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Anyone interested in consciousness must read David chalmers

higs

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I'm sure the Australian INTP's must know him. Shame on you if not, he should be a national pride. He's so smart and also he looks like a nice cuddly bear. <3 <3 David chalmers. Here is a paper, it's quite short and well worth reading, there's a good chance he'll blow your mind. http://consc.net/papers/facing.html

Then if you liked that read this, bit less short.
http://consc.net/papers/panpsychism.pdf

Here is his photo, so cute <3 <3
 

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Ribald

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Not sure how I feel about protopanpsychism. Stuart Hameroff seems kinda like a nut, but hell I guess he and Penrose could be right. The former likes to spend his time talking about quantum souls with Deepak Chopra and stuff, so... ya know. He also wrote some paper about how microtubules save the notion of free will because they send quantum information back in time so consciousness can process it and you can make decisions based on it and stuff... I mean, honestly I still don't think that saves free will.

It's an interesting debate and I hope we find out more about it this year. Personally I hope it is disproven. It makes me uncomfortable, all this fucking woo-shit. But if it's true it's true! Already looking bad for me and my distaste of Many Worlds. I really can't cope with a branching multiverse whose other branches we will probably never have access to. Whatever I guess.
 

higs

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Plz summarize what his point is
Read it you lazy bastard. His point is that qualia are unexplainable, there's no logical purpose to the subjective experience found yet, hard science cannot explain the phenomenon because all it does is explain the functions of physical entities. The subjective experience, despite being the thing most directly available to us is so far completely mysterious, and we must find a new method to explain it, instead of awkwardly avoiding the problem.

The second paper poses the problems of panpsychism, but also posits that it is logically feasible. Explores both sides of the argument (materialism vs dualism)

Working now, will chat more this evening.
 

Brontosaurie

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yeah people bringing up soft problems of consciousness are yawn-worthy
 

Cherry Cola

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Read it you lazy bastard. His point is that qualia are unexplainable, there's no logical purpose to the subjective experience found yet, hard science cannot explain the phenomenon because all it does is explain the functions of physical entities. The subjective experience, despite being the thing most directly available to us is so far completely mysterious, and we must find a new method to explain it, instead of awkwardly avoiding the problem.

The second paper poses the problems of panpsychism, but also posits that it is logically feasible. Explores both sides of the argument (materialism vs dualism)

Working now, will chat more this evening.
Statistically there is a high chance that when someone links something that said someone says is awesome it turns out to be meh, either because it explains something you already happened to know or because it makes no sense, and oftentimes you have to waste quite a bit of time reading or watching what was linked before you realize that it is meh. Maybe this guy is fantastic and I should just read him, but how am I to know? It is not lazy it is pragmatic. So I'm not asking for a summary in order to read that instead and then be done with, I'm only asking for one to get some indication on whether or not I should read it.

In any case I had started reading at work but only got through the part where he dismissed soft-problems before I had to get back to it, but that part right on albeit not containing anything novel. Now I know that he will deal with the subject of panpsychism, that is interesting and now I have to read it. I more or less sunscribe to pansychism myself so :P

Edit: ah it fucking said panpsychism in the link, oh well I have inferior Se so I can't help missing that dont judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree etc etc, gonna read the shit now.
 

Cognisant

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What an utter load of poppycock.

Qualia is a subjective bias and subjective bias is comprised of learnt associations, say for instance you lived your entire life in a world of only black, white and shades of grey and for the first time in your life you see colour, a red ball. Never before have you seen red, your eyes were always capable of seeing it but you just never exposed to it, but now you do see it and for the first time in your life your brain is receiving input from the red sensing cells in your retina.

Btw did you know many animals can't see red, they simply lack retinal cells that respond to that wavelength of light.

Anyway this new input is intergrated into your existing knowledge base by way of association, you associate the colour with the roundness of the ball, the features of the room, your current mood, anything and everything you because you're trying to make sense of it, trying to contextualise it. These associations are your subjective bias, you've only ever seen a red ball so you naturally assume redness has something to do with roundness, you think this ball must be somehow special, maybe all things become redder as they're rounder which would mean this vivid red ball must be the roundest thing you've ever encountered.

In this reality if I asked you to pick the colder colour between orange and blue you'd obviously pick blue, the temperature of the flash cards is exactly the same, blue is only colder conceptually due to the associations we have with it and cold things like water and ice. The mechanisms of this subjective bias can sometimes malfunction, resulting in learning difficulties (hard to make associations) or something like Synesthesia if the associations are made the wrong way or are too strong, indeed it can even be induced, if someone repeatedly hits you while saying "five" eventually merely saying it will result in an automatic flinch reflex because you now associate five with pain.

