Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

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

Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby Old Rasputin on June 1st, 2017, 11:11 am 

Braininvat wrote:It is through science that we prove, but through intuition that we discover." - Henri Poincare

Good one, but since it is only logic that can give us truths (and falses), I would edit as follows:

It is through 'logic' that we prove, 'science' that we explore, and 'intuition' that we discover.


BadgerJelly wrote:He is not afraid to answer. I think he just understands the inference of the question more than you do so sees it as quite pointless to bang his head against the wall.

That’s a cop-out. He is just looking for an excuse not to answer. There should be nothing to fear if he truly believes his answer. Mr. 'nameless' says "betcherass!" that this "flying pig" exists! Okay, so now tell him to stop “banging his head” and just honestly answer this question:

Does this "flying pig" exist in reality for others to perceive, or only in one's mind?


BadgerJelly wrote:Btw what definition of "religion" are you choosing to use today.

Haha, I’ve always been consistent with my usage of “religion”, it means “blind faith”.
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby BadgerJelly on June 1st, 2017, 11:39 am 

OR -

Nobody has to engage with you. It is up to you to present something worthy of engagement.

Maybe it will come tomorrow for some of us, maybe in several years, and for others maybe never. Such is life.
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby Old Rasputin on June 1st, 2017, 12:44 pm 

BadgerJelly wrote:Nobody has to engage with you. It is up to you to present something worthy of engagement.

Agreed, but this is not the case here. It is not because of the “unworthiness” of my simple question that Nameless refuses to “engage”. It is because it “challenges” one of his core religious beliefs! He fears seeing the contradiction/fraudulence of something that he holds "near and dear".

To some, preserving this "near and dear"-ness is more important than 'truth' itself.

This (non-response) by Nameless, is the typical response received from religious folk whenever their beliefs are challenged. When presented with a contradiction, they instantly clam up, and turn their heads, so as to not see the fraudulence of their own core beliefs.

Nameless does NOT need to engage me, ...I now know, what I need to know, about Nameless.
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby nameless on June 1st, 2017, 7:53 pm 

Old Rasputin » Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:43 am wrote:
nameless wrote:
Old Rasputin wrote:If you perceive a ‘flying pig’ in your dream, does it exist?

Betcherass! *__-
Everything exists!
If you can name it, describe it, imagine it... it exists!

Does this "flying pig" exist in reality for others to perceive, or only in one's mind?

I have no clue what you mean by 'Reality'.
The Reality that I perceive is ALL inclusive.
That means it includes 'thoughts'.

Nameless -- I notice that you always run away from the hard questions. ...why is this?

I can see how things might appear that way to you, but the questions that I have already answered, and answered well, when the answers are ignored or not understood, and the asker merely offensively repeats the same questions, hoping for a 'comfortable' answer...
I get bored and cease.
And when you use terms like 'always', especially in this case, you demonstrate lack of rationality.
Another symptom of a belief infection.

...are you afraid your religion will be exposed as a fraud?

Ya know, sport, I have never claimed 'beliefs' or religion. That is merely the assumption that you use to dismiss that which is uncomfortable.
I am here for rational, logical, philosophical conversation, not the symptom ridden responses of a 'threatened' belief.
I have no religion, despite your absurd and irrational accusations/assumptions.
That you are being intellectually dishonest, we cannot, obviously, have any further conversation on this subject.
If you bother to read and make an honest attempt to understand another Perspective, I can answer any HONEST question.
Now, I must run away from your superior discussion.
The end!
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby Positor on June 1st, 2017, 8:48 pm 

nameless » May 31st, 2017, 11:50 pm wrote:Everything exists!
If you can name it, describe it, imagine it... it exists!

See Meinong's jungle.
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby nameless on June 1st, 2017, 9:24 pm 

Positor » Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:48 pm wrote:
nameless » May 31st, 2017, 11:50 pm wrote:Everything exists!
If you can name it, describe it, imagine it... it exists!

See Meinong's jungle.

