Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Discussions on the nature of being, existence, reality and knowledge. What is? How do we know?

Re: Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Postby DragonFly on May 1st, 2017, 2:36 pm 

Old Rasputin » May 1st, 2017, 12:39 pm wrote:
My preference is to NOT USE THIS WORD AT ALL. That way, we can all just say what we mean!


So, then, the brain is what runs the person but for whatever in the body operates on its own, if anything, and some of these brain doings' results take on a unified form to the brain at large.

'We' are what it's like to be a brain from the inside out, so to speak. The delusion is that 'we' are something else apart from the brain, such as an entity doing something out of thin air independently, as a first cause, based on…well, what?

To admit this is not easy, for then many castles fall, but some peace of understanding arrives. People do as they must, unless some learning alters it to a wider 'must', it then turning out better or worse.
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Re: Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Postby mitchellmckain on May 1st, 2017, 5:04 pm 

neuro » May 1st, 2017, 6:59 am wrote:
The problem is you cannot have it both ways:

-- either you take the dualist position - soul/mind/consciousness on one side, brain on the other; but then one must be careful in stating that consciousness is an illusion, because it would mean that the soul itself and the mind as something separated from the brain are illusion, i.e. one would be negating dualism itself.

-- or you take the monist position and consciousness becomes no more a separate entity, but rather the capability of the brain to generate the perception of existing, sensing, feeling and acting (agency): call it an illusion, if you wish, but I truly believe you do exist, sense, feel, act...



But there are other options such as..

-- effective dualism, where you take a monist position but show that circumstances can create the appearance of dualism. I take the monist position for the simple reason that this has more explanatory power. If things are the same basic substance then differences become a matter of reason and explanation rather than assumption and definition. Of course, there is also a matter of all the objective evidence pointing to the fact that all the functions of the mind can be affected and altered by physical agency.

But then I think it is foolish to make this an excuse for simply dismissing everything which leads us to the dualist point of view. What is apparent to me is that the mind has its own needs, organization and inheritance quite apart from the body and this suggests to me that the appearance of dualism is consequence of the mind and body being two different forms of life -- self-organizing phenomenon in two different mediums, which are nevertheless dependent on each other as many biological organisms are known to be.
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Re: Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Postby Old Rasputin on May 1st, 2017, 5:22 pm 

DragonFly wrote:The delusion is that 'we' are something else apart from the brain, such as an entity doing something out of thin air independently, as a first cause, based on…well, what?

To admit this is not easy, for then many castles fall, but some peace of understanding arrives. People do as they must, unless some learning alters it to a wider 'must', it then turning out better or worse.

Nice. Eloquently said.
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Re: Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Postby DragonFly on May 1st, 2017, 5:23 pm 

mitchellmckain » May 1st, 2017, 4:04 pm wrote:What is apparent to me is that the mind has its own needs, organization and inheritance quite apart from the body and this suggests to me that the appearance of dualism is consequence of the mind and body being two different forms of life -- self-organizing phenomenon in two different mediums, which are nevertheless dependent on each other as many biological organisms are known to be.


I'd have to take "mind" in the above as not of the bodily organ of the brain at all, especially with them being claimed as two different mediums, like Descartes figured; otherwise there isn't a mind/brain separation.

So, say that the mind is aside of and outside of the brain (or inside but somehow separate), their mediums exchanging information dependently, so then, we'd have to uncover the mind's different type of medium, but I'd suppose, in the end, that they in unison as inputs are still driving the outputted person in the way I referred to in my previous post.
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Re: Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Postby mitchellmckain on May 1st, 2017, 10:08 pm 

DragonFly » May 1st, 2017, 4:23 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain » May 1st, 2017, 4:04 pm wrote:What is apparent to me is that the mind has its own needs, organization and inheritance quite apart from the body and this suggests to me that the appearance of dualism is consequence of the mind and body being two different forms of life -- self-organizing phenomenon in two different mediums, which are nevertheless dependent on each other as many biological organisms are known to be.


I'd have to take "mind" in the above as not of the bodily organ of the brain at all, especially with them being claimed as two different mediums, like Descartes figured; otherwise there isn't a mind/brain separation.

So, say that the mind is aside of and outside of the brain (or inside but somehow separate), their mediums exchanging information dependently, so then, we'd have to uncover the mind's different type of medium, but I'd suppose, in the end, that they in unison as inputs are still driving the outputted person in the way I referred to in my previous post.


