Author Topic: Consciousness and thoughts  (Read 12146 times)

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February 23, 2016, 02:03:44 PM
Reply #15

Mind_Bender

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Well, here's another bit of totally unsubstantiated, unscientific information to throw into the mix- but it's this sort of thing that makes me think that thoughts might exist outside of the brain:

I have hives. I hate going to the doctor, if I can avoid it. I was going to google on "natural antihistamines", but then something came up and I forgot about it. I did not Google at all. A few hours later, I was looking for something totally unrelated on Amazon (lipstick in fact, so genuinely not related in any way). And it kept recommending quercetin to me. Every damn page was flashing quercetin. I'd never even heard of quercetin before, and the product page gave no clues as to why anyone would want it. So I googled it, and ... quercetin is a natural antihistamine.

I know, I know, could be coincidence. But this kind of thing happens so often, it sort of suggests that the thought, "must find natural antihistamine" was existing somewhere outside of my brain. And if it had been a human that suddenly felt compelled to tell me about quercetin rather than an Amazon bot, would the idea have come from my brain or theirs?

I see it as the thought existed in your mind-brain, but because you needed an antihistamine your will projected it, and according to the Law of Attraction (Abraham material) manifestation happens in the crack of least resistance. Using experience over science with magical connections, your need became an emotional link and that emotional link became a causal link leading to manifestation.

In meditation a few years back I discovered, at least for me, when performing manifesting magic need often comes before want - both are desires, but the emotion that is linked with need is often stronger than the emotion linked with want. Your need to get a job feels almost life threatening on a certain level, so the emotional output is high, in a magical sense, that life or death feeling creates a raw purity of magical force, where the desire to find a sexual partner may have emotional links, it is more of a sensual feeling over a high emotional drive. Your health may not be dire, but having hives I'm sure causes a strong emotional charge and a need for wholeness.
"Spirit is in a state of grace forever.
Your reality is only spirit.
Therefore you are in a state of grace forever."

"As relfections of the Source, we are little gods."

"...part of me doesn't want to believe that auto-eroticism while crushing on a doodle (sigil) could manifest a check in the mail box, but hey, it did."

"Everybody laughs the same language."

February 23, 2016, 02:04:03 PM
Reply #16

ActionOfAll

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Rayn: I already qualified my citation of Kant, as I am relying on Will Durant's sub 100 page exposition on the ideas of a man who wrote thousands of pages. Moreover, I don't even have the book anymore, so I'm relying purely on memory.

The goal which should be shared is to reduce the ambiguity as much as possible, and if not, don't talk about it.

You're not the only academic on this forum. I'm presenting at a conference in a few months... I'm the last one to suggest or support the disregarding of science - it's my field!

February 23, 2016, 02:29:58 PM
Reply #17

Mind_Bender

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Actually it isn't an appeal to authority, because I'm not claiming that what Kant says must be true. I was merely suggesting an alternative, whereas you were implying that we should accept the neurologist's assertions simply because they are a neurologist. Of course, being an expert makes an idea put forth by said expert more credible than a non-expert's assertions, but by itself it is insufficient (especially with a subject so disputed even within the neuroscientific community).

Neurologists spend their lifetimes in a laboratory studying the brain-consciousness connection, where philosophers simply philosophize about it, so yeah, I think it is appropriate to accept studies done by current scientists not long dead philosophers.

Also, your usage of sound is again incorrect, because your reasoning isn't valid. The conclusion that thoughts "stem" from the brain is not substantiated by correlational evidence. This evidence could equally suggest that the brain and the subjective experience of thoughts both arise as different extensions of some other "thing".

The term is used in the correct context because I am referring to the neurologists thorough and sensible studies of the human brain. Your disagreement with me has nothing to do with the usage of the term but with your disagreement.

Look back at the first set of quotes - thoughts arise because of three points of knowledge that emerge from the brains processing power. Our subjective views come from our thoughts about things, and once again, thoughts come from the three points of knowledge that come from the brains processing.

Honestly, I really don't now, but the neurological perspective makes the most sense to me. Consciousness is debated the world over by spiritual masters and scientific geniuses the world over and neither of us are going to accept the other's argument. And debates derail threads, which is lame.  :)
"Spirit is in a state of grace forever.
Your reality is only spirit.
Therefore you are in a state of grace forever."

"As relfections of the Source, we are little gods."

"...part of me doesn't want to believe that auto-eroticism while crushing on a doodle (sigil) could manifest a check in the mail box, but hey, it did."

"Everybody laughs the same language."

February 23, 2016, 03:17:31 PM
Reply #18

ActionOfAll

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There are plenty of currently-alive philosophers of mind and brain.

