Inner Reality Unveiled

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Inner Reality Unveiled

Postby DragonFly on April 18th, 2018, 10:54 pm 

There is no direct (literal) view of the actual reality 'out there'. Our inner viewport is ever only that of the model (qualia) of inner and outer reality built by the brain. We see/sense nothing but this model made inside the brain.

We don't see across a room or any scene but only across the model of the room/scene. We don't look through a microscope at an actual object but only look at a model of that object. You get the idea. A reflective color spectrum is used to make it look like that more distinctive color is a surface property of an object modeled.

The brain doesn't model everything, as a lot of it would be clutter, and for what remains as useful to portray the brain still doesn't have the resources to model everything at high resolution and so thus whatever we focus on gets all the high res detail put into it just in the nick of time when we look/focus. At dawn or dusk this high resolution becomes a bit less on what we focus on so that what's off to the left or right can be better noted in the dim light.

So far, nothing astounding here to us, although maybe to everyday folk that we only ever see the inside of the head/brain—the model.

Of course, the shocks get worse, such as that our intentions cannot be those of first cause, self-made people, but from prior causes that we weren't able to choose and be responsible for. What is left, in short, is the freedom of action for these inbuilt intentions to operate, at least when not prevented by the weather or any other controlling factors, which 'freedom of action' amounts to compatibilism.

Other notes on the above are that while we can never know if everything is deterministic, although we know that a lot is, whatever is indeterminate diminishes our modeling and our consistency.
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Re: Inner Reality Unveiled

Postby DragonFly on April 20th, 2018, 3:14 pm 

To continue, many feel that the model/qualia is very rich, but there's not anything to compare it to. Some creatures have a fourth primary color to work from and some have more smells and better hearing. Our colors (reflective spectrum) go through some averaging because of the various close frequencies about, but they still have a lot of pop to them. The model seems to be super real, where it has the focused detail, meaning better than real, or super real or surreal; surely colors win out over a bunch of waves (if they could be seen), these colors being very distinctive, which high contrast is what the model seems to be about. Away from the center of focus, the model has to be worse than cartoonish.

Other qualia properties are intense, too, such as pain being able to be very painful, to the max, and such.

Qualia are based on initial isomorphic maps, meaning topographical, when representing the territory. For sounds, the map is for tones from the air vibrations, and for smell it is scents from the molecule shapes; for touch it is a body map. The isomorphism may get carried through even three levels of models, whereafter it seems to become more symbolic and less isomorphic, perhaps indicating that the information is ready to turn into qualia, the point at which the 'hard problem' manifests. It is thought that at least four levels of modules are required for the 'magic' of phenomenal transformation to occur; we have the problem surrounded but not yet solved. Perhaps it is enough to have a truth in lieu of its proof—that there is ontological subjectivity, meaning that it exists, although it may not be fundamental or miraculous.

So, in sum so far, direct realism is an illusion, but is a very useful illusion, which we might better call a fine representation by the model, since the word 'illusion' is more about what's wrong as not really showing its object as substantial and really being behind it. Dreams, then, would be better called illusions; further they demonstrate the power of the structure of the model. When we inspects objects in dreams they look just as good as when we see them awake, although backgrounds come and go inconsistently and there are narrative gaps (all of a sudden we are driving a vehicle without ever having gotten into it, plus the controls are a mystery.)

Another illusion is the feeling of having all of the information in a qualia scene as instantly available, as well as feeling that it is all happening in real time, plus that one is directing it all right then and there.
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Re: Inner Reality Unveiled

Postby mitchellmckain on April 21st, 2018, 4:33 am 

Yes and all those security cameras in the banks and stores must be a joke because anybody watching cannot see us but only see images on a display screen.
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Re: Inner Reality Unveiled

Postby DragonFly on April 21st, 2018, 12:05 pm 

mitchellmckain » April 21st, 2018, 3:33 am wrote:Yes and all those security cameras in the banks and stores must be a joke because anybody watching cannot see us but only see images on a display screen.


You forgot that what the brain maps and models is a reliable representation of what's out there and in here.
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Re: Inner Reality Unveiled

Postby mitchellmckain on April 21st, 2018, 12:16 pm 

DragonFly » April 21st, 2018, 11:05 am wrote:
mitchellmckain » April 21st, 2018, 3:33 am wrote:Yes and all those security cameras in the banks and stores must be a joke because anybody watching cannot see us but only see images on a display screen.


You forgot that what the brain maps and models is a reliable representation of what's out there and in here.


I was being sarcastic in order to point out this very fact. Whether images on a display screen or human consciousness, they are reliable representations and that means they do see what is really out there. The fact that this is indirect is not without logical implications, but not to the extent that you can say we do not apprehend an objective reality.
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Re: Inner Reality Unveiled

Postby TheVat on April 21st, 2018, 12:29 pm 

The evolutionary argument is a strong one, also, for the accuracy of our sensory representations of the external world. If you think a tiger's tail is a pretty flower, and try to pluck it, you won't be around long to reproduce.

There is no direct (literal) view of the actual reality 'out there'. Our inner viewport is ever only that of the model (qualia) of inner and outer reality built by the brain. We see/sense nothing but this model made inside the brain.


I invite anyone who thinks that bus hurtling down the street is nothing but a model in the brain to step in front of it.

Your impression of the bus may be indirect, but it has a direct causal chain of connections to the actual bus out there. You are a photon collector, absorbing photons bounced off a bus. That way, it doesn't have to be you that's bounced off the bus.
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Re: Inner Reality Unveiled

Postby DragonFly on April 21st, 2018, 2:19 pm 

Mentally healthy responders need not worry about any unreliable representations due to there being no direct realism. As I showed, the representations are even improvements that bring out what is distinctive and important, as well as my indicating of an 'out there'. (The sarcasm thus fell doubly flat, run over by the bus, either because that mode is the nature of the person or this short thread wasn't read well.)

The world out there indeed comes to us (we don't reach out and probe it but for such as feeling our way in the dark), via photons for sight, and similarly comes to us in other ways for the other 'distance' senses. That the brain projects the objects back out there where they are, with depth (objects whose radiation came into us) is very useful. This trivia is mentioned here for completeness, for non scientific readers, but all the like herein is not contested.

Back on track now, with derailment attempts ever unwelcome, but actual meaty posts extremely welcome, many neurologists note that awake consciousness doesn't easily get snuffed out, for a people may have many and various brain impairments yet they remain conscious, which, in short, without going through them all, indicates that there probably isn't any one 'Grand Central Station' where consciousness originates but that it may arise from any suitable hierarchy of brain modules.

