Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

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

Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby nameless on June 20th, 2017, 8:59 pm 

BadgerJelly » Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:13 am wrote:nameless -

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

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

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

I understand what you're saying, but it goes against my nature to 'dismiss' someone no matter their ability to understand, or converse rationally with me. Perhaps I should just Lovingly refrain from disturbing him further?
We'll see... *__-
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby nameless on June 20th, 2017, 9:13 pm 

Old Rasputin » Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:58 am wrote:
nameless wrote:There is not anything 'religious' about it, it is pure psychology and philosophy.

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

"How did you obtain this knowledge?"

Knowledge = experience. I 'obtained' this Knowledge like anyone else experiences Knowledge, experience.
How do you obtain Knowledge of your 'itch'?

One cannot reach this conclusion through logic (sound philosophy).

Yes, one can, and it is not a 'conclusion', it is a tentative theory based on experience, AND supported by science and philosophy.


And psychology is not in the business of yielding these kinds of truths.

Were you a philosopher, you would not have said that. All sciences, all methods of gaining Knowledge are feeder branches on the tree of philosophy! There are not any 'truths' that is not a feature of philosophy!

Your statement above seems to be purely religious; being based on “blind faith”.

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

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

Furthermore, no matter how I answer your 'questions' you will not understand the answers, and again, dismiss what you do not understand as your go-to demon; 'religion'.
Shall we part friends?
See you later.... *__-
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby BadgerJelly on June 21st, 2017, 1:11 am 

He is a troll. PM not on my thread please.
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby RoccoR on June 21st, 2017, 1:27 pm 

Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness
※→ nameless, Neri, Old Rasputin, BadgerJelly, Braininvat, dandelion, et al,

I do not mind telling you, that I am a bit confused following all these various views on the OP question at hand:

    That being the action of coming nearer (the approach) to the view that regards "reason" (the application of intellectual ability) as the chief source and test of knowledge (Rational) comes principally from sensory experience (Empirical deviation) brings us to a state or quality of awareness (Conscientious) of reality or oneself.

I don't mind telling you, we've gone around the block a couple of times.

(QUESTION)

    •• What did we decide?
    •• Was there a preferred approach?
    •• Did we come any closer to understanding what "knowledge" and how it relates to "Consciousness?"
Then there is the question of:

    ∆∆ From the view → do we agree that we address the intangible quality from a cognitive, phenomenological, and trans-personal perspective?
    ...................OR...................
    ∆∆ Do we dissect it in a bicameral fashion?

We wrote a lot of words here, but my Asperger's is creeping in; what did I learn???

Most Respectfully,
R
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby BadgerJelly on June 21st, 2017, 2:24 pm 

RoccoR -

I was using a number of Husserl quotes here so I will try and sum them up as best I can and point out my general take on this whole questioning.

View this thread as an "approach" to framing the idea of consciousness (that was my intent). Obviously Husserl's view is a phenomenological one.

I don't know what you may have learnt here? All I can say is the more I have tried to reconcile seemingly opposing positions in philosophy, or the more I've tried to pry them apart, the more they refuse to behave as my rational mind would like them to! This in itself is something that interests me about consciousness ... how to DO something with this interest is not something I am yet capable of managing and it may be a dead end.

I will persist here in the hope of exposing something that others may not have come across, or that they can use to combat with/against. Given your aspergers you might be able to see more clearly the kind of thing that fascinates me when looking at Husserl and the idea of Phenomenology in general. It holds special fascination with me regarding language.

note: I am not a scholar of Husserl and have only read one of his complete works (his last one which was never completed before his death.) I hope one day I can find the time to read his Logical Investigations, which put him on the map in the world of philosophy so I am led to believe.
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby DragonFly on June 21st, 2017, 11:35 pm 

BadgerJelly » June 21st, 2017, 12:11 am wrote:He is a troll. PM not on my thread please.


Old Rasputin makes good sense and responders would try kick the ball, not the player.

Empirically, one may find that a result formed in consciousness takes about a half-second to form.

Look at you timepiece to see how long the second indicator takes to change. Perhaps one expects this to be in the range of 0-1 second; nope, sometimes it can take up to one and one-half seconds to change. You can figure why.

As OR has indicated, the exact number of milliseconds doesn't even matter, but I'll stick with the .5 second roughly; so, the consciousness of a result is a half a second behind reality.