Moreover, the neuroscience field is heavily divided in terms of what the experts believe, which is why the reliance on their comments alone is insufficient; your conclusion would rely almost entirely (if not entirely) on whichever expert you chose to listen to that day.

Also, the term is not actually used in the correct context as I said, because once again, your conclusion does not follow from your premises...

" Look back at the first set of quotes - thoughts arise because of three points of knowledge that emerge from the brains processing power. Our subjective views come from our thoughts about things, and once again, thoughts come from the three points of knowledge that come from the brains processing."

Wow, that logic is just one big question begging Lol!

1. The brain has 3 points of knowledge
2. These three points of knowledge create thought
3. That the brain has 3 points of knowledge which create thought IS itself a thought
4. Therefore the thought comes from the brain because the brain creates 3 points of knowledge which creates thought

the conclusion is just the premises re-stated.

February 23, 2016, 07:13:02 PM
Reply #19

Steve

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Quote from: ActionOfAll
The notion that thoughts come from the brain is not definite or factual, as you two make it out to be. To say thoughts come from the brain is to suppose a causal link, yet then you cite mere correlational evidence. Furthermore, examine it in this way: What is a thought? Let's define it as non-physical experience.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsjDnYxJ0bo From 2011.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/01/mind-reading-brain-reconstruct-face_n_5049255.html From 2014. Great strides :)

You cited stuff from the 1960s. That's outdated and outmatched by modern research that can definitively provide a direct re-creation of human thoughts (they re-created visual thoughts for the time being, as that's probably the easiest to portray; I mean, after all, how do you portray a re-creation of the "thought" of a cat without the visuals?) :)

~Steve
« Last Edit: February 23, 2016, 07:29:09 PM by Steve »
Mastery does not occur when you've performed a feat once or twice. Instead, it comes after years of training, when you realize that you no longer notice when you're performing a feat which used to require so much effort. Even walking takes years of training for a human: why not everything else?

February 23, 2016, 09:03:10 PM
Reply #20

Rayn

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Moreover, the neuroscience field is heavily divided in terms of what the experts believe, which is why the reliance on their comments alone is insufficient; your conclusion would rely almost entirely (if not entirely) on whichever expert you chose to listen to that day.

Except within science, you get a convergence as more and more observations are made, so you really can't argue relativism. In other words, while what different experts say might be different, they are essentially referencing the sa
me thing and are dealing with empirical observations, so there is going to be a convergence that one does not see with philosophy due to an arbitrary nature. Pretty much, you are dealing with empirical observations where since the universe is not subjective, you will essentially get the same set of things for everyone. As you add more and more observations to the mix, you get a convergence which also starts to shrink your errors and inaccuracies. You pretty much are working from a set of axioms taken for granted where you are making deductions based on these axioms you take for granted. Science does not do this, and because science does not do this, you will get a convergence if everyone is pretty much working with approximately similar measurements in the same reality, and, from this, you construct a theory which then allows you to accurately make deductions. You pretty much are attempting to establish what is true and what is false from an arbitrary set of axioms. You've constructed an ontological model, yes; however, the ontological model has little epistemological justification(in fact Kant pretty much says the same thing, ironically, which is why he rejects the a priori epistemic usage of it in Critique of Pure Reason which is where you see him going on about things like causal behaviors and such). In your posts, you speak of the brain having extension and coherence. Extension and coherence are ontological properties and relationships where coherence pretty much are consistent relationships for a particular ontological language and extension refers to things which could be abstracted to the brain in terms of being a sufficient entity. 

Also, what you have gone into, so far, is Ontology. Ontology is a form of metaphysics which is not science, so, no, your field is not science.

Really understanding the nitty gritty of scientific things requires a good grasp of theory which kind of involves having a good grasp of math. This is in contrast to metaphysical models which just requires one have a good grasp on definitions, so I believe, because of this, your layperson is likely to drift towards the conceptual and philosophical aspects of things due to not really appreciating the theory that frames the science.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2016, 06:11:53 AM by Rayn »
Noein - A Resource on Psi, Science, and Philosophy
but sorcery refuses to be a metaphor for mere literature--it insists that symbols must cause events as well as private epiphanies. It is not a critique but a re-making. It rejects all eschatology & metaphysics of removal, all bleary nostalgia & strident futurismo, in favor of a paroxysm or seizure of presence.

