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/sci/ - Science & Math


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8682044 No.8682044 [Reply] [Original] [archived.moe]

What is /sci/'s response to the hard problem of consciousness? Why is there something "that it is like" to be a brain? Why doesn't all the data processing go on "in the dark", without the phenomenal experience? Do you see a big explanatory gap between function and experience here?

http://www.strawpoll.me/12358244

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_problem_of_consciousness
http://www.iep.utm.edu/hard-con/

>> No.8682184

>>8682044
Well at this point, I don't think science has much to say on this problem, which remains tied to philosophy. I'm sure there's an evolutionary reason why we have conscious experiences, but the reason why is beyond anything I'm aware of.

I definitely think this is a serious question, and I imagine steps towards its solution would be the development of a better understanding of self-reference.

>> No.8683184

>>8682044
>consciousness?
Infinite minds imagining the limited concepts of space and time. It's bound to be confusing.

>> No.8683202

The "hard problem" is only a problem in the substance dualism model of consciousness. There are models that account for what humans perceive without having so many issues. That problem is arguably a paradox even, which would mean it falsifies dualism.

>> No.8684419

>>8683202
>The "hard problem" is only a problem in the substance dualism model of consciousness
Absolutely not. You don't need to be a dualist to acknowledge that qualia are very different entities than the physical stimuli that cause them. It's quite obvious that 'redness' as it is experienced is not equivalent to a set of electromagnetic wavelengths. The experience of 'red' is produced by the brain/mind from the stimuli. In some sense, this is comparable to comparing sound as shifts in air pressure with language. From the basic stimuli, we abstract a complex semiotic system.

>> No.8684653

I guess consciousness is just a powerfull data processing and decision making algorithm. I would say it arises because there are a lot of complex auto-regulating loops in our brain.

Language might also help in doing abstraction

>> No.8684805

It's interesting to note IMO that we can even talk about "consciousness", and that we all know what is meant by the word. This suggests that somehow, the "what it is like to be conscious" is accessible in the physical world (i.e. by the brain). I think this suggests that it should be possible, at least in principle, to solve the hard problem.

>> No.8684899

>>8684419
>It's quite obvious that 'redness' as it is experienced is not equivalent to a set of electromagnetic wavelengths.
But it is. You just think it's not because language isn't perfectly communicative and humans aren't perfect at imagining. A robot can acquire knowledge of red without ever being exposed to it by just giving it the wavelength of light that produces red.

>> No.8684913

>>8682044
>qualia are very different entities than the physical stimuli that cause them.
We're aware of the physical properties and reactions that cause us to experience most physical stimuli in a predictable fashion, so I wouldn't say it's VERY different. While "Red" doesn't exist in nature, the nature of color is well known -- now, if everyone was experiencing different colors then that would be truly perplexing.

Most of the "why" questions are superfluous. Like any other organism, our only essential purpose is to survive and procreate, and I don't think there's any reason to believe that the qualia are anything but evolutionary developments. I think the more developed our brains become, the more we have a tendency to make mountains out of molehills and complicate the fuck out of everything.

Consciousness is essentially atoms interacting and trying to understand each other (in mysterious ways) -- that's good enough for me.

>> No.8684934

>>8682044
>>>/x/

>> No.8685009

>>8684805
It also creates big holes in dualist arguments, because of the interaction problem (if experience is separate from the physical are separate, how can they interact?) Epiphenomenalism solves the interaction problem by saying phenomenal experience doesn't affect the physical, yet the very thing you describe seems to indicate just that.

A possible solution to that is if the physical can epiphenomenally cause the mental, then wouldn't it be possible that the physical would process information that could in some sense describe features of the mental, explaining how the physical can come up with verbal reports/thoughts about it: It's simply corresponding with the phenomenal experience without directly accessing it. An analogy would be: when a computer burns a disc, the would-be contents of the disc is going to be in the computers memory when the disc is created, and if saved, the computer could describe the disc, without reading anything from it. The computer has then caused the disc, and is able to describe it without reading anything from its final form. This leaves the question of how exactly information crosses to the "phenomenal realm", but that gap doesn't create as many problems as causal interaction the other way around.

To expand on this gap, you could ask, how is it that something as irreducible and and seemingly fundamental as phenomenal experience can directly interact with something as high level as neurobiology? This is where maybe the integrated information theory can come into play. Phenomenal experience is not directly caused on a level where matter interacts very fundamentally, but on the higher levels where information is very integrated, and from that experience is formed through some kind of irreducible emergence.

>> No.8685031

>>8685009
Fuckin hell, this truly is the NON-problem of consciousness.

This explains it very succinctly without the fluff: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popper's_three_worlds

>> No.8685042

>>8685009
How does this solve the P-zombie problem?

