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What is "the self"?

zmikecuber
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1/20/2014 2:19:06 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
It seems that there is an unchanging "self," which every person has.. or IS.

But since the brain changes physically over time, and mental states are always changing as well, what is the "unchanging self"? It seems that the "self" remains the same, and only undergoes non-essential changes.

Thoughts?
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
dylancatlow
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1/20/2014 2:35:58 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/20/2014 2:19:06 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
It seems that there is an unchanging "self," which every person has.. or IS.

But since the brain changes physically over time, and mental states are always changing as well, what is the "unchanging self"? It seems that the "self" remains the same, and only undergoes non-essential changes.

Thoughts?

Not all of this is pertinent to your question, but:
"...Our awareness of time depends on the extent to which our
mental models of reality reflect change. To see an object
change, one must recall its former state for comparison to its
present state, and to do that, one must recall one"s former
perception of it. Because perception is an interaction
between self and environment, this amounts to bringing
one"s former self into conjunction with one"s present self. That
past and present selves can be brought into conjunction
across a temporal interval implies that momentary selves
remain sufficiently alike to be conjoined; that they can
intersect at any given moment to compare content means
that the intersection is changeless. So when self is
generalized as the intersection of all momentary selves, it
acquires a property called time invariance. It is the rock of
perception, the unchanging observation post from which the
net of temporal connections is cast and to which it remains
anchored. Indeed, it is the fabric from which the net is
woven, its relationship with the environment serving as the
universal template for all temporal relationships.
Through learning, mental models of time evolve in
time. As the brain"s neural connections are modified and the
strengths of existing connections are adjusted to account for
new information regarding both self and environment " as it
learns - its model of time changes as a function of time. In
other words, the model changes with that which is modeled.
If the brain is smart enough, then it can model itself in the
process of being changed, and depict its own learning
process as a higher level of time. But even as the self absorbs
its educational history and deepens its reflexive
understanding, it remains static at its core. Otherwise, it
would lose temporal cohesion and fall apart. Since self is
static, time too should possess a static description that does
not change in the temporal flow it describes (if time were the
water flowing in a river, then a static description of time
would be analogous to the rocky banks that determine the
river"s course).
Such a description arises by abstraction. As cognitive
models become more sophisticated, cognition becomes
increasingly abstract; concepts become increasingly
independent of the particular objects they describe. Among
the first things to be abstracted are space and time. The most
general abstract system incorporating both is a language.
Although the term "language" usually refers to a natural
language like English, it is actually more general.
Mathematically, a formal language consists of three
ingredients: a set of elements to be combined as strings (e.g.,
symbols, memes), a set of structural rules governing their
arrangement in space, and a set of grammatical rules
governing their transformations in time. Together, the latter
two ingredients form the syntax of the language. It follows
that neural, cognitive-perceptual, and physical systems can
be described as languages, and the laws which govern them
as their syntaxes. On a subjective level, time itself can be
abstractly characterized as the grammar of the joint language
of cognition and perception. The rules of this grammar are
the general ingredients of subjective time.
Because time is defined in terms of transformations
among spatial arrangements of objects, it is conceptually
entwined with space. Thus, it is actually part of a linguistic
complex called spacetime. Spatiotemporal relations exist on
many levels; if level one consists of simple relationships of
objects in space and time, then level two consists of
relationships of such relationships, and so on. Because logic
is stratified in much the same way, one can say that time is
stratified in a manner corresponding to predicate logic. This
must be true in any case, since any meaningful description
of time is logically formulated. Spatiotemporal stratification
allows time to be viewed on various scales corresponding to
ascending series of contexts: e.g., personal awareness,
interpersonal relationships, social evolution, evolutionary
biology, and so on. The histories of people, institutions,
cultures, and species are nested like Chinese boxes, with the
abstract principles of each history occupying a level of
temporal grammar corresponding to an order of predicate
logic.
Because of the relation between self-awareness and
temporal awareness, temporal stratification induces a
stratification of self. What we have already described as the
static intersect of momentary selves becomes a stratified
relationship"a terrace of temporal vantages conducing to
long-term self-integration. As the self becomes stratified, the
principles abstracted from higher orders of experience tend
to be objectivized due to their generality, with science and
philosophy among the results. Thus, the subjective and
objective sides of reality " the self and the environment "
tend to merge in a symmetric way. On one hand, the
environment is absorbed by the self through experience, and
the laws of nature are thereby abstracted; on the other hand,
the self is projected onto the environment in such a way that
it "selects" the laws of nature by analogy to its own internal
laws. Either way, the core self tends to intersect with the
environment as momentary selves are intersected within it.
This brings the subjective and objective phases of reality -
and time - into closer correspondence, blurring the
distinction between them from an analytic standpoint.
As time grows more abstract, ways are sought to
measure it, diagram it and analyze it numerically. This
requires a universal depiction of space and time against
which arbitrary processes can be differentially graphed and
metered. Such a depiction was introduced by the Frenchman
Ren" Descartes in the first half of the 17th century. It was
called analytic geometry, and it depicted time and the
dimensions of space as straight, mutually perpendicular
axes. In analytic geometry, any set of numerically-scaled
space and time axes associated with any set of properties or
attributes defines a coordinate system for assigning numbers
to points, and simple processes appear as the graphs of
algebraic functions. A few decades later, Newton and
Leibniz independently discovered a new kind of
mathematics, the infinitesimal calculus, by which to
numerically quantify the rates of such processes. These
innovations, which laid the foundations of modern science
and engineering, suffice to this day in many practical
contexts. Even though garden-variety analytic geometry was
technically superseded by the Theory of Relativity " which
was itself constructed on an analytic-geometric foundation -
it gives a very close approximation of relativity in most
situations.
Unfortunately, the conveniences of analytic geometry
came at the price of mind-body dualism. This was Descartes"
idea that the self, or "mind", was a nonphysical substance
that could be left out of physical reasoning with impunity.
For some purposes, this was true. But as we saw in the next-
to-last paragraph, the relationship of mind to reality is not
that simple. While the temporal grammar of physics
determines the neural laws of cognition, cognitive grammar
projects itself onto physical reality in such a way as to
determine the form that physical grammar must assume.
Because the form of physical grammar limits
philochristos
Posts: 2,614
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1/20/2014 5:20:58 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
The "Self" is what undergoes the physical and mental changes. The "self" is what experiences, perceives, remembers, thinks, acts, and is acted upon, etc.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,079
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1/20/2014 9:55:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/20/2014 5:20:58 PM, philochristos wrote:
The "Self" is what undergoes the physical and mental changes. The "self" is what experiences, perceives, remembers, thinks, acts, and is acted upon, etc.