February 24, 2016, 06:23:35 AM
Reply #21

ActionOfAll

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Quote from: ActionOfAll
The notion that thoughts come from the brain is not definite or factual, as you two make it out to be. To say thoughts come from the brain is to suppose a causal link, yet then you cite mere correlational evidence. Furthermore, examine it in this way: What is a thought? Let's define it as non-physical experience.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsjDnYxJ0bo From 2011.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/01/mind-reading-brain-reconstruct-face_n_5049255.html From 2014. Great strides :)

You cited stuff from the 1960s. That's outdated and outmatched by modern research that can definitively provide a direct re-creation of human thoughts (they re-created visual thoughts for the time being, as that's probably the easiest to portray; I mean, after all, how do you portray a re-creation of the "thought" of a cat without the visuals?) :)

~Steve

Once again, correlational evidence... I've seen that study (the actual study, not the pop-sci report of it ). The brain obviously has activities which correlate to subjective reports. Therefore, if someone has a person think of a large array of images, mapping these correlates. They can have the person think of an unknown image, and, using the previously stored correlates, construct a very accurate guess. This is in no way causation, and it's disappointing that it has been interpreted that way...

Rayn:

The empirical data can be interpreted via whichever dialectic that scientist operates within. Empirical data does in fact mean two different things to two different scientists. Of course there is convergence as the body of available data grows... But when scientists themselves begin to make metaphysical claims about their discoveries (which they do, even in the sense that they take positivism for granted) they are blurring the lines between philosophy and science. The claims about the nature of reality collected via third-person experimentation (empirical data) are ontological (obviously). The difference is that the typical scientist will take for granted such ontological beliefs, rather than critically examining them.

In so far as scientists make claims about what their empirical data means about reality, they are making metaphysical claims. This is what happens when discussions of consciousness occur. As such, the authority should be an expert in philosophy of science, not a scientist. A philosopher of science would examine, in a second-order fashion, the ways in which the scientist comes to know, and the ways in which these support (or not) ontological claims. A scientist operates within their respective dialectic (usually positivist), whereas the philosopher examines it.

The layperson may have the tendency to drift towards the conceptual, but the conceptual is not necessarily the philosophical. The philosophical requires the appreciation and command of a meta-methodology, which is a skill that requires the habitual learning of particular methods of analysis and formulas, as well as the development of a large body of knowledge, and finally, development of meta-cognitive habits in day-to-day thinking.

February 24, 2016, 08:06:25 AM
Reply #22

Steve

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Quote from: ActionOfAll
Once again, correlational evidence... I've seen that study (the actual study, not the pop-sci report of it ). The brain obviously has activities which correlate to subjective reports. Therefore, if someone has a person think of a large array of images, mapping these correlates. They can have the person think of an unknown image, and, using the previously stored correlates, construct a very accurate guess. This is in no way causation, and it's disappointing that it has been interpreted that way...
On the other hand, what's the evidence, not the philosophy, that says otherwise? After all, 1) the scientific advancements are still underway, and 2) causation is a subset of correlation (that has to be proven to a higher standard than correlation. In other words, what is seen as correlation now could turn into causation with more experiments and evidence).

Good reasoning would have us use less absurd rationale when trying to consider and explain things that haven't been proven yet. We currently have definitive evidence that shows we can see into the "minds" of people using purely physical instrumentation and methodologies. Ignoring that while trying to postulate an entire new set of physics, an entire new force, an entire new level of reality, or an entire new universe to try and explain how "mental stuff" is distinct from the brain... all of that is way overboard compared to what's necessary. Recognizing the very real and very simple possibility that the "mind" is just the complex actualization of the neural network of the brain, is far more rationale and reasonable (and far more likely).

I understand that a lot of metaphysical systems like to portray their stuff as being metaphysical, in other words outside the physical laws, but those concept are for ease of understanding rather than proper relation to the real world, and science has no reason to accept them at face value, especially when science can show that phenomenon do exist within the normal physical realm. For those abilities and phenomenon that haven't been shown to exist within the physical realm yet, those are still viewed by metaphysicalists as being metaphysical, but one day, with better experiments and stronger evidence, it might yet be proven that they are all purely and completely within the physical domain.

~Steve
Mastery does not occur when you've performed a feat once or twice. Instead, it comes after years of training, when you realize that you no longer notice when you're performing a feat which used to require so much effort. Even walking takes years of training for a human: why not everything else?

February 24, 2016, 09:10:31 AM
Reply #23

Rayn

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Once again, correlational evidence... I've seen that study (the actual study, not the pop-sci report of it ). The brain obviously has activities which correlate to subjective reports. Therefore, if someone has a person think of a large array of images, mapping these correlates. They can have the person think of an unknown image, and, using the previously stored correlates, construct a very accurate guess. This is in no way causation, and it's disappointing that it has been interpreted that way...