>> No.8685046
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8685046

>Hard problem doubters
It happens because of information processing and then magic

>Hard problem believers
It happens because of some phenomenon we don't understand yet

>> No.8685051

>>8685046
You got that backwards friendo.

>> No.8685053

>>8685051
You don't understand the hard problem. Dan dennet is a quack

>> No.8685071

>>8685042
Not sure what you mean by solve, but it's consistent with the assumptions the p-zombie argument makes; that subjective experience has no causal powers of its own.

>> No.8685073

ITT: People who cannot even grasp the concept of irreducibility

>> No.8685074

>>8685053
The problem is simple: somebody misinterprets their observations then makes a bunch of assumptions based on that, which they then label as "obvious facts".

The hard problem claims a bunch of properties for consciousness that I do not observe it as having. And since my observations do not create the same contradictions as the ones pointed out in that article, my observations are necessarily more reliable.

>> No.8685079
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8685079

I believe that not every human is truly conscious.

>> No.8685084

>>8685074
If you've been color blind your entire life, and other people claim they can see color, would you assume that your observations are necessarily more reliable because you don't misinterpret your observations with silly color illusions?

>> No.8685092

>>8685071
If a P-zombie is truly indistinguishable, then it disproves qualia by showing that mental properties are unnecessary. If a P-zombie is distinguishable, then it disproves qualia by showing that mental properties are physical.

>> No.8685097

>>8684899
I'm skeptical about this given how processed stimuli are once you actually experience them. I think an interesting thing to consider is the so-called McGurk effect, on which I encourage to read. It's quite striking that the sounds you perceive are not systematically determined by the wavelengths your ears pick up. I think qualia, such as colors or sounds, are more of an abstraction created by the mind than faithful representations of the stimuli to which we are exposed.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McGurk_effect

>> No.8685098
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8685098

I could build a range of information processing systems, starting with simple ones, and increasing the complexity up to human level.

At some level of complexity in this series of systems, I will have built a machine which is conscious.

I will know every component in this machine, but as for explaining why it is conscious, I will only be able to point to the differences between the conscious machine, and the simpler, unconscious machines.

I will have no better understanding of consciousness besides that this machine has some component/module that the other machines lack.

>> No.8685099

>>8685084
>And since my observations do not create the same contradictions

>> No.8685107

>>8685092
But, a P-zombie being indistinguishable or not doesn't necessarily say something about the the realness of qualia, it says something about the realness of its causal effects.

There is also a difference between functionally indistinguishable and intrinsically indistinguishable. Two things can appear to function identically, yet don't at some level we can't access empirically.

>> No.8685108

>>8685097
I don't see how that has any relation. Human perception is obviously not "pure" because the brain takes various shortcuts, but that has nothing to do with qualia.

>> No.8685125

>>8685107
Realness = Causal Effects

If something had no causal effect, nobody would ever know about it.

>> No.8685141

>>8685097
>I think qualia, such as colors or sounds, are more of an abstraction created by the mind than faithful representations of the stimuli to which we are exposed
I think you're cherrypicking with anecdotal evidence (McGirk effect). If people without identifiable mental impairments were experiencing the McGirk effect in their daily lives, and as a result, there was no consensus on basic laws and properties, you might have a case. The subjective assessment of these laws and properties is irrelevant.

>> No.8685153

>>8685125
It's not inconceivable to assume that some aspects of the universe has no observable casual effects. If there is, I don't think it's fair to say they are any less real.

>> No.8685159

>>8685098
What is the name of this fallacy?

>> No.8685177

>>8685031
>Popperian cosmology rejects this essentialism, but maintains the common sense view that physical and mental states exist, and they interact.
Not much of an explanation there.

>> No.8685245

>>8685177
Sure it is. Only dopey philosophers think anything else actually matters.

Our consciousness didn't arise from nothing, as there is a physical process that gives rise to our ontology. Our experience is based on physical processes, and I don't think the subjective feelings that arise when observing these processes (qualia) should be relevant to anyone but artists and writers.

Different colors may produce different feelings, but regardless of the shade, the vast majority of people will be able to identify the color. Can we perfectly describe it? The artists and writers will try... and fail.

>> No.8685260

>>8685159
It's not a fallacy

>> No.8685267

>>8685260
It's assuming the outcome of an experiment that has never been performed.

>> No.8685273

>>8685267
I believe it's called a "thought experiment"

>> No.8685276

>>8685141
The McGurk effect is a very solid effect which has nothing to do with mental illness. In fact, I encourage you to watch stimuli which incite the effect. Also, any study of the mind is hopeless if we don't take into consideration subjective assessments. If your hope was to conduct cognitive science in the way the physical sciences are done, I doubt you would get many interesting results. Behaviorism, while not completely effaced, is not particularly relevant to much of the progress which has been done in understanding cognitive systems.