What exactly do you mean by "is acted upon"? Also, I've read from your debates that you seem to be somewhat of a substance dualist.. How would you approach the interaction problem?

Btw, your quote is cool. I have a great respect for Aristotle.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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1/20/2014 10:21:18 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/20/2014 2:19:06 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
It seems that there is an unchanging "self," which every person has.. or IS.

But since the brain changes physically over time, and mental states are always changing as well, what is the "unchanging self"? It seems that the "self" remains the same, and only undergoes non-essential changes.

Thoughts?

I'd say you are about right. The self stays the same essentially, but goes though non-essential changes.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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1/20/2014 10:26:00 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/20/2014 2:19:06 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
It seems that there is an unchanging "self," which every person has.. or IS.

But since the brain changes physically over time, and mental states are always changing as well, what is the "unchanging self"? It seems that the "self" remains the same, and only undergoes non-essential changes.

Thoughts?

However, if there is an afterlife, it may be completely different. You may not have the same memories, or type of consciousness you had with your brain. Would you be the same person?
Juan_Pablo
Posts: 2,052
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1/20/2014 11:29:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
My theory is that "the self" comes about from the turbulence in space inflicted by the rigid matter that makes up the brain. For the most part the brain is a solid but gelatinous rigid structure composed of sturdy neurons in constant communication via action potentials in their axons. "The self" is created by the turbulence in space ( which provides it with sentient awareness - consciousness ) and which can recall memories and previous events when electronic signals pass through certain neural pathways ( which causes space to vibrate in a certain way so as to produce a cohesive visual ( or auditory, etc. ) memory.

Each "self" is unique because all selves are attached to unique bodies with unique individual histories.
Juan_Pablo
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1/20/2014 11:41:00 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
To clarify, I believe that human consciousness primarily arises in the empty space between the particulate matter that comprises the human brain. When particles vibrate - they necessarily cause the space-time medium to vibrate, which invokes elastic stress on the medium, which is experienced as pleasure or pain and is associated with visual perception. I believe that consciousness is a natural, rudimentary property of space itself!
philochristos
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1/20/2014 11:46:45 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/20/2014 9:55:08 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/20/2014 5:20:58 PM, philochristos wrote:
The "Self" is what undergoes the physical and mental changes. The "self" is what experiences, perceives, remembers, thinks, acts, and is acted upon, etc.

What exactly do you mean by "is acted upon"?

Well, we get a lot of input from our environment, and when that happen, the self is affected. It is me who changes his mind, for example, when somebody talks me into something. It is me who gets drunk when alcohol is poured down my throat.

Also, I've read from your debates that you seem to be somewhat of a substance dualist.. How would you approach the interaction problem?

First, I don't think the problem needs to be solved before we're rational in subscribing to substance dualism. In most situations, we know THAT something happens before we know HOW it happens.