They are much like the divide between hardware and software of a computer. Just as these are developed in very different ways by completely different people, so also the mind and brain have their own development and organization. The medium of the the body and brain is the biochemistry largely orchestrated by a DNA inheritance. The medium of the mind is ideas and concepts transmitted by the various media of human communication. I am not however any kind of Platonic idealist to think these ideas and concepts are floating around in the ether or something but are ultimately encoded in the functionality of the brain just as the software of a computer is encoded in the bits of the computer hardware.
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Re: Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Postby vivian maxine on May 1st, 2017, 10:45 pm 

Could the mind be the consciousness? I had wondered that before?
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Re: Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Postby mitchellmckain on May 2nd, 2017, 6:09 am 

vivian maxine » May 1st, 2017, 9:45 pm wrote:Could the mind be the consciousness? I had wondered that before?

No. These refer to very different things.

I think consciousness is a feature of the process of life -- all life. But both consciousness and life are highly quantitative. So while I think even a bacteria has consciousness it has it in an amount that is miniscule and insignificant compared to a human being.
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Re: Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Postby vivian maxine on May 2nd, 2017, 7:58 am 

mitchellmckain » May 2nd, 2017, 5:09 am wrote:
vivian maxine » May 1st, 2017, 9:45 pm wrote:Could the mind be the consciousness? I had wondered that before?

No. These refer to very different things.

I think consciousness is a feature of the process of life -- all life. But both consciousness and life are highly quantitative. So while I think even a bacteria has consciousness it has it in an amount that is miniscule and insignificant compared to a human being.


So, what is the mind?
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Re: Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Postby Old Rasputin on May 2nd, 2017, 12:35 pm 

There is no "mind". It is just a convenience word/concept.
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Re: Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Postby mitchellmckain on May 2nd, 2017, 6:25 pm 

vivian maxine » May 2nd, 2017, 6:58 am wrote:
mitchellmckain » May 2nd, 2017, 5:09 am wrote:
vivian maxine » May 1st, 2017, 9:45 pm wrote:Could the mind be the consciousness? I had wondered that before?

No. These refer to very different things.

I think consciousness is a feature of the process of life -- all life. But both consciousness and life are highly quantitative. So while I think even a bacteria has consciousness it has it in an amount that is miniscule and insignificant compared to a human being.


So, what is the mind?


I answered that question already in the two previous posts talking to Dragonfly.

... but ok, in summary...

The human mind is a living organism (a self-organizing entity capable of growth, adaptation, and learning) in another medium than the biological -- i.e. in the medium of concepts and ideas of human language, and it is via the media of human communication that it transmits an inheritance to the next generation. It is meme life rather than gene life.
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Re: Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Postby mitchellmckain on May 2nd, 2017, 6:30 pm 

Old Rasputin » May 2nd, 2017, 11:35 am wrote:There is no "mind". It is just a convenience word/concept.


I am willing to admit that for some people it is quite possible there is no mind -- just a jumble of convenient word/concepts which are not a part of any living organism aside from the biological one.
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Re: Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Postby Heavy_Water on May 2nd, 2017, 7:03 pm 

You're misinterpreting what Dennett says about the nature of human consciousness.

He does not posit that all consciousness is illusory. As a trained biologist...his original field of study...he realizes that homo sapiens are imbued with sentience and self awareness. As well as occasional states of consciousness.

But he also realizes...correctly so...that our perceptions are limited somewhat...perhaps even egregiously...by our own finite sensory systems. As well as how our brains perceive this input.

So what Dennett thinks is that there is no objective and universal type of conscious awareness or perception. That it is all dependant upon the individual.

You call look at his hypothesis on this as a sort of psychological of neurological version of Einstein's Relativity. That is, the Special Theory, not the General, where he spoke of apparent velocity bring subject to...or relative to...the position and speed of the observer.

So just tweak that to say that Consciousness is relative to the perceptions and psychological filtering of the person who thinks he is perceiving absolute truth. It is in that way that your Awareness is illusory.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Postby vivian maxine on May 3rd, 2017, 7:41 am 

mitchellmckain wrote:The human mind is a living organism (a self-organizing entity capable of growth, adaptation, and learning) in another medium than the biological -- i.e. in the medium of concepts and ideas of human language, and it is via the media of human communication that it transmits an inheritance to the next generation. It is meme life rather than gene life.