Back in the alternate universe you run off to tell your friend about this red ball you've seen and when he asks you what red looks like all you can say is round, which makes absolutely no sense to him, how can a colour be round? To confuse matters further what if he goes to see this red ball for himself and instead finds a red cube, well his associations and therefore his subjective biases will be different, he will think red looks cubist.

After meeting up again the two of you get into an argument which progresses to a philosophical discussion, what he saw was red and what you saw was red, indeed even with both objects with you in the same room you can both see they appear to be red but you disagree as to whether red looks more like a cube or a sphere. So the two of you wonder if you're seeing the same thing, you're both seeing the same wavelength of light but what about your personal subjective experiences, what's to say what looks red to you is actually the same red the other guy sees?

Well it's a dumb question.
I mean we can see multiple colours and multiple things that are the same except for their colour so we have the requisite associations to build the concept of colours being interchangeable, but just as someone who has never seen a colour before can neither describe nor understand the description of a colour because they lack the requisite associations so too are we incapable of seeing colours as anything other as we have conceived them to be.

Look at something blue, study it, now tell me something about it that's not a learnt association, explain to me as if I'd never seen blue before what blue is, obviously it can't be done, to educate me you need to create the right associations in my brain but you can't because there's no objective standard of blueness.

Indeed our perception of colours is totally wrong :D

Colour is a wavelength of light and the progression from one end of the colour spectrum to another is linear, there aren't regions of more or less wavelength, white light isn't comprised of a spectrum of several independent colours, we just see it that way because of the different wavelength sensing cells in our retina, the stripes in a rainbow are an illusion as a result if our inability to perceive the in-between colours.

We have four visual pigments, the mantis shrimp has twelve, we can't even imagine what they see except in abstract terms of light wavelengths or artificial visual filters which translate part of what they see into the colours we can perceive.
 

Cognisant

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I digress, getting back to qualia, asking whether different people see the same colours differently is like asking the meaning of life, it's a question based on a false assumption, you think the colours that you see are interchangeable but they're not, for example consider the difference between sandpaper and silk, the sandpaper is rough and the silk is smooth, but why does silk feel smooth and sandpaper feel rough?

Could silk feel rough and sandpaper feel smooth?
Well it would be the same as seeing blue as red and red as blue, they're different wavelengths that stimulate different cells and that's why they look the way they do, to talk about the blueness of blue or the redness of red is just abstract nonsense.

Why does blue look blue?
Because it is, why wouldn't blue look blue, how could blue not look blue?
If blue didn't look blue how would you know it was blue? :confused:
 

Cherry Cola

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Wait what was an utter load of poppycock and why? How can our perception of color be totally wrong, if it is subjective and there is no objective standard? That makes no sense.

What is a wavelength? What is matter and energy? What is being? Or perhaps rather what is it about those things that is? Those questions aren't any easier to answer than what blue is anyway, they are just not asked as frequently because they aren't as obvious. Everyone who is a human knows what blue is by merit of how we perceive it. No one knows what matter is or how the two connect.

That different people would see different colors differently makes absolutely no sense at all. Do two mantis shrimp see differently? No because if one did it would be a failure of a fucking shrimp and die.

The same reasoning can be applied to humans, unless you suffer from some weird deficiency which fucks with your brain the blue you see is the same any other humans blue. Knowing about evolution one can safely presume that if the structure of one sentient being is the same as that of another to the point that they are of the same species then how they experience the world will not differ much either.
 

higs

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Statistically there is a high chance that when someone links something that said someone says is awesome it turns out to be meh, either because it explains something you already happened to know or because it makes no sense, and oftentimes you have to waste quite a bit of time reading or watching what was linked before you realize that it is meh. Maybe this guy is fantastic and I should just read him, but how am I to know? It is not lazy it is pragmatic. So I'm not asking for a summary in order to read that instead and then be done with, I'm only asking for one to get some indication on whether or not I should read it.

In any case I had started reading at work but only got through the part where he dismissed soft-problems before I had to get back to it, but that part right on albeit not containing anything novel. Now I know that he will deal with the subject of panpsychism, that is interesting and now I have to read it. I more or less sunscribe to pansychism myself so :P

Edit: ah it fucking said panpsychism in the link, oh well I have inferior Se so I can't help missing that dont judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree etc etc, gonna read the shit now.
Haha me calling someone lazy is the highest form of hypocrisy.
 