On the other hand, what's the evidence, not the philosophy, that says otherwise? After all, 1) the scientific advancements are still underway, and 2) causation is a subset of correlation (that has to be proven to a higher standard than correlation. In other words, what is seen as correlation now could turn into causation with more experiments and evidence).

Both of you are wrong... A correlation is pretty much a relationship, and a relationship, in that sense, is a function where there is some sort of variable difference unless you get something that is constant where something increases or decreases as a function of something. This makes it inappropriate to bring up causality or really say something like causality is a subset of a correlation, in that you really are dealing with what is on the right-hand side of an equation(if the expanded form is on the left) or inequality being a function of what is on the left in two-dimensions. In this sense, you would more appropriately state that neural connections are vectors of something like a motor signal in the motor cortex. That is how neuroscientists discuss the subject. Both of you are utilizing ontological terms where it is not warranted, and both of you are making psudeo-scientific arguments. It becomes a matter of temporal properties(speed for example) in respect to vectors acting as signalers and not so much the ontological properties of something, for it then simply becomes a matter of transduction. For example, I would not discuss temporal properties in terms of how something causes something else; rather, I would discuss something like the frequency of neural firing in respect to a signal. Causality is discussed in terms of a symmetry or asymmetry existing between the experience and the signaler of which neurons are a vector of. Sorry ActionofAll, anesthesia disrupts consciousness via disrupting/blocking those signals. In other words, the consciousness the brain produces is halted.   

Edit:

Steve an example of a set would be something like n ={1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9...}. These also would be your cardinal numbers. 1, for example, is a subset of n. There is really no cardinal property that would correspond to causality, so you can't really identify causality for an interval. An interval would pretty much be a set that includes something between the values specified, so the things in-between would be subsets of those intervals. For an interval, the mapping would be a range to domain. You have a range to a domain where these have intervals which are types of sets which possess no cardinality that is "causal". If I say there is a relationship between guns and gun violence, for example, you won't find any causal properties in the intervals within the mathematics used to formulate that relationship. The closet you can come to is defining an inequality relative to some discrete point that is ascribed as temporal in such a way that the set of inputs is constrained - that is called a causal function. Your causal axis would exists with something like t>0 where you can add other constraints via conjunctions for inequalities. Inequality symbols; however, are your relational operators, so can really only interpret there to be a causal property via a type of relationship. It isn't really a subset of anything; rather, it is interpreted from an interval. This means you can't say causality is a subset of a correlation.

See this:

Increasing and decreasing functions
   
Edit:

For those abilities and phenomenon that haven't been shown to exist within the physical realm yet, those are still viewed by metaphysicalists as being metaphysical, but one day, with better experiments and stronger evidence, it might yet be proven that they are all purely and completely within the physical domain.

Yes, like one day we'll find out fairies make flowers bloom, the moon is really made of cheese, and that Jesus Christ was at Wood Stock. Here is the thing, though, within an unbounded probability domain, these things could be true inductively; however, the chances are so infinitesimal prima facie that we can practically ignore the possibility abductively. In other words, by virtue of it possibly being true can you not reject something that as a measurable likelihood, for if you do this, you pretty much state that everything in science can be treated arbitrarily, which it is not.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2016, 01:47:24 PM by Rayn »
Noein - A Resource on Psi, Science, and Philosophy
but sorcery refuses to be a metaphor for mere literature--it insists that symbols must cause events as well as private epiphanies. It is not a critique but a re-making. It rejects all eschatology & metaphysics of removal, all bleary nostalgia & strident futurismo, in favor of a paroxysm or seizure of presence.

February 24, 2016, 11:13:11 AM
Reply #24

ActionOfAll

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Rayn, it's laughable that you don't see the mind-brain problem as ontological. It's also laughable that you don't see it as a problem of causation.

You submit that anesthesia disrupts consciousness. This implies a causal connection, where the neurological-signaling changes which take place in the brain are causally responsible for the loss of consciousness. You also, in the same response, deny any problem of causality. Yet there is a problem, because the first person experience of consciousness is fundamentally a different type of phenomenon than the neural signals. The neural signals are empirical, whereas the first person consciousness experience is not. From a behavioral-functional perspective, there would be no explanatory problem, because the person under anesthesia stops behaving (an empirical observation) and neural signals are also blocked (an empirical observation).

However, to submit that an empirical phenomenon is the cause of a characteristically non-empirical phenomenon, without also supplying us with any sort of explanation to bridge this causal gap, is to simply suggest that a miracle occurs. So here comes the question, Rayn: are you submitting, as the qualified scientist that you are, that it's simply by some miracle that the signaling interruptions caused by anesthesia are responsible for loss of first person consciousness?