Consciousness, like life, requires embodiment, and is now thought to have been around in some form since the Cambrian explosion. As evolution proceeds via physical processes it rather follows that consciousness does too. Billions of years of small steps from a stable organism platform can acculuminate into what otherwise seems a miracle, but then again, miracles are instant. When extinction events wipe everything out, the process just starts up again, and probably has, several times over.

Since qualia are structured, such as I described, plus healing the blind spot and more that wasn't put here, this again suggest that qualia have to be constructed from parts the brain has made from interpretations via physical processes.

How the phenomenal transform springs out remains as the central mystery of all. We think that there are larger mysteries, such as if there is any ultimate purpose to Existence, but this one is easy, for it can be shown that there can be no ultimate purpose. (There can be local and proximate purpose.) More an this another time or place.
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Re: Inner Reality Unveiled

Postby mitchellmckain on April 21st, 2018, 4:00 pm 

I shall interpret the above as a request for a detailed point by point response to the OP.

DragonFly » April 18th, 2018, 9:54 pm wrote:There is no direct (literal) view of the actual reality 'out there'. Our inner viewport is ever only that of the model (qualia) of inner and outer reality built by the brain. We see/sense nothing but this model made inside the brain.

We don't see across a room or any scene but only across the model of the room/scene. We don't look through a microscope at an actual object but only look at a model of that object. You get the idea. A reflective color spectrum is used to make it look like that more distinctive color is a surface property of an object modeled.

But this is wrong, derived from delusional semantics as if "seeing" meant absorbing the objects themselves into our brain and mind. Of course, "seeing" means no such thing. "Seeing" means gathering data to construct a mental model of an external reality. We don't, in fact, "see" this inner model at all. This "model" is a product of speculation and abstraction in meta-conscious process of self-reflection.

Our inner viewport is thus one of looking out at the outer reality and not one of looking at the model. We do see across a room -- USING a mental model. We do not see the mental model except by speculative imagination. The most we can say is that by using such a process of mental modeling in order to see, there can be deviations due to a variety of neurological and mental processes being involved, including the role of beliefs in our interpretations. Thus our perceptions cannot be fully separated from our beliefs and our access to the world is fundamentally subjective. The objective can only be fully realized by a process of abstraction through communication with others.

DragonFly » April 18th, 2018, 9:54 pm wrote:The brain doesn't model everything, as a lot of it would be clutter, and for what remains as useful to portray the brain still doesn't have the resources to model everything at high resolution and so thus whatever we focus on gets all the high res detail put into it just in the nick of time when we look/focus. At dawn or dusk this high resolution becomes a bit less on what we focus on so that what's off to the left or right can be better noted in the dim light.

Interesting.

DragonFly » April 18th, 2018, 9:54 pm wrote:Of course, the shocks get worse, such as that our intentions cannot be those of first cause, self-made people, but from prior causes that we weren't able to choose and be responsible for. What is left, in short, is the freedom of action for these inbuilt intentions to operate, at least when not prevented by the weather or any other controlling factors, which 'freedom of action' amounts to compatibilism.

Your philosophical conclusions here will not be mistaken for scientific observations. Your interpretations are based on your own presumptions which I reject as incorrect. The process of human intention and action is certainly a complex one but the fact remains that the first causes do exist. People may be capable of simply watching much of their life pass by as an minimally participating observer (with all sorts of fatalistic and compatibilist dodges and delusions of objectivity), but others choose to take ownership of the first causes within them as a fully responsible participants in their own life.

Also as I have mentioned numerous times before, there is nothing absolute or guaranteed about this freedom of will. It can certainly be greatly diminished by a great number of things such as drugs, illness, habits, and even beliefs. This just means that we are ill advised to judge others according to our own perception and choices.

DragonFly » April 18th, 2018, 9:54 pm wrote:Other notes on the above are that while we can never know if everything is deterministic, although we know that a lot is, whatever is indeterminate diminishes our modeling and our consistency.

We can know that the experimental results show that there are events not determined by any hidden variables within the scientific worldview. People are free to ignore these results and stubbornly cling to presumptions to the contrary but they are being unreasonable if they expect other people to accept the conclusions which they are deriving from such willfulness.

And to head off the typical strawmen, I am not claiming that determinism has been disproven any more than the scientific evidence for evolution disproves divine intelligent design. Science is not a matter of proof, but of accepting that what the evidence and experimental results show us are the basis of what is reasonable to accept until there is evidence to the contrary.
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Re: Inner Reality Unveiled

Postby DragonFly on April 21st, 2018, 4:57 pm 

DragonFly » April 18th, 2018, 9:54 pm wrote:There is no direct (literal) view of the actual reality 'out there'. Our inner viewport is ever only that of the model (qualia) of inner and outer reality built by the brain. We see/sense nothing but this model made inside the brain.

We don't see across a room or any scene but only across the model of the room/scene. We don't look through a microscope at an actual object but only look at a model of that object. You get the idea. A reflective color spectrum is used to make it look like that more distinctive color is a surface property of an object modeled.

mitchellmckain » April 21st, 2018, 3:00 pm wrote:But this is wrong, derived from delusional semantics as if "seeing" meant absorbing the objects themselves into our brain and mind. Of course, "seeing" means no such thing. "Seeing" means gathering data to construct a mental model of an external reality. We don't, in fact, "see" this inner model at all. This "model" is a product of speculation and abstraction in meta-conscious process of self-reflection.

Our inner viewport is thus one of looking out at the outer reality and not one of looking at the model. We do see across a room -- USING a mental model. We do not see the mental model except by speculative imagination. The most we can say is that by using such a process of mental modeling in order to see, there can be deviations due to a variety of neurological and mental processes being involved, including the role of beliefs in our interpretations. Thus our perceptions cannot be fully separated from our beliefs and our access to the world is fundamentally subjective. The objective can only be fully realized by a process of abstraction through communication with others.


Yes, the view point is within the model. We don't literally 'see' across a room. The model gets 'viewed' and navigated and noted and whatnot. The outer reality is not able to be viewed directly but is usefully "looked out at" through a representation. Do you directly see wave frequencies air vibrations, and molecule shapes? I didn't mean 'seeing' in the sense of eye stuff, but I note the word problem.

mitchellmckain » April 21st, 2018, 3:00 pm wrote:
DragonFly » April 18th, 2018, 9:54 pm wrote:The brain doesn't model everything, as a lot of it would be clutter, and for what remains as useful to portray the brain still doesn't have the resources to model everything at high resolution and so thus whatever we focus on gets all the high res detail put into it just in the nick of time when we look/focus. At dawn or dusk this high resolution becomes a bit less on what we focus on so that what's off to the left or right can be better noted in the dim light.

Interesting.