Cherry Cola

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Tried what? All you did was proclaim "poppycock" and state a bunch of shit which everyone already knows.
 

higs

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Cognisant

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An AI could just as easily read input from sensors, form associations between it an other potentially relevant data and by this associative integration the AI would be able to see colour with it's own subjective bias and if you asked it would say it experiences qualia too, because it only would not if the input had not been integrated.

The only way I can prove qualia is mechanistic is to dissect your brain while you watch but I can't do that because I would be interrupting the very mechanisms needed for you to understand. It's just one of those unavoidable things, a snake can't swallow it's own tail until it pops out of existence nor can you subjectively experience the exact mechanism of you subjective experience, it's a loop that cannot be closed.

I tried to explain this, you obviously didn't understand and I can't make you understand, especially if there's something you want to believe that conflicts with what I'm telling you.
 

Cherry Cola

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No one has said that it isn't mechanistic. Your AI allegory seems to ignore the fact that just because a machine can act and respond as if though it were sentient that doesn't mean it is (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_room).

Why would you need to dissect the brain of the one you are trying to prove your point to? Just do it someone of the same species. In fact don't do it at all it's already been done. And again the instrumental nature of all forms of qualia (owing to the fact all sentient beings on earth are a product of evolution) makes this pretty darn obvious.

If it is a loop that can't be closed then where did this loop come from? Your AI argument suggests you can make new loops which cannot be closed so how does that work? At what point does something go from having no consciousness to being conscious? A loop is a pretty definitive thing after all, it either is a loop or it isn't.

You haven't explained anything at all when it comes to the hard problems of consciousness. I think your problem is that you are trying to explain things as if though you knew better when in fact you seem to have less of a clue about these things. The fact that you will not even touch the matter at hand from a neutral position makes it quite clear that if anyone wants to believe here it is you.

Edit: and it's pretty hard to reply because I still don't what it is you objected to initially or what your position even is though you've confused that of those whose positions you are in disagreement with. The zombie example has nothing to do does not imply that qualia is not mechanistic. Positing that qualia is not subject to the same laws as the rest of the universe would make one a dualist and a believer in free will. Which as you know wouldn't make any sense.

Panpsychism on the other hand solves the zombie issue, and the issue of demarcation (at what point an innanimate object becomes conscious) which you so hastily skipped, and it does not require bullshit like free will or dualism.

It does require being able to picture will without decision making though, which is something you had trouble with before. But which panpsychistic philosophers like Spinoza and Schopenhauer do not.
 

Cognisant

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The Chinese room experiment is exactly the kind of nonsense I'm talking about, the person in the room is simply acting as a processor, the fact that he dosen't know what's going on is irrelevant to the fact that the process itself is an intelligent process which is no different to the neurons and molecules in his brain not knowing they're a part of him, they don't need to, the person is not the matter of which they're comprised but rather the mechanistic processes occurring upon it.

I could play a computer game with nothing but pen and paper, it would take a bloody long time and there's not much point playing the game while I'm the one running it but all the same if you recorded all my processing and replayed it on a computer you would see the game running and being played.

There's nothing fucking magical about it.

Your AI allegory seems to ignore the fact that just because a machine can act and respond as if though it were sentient that doesn't mean it is
Alright smartass if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, lives, breathes, eats, shits, dies, reproduces and fucking tells you it's a fucking duck how is it not a duck?
 

Cognisant

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No I want to be enlightened, what is the essential nature of duckness?
 

higs

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An AI could just as easily read input from sensors, form associations between it an other potentially relevant data and by this associative integration the AI would be able to see colour with it's own subjective bias and if you asked it would say it experiences qualia too, because it only would not if the input had not been integrated.

The only way I can prove qualia is mechanistic is to dissect your brain while you watch but I can't do that because I would be interrupting the very mechanisms needed for you to understand. It's just one of those unavoidable things, a snake can't swallow it's own tail until it pops out of existence nor can you subjectively experience the exact mechanism of you subjective experience, it's a loop that cannot be closed.

I tried to explain this, you obviously didn't understand and I can't make you understand, especially if there's something you want to believe that conflicts with what I'm telling you.
Uuuuh...There's nothing I particularly want to believe, you condescending b....*cough*. I posted the theory on the forum for debate precisely. I understand what you're arguing fine, I'm just not as deadpan certain as you seem to be. I think he poses a valid problem, first of all the AI you talk about would have to attain consciousness of some sort, because anything less than that is just the equivalent of a complex washing machine, (certainly no qualia in those)

So far our knowledge of the brain tells us nothing of how electrical signals get to become the subjective experiences of orgasm, red, middle C, smell of coffee or whatever. The point is physiologists have no idea how this happens, and unless they find out, we can only assume the explanation is non-physical. Of course, I'm not doubting that my perception is explained in a fully deterministic manner by the structure of my brain and body, and clearly these perceptions are what give way to my subjective experience, but these remain something unexplained. Not to be annoying but you're sure you're distinguishing perception and subjective experience right? Because they're different things, an amazing machine with very precise perception, better than mine does not have a subjective experience of those perceptions.

