What is CTD?

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

Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on March 7th, 2018, 3:17 am 

Asparagus wrote:The duck story describes volition. Which part of that story would you say is not possible?

1. Again, what is your definition of "volition"? If it coincides with "conscious causation", then it is likewise logically impossible.

2. The impossible parts are "consciously deciding", and "consciously ducking", when in actuality you can only be conscious-of-deciding, and conscious-of-ducking.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 7th, 2018, 3:19 am 

RJG -

"Learning" is an unconscious process whose effects are only consciously realized.


But you've already said it is impossible to consciously realise anything. Also, you failed to note that in neuroscience there is a difference between unconscious action and the brain being almost silent. ALL actions are part of consciousness, but that doesn't mean we're directly aware of all actions. The terminology can be confusing.

And, of course, not answering the question that would reveal your denial of responsible action and utterly fatalistic attitude (over which you - without will - profess to have no choice.)

I am not suggesting that we consciously select the options available to us directly. I am suggesting that a selection of options is presented to consciousness and refined and manipulated in some way - some are dulled and others are honed. After the matter of fact we create a narrative to fit the actions carried out in order to order them in memory and reproduce what is deemed "successful"; which again is a confliction between the unconscious mind and the conscious awareness.

Sometimes the communication within in is coherent with what is experienced without and sometimes it is not.

We have empirical evidence of what happens when the hemispheres of the brain are split. There is a disjunction between them and the two literally give different answers to the same question. It is as if two people are living in the same head with two completely different desires.

The point here being is that on various levels the communications within the brain is unaware of other machinations going on and each will interpret its perspective as if it has ultimate control and will only actually have any kind of control when it actually has a real connection rather than an "imaginary" one. Given that simple mechanistic operations cannot "decide" the function of consciousness (not necessarily conscious awareness) is to bridge the gap and open up enquiry into the environment (which is neither external nor internal - that is merely a representation of our conscious perspective and a simplification that has aided intellectual growth and exploration of our world.)

I am still curious about the question I posed. Here's a reminder:

Which one is the "ugly truth"?

a) That you admit you can cause bad things to happen.

b) That you choose the belief that no matter what you do things will turn out the way they are destined to turn out.


Can you seriously present an argument that says accepting (b) is an uglier truth than accepting (a)? I honestly don't see how you can, yet this is your hidden claim and continued "moral" rhetoric.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby Asparagus on March 7th, 2018, 3:20 am 

Again:

A duck flies by. I decide to duck. I duck.

Volition. No problem.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on March 7th, 2018, 3:28 am 

Asparagus wrote:A duck flies by. I decide to duck. I duck.

Volition. No problem.

Again, do you "consciously decide" or were you just conscious of deciding?
Again, do you "consciously duck", or were you just conscious of ducking?
Be honest.

If you did not consciously decide nor consciously duck, then there is no conscious causation nor volition here.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 7th, 2018, 3:38 am 

RJG -

You were conscious (ie. not in a coma or deep sleep), you ducked. That is conscious volition. If you were in a coma the duck would also perform evasive action. I flying rock on the other hand has no capacity for "swerving" to one side.

Do you understand that rocks and animals are in some way different?
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby Asparagus on March 7th, 2018, 3:41 am 

I decided to duck. I ducked.

Which part couldn't happen?

You haven't presented any reason to deny volition.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby mitchellmckain on March 7th, 2018, 4:51 am 

We have been over this before. RJG chooses to ignore and discard all the scientific investigation of the difference between reflex automatic actions versus deliberate actions in favor of an absurd vision of an epi-phenomenal consciousness he has imagined. He has repeatedly ignored all the contrary examples so blatantly that it is obvious he no intention of seeing anything but what he chooses to see. It is time to file his lunacy with that of the flat-earthers and creationists. I don't see how we can avoid the simple fact that they can all stubbornly believe what they choose no matter what we say to them.

Some people seem to have this desire to see themselves as observers of life rather than participants. With this little trick they don't have to justify a single thing. As permanent couch potatoes they have nothing to worry about, do they? It is all just a tv show to them -- entertainment.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 7th, 2018, 5:23 am 

Mitch -

I am just trying to point him to this:

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

He has one foot in there already, but he's hesitant to take the plunge? I suggested absurdism to him before, but he thought I was calling him names - I actually admire the absurdist position because it's a step away from amorality toward creating meaning and having freedom of thought.

Goethe said:

"No one is more a slave than one who thinks he is free without being free."