Rather than me toddling off to the Jungle, perhaps we can have our own discussion?
If your 'jungle', somehow, refutes what I offer, just tell me the refutation and I can respond.
If the 'jungle' confirms, then I didn't need the confirmation.
It'd just simple logic... *__-

Okay, just looked at the first line and already it is erroneous/inconsistent!
"Meinong's jungle is the name given to the repository of non-existent entities"
"Non-existent ENTITIES?"
Oxymoron?
Entities exist!
Everything exists!
What need for a "repository" of that which doesn't exist?
If the first line is so filled with illogical nonsense, the rest (that 'supports' the assertion/premise) must be truly amazing! *__-
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby BadgerJelly on June 2nd, 2017, 12:36 am 

nameless -

Yep.

IF I dream about a flying pig and tell you about it, you don't say "What do you mean? What is this 'flying pig'?" You understand because the concept is intelligible.

The protest being voiced against you is obviously saying that there are no actual flying pigs known in nature and that on Earth ( and probably elsewhere) there are no flying pigs.


The issue RJG has is that he'll have to be too specific about what he means about "existing" and in doing so his whole view will undoubtably become less stable. He has been pressed on such things before and his response is usually something like this:

Look it up in a dictionary OR exist means exist.

Note : He has already stated that science and the physical world is "fantasy" and now he's saying this fantasy exists more than your fantasy of a flying pig. He appears to be wholly incapable of hold one thought up to another.

ALSO, anyone care to respond to posted quotes about Hume and Locke? It has a lot to do with this whole fiasco and I am not just posting out of boredom I wanted an engaging discussion.
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby nameless on June 2nd, 2017, 1:07 am 

BadgerJelly » Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:36 pm wrote:nameless -

Yep.

IF I dream about a flying pig and tell you about it, you don't say "What do you mean? What is this 'flying pig'?" You understand because the concept is intelligible.

Because every time someone speaks of a flying pig, not only they, but their audience, sees said pigs in 'Mind.

The protest being voiced against you is obviously saying that there are no actual flying pigs known in nature and that on Earth ( and probably elsewhere) there are no flying pigs.

Are you saying that literature and 'thought' and art and tattoos, etc... etc... etc... aren't features of Nature? Aren't 'natural'?
Are you calling these 'supernatural'.. powers?
Get it?
'Actual'? We find mountain driftwood on the mountain, we find beach driftwood on the beach, we find flying pigs in art, fiction, thought!
Get it?
All equally exist, everything exists!
The only way to carve out an 'actual' is to carve away, also, a lot of Reality!
To find the mountain driftwood, we carve away the seashore and coast, we carve away the desert, we carve away everything but the mountain where we find our treasure, our 'actuality'.


The issue RJG has is that he'll have to be too specific about what he means about "existing" and in doing so his whole view will undoubtably become less stable. He has been pressed on such things before and his response is usually something like this:

Look it up in a dictionary OR exist means exist.

Note : He has already stated that science and the physical world is "fantasy" and now he's saying this fantasy exists more than your fantasy of a flying pig. He appears to be wholly incapable of hold one thought up to another.

Pardon, are you speaking of me as 'he'?
Is this snark the only way that you can deal with this? Snidery from beneath your armpit?
Are you 16?
I can support anything, scientifically and logically, which would appear to be wasted on you.
Continue your disrespectful and teenage attacks.
And your (ignorant or malicious) misquotes are just another symptom of an impaired belief infested mind.
If you don't like my apples, ignore the tree.
I am not 'he', and I don't respond to juvenile disrespect and irrationality.
Any question that you asked, that was of any importance, was thoroughly, clearly answered.
Our future, if any, contact = you can ask 'a' specific question of something that I say, and I will answer (if respectful), I will also elucidate if asked.
There will be no more of this nasty juvenile stuff.
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby BadgerJelly on June 2nd, 2017, 2:51 am 

nameless -

As usual people us silly humans seek offensive where there is none and resort to defending themselves against their own demons! haha! HE is RJG (aka Rasputin). I was talking DIRECTLY TO YOU about HIM. I hope you see the funny side of this :)

You are not "he". He is he and you are you. Agreed XD I guess I was at fault partly for the misunderstanding but you sure as hell took to the defend yourself a little too quickly (because there was no attack at all!) My fault was that RJG and OR are the same person, and the fault on your side is not remembering this because I stated so a couple of posts back.

These things happen on forums ;)

If you cannot see from his perspective, and what Positor was saying regarding the difference between a dragon existing and a cow existing I don't know what to say.

Nature was being used as in physical natural sciences, I thought that was obvious enough?