You seem to either be talking about "soft problems" or arguing that subjective feeling is just the sum of my perceptions, so you're basically denying the phenomenon exists at all. Fine, but it basically is the central aspect of our lives, and not fully explaining it stupid, avoiding a seriously important question.
 

higs

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Ah ffs I keep posting only to find that stupid cherry cola has posted already. Not so lazy now hey? :mad:
 

TimeAsylums

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So far our knowledge of the brain tells us nothing of how electrical signals get to become the subjective experiences of orgasm, red, middle C, smell of coffee or whatever. The point is physiologists have no idea how this happens, and unless they find out,

we can only assume the explanation is non-physical.

argumentum ad ignorantiam?

Of course, I'm not doubting that my perception is explained in a fully deterministic manner by the structure of my brain and body, and clearly these perceptions are what give way to my subjective experience, but these remain something unexplained. Not to be annoying but you're sure you're distinguishing perception and subjective experience right? Because they're different things, an amazing machine with very precise perception, better than mine does not have a subjective experience of those perceptions.
So, let me get this straight,

you're acknowledging all of his points as "possibly" valid, but you're choosing mysticism?
 

Cherry Cola

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No one has implied or stated anything constituting magical thinking whatsoever any time at all (Edit: actually Higs might've done that lol, but that only makes you guilty of cherry-picking anyway). Can you stop making cheap statements implying that your opponents are idiots without showing how or why?

It does take some measure of magical thinking to simply leap from syntactic knowledge to semantic. Which is the difference between a zombie and a human in the link higs provided. As well as the reason why appearing conscious to another conscious being means nothing if the processes involved in producing said appearance are not structured in a way known to give rise to consciousness.

If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, lives, breathes, eats, shits, dies, reproduces and fucking tells you it's a fucking duck then it is still not a duck if upon dissection it turns out that it doesn't actually have a brain which we know gives rise to sentience by merit of the fact that too have brains and are sentient. There are already chatbots which can trick stupid people into thinking they are conscious when they are not.

Again you and TA are the ones practicing magical thinking here. One does not simply suddenly jump from syntactical knowledge to semantic. The reason we know that other people are not zombies is because they are like us, that is not the case with machines, indeed they do not work like our brains and bodies do, their structure is much much simpler.

But again why do I even bother, you haven't bothered reading anything I've written or taken any of my queries seriously. You could not answer the questions I posed. Yet you run around crying wolf thinking you've spotted magical thinking and that qualia is not mechanistic because your alarm bells go off all the time since you don't know the subject.
 

Cherry Cola

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Ah ffs I keep posting only to find that stupid cherry cola has posted already. Not so lazy now hey? :mad:
It is hard to remain lazy in the face of ignorance. However since neither cognisant nor TA understand the subject matter at all, I think this is a special case of ignorance which is in fact complete ignorance. And since no effort is being made on their part to understand shit or reply to shit this is probs a waste of time.

At least there is great irony in cognisant having that username.

Edit:

Okay TimeAsylums how lovely that you think so without being able to say why in a way that is even close to intelligeble how very wiki rationality of you.

Congratulations on the Fedora rhetoric as well. Or should I say hats off.
 

Cognisant

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I think he poses a valid problem, first of all the AI you talk about would have to attain consciousness of some sort, because anything less than that is just the equivalent of a complex washing machine, (certainly no qualia in those)
And yet we let them vote :D (I'm kidding don't hurt me)

I digress, how do you define consciousness because if consciousness is merely the state of being conscious and being conscious is defined of being aware of one's own existence and immediate environment than any robot that can successfully navigate a room without bumping into stuff possesses a limited form of consciousness. You may argue this is not "true consciousness" but that's exactly what I'm getting at, there is no definition of true consciousness, you see the world through your own eyes and assume your consciousness is somehow special, somehow something more than the mechanisms around you, but why?

Is that not an incredibly narcissistic assumption, you may concede that other people must be conscious too but you don't know that their consciousness is true consciousness like yours, likewise if we examine the assumption then how do you know your consciousness is special, perhaps you're a machine programmed to believe our consciousness is special and in actual fact that's practically the truth.