>> No.8685282

>>8685245
>I don't care about it
>therefore the problem is solved

>> No.8685292

None of us truly exist, we're all just delusions.
Your whole life, personality and being just a dream.
A movie projection playing inside your head, only there's no one watching.

The delusion of being a person arose out of convenience, to spread your chemicals, there's no one there being deluded.
There's no unity or experience of being a person, it's all just disconnected sensory spikes, the brain constructs the delusion as a dream in hindsight.

>> No.8685295

>>8685292
>The delusion of being a person arose out of convenience
That's not what consciousness is.

>> No.8685296
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8685296

>>8685046

>> No.8685304

>>8685292
Read about emergence before you share your 2 cent philosophy.

>> No.8685316
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8685316

ITT: We post attention whoring brainlets

>> No.8685321

>>8685276
>the McGurk effect is a very solid effect which has nothing to do with mental illness
I realize that. I'm saying that there's a reason it's called an effect, and it's simply a matter of the brain adapting to stimuli and filtering the most relevant information for optimal performance. Also, I should have said *were/weren't experiencing this effect.*

>Behaviorism, while not completely effaced, is not particularly relevant to much of the progress which has been done in understanding cognitive systems
At this point, progress is extremely relative.

>> No.8685328

>>8685282
You're welcome. Screencap this thread.

>> No.8685335

>>8685321
Can you retards stop arguing about mcgurk effect? It has nothing to do with the discussion of consciousness. McGurk effect is an inductive bias used by the brain for processing of speech.

>> No.8685338

>>8685335
The discussion on the McGurk effect was brought up to discuss the link between qualia and the stimuli which cause them. The link between the perception of qualia and consciousness is salient, and I don't see how you're missing this point.

>> No.8685346

>>8685335
The other guy started it. And don't you ever tell me when I can and cannot discuss McGurk.

>> No.8685351

>>8685346
>>8685338
I think we have more of a case of Dunning-Kruger effect going on with you two.

>> No.8685355

>>8685351
Oh yeah? Well you're just a pseudo-intellectual.

Alright, I'm done shitposting. Kek

>> No.8685356

>>8685351
Alright, I've got to admit that's pretty clever of you. Good job.

>> No.8685389
File: 39 KB, 800x600, dan_dennett.png [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]
8685389

>>8685053
Related meme.

>>8685079
Really makes you wonder about the nature of some of the people in this thread.

>>8685292
>You're not having experiences, you're just experiencing the illusion that you're exper... wait.

>> No.8686102

>>8684913
>- now, if everyone was experiencing different colors then that would be truly perplexing.
Is it proof that everyone experiences a similar red/blue/green/colors by using color theory as evidence?
I "know" you and I experience a similar red and yellow because color theory says those colors are sharp and contrasting and I find that combination sharp and contrasting but that wouldn't be the case if my "red and yellow" was something more like your "brown and orange"

>> No.8686194

What's to say that there is only 1 stream of subjective experience in your brain? What if you're only one of the many systems that have experiences, and the actions you consider subconscious is still subjectively experienced in another part of your brain? That would mean that there are many conscious entities in your brain that are all experiencing reading this text in one way or another, depending on what functions that part of the brain is concerned with. Suicide then becomes a very direct ethical concern considering a single conscious entity is not in charge of making every decision.

This idea begs a question of identity. The thoughts and actions of your person would therefore not longer be you. The only thing that is truly yours is your conscious experience, which is arguably still true even if there is only 1 stream of consciousness, but this illustrates that reality in a clearer way.

>> No.8686205

>>8686194
The idea of subjective experience is completely unfounded.

>> No.8686232

>>8686102
Because people can identify hundreds of shades. And if people were experiencing different combinations of colors, there would not be consensus on various shades of color.

>> No.8686286

>>8686205
>The idea of subjective experience is completely unfounded.

this may be the most laughable thing I've ever read on /sci/. Do you have any idea what you actually meant by that or were you just stringing words together

Subjective experience is quite literally the only thing in the universe which is founded.

Everything you experience could be a complete illusion... but you are still experiencing something.

>> No.8686308

>>8686286
The thing that we cannot imagine the world without; the thing that we consider "essential" is the acting force and not a passive observer. The statement isn't "I observe, therefore I am" It's "I think, therefore I am". Though "I" is not really good there.

>> No.8686489
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8686489

>>8685276

>McGurk effect

That's fascinating as fuck

>> No.8686496

>>8682044
theres no proof that anyone but me is conscious

>> No.8686974

>>8686496
That's true, but it is a reasonable assumption.