Yes, I was reading a large road sign with many words and the words at the bottom didn't come into focus until I got down to them. Our computers have many more terabytes than the brain has.

mitchellmckain » April 21st, 2018, 3:00 pm wrote:
DragonFly » April 18th, 2018, 9:54 pm wrote:Of course, the shocks get worse, such as that our intentions cannot be those of first cause, self-made people, but from prior causes that we weren't able to choose and be responsible for. What is left, in short, is the freedom of action for these inbuilt intentions to operate, at least when not prevented by the weather or any other controlling factors, which 'freedom of action' amounts to compatibilism.

mitchellmckain » April 21st, 2018, 3:00 pm wrote:Your philosophical conclusions here will not be mistaken for scientific observations. Your interpretations are based on your own presumptions which I reject as incorrect. The process of human intention and action is certainly a complex one but the fact remains that the first causes do exist. People may be capable of simply watching much of their life pass by as an minimally participating observer (with all sorts of fatalistic and compatibilist dodges and delusions of objectivity), but others choose to take ownership of the first causes within them as a fully responsible participants in their own life.


Total libertarians do claim that they are first cause, self made people at every instant. How does this work? A theory of conscious intentions happening without any underlying physical processes ('you') behind them is the toughest sell of all proposals on the will, so it's no wonder that this 'being free of the will' can't be shown. Plus, why does one want this? Perhaps a distaste for having a will that wills things in the subconscious dark. These trillions of connections firing are not portrayed in consciousness, thank goodness.


DragonFly » April 18th, 2018, 9:54 pm wrote:Other notes on the above are that while we can never know if everything is deterministic, although we know that a lot is, whatever is indeterminate diminishes our modeling and our consistency.

We can know that the experimental results show that there are events not determined by any hidden variables within the scientific worldview. People are free to ignore these results and stubbornly cling to presumptions to the contrary but they are being unreasonable if they expect other people to accept the conclusions which they are deriving from such willfulness.


Yes, as I said, some is indeterminate, so there is no ignoring. (You don't seem to read well, even when seeing it again when you quote it.) The more indeterminacy the worse we are able to carry our our ability to operate, which minimal and trivial capability is called 'freedom of action'. So be it. We have learned something. People want more than this, though, and so they will have to show that that's possible while still retaining the self/will. How is responsibility gained at any point when one was never responsible for prior causes toward one's being/self that couldn't be chosen?

So, prison time need not be assigned for retribution only, more compassion can be granted for those who did as they had to, and we come to better understand our place in the universe. Life is great for experiencing and living, and fatalism isn't recommended, for it could work against the enjoyment.

P.S. There is no point at which ultimate purpose/intention could have been applied to what is eternal, as well as none to be applied to something springing from nothing (which, though impossible, I include for completeness, for the "springing" capability would still be an eternal 'something'.)

It's fine with me if you want a fully formed Being with a system of intelligence to be there First, amid nothing else, but to stick to the template of ID, then a Higher ID had to be behind it, etc., or we could just forget about the one-off usage golden template of ID. The universe looks to be tuned, if it is, for mostly a lot of hydrogen gas in endless sparse spaces. It took ten billion years for us to be able to persist a bit in our rarity amid the waste. [/quote]
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Re: Inner Reality Unveiled

Postby mitchellmckain on April 21st, 2018, 10:43 pm 

DragonFly » April 21st, 2018, 3:57 pm wrote:
DragonFly » April 18th, 2018, 9:54 pm wrote:Other notes on the above are that while we can never know if everything is deterministic, although we know that a lot is, whatever is indeterminate diminishes our modeling and our consistency.

We can know that the experimental results show that there are events not determined by any hidden variables within the scientific worldview. People are free to ignore these results and stubbornly cling to presumptions to the contrary but they are being unreasonable if they expect other people to accept the conclusions which they are deriving from such willfulness.


Yes, as I said, some is indeterminate, so there is no ignoring.

Incorrect. You did not say "some is indeterminate." So either you do not write well, cannot understand the logic of your own words, or you make up things as an excuse to attack other people. In fact, this can be identified with a logical fallacy. "Whatever is indeterminate diminishes our modeling" means our modeling is diminished IF there is anything indeterminate. If A then B does not allow you affirm A, so by equating these two you have committed a logical fallacy. Furthermore it is amazing how far out on a limb you go to concoct such an attack. You said, "we cannot know if everything is deterministic," which is utterly inconsistent with a clam that "some is indeterminate," because if some is indeterminate then you would know that it is NOT deterministic.

DragonFly » April 21st, 2018, 3:57 pm wrote:Total libertarians do claim that they are first cause, self made people at every instant.

Incorrect.

From this link:
The philosophers who claim that we have free actions are called libertarians. The radical opposition that libertarians pose to the determinist position is their acceptance of free actions. Libertarians accept the incompatibility premise that holds agents morally responsible for free actions. Incompatibilism maintains that determinism is incompatible with human freedom. Libertarians accept that there are free actions, and in doing so, believe that we are morally responsible for some of our actions, namely, the free ones.

The libertarian ONLY claims that we do have free will actions and affirm the incompatibility of determinism with free will. There is no claim here that free will is absolute, inviolable, and applies to every action and thus that people are "self made at every instance."

Thus in the following it is clear you are burning an absurd strawman.
DragonFly » April 21st, 2018, 3:57 pm wrote: How does this work? A theory of conscious intentions happening without any underlying physical processes ('you') behind them is the toughest sell of all proposals on the will, so it's no wonder that this 'being free of the will' can't be shown. Plus, why does one want this? Perhaps a distaste for having a will that wills things in the subconscious dark. These trillions of connections firing are not portrayed in consciousness, thank goodness.

Someone only claims the opposition is selling something absurdly silly because they want to make something only slightly less absurd and silly sound reasonable by comparison. But to make sure you understand...
1. Nobody HERE is selling a theory of conscious intention without any underlying physical processes.
2. Nobody HERE is claiming any "being free of the will"
These are indeed nonsense.

Instead...
1. As a physicalist with regards to the mind-body problem I oppose the idea of conscious intention without any physical processes. Nor would I assert that there are no unconscious processes underlying our conscious intentions. But as I explained in another thread just because there are such processes does not mean we have no responsibility for them or that our intention does not constitute a conscious cause of our action.
2. As a libertarian it is absurd to think free will means freedom from the will. What we reject is the attempt to separate the self from desires and will as if these were some external thing forcing people to do things. This is nothing but pure empty rhetoric on the part of the opposition. Freedom from the will is the OPPOSITE of free will. If you are not acting according to your desire then this is an example of actions without free will.

DragonFly » April 21st, 2018, 3:57 pm wrote:The more indeterminacy the worse we are able to carry our our ability to operate, which minimal and trivial capability is called 'freedom of action'.

Incorrect. This is only because you equate freedom with control. It is not the same thing. Besides the indeterminacy in the laws of physics is only with respect to a system of mathematical laws. It doesn't really say that nothing causes the result, but only that there are no variables to make the exact result calculable.

