Sunday School

Sunday School August 14th 2022

This topic contains 32 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  jakelafort 1 month, 1 week ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 33 total)
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  • #44186

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    OK, so I can observe your neural activity while you experience consciousness, but so what? That’s what we do already. You don’t need to be related to through observation in order to be conscious, except by your own brain.

    #44187

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Autumn i agree you have understood the article.

    You wrote: In order to measure consciousness, we similarly require that relativistic framework to clock what 110km/h actually means in cognitive terms.

    That is the part i can’t come to terms..just does not make sense to me

    #44188

    Autumn
    Participant

    I may be straying outside the article a bit, but try to imagine consciousness as a happening rather than an object or a byproduct of objects. That happening—consciousness—is something responsive to its environment, so as it continually responds and builds itself, it’s shaping itself.

    Now imagine a process such as running 10km/h (yeah, I am sticking with motion analogies). That’s the process, but imagine we tried to decipher how that process exists just by looking at physiology. What does the physical structure of running 10kmh look like? We may come up with some consistent observations about structures relating to muscles, lungs, circulation, motor function (etc.) but it might not be enough to let us know what a 10kmh-runner looks like. Someone who lived their whole life 1m above sea-level won’t look the same as someone who lived their whole life at 1000m above sea-level. A comparison may yield the impression that one individual is a runner at or above threshold while the other is at best a jogger or fast walker sub-threshold.

    Now, I am pretty sure my analogy doesn’t quite fit. The point is, if we aren’t looking at the phenomenon of consciousness as something relativistic, then we might not understand what meat-hardware looks like producing the effect of consciousness or emotion or other cognitive functions. We may have a rough idea, but we’ll always hit a barrier at connecting the machinery, the mechanisms, and the actual event of consciousness.

    #44191

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Autumn i understand your explanation. I know what you mean. Wait…no WAIT.

    There is no way for me to have a handle on your consciousness. How could i know whether i have digested what you intended to convey? Even if i am super acute in metacognition that will not assure me that i know exactly what you mean to convey.

    I am not denying and in fact am affirming that external conditions will alter consciousness. I just do not see how the relativistic model of consciousness will advance our prima facie understanding of consciousness.

    If and when we get to that point or AI gets to it then it seems that relativistic variation is relevant.

    #44192

    Autumn
    Participant

    Because it would allow researchers to create a more accurate model of where consciousness exists or where the minimum threshold lies. It would provide context to differentiate the cognitive walkers, joggers, and runners based on the event of consciousness rather than assuming a constancy that doesn’t make sense.

    #44193

    jakelafort
    Participant

    I reread it.

    Yuck. Unsupported conclusions and nonsequiturs are not gonna persuade me. There is a relativistic perspective for everything except for the recent discovery of time crystals. We got that from Einstein. That does nothing to advance or explain consciousness. It is not the lead in. It is not the first step.

    #44194

    Autumn
    Participant

    I think you’re misrepresenting what the article states and what it’s attempting to account for. While I’m not that invested in the hypothesis being true or not, it’s an interesting notion.

    #44195

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Gotta go through Newton before you get to Einstein.

    #44196

    Autumn
    Participant
    #44197

    jakelafort
    Participant
    #44201

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Thank you for your explanation Autumn. I admit I still don’t quite get it, but I’ll keep trying.

    It raises the issue of how relational we human beings are in many ways.  I.e., in identity (I exist in the minds of others), in reasoning (I need to explain to others), self-esteem (depends partly on others’ opinions or treatment), and morality (achieving normative goals socially).  It demonstrates what it means to be a social species.

    #44207

    Autumn
    Participant

    To be honest, I’m not entirely sure I grasp it either. I think I inserted some concepts mostly because the idea was interesting as a thought experiment for me. I vaguely get what the author was going for.

    #44213

    #44235

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Autumn thanks for that link on Consciousness. Skimmed it. Was much better reading from the horse’s mouth. And i agree it is an interesting hypothesis.

    #44242

    Unseen
    Participant

    Maybe “What is consciousness?” is unsolvable because it’s not a scientific question.

    There are many questions to which we do not have scientific answers, not because they are deep, impenetrable mysteries, but simply because they are not scientific questions. These include questions about love, art, history, culture, music-all questions, in fact, that relate to the attempt to understand ourselves better. There is a widespread feeling today that the great scandal of our times is that we lack a scientific theory of consciousness. And so there is a great interdisciplinary effort, involving physicists, computer scientists, cognitive psychologists and philosophers, to come up with tenable scientific answers to the questions: what is consciousness? What is the self? One of the leading competitors in this crowded field is the theory advanced by the mathematician Roger Penrose, that a stream of consciousness is an orchestrated sequence of quantum physical events taking place in the brain. Penrose’s theory is that a moment of consciousness is produced by a sub-protein in the brain called a tubulin. The theory is, on Penrose’s own admission, speculative, and it strikes many as being bizarrely implausible. But suppose we discovered that Penrose’s theory was correct, would we, as a result, understand ourselves any better? Is a scientific theory the only kind of understanding?  

    Source for the above: Wittgenstein’s forgotten lesson

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