As I said earlier if the sensory input data wasn't integrated it would not be experienced, likewise to experience sensory input it has to be integrated by association into the association network of our minds. Experience is a mechanistic process, if it wasn't it wouldn't exist, it couldn't exist, but the cause of confusion is that you can't experience yourself experiencing experience (etc), the proverbial mind's eye can't see itself looking at itself, at itself, at itself, at itself, etc.

Y'see what I mean, the loop can't be closed, to understand that your subjectivity is the result of mechanistic processes requires a small intuitive leap and I can't force you to make it.

I can explain everything else to the point that it should be obvious, for instance on a molecular level our cells are entirely mechanistic and we are comprised entirely of cells so to think there's anything more to consciousness than a mechanistic process requires some kind of magic, seriously do I have to tell you magic isn't real?

The mind has to work some way, somehow, so either you relegate yourself to ignorance or you accept the fact that your mind is the result of a mechanistic process.

Not to be annoying but you're sure you're distinguishing perception and subjective experience right? Because they're different things, an amazing machine with very precise perception, better than mine does not have a subjective experience of those perceptions.
Why not? Because it's a machine, because you're not a machine?
How do you know you're not a machine programmed to think you're human?

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_Nh3z3PSAkE
 

Cherry Cola

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^Has not read the two essays and consequently projects a definition of consciousness which it is so darn obvious that it doesn't apply that it hurts and then goes on to attack that definition.

When do you plan to get a clue cognisant and time asylums? Is it going to happen like ever? I would like to know because I don't want to write more replies only to have you not bother out of intellectual cowardice or ignorance or some combination of the two.
 

Cognisant

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The reason we know that other people are not zombies is because they are like us, that is not the case with machines, indeed they do not work like our brains and bodies do, their structure is much much simpler.
That explains absolutely nothing.

So machine intelligence isn't as sophisticated as human intelligence, humans are simply far more sophisticated machines.
 

Cognisant

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As well as the reason why appearing conscious to another conscious being means nothing if the processes involved in producing said appearance are not structured in a way known to give rise to consciousness.
Why, is it a magic ritual?
 

Cognisant

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If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, lives, breathes, eats, shits, dies, reproduces and fucking tells you it's a fucking duck then it is still not a duck if upon dissection it turns out that it doesn't actually have a brain which we know gives rise to sentience by merit of the fact that too have brains and are sentient. There are already chatbots which can trick stupid people into thinking they are conscious when they are not.
It's true that chatbots use trickery but only to account for the huge disparity in processing power, the same information processing processes done by the brain can be done by a computer (in some regards not as well and in others a computer is better) but the result is at best (for now) an idiot savant.
 

Cherry Cola

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Why the switch from consciousness to intelligence all of a sudden?

In any case, okay then so if machine intelligence is just a less sophisticated version of human intelligence could you please say at what point machine intelligence becomes sophisticated enough for there to be consciousness? At what point does the machine start experiencing its own versions of things like blue and the taste of salt.

Since you want to attribute consciousness (or at least the potential for it) to machines in the same way as you would to humans -even though you have no clue how the human brain or the brain of any other animal generates consciousness and a machine is not structured like a human brain- you must know something about it that I don't.
 

higs

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Y'see what I mean, the loop can't be closed, to understand that your subjectivity is the result of mechanistic processes requires a small intuitive leap and I can't force you to make it.

I can explain everything else to the point that it should be obvious, for instance on a molecular level our cells are entirely mechanistic and we are comprised entirely of cells so to think there's anything more to consciousness than a mechanistic process requires some kind of magic, seriously do I have to tell you magic isn't real?

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_Nh3z3PSAkE
By saying "a small intuitive leap" you are ignoring the problem, if it requires this leap, this means there is a gap in the reasoning of some sort. And it's not small for god's sake, we're talking about what makes up our world: subjective experience.

I am going to state my position clearly so as to avoid any further confusion, here goes: I am not denying the fact that my consciousness arises from a mechanistic process, I agree with this, and so does Chalmers. I am not claiming it is magic, do I really come across as so retarded? Once again you are being a condescending bastard. I am saying that there is an unexplained gap between how the mechanistic phenomenon gives rise to such a rich inner experience, a gap you are saying I should "intuitively leap". No, that is ignoring the problem, when in fact it has not been explained yet, that is all I am really saying here. It's not explained and so far no physiologist has come close to explaining it, why is this?

You are saying that perhaps it cannot be understood because We are somehow "cognitively closed". Well that is just pessimism. Although many phenomena are explainable with reductive reasoning, entities simpler than themselves, many are not. For example space and time: these things remain unexplained, this doesn't mean we cannot explain them, merely that we must expand the laws of physics in some way to understand them, or create new physics, whatever.