While a consciousness of a conscious result has no impact on that result, as consciousness is only along for the ride (because the mostly subconscious analysis has already been completed), there's nothing wrong with this result going forward into a consideration for other results later.

Kicking the player can be a sign of not be able to fully address the ball.
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby DragonFly on June 22nd, 2017, 12:17 am 

So, then, why would a .5 second delay for a conscious result of living more in the past be good over a much simpler state in a non-conscious organism as responding with much less of a delay and just able to do, always, whatever automatically is good for itself?

Consciousness and its longer delay came about not necessarily but happened, as what can happen in nature, and became selected for because a discordant symphony of primitive brain doings always getting their way could only get one so far, along with larger and separate modules for the senses and more coming about, and then when all these could become summed over the primitives and the modules into a unity then some of these indicators could be ignored, making for more selective attention, and thus better overall results for survival.
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby BadgerJelly on June 22nd, 2017, 4:31 am 

Dragonfly -

To employ you're analogy what he has done is come to my playing field refused to understand my ball (or admitted proud ignorance) then proceeded to draw a circle on the ground and pretend to kick it around.

I know you like these kind of whimsical poetical analogies so hope you enjoyed that one :)

Whether you agree or not I don't care much other than to express my experience. Four years (on and off?) of trying with RJG in the face of proud ignorance is enough. I only bothered because there seemed to be some passion there. Now I only see the passion of a troll better served chatting to others who have never bothered (or had the time too, as he so professes) to pick up a book and read it to further understanding. I don't believe people have the any right to be taken seriously if they admit their ignorance, cannot put the work in to educate themselves (a fair and reasonable excuse), and then continue to ramble on.

By all means engage with him and see where it leads. I encourage you to because there is always something to learn in the process of trying. I'm well and truly done and will not mention him again unless someone wants to ban him - I would be against such a thing because of what I've said above.

FIN

Anyway to Husserl's crap ...

So, then, why would a .5 second delay for a conscious result of living more in the past be good over a much simpler state in a non-conscious organism as responding with much less of a delay and just able to do, always, whatever automatically is good for itself?

Consciousness and its longer delay came about not necessarily but happened, as what can happen in nature, and became selected for because a discordant symphony of primitive brain doings always getting their way could only get one so far, along with larger and separate modules for the senses and more coming about, and then when all these could become summed over the primitives and the modules into a unity then some of these indicators could be ignored, making for more selective attention, and thus better overall results for survival.


More importantly what does this do to address the differences of Empiricism and Rationalism? Consciousness is not phenomenologically "delayed". The conundrum is about the idealized "real" in terms of Empiricism. I am not conscious of what happened X secinds ago, I am conscious and that is that. The time reference is an empirical idea. The difference we are looking at here, prior to bothering to refer to the slippery term "consciousness", is how we know what we know any "difference" or can come to know any "difference".

The "hard" empirical view is that we come to know by experiencing things. The rational question to counter this position is to ask how can we come to have an experience?

By going back and forth over this for centuries the general view seems to settle on the idea of "emergence" to plug the gap in our understanding, or rather cover it up conveniently so we can continue with our empirical miracles that have given so much and remain our main force of engagement with The World. But we actively employ rationalism along side empiricism with systems of numbers that adhere nicely enough to the empirical premise of the "real" to give us no reason to blindly fumble around for a better or more useful system. The reductionism of the empirical method through employment of mathematical magnitudes to The World "as if" "real" end in a view of "consciousness" as emerging. All of this is symptom to our rational adherence in the objective as being wholly objective, the "real", and the subjective as being "unreal" and merely an approximation. This mentality is self founded and hard to uncover because it is inconvenient to both empiricism and rationalism.

The heart of what I feel Husserl was trying to get to was this action of covering up an inconvenient avenue that doesn't work out well for either empiricism nor for rationalism. This is not to say that Husserl said there is no "thing" only that the "thing" we are conscious of is neither more nor less than a representation of, or more or less than a "real" thing that is experienced.

In simplier terms the definitive nature of our subjective being is only definitive in relation to the idea of "definitive" brought back to us from the extension of the empirical measure of "things" to the measure of our own "conscious" being. This doesn't really do much to help us out, but it at least highlights the insanity of referring to me being conscious of what happened 5 seconds ago. Such a thing makes no difference to me other than as a scientific attitude employed to measure and The World and map it. This prolonged process over time has uncovered many patterns in nature and allowed us to look at our own functioning brain. It does literally nothing to engage with the problem framed in language about how any experience "emerges". From the scientific perspective it is enough to say it emerges and than maybe at some future edate reduce this further into more emerging properties (which is by no means unuseful! I am not saying any such thing. Science is great!)