February 24, 2016, 12:02:34 PM
Reply #25

Rayn

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Rayn, it's laughable that you don't see the mind-brain problem as ontological. It's also laughable that you don't see it as a problem of causation.

You submit that anesthesia disrupts consciousness. This implies a causal connection, where the neurological-signaling changes which take place in the brain are causally responsible for the loss of consciousness. You also, in the same response, deny any problem of causality. Yet there is a problem, because the first person experience of consciousness is fundamentally a different type of phenomenon than the neural signals. The neural signals are empirical, whereas the first person consciousness experience is not. From a behavioral-functional perspective, there would be no explanatory problem, because the person under anesthesia stops behaving (an empirical observation) and neural signals are also blocked (an empirical observation).

An example of a set would be something like x ={b,c,d, e} . You pretty much are attempting to establish identity via predication. In this example, we would say that b is a type of x where b would necessarily be a type of x and you are deducing that f is not included in x, so it can't be x. As I said, in my response, a correlation is a type of relation that would be handled with a function. An example of a linear function would be f(x)=x+1. This pretty much means that f(x) is dependent on whatever x is where there is a relationship between f(x) and x. I would not say that x causes f(x); rather, I would say f(x) is a function of x. A functional mapping of ontological extensions to its intensional terms, for example, would involve no causal relationships. Instead, we are saying there is a relationship between things where there exists a vector. The sets you end up dealing with are pretty much the values of the dimensions and the intervals of the domains. I am using something rather simplistic as a general example. To say it a different way, you would model an experience as a type of a curve. You would model it as a curve. One discrete experience would be different than another, so this is to say that we would have variable differences in experiences which would result in something like a curve. If we look at one section of this curve, an interval, we would get some type of relation(albeit not a linear one). The point I am making is that you could not define an experience via predication in that the experience would be more or a curve, and for this curve, you have relations and correlations. If I asked you to draw me a rectangle, defining a rectangle would not draw it and pointing to objects which would be a rectangle would not draw it; rather, the rectangle would be drawn from vectors where the relational aspects of those vectors would draw that object. You are disregarding what Steve has to say because it is relational; however, experience is pretty much relational the same way that the vectors of a rectangle are relational to one another. In terms of a function, you don't so much say cause and effect as much as increasing and decreasing. That was what I meant by causality. You automatically jumped to causality when you heard correlation; however, correlations can show symmetrical and periodic relationships without ever appealing to causality, because not all correlations have to do with cause and effect concepts. Things analogous to a temporal domain can be derived from a periodic function.

An example of how you would model experience, in terms of a neural network, is down below. I rendered that from using a Hermite polynomial(8x^3-12x).
Hermite polynomials can be used in neural networks in terms of their activation. You also see them in systems psychology. You can use Hermite polynomials when one discusses visual encoding patterns, for example.



This shows a curve of experience intersecting with a periodic function. The periodic function is derived from a trigonomic function, cosine. It is not derived from intrinsically temporal or causal properties:

 

The underlying point I am making, though, is how you are attempting to model it is woefully incorrect. By the way, mathematics is metaphysical and not empirical.

The point is that you are doing brain={} where experiences don't have the same type as the brain, when in reality, it is more or less something like what I posted above which allows you to see relationships regardless of "type" where you actually see something analogous to brain waves. When you use functions instead of sets of terms, you see how experience and brain waves are very similar in that you get something that exhibits periodicity in terms of a total system(you can get intersections). Really cause and effect are meaningless if something is perfectly symmetrical. To explain what I mean, say I have a circle with perfectly symmetrical colored patterns all around where one lit up at a time in a linear sequence. If you recorded this and hit rewind where it went backwards at the same speed, it would look the same as if it were not being rewound. You would not be able to tell when it started and when it ended or what caused what because you have something symmetrical. There is really nothing when one talks about time that demands it only go forward; rather, that is a causal assumption that physics make in order to make life simpler. The reason why time goes forward and not back really has to do with things like entropy, the speed of light, etc., but there is nothing in the fundamental nature of time that says it must go in that direction which kind of throws a kink into how you are using causality in that it is an assumption that kind of goes away if something has a symmetrical topology. Causality is not intrinsic to time. In your responses, you presuppose that having a temporal domain implies causality when causality is not intrinsic to a temporal domain in that its direction is due to things besides time, for if you can hit the rewind button and have thoughts produce the signaling of the neurons via cause and effect being reversed, it makes that property meaningless. However, what is preserved are the symmetry of the relationships in terms of correlations. The idea of a cause is that an effect cannot precede its cause in such a way that you have a one way flow, but you only have to have that one way flow if it is asymmetrical and thus non-reversible. The reason why you can't hit the rewind button is because you would end up with a greater degree of organization in a direction it should not thermodynamically; therefore, causality is intertwined with physical statistical laws; however, there is the possibility of an allowable violation. If I have red and blue marbles in a box, the idea is that they are going to mix if I shake it. By chance, though, I could end up with an arrangement of half on one side and half on another. When you scale that to the universe, the time it takes would be way after the universe would be dead for that to happen. The point, though, is that it is not an intrinsic property of time; rather, it is a property of matter and energy and information. I can say that a property of energy is that it doesn't go backwards; however, that is not to say this is a property of time; rather, it happens with respect to time. Quantum Field Theory, for example, works backwards and forwards in time in such a way that information is conserved. This merely means that if it were possible to rewind the universe, you would get a complete description in reverse. From this, you can pretty much derive that what we think of cause as effect in terms of a causal arrow is merely just information.

