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xodarap replied 11 years ago (Nov 7th 2012, 10:10:37 pm)
Brent, Sorry I missed your response, I had to lodge our tax returns then got distracted with bulk other family stuff. If people of religious persuasions wish to sustain a reasonable and productive dialogue about brain, mind, consciousness, emotion and behaviour, and all the various relationships between these then they have to make an effort. They have to start to understand what modern scientific research and clinical studies have revealed already about what makes people tick. They have to work at understanding the basics of what neurons do, how the brain mediates perception and actions. As far as I can see there is just no point in getting into conversations about something as complex as the human brain and what it does, if the other person has not been spending time honestly trying to find out what is known or hypothesised about our psyche and its physical instantiation within the head of each person. I would encourage them very strongly to look up Steve Lehar's web site with his Cartoon Epistemology. I think he provides there a very good exposition of how it is most reasonable to acknowledge that all of what we see, hear and smell, etc, is made within the brain. http://cns-alumni.bu.edu/~slehar/cartoonepist/cartoonepist.html
Brent_Allsop replied 11 years ago (Oct 23rd 2012, 12:42:24 am)
Hi Xodowrap, Metzinger talks of a "Phenomenal Self Model" or "PSM". If one has an out of body experience, this is what leaves the knowledge of their body, right? It is this PSM that has one's personalities, memories, identity, and everything, right? So if you were to talk to a religious person, who knew all about out of body experiences, and so on – yet knew nothing of philosophy of mind, and especially nothing of Metzinger, "PSM" or any of that. If you wanted to talk about this PSM, out of body experiences, and so on, with a religious person, what terminology would you use that would best communicate to such a person? Your theory is entitled "updating model of self in the world", so I assume you like the term "self". It seems to me that most people would consider one's body as a part of what you were talking about when you use the term 'self'? What terminology would you use, so that such religious people that consider the body to be part of the self, knew you were only talking about the PSM, and not about the body, or the knowledge of the body, in the world, and so on? Brent Allsop
xodarap replied 11 years ago (Oct 22nd 2012, 9:30:10 pm)
I have been a bit out of this loop for some time. But I certainly don't wish to be seen as agreeing that 'spirit' = consciousness. I have no use for the word spirit except as a colloquial usage in some different contexts, for example "a spirited performance", or "That's the spirit!"; "Meths" or "grog" are alternative directions of course :-) Whatever was intended through use of the world spirit by denizens of the pre scientific universe, that has all been superseded by _self assertion_ or _self assertiveness_. In parallel with this of course the word 'soul' is now covered by empathy or empathising. Mind of course is simply "what the brain does".
Multisense Realism replied 11 years ago (Oct 10th 2012, 8:30:17 pm)
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Multisense Realism replied 11 years ago (Oct 2nd 2012, 3:55:59 am)
Brain processes are biological as far as I can see. If we wanted to characterize the experiences which are associated with all of those processes of the brain (cells? molecules?) I would think we would have to include all human experiences, not just mental ones. Phenomena like sensation, perception, and emotion I would not describe as being mental, but like everything with subjectivity it is not really something which can be defined meaningfully in neat partitions. "Do you refer to consciousness being fundamental in, or pervading throughout the universe?" Yes. Or to be exact, the universe is what pervades throughout consciousness or experience (not human experience of course, but experience in general). "Or is it to say that qualia can refer to the experience of anything that may be in the universe? " It depends what we mean by 'anything'. Bugs Bunny does not have any experiences. Computer programs do not have any experiences. Computer components have experiences which we exploit mechanically, but those micro level experiences do not scale up to the assembly as a whole. We consider a machine a thing, but it doesn't consider itself anything because it didn't put itself together out of its own sense and motives. Craig
Junius replied 11 years ago (Oct 2nd 2012, 3:12:21 am)
Another suggestion for the totality of brain processing might be mental. One needs something to cover the whole system, particularly as there is so much scope for disagreement as to what the conscious bit is, and what its role is. I don't quite follow the qualia bit. Do you refer to consciousness being fundamental in, or pervading throughout the universe? Attractive options but not exactly uncontroversial. Or is it to say that qualia can refer to the experience of anything that may be in the universe? Simon
richwil replied 11 years ago (Oct 2nd 2012, 12:20:03 am)
Brent I agree that those who dismiss the self as illusory are wrong but conscious models are transparent: we see (a reconstruction of aspects of) the world not the model. cheers Richard
Multisense Realism replied 11 years ago (Oct 1st 2012, 6:32:52 pm)
I agree generally with Simon's definition of spirit as almost 'the same thing' as consciousness, but I would say that Self and Mind are also that as well, having only distinctions in the degree of proprietary qualities present and the extent to which awareness is experienced in cognitive-linguistic ranges of qualia. I disagree that Mind is brain processing. That really confuses things. The mind is accessed subjectively through private experience, not through monitoring of brain processes. Brain processing is inferred through an examination of a body structure in public space and would look the same as any other complex organ's functioning except for our association of it with phenomenology. I disagree that qualia is the only thing that needs explaining - not so much with the literal wording of the statement, but the minimizing of the problem. Qualia, in my view, is at least as large as the rest of the universe put together. Craig
Junius replied 11 years ago (Oct 1st 2012, 5:13:00 pm)
All right, sounds a good idea. As a first shot, I suggest:- Mind = all brain processing both conscious and unconscious Spirit = the same thing as consciousness, which enables discussion with those who don't like anything that sound a bit religious or mystical. Consciousness variously defined as being 'like something it is like' to exist and have experiences, including the external world, our bodies, our thoughts and our emotions. These are also defined as qualia. The consciousness problem can be a bit simplified if qualia are seen as the only thing that needs explaining. Self: This is part of the contents of conscious, one of the things we experience. It comprises our narrative memory, the distinction between the body and the rest of the world and the body's sense of position and effort. Simon
Brent_Allsop replied 11 years ago (Oct 1st 2012, 9:52:07 am)
It's great to get so many responses, and to find out what other think on this issue. I'm with Sam and I guess my only top priority, is that we come up with some consistent terminology, and whichever is the most agreed on, I'll be happy to use that. I'm looking forward to hearing what everyone thinks is the best terminology to communicate to the widest audience. so how about everyone make their best proposal, and we'll see which achieves the most consensus. I think we should continue to monitor and abide by this consensus, as the survey become more comprehensive, and all things continue to progress.