I was actually defending your statement and attempting to point out where people WANT to disagree rather than understand each other (you've managed to show that well enough above).

As to the flying pig we (meaning me and you) could well argue that the number one doesn't exist if a flying pig doesn't exist. I am talking about the physical sense of 'flying pig' and 'one' here.

I think, and hope, that everyone here can appreciate that the number "one" and "pigs" exist in quite different ways. This ties back into the whole issue of Empiricism and Rationalism. I cannot sensibly experience "ONE" or a "FLYUING PIG" (disregarding discovering/creating a new species of animal), yet I can, and have, experience a pig on a farm, and I have in fact eaten quite a bit of pig in my lifetime too.

Then we find ourselves lookin gat language too. For if we can experience "pig", in the physical sense of seeing a pig, then how is it different from seeing "one pig"? It is different because we do not have "one" without an object of sensibility. This would back up the claim that Empiricism rules over Rationalism, but of course I am not saying it does only that this singular view falls on that side of the delineation we've set up between the empirical view and the rational view.

To repeat ... I would really appreciate it if people would refer to the quotes over the past couple of pages (I have highlighted those posts in RED text.
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby nameless on June 2nd, 2017, 3:49 am 

BadgerJelly » Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:51 pm wrote:nameless -

As usual people us silly humans seek offensive where there is none and resort to defending themselves against their own demons! haha! HE is RJG (aka Rasputin). I was talking DIRECTLY TO YOU about HIM. I hope you see the funny side of this :)

I noticed that a few 'buzzwords' were also featured in my posts.
No problem.

If you cannot see from his perspective, and what Positor was saying regarding the difference between a dragon existing and a cow existing I don't know what to say.

Yeah, those perspectives are quite common.
What I offered, as a meta-definition, despite such poor logic and games, has not been refuted.
Read what I just wrote about driftwood, that was a great analogy; are you guys being deliberately obtuse?

I was talking DIRECTLY TO YOU about HIM. I hope you see the funny side of this :)

A) I am not interested, at all, ever, to talk about people ('small minds' and all...), but about concepts, theories, Knowledge.
B) Sorry, I find no humor in poor and unpleasant communication.
So, I am done with this thread.

If anyone wishes an intelligent, clear, respectful conversation on this topic, PM me.
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby BadgerJelly on June 2nd, 2017, 9:47 am 

I have one more quote to post so would appreciate it if you didn't lock yet
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby thehedglin on June 2nd, 2017, 2:26 pm 

So, is there a good working definition of what consciousness is, or are we simply working from the basis of what we assume everyone means by it? Are we treating it like some kind of conscious/unconscious dichotomy, or a spectrum where some creatures/beings have more or less of it than others?

I am kind of lost...
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby Old Rasputin on June 2nd, 2017, 2:42 pm 

thehedglin wrote:So, is there a good working definition of what consciousness is, or are we simply working from the basis of what we assume everyone means by it? Are we treating it like some kind of conscious/unconscious dichotomy, or a spectrum where some creatures/beings have more or less of it than others?

I have previously proposed the following definition:

Consciousness is the specific/singular experience of 'recognition', made possible by memory.
Old Rasputin wrote:The reason for this short (and sweet, IMO) definition is that ALL the other tenets of consciousness (as spelled out by Chalmers, etc) have all been logically debunked! This includes the notions of a separate entity (mind/spirit/soul), conscious control, self-awareness, and the ability to think (create one’s own) thoughts. Although most of these debunk-ings contradict many religiously held beliefs, it is what it is. Logic (and not one’s religious beliefs) should lead the way to our (logical) truths.

After the debunk-ings, all that remains is the proclaimed "hard problem" itself; i.e. the “experiencing” itself. Though, I take it one step deeper, and further claim that the personal subjectivity of this experiencing only exists in those that “know” or “recognize” (i.e. experience the recognition of) their bodily experiences. Of course, then this requires a ‘memory’ source of past experiences to then compare and “recognize” with.

…but since this is Badger’s OP, I think the onus is upon him to define what he means by “consciousness”, or whether to accept this (above) definition, or another.
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby thehedglin on June 2nd, 2017, 2:52 pm 

Old Rasputin » June 2nd, 2017, 1:42 pm wrote:Consciousness is the specific/singular experience of 'recognition', made possible by memory.