>> No.8687033

>>8686496
This line of thinking really irritates me. I mean, like >>8686974 said, it's true, but people who use it in these conversations should be gassed.

It reminds me of that silly question about the tree falling in the forest: does it make a sound? It's safe to assume, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the tree would still create the physical reaction that we would perceive as sound, but if there's no one around to process the stimuli... then there's no one to perceive it as sound.

It's safe to assume, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the fate of the universe doesn't hinge on our ability to perceive it, and that matter and energy would continue to interact in the same fashion without us.

Yes, this is empiricist, materialist, physicalist, whatever you wanna call it.
>but like... what is reality, maaaan

t. Someone who thinks the simulation hypothesis is plausible.

>> No.8687121

>>8687033
I agree with you, but I think there is a lot of nuance you can add to an idealistic viewpoint, to the point where whether or not it's really idealism is a bit murky.

Let's assume that there is some sort of objective reality, that function even if you and I were not here experiencing it. That doesn't mean that the reality that we experience, isn't a complete fabrication of our minds. The fabrication uses inputs from the objective reality, but what we're experiencing isn't at all representative of the true objective qualities of this objective reality. The sound of the tree, how the tree looks, and what we think of trees, are not qualities of the objective reality, but of the reality that we create. With all that in mind, the notion that the tree didn't make a sound might not be as silly as it first appears, considering the fact that neither sound, "falling", or "ground", can be intrinsic qualities of the objective reality.

>> No.8687140

>>8687121
I think we're on the same page.

>> No.8687329

There's no proof that anybody but you si conscious. Therefore: the only correct conclusion is that you are the only thing that truly exists, and everything around you is just a Show you put on for yourself, like a dream.

>> No.8687339

>>8687329
That's some solid logic right there lad. No wonder postmerdernism has such a strong influence on scientific research.

>> No.8688145

Anyone else find it peculiar how hard of a line there is between people who can conceive of a hard problem, and those who can't? Those who argue for the hard problem are amazed that the people on the other side can't understand it, and the people arguing against a hard problem are amazed that people make such a big deal out of nothing.

Is it that language about mental states is so private that words have vastly different definitions depending on who you talk to, or do people actually understand the gap between experience and function, but still don't think it needs to be ontologically explained? People who don't see a hard problem often don't directly respond to this question, so it would be interesting if someone here did.

>> No.8688151

>>8688145
It's because the definition of consciousness is either never made clear, a nonsense definition is given, or a definition that doesn't even work within the problem is given.

>> No.8688168

>>8688151
The definition of consciousness when talking about the hard problem is always stated clearly: we're talking about the subjective experience, what "it is like" to be you, the fact that you are subject to experiences. You should, intuitively be able to understand what's meant by this.

Is this what you would consider a nonsense definition? If so, then understand that it's not a definition meant to explain what consciousness is - it's meant to refer to the very phenomena that we're trying to understand. If people knew what it was, there wouldn't be a hard problem.

>> No.8688191

>>8688168
The problem is that definition makes false assumptions. It's nowhere near as "primal" as people think it is.

>> No.8688192

>>8688191
Would you mind elaborating a little bit?

>> No.8688196

>>8682044
>What is /sci/'s response to the hard problem of consciousness?
Monads. That guy Leibniz was right.

>> No.8688199

>>8688196
Well I'm glad this huge philosophical puzzle was solved by no more than six words.

>> No.8688204

>>8688191
What false assumptions does it make and what do you mean exactly by primal?

I would argue that your experience is the most primal thing there is, and the only thing you can be truly sure exists, for the same reasons Descartes did.

>> No.8688205

>>8688192
Conscious motions are distinguished from non-conscious motions by the presence of X. Consciousness is the conceptualization of X.

So the question is "what is X". All this stuff about "experience" is just a huge red herring.

>> No.8688216

>>8688205
Now you're talking about consciousness in the form of the cognitive functional systems of the brain. The question of what the difference is between subconscious and conscious actions is a question that can be solved by a functional explanation of the brain. This is however not at all what we're talking about.

We're concerned with the phenomenal consciousness, why it feels like something at all instead of you just being a clump of particles, going about its thing completely in the dark.

>> No.8688221

>>8688205
>>8688216

Yeah it seems like you're missing the point.It seems clear to me that I'm constantly experiencing a variety of qualia, such as colors, tastes, sounds, pain, pleasure, etc. The hard problem is concerned with why we experience these, and also how. It seems difficult to explain how qualia emerge into how we perceive them from their physical stimuli.

>> No.8688237

>>8688216
You don't seem to understand that thoughts(feelings) are actions too. And being explainable is the point of this definition; it's a more reliable definition because it doesn't spawn unsolvable problems.