DragonFly » April 21st, 2018, 3:57 pm wrote:How is responsibility gained at any point when one was never responsible for prior causes toward one's being/self that couldn't be chosen?

Again it is because free will does not equal control. Free will only means you choose how to respond to the situation. It does require an awareness of alternatives, but it does not require an ability to dictate exactly what will happen in the future.

DragonFly » April 21st, 2018, 3:57 pm wrote:So, prison time need not be assigned for retribution only, more compassion can be granted for those who did as they had to, and we come to better understand our place in the universe. Life is great for experiencing and living, and fatalism isn't recommended, for it could work against the enjoyment.

While imprisonment may be an improvement over the old English law, the inadequacies are legion. It was indeed invented as a means of reforming the convicted even if it fails to accomplish this very well. To be sure, "retribution" is a lousy basis for a system of justice. But the point of "mercy" isn't just compassion but to acknowledge the fact that mistakes are part of the process by which we learn. Therefore, coming down on people like a load bricks for any mistake is counterproductive. On the other hand, we would be foolish not to consider whether a person in question is showing any ability to learn from their mistakes. If not, a change of environment/circumstances is probably called for, even if today's prisons largely fail to be environment needed.

Observe that this analysis of justice and mercy has nothing whatsoever to do with free will. The government of a free society should be founded upon what can be objectively established and free will is not one of these things. In the above consideration of justice and mercy, the question of whether a person truly has free will is completely irrelevant.

DragonFly » April 21st, 2018, 3:57 pm wrote:It's fine with me if you want a fully formed Being with a system of intelligence to be there First, amid nothing else, but to stick to the template of ID, then a Higher ID had to be behind it, etc., or we could just forget about the one-off usage golden template of ID. The universe looks to be tuned, if it is, for mostly a lot of hydrogen gas in endless sparse spaces. It took ten billion years for us to be able to persist a bit in our rarity amid the waste.

I consider Intelligent Design to be attack upon science -- shoving theology into a place where it clearly does not belong. Nor do I agree with intelligent design even in theology, for I think that evolution is more compatible with a belief in a loving God (because of the philosophical problem of evil). Frankly, I consider design to be incompatible with the very essence of what life is.
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Re: Inner Reality Unveiled

Postby DragonFly on April 21st, 2018, 11:56 pm 

Great post, Mitch.

I'm referring to "a lot is determinate", leaving room that some is indeterminate since QM finds this, and some brain doings may be at the micro-macro boundary and be affected, this degrading our ability to operate our intentions.

Here's a "libertarian" example/definition that may fit better:

Hard Determinism and Libertarianism

Probing further into the free will-debate, we meet two different kinds of incompatibilist positions: hard determinism, which holds that determinism is true and that free will is not compatible with determinism, and libertarianism, which holds that we do have free will and that determinism is false. Given that these positions agree about the definition of determinism, we here actually have a genuine disagreement over fundamental ontological matters – a disagreement about whether determinism is true or not. This is a peculiar question to have strong disagreements about, however, since we know the final answer that we will ever get concerning the truth of determinism: that the state of the world is caused to be the way it is by its prior state at least to some degree, but to what degree exactly can never be known.

The libertarian position has often been criticized with the argument that even if determinism is not true, we still do not have free will, since our actions then simply are the product of a combination of deterministic and indeterministic events that we still do not ultimately choose ourselves, a view referred to as hard incompatibilism. Libertarians do not necessarily accept that this argument shows that we do not have free will, and the reason, or at least a big part of it, should not surprise anyone at this point: they simply define free will differently. According to libertarians, such as Robert Nozick and Robert Kane, one has free will if one could have acted otherwise than one did, and if indeterminism is true, then it may be true that we could have “acted” differently than we did under the exact same circumstances, and that we thereby might have free will in this sense. It should be pointed out, though, that critics of libertarianism are“rightly skeptical about the relevance of this kind of free will. First of all, the free will that libertarians endorse is, unlike what many libertarians seem to think, not an ethically relevant kind of freedom, and it does not have anything to do with the freedom of action that we by definition want. Second, the hard incompatibilist is right that no matter what is true about the degree to which the universe is deterministic, our actions are still caused by prior causes ultimately beyond our own control, which few of those who identify themselves as libertarians seem to want to acknowledge. And lastly, the fact that our actions are caused by causes ultimately beyond our own control does, if we truly appreciated, undermine our intuition of retributive justice, an intuition that libertarians generally seem to want to defend intellectually. So, as many have pointed out already, libertarians are simply on a failed mission.

Together with the want to defend retributive blame and punishment, what seems to be the main motivation for people who defend a libertarian notion of free will seems to be a fear of predeterminism, a fear of there being just one possible outcome from the present state of the universe, which would imply that we ultimately cannot do anything to cause a different outcome than the one possible. Libertarians and others with the same fear have artfully tried to make various models to help them overcome this fear, for instance so-called two-stage models that propose that our choices consist of an indeterministic stage of generation of possible actions, and then our non-random choice of one of them. (It should be noted, in relation to such models, that even if this is how our choices are made, our choice to choose one of these “alternative possibilities” will still be caused by prior causes that are ultimately completely beyond our own control. Nothing changes this fact, again because decision-making is the product of complex physical processes; it is not an uncaused event.) It is generally unclear what the purpose of such models is. Are they a hypotheses we should test? They do not seem to be. Generally, these models most of all seem like an attempt to make the world fit our preconceived intuitions, which most of all resembles pseudoscience.

Fortunately, there is plenty of relief available to the libertarians and other people who have this fear, and it does not involve any unscientific models – neither two-stage, three-stage, nor any other number of stages. The source of this relief is the simple earlier-mentioned fact that we can never know whether there is just one or infinitely many possible outcomes from the present state of the universe. This simple fact gives us all the relief we could ask for, because it reveals that there is no reason to be sure that there is just one possible outcome from the present state of the universe. And, to repeat an important point, we are then left with the conclusion that the only reasonable thing to do is to try to make the best impact we can in the world, which is true no matter whether there is just one possible outcome from the present state of the universe or not, since our actions still have consequences and therefore still matter even in a fully deterministic universe.

Some, especially libertarians, might want to object to the claim that we can never know whether determinism is true or not, and even claim that we in fact now know, or at least have good reasons to believe, that indeterminism is true. Here is neuroscientist Peter Tse expressing something along those lines: “Henceforth, I will accept the weight of evidence from modern physics, and assume ontological indeterminism to be the case.” (Tse, 2013, p. 244). Making this assumption is, however, to take a position on an unanswerable question. Again, rather than making strong claims about this question, we should stick to what we in fact know, namely that we do not know.”