So here comes the question, Rayn: are you submitting, as the qualified scientist that you are, that it's simply by some miracle that the signaling interruptions caused by anesthesia are responsible for loss of first person consciousness?

I am saying that a correlation is just a mapping of a codomain to a domain. Pretty much something like f: X->Y. This does not mean that X causes Y; rather, this simply means that for a Y value there is an X value where X and Y have some sort of relationship. Steve said something about causality being a subset. That is just wrong, because causality is simply an asymmetrical relationship. You would have no such thing in that set; rather, the asymmetry is interpreted to be causal. In terms of neural networks, you do treat something analogous to experience as a vector. You can't have the experience of seeing, for example, if you have no eyes and you can't have the experience of taste if there is no tongue. You can pretty much think of these sensations as being a set of inputs for a range of experience, so you can think of experience as being a continuous series of little inputs and outputs like that. 
« Last Edit: February 26, 2016, 06:13:46 AM by Rayn »
Noein - A Resource on Psi, Science, and Philosophy
but sorcery refuses to be a metaphor for mere literature--it insists that symbols must cause events as well as private epiphanies. It is not a critique but a re-making. It rejects all eschatology & metaphysics of removal, all bleary nostalgia & strident futurismo, in favor of a paroxysm or seizure of presence.

February 26, 2016, 03:02:12 PM
Reply #26

Steve

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Rayn
Quote from: Steve
causation is a subset of correlation (that has to be proven to a higher standard than correlation. In other words, what is seen as correlation now could turn into causation with more experiments and evidence).
Quote from: Rayn
Both of you are wrong... A correlation is pretty much a relationship, and a relationship, in that sense, is a function where there is some sort of variable difference unless you get something that is constant where something increases or decreases as a function of something.
Actually, what I said is not wrong, Rayn.

All causations are correlations that have one additional piece of information; the linking mechanism. If you have a causation, and then remove the knowledge of the linking mechanism, you still tend to have a strong positive correlation. You cannot have a causality without a correlation, and all information found in the correlation of that same causality is also found in the causality itself, ergo causality is a subset of a correlation. Squares and rectangles.

I do agree that causality is not the important thing in this topic, of whether the mind is distinct from the brain and how it is distinct from the brain, however. After all, it doesn't matter when the scientists can literally subvert the entire topic by simply reading a person's brain and showing that thoughts exist within the brain, where we still have no evidence that a mind supposedly exists apart from the brain.

Quote from: Rayn
Yes, like one day we'll find out fairies make flowers bloom, the moon is really made of cheese, and that Jesus Christ was at Wood Stock. Here is the thing, though, within an unbounded probability domain, these things could be true inductively; however, the chances are so infinitesimal prima facie that we can practically ignore the possibility abductively. In other words, by virtue of it possibly being true can you not reject something that as a measurable likelihood, for if you do this, you pretty much state that everything in science can be treated arbitrarily, which it is not.
Wow, and here I thought after a few days you'd have realized how stupid that was and removed it. Oh well. For ease of reference, let me quote what I said that prompted your response:
Quote from: Steve
For those abilities and phenomenon that haven't been shown to exist within the physical realm yet, those are still viewed by metaphysicalists as being metaphysical, but one day, with better experiments and stronger evidence, it might yet be proven that they are all purely and completely within the physical domain.
There's really nothing wrong with what I said that should draw such a poor reference to fairies making flowers bloom; in fact, that's the exact kind of superstitious nonsense that science originally sprang up to kill. And science has done a good job doing so purely within the physical domain. Doesn't mean that the whole world is necessarily physical, but the so-called evidence that psi might be non-physical (primarily, I assume, your beliefs regarding ITCC?) aren't necessarily what they seem either; in other words, your apt for inferencing might be, instead, jumping to unwarranted conclusions (do you know what the difference between "an inference" and "jumping to a conclusion" is? It's whether you still hold open the doors of other possibilities, or whether you decide to prematurely close them in favour of your favoured belief).