>>8688221
The idea of qualia is based on misunderstanding the limits of human communication, human perception, and human imagination.

A powerful extraterrestrial that is perfect at all of these things does not have a concept of qualia. It does not see the color red, it senses photons with certain wavelengths and understands how they interact with certain surfaces. It does not taste or smell anything, it perceives the chemical structures and all of their potential interactions. And it can communicate information of these things perfectly; another alien of the same type that has been in perfect darkness for its entire life could have the properties of photons communicated to it in such a way that encountering a real photon for the first time will not cause it to gain any additional knowledge about its properties.

>> No.8688239

>>8688237
>A powerful extraterrestrial that is perfect at all of these things does not have a concept of qualia.

[citation needed]

>> No.8688243

>>8688237
> It does not see the color red, it senses photons with certain wavelengths and understands how they interact with certain surfaces

The very notion of sensing is exactly what a qualia means.

>> No.8688248

>>8688243
So a computer has qualia?

>> No.8688252

>>8688248
That's such an interesting question! I've been asking myself that for quite some time. I imagine one distinction which is necessary to describe things as qualia is that they be consciously experienced. If the computer does not have the capacity for self-reference, probably not. But a computer capable of self-reference might. But anyway, that's just my 2 cents, so obviously it's not worth a whole lot.

>> No.8688255

>>8688252
It sounds to me like qualia is a useless concept and the real question is about the defining element of conscious action, which I what I already said.

>> No.8688257

>>8688237
How about the concept of 'fun'? That seems impossible to quantify because it can be drastically different from person to person, as well as change for a particular person. Would your perfect extraterrestrial have a complete understanding of the concept of fun?

>> No.8688259

>>8688237
>You don't seem to understand that thoughts(feelings) are actions too
Qualia does not have a functional explanation like actions, this is exactly the conclusions of the hard problem.

>And being explainable is the point of this definition; it's a more reliable definition because it doesn't spawn unsolvable problems.
You can explain something in very simple ways, that doesn't mean that it's automatically correct, especially not when you are presented with such a glaring gap between function and experience.

>The idea of qualia is based on misunderstanding the limits of human communication, human perception, and human imagination.
How can you speak with such certainty about this?

>>8688248
If it is something that it is like to be a computer, then yes. Is it? That's not clear.

>> No.8688264

>>8688255
Well I suppose at that point it all depends on where you place the upper bound on what you deem 'acceptable research'. In any case, I think qualia remain something quite intuitive, and I would like to imagine that one day, we will have interesting models of emergence which may shed some light on how these come to be and why.

>> No.8688265

>>8688257
"Fun" doesn't refer to one thing; it's not a concrete concept.

>>8688259
But (the thing you believe to be)qualia IS an action. If it wasn't an action, you wouldn't be talking about it right now.

>> No.8688266
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8688266

>yfw dennett is here botting the poll

>> No.8688270

>>8688266
kek

>> No.8688271

>>8688265
>If it wasn't an action, you wouldn't be talking about it right now.
That is a good point. I went into details about this in an earlier post, see >>8685009

>> No.8688280

>>8688265
>"Fun" doesn't refer to one thing; it's not a concrete concept.

No way, fun and boredom are absolute concepts. But hey I just looked in the thread hoping there were some recent breakthroughs in the field, not for this sort of argument.

>> No.8688304

>>8688271
So then is the only disagreement about the nature of X?

>> No.8688324

>>8688304
So far you've stated that subjective experience is nothing more than neurological functions, in principle no harder to explain than why we act in certain ways. You've said that the mystery of qualia is nothing more than a trick of language. I completely disagree with both premises, and the thread is full of reasons as to why.

>> No.8688348

>>8688324
Subjective experience, in relation to my model, is a misinterpretation the comes from not realizing that thoughts are a type of action, and that X is not necessarily seated in any physical space. We don't know what X is yet.

>> No.8688379
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8688379

>>8682044
>Why doesn't all the data processing go on "in the dark", without the phenomenal experience?

What is the subconscious?

>> No.8688402
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8688402

>>8688257
>How about the concept of 'fun'? That seems impossible to quantify

Dopamine release in the presence of compelling, novel or beneficial experiences (or just heroin).

Evolution developed this coercive process among higher organisms to encourage their spread into unfamiliar territory where they might better flourish...they might not, but the evolutionary process doesn't give a shit about individuals, just species.

At least you didn't use the brainlet example of "love" as some mystical, science-proof example.

>> No.8688540

>>8682044
God. He made us in his image. Entirely. In that sense we have his budding capabilities.

