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Consciousness as Cosmic Sex

The Grey Man

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I submit that if one reads between the lines, Kant's seminal work The Critique of Pure Reason is all about consciousness (perception) as a medium between sensation and thought.

By now, some of you are probably tired of hearing me talk about multiplicity and unity, but I must ask you to indulge my mania once more, and consider that Kant's extreme epistemic poles—nature and the unity of original apperception—are stand-ins for these very principles, the male and female principles, as it were. All objects of perception—rocks, plants, animals, men, machines, planets, suns, and galaxies alike—are actualized, inseminated with being, by subjective sensation, the Cartesian "I think." As Eckhart says, "all creatures are nothings."

Man is like Michelangelo's "prisoners," those captives of mere materiality who yearn for an Eden that is denied to them. He is Adam, at once a transcendental Platonic 'One' created in God's image and a 'Nous' dissipated in immanent multiplicity, in that tempting Eve that is the world. He is the hero of that matchless tragedy which we see unfolded, in one stroke, by the same artist on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Time is the way from sensuality to thought, from eros to logos, and vice versa. It is as Heraclitus said: "The way up and the way down are one in the same."

I've been trying to wrap my head around Kant's theoretical philosophy for a while now. As I've said before, he was not a good writer, and he sometimes contradicted himself, so it is not always easy to discern his meaning—indeed, it is often virtually impossible to do so without the aid of secondary literature on the topic—yet I am quite confident in this interpretation of his epistemological doctrine. What think you?
 

Animekitty

I am all of my perception (Sally 666)
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Every code that is rewritten becomes mirrored.

Self is the strongest mirror but it is what you accept as yourself that the next mirror appears.

All is self. The reason multiplicity is the divergence of asymmetry.

Creationism. The hall of mirrors - A hall of records. (superiority falsity)

Mass doubles is the quantum foam each interaction. Nothing lost.

Nothing lost . partition happens.
entanglement is the greatest gate keeper.
Will be there when both hemispheres are gone.

Anima - Animus
 

Cognisant

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All objects of perception—rocks, plants, animals, men, machines, planets, suns, and galaxies alike—are actualized, inseminated with being, by subjective sensation, the Cartesian "I think." As Eckhart says, "all creatures are nothings."
Subjective experiance isn't some magical ether that pervades all things, a security camera's footage is subjective only in that it is dependent on the subject's (the camera's) literal point of view. As such what the camera sees might not actually be the truth, someone might put a picture in front of it depicting an empty room when in fact the room is full of people.

The camera can't feel anything, even if it had temperature sensors enabling it to "feel" temperature it wouldn't feel anything emotionally unless it had a capacity for subjective bias. That subjective bias is a variable that affects the outcome of a decision making process, an artificially intelligent robot could have subjective experiance but only by virtue of having all the requisite mechanisms to perceive the world around it (even if that world is virtual) and make decisions based on those perceptions.

If the robot saw fire and reached out to touch it and its temperature sensors tell it the fire is hot and the robot is programmed to experience excessive heat as pain then the robot has the subjective experiance that fire is a bad thing that ought to be avoided.
 

The Grey Man

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Subjective experiance isn't some magical ether that pervades all things, a security camera's footage is subjective only in that it is dependent on the subject's (the camera's) literal point of view. As such what the camera sees might not actually be the truth, someone might put a picture in front of it depicting an empty room when in fact the room is full of people.
Gautama called experience illusion and Kant called it mere appearance. Who was right? The answer: both of them, because Nature does not tell lies, but we can and, in fact, very often do deceive ourselves by misinterpreting what she tells us.

If the camera sees an empty room, it does not follow that the room that it is (intellectually) believed to be representing is empty. As long as we distinguish between what appears to be the case and what is actually the case, experience need not be thought of as unreliable or suspect.

I consider this a minor problem that has only a subordinate relation to the eroticism of subject and object.
 

DoIMustHaveAnUsername?

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If the robot saw fire and reached out to touch it and its temperature sensors tell it the fire is hot and the robot is programmed to experience excessive heat as pain then the robot has the subjective experiance that fire is a bad thing that ought to be avoided.
You cannot program a robot to experience heat as 'pain'. You can program it to perform behaviors similar to what one would do in pain. You cannot even make it experience heat or the qualitative warmth of heat, you can only program it to record some quantitative information representing degree of heat, and make it act in response to it.
 

Polaris

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Humans are just advanced flesh robots, experiencing pain through a process called nociception. It is obviously a highly complex process involving neuroanatomical, neurochemical and cognitive faculties. Information about potential for, or severity of tissue damaged is relayed via these complex pathways to the brain, so the level of pain we are feeling are interpreted cognitively - in other words, pain is a subjective perception. Because nociception is a process that can be dissociated from the experience of pain, humans can experience pain without stimuli, or experience absence of pain even during severe trauma. There is an interesting TED talk by a neuroscientist that covers this concept as well as the general human experience of reality:


So a robot's experience of pain would be less complex than that of a human, and it would be an experience without emotion. Unless of course, and as Cog proposed, one could program a robot's brain to experience pain similarly to humans - but of course, this would require a computer more powerful than any computer currently available. And of course, there is the question of the unknown: what is the difference between something 'alive' and some object that has been given a super-computer consciousness? Could it be that the difference lies in DNA and "intrinsic" knowledge, such as in bird's inborn ability to navigate large distances around the world without any prior experience? That our sense of self, consciousness and integrity is in fact rooted in ancient coded molecular knowledge from the inception of early humans, and therefore life in general? Apologies for the thread diversion, but I think it is sort of crudely relevant in that consciousness 'bytes' could be linked across life/death boundaries through DNA.