Well, with that definition I could argue that my dog, or even my computer MIGHT be conscious. Though one could argue much less conscious than we are, it would seem to include anything capable of experience and has a memory. This would make the determination of consciousness fairly straightforward, as you would only need determine if something possessed a storage medium for memory(I.E. brain), and some from of experiential input(I.E. sensory organs).

Would you consider consciousness more of a spectrum or a binary state, given such a definition?
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby BadgerJelly on June 2nd, 2017, 3:04 pm 

thehedglin » June 3rd, 2017, 2:26 am wrote:So, is there a good working definition of what consciousness is, or are we simply working from the basis of what we assume everyone means by it? Are we treating it like some kind of conscious/unconscious dichotomy, or a spectrum where some creatures/beings have more or less of it than others?

I am kind of lost...


The aim was to talk about the quotes I have typed out in regard to Empiricism and Rationalism. I have highlighted them in RED at start of posts containing quotes from Husserl.

If you read through those and comment on what is being said about each view and how they relate I was then hoping to see how these two views can be used to relate to consciousness and how we can define consciousness.

Consciousness is basically what you have when you are awake or when you are dreaming. When there a "something".

I suggest you read through those posts (also what Neri said near the start was a nice summation) and see where ti takes you. Don't worry about "consciousness" for now. The main issue presented here is about knowledge and I was going to move it to question knowledge of consciousness regarding "experience" and the immediacy of subjective experience as felt by us, like now when you're readin this. That is consciousness, the "knowing" regardless of how it is articulated.

There are physical processes going on in our brains that are unconscious, we are not aware of, yet these are still part of consciousness as a whole. This is one of the issue with terminology and language I am attempting to get to grips with here.
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby TheVat on June 2nd, 2017, 3:52 pm 

I tend to prefer the specificity of "qualia," a term favored by Jackson, Searle, et al. and which refers to the irreducibly "felt" or subjective aspect of cognition. Beliefs, desires, intentions, qualia....such terms get at what minds do in a more specific way that, IMO, better advances any exploration in the philosophy of mind. Otherwise, it's easy to just make vague assertions about "consciousness," which as Dennett et al have pointed out, leads into false intuition pumps. Consciousness might reside in "Meinong's Jungle," especially if we approach it as a thing rather than an overall process. Treat it as a Thing, and pretty soon you are lost in New Age gobbledygook and having your 'consciousness' leave your body and fly around like an untethered kite. Then it's in Meinongville, with the unicorns and the squared circles.

Unless you're into David Lewis and his modal realism. Universe help you, if you are. That stuff will make you crazy.
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby thehedglin on June 2nd, 2017, 5:27 pm 

BadgerJelly » June 2nd, 2017, 2:04 pm wrote:Don't worry about "consciousness" for now. The main issue presented here is about knowledge and I was going to move it to question knowledge of consciousness regarding "experience" and the immediacy of subjective experience as felt by us, like now when you're readin this. That is consciousness, the "knowing" regardless of how it is articulated.

There are physical processes going on in our brains that are unconscious, we are not aware of, yet these are still part of consciousness as a whole. This is one of the issue with terminology and language I am attempting to get to grips with here.


I tend to agree that terminology needs some refinement in philosophy. I usually use the term subconscious when someone is asleep or dreaming, as to separate it from being totally unconscious. As far as "knowledge" is concerned, it seems more of a claim to me, as I am unaware of any process to truly remove all possibility of error from perception.

Say I had a stick that I measured to be three feet long, and I let all of the thread participants measure it and they all came up with the same length, does that consensus of subjective experiences measuring that stick make its measurement objective? I don't know. Worse, what if one person got a different length? Is there subjective experience in measuring that stick any less valid than my own, or anyone else making up that consensus? I think aiming for either knowledge or truth may be even more difficult than consciousness itself, as they seem even more frustrating philosophically.
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby BadgerJelly on June 3rd, 2017, 12:43 am 

Theheglin -

Yeah, that is the kind of queetions that come up here. Agreement about experience is Empirical knowledge, and agreement without experience (eg. 1+1=2) is another kind of knowledge. One with out the other is seemingly meaningless so a grain of one will always remain in the other and I believe it is more of the habit of day-to-life that makes us generally think in temrs of succession rather than unity of experience (even saying this ties into the very idea of "parts" of experience, when experience, dare I say 'pure' experience, is not known piece by piece : Meaninf we experience some object not a sequence of discriptions.)
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby Old Rasputin on June 3rd, 2017, 8:43 am 

thehedglin » June 2nd, 2017, 2:52 pm wrote:
Old Rasputin » June 2nd, 2017, 1:42 pm wrote:Consciousness is the specific/singular experience of 'recognition', made possible by memory.