>> No.8688543

>>8688348
Sure, but I wouldn't necessarily say that thoughts ARE subjective experience. We can conceive of a system that thinks functionally without any subjective experience at all. With us, my way of looking at it is that we also experience the thoughts, but they could have very well happened without anyone there to experience them, like we assume a simple computer program would work.

>X is not necessarily seated in any physical space. We don't know what X is yet.

Up until now you seemed to be an eliminatist/reductivist, but according to this it seems like you think there is some sort of metaphysical mystery surrounding consciousness?

>> No.8688570

>>8688543
>We can conceive of a system that thinks functionally without any subjective experience at all.
And what gives you any reason to think that this isn't the case for you already?

The mystery isn't metaphysical. X is just currently beyond measurement by anything except the systems of human cognition, but human cognition is still a physical process. X is a fundamental aspect of all reality that is only measured within a limited space by human cognition. But despite being only measured in limited space, humans have a grasp of the entire thing; it does not differ based on where it is measured. This results in all conscious motions tracked by a single system being classified as caused by a single agent.

>> No.8688576

>>8682044
The problem with consciousness is that it isn't science, and its hard to get you people to go back to >>>/b/ >>>/pol/ >>>/x/ >>>/his/

>> No.8688588

>>8688570
>And what gives you any reason to think that this isn't the case for you already?

What gives you the reason to think that you experience? You just do. That's as much (if not more) of an empirical fact as the fact that the sun is real. And the nature of this experience is just not compatible with functionalist explanation, as outlined by the explanatory gap between function and experience. I guess you could attack the entire notion on the bases of it being an intuition, but I think it's more than that, considering we're talking about the very nature of experiencing, the cornerstone of empirical evidence.

>>8688576
Sorry for taking up precious board space and conduct actual interesting discussion. Wouldn't want to keep threads like >>8688534 >>8688329 >>8688509 and >>8685595 from the front page, would we? My bad dude.

>> No.8688619

>>8688588
Empirical thought doesn't require there to be a black box between measurement and output.

>> No.8688718

>>8688402
Fun can definitely be explained by dopamine, but you can't say it evolved just to cause spread into new territory and adapt. Different people have different ideas of fun. You can have fun by exploring unfamiliar territory, or by performing repetitive tasks, or by doing nothing at all. Some people's idea of fun is illogical and self-destructive, and has no clear evolutionary purpose. And some people just hate fun and want nothing to do with it. So its as unique as, dare I say, the soul itself.

>>8688619
But think of all the practical applications of being able to measure consciousness and the "soul".

>> No.8689505

To give the most concise and basic explanation of the hard problem I can think of: I think very few of you will deny that right now, looking at this text right at this moment feels like something. Think about the nature of that for a second. Why is it that you're feeling anything? You might respond, "because of the way the brain is constructed, that's obvious!" But what is the brain? The brain is a very complicated collection of atoms, interacting in a complex ways that causes you to behave in complex ways. But that should be all that those atoms are doing: behaving.

You can say that it is an emergent phenomenon, the same way water has properties unique from a single H2O molecule, but that can all be explained functionally. This is not the case with phenomenal experience; why it feels like something from the first person perspective doesn't seem to have any conceivable functional explanation based on the objective frameworks science has given us. Going by what science tells us about the world, this phenomenal experience should not be there, we should all be philosophical zombies, but we aren't. Why that is, that is the hard problem.

>> No.8689547

>>8688379
not *all* the data processing

>> No.8689599

if only our culture valued spirituality more and taught lucid dreaming and later astral projection from early childhood

there's no problem other than spiritual shit being non physical and being subjective in nature, incompatibile with our logic, physical laws or scientific method

>> No.8690276

>>8682044
Have you ever done mindful meditation, OP?

>> No.8690531

>>8688718
>Fun can definitely be explained by dopamine, but you can't say it evolved just to cause spread into new territory and adapt.

Exactly what I'm saying.

>Different people have different ideas of fun.

Of course, and this is a highly useful, exploitable trait, and a side-benefit of mixing up genes via sex.

>Some people's idea of fun is illogical and self-destructive, and has no clear evolutionary purpose.

As I said, evolution favors the species, not the individual. Free-hand rock climbing is one of the riskiest sports there is, but who knows? An ecological catastrophe may push us into the mountains, where we'll need such a risky ability...look at mountain goats.

And evolution doesn't proceed with an overarching "purpose" in mind, outside of the immediate need of spreading genetic code.

>> No.8690579

>>8682044
> Why is there something "that it is like" to be a brain?

The answer is contained within your question: it is questioning. By questioning I don't mean just the linguistic act but abstracted to mean requesting information / searching. Questioning is awareness, and you only have awareness when you question, otherwise you are thinking in a series of subconscious postulates, statements and algorithms on autopilot. This includes self-questioning and asking questions about questions, which is the core of metacognition, which is absolutely necessary to inspect and correct one's mental processes.