Excerpt From: Magnus Vinding. “Free Will: An Examination of Human Freedom.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/free-w ... 3363?mt=11


To extend the OP's implications of physical processes/causes dominating…

There are still real values in an existence with no ultimate purpose, this 'value' meaning good and bad valences and actions. It would be of great value to lessen suffering and improve well-being in humans and in all species. (Fixed wills are dynamic, simply meaning that they can learn and thus change to a better fixed will.)

As for our model of reality, this is consciousness and it is ever our only view point inside the head in a brain, being what it is like to experience the world from the inside out.
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Re: Inner Reality Unveiled

Postby RJG on April 22nd, 2018, 1:07 am 

Direct realism is not possible. We humans can only experience 'experiences' (sensations; sense data), not the 'real' things or objects themselves. Furthermore, we have no way of knowing if these experiences represent 'real' objects, or are just simply products of illusion; hallucination, delusion, dream, mirage, etc.

For this reason, solipsism is a possibility (i.e. it is just as plausible as it is not), and true self-awareness is not possible (i.e. we don't experience objects, including those called 'self')


DragonFly wrote:There is no direct (literal) view of the actual reality 'out there'. Our inner viewport is ever only that of the model (qualia) of inner and outer reality built by the brain. We see/sense nothing but this model made inside the brain.

Braininvat wrote:I invite anyone who thinks that bus hurtling down the street is nothing but a model in the brain to step in front of it.

Isn't it possible to dream or hallucinate stepping out in front of a bus hurtling down the street? This does not mean that the bus (in the dream/hallucination) is actually 'real'.

One does not normally step out in front of a bus (even in dreams) because they think it is not real, - it is the 'fear' (that it might be real, and) being smashed by it, that compels one not to step in front of it.

Braininvat wrote:Your impression of the bus may be indirect, but it has a direct causal chain of connections to the actual bus out there.

Not necessarily. You are assuming there is an "actual" bus out there (instead of a possible "hallucinated" bus). We have no way of knowing the cause of our mental impressions.
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Re: Inner Reality Unveiled

Postby wolfhnd on April 22nd, 2018, 3:31 am 

A bus that we do not step in front of is an extremely low resolution concept of what a bus is. Only the people who design and maintain the bus really know what a bus is at a relatively high resolution. Even then the designer doesn't really know the bus on the street because a bus is not just a collection of parts but takes it's meaning from an even more complex social and physical environment.

If you're a realist you assume that the bus can in theory be defined down to it's subatomic particles and a high resolution image of what it is can be created. The problem is that human perspective such an approach strips meaning from the image.

The other problem is that the kind of truth that a purely scientific approach provides tends to confuse the thing itself with it's mathematical model. The kind of absolutism that math provides is always subjective first because the parameters are always finite but the environment from our perspective is practically infinite and second because the model is an approximation even if 2+2 is always 4. A reductionist approach is a practical necessity that doesn't satisfy the evolutionary imperative for meaning.

The old view that everything can be reduced to cause and effect is itself challenged by the accepted view that determinism itself breaks down at tiny scales. Myself I'm not bothered by the indeterminate because I'm a pragmatist and close enough seems to satisfy practical solutions, scientific issues and philosophical questions. The philosophers goal is to determine what constitutes close enough to preserve life and meaning.
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Re: Inner Reality Unveiled

Postby RJG on April 22nd, 2018, 8:24 am 

mitchellmckain wrote:If you are not acting according to your desire then this is an example of actions without free will.

If you act according to your desires, then you are it's slave. There is no free-will in slavery.

We don't control our desires. Our desires control us.
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Re: Inner Reality Unveiled

Postby DragonFly on April 22nd, 2018, 10:40 am 

Subject and Object

“This distinction between subject and object is not just an interesting oddity. It begins at the level of physics in the distinction between the probability inherent in symbolic measurements and the certainty of material laws. The distinction is later exemplified in the difference between a genotype, the sequence of nucleotide symbols that make up an organism’s DNA, and phenotype, its actual physical structure that those symbols prescribe. It travels with us up the evolutionary layers to the distinction between the mind and the brain.”

“These concepts will help us see how neural circuits are structures with a double life: they carry symbolic information, which is subject to arbitrary rules, yet they possess a material structure that is subject to the laws of physics.”

Excerpt From: Michael S. Gazzaniga. “The Consciousness Instinct.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-co ... 3607?mt=11
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Re: Inner Reality Unveiled

Postby Neri on April 22nd, 2018, 11:13 am 

DF,

On this topic, I should like to associate myself with the views of Mitch and BIV and will only add s few additional comments.

The question is not whether our experience is equivalent in every way to what lies outside of us, for such a thing is impossible.

[A perception cannot be exactly the same as a material object, for the former depends upon a sentient being for its existence, whereas the latter does not. Further, it is impossible to know everything that may be predicated of any material object by merely perceiving it.]

The real question is: Do sense impressions correspond to material objects in such a way that they are effective in preserving us from dangers that lie outside of us?

This question veritably answers itself. Only a madman would deny the evidence of his own senses.

It is essential to understand that the correspondence of which I speak depends on the reality of motion [from which we derive the ideas of time and space].

To keep ourselves safe, it is necessary that we have the ability to know when a material object is moving closer or further from us and to be able to recognize an object as a danger. This, the senses give us, for perceptions like all other experiences are memories [are preserved over time].

An object is recognized as a danger through prior sensory experiences preserved as long-term memories.

In order to be recognized and remembered as a danger, a material object must have the power to produce a particular human experience of it.

That power is part of the nature of the object and is thus truly reflected in the perception of it—even though there may be more to the object than its power to yield a human perception.

To the reasonable mind, the above comments may properly be seen as statements of the obvious. The curious fact, however, is that a whole school of western philosophy has labored mightily to deny the obvious.
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Re: Inner Reality Unveiled

Postby DragonFly on April 22nd, 2018, 11:49 am 

Neri,

I agree; I'm only delving into the inner experience to see how it works and what may become of that.
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Re: Inner Reality Unveiled

Postby TheVat on April 22nd, 2018, 11:57 am 

RJG, this tablet ate the quoted part of your post and somehow hid the submit button, so sorry about the missing comment....