Well, with that definition I could argue that my dog, or even my computer MIGHT be conscious. Though one could argue much less conscious than we are, it would seem to include anything capable of experience and has a memory. This would make the determination of consciousness fairly straightforward, as you would only need determine if something possessed a storage medium for memory(I.E. brain), and some from of experiential input(I.E. sensory organs).

Would you consider consciousness more of a spectrum or a binary state, given such a definition?

Certainly binary. And it is not just any experience, it is the specific experience of 'recognition'.

For example, would you consider the specific experience of 'sight' as binary or a spectrum? ...if you have it, then you have it, if you don't, then you don't, there is no in between.
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby thehedglin on June 3rd, 2017, 2:14 pm 

Old Rasputin » June 3rd, 2017, 7:43 am wrote:Certainly binary. And it is not just any experience, it is the specific experience of 'recognition'.

For example, would you consider the specific experience of 'sight' as binary or a spectrum? ...if you have it, then you have it, if you don't, then you don't, there is no in between.


As someone who actually has monochromacy, I would argue vision is a spectrum, as it completely impacts your specific experience of almost everything.
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby Old Rasputin on June 3rd, 2017, 5:20 pm 

thehedglin wrote:Would you consider consciousness more of a spectrum or a binary state, given such a definition?

Old Rasputin wrote:Certainly binary. And it is not just any experience, “consciousness” is the specific experience of 'recognition'.

For example, would you consider the specific experience of 'sight' as binary or a spectrum? ...if you have it, then you have it, if you don't, then you don't, there is no in between.

thehedglin wrote:As someone who actually has monochromacy, I would argue vision is a spectrum, as it completely impacts your specific experience of almost everything.

I understand what you are saying. But, I was referring to the ‘experience’ itself, and not to the ‘content’ (objects) of the experiencing, nor to the clarity/truthfulness, or "impact" of this content.

Regarding “sight”, - that ‘content’ which we see (or don’t see), has no bearing on our ability (experience) to see. Either we see or we don’t (binary). That content which we see does not affect/change or “variate” ("spectrum-ate"?) this binary action.

Regarding “consciousness”, - either we experience “recognition” or we don’t. If we do, then we are conscious, and if we don’t, then we are not conscious. That which we recognize; the content (and/or its clarity/truthfulness) has no bearing/relevance on our ability to recognize. The ‘content’ does not make consciousness itself any more, or any less conscious.

Not many things in this universe can experience seeing, and even less can experience recognition (consciousness). Thankfully we humans can experience both.
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby thehedglin on June 4th, 2017, 2:25 am 

Old Rasputin » June 3rd, 2017, 4:20 pm wrote:Regarding “sight”, - that ‘content’ which we see (or don’t see), has no bearing on our ability (experience) to see. Either we see or we don’t (binary). That content which we see does not affect/change or “variate” ("spectrum-ate"?) this binary action.

Regarding “consciousness”, - either we experience “recognition” or we don’t. If we do, then we are conscious, and if we don’t, then we are not conscious. That which we recognize; the content (and/or its clarity/truthfulness) has no bearing/relevance on our ability to recognize. The ‘content’ does not make consciousness itself any more, or any less conscious.



Regarding sight, I have known people considered "blind", but could vaguely make out the difference between light and dark. Which side of the binary are they on?

Regarding consciousness, I once owned a gerbil, and it recognized me. Does that mean gerbils are conscious? Hell, I read somewhere certain kinds of bacteria can differentiate between healthy and unhealthy cells, Is that a form of recognition?
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby BadgerJelly on June 4th, 2017, 3:14 am 

If you both wish to define "consciousness" please go somewhere else and do so :)

I have had literally 2 or 3 replies on this thread that are addressing the quotes. I don't mind some tangents here and there though given that ideas of Rationalism and Empiricism are quite broad areas.

What you are talking about is in fact (in my view) something roughly in the area of this thread in regards to the delineations between areas of knowledge.

