Octopus research shows that consciousness isn’t what makes humans special

Discussion in 'Critical Discussions Among Proponents and Skeptics' started by Sciborg_S_Patel, Aug 7, 2017.

  1. Octopus research shows that consciousness isn’t what makes humans special

     
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  2. Pollux

    Pollux New

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    Made me think of this clip;


    It put its arm on his foot for a while, like some guy you'd saved, who would put his arm on your shoulder for a while, and say; "Thank you buddy, you saved my life"......or, maybe it just wanna check if that shoe was edible. ;)


    There is loads of these tests done on octopuses to see how observant, intelligent and problem-solving they are. The most common is these with a jar with a screwable lid, like the one in this clip. If you look at it you see that it only screws the lid in one (the right) direction all the time. It's not like he is just trying to see if it comes off by sliding/turning it back and forth. Like it knows the principle of screw threads,




    Here they suggest that each arm of the octopus has its own "brain" and can either act in company with the other arms, or all separately, doing different tasks - even when detached.



    A longer documentary about octopus intelligence,

    Amazing Octopus - Most Intelligent Animal on Earth?



    PS:..and if you wanna see a creepy movie about giant octopuses there is Deep Rising. ;)

    Deep Rising

     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
  3. Hurmanetar

    Hurmanetar New

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  4. Oh I'd agree the definition is narrow, I just think it's interesting that we're seeing more and more stuff coming out regarding animal personalities.

    We've come a long way from animals are robots silliness of Daniel Dennet.
     
  5. malf

    malf Member

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    Only if you're relying on a pretty narrow definition of "robots" ;)
     
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  6. Kamarling

    Kamarling Member

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    Nope, I think he's characterising what Dennett preaches: that consciousness is an illusion:

    Hardware and a computer program: sounds like a pretty standard definition of some kind of robot to me.
     
  7. DarthT15

    DarthT15 Member

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  8. malf

    malf Member

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    I think that the current "mainstream view" is that many biological processes are involved in our conscious awareness and interaction with our environment. That there is a single, overarching, seperate "thing" ("consciousness", or Dennett's Cartesian Theater) is the illusion. I'm not necessarily agreeing with that, but realise his position is often (wilfully? ;)) misunderstood on here.
     
  9. Kamarling

    Kamarling Member

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    If I and others are misunderstanding, then perhaps you can explain why Thomas Nagel makes a similar observation? Nagel is reviewing Dennett's book: From Bacteria to Bach and Back.

    Nagel goes on to add:

     
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  10. Kamarling

    Kamarling Member

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    A few quotes from Scientific American writer, John Horgan, who also seems to be at odds with Dennett.

    So perhaps it is not that people here are wilfully misunderstanding, perhaps the confusion arises from Dennett himself? Horgan continues:

     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
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  11. Just to note I'm specifically noting what Dennet said about lobsters and the refutation provided by David Graeber in Baffler

    Obviously there are more than two types of explanations, depending on how one argues the definition of panpsychism.
     
  12. nbtruthman

    nbtruthman New

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    Some researchers apparently question whether octopuses are really conscious. I would respond with the old saying that if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck it probably is a duck.

    From the NY Times review of Godfrey-Thomas's new book:

    But we can't really know. We might be fooling ourselves. Humans may feel the urge that it is conscious when confronting a highly intelligent being, due to some animal instinct, even if it is merely an extremely sophisticated automaton. Should we trust that urge? From the moral and ethical standpoint we should, in my opinion, to avoid making a terrible error. Moral status attaches most obviously to beings having human-like levels of consciousness and intelligence (whether or not aspects of that consciousness are alien to us).

    From http://theconversation.com/octopuses-are-super-smart-but-are-they-conscious-57846:

     
  13. malf

    malf Member

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    I'm sure a lot of confusion arises from the word "consciousness" meaning very different things to different people. Nagel appears to be so wedded to the view that consciousness is a single stand alone "thing" that any other view makes no sense. He can't get his head around it, and this makes his counter look weak.


    When he says, "You may well ask how consciousness can be an illusion, since every illusion is itself a conscious experience—an appearance that doesn’t correspond to reality", I have no idea what point he is making, other than he can play with words. He appears to (willfully) distort and opacify Dennett's position by hiding in the imprecise definitions of the words that he uses. This looks like a good example of pseudoprofundity in action.
     
  14. Kamarling

    Kamarling Member

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    You do know who Nagel is, don't you? I'm sure he can get his head around anything Dennett can come up with.
     
  15. malf

    malf Member

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    He does a good impression of someone who can't.
     
  16. Dante

    Dante Member

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    What is consciousness if not a single standalone "thing"? Are you meaning it could be the aggregate of smaller constituent pieces, or something else? What is your alternative? I don't think his issue is a lack of comprehension... unless there's some small group of gifted people who "truly" understand Dennett's ideas/position, there seems to be a pretty good general understanding of what he is saying by most informed people.

    You like saying pseudoprofundity, which dismisses in essence the value of something like subjective experience. That is not false profoundness - it is our first person experience. Half or more of the arguments in favor of reductionism involve attempting to make this first person experience utterly irrelevant or nonexistent. Antiprofundity, you might say. Completely/partially dismissing that which we all actually experience.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  17. materialism is bad

    materialism is bad New

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    My family has a cat. I can say for certain it has many human characteristics. My budgies before didn't exhibit this level of anthropomorphism though.
     

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