The sequel to Irreducible Mind...

#41
Um. Correct me if im wrong, but arent you just basically saying that we should be open-minded about all possibilities? I mean like, im not fond of the theory of local consciousness, but i get why someone would believe in it and people need to accept that beliefs may differ.
There comes a point where one has to say enough is enough. In other words how long should a mind remain open when there's a lack of very good evidence? On the other hand the door does not completely close, but it becomes more difficult to open it wider.
The door for some is wide open if you believe instead of knowing don't you think?
 
#42
Because I think he's more right than wrong in his arguments...not sure about he's right about atheism, but I also question any certainty about God/Brahman/Whatever.
Just read the Tallis article you posted (http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/what-neuroscience-cannot-tell-us-about-ourselves). I thought a number of the arguments he made were off. Happy to discuss it in detail and suss it out. It's a relatively long article and I'm thinking going through it section by section makes the most sense in terms of having a coherent discussion.

If you (or anyone) indicate you're up for it I'll start a thread and start the discussion off.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#43
Just read the Tallis article you posted (http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/what-neuroscience-cannot-tell-us-about-ourselves). I thought a number of the arguments he made were off. Happy to discuss it in detail and suss it out. It's a relatively long article and I'm thinking going through it section by section makes the most sense in terms of having a coherent discussion.

If you (or anyone) indicate you're up for it I'll start a thread and start the discussion off.
Sure, though I'd suggest posting your response in this forum and then also emailing Tallis. Or we can go through it first and then one of us can email him to satisfy any lingering questions.

However you want to do it.
 
#44
What does it mean to say that consciousness is non-local?
I Know! It sounds ridiculous, right? ;)

Idealists, Panpsychists, and Hylemorphists would - AFAIK - assume consciousness is local, at least in so far as there's a spatio-temporal aspect to our experience. Even Cartesian Dualists might be amenable to the idea that consciousness is local to the body, depending on how this concept of locality is defined.
Maybe.
 
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#45
What does it mean to say that consciousness is non-local? Pretty sure Stapp's theory of consciousness + free-will is brain-based, though it's been awhile since I read anything of his...

Idealists, Panpsychists, and Hylemorphists would - AFAIK - assume consciousness is local, at least in so far as there's a spatio-temporal aspect to our experience. Even Cartesian Dualists might be amenable to the idea that consciousness is local to the body, depending on how this concept of locality is defined.
There are members that endorse the notion consciousness is external to the brain. Surely you've heard that?
 
#46
There comes a point where one has to say enough is enough. In other words how long should a mind remain open when there's a lack of very good evidence? On the other hand the door does not completely close, but it becomes more difficult to open it wider.
The door for some is wide open if you believe instead of knowing don't you think?
Pretty sure though that "knowing" is something that should not be said regarding consciousness. We all just believe in theories in that Kind of matter. And well, you may say that There is good evidence To your Kind of view - thats a question of belief too since others would say that its no evidence at all. Just like they Dont "know" if they Are right, you dont know it either.

Im not here to suggest that any point of view is better than a other one. We just shouldnt think about interpretations as knowledge that is certain and ultimately true.
 
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#47
JCearley brought up the phrase as a fair consensus review of the original "Irreducible Mind". Some appear to base their worldviews around such a mantra.
Ok, fair enough.

Given the strong neural correlates for awareness and brain function, and some of the weirder aspects of novel physics, it would seem closed-minded to exclude local consciousness as an option. To take it off the table requires full immersion in an anti-materialist ideology.
No argument against that... I don't think anyone can seriously argue against a local consciousness.
In fact any proponent of the filter-model or valve-model will start by saying that we see consciousness as a local process of the brain... and then add that there's more to it, and then go into the details of why that is, the evidence etc...

On the other hand the current materialist / physicalist philosophy is very happy to stop at correlational evidence and pretty much sweep everything else under the rug because, naturally, it doesn't fit in the model.

Anyways... your almost constant mocking of any other proposal / idea doesn't seem to backup your apparently balanced reply. A case of split personality? :)
Or it's more of a pretend-to-be-open-minded kind of game?

I don't doubt that. There are "well grounded" philosophers of all hues. One of the reasons why philosophy (or more specifically, quoting one's favourite philosopher), whilst interesting, is almost worthless.
But that is exactly what I am not talking about. I provided well grounded evidence here: http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/the-sequel-to-irreducible-mind.1467/page-2#post-44816
Not philosophical arguments. I am talking about the evidence that goes against the predictions and current model of neurology/neuroscience.

Also, it's worth noticing that you seem to be making the same mistake Steve001 did.
Are you not talking from a very specific philosophical standpoint? :D

The "strong neural correlates for awareness and brain function" are interpreted as evidence of mind=brain by a very specific philosophical position. The fact that the materialist / physicalist view is so pervasive that it becomes like water to a fish, doesn't really make it ontologically superior.

So, if philosophy is interesting but ultimately worthless why should the neural correlates be a satisfactory explanation for the nature of consciousness?
In order to argue about that you will need your "worthless" philosophy, my friend :)

cheers
 
#48
Ok, fair enough.