The very question of "How blind?", or more simply put, "How MUCH?", is an Empirical idea. Measuring necessarily requires an objective grounding, in mathematics we use numbers (universal unchanging terms) to give precise and undisputeable answers (rational answers). The experienced world is understood in many ways, and one way is by comparing and contrasting. Science applies rigid mathematics to The World in order to understand it. It is here where this thread is looking. Experience has meaning if the experience can be rationalized, and rationality can only be applied to experience (even an imagined experience, for an imagined something is a something of a kind of experience).

To use this conversation for my purpose we can say that even if you lost your sight (COMPLETELY ... meaning you were unable to aquire any new visual inputs through your eyes - this is a significant difference from using all faculties of vision) tomorrow, then if you heard a dog, or a car, or smelt a toilet, you'd have the visual knowledge to associate this non-visual experience to, and because of this we could say that you do actually "see" the object of experience indirectly. With further investigation and measuring you could get a clearer picture of attributes such as colour, shape and general magnitudes of this object of experience.

On the other hand if we are talking about someone born blind with no experience of sight at all, we can still say that they can come to know what a dog is and what a toilet is and we can talk about these objects without misunderstanding each other. What remains "blind" from our talking about an object is the underlying experience of each individual. We luckily have enough of a comparison to understand each other. Without enough experiential "components" to verify with each other we may very well mistaken a "dog" for a "toilet". In this sense the unity of experience is more about the unity of COMMON experience. The unity of experience for an individual may very well be a case of misusing the function of language to communicate with someone else and overextending it back onto the immanent experience (the 'pure' experience). Then the confusion sets in because we are constantly looking for delineations between some said X and some said Y, where no such delineation makes practical or logical sense. Artistically ("creatively") we can of course set ourselves up to make distinctions and comparisons, as it appears we are hard wired to do without limit. Within language we have a set register (a particular kind of lexicon and grammar) and this in itself defines HOW we express and to some degree how we experience, but it is not experience only a used "facet" of experience with which we communicate with each other.

By this I am saying that my experience is PURE and what I communicate to you about my experience is not my experience. It is this point that rationalism and empiricism struggle with. How I express my "pure experience" is essentially an "expression of" not a "direct access to my experience". In simplier terms how I am and how you see me are two different and true positions. The "truth" is defined by the individual. By applying rationality we set up an objective truth which adheres to everyone, BUT doesn't necessarily (and rationally CANNOT) remain true to the experiencing subject "as they are" (so to speak).

This is where we really struggle to apply language to explain something inherently beyond the direct grasp of language and are forced to make analogies and metaphors to get the "gist" across until the day comes when we have a universal concept to add to language that breaks the need for explanation. Such terms we've created are "love", "happiness" and "table". We can of course still try to unearth the supposed "heart"/"essence" of such terms, but generally there is no need to do so in our day-to-day life. With a physical object such as "table" we can, I would say, have a better appreciation of what it is because the use of a table is reasonably easy to differentiate from "chair". In fact the meaning of "table" to us is in direct relation to "chair", one could say a "chair" is a special kind of "table" designed specifically for people!

What Husserl is referring to in his work (although you cannot see it all here) is that we experience The World ourselves as individuals and as an extention beyond ourselves in a community of others. I would add that even if there was no "other" consciousness, we'd necessarily extend ourselves "into" The World. Although if we had no human contact we'd probably not learn much from living among a "community" of tables and chairs - from here arises the debate about nature and nuture, and I find myself asking if this delineation is limited in its use (is it going to dive into an infinite regression. another point that Husserl touches on regarding the "finite" and "infinite"; mentioned in another thread dedicated to Husserl specifically).
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby Old Rasputin on June 4th, 2017, 1:30 pm 

thehedglin wrote:Regarding sight, I have known people considered "blind", but could vaguely make out the difference between light and dark.

If they can see ‘anything’, then they can ‘see’!

thehedglin wrote:Which side of the binary are they on?

They are on the “seeing” side, as opposed to the “NOT seeing” side.

Again, the ‘content’ of their seeing (including vagueness’s of light and dark) is another matter altogether.

thehedglin wrote:Regarding consciousness, I once owned a gerbil, and it recognized me. Does that mean gerbils are conscious?