Second, I suspect there are properties in the physical world that we don't know about, which is evident in the fact that we keep discovering them. For example, we didn't used to know that space was expanding or that time was affected by gravity, etc. I also suspect there are properties of the soul that we don't know about. Substance dualists typically make a distinction between "physical" and "non-physical," where "physical" just means anything that has physical properties. But this is an ambiguous term since the physical world may have properties we don't know about. We once thought of physical things merely as matter and energy. Now we also think of time and space as belonging to the physical world even though they don't have any of the usual physical properties. And it may be that if the soul ever becomes the subject of science, then it will be included in what we consider physical. "Physical" is just a word, after all. So basically, I question whether there's really a neat dichotomy between physical and non-physical. That is unless you're talking about abstract entities, which I think are forever doomed to belong to the non-physical. So, anyway, it may be the case that the soul and the physical universe do have some properties in common or some way to connect that we just don't happen to know about because we don't know enough about either one, but if this connection or similarity were known, then we'd understand how there could be causal interaction.

Third, I think it may be possible for the soul to create energy ex-nihilo. Imagine a particle at rest, and imagine that without losing any mass or internal energy, the particle begins to move. In that case, the particle has kinetic energy that it didn't have before. So the total energy of the system (if you draw an imaginary box around the particle) has increased. Well, that energy had to come from somewhere. Usually, it's because some other physical entity imparted energy to it. But if a soul is non-physical (in the usual sense of the word), then it has no energy of its own to impart. So the only way a soul could act on a physical particle is to create energy ex nihilo. And that may happen every time we act.

But I don't really know. These are all just speculations. There was a chapter on this problem in The Soul Hypothesis...

http://www.amazon.com...

...but I didn't really understand all of it.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Juan_Pablo
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1/21/2014 12:44:01 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I think I have a pretty good idea about the origins of energy in our universe, and I think it comes from the boundary (edge ) of the universe - or where the space-time medium interacts with genuine, pure vacuum. I think the space-time medium consist of a pervading component with a density greater than zero. But at the edge of the universe the density of the pervading component hits a discontinuity ( an abrupt, non-continuous difference in density ) with the pure vacuum. This has the effect of causing space-time to expand but it also provides the elastic medium with mechanical, turbulent energy.

I think this is the source of energy. I don't think it can be created any other way.

However, I think we're wrong to think of consciousness as belonging to the matter that makes up the brain - and we should instead think of consciousness as residing in the turbulent space between the discrete bits of matter making up the brain. This would give consciousness a non-localized feature, and it would indicate that "the self" is not confined to a single point but spread over an entire region.

The implications here are enormous, because if "the self" is non-local it means that a multitude of points in space have the ability to interact and decide the trajectory fate of matter, which would certainly provide matter with the appearance of spontaneity and randomness attributed to it in quantum mechanics.

Consciousness is spread out and diffuse in space, and thus every single point in space can influence the direction that a particle takes.

So why isn't this observed at our scale where rigid, Newtonian Mechanics seems to hold sway? I think it's because it's difficult for space to direct large conglomerations of matter with an elevated mass. Thus the firm determinism we observe at our scale of the universe.

However, even then de Broglie wave theory tells us that there is some spontaneity with matter at our scale, though it's very, very tiny.
Pareidolic-Dreamer
Posts: 84
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1/21/2014 6:44:51 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/20/2014 2:19:06 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
It seems that there is an unchanging "self," which every person has.. or IS.

But since the brain changes physically over time, and mental states are always changing as well, what is the "unchanging self"? It seems that the "self" remains the same, and only undergoes non-essential changes.

Thoughts?

What is the nature of self?
I don't know.

I feel it in here.
It's the thing that I have referred to when I have thought of me, everytime I have ever thought of me.
It's the same me that was there twenty years ago, thirty years ago, and 45 years ago when I was having my first thoughts in the womb. ( yes, I remember the womb.)

I am sure that, rather than being the thing acted upon, it is the thing that acts upon reality, through this house that holds it.
The three distinct memories I have from the womb, include, what I think of as a racial memory, from a time when I was not human, but still had that same me inside.

I think we do not have the perspective to be able to know what the me is, so I do not stick with any one idea, however, one of my favorites is this:

I think there was an original observer.
The observer, sent out parts of itself, for the purpose of exploring reality in all forms that reality can be manifest.
Those parts became all the various and many "selves'" that exist.

I believe that the selves' that ultimately became humans, are near to a time when we can choose to go back to the original observer, or create a whole new form of reality.
Pareidolic-Dreamer
I see wall people.

When I argue against someone's truths, I always feel like I am arguing just as strongly against my own.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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1/21/2014 8:57:52 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/20/2014 11:46:45 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 1/20/2014 9:55:08 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/20/2014 5:20:58 PM, philochristos wrote:
The "Self" is what undergoes the physical and mental changes. The "self" is what experiences, perceives, remembers, thinks, acts, and is acted upon, etc.