No argument against that... I don't think anyone can seriously argue against a local consciousness.
In fact any proponent of the filter-model or valve-model will start by saying that we see consciousness as a local process of the brain... and then add that there's more to it, and then go into the details of why that is, the evidence etc...

On the other hand the current materialist / physicalist philosophy is very happy to stop at correlational evidence and pretty much sweep everything else under the rug because, naturally, it doesn't fit in the model.

Anyways... your almost constant mocking of any other proposal / idea doesn't seem to backup your apparently balanced reply. A case of split personality? :)
Or it's more of a pretend-to-be-open-minded kind of game?


But that is exactly what I am not talking about. I provided well grounded evidence here: http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/the-sequel-to-irreducible-mind.1467/page-2#post-44816
Not philosophical arguments. I am talking about the evidence that goes against the predictions and current model of neurology/neuroscience.

Also, it's worth noticing that you seem to be making the same mistake Steve001 did.
Are you not talking from a very specific philosophical standpoint? :D

The "strong neural correlates for awareness and brain function" are interpreted as evidence of mind=brain by a very specific philosophical position. The fact that the materialist / physicalist view is so pervasive that it becomes like water to a fish, doesn't really make it ontologically superior.

So, if philosophy is interesting but ultimately worthless why should the neural correlates be a satisfactory explanation for the nature of consciousness?
In order to argue about that you will need your "worthless" philosophy, my friend :)

cheers
If no replies, don't mistake that silence as evidence for "you stumped us".
 
#49
I had a twenty minute flick through Tallis's essay which I enjoyed (Thanks Sci) and would need to spend a day reading it to really grasp everything that he's laying out but as I understand it he's telling us that we don't and never will (probably) know what consciousness is or how to construct it or what is necessary to construct it but that it simply can't be ignored or evaded as a problem. We cannot find our "self" which we "know" is there. I liked his swing at the new range of uni job titles, neuro-this neuro that and they haven't got a frigging clue when it comes down to it.

Sorry for repeating myself but this is why NDE research is so important now. There is a "self" in the machine and that "self" floats around ICU's during cardiac arrest. (No need to vomit, Steve 001 you will too) . If we can prove that patient's minds are functioning when their brain is not (and they do) we can all officially have our souls back and stop wasting time chasing our tails.
 
#51
Sure, though I'd suggest posting your response in this forum and then also emailing Tallis. Or we can go through it first and then one of us can email him to satisfy any lingering questions.

However you want to do it.
Well, I won't object to you contacting Tallis if you wish. I'd be quite happy if he joined the discussion. That said, I don't feel it necessary for us to have a good discussion! People like Tallis publish in part with the hopes, I think, of spawning many discussions such as this. There could be hundreds or thousands of such discussions going on. I don't expect Tallis to participate in them all and he shouldn't feel obliged to!

In any event - I think we should see where we get on the forum first. I've spotted what I believe are flaws in Tallis' thinking and I'm sure others will spot some flaws in my thinking about Tallis' thinking! I'm not presenting myself as an expert but rather presenting my opinion for some back and forth discussion. There is value for us in working through this material together, in my opinion. It is what makes internet forums such as this so great!
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#52
I just think it's more efficient to contact the originator of an argument and see if you get a reply.

But like I said, making a thread here for people to discuss things is also good. Perhaps better to see what points remain after the article has been discussed somewhat exhaustively before talking to Tallis. I don't know if he'd join the thread but I was surprised by his willingness to discuss things.
 
#53
I just think it's more efficient to contact the originator of an argument and see if you get a reply.

But like I said, making a thread here for people to discuss things is also good. Perhaps better to see what points remain after the article has been discussed somewhat exhaustively before talking to Tallis. I don't know if he'd join the thread but I was surprised by his willingness to discuss things.
I wonder if he'd look at something like this ?

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...4Ecfyv3Ondg4lbQ9Q&sig2=8XCPO6bX661QLCCY8CeySw
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#54
On the subject of point[ing] out why a model is flawed without putting forth your own model...isn't this the heart of skeptical thinking?

Why must one present a metaphysics in order to argue for the flawed nature of another paradigm? In fact this is something that bothers me about people who think the falsity of materialism automatically proves some other paradigm correct. Probably why people think yoga-"science" can tell us something definitive about reality.
 
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#55
On the subject of point[ing] out why a model is flawed without putting forth your own model...isn't this the heart of skeptical thinking?
That's right. Skepticsm is a process used to evaluate claims. It does not entail presenting an alternative. That's not to say that presenting alternatives isn't welcome - it's just technically distinct from the skeptical evaluation of the original claim. (Of course when presenting an alternative claim one should use skeptical methods in developing it and expect a skeptical response upon presenting it!).
 
#56
The best I can say is that science is the art of gathering evidence, while philosophy is the art of figuring out what all the evidence actually means. That's why its kind of stupid to say philosophy as a whole is worthless--it can't work without assertions, it needs science to substantiate those assertions, and science needs philosophy to understand what the ramifications of P=0.00015 actually means.