Thank you - I think. Hmmmm??? I think. Therefore?
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Re: Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Postby BadgerJelly on May 18th, 2017, 3:01 am 

Therefore I've heard a Decartes quote that I perhaps don't fully understand in the context he presented it?

That is my position anyway. Although I did read up on it I have completely forgotten what he meant by it exactly! Was very subtle, that I do remember or he'd never have bother to say anything other than that one line :)
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Re: Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Postby neuro on May 18th, 2017, 11:19 am 

Old Rasputin » May 1st, 2017, 6:39 pm wrote:But consciousness is NOT the capability of the brain to “generate” anything. Consciousness can ONLY be the capability of the brain/body to recognize (i.e. to experience recognition), which then of course requires the added function (and existence) of memory.

Simple question then:
when I hit the ball, what in the brain generates the perception that one of my movements (swinging the bat) is synchronous with an external event (the arrival of the ball) - which actually is the case, - although cerebral activity linked to perception necessarily follows the external event, activity linked to producing the movement necessarily precedes the execution of the movement, and activity linked to perceiving my movement necessarily follows the movement?

The capability of generating the perception of synchronicity between external processes and my actions (temporal orientation) is an incredible informational power of the brain, which I would call consciousness (which therefore is an actual neurological process).
If you prefer to call it an illusion, and believe that the brain can only record events after they occurred, you are free to do it. I won't try to change your mind any more.
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Re: Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Postby Old Rasputin on May 19th, 2017, 4:58 pm 

neuro wrote:When I hit the ball, what in the brain generates the perception that one of my movements (swinging the bat) is synchronous with an external event (the arrival of the ball)…

Whatever it is, I am not conscious of it. That which generates/causes my conscious ‘content’ must therefore be an unconscious process.


neuro wrote:The capability of generating the perception of synchronicity between external processes and my actions (temporal orientation) is an incredible informational power of the brain, which I would call consciousness (which therefore is an actual neurological process).

But if we are not conscious of this incredible process, then why call it "consciousness"?

The brain does a lot of incredible stuff (more amazing than timing a bat to hit a ball) with all our other bodily parts/organs, but yet we don't call the cause of these actions "consciousness", ...true?

We are only conscious of the ‘content’ within our consciousness. We are not conscious of the brain’s actions that generate this content. We can’t see the going-ons behind the scenes.

Our conscious content is the AFTER-result of neurological processes. We can’t go back-in-time (armed with our newly acquired content) to change the brain’s process to give us a different conscious content in the present moment. It’s already too late! Since we can’t go back in time, we therefore have no conscious control over our conscious content.


neuro wrote:If you prefer to call it an illusion, and believe that the brain can only record events after they occurred, you are free to do it.

Are you saying that it is actually possible for the brain to record an event BEFORE it happens??? If so, then what is being recorded if there is nothing there yet to record??

The brain can’t defy logic. It can’t record ‘something’, without this ‘something’ already being there. Not only that, but then the “knowing” (recognition) of this recorded event, consumes even more time. So by the time we paint the mental picture, (i.e. create the conscious content), we have already swung the bat and struck out. We just don’t know it yet, …until that picture is painted!

Everything that we are knowing of (conscious of) has already happened. Consciousness is just our present memories of past events. The "illusion" is in the believing that it is something more.
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Re: Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Postby Braininvat on May 19th, 2017, 6:45 pm 

The most powerful argument against epiphenomenalism is that it is self-contradictory: If we have knowledge about epiphenomenalism, then our brains know about the existence of the mind, but if epiphenomenalism were correct, then our brains should not have any knowledge about the mind, because the mind does not affect anything physical.

Epiphenomenalism is really a form of substance dualism. And that is its downfall.
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Re: Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Postby BadgerJelly on May 20th, 2017, 2:01 am 

Neuro/OR -

Correct me if I am wrong Neuro, but I was under the impression that unconscious processes are technically (within neuroscience) regarded as processes of consciousness? From here the problem can arise in this technical jargon of confusing 'unconscious processes' as being 'non-conscious processes', which is wrong if we're talking in neurological jargon because the brain is active in a particular way that is comparable with actual conscious attention (also where many people confuse being asleep as being unconscious, which is not true given that dream states are states of consciousness). Generally consciousness, the way I've understood it in neurological terms, is all the brain processes happening when we are aware of things.

I think I am right here in seeing that maybe we are confusing terminology between technical fields and more colloquial talk?