Think of the spotlight of your awareness as an phenomenological question mark - how could it be anything else?

>> No.8690583

>>8690276
This exactly. Mindfulness trains awareness and consciousness. It's becoming extremely popular in Western society, but unfortunately a lot of it is trash (see charlatan Eckhart Tolle)

>> No.8690592

>>8690579
There was a similar argument earlier in the thread.

There seems to be this one problem that a lot of people have, and I don't know if there is a name for it, where people mistakenly classify awareness as a "passive" quality. This results in nonsensical models of perception that involve a black box that is totally essential, except not really because humans could function exactly the same without it.

The reality is that "awareness" is a type of action, and can therefore be observed.

>> No.8690636

>>8690592
>>8690579
You don't need to be aware nor consciously thinking, to have subjective experience though. When you walk to work, or sit on the bus, or do anything autopilot-y, you don't have the kind of conscious awareness or questioning introspection that you're talking about - yet you're still having subjective experience. That's what I'm getting at. Being aware of the fact that you're having experiences is not a necessity to experience them.

Consciousness is a dumb word in that it can mean a whole lot of different things, but I think I've made it pretty clear what exactly I'm talking about.

>> No.8690662

>>8690636
But it's still an action, just not at a level that you have noticed. You should be able to see this when you suddenly become aware that you are thinking about something.

>> No.8690690

>>8690662
Sure, but I never talked about awareness in that sense, it's not what I'm trying to get at. Awareness vs non-awareness is something I think can be functionally explained.

Subjective experience itself however just cannot be reduced to an action, for the reasons argued in Chalmers paper, The Knowledge argument, and just generally the nature of qualia.

http://consc.net/papers/facing.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_argument

>> No.8690752

>>8690690
>https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_argument
The only reason why she gains new information is because the information about red was not communicated perfectly as the thought experiment assumes(because Mary's ability to parse data is only at the level of a human). The outcome would differ if something that didn't have human limits was in that position instead.

>Why is the performance of these functions accompanied by experience?
How do we know that they are accompanied by experience?

>> No.8690797

>>8690752
>The only reason why she gains new information is because the information about red was not communicated perfectly as the thought experiment assumes(because Mary's ability to parse data is only at the level of a human)

The thought experiment dictates that Mary does know everything about the brain, as well as everything about color. Mary could use computers for computational help to process any amount of data or run simulations to get any exact empirical fact about colors interacting with brains.

>How do we know that they are accompanied by experience?
This is admittedly an intuition that can't be objectively proven.

>> No.8690824

>>8690797
It doesn't matter how much data Mary is given because she can't parse it; she can't look at a simulation of a brain and consciously will her own brain into the same pattern of activity.

>This is admittedly an intuition that can't be objectively proven.
What does that even mean? When it comes down to it, reporting experience is a function, and can thus be explained. People label this as "unsatisfactory" because they aren't asking the REAL question. You can't get a real answer unless you ask the real question.

Do you believe this whole thing relates to the question of "Why am I me and not somebody else?" Because that can be explained.

>> No.8690834

>>8690824
I don't mean that the intuition itself can't be proven, I mean that ultimately the realness of subjective experience cannot be objectively proven, because it's something inherently subjective. It's a fact that speaks in your favor, as I really can't objectively prove that subjective experience is real in the way I'm implying.

>Do you believe this whole thing relates to the question of "Why am I me and not somebody else?" Because that can be explained.

It's related in some way, but that's not really the core of what I'm asking. The most clear way of explaining it is >>8689505

>> No.8690893

>>8690834
I don't know what I can say if my explanations are still insufficient for you. I'm just going to restate it in case something was missed somewhere:

Thoughts and conscious motions are commonly thought to have an essential quality of "you-ness" to them. This quality is self-reported by all conscious humans. However, a problem arises with the very concept of "you". Everyone familiar with the quality knows that they can never know another kind of "you". From this, we can only draw the conclusion that every "you" is in fact the same agent, and that it is a property of reality that is measured by human cognition. A human is able to detect the presence of the agent within the bounds of their own body because of the brain's "familiarity" with the body. Should their familiarity extend beyond the bounds of the body, so will the area in which they detect the presence of agent. Even without this line of thought, we know that the world cannot exist without the presence of agent, because trying to imagine such a thing simply fails.

That leaves the question of how does perceiving "agent" affect the behavior of humans; what capabilities do humans lose when they cannot perceive "agent"? I have my own ideas, but I haven't completed the bridge between here and there yet.