I would ask Goethe, what about the person who denies the existence of freedom?

"Duty: where one loves what one orders himself to do."


I would ask Goethe, what of the person who denies their own ability to order themselves to do anything?
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby Positor on March 7th, 2018, 9:21 am 

RJG » March 7th, 2018, 6:33 am wrote:1R. t = 0 - Phone rings in real-time
1C. t = 150 ms - conscious self is conscious of hearing phone ringing.

2R. t = 250 ms - physical self decides (auto-reacts) to answer phone
2C. t = 400 ms - conscious self is conscious of deciding to answer phone


3R. t = 1000 ms - physical self answers phone
3C. t = 1150 ms - conscious self is conscious of answering phone

4R. t = 3850 ms - physical self says "Hello"
4C. t = 4000 ms - conscious self is conscious of saying "Hello"

R = 'real-time'
C = 'conscious-time'

R + 150 ms = C

Conscious experiences always follow the Real experiences. Volitional activity is an illusion; myth.

The part in bold above is the crux of the dispute. RJG's claim here is that 2C (consciousness of deciding) happens 150 ms later than 2R (the decision itself).

Does neuro or anyone else have any comments on this specific point?
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on March 7th, 2018, 9:53 am 

Positor wrote:The part in bold above is the crux of the dispute. RJG's claim here is that 2C (consciousness of deciding) happens 150 ms later than 2R (the decision itself).

Does neuro or anyone else have any comments on this specific point?

The more relevant question to ask is -- "Does the conscious recognition of (each and every microstep of) deciding occur 'before' or 'after' (each and every microstep of) the deciding process? -- The actual 'amount' of time is irrelevant.

Or better yet, just ask -- "Can the consciousness-of-X ever occur 'before' X?" -- For consciousness to be 'causal', it must occur 'before' that which it is causing.


Asparagus wrote:I decided to duck. I ducked.

Who/what is this "I"?


Badger and Mitch: Being conscious of something does not mean one 'caused' this something. Being conscious of my bodily actions is no more causitive than me being conscious of your bodily actions.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby sponge on March 7th, 2018, 12:31 pm 

As I see it, the basic problem here is that RJG and some others are confusing consciousness with conscious awareness.
Conscious awareness is milliseconds behind the actions of consciousness.
Consciousness is a process that arises in the subconscious.
The self is the totality of this consciousness process.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on March 7th, 2018, 1:06 pm 

sponge wrote:As I see it, the basic problem here is that RJG and some others are confusing consciousness with conscious awareness.
Conscious awareness is milliseconds behind the actions of consciousness.
Consciousness is a process that arises in the subconscious.

Sponge, it doesn't matter, ...the chronological relationship is still the same!

If the (non-conscious) process of consciousness is AFTER a bodily sensory input (or any bodily action/reaction/experience), then the logical impossibility of "conscious causation" still exists. If C is after B, then C cannot come before (and 'cause' B).

If CTD exists, then C>B is true. And if C>B is true, then C<B is not true!
If CTD exists, then 'conscious causation' is a myth; an illusion; not real; not true.

Consciousness relies on 'something' (a bodily experience/reaction/sensation) to be conscious of. Without this (pre-existing) 'SOMETHING' to be conscious of, there is NOTHING to be conscious of; and hence 'no consciousness'.

The 'consciousness-of-X' is still always AFTER the 'X'. --- this is the problem; the logical contradiction of 'conscious causation'!

Anything (and everything!) that we are conscious of, has already happened/existed; and already been caused!
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 7th, 2018, 1:33 pm 

Sponge -

Not strictly true. It depends on the field of enquiry. Subconscious activity is part of the brains consciousness.

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

Vegetative States and Comas are non-conscious states.

Confusing? Yes. It is because the jargon of cognitive neuroscience, psychology and colloquial speech collide here. You can pretty much guarantee that RJG has any idea about this kind of thing and that he cares to research it (otherwise he wouldn't be saying half the gibberish he's been saying for the past few years.)

Terms like "self" are generally used in psychology. Given the sudden burst of excitement in these areas over the past half a century - and technology of past few decades - it is hardly surprising people are still trying to delineate the terminology as each field of interest gains more and more need to rely on the research of the other.

RJG I imagine at least understands the difference between cortical and non-cortical control over motor functioning. The body does react to things without cognitive function. Without somewhere to go unconscious activity is as good as mute I would say.