Remember we can say "I was not aware of X", and in similar day to day speech also say the same in this manner > "I was not conscious of X". Both of these refer to conscious attention rather than the full sphere of consciousness.

As for by heart beating and body temperature being regulated, and other such things, these are automated and difficult (general impossible in some cases) for us to consciously alter. I found out something interesting a while ago about breathing. Gorilla and other primates cannot control their breathing! As humans we can consciously hold our breath, and some people can slow their heart too (although this is not as easily controlled as breathing). I am also conscious of moving across the room and opening the door, but I am not 'conscious' (here meaning "attentive of") every bodily movement required to get there. I consciously decide and, unlike a baby, don't need to focus directly on the process of walking. The "walking" is an unconscious process, yet it is still part of "consciousness" as a whole.

I have probably made a hash of this a little? If so neuro please point out any errors, or confirm what I am saying here.
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Re: Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Postby Old Rasputin on May 20th, 2017, 2:28 am 

Braininvat wrote:The most powerful argument against epiphenomenalism is that it is self-contradictory: If we have knowledge about epiphenomenalism, then our brains know about the existence of the mind, but if epiphenomenalism were correct, then our brains should not have any knowledge about the mind…

Sorry, I don’t follow. How does the knowing of epiphenomenalism, prevent us (or the brain) from experiencing the thought/concept, (or the knowing of) the “mind”?


Braininvat wrote:Epiphenomenalism is really a form of substance dualism. And that is its downfall.

If epiphenomenalism pre-assumes the existence of the “mind” as the ‘spectator’ of one’s bodily actions, then yes, I agree. -- I certainly don't believe in the existence of a "mind".
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Re: Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Postby RoccoR on May 20th, 2017, 9:01 am 

Re: Is Consciousness an Illusion?
OldRasputin, Braininvat, et al,

We are talking about a "philosophy" when we discuss the "mind." In this instance, we are discussing a 19th Century theory of physical states or imaginary events in the brain that trigger a certain concept in thought.

(OldRasputin)
(Braininvat)
The most powerful argument against epiphenomenalism is that it is self-contradictory: If we have knowledge about epiphenomenalism, then our brains know about the existence of the mind, but if epiphenomenalism were correct, then our brains should not have any knowledge about the mind…


Sorry, I don’t follow. How does the knowing of epiphenomenalism, prevent us (or the brain) from experiencing the thought/concept, (or the knowing of) the “mind”?

(Braininvat)
Epiphenomenalism is really a form of substance dualism. And that is its downfall.


If epiphenomenalism pre-assumes the existence of the “mind” as the ‘spectator’ of one’s bodily actions, then yes, I agree. -- I certainly don't believe in the existence of a "mind".

(COMMENT)

I think that this argument rests upon the proof or evidence of a "mind" and what the traits, attributes and characteristics you assign to the mind.

But the states of consciousness cannot be directly associated with the exact same conditions set by the concepts of the "mind." You cannot hold a "mind" in your hand and tell me how it functions and what effects external stimuli have on its functional capabilities. There is no way to stimulate this imaginary mind and get it to generate a very specific response, every time. What we call a mind is unique to each individual. BUT that piece of me that allows me to write this response to you --- that my trigger an epiphany in you, is individual to me. It is not reproducible.

When I was in school, way back when, we referred to these concepts as "outside of science."

Most Respectfully,
R
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Re: Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Postby vivian maxine on May 20th, 2017, 10:20 am 

How about this? The mind is that part that wakens your senses as a result of what you/your brain thought about. Much like a delicious piece of chocolate cake with thick fudge icing (<g>) followed by the wonderful reaction to the taste. These reactions can result in pleasant / unpleasant, happy / sad, angry --- feelings that make you enjoy (or not) life. That is your mind.

Some people use the word "mind" synonymously with the word "brain" and that can get confusing in a conversation or in a writing where you can't ask which they mean.
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Re: Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Postby Old Rasputin on May 20th, 2017, 11:01 am 

BadgerJelly wrote:As for by heart beating and body temperature being regulated, and other such things, these are automated and difficult (general impossible in some cases) for us to consciously alter.

So then why do you believe we can “consciously alter” our breathing? I know it seems like we can, but in reality, it is just as automated as these other bodily actions.

There is no scientific or logical connection/linkage between 'awareness' of bodily action to 'control' of bodily action. Being ‘aware’ of our bodily action does not mean ‘controlling’ our bodily action. Awareness is just awareness, …not control.