ActionofAll
As I said above to Rayn, I don't think the causality is what matters here. We have people who've definitively looked into the brain activity of humans, and reproduced the thoughts that were found there. Certainly, they've only reproduced the simpler kinds of "sensory thoughts", and even then only for one of the senses for now, and not the more complex types of conceptual thoughts that people can have, but once again there isn't any evidence suggesting that we have a mind as distinct from a brain. But since you're talking a Philosophical slant on this rather than an Empirical Evidence slant, I'll respond mostly from that direction.

Mind-as-distinct-from-brain.
This is what you're proposing in order to argue that thoughts might emerge initially from the mind and then become represented in the brain. So far no evidence of such, yet still it is proposed as a thing to ponder over, since ancient times. It's a nice mental exercise, but we would be remiss to not mention the other possible view (than the one already mentioned).

You seem to take a top-down ideology, where the mind/consciousness exists first and it then somehow communicates itself to the brain. Hence the analogy someone else made about radio waves; if the consciousness is the radio antenna that produces the waves, and the brain is the radio in your car that picks up the radio waves and play them, then turning off the radio in the car merely seems to stop the radio waves in the air that were produced by the radio antenna. This is one way to look at it... except where would the mind or consciousness reside? An entirely new level of reality? At Tom and Dot's Diner in Milwaukee? What's it been doing the whole billions of years that existed prior to your physical body existing, or did it only come into existence at about the same time as your body? Is your physical body only picking up a tiny fraction of a much grander consciousness? What exactly causes this previously disconnected consciousness to attach itself to your physical body such that it would want to communicate via your brain? There's a lot of unanswered questions regarding the consciousness-first side of mind-as-distinct-from-brain ideologies, and as such adhering to the concept, rather than merely contemplating or debating it, would almost appear more as an exercise in Religion than in Philosophy.

The bottom-up ideology would be more where science comes in. Science holds, for instance, that all life on earth used to be incredibly simplistic single celled organisms, and that it grew more complex from there; that complexity grew from simplicity. We have many simple things still in the world today, and then we have a few extra-ordinarily complex things in the world such as brains. From studying other brains and the mental capabilities of other creatures, we can pretty definitively show a correlation between brain complexity and intellectual capacity. Now, to be sure, even simple brains from tiny organisms that are limited in the number of neural pathways that could be produced, can still produce some amazingly intelligent workings; bees and ants and their societies, for instance. However, even from this point of view, the mind-as-distinct-from-brain has never been shown to exist, but if a person were to continue pondering the idea anyway, the brain-first-then-mind ideology would be something like the brain creating an "aura"-like presence that we could call the mind, in much the same way that electrons create an electromagnetic field. The benefit of this way of looking at it is that it can still fit with the scientific understandings that we have so far found in neurology.

Now, back to the thing you said about "characteristically non-empirical phenomenon": this isn't necessarily true. The human brain is incredibly complex, as someone pointed out the number of potential neural pathways and whatnot, and there's a lot of different aspects that go into the human brain, to the point where neurologists are still learning a lot each year; remember that the neurological field(s) is still in it's child stages, and as it progresses more and more it will discover more and more information and reveal the truths behind more and more mysteries. And consciousness is certainly a mystery; as I said before with the psi abilities, it might end up being that consciousness exists outside the physical domain, but we still have so much left to test and search out that it's far to early to definitively say such a thing, especially when the possibility of the consciousness being seated very firmly within the brain is still a very solid possibility.

~Steve
« Last Edit: February 26, 2016, 03:12:21 PM by Steve »
Mastery does not occur when you've performed a feat once or twice. Instead, it comes after years of training, when you realize that you no longer notice when you're performing a feat which used to require so much effort. Even walking takes years of training for a human: why not everything else?

February 26, 2016, 05:42:15 PM
Reply #27

ActionOfAll

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I haven't read Steve's post yet because frankly I'm too tired, but Rayn, I really appreciated that explanation and I appreciate you pointing out that implicit assumption in my reasoning.

That's why I love these debates; they keep me in check!