Me being "unconscious" or "conscious" of somthing is still me referring to processes of consciousness. The same goes for the "subconscious."

Let's face it, it is a sticky definition to talk about. Generally I think if we're in a coma or deep dreamless sleep we're not conscious (as Searle put it.) When we are not in those states consciousness is evidently there and we all understand what that means.

A person in a coma is not having much causal effect or serious interaction with their immediate surroundings; unlike myself right now who is capable of setting several things into possible motion ... like initiating a response on this forum.

It is almost like RJG's idea has a noose around its neck and keep jumping off the chair. If it was actually tied to something of real substance, rather than holding the end of the rope, it may actually kill itself and free RJG to move onto greener pastures.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby Asparagus on March 7th, 2018, 4:22 pm 

RJG wrote:Who/what is this "I"?


I am the one who decided to duck and then ducked.

You haven't explained which part of that can't happen.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby mitchellmckain on March 7th, 2018, 4:39 pm 

RJG » March 7th, 2018, 8:53 am wrote:Badger and Mitch: Being conscious of something does not mean one 'caused' this something. Being conscious of my bodily actions is no more causitive than me being conscious of your bodily actions.


Correct. But if you think this somehow resolves the issue in your favor, that just shows how much you have not been paying attention. Being conscious of something does not mean one has not caused this something. Being conscious of bodily actions is not causing those actions, but this does not mean this consciousness of bodily actions has no causal effect on bodily actions. CTD only means that this happens by a causal loop which requires time.

It has been stipulated repeatedly that CTD does in fact mean that consciousness at a particular time is not the cause of anything it is conscious of at that particular time. Indeed, we could say, of course it isn't -- that would be contrary to the very purpose of consciousness, which like the computer display screen is to make a report of results to the operator. The dispute has been whether this means the causality goes only in one direction in the continuing process which is not restricted to a particular time. The point of making a report to the operator is so he can act on the information given by it, and by acting on it the report has a causal effect on future events which get reported on at a later time.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on March 7th, 2018, 4:40 pm 

Asparagus wrote:I am the one who decided to duck and then ducked.

You haven't explained which part of that can't happen.

Well, I can't explain until you tell me who this "I" character is. For example:

1. If "I" is the 'conscious self' (mind), then the "deciding" and "ducking" parts can't happen.
2. If "I" is the 'physical self' (body), then both parts can happen.
3. If "I" is a rock on the ground, then no parts can happen.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby Asparagus on March 7th, 2018, 4:45 pm 

RJG. You're a dualist.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on March 7th, 2018, 5:09 pm 

RJG wrote:Badger and Mitch: Being conscious of something does not mean one 'caused' this something. Being conscious of my bodily actions is no more causitive than me being conscious of your bodily actions.

mitchellmckain wrote:Being conscious of bodily actions is not causing those actions, but this does not mean this consciousness of bodily actions has no causal effect on bodily actions.

Sure it does.

mitchellmckain wrote:It has been stipulated repeatedly that CTD does in fact mean that consciousness at a particular time is not the cause of anything it is conscious of at that particular time.

Correct.

mitchellmckain wrote:Indeed, we could say, of course it isn't -- that would be contrary to the very purpose of consciousness, which like the computer display screen is to make a report of results to the operator.

If you wish to use the analogy of a computer-display-as-'consciousness', and maybe the CPU-as-the-'physical-brain', then that is okay, so long as you stay consistent throughout your analogy.

mitchellmckain wrote:The dispute has been whether this means the causality goes only in one direction in the continuing process which is not restricted to a particular time. The point of making a report to the operator is so he can act on the information given by it, and by acting on it the report has a causal effect on future events which get reported on at a later time.

Who is this "he/operator" that is "acting on this information"? ...is he a 'conscious entity' himself? ...how does "he/operator" fit into your analogy? If you are going to use a computer analogy to represent the relationship of consciousness to the physical body, then you can't add conscious characters into the mix.

In other words, if:
Computer display = 'consciousness'
CPU = 'physical brain'
Then what does"he/operator" = ???

1. The computer display is the 'result' of (is 'after') the CPU's actions/reactions. The display cannot do anything itself!

2. Consciousness is the 'result' of (is 'after') the physical brain/body's actions/reactions. Consciousness cannot do anything itself!