BadgerJelly wrote:Gorilla and other primates cannot control their breathing! As humans we can consciously hold our breath…

Are you sure? Can we humans really consciously hold our breath?

Isn’t this (“we can consciously” do this/that) just an ‘expression of speech’ that we humans have used so often that we actually believe it as true?

Can we really “consciously” hold our breath? …or is it more accurate to say that “we are conscious of the urge to hold our breath, and then we are conscious of holding our breath” ?

If you look closely, you will see that we are NEVER conscious of the “doing” part. We just (illogically) assume this “conscious doing” part. We are only conscious of the pre and post experiences and NEVER of the "doing" itself.

We only believe we can consciously hold our breath because we have convinced ourselves that we can, whereas the gorillas (and other primates) don't have the capacity to trick themselves.

*******

Note: in actuality, we have a double whammy logical proof against “consciously doing” -- even if it were possible (which it is not) to be conscious/aware of the actual “doing” part, then this consciousness/awareness of the “doing”, does not logically imply 'control' or ‘causation/inducement’ of the doing.

*******

Okay, I take it back, we have a triple whammy logical proof against "consciously doing"! I forgot, even if we were aware of the doing part (impossibility #1), and we could link the 'awareness' to 'controlling' (impossibility #2), then any awareness/consciousness of this doing would still be AFTER the doing itself, and since we can't go back in time (impossibility #3), we therefore cannot control what we do!

In other words, "consciously doing" anything is IMPOSSIBLE (3 times over!).

There is no 'control' (or "doing") in consciousness.
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Re: Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Postby Braininvat on May 20th, 2017, 11:59 am 

I think it's safe to say that OR is firmly in the camp known as Eliminative Materialism. I would guess that the various rival theories have all been aired now. I would hope that people will bother to read famous critiques of their positions. Thinkers like David Chalmers, John Searle, Frank Jackson et al. have some interesting points to make on what is entailed in calling a mental process illusory. If one feels that only a purely reductive view of consciousness is valid and logical, versus a more holistic and phenomenal approach, then I would guess that there isn't much to discuss. What I see here is entrenchment, rather than any consensus, which seems typical of a lot of the field. I think it would be interesting to look at some other threads, especially those concerning "qualia."
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Re: Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Postby Old Rasputin on May 20th, 2017, 12:22 pm 

Braininvat wrote:I think it's safe to say that OR is firmly in the camp known as Eliminative Materialism.

Not so. I am a believer in the camp of:

Logical truths always trump Experiential (phenomenal) truths.

In other words, the objects of our experiences cannot be trusted to yield real truth (true knowledge). Good, bad, or ugly, logic is our only means to achieve (logical) truths.
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Re: Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Postby Old Rasputin on May 20th, 2017, 12:34 pm 

RoccoR wrote:What we call a mind is unique to each individual. BUT that piece of me that allows me to write this response to you --- that my trigger an epiphany in you, is individual to me. It is not reproducible.

Because of the complexity, it only seems “not reproducible”. But, if we could identify, capture, and reproduce the specific group of experiences that create this concept of “you”, then we could reproduce another “you” into another experiential body. But of course, technology is not there yet. :-)

Note: There are no "mental states" per se (including “mind”, “consciousness”, “thoughts”, and “me/you/I”). There are only 'experiences' that we associate with these mental states. Even our thoughts are wholly comprised and composed of bits of sensory experiences (held in memory). There is no magical spirit/soul/mind/consciousness/me, there are only the bodily experiences that create these concepts.

Everything that we experience is just an experience!
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Re: Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Postby BadgerJelly on May 20th, 2017, 1:12 pm 

OR -

Like neuro said, you're entitled to your own belief.

If you are against "experience" then you are against empiricism. Funny how different thread tie together on these forums sometimes.

There are two distinctly (historically) opposing camps in philosophical thought. They are "rationalism" and "empiricism". So you seem to tilt heavily toward "rationalism".

I know you don't have much time to read so hear is something I just found that you may have time to glance over if you wish:

[url]https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/rationalism-empiricism/
[/url]

Not read it myself btw! This also touches on some confusion I noticed in the OP by Neri elsewhere regarding Kant (whom tried to unite these views), who I am sure you would find some interesting items to help frame your views better ... not that I expect anyone to take on such a feat lightly!

The basis of the problem in conveying views about this topic is explicating the subtle differences in the context in which we use the term "knowing"/"knowledge".