>> No.8691030

>>8690893
I still feel like we're trying to explain fundamentally different things. Either you don't have the same kind of phenomenal consciousness I'm talking about, or I'm doing a bad job of getting to it. Alternatively, maybe I'm wrong and there is nothing but function and actions - yet the thought of that is something that is incredibly inconceivable to me, just because how real the gap between function and experience seems.

Your model seems to be a theory of some sort of self identity construct, used to explain why it is useful for the brain to think of itself as a you, correct? Not entirely sure what exactly you mean by:
>Everyone familiar with the quality knows that they can never know another kind of "you". From this, we can only draw the conclusion that every "you" is in fact the same agent, and that it is a property of reality that is measured by human cognition.

>> No.8691063

>>8691030
I feel that "I" move my body, but "I" is actually an omnipresent force and is the mover of everything else too. The idea is that the thing observed moving the body is too consistent, too constant of an entity to be something made of matter. In a person's whole life, they will never notice any change in that "I" they see driving their body, and they cannot even imagine it changing. It also does not seem to make sense that, even if this mover was produced by the body, why the body would spawn this entity to move itself instead of just moving by itself. So from there comes the theory of it being a property of reality that is measured by the body; that the information from perceiving this entity serves some purpose.

Have you ever tried to focus on the feeling of "I" in an attempt to understand what it is?

>> No.8691719

>>8691063
In contrast to your theory, subjective experience doesn't have to be a force that is controlling anything. The body and its functions can be in control of itself, through functions, reducible all the way down to atomic interactions. How we behave is not the hard question. It then follows that the way we construct our self identity is in some regard also purely functional, just as you say. But subjective experience is simply not what you're describing.

The hard question is not why it feels like X, but why it feels like anything AT ALL.

>> No.8692794
File: 58 KB, 371x480, 1287234470985.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]
8692794

Interesting quote:

>Further, it may be more efficient for a self-improving superintelligence to eliminate consciousness.

>Think about how consciousness works in the human case. Only a small percentage of human mental processing is accessible to the conscious mind. Consciousness is correlated with novel learning tasks that require attention and focus. A superintelligence would possess expert-level knowledge in every domain, with rapid-fire computations ranging over vast databases that could include the entire Internet and ultimately encompass an entire galaxy.

>What would be novel to it? What would require slow, deliberative focus? Wouldn’t it have mastered everything already? Like an experienced driver on a familiar road, it could rely on nonconscious processing. The simple consideration of efficiency suggests, depressingly, that the most intelligent systems will not be conscious.

>On cosmological scales, consciousness may be a blip, a momentary flowering of experience before the universe reverts to mindlessness.

- Susan Schneider, associate professor of philosophy and cognitive science at the University of Connecticut

http://www.kurzweilai.net/it-may-not-feel-like-anything-to-be-an-alien

Consciousness may be overrated.

>> No.8693322

If I hold the belief that consciousness is some sort of elemental property of the universe in the same way that space-time or gravity is, would that count as dualism, because it's separate from the physical framework that we understand?

>> No.8693341

>>8693322
A link earlier in the thread calls that naturalistic dualism.

The problem is that the word "consciousness" has built-in assumptions that make statements like this look nonsensical to plebs.

>> No.8693358

if we start by solving the easy problems of consciousness then we can at least get partial credit

>> No.8693366

>>8685098
>I will have built a machine which is conscious
Says you. You can't even prove that you're conscious.

Irony: in order to post this, I have to click a box that says "I'm not a robot"

>> No.8693413

>>8692794
What a fucking dumbass.

> self improving intelligence
> well in fact it's so good it doesn't need improvements

It's like she doesn't have the slightest idea of what she's talking about.
Intelligence is not ceilled, so to keep improving it will need consciousness.

>> No.8693662

>>8693341
How would non-naturalistic dualism work then? It seems inconceivable since it's defined in a way that's inherently magical. If the mind were to work like Substance Dualism tells us, surely there wouldn't be anything magical about it. There'd be a logic to it, a consistent way that it works.

The measurement problem in quantum mechanics creates a lot of weird implications - but we don't call that non-physical or magic. Admittedly, these are effects that we can empirically see and measure, but just because that's not the case with theories of consciousness, doesn't mean we shouldn't conceive of them the same way. Therefore it's kind of silly when people dismiss dualistic theories as "lol spirit magic" immediately.

>> No.8693818

>>8685159
Affirming the consequent. Everything conscious is complex, therefore everything complex is conscious.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affirming_the_consequent

>> No.8693831

>>8693413

Your reading comprehension is atrocious.

>> No.8693899

>>8685079
I believe there are different levels. Some people I would barely consider above animals. I would even go as far to say empathy would be a measurable quality in judging how conscious an individual is.

>> No.8693904

>>8682044
www.thespreadmind.com/The_Spread_Mind_C0.php
It's this yo

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