No, I was not assuming the in-the-moment knowledge, but rather that facts about buses are physically verifiable when science is applied. It is not difficult to verify that I was neither dreaming nor hallucinating. We are saved from solipsism by the multiplicity of observers and their reports. We can open a book and read complex prose (something that can't be done in dreams) that reveals areas of knowledge utterly unknown to us and beyond our previous experiences. We have senses enhanced by instruments that can show us photons leaving the photosphere of the sun and bouncing off solid objects like buses in particular and regular patterns, etc. Inner phenomenal reality and external reality are seamlessly connected and interacting - it is only big cranium apes like us who erect a wall of demarcation between them. Or drugs or pathological conditions that disrupt the causal connections.
To say that sensory data is incomplete is not equivalent to saying that it is deceptive. We are deceived only if we imagine that our impressions are complete. Our brains are engineered to find relevant data, not complete data. ("engineered" probably needs quotes)
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Re: Inner Reality Unveiled

Postby TheVat on April 22nd, 2018, 12:00 pm 

Had to use Quick Reply window to post the above. Anyone else losing the submit button after Full Editor has been open for a couple minutes?? I will try to make sure this doesn't happen to anyone.
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Re: Inner Reality Unveiled

Postby DragonFly on April 22nd, 2018, 1:58 pm 

What else, for now:

“Finally, affective consciousness—emotionally positive and negative feelings—has its own brain circuits, it does not require isomorphic mapping, and it may be experienced as mental states rather than mental images (figure 2.5B; chapters 7 and 8). Thus, isomorphic maps are only one part of the creation and evolution of subjectivity and “something it is like to be”; many other special and general features (table 2.1) are required to create sensory consciousness and ontological subjectivity.”

“Consciousness-associated attention has several subtypes, including bottom-up (exogenous) versus top-down (endogenous) attention.48 Bottom-up attention is driven by the importance of the incoming stimuli and leads to the animal orienting to things that happen suddenly in the environment. Top-down attention, on the other hand, involves proactive anticipation, maintaining attention by concentration and focusing on goals.

Excerpt From: Todd E. Feinberg. “The Ancient Origins of Consciousness.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-an ... 6953?mt=11
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Re: Inner Reality Unveiled

Postby RJG on April 22nd, 2018, 2:58 pm 

Neri wrote:The real question is: Do sense impressions correspond to material objects in such a way that they are effective in preserving us from dangers that lie outside of us?

Firstly, we are not consciously aware of the actual causers (the supposed 'real' objects themselves) of these "sense impressions". We are only consciously aware of the actual "sense impressions" (i.e. the actual physical bodily reactions; experiences) themselves, ...and of course this is only after they occur (after they impact our body).

Secondly, we all assume that these "sense impressions" are the result of something 'real' out-there. Whether from a misfiring (hallucinating) brain, or from sensory signals emanating from a real object itself, it is still nonetheless 'real'. We all assume these "sense impressions" are the automatic reaction/response from some 'real' stimuli.

Thirdly, what "preserves us from danger" is NOT the conscious awareness of our sense impressions, but instead, it is the body's automatic RESPONSE to this danger (STIMULI) that "preserves us from danger", ...and not the conscious awareness of said response.

Fourthly, if the body auto-responds in a particular way then the likelihood of survivability is enhanced, and if the response is otherwise then it may be diminished.

Neri wrote:To keep ourselves safe, it is necessary that we have the ability to know when a material object is moving closer or further from us and to be able to recognize an object as a danger.

Not so. It is NOT the "knowing" or "recognizing" of the dangerous moving object that "keep ourselves safe". It is the body's automatic reaction/response to this moving object (stimuli) that "keep ourselves safe".

Remember, we can only be conscious of (i.e. know or recognize) actual bodily reactions/events, and not of other 'external' events. We don't consciously know/recognize how we responded until 'after' we (our body) responds. Our consciousness (knowing/recognizing) is wholly dependent upon our bodily reactions/responses, ...NOT the other way around.

Without something (e.g. sense impressions; bodily reactions) to be conscious of, then there is no consciousness (...no knowing or recognizing!).


Braininvat wrote:No, I was not assuming the in-the-moment knowledge, but rather that facts about buses are physically verifiable when science is applied.

Can't one hallucinate they are doing verifiable science?

Braininvat wrote:It is not difficult to verify that I was neither dreaming nor hallucinating...

...We can open a book and read complex prose (something that can't be done in dreams) that reveals areas of knowledge utterly unknown to us and beyond our previous experiences.

I'm not so confident/convinced of this. Have you seen the movie "A Beautiful Mind"? ...or have had family members with mental issues?

Braininvat wrote:We are saved from solipsism by the multiplicity of observers and their reports...

...We have senses enhanced by instruments that can show us photons leaving the photosphere of the sun and bouncing off solid objects like buses in particular and regular patterns, etc. Inner phenomenal reality and external reality are seamlessly connected and interacting - it is only big cranium apes like us who erect a wall of demarcation between them.

Isn't it possible to hallucinate these "multiple observers and their reports", ...and their "instrumentation" results?

Other than by 'blind faith', how can one really know that their perceptions are the 'true' representations of reality? ...I think it is not possible, ...I think we can only 'hope' that our personal view is of reality itself.

We can't perceive beyond our current ("suspect") perceptions.
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Re: Inner Reality Unveiled

Postby DragonFly on April 22nd, 2018, 3:57 pm 

How about that the 'knowing' is done by the brain that built the qualia showing the danger, for the brain thus already has the information available, in whatever form it uses to 'know'.
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Re: Inner Reality Unveiled

Postby TheVat on April 22nd, 2018, 4:50 pm 

Isnt it possible to hallucinate these "multiple observers and their reports", ...and their "instrumentation" results?
- RJG

For me, that level of arch-skepticism is an epistemic doldrums zone. As David Hume famously observed about a conference on epistemology on Europe, "on finishing their discussion, the participants all departed by means of the doors. " (or similar; don't have exact quote handy ATM)
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Re: Inner Reality Unveiled

Postby DragonFly on April 22nd, 2018, 5:09 pm 

Whenever I write numbers in dreams they change as I write them and when I read it often fills up with garbage.

I've been lucidly inspecting my dreams. Some flaws are that bugs appear as triangles. Yesterday, I was going to eat in a cafeteria but you had to bring your own plates from home, so I already suspected something. I did find a pile of plates and took one, but I was soon somehow holding the whole pile, which then happened again and again, so, as in these stuck cases, I clench my whole body and that wakes me up. Other times, for lesser problems or to be sure of the dream state, I am able to open one eye and see the window and then go back to the dream. And sometimes the dream perfectly shows an entire scene in fabulous detail, such as a mid summer dusk, with even those whirly things floating through the air.
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Re: Inner Reality Unveiled

Postby mitchellmckain on April 23rd, 2018, 4:00 am 

DragonFly » April 20th, 2018, 2:14 pm wrote:The model seems to be super real,

To me, that seems like a completely nonsensical thing to say to. "Seems real" compared to what? By the only standard we have, it is real, for it is the only standard which we have for making such a measurement. What you say is practically Platonic in the implied imagination of some greater reality somewhere else.

DragonFly » April 20th, 2018, 2:14 pm wrote:So, in sum so far, direct realism is an illusion, but is a very useful illusion, which we might better call a fine representation by the model, since the word 'illusion' is more about what's wrong as not really showing its object as substantial and really being behind it.