February 26, 2016, 06:52:53 PM
Reply #28

Rayn

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Rayn
Quote from: Steve
causation is a subset of correlation (that has to be proven to a higher standard than correlation. In other words, what is seen as correlation now could turn into causation with more experiments and evidence).
Quote from: Rayn
Both of you are wrong... A correlation is pretty much a relationship, and a relationship, in that sense, is a function where there is some sort of variable difference unless you get something that is constant where something increases or decreases as a function of something.
Actually, what I said is not wrong, Rayn.

All causations are correlations that have one additional piece of information; the linking mechanism. If you have a causation, and then remove the knowledge of the linking mechanism, you still tend to have a strong positive correlation. You cannot have a causality without a correlation, and all information found in the correlation of that same causality is also found in the causality itself, ergo causality is a subset of a correlation. Squares and rectangles.

I can point to 1 and say this is a subset of n. I can point to 1.5 and say it is a subset of R. You can't point to causality and say it is a subset of n or R; therefore, you can't say causality is a subset of correlations because there is no place you would include it in the interval. You can only bijectively map the entities that are said to have causal relationships. To be frank, I am sick of ontological debates where people throw around the words causal, subset, cause, and effect in vague, incorrect, and meaningless ways. Relations have intervals. Causality is not a subset of those intervals.

Causality is not a cardinal number. If I have n, we can write it as n={0,1,2,3,,4,5,6,7,8,9...}. We cannot; however, write it as n={0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, causality...}. This means that causality is not a subset of n and therefore is not cardinal. When discussing cause and effect for systems, one utilizes what is called a causal function. A causal function is a function in which the outputs are constrained to past and present inputs(it does not include future samples). An example of this would be y(t)=x(t-4). This means that the output will give you something that happened 4 units ago. Causality cannot be n, for example, because causality is not a subset of it. This function has a particular interval where the value would be a subset if a real number; R. Again, causality is not a subset of R. If I look at an interval for a causal function, I'll see R. Since causality is not a subset of R, you cannot say that causality is a subset for a correlation. The mathematical interpretation for causal would simply be a value that is not ahead of your input. I changed that example around to y(t)=x-(t), where t<0, you will get something that happened in the future, so it is a no longer causal. If you get a function like that in terms of a correlation, this means you have a correlation that cannot be interpreted to be causal. You are dealing with the real-number values of an input which are related to a variable. Steve, there is really nothing to argue. I mean -4 is a decreasing value, so if I have y(t)=x-(-4), I will get a positive 4 where 4 is an increased value than -4, so this means it is taking place 4 units ahead in a dimension. With y(t)=x(t-4), if t<0, you still get something that happened either at the same value or some units decreased. It gets more complicated when you get into time-variant and time-invariant, but the point is that causality is not a subset of these intervals in that you get a subset of R which causality is not. Causality has no cardinality, so you can't really say it is a subset. You end up with an interval. Pretty much, if we are dealing with say units of time, you have an interval of time where the units included would be what is between that interval. If I say 10:00AM to 11:00AM, I am referring to a particular interval of time where it does not include anything after 11:00AM, at least. You can't look in that interval and see causality; rather, you can look in that interval and just say 10:30 comes after 11:00AM because I have to decrease 30 minutes to get from 11:00AM to 10:00AM. 30 is a cardinal and/or real number; however, causality is not. If you are dealing with non-numerical entities, for example, you would just map them bijectively in such a way that each non-numerical entity got a cardinal number of some sort which you then figure into a causal function. You still won't get causality as a subset of N or R. The math is pretty clear, so I don't know what the deal is. Also, correlations are mathematical relationships, so they pretty much obey mathematical principles. There is really no ambiguity. Really causal properties are said to come from an enumeration of a set; it is not something in the set; rather, it is said to be interpreted to be from the order of the set. People tend to assign causal powers to supersets; however, a superset only connotes the attributes of that set where causal properties would be from an enumeration of the extensional entities. The superset sets what is necessary; however, it says nothing of a causal relationship, because it only implies what is sufficient to go in that set. When you enumerate it, you get a bijective mapping, like I said above
« Last Edit: February 27, 2016, 06:31:13 AM by Rayn »
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but sorcery refuses to be a metaphor for mere literature--it insists that symbols must cause events as well as private epiphanies. It is not a critique but a re-making. It rejects all eschatology & metaphysics of removal, all bleary nostalgia & strident futurismo, in favor of a paroxysm or seizure of presence.

February 27, 2016, 01:32:03 AM
Reply #29

Steve

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Ah shit. I put it backwards from the beginning. Correlations would be subsets of causation.

~Steve
Mastery does not occur when you've performed a feat once or twice. Instead, it comes after years of training, when you realize that you no longer notice when you're performing a feat which used to require so much effort. Even walking takes years of training for a human: why not everything else?