If you'd read the article I really wouldn't have to say all this. Jesus I'm the philosopher and I'm being far more scientific than you, you're just saying there's no problem.
 

Cognisant

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Why the switch from consciousness to intelligence all of a sudden?
Same thing.

In any case, okay then so if machine intelligence is just a less sophisticated version of human intelligence could you please say at what point machine intelligence becomes sophisticated enough for there to be consciousness? At what point does the machine start experiencing its own versions of things like blue and the taste of salt.
You assume consciousness is some specific thing, rather it's a matter of degree, anything capable of seeing blue is technically experiencing it but to experience it as a human being does would require a capacity for subjective contextualisation and complex conceptual self awareness, you got to understand the human brain isn't a computer running one program, it's more like the entirety of the internet, as you speak your lips, lungs and vocal cords dance in a precise symphony while simultaneously you're formulating new associations, testing them against existing knowledge base, planning what you're going to say and error checking the script so you don't imply anything intended, you're even using your self concept to simulate how the other person might react to what you say.

The human brain is the most sophisticated machine we have ever encountered.

Since you want to attribute consciousness (or at least the potential for it) to machines in the same way as you would to humans -even though you have no clue how the human brain or the brain of any other animal generates consciousness and a machine is not structured like a human brain- you must know something about it that I don't.
Once you get past magical thinking it's pretty obvious.
 

higs

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Quote:
Originally Posted by higs

we can only assume the explanation is non-physical.


Uhuh yeah admit that was a bad line (I'm French if excuses are accepted) the explanation is outside the rules of physics we currently have, is that better? Actually I'm posing a problem, not saying it's proven one way or another. I'm saying that our current laws do not explain the problem.
 

Cognisant

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Higs stop taking refuge in ignorance.

Yes you have qualia, you have subjective experience, these are the result of mechanistic processes that exist so that you do have qualia and you do experience it subjectively, as the result of these processes of course you can't perceive them in your own mind, if you were a robot you wouldn't feel artificial because you wouldn't have a frame of reference, likewise you don't feel mechanistic because that's not a thing you can perceive, you have no internal objective frame of reference from which to directly see yourself so clearly.

I know I'm mechanistic by rational deduction, I can't feel it, when I move my hand I don't perceive the exchange of electrical signals on the nerves I just will it to move and it happens because by my nerves my hand is as integrated into my mind.

I'm saying that our current laws do not explain the problem.
Based on nothing but faith.
 

Jennywocky

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Tried what? All you did was proclaim "poppycock" and state a bunch of shit which everyone already knows.
That made me laugh.

But I'll give Coggy some credit, he did take time to write it all out [Re: objective/subjective aspects of color] and I think anyone (even those who haven't thought through it before) could understand his case.

I am going to state my position clearly so as to avoid any further confusion, here goes: I am not denying the fact that my consciousness arises from a mechanistic process, I agree with this, and so does Chalmers. I am not claiming it is magic, do I really come across as so retarded? Once again you are being a condescending bastard. I am saying that there is an unexplained gap between how the mechanistic phenomenon gives rise to such a rich inner experience, a gap you are saying I should "intuitively leap". No, that is ignoring the problem, when in fact it has not been explained yet, that is all I am really saying here. It's not explained and so far no physiologist has come close to explaining it, why is this?

You are saying that perhaps it cannot be understood because We are somehow "cognitively closed". Well that is just pessimism. Although many phenomena are explainable with reductive reasoning, entities simpler than themselves, many are not. For example space and time: these things remain unexplained, this doesn't mean we cannot explain them, merely that we must expand the laws of physics in some way to understand them, or create new physics, whatever.
That probably best summarizes my thoughts.

The article (and my own bent) is to want to understand, if it is mechanistic, how it gets from A to B. If a mechanism exists, then persistent examination will bring us closer and closer to uncovering it.... although from what I'm seeing with Coggy is that he is saying it's not necessary a distinct or linear process, it could be a sythensized ensemble where the whole is greater than the parts and thus very complex to track. But that doesn't mean we can't track pieces of it and maybe eventually the whole, in terms of how the integration of all these data inputs works and generates experience.

I don't claim to know much about the details of brain functioning, but it blows me away with what this naturally developing organic processor can do even at a few years old compared to the metallic circuity we create and understanding. I understand how data bits work, and the increase in processing speed and storage capacity has allowed our machines to see far more "intelligent" -- but I just have so much trouble understanding how specific data is encoded in a biological brain within neurons and chemical switches and whatever else -- and how it all is integrated so that entire holistic memories can be rifled through in fast sequence, connections made, words articulated. All naturally.
 

higs

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Higs stop taking refuge in ignorance.