From what I understand of Husserl he was looking at what science cannot do and trying to lay the foundations for a way to engage with these areas and create a new methodology. Was he successful? Not that I can see. He at least unraveled a potential problem ... I am not certain there is one other than being able to agree with his displeasure at psychologies attempts to latch onto empirical science for success. It would seem more worthy if psychology as a field went down other avenues. Maybe neuroscience will help here or maybe not. Time will tell.

RoccoR -

I have to go to work soon so will make summation of Husserl quotes in this thread tomorrow or next day ...
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby DragonFly on June 22nd, 2017, 2:11 pm 

Consciousness, a brain process, would emerge/happen when the brain perceives its result at large/in a unity. All that is ever seen/sensed/perceived is going on in the brain; we are not ever seeing anything directly "out there". Whatever the brain's own internal language/symbols cascading up to the final result/quale, it makes itself known as a conscious object/symbol. I don't see any "hard problem".
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Re: Empirical and Rational approaches to Consciousness

Postby BadgerJelly on June 23rd, 2017, 4:29 am 

RoccoR -

Your question will be answered differently by everyone. I cannot speak for everyone obviously. For it is not a case of picking one view or another. The application of use depends on the question posed. In the question of "consciousness" the empirical method is not without its obvious uses with which we can log and analyse data from the brain, and compare and contrast this data with that data.

Where physical science cannot reach is past the physical representation. Physical science cannot measure where there is no physical stuff to measure.

From what we've seen Hume reduces all thought and knowledge to "fiction":

In this direction, Hume goes on to the end. All categories of objectivity – the scientific ones through which an objective, extrapsychic world is thought in scientific life, and the prescientific ones through which it is thought in everyday life – are fictions. First come the mathematical concepts: number, magnitude, continuum, geometrical figure, etc. We would say that they are methodically necessary idealizations of what is given intuitively. For Hume, however, they are fictions; and the same is true, accordingly, of the whole of supposedly apodictic mathematics. The origin of these fictions can be explained perfectly well psychologically (i.e., in terms of immanent sensationalism), namely, through the immanent lawfulness of the associations and the relations between ideas. But even the categories of the prescientific world, of straightforwardly intuited world - those of corporeity (i.e., the identity of persisting bodies supposedly found in immediate, experiencing intuition), as well as the supposedly experienced identity of the person - are nothing but fictions. We say, for example, "that" tree over there, and distinguish from it its changing manners of appearing [Erscheinungsweisen]. But immanently, psychically, there is nothing there but these "manners of appearing." These are complexes of data, and again and again other complexes of data - "bound together", regulated, to be sure, by association, which explains the illusion of experiencing something identical. The same is true of the person: an identical "I" is not datum but a ceaselessly changing bundle of data. Identity is a psychological fiction. To the fictions of this sort also belongs causality, or necessary succession. Immanent experience exhibits only a post hoc. The propter hoc, the necessity of the succession, is a fictive misconstruction. Thus, in Hume's Treatise, the world in general, nature, the universe of identical bodies, the world of identical persons, and accordingly also objective science, which knows these in their objective truth, are transformed into fiction. To be consistent, we must say; reason, knowledge, including that of true values, of pure ideals of every sort, including ethical - all this is fiction.

This is indeed, then, the bankruptcy of objective knowledge. Hume ends up, basically, in a solipsism. For how could inferences from data to other data ever reach beyond the immanent sphere?


What appears to have been ignored, and what Husserl points out several times, is that the immanent "ego" does not assess the sensory experience after the matter of fact. The experience is "immanent" and "real", not a fiction nor a truth or falsehood. It is "felt" not measured and then turned into a "feeling-experience".

When Husserl refers to "psychic atomism" he is referring to the common habit of physical science to reduce items to there smallest parts. Given that psychologically we are not dealing with physical magnitudes it is a mistake. It is like saying that the concept of the number "5" is bigger than the concept of the number "1" when there is actually no difference in magnitude of a concept, but we are drawn to conclude by habit that 5 is obviously "bigger" than 1, because we take an abstract concept and understand it in physical terms (as we must), but we could easily say if I whispered "five" and shouted ""ONE!" that the second is bigger. This is a much more confusing point to get your head around, and yet it is a huge part of the problems many get bogged down in with the term "consciousness".