Your analogy proves my point! (...thank you :-) )


********
Asparagus wrote:RJG. You're a dualist.

Not so. ...though I suspect you are a "dualist", since you do claim to have "volition" (conscious control), ...as (physical) monists would never claim such!
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby mitchellmckain on March 7th, 2018, 5:44 pm 

BadgerJelly » March 7th, 2018, 4:23 am wrote:Mitch -

I am just trying to point him to this:

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



I would like to say that just because I am a theist doesn't mean what this site calls monotheistic existentialism is accurate description of my beliefs. Perhaps this is because I am an agnostic with respect to the objective knowledge of the existence of God (i.e. I don't believe this knowledge is possible). The result is that what it calls "atheistic existentialism" is a more accurate description in some ways, but to be more accurate...

Yes there is such a things as meaning or value, but it is all completely subjective.

There is inherent meaning in the universe? Yes and no. The universe was created for a purpose, but because of the inherently subjective nature of meaning, you cannot really say the universe inherently has meaning in of itself. Meaning is always in relation to a conscious being. Sure the creator attaches meaning to the universe but that does not preclude that others might give an entirely different meaning to the universe.

The pursuit of meaning may have meaning in itself. In fact I would be inclined to put more definiteness and even necessity in that to say that authentic meaning requires a pursuit of it. We have to find it for ourselves for it to be real.

The individual's construction of ANY type of meaning is possible and NO it need not include God -- certainly not conceptually. But perhaps I would be inclined to believe that the greatest meaning we can find would connect to God at least indirectly and not necessarily by that name. For example... in the Bible we find the following: When the Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law unto themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts... The interesting thing is that this connect to one of the principle themes throughout the Bible where God promises that He will write His law on the hearts of men. But I take this to mean not that we will be obedient to dictated rules but that we be one with God in our desire for truth and justice. And that desire for truth includes all the honesty and humility of scientific inquiry. Having it written on our hearts means we will do what is right for its own sake rather than seeking either approval or reward from a deity.

There is resolution to the individual's desire to seek meaning? People can and often do find meaning in their lives and the universe but not always and it does not follow that they will not find a different meaning in them at a later time. ... so resolution? yes it is possible... but not necessarily finality.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby Asparagus on March 7th, 2018, 5:55 pm 

@RJG

Great. If you're a monist then you accept that I am both mind and body.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby mitchellmckain on March 7th, 2018, 5:57 pm 

RJG » March 7th, 2018, 4:09 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote:Being conscious of bodily actions is not causing those actions, but this does not mean this consciousness of bodily actions has no causal effect on bodily actions.

Sure it does.

Just because you choose to believe this does not make it a logical consequence of the facts.

RJG » March 7th, 2018, 4:09 pm wrote:Who is this "he/operator" that is "acting on this information"?

The person which the display or consciousness is reporting to.

RJG » March 7th, 2018, 4:09 pm wrote: ...is he a 'conscious entity' himself?

When we talk of consciousness reporting to an operator we are breaking the conscious entity down into parts by an abstractive intellectual process.

RJG » March 7th, 2018, 4:09 pm wrote:If you are going to use a computer analogy to represent the relationship of consciousness to the physical body, then you can't add conscious characters into the mix.

Incorrect. Just because you wear these horse blinders and refuse to see anything but a singular operation of consciousness doesn't mean the rest of us have to indulge in the same willful ignorance. The point is that CTD doesn't mean what you claim any more than the delay between processor and display of a computer means that the display has no effect on the operation of the computer. It is for you to prove the operator does not exist if your claim is to hold any water.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on March 7th, 2018, 6:01 pm 

Asparagus wrote:If you're a monist then you accept that I am both mind and body.

Not so. I accept that you are just a body that experiences (the thoughts of) having a mind.


mitchellmckain wrote:When we talk of consciousness reporting to an operator we are breaking the conscious entity down into parts by an abstractive intellectual process.

So in your analogy, consciousness is represented by the 'computer display' AND a 'conscious entity' looking at the computer display???

If so, then shouldn't we add another computer display (and another conscious entity!) to represent the 'consciousness' of this second conscious entity?

And if so, then shouldn't we add another computer display (and another conscious entity!) to represent the consciousness of this third conscious entity?

And…
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby Asparagus on March 7th, 2018, 6:07 pm 

RJG » March 7th, 2018, 6:01 pm wrote:
Asparagus wrote:If you're a monist then you accept that I am both mind and body.

Not so. I accept that you are just a body that experiences (the thoughts of) having a mind.

So you don't believe that you are conscious.