From Wikipedia:
In philosophy of mind, naïve realism, also known as direct realism or common sense realism, is the idea that the senses provide us with direct awareness of objects as they really are. Objects obey the laws of physics and retain all their properties whether or not there is anyone to observe them.[1] They are composed of matter, occupy space and have properties, such as size, shape, texture, smell, taste and colour, that are usually perceived correctly.

In contrast, some forms of idealism claim that no world exists apart from mind-dependent ideas, and some forms of skepticism say we cannot trust our senses. Naïve realism is known as direct as against indirect or representative realism when its arguments are developed to counter the latter position, also known as epistemological dualism;[2] that our conscious experience is not of the real world but of an internal representation of the world.

There is nothing of illusion in direct realism. There is only the foolish rhetoric implying that "direct" in "direct realism" means absorbing the actual object rather than data from those objects. The data IS from actual objects and does provide awareness of actual objects obeying the laws of physics. The implication that anyone is confusing the awareness of an object with the object itself is just ridiculous. Instead you can say that the process of perception is what makes illusions possible. Because we are interpreting data, then it is entirely possible for similar data to suggest something other than what is the case, such as the impression of water from a mirage -- at least until we learn the distinctions.

When you consider the philosophical alternative, plastering the word "illusion" on direct realism implies that idealism is the reality beneath it. And that is an implication I would refute most heatedly. As for indirect realism, as I explained above, I think it is carrying things too far to say that we are experiencing the model instead of reality. Instead I would limits the validity only to the idea that we use a model in the process of perception. In that sense you could say my position is in-between that of direct realism and indirect realism.

DragonFly » April 20th, 2018, 2:14 pm wrote:Dreams, then, would be better called illusions; further they demonstrate the power of the structure of the model. When we inspects objects in dreams they look just as good as when we see them awake, although backgrounds come and go inconsistently and there are narrative gaps (all of a sudden we are driving a vehicle without ever having gotten into it, plus the controls are a mystery.)

I think it is unwise to make generalizations about dreams in such a manner. That is not my experience of dreams at all. My impression is that dreams consist of a mental (linguistic) narrative using memory to fill in the details. The only uniqueness in such experiences are the irrational combinations and discontinuities. Because of this, I have no sense this is anywhere near as good as when we see things awake, when we are interpreting fresh new sensory data. For me, this imparts a considerably dim character to the dream experience.

For me dreams are rather comparable to when I envision scenarios for my books. I see them in my mind's eye but not in a manner that is remotely comparable to my experience of reality through the senses. I am not suggesting that everyone experiences dreams this way. On the contrary, the phenomenon of schizophrenia suggests to me that some people can see things in their minds eye with the same vividness of the senses, for otherwise, how can they not know the difference?

DragonFly » April 20th, 2018, 2:14 pm wrote:Another illusion is the feeling of having all of the information in a qualia scene as instantly available, as well as feeling that it is all happening in real time, plus that one is directing it all right then and there.

Calling this illusion is a gross exaggeration. At most it is simply approximation.
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Re: Inner Reality Unveiled

Postby DragonFly on April 23rd, 2018, 11:37 am 

'Imagination' (say, of things to happen in a book,) uses the model, too, but the scenes are about 90% transparent, probably so they don't get in the way of the real scenes about.
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Re: Inner Reality Unveiled

Postby DragonFly on April 23rd, 2018, 2:51 pm 

Boggling idea of the Subject/Object Cut…

“The Schnitt and the Origins of Life

Physicists refer to the inescapable separation of a subject (the measurer) from an object (the measured) as die Schnitt. (What a great word!) Pattee calls “this unavoidable conceptual separation of the knower and the known, or the symbolic record of an event and the event itself, the epistemic cut.

There is a world of actions that exists on the side of the observer with the observer’s record of an event. There is also a separate world of actions on the side of the event itself. This sounds confusing, but think of the explanatory gap between your subjective experience of an event (I had so much fun body-surfing) and the event itself (A person went swimming in the ocean). Alternately, you can think of the explanatory gap between the same subjective experience (This is fun) and the goings-on within the brain (Some neurons fired while a person was swimming in the ocean). These are all just versions of the subject/object complementarity seen in physics. Here is the really wild part: Who’s measuring the events? To examine the difference between a person’s subjective experience and objective reality, do we need a scientist? Who’s measuring the scientist?

Pattee points out that neither classical nor quantum theory formally defines the subject, that is, the agent or observer that determines what is measured. Physics, therefore, does not say where to make the epistemic cut.4 Quantum measurement does not need a physicist-observer, however. Pattee argues that other things can perform quantum measurements. For example, enzymes (such as DNA polymerases) can act as measurement agents, performing quantum measurement during a cell’s replication process. No human observer is needed.

For Schrödinger, the joke was on us. He was trying to point out that there is something missing in our understanding. Pattee got it (in high school) and buckled down to attack the problem. Where should we put the cut, the gap, die Schnitt? With his consuming interest in the origins of life, he came to realize that human consciousness was way too high a layer in the architecture of all living organisms to put the epistemic cut between the observer and the observed, between the subjective experience and the event itself. There are umpteen layers between subatomic particles and human brains. There are plenty of layers between subatomic particles and brains in general (cat or mouse or fly or worm). Putting the major epistemic cut that high led to the nonsense of Schrödinger’s cat existing as a quantum system. There was no pussyfooting around for Pattee: “I have taken the point of view that the question of what constitutes an observation in quantum mechanics must arise long before we reach the complexity of the brain. In fact, I propose … that the gap between quantum and classical behavior is inherent in the distinction between inanimate and living matter.

There you have it. Pattee proposes that the gap resulted from a process equivalent to quantum measurement that began with self-replication at the origin of life with the cell as the simplest agent. The epistemic cut, the subject/object cut, the mind/matter cut, all are rooted to that original cut at the origin of life. The gap between subjective feeling and objective neural firings didn’t come about with the appearance of brains. It was already there when the first cell started living. Two complementary modes of behavior, two levels of description are inherent in life itself, were present at the origin of life, have been conserved by evolution, and continue to be necessary for differentiating subjective experience from the event itself. That is a mind-boggling idea.”

Excerpt From: Michael S. Gazzaniga. “The Consciousness Instinct.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-co ... 3607?mt=11
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Re: Inner Reality Unveiled

Postby mitchellmckain on April 24th, 2018, 1:06 pm 

The "like" on the above post is not to be construed as complete agreement with conclusions, but rather more with an abundant approval of the questions and issues raised.

DragonFly » April 23rd, 2018, 1:51 pm wrote:Boggling idea of the Subject/Object Cut…

“The Schnitt and the Origins of Life

Physicists refer to the inescapable separation of a subject (the measurer) from an object (the measured) as die Schnitt. (What a great word!) Pattee calls “this unavoidable conceptual separation of the knower and the known, or the symbolic record of an event and the event itself, the epistemic cut.