Dragonfly says there is no "hard problem". Well, of course there isn't a problem from every perspective and methodological approach! The point is that from some approaches there is quite blatantly a problem and if you refuse to acknowledge it it is because you fail to understand the position of approach taken that highlights this as a problem. Whether the problem is a matter of semantics, logical application, over use of some method, a case of psychological fixedness, or plain delusion, is another matter.

My honest opinion is that we simply don't possess the common everyday concepts in language to utilize our thinking and express it to each other well enough. I have made some attempts to express some thoughts on this forum and been met with dismissal by people saying it is a "fiction" or that it is "merely imagination", like such things as imagination count for nothing and only create falsehoods. Yet from the above the logic employed to its fullest extent reveals the objective as "fantasy" and "fiction", as what is basically a transcendent "extension" of the "ego".

The mistake of thinking about the universe and existence in a rigid physical state is to adhere to the assumption of "self" existing in an infinite extension rather than as a finite immeasurable existence. Our undoubted success with physical science has blinded us from accepting anything known as existing in a non-measurable way. The idea of what some call "quale" is denied or reduced to a subset of sensory measurement pushing aside any idea of "feeling" and the "consciousness" it cannot measure (by definition it cannot do this.)

What is more there is great resistance here because people start thinking "Oh my! This sounds like religion!", which is plain nonsense. It has nothing to do with some literal fantasy about an immortal soul or spirit, the point is that psychology, as in the psychic being, is known in immediacy not as an "at-a-distance", measurable quantity. And what is more all of our knowledge of physical science comes about from subjects trying to understand The World, not from The World trying to understand subjects.

The bizarre reality of this situation makes me say things like the immanency of experience makes it of less/no import to my objective view of The World. Yet the immanency of experience makes possible knowledge of The World as objective. What we have found by habit is an unusual and successful methodology called science. Science is "in-itself" a facet of human quality not a quantity "in-itself".

I should make it clear here that Husserl was concerned with "intentionality". The "thingness" with which we know this from that and self from other. This he saw as a more fruitful investigation of consciousness rather than only collecting quantities of data to identify the psyche as a physical "thing", because this does little to help us understand (at least in isolation!) the "experience of".

From here I find myself looking at language a lot. While we cannot pass on the exact experience of this or that "tasty strawberry" to someone else, we can at least feel validated in describing it and being understood enough by others to consider it a worthy and communicable idea.

It is in the area of "language" I think Husserl overlooked the most obvious thing he could have employed to help him. Philosophers who proceeded him such as Heidegger, Derrida and Wittgenstein, for me at least, reflect a lot of what he was saying only through a more direct engagement with the verbosity of thought and its application to knowledge and understanding in general.

Recently I have been fond of Zizek and he has tended toward the psychoanalytic too. I do think the way forward for philosophy is through a shift toward psychoanalysis, anthropology and general politics. We already see in day-to-day life how physical sciences are being misconstrued to meet political ends with misrepresentation of facts, or simply by revealing facts to a public audience who don't really grasp the political motivations of those thrusting the data in their faces or the context within which the data has significance. It is here that I believe the philosophers of today have the inexhaustible task of policing political thought.

This is where we have the idea of "social science". This is a dangerous idea given that we are not talking about a HARD science , but rather about an area of knowledge that has latched onto the success of the physical sciences whilst being a deeply subjective item of knowledge that has more in common with psychology (the psyche and rationalism) than physical sciences.

I am trying to write something myself along these lines that explores the basic philosophical structure rather than delving into the more political machinations. I hope I am able to put something together that warrants discussion. I am also going to avoid any reference to other philosophers in what I write because I find it can be quite distracting to end up arguing over what this or that guy or gal really meant? Or how well or badly someone thinks I have interpreted this or that idea, or misrepresented it.

When I first came to this forum I was disheartened by a certain unwillingness for people to produce their own words and instead refer to others. I have since come to understand that people refer to them because they simply put better the point they wish to express better than they themselves can. Now though I am attempting to avoid this in what I am working on precisely because I have seen polarized views on famous philosophers and an inbred inclination to categorise and package all of what one person is saying into a neat and convenient space for either dismissal or future regard.

note: all of the above is "political" and a more "friendly" version of the kind of thing I hope to produce. I cannot help writing lately and every time I finish something it is by force of will I stop myself. Reminds me of Kierkegaard "The most stubborn of all silences it not to hold ones tongue but to talk", well something like that!
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