That's just sad.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on March 7th, 2018, 6:17 pm 

Asparagus » March 7th, 2018, 5:07 pm wrote:
RJG » March 7th, 2018, 6:01 pm wrote:
Asparagus wrote:If you're a monist then you accept that I am both mind and body.

Not so. I accept that you are just a body that experiences (the thoughts of) having a mind.

So you don't believe that you are conscious.

That's just sad.

Now you are making stuff up. I am a conscious being, conscious of my bodily (physical) experiences.

Asparagus, if you really want to make fun of me, then just say RJG does not have a 'mind' and I'll gladly agree with you. But don't say that RJG is not conscious, cuz that would be a non-truth (lie).
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby Asparagus on March 7th, 2018, 6:29 pm 

@RJG

You most certainly are conscious my friend.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby mitchellmckain on March 7th, 2018, 6:32 pm 

RJG » March 7th, 2018, 5:01 pm wrote:So in your analogy, consciousness is represented by the 'computer display' AND a 'conscious entity' looking at the computer display???

If so, then shouldn't we add another computer display (and another conscious entity!) to represent the 'consciousness' of this second conscious entity?

And if so, then shouldn't we add another computer display (and another conscious entity!) to represent the consciousness of this third conscious entity?

There is no logical reason for doing so. Information reporting system systems can always be broken down in such a way.

By your very bad logic (if you can even call your silly word games by such a word), the fact that there are eyes receiving the visual information reported in the brain means there must be a second set of eyes in the brain to receive that information. Of course it means no such thing. The point remains that you haven't proven that there is nothing in the brain acting on the information which consciousness reports and in fact all the evidence points to there being such a thing.


There is always a limit to analogies, ways in which they are similar and ways in which they are different. I certainly do not see consciousness reporting to a little person sitting inside my skull. That that the consciousness reports to something capable of acting on what is reported is abundantly apparent.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby mitchellmckain on March 7th, 2018, 6:38 pm 

Asparagus » March 7th, 2018, 5:29 pm wrote:@RJG

You most certainly are conscious my friend.


You say that like this is a black/white either/or determination. It is not. Consciousness varies to a considerable quantitative degree.

I agree that if there is a human being posting these things under the name of RJG then he is conscious. But then so is a worm. The consciousness of a worm does not equal that of a bird's which does not equal that of human being. And many have had cause to wonder if the consciousness of some of their fellow human beings is all that great considering the things they say and do.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby DragonFly on March 7th, 2018, 8:01 pm 

mitchellmckain » March 7th, 2018, 5:38 pm wrote:And many have had cause to wonder if the consciousness of some of their fellow human beings is all that great considering the things they say and do.


Yes.

Here's Edelman again on no conscious causation and no zombies possible and primary consciousness versus the deeper type:

http://14.139.206.50:8080/jspui/bitstream/1/1983/1/Edelman,%20Gerald%20M.%20-%20Wider%20than%20the%20sky,%20the%20phenomenal%20gift%20of%20consciousness.pdf

Attacking Edelman himself would be as unproductive as attacking RJG, but countering his findings of no conscious causation would hit the mark. No need to clutter the thread by shooting useless arrows all over the place.

How would conscious causation work in principle? Free free to brainstorm its methods yet unknown and seemingly impossible.

Other notes:

"Volition" means using the will. No big deal.

The brain has a really fast b/w 75 ms motion detector that operates quite well for ducking an object.

Neural activity, C', culminates in conscious qualia, C, that generally contains what correlates to C', but C' represents certain things in C in its own way. For example, a red truck reflects red, not absorbing it, it really having all the other colors in it, in C', but C' makes the truck more distinctive by painting it red in C.

C is always sequential simultaneously to the C' correlation. Chalmers thinks that certain information is always in two forms, C and C', as a fundamental feature of the universe (just like mass is).
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 7th, 2018, 8:56 pm 

RJG -

We know for a fact that a thought changes our physiology. The body effects the mind and the mind effects the body - there is no questioning this any more than we question the number of fingers we have.

When we move one finger different neural pathways are active. One pathway signals all of our fingers to move, whilst other pathways inhibit the movement of fingers we don't want to move.

Go onto youtube and search "Sapolsky: Limbic System" if you find any of this hard to swallow, and to get an impression of the complexity of neurogenesis and evolutionary development.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby DragonFly on March 7th, 2018, 9:38 pm 

Of course C' causes body effects. What is 'mind'? A conscious causation entity by definition of say so?
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