If it truly recognized you, then yes!

thehedglin wrote:Hell, I read somewhere certain kinds of bacteria can differentiate between healthy and unhealthy cells, Is that a form of recognition?

No. Firstly, “differentiating” (i.e. "choosing" between alternatives) is not logically possible for anyone, including bacteria. -- We all, including bacteria, "do what we do" (i.e. we all experience and auto-react accordingly), and if we are lucky enough to 'recognize' these experiential reactions, then we are 'conscious' of what we do!

Secondly, without ‘memory’, there is no means to ‘recognize’ (i.e. to “know”) what one experiences (does). Without "memory", there can be no "consciousness".

BadgerJelly wrote:If you both wish to define "consciousness" please go somewhere else and do so :)

Oops, sorry Badger for the side-track. Will do.

Thehedglin, -- I think this is a nicely worded ‘hint’ from Badger for us to leave, or to cease and desist our current conversation.

Badger, -- is there an inherent question in this OP, that you are asking (and waiting for our response)? What is it specifically that you wish us to respond to?
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby BadgerJelly on June 5th, 2017, 3:18 am 

CONTINUED ...

Section 24. The genuine philosophical motif hidden in the absurdity of Hume's skepticism: the shaking of objectivism.

Let us stop for a moment. Why does Hume's Treatise (in comparison to which the Essay Concerning Human Understanding is badly watered down) represent such a great historical event? What happened there? The Cartesian radicalism of presuppositionlessness, with the goal of tracing of genuine scientific knowledge back to the ultimate sources of validity and of grounding it absolutely upon them, required reflections directed toward the subject, required the regression to the knowing ego in his immanence. No matter how little one may have approved of Descartes' epistemological procedure, one could no longer escape the necessity of this requirement. But was it possible to improve upon Descartes procedure?...
... No offense was taken if, in Descartes, immanent sensibility engendered pictures of the world; but in Berkeley this sensibility engendered the world of bodies itself; and in Hume the entire soul, with its "impressions" and "ideas," the forces belonging to it, conceived of by analogy to physical forces, its laws of association (as parallel to the laws of gravity!), engendered the whole world, the world itself, not merely something like a picture - though, to be sure, this product was merely a fiction, a representation put together inwardly which was actually quite vague. And this is true of the rational sciences as well as that of experiential vaga.

Was there not, here, in spite of the absurdity which may have been due to particular aspects of the presuppositions, a hidden and unavoidable truth to be felt? Was this not the revelation of a completely new way of assessing the objectivity of the world and its whole ontic meaning and, correlatively, that of the objective sciences, a way which did not attack their own validity but did attack their philosophical or metaphysical claim, that of absolute truth?


I stop here with the quotes. Although I may repeat some of them, in part, to outline what I find most interesting and hopefully learn from others about Hume, Berkeley and Locke (of whom I have bit-part knowledge).

Next thread, when I find the time, will take a look at Kant ... Section 25, titled "The 'transcendental' motif in rationalism: Kant's conception of a transcendental philosophy."
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby nameless on June 19th, 2017, 8:32 pm 

Old Rasputin » Thu May 25, 2017 12:03 pm wrote:Descartes 'seed', was his “I think” premise, which he (incorrectly) claimed as an “un-doubtable” truth. But, because of his obvious handicap, he was psychologically unable to recognize the doubtable-ness of this premise. And because of his fateful error; this 'garbage' seed has only produced 'garbage' truths (i.e. fantasies; non-real truths).

And like all the great philosophers that followed in Descartes footsteps; have likewise produced their versions of fantasy (i.e. non-real, “garbage” truths).

Isn't it amazing how easy it is to call something that we do not understand 'garbage'?
Descartes was 'righter' than he (and you) knew!

"Cogito Ergo Sum!"
"I think, therefore I am!" - Descartes

This saying is exactly true, as it refers to the egoic construct of autonomous existence of a 'self', an 'I', as opposed to a 'you'/'other'.
'Ego' is the same, one and the same, as 'thought'!
Hence 'thought' being where this (egoic) 'self' exists. That is the 'I' to which the quote refers! All 'identity' exists in/as thought/ego! All that you think that you are!
No 'thought/ego' = no egoic 'I'!
There can be no 'I' identity without 'thought'.
Thought, though, does not 'create' the egoic "I", they are one and the same, as perceived!
We don't 'think outside the box', 'thought' IS the box!