Why must one present a metaphysics in order to argue for the flawed nature of another paradigm? In fact this is something that bothers me about people who think the falsity of materialism automatically proves some other paradigm correct. Probably why people think yoga-"science" can tell us something definitive about reality.
Because skeptics are conveniently not required to follow the same rules they demand everyone else follow. I've had this argument with more than a few, and they all seem to honestly believe that they are not required to provide evidence when making negative claims. It seems impossible for them to conceive that stating a negative is indeed making a claim, which requires proof, and that agnosticism is required if one does not have counter-evidence (e.x. that all you can say is that you are not convinced, or that you do not believe the evidence is convincing, while saying X does not exist is indeed making a claim.) To highlight this absurdity I pointed out that I could state "there is no speed of light" and because its a negative claim I said I should be allowed to state it without proof; they realized how absurd this was, said that I was indeed making an assertion that would require evidence, and then continued to go on saying "there is no such thing as..." Its a pathological position.

I would posit that this also goes hand in hand with the expectation in English that any speech which is not positive is automatically negative, for instance "I don't like X" is assigned "I dislike X" which is fallacious in itself; it is possible to be neutral about something, however the vernacular for this position seems like its made intentionally obtuse. I would also suppose it has to do with a lot of people's sort of "two party conditioning" that is prevalent in many countries; obviously you are either Pro Skub or Anti Skub, because all good political issues have to have two parties for the best dramatic effect and all that moderate thinking just ruins the popcorn effect.
 
#57
Because skeptics are conveniently not required to follow the same rules they demand everyone else follow.
I don't know who you've been talking to (you're certainly not referring to the reg skeptics on this site), but plenty of skeptics acknowledge that all claims - including negative claims - require skeptical evaluation. Those that don't believe that are simply wrong.
 
#58
Anyways... your almost constant mocking of any other proposal / idea doesn't seem to backup your apparently balanced reply. A case of split personality? :)
Or it's more of a pretend-to-be-open-minded kind of game?
I'm not sure this is fair. I am open to a few "models of reality", I have made posts about the strengths of Idealism and Panpsychism (although I've also stated that "the -isms" have a long history of getting us nowhere)... But I also enjoy the banter of probing some of the arguments that try and support those ideas. Some appear weaker than others.

So mocking? .... Moi? I challenge you to find a post of mine that where I've been dumb headed enough to label one particular philosophy as "baloney" or "stuck on stupid".


But that is exactly what I am not talking about. I provided well grounded evidence here: http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/the-sequel-to-irreducible-mind.1467/page-2#post-44816
Not philosophical arguments. I am talking about the evidence that goes against the predictions and current model of neurology/neuroscience.

Also, it's worth noticing that you seem to be making the same mistake Steve001 did.
Are you not talking from a very specific philosophical standpoint? :D

The "strong neural correlates for awareness and brain function" are interpreted as evidence of mind=brain by a very specific philosophical position. The fact that the materialist / physicalist view is so pervasive that it becomes like water to a fish, doesn't really make it ontologically superior.
The correlations are evidence of a link. Suggestive of mind=brain but not conclusive (remember, whilst correlation isn't the same as causation, it doesn't preclude it either). I would suggest that nothing in your list of "grounded evidence" for psi comes close to the repeatability and reliability of the neural correlate studies. Be honest here, psi could really do with some evidence of that nature, collected with such rigour.

So, if philosophy is interesting but ultimately worthless why should the neural correlates be a satisfactory explanation for the nature of consciousness?
In order to argue about that you will need your "worthless" philosophy, my friend :)
Like I said, you can support anything and everything with philosophy. All philosophies are special, so none are:

 
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#59
I'm not sure this is fair. I am open to a few "models of reality", I have made posts about the strengths of Idealism and Panpsychism (although I've also stated that "the -isms" have a long history of getting us nowhere)... But I also enjoy the banter of probing some of the arguments that try and support those ideas. Some appear weaker than others.

So mocking? .... Moi? I challenge you to find a post of mine that where I've been dumb headed enough to label one particular philosophy as "baloney" or "stuck on stupid".




The correlations are evidence of a link. Suggestive of mind=brain but not conclusive (remember, whilst correlation isn't the same as causation, it doesn't preclude it either). I would suggest that nothing in your list of "grounded evidence" for psi comes close to the repeatability and reliability of the neural correlate studies. Be honest here, psi could really do with some evidence of that nature, collected with such rigour.



Like I said, you can support anything and everything with Philosophy. All philosophies are special, so none are:
Hmm, I guess I'd be a panpsychi then? :P
 
#60
[..]all claims - including negative claims - require skeptical evaluation. Those that don't believe that are simply wrong.
Right, and sadly there aren't as many people who realize this outside of the forum as there should be. Though I would replace "skeptical evaluation" with evidence, or at least arguments posited in formal logic.
 
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