None of this really fills in the holes of what you are saying though. But I hope it helps you find a better way to intricate your ideas for us to look more closely at.
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Re: Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Postby Old Rasputin on May 20th, 2017, 1:55 pm 

BadgerJelly wrote:If you are against "experience" then you are against empiricism.

I’m not necessarily “against” (the objects of experiencing) or empiricism. I just trust logic/math more. If there is a conflict between two positions, then the logically derived always trumps the experientially derived (imo). I think this is a valid and reasonable position for anyone seeking real truths, to take. Don't you?


BadgerJelly wrote:So you seem to tilt heavily toward "rationalism".

Yes. Since I am interested in “objective truths” (pre-experiential [a priori] truths), then Rationalism is the path I take. Those interested in “subjective truths” (post-experiential [a posteriori] truths) can take the path of Empiricism.
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Re: Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Postby BadgerJelly on May 20th, 2017, 2:45 pm 

OR -

Okay, I didn't mean you were literally completely "against" it. Some of what you say here doesn't fit with general views of rationalism and/or empiricism. Not a bad or a good thing, you just present some confliction in the terms you use that seems to straddle the two positions (empiricism and rationalism).

Just to be clear I am not trying to pigeon hole as "this" or "that" only use these -isms as a means to approximate your position and get a better understanding of how to understand your view in the correct context (a never ending task for us all no matter what we're trying to express and the mainstay of philosophical/political discussion in my opinion).

The obvious problem you even highlight yourself here (with the parenthesis) is the "subjective truth". Empiricism being generally associated with the objective rather than the subjective ... that said I can see the vague area you are in here and it is more difficult than it seems to express this to those less willing to approach the context of what you are saying if they adhere to a more strongly defined "empirical" outlook. Those more strongly inclined to the rationalist perspective will probably also point out this problematic term of "subjective truth".

You can probably guess my answer to your "real truths" question (at least I hope you can imagine some of my difficulties with responding to this quickly and decisively!)? Don't I? ... well, this is again dependent upon the context of the "truth" you are speaking about and the "reality". I am not saying this to be evasive merely to show that I am not wiling to commit to saying such a thing without understanding more clearly the context of these terms. Even if they are expressed much more clearly to me I am still always on guard.

I am very wary of "absolutes" unless they are framed in a very specific set of rules and laws (such as mathematical rules, the heart of which remain completely undisputable), but I am less willing to apply these said "rules" and "laws" (in their methodical form and language) as holding any "absolute" and universal application to items clearly not compatible with them even though they may hold great potential to help examine The World beyond their limited compass. Simply put I cannot quantify what I cannot measure, and I can only quantify by some degree of measure. The method of "measuring" is not absolute just because the mathematics involved in the calculations is. This is precisely what I spend a lot of time (possibly too much!) trying to surround in the best way I can with my limited understanding.

To drastically water down Kant's words, we cannot experience what we cannot rationalize and we cannot rationalize what we cannot experience (just to be clear, "rationalize" as in apply reason to in some way). This is not a solution, but a way to present the problem in a different way. The many way to present the problems we have in understanding helps build the overall understanding and may help us find new ways to see things or help us to put aside certain perspectives that begin to show crack in light of the others. That is what I tend to, but it is not to say I am not interested in "answers" but rather what the hell an "answer" is. The age old philosophical question of the question, the What? of the "what?" question (Maybe someone can remember the ancient Greek who highlighted this intrinsic dilemma?)
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BadgerJelly
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Re: Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Postby Braininvat on May 20th, 2017, 2:54 pm 

OR, you keep implying that logic and empiricism will somehow conflict. I tend to see them as complementary tools. Post-Cartesian philosophy seems to have moved well beyond the conflict that you have set up. Have you read anything of Kant or later thinkers, including the ones in my previous posting? What are your views on the implications of Frank Jackson's Black and White Room for a purely a priori knowledge? If you don't know what I'm asking, I will start to suspect that you've simply not read any of the literature relevant to philosophy of mind. Philosophy is not a field in which one can be a rugged individualist and trek across these vast areas all by onesself. JMO
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Re: Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Postby Braininvat on May 20th, 2017, 3:23 pm 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physicalism

One of the best wikipedia entries I've come across. Note the section on a priori physicalism v a posteriori. Also the section on reductionism v emergentism may be relevant. i usually like SEP, but this wiki is really well put together.
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