The above referenced 'I', or small 's' 'self' cannot exist in a thoughtless state, such as a Zen state where no such distinctions can be perceived.
There only exists 'one', (capital 'S') 'Self!', which is 'Universally all inclusive'. Which does not disappear when 'thought' is no longer perceived!
Ask any successful meditator, or check it out yourself.
Capisce'?

It is 'thought' that says, "I am not that!"

"Thou Art That!"

tat tvam asi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tat_Tvam_Asi)
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby Old Rasputin on June 20th, 2017, 12:40 am 

nameless wrote:The above referenced 'I', or small 's' 'self' cannot exist in a thoughtless state, such as a Zen state where no such distinctions can be perceived. There only exists 'one', (capital 'S') 'Self!', which is 'Universally all inclusive'. Which does not disappear when 'thought' is no longer perceived!

Sorry nameless, and no offense, but this all sounds like ‘religion’ talk to me. And I have no interest in discussing religion.
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby nameless on June 20th, 2017, 4:28 am 

Old Rasputin » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:40 pm wrote:
nameless wrote:The above referenced 'I', or small 's' 'self' cannot exist in a thoughtless state, such as a Zen state where no such distinctions can be perceived. There only exists 'one', (capital 'S') 'Self!', which is 'Universally all inclusive'. Which does not disappear when 'thought' is no longer perceived!

Sorry nameless, and no offense, but this all sounds like ‘religion’ talk to me. And I have no interest in discussing religion.

There is not anything 'religious' about it, it is pure psychology and philosophy. If you are unable to respond on that level, dismiss as you must.
Do you use that 'religion' excuse to avoid all deep discussions?
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby BadgerJelly on June 20th, 2017, 5:13 am 

nameless -

In regard to RJG/Rasputin. I have concluded he simply doesn't know how to read or write.

It is a simple case of you not adhering to his beliefs and thoughts, therefore you are "religious". He assumes the term as some kind of mocking insult to make himself feel better in his ignorance.

Just foe him, its easier. I have tried many times but gotten nowhere. He refuses, or is simply unable, to put the work in. Sad a situation, but not a lot you can do unless you wish to attempt to educate him (on this point he seems even less willing to listen and more inclined to act defensively or just attack what he doesn't understand.)
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby Old Rasputin on June 20th, 2017, 1:58 pm 

Old Rasputin wrote:
nameless wrote:The above referenced 'I', or small 's' 'self' cannot exist in a thoughtless state, such as a Zen state where no such distinctions can be perceived. There only exists 'one', (capital 'S') 'Self!', which is 'Universally all inclusive'. Which does not disappear when 'thought' is no longer perceived!

Sorry nameless, and no offense, but this all sounds like ‘religion’ talk to me. And I have no interest in discussing religion.

nameless wrote:There is not anything 'religious' about it, it is pure psychology and philosophy.

How can you know - “There only exists 'one', (capital 'S') 'Self!', which is 'Universally all inclusive'”? How did you obtain this knowledge?

One cannot reach this conclusion through logic (sound philosophy). And psychology is not in the business of yielding these kinds of truths. Your statement above seems to be purely religious; being based on “blind faith”.

Furthermore, you say that “I” and “thought” are one-in-the-same. And then you say that it is this ‘one’ Self that perceives thought/I. If so, then:

    1. Which one are you? Who am I talking to? Are you the “Self” or the “thought/I”?

    2. If you are the ‘one’ and only “Self”, then who are you talking to? Can’t I also be a “Self”? If, as you say, there is only ‘one’ Self, then why is it ‘you’, and not ‘me’, or another?

    3. If neither of us are this ‘Self’, then who/what are we?

    4. If only the ‘Self’ can perceive thoughts, then how can ‘you’ perceive the thought that this ‘Self’ is real, and that he/it is the only ‘one’ that exists? How can you have (perceive) the thoughts that you have?

Nameless, when I say “no offense” I mean it. Please don’t take this as an insult, but I believe you have been indoctrinated into believing into a religion (a set of false truths based on blind faiths).


nameless wrote:Do you use that 'religion' excuse to avoid all deep discussions?

No, I use it when one uses “blind faith” to justify their truths. Any discussion based on blind faiths (religion) is pure fantasy and 'wasteful' in my opinion.
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