Lol.



Based on nothing but faith.
No, based on the fact that it's an unexplained problem that physics have so far massively, completely failed to explain. I think I've covered all my points (several times) now. I would really like it if cognisant and time asylum read the article.

Edit: also how am I the one arguing from faith? Science is constantly changing it's own rules, and is going to need to a lot more in the future because we sure as hell don't understand everything yet, barely scratched the surface in fact. Keeping an open mind is essential.
 

TimeAsylums

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Cognisant

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No, based on the fact that it's an unexplained problem that physics have so far massively, completely failed to explain
Well no shit it's a completely different field.

You're hiding behind a flimsy excuse to justify what you want to believe, that you're special, that you're not just another carbon based thing in a universe that's utterly indifferent to your existence but you are and it dosen't take a particle collider and doctorate in physics to see it.

There's no blueness, no duckness and no essential you either, we're all just here, biological robots acting out our DNA programming and none of it means a goddamn thing.
 

Cherry Cola

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Same thing.


You assume consciousness is some specific thing, rather it's a matter of degree, anything capable of seeing blue is technically experiencing it but to experience it as a human being does would require a capacity for subjective contextualization and complex conceptual self awareness, you got to understand the human brain isn't a computer running one program, it's more like the entirety of the internet, as you speak your lips, lungs and vocal cords dance in a precise symphony while simultaneously you're formulating new associations, testing them against existing knowledge base, planning what you're going to say and error checking the script so you don't imply anything intended, you're even using your self concept to simulate how the other person might react to what you say.

The human brain is the most sophisticated machine we have ever encountered.


Once you get past magical thinking it's pretty obvious.
Actually being more or less panpsychist I don't think that consciousness is some specific thing, rather I think it's a matter of degree in the same way that you do. I also think your description of human consciousness contra machine is pretty spot on as well, in fact I think that while it may seem that we are in complete disagreement our views do not really differ that much.

Now panpsychism is not that fleshed out, indeed it's broad and associated with mysticism. But in its pure form, the view that everything is more or less conscious, I think it makes sense. I do not agree with higs that consciousness is non-physical or is any less mechanistic than anything else because I do not think it is something distinct at all. Principally I would say that a positively charged particle being attracted to a negatively charged particle does so by virtue of consciousness. It senses the other particle and is attracted to it because of its nature in relation to its own. I don't see this as being magical in any way. I think that human consciousness is just the result of a myriad of such basic forms of consciousness as that in the case of the particle effecting one another in a way that is to complex to grasp at the moment.

^This complex process and the way that it selectively interacts with the external world through senses resulting in the imposing qualia experienced by humans which lead us to think that we are more than we are. Because most people do not grasp the fact that everything they know about the world and experience in it is entirely subjective and the result of evolution, our minds being instruments designed to yield offspring not truth

This view does not require any mind/body dualism, nor does it paint consciousness out to be some big magical thing that you can never understand, in fact I would say that it strips consciousness of its status as impossible to understand, completely distinct, etc etc, because it reduces consciousness to being the same phenomenon that is at work everywhere. Sure it sounds like spiritualistic mumbo jumbo saying that "mind or soul (Greek: ψυχή) is a universal feature of all things" and indeed you can think that and be a spiritualist mumbo jumbo airhead. But in the case of David Chalmers and me it's more like a result of applying Ockhams Razor to the concept of consciousness. It is fully compatible with science. Logically you could as well say that consciousness is the same as matter and energy: physical, rather than saying that matter and energy are like consciousness: mental. The point is that it is not necessary to view them as distinct from one another.

So then is a stone conscious? No, not as a stone but in principle its elementary constituents possess consciousness is a very basic way, as in the particle allegory. If we don't want to call everything conscious then we need to make an arbitrary demarcation where we say "well only at this level of complexity in this or that form is something actually conscious", problem being that at the moment we don't understand how basic physical processes even if they are seen as conscious form consciousness like that in humans so drawing such a line is not possible. As it is now we draw that line anyway, and the result is this bullshit view of consciousness as something utterly different then what is going on everywhere all the time. Like you said "I can't feel it, when I move my hand I don't perceive the exchange of electrical signals on the nerves I just will it to move and it happens because by my nerves my hand is as integrated into my mind" and that happens not because I chose to move my hand but because a set of circumstances resulted in it. Principally not any different at all from a volcano erupting or any other thing that just happens.