There is a world of actions that exists on the side of the observer with the observer’s record of an event. There is also a separate world of actions on the side of the event itself. This sounds confusing, but think of the explanatory gap between your subjective experience of an event (I had so much fun body-surfing) and the event itself (A person went swimming in the ocean). Alternately, you can think of the explanatory gap between the same subjective experience (This is fun) and the goings-on within the brain (Some neurons fired while a person was swimming in the ocean). These are all just versions of the subject/object complementarity seen in physics. Here is the really wild part: Who’s measuring the events? To examine the difference between a person’s subjective experience and objective reality, do we need a scientist? Who’s measuring the scientist?

Pattee points out that neither classical nor quantum theory formally defines the subject, that is, the agent or observer that determines what is measured. Physics, therefore, does not say where to make the epistemic cut.4 Quantum measurement does not need a physicist-observer, however. Pattee argues that other things can perform quantum measurements. For example, enzymes (such as DNA polymerases) can act as measurement agents, performing quantum measurement during a cell’s replication process. No human observer is needed.

Absolute agreement here! I have always considered quantum interpretations linking quantum decoherence with human consciousness to be absurd -- with one exception. The one interpretation which makes this link and is not absurd is the Everett Interpretation. THOUGH, I would not count this in its favor! Furthermore, it isn't actually necessary to the Everett Interpretation, for it is quite possible to shift the locus of the decoherence in this interpetation to agree with other interpretations.

DragonFly » April 23rd, 2018, 1:51 pm wrote:For Schrödinger, the joke was on us. He was trying to point out that there is something missing in our understanding.

Agreed! That is how I have always understood the Schrödinger cat thought experiment. It was not to seriously propose the existence of dead-alive cats but to highlight the absurdities which come from the way that quantum physics was usually being presented.

DragonFly » April 23rd, 2018, 1:51 pm wrote:Pattee got it (in high school) and buckled down to attack the problem. Where should we put the cut, the gap, die Schnitt? With his consuming interest in the origins of life, he came to realize that human consciousness was way too high a layer in the architecture of all living organisms to put the epistemic cut between the observer and the observed, between the subjective experience and the event itself. There are umpteen layers between subatomic particles and human brains. There are plenty of layers between subatomic particles and brains in general (cat or mouse or fly or worm). Putting the major epistemic cut that high led to the nonsense of Schrödinger’s cat existing as a quantum system. There was no pussyfooting around for Pattee: “I have taken the point of view that the question of what constitutes an observation in quantum mechanics must arise long before we reach the complexity of the brain. In fact, I propose … that the gap between quantum and classical behavior is inherent in the distinction between inanimate and living matter.

And here is where we have a disagreement. While I totally appreciate pushing many things such as consciousness, learning, and creativity down to the lowest levels of the divide between the living and nonliving, I personally do not believe that this has anything whatsoever to do with the quantum measurement problem.

DragonFly » April 23rd, 2018, 1:51 pm wrote:There you have it. Pattee proposes that the gap resulted from a process equivalent to quantum measurement that began with self-replication at the origin of life with the cell as the simplest agent.

Furthermore, I think this focus on self-replication as the divide between the living and non-living may be a little behind the times. Metabolism first theories of abiogenesis and the study of prebiotic evolution strongly suggest that key features of the life process are located way before the development of self-replicating molecules such as RNA and DNA. On the other hand, perhaps this idea of self-replication can be extended to processes in prebiotic evolution in which there is a catalysis of chemical reactions which replenish the chemical components. After all, self-maintenance is a definitive feature of the life process and would suggest that any life process must include the regeneration of its components.

DragonFly » April 23rd, 2018, 1:51 pm wrote: The epistemic cut, the subject/object cut, the mind/matter cut, all are rooted to that original cut at the origin of life. The gap between subjective feeling and objective neural firings didn’t come about with the appearance of brains. It was already there when the first cell started living. Two complementary modes of behavior, two levels of description are inherent in life itself, were present at the origin of life, have been conserved by evolution, and continue to be necessary for differentiating subjective experience from the event itself. That is a mind-boggling idea.”

This would only work if you can make a logical connection with this definitive feature of life in a process of self maintenance. I have already suggested a connection between this and consciousness by pointing out that self maintenance requires some kind of awareness of self, both as it is and as it "should be." Without some sort of "should be" in some form there can be no self-maintenance. It should be noted that there are numerous quantitative features to this, such as the clarity with which this goal of self as it "should be" is represented, the determination/flexibility with which it is adhered to (or in other words the range of circumstances which can be handled in holding to this goal).
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Re: Inner Reality Unveiled

Postby TheVat on April 24th, 2018, 1:52 pm 

It seems likely a paramecium does no representing to a self, and is pretty much a cellular machine lacking sentience.

A paramecium is not full of Schnitt. It is not measuring or having goals or anything else. It is an automaton. To think otherwise would be to invite some sort of Bergsonian "elan vital" or other dualistic essence.

The problem with the term "observation" is that it's prejudicial in common parlance. It implies some sort of sentient observer. It implies a subjective aspect. So a more neutral term would be needed when a microbe registers a chance in its environment and contracts or expands or fires up the cilia or dumps the vacuoles or whatever. Or when a Bose Einstein condensate loses its coherence in a wet noisy puddle.
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Re: Inner Reality Unveiled

Postby mitchellmckain on April 24th, 2018, 2:09 pm 

Braininvat » April 24th, 2018, 12:52 pm wrote:It seems likely a paramecium does no representing to a self, and is pretty much a cellular machine lacking sentience.

But it is not a machine for the simple reason that it is not a product of design. The only reasons for which it does things are its own reasons. It is a product of self organization, and the learning process which is evolution.

I certainly agree with the term "biological machinery," which is to say that there is no reason to distinguish things simply on the basis that one uses the interactions of organic chemistry. Thus I think the locus of difference between the living organism and the machine has to do with origins whether it is by design or by learning, evolution, and self-organization.

Braininvat » April 24th, 2018, 12:52 pm wrote:The problem with the term "observation" is that it's prejudicial in common parlance. It implies some sort of sentient observer. It implies a subjective aspect. So a more neutral term would be needed when a microbe registers a chance in its environment and contracts or expands or fires up the cilia or dumps the vacuoles or whatever.

But the problem with this is that the prejudice in language goes both ways with the presumption of an uncrossable divide between the sentient and the non-sentient, when all the evidence points to a continuum going all the way from the non-living to the living to the sentient. And this is not a linear continuum but a rapidly branching tree with many capabilities somewhat arbitrarily (or rather anthropomorphically) lumped into this term "sentience."
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