Edit: did a search and found a neuroscience editorial that proposes a theory of DNA as possible carriers of consciousness:

https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/neurogenetics-and-human-consciousness-2329-6895.1000e109.php?aid=22382

By the same guy:

http://publicationslist.org/data/john.grandy/ref-2/IJAS 2011.pdf

https://www.worldscientific.com/doi/abs/10.1142/9789814719063_0060

He doesn't seem to have a lot of citations....although the journals are respectable enough, it seems. I guess this stuff may still be considered crackpot-material.
 

ZenRaiden

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Philosophy is love of wisdom right? But why are so many wisdom lovers so eager to talk about things they dont know anything about? Maybe the wisest thing is not to say anything?

Well here is what I think. Sometimes there is a concept of a thing. Sometimes that thing doesnt really exist other than as the concept in our head. So if you presist in chasing a concept that doesnt exist you will always find nothing. Maybe there is something, but we gave it a wrong name and presist in proposing the wrong idea.

Same problem was with the word soul.

So perhaps the concept of consciousness is all wrong.
 

Pizzabeak

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The Grey Man

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...what is the difference between something 'alive' and some object that has been given a super-computer consciousness? Could it be that the difference lies in DNA and "intrinsic" knowledge, such as in bird's inborn ability to navigate large distances around the world without any prior experience? That our sense of self, consciousness and integrity is in fact rooted in ancient coded molecular knowledge from the inception of early humans, and therefore life in general?
Yes, I think so! This theory is closely related to what Reichenbach (an empiricist thinker with whose work I recently became acquainted) called the "functional conception of knowledge," which attributes to knowledge the function of predicting the future by enumerative induction.

This theory can be expanded by locating it within the larger Newton-Darwinian paradigm, by identifying future-predicting knowledge with those characteristics of an organism whereby it integrates with its surroundings in such a way as to optimize the probability of its own propagation (momentarily; for the certainty of the survival of any organic structure attenuates as the range of forecast extends due to the interference of unforeseen historical accidents and, ultimately, the irreversibility of entropy, which is inimical to the continuity of Newtonian macroscopic structures in general).

According to this evolutionary conception of knowledge, the bird "knows" how to navigate large distances around the world merely because its species has demonstratively ensured its own survival by "learning how" over generations, which is to say that those past specimens which were so constituted as to be relatively adept at acquiring food for themselves and their progeny were favoured by sexual selection to the extent that the species itself has been sustained and shaped by their hereditary influence, resulting in the migratory patterns observed in the present specimen. The bird's inherited “knowledge” is an artifact of natural selection the presence of which is deducible ex a post facto from the specimen’s fitness to propagate itself under environmental conditions similar to those under which its progenitors thrived. Its inductive knowledge is therefore implicit in its behavior, though we can translate its actions into the language of human thought and speak—metaphorically—of species of birds as scientists and of past specimens as experiments hosted by the grand laboratory of Nature.

Thus, we arrive at a theory of knowledge as the temporary guarantor of a species' survival and (if the species is propagated by sexual reproduction) the perpetuator of a sort of temporal palingenesis, which, precisely because it is temporal (i.e., part of the ever-changing, yet symmetrically ordered community of things that is the object of scientific study), admits of a causal explanation that can be integrated into a physical theory of natural phenomena in general.

As neat as this theory is, it does not satisfy me, because it is grounded in the Newton-Darwinian science—the science of visible, solid, mobile bodies—which does no more than explain what is palpable to the senses using statistical-dynamical principles. There is no who and why in classical physics, only what and how. Quantum physics is somewhat better in that it recognizes the reciprocity of the observer and the observed, but, like Kant, it can do more than draw a question mark as regards the Mysterium tremendum et facinans that is the Thing in Itself unconditioned by the forms of pure reason, or else indulge in groundless metaphysical speculation about “possible worlds,” as if we were back in the 18th century, before the birth of Kant. Intelligence isn’t enough, facts aren’t enough. I want more.

Now, do not think that my rejection of the evolutionary conception of knowledge is purely emotional, for I have logical grounds to reject it as well! Assume for a moment, that knowledge is merely that by means of which we predict the future. This begs the question: Is the belief that knowledge is a means of predicting the future a means of predicting the future and, if not, how can we categorize it as knowledge, given that it does not satisfy our own definition of knowledge?

The early 20th century philosopher Leonard Nelson generalized this reasoning to conclude that a theory of knowledge is impossible. Even in denying all knowledge do we presume knowledge of knowledge; we can think about thought, but not without thinking ourselves. The downfall of the evolutionary conception of knowledge, like all forms of epistemological relativism, is that it is subject to the same primitive presumption of objective knowledge that it ostensibly repudiates. Like Socrates, it says “I know only that I know nothing”—without his humane sense of irony.

To be clear, I think the evolutionary conception is an adequate objective description of knowledge, but that, like all scientific theories, it is blind to value. It tells us the what and how of knowledge, but leaves out the who and why.
 
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