “cup in itself”, the real teacup in the unobserved physical world, consists of atoms and charged particles, and “appearance” is not a force of physics.
They are indeed “figments” because they exist nowhere except in awareness. As a matter of fact, they exist only as claims made by sentient beings, with no material evidence to back up those claims. Indeed, brain scans reveal electrical activity, but do not display sensations or inner experience.
So the possibilities are that either real existents, including the objects perceived, the environmental conditions and the constitutions of the perceives all work together to determine the forms of perceptions. or else there is a universal or collective mind which determines the perceptions and their commonality. — Janus
Sensations, beliefs, imaginings and feelings are often referred to as figments, that is, creations of the mind. A mental image is taken to be something less than real: For one thing, it has no material substance and is impossible to detect except in the mind of the perceiver. It is true that sensations are caused by electrochemical events in a brain, but when experienced by a living mind, sensations are decisively different in kind from electrons in motion. They are indeed “figments” because they exist nowhere except in awareness. As a matter of fact, they exist only as claims made by sentient beings, with no material evidence to back up those claims. Indeed, brain scans reveal electrical activity, but do not display sensations or inner experience.
An animal’s Sensorium is the repository of all its sensations and sensory experience. The Sensorium does not correspond to a specific area of the brain, but is a widely distributed collection of innate sensibilities and capacities. One of the central tasks of the brain is to code all sensory input so it gives rise in the organism to specific impressions and sensations. Everything that comes into the field of our awareness, every shading and nuance of feeling, is coded so as to have its unique, highly specific effect on consciousness.
To have a model of a cup necessarily implies there's a cup. Otherwise it's a model of what? — Isaac
in our shared world, we do have reason to believe those atoms are constituted that way intrinsically. — Isaac
. But... they still do genuinely form the shape of a hunter with his bow. — Isaac
Ken Gergen mentions some of the affinities he sees between buddhism and his model of relational being. — Joshs
Common sense leads us to assume that we see in Gestalts because the world itself is constituted of whole objects and scenes, but this is incorrect. The reason events of the world appear holistic to animals is that animals perceive them in Gestalts. The atoms of a teacup do not collude together to form a teacup: The object is a teacup because it is constituted that way from a perspective outside of itself. — Pinter, Charles. Mind and the Cosmic Order (p. 3).