Now going on to AI such as that in Chatbots. I would argue that a chatbot which doesn't know the meaning of the words it uses can never be conscious like its recipients. If sufficiently sophisticated however, it should be able to sport another form of consciousness which although not at all like that of its recipients could still be consciousness on the same level. That is not possible right now since the human brain still sports computational power and complexity that is unrivaled but in the future I see no reason why not.

Perhaps panpsychism in the form of which it has began attracting the attention of contemporary scientists and philosophers should not be called panpsychism because of all its etymological baggage, nevertheless it does fit the bill.
 

Cognisant

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Principally I would say that a positively charged particle being attracted to a negatively charged particle does so by virtue of consciousness.
I don't think the Van der Waals force is conscious, it's just a force like gravity or magnetism. (Oh wait it is magnetism, duh)

However I would consider a self righting child's toy (round with weight in the bottem so it always "stands up") to posses a VERY basic form of mechanical intelligence, at least from a certain perspective. As I explained in another thread intelligence can be defined as optimising behaviour towards a goal and this self righting mechanism is a successful behaviour for the goal of staying upright, but of course that goal is not inherent to the toy but rather something we anthropomorphise it to have.

Now going on to AI such as that in Chatbots. I would argue that a chatbot which doesn't know the meaning of the words it uses can never be conscious like its recipients.
Indeed, it's just an artifice that gives the impression that it's far more intelligent than it really is.

If sufficiently sophisticated however, it should be able to sport another form of consciousness which although not at all like that of its recipients could still be consciousness on the same level.
Well as I was saying about duckness, a sufficiently well simulated duck is just a duck.
 

Cherry Cola

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Sorry about editing that last post 1000 times I felt I had to make little additions and change things.

Oh and TA I find it intellectually dishonest to dismiss panpsychism on the basis of its connection to mysticism, seeing as MBTI originated from mysticism as well and Jung -whose works you've been happy to peruse and divulge- was a mysticist. He was likely also being some kind of panpsychist going by these quotes:

"psyche and matter are contained in one and the same world, and moreover are in continuous contact with one another"

as well as that it was probable that

"psyche and matter are two different aspects of one and the same thing"

^taken from wiki article on panpsychism.
 

Cognisant

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I think that human consciousness is just the result of a myriad of such basic forms of consciousness as that in the case of the particle effecting one another in a way that is to complex to grasp at the moment.

^This complex process and the way that it selectively interacts with the external world through senses resulting in the imposing qualia experienced by humans which lead us to think that we are more than we are. Because most people do not grasp the fact that everything they know about the world and experience in it is entirely subjective and the result of evolution, our minds being instruments designed to yield offspring not truth
You don't need particle physics for a molecular process, qualia isn't subatomic it's just data, memories in your brain aren't stored in the same way as a computer hard drive stores them but it's just data, our minds may seem incredibly profound and mysterious to us but that's just bias as a result of being unable to perceive our own mechanistic nature.

Red looks red because it just does, there is no essential redness and what you see as red is only data integrated into your awareness at a conscious level, subconsciously your visual field isn't the single video screen you perceive, it's an assortment of inputs from a massive array of cells in your retina which your visual cortex has to make sense of.

Y'know when you look at something and you see a face or whatever that upon closer inspection isn't really there, it would be easy to explain that as spying into the spirit realm or whatever but really it's just an error, one that demonstrates how what you think you're seeing isn't actually the raw input from your eyes, what you see is what your visual cortex thinks you're looking at, effectively we've all got terminator vision and it's so seamlessly integrated we can barely notice it.

Oh and TA I find it somewhat intellectually dishonest to dismiss panpsychism on the basis of its connection to mysticism, seeing as MBTI originated from mysticism as well and Jung was a mysticist, likely also being some kind of panpsychist going by these quotes:
I dismiss MBTI all the time :D
 
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It is hard to remain lazy in the face of ignorance. However since neither cognisant nor TA understand the subject matter at all, I think this is a special case of ignorance which is in fact complete ignorance. And since no effort is being made on their part to understand shit or reply to shit this is probs a waste of time.

When do you plan to get a clue cognisant and time asylums? Is it going to happen like ever? I would like to know because I don't want to write more replies only to have you not bother out of intellectual cowardice or ignorance or some combination of the two.
But they're not wrong or dogmatic. :angel:
I'm saying that our current laws do not explain the problem.
Based on nothing but faith.
Wouldn't faith be believing that current laws do explain the problem without any supporting evidence? :cat:
 

paradoxparadigm7

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Seems to me that Cog and TimeAsylums do not find the 'problem of consciousness' a problem at all and that it's not an interesting question.
 
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