What exactly do you mean by "is acted upon"?

Well, we get a lot of input from our environment, and when that happen, the self is affected. It is me who changes his mind, for example, when somebody talks me into something. It is me who gets drunk when alcohol is poured down my throat.

Also, I've read from your debates that you seem to be somewhat of a substance dualist.. How would you approach the interaction problem?

First, I don't think the problem needs to be solved before we're rational in subscribing to substance dualism. In most situations, we know THAT something happens before we know HOW it happens.

Second, I suspect there are properties in the physical world that we don't know about, which is evident in the fact that we keep discovering them. For example, we didn't used to know that space was expanding or that time was affected by gravity, etc. I also suspect there are properties of the soul that we don't know about. Substance dualists typically make a distinction between "physical" and "non-physical," where "physical" just means anything that has physical properties. But this is an ambiguous term since the physical world may have properties we don't know about. We once thought of physical things merely as matter and energy. Now we also think of time and space as belonging to the physical world even though they don't have any of the usual physical properties. And it may be that if the soul ever becomes the subject of science, then it will be included in what we consider physical. "Physical" is just a word, after all. So basically, I question whether there's really a neat dichotomy between physical and non-physical. That is unless you're talking about abstract entities, which I think are forever doomed to belong to the non-physical. So, anyway, it may be the case that the soul and the physical universe do have some properties in common or some way to connect that we just don't happen to know about because we don't know enough about either one, but if this connection or similarity were known, then we'd understand how there could be causal interaction.

Third, I think it may be possible for the soul to create energy ex-nihilo. Imagine a particle at rest, and imagine that without losing any mass or internal energy, the particle begins to move. In that case, the particle has kinetic energy that it didn't have before. So the total energy of the system (if you draw an imaginary box around the particle) has increased. Well, that energy had to come from somewhere. Usually, it's because some other physical entity imparted energy to it. But if a soul is non-physical (in the usual sense of the word), then it has no energy of its own to impart. So the only way a soul could act on a physical particle is to create energy ex nihilo. And that may happen every time we act.

But I don't really know. These are all just speculations. There was a chapter on this problem in The Soul Hypothesis...

http://www.amazon.com...

...but I didn't really understand all of it.

Like you said, "physical" is just a word. But, material? We know what that means. The interaction problem is devastating to dualism because the brain is made of matter, and there is nothing about the mind/ consciousness that can break down or reduce to matter. If I engage in introspection, I examine thoughts (not anything material). Thus, my thoughts cannot be material. You could say that I am examining my thoughts without knowing they are material, but I know they are thoughts. However, if thoughts are material, then it would follow I would have to know they are material! The interaction between something purely material and and purely immaterial leads to incoherencies.

This is why I think Idealism is the best ontology. The existence of matter is too problematic metaphysically.
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,079
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1/21/2014 9:41:15 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/20/2014 11:46:45 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 1/20/2014 9:55:08 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/20/2014 5:20:58 PM, philochristos wrote:
The "Self" is what undergoes the physical and mental changes. The "self" is what experiences, perceives, remembers, thinks, acts, and is acted upon, etc.

What exactly do you mean by "is acted upon"?

Well, we get a lot of input from our environment, and when that happen, the self is affected. It is me who changes his mind, for example, when somebody talks me into something. It is me who gets drunk when alcohol is poured down my throat.


That's true, but despite all these "changes" it somehow seems to remain the same... It's still "me" afterall. I suppose to use Arisotelian terms, it undergoes accidental change, but not substantial change.

Also, I've read from your debates that you seem to be somewhat of a substance dualist.. How would you approach the interaction problem?

First, I don't think the problem needs to be solved before we're rational in subscribing to substance dualism. In most situations, we know THAT something happens before we know HOW it happens.

Second, I suspect there are properties in the physical world that we don't know about, which is evident in the fact that we keep discovering them. For example, we didn't used to know that space was expanding or that time was affected by gravity, etc. I also suspect there are properties of the soul that we don't know about. Substance dualists typically make a distinction between "physical" and "non-physical," where "physical" just means anything that has physical properties. But this is an ambiguous term since the physical world may have properties we don't know about. We once thought of physical things merely as matter and energy. Now we also think of time and space as belonging to the physical world even though they don't have any of the usual physical properties. And it may be that if the soul ever becomes the subject of science, then it will be included in what we consider physical. "Physical" is just a word, after all. So basically, I question whether there's really a neat dichotomy between physical and non-physical. That is unless you're talking about abstract entities, which I think are forever doomed to belong to the non-physical. So, anyway, it may be the case that the soul and the physical universe do have some properties in common or some way to connect that we just don't happen to know about because we don't know enough about either one, but if this connection or similarity were known, then we'd understand how there could be causal interaction.

Third, I think it may be possible for the soul to create energy ex-nihilo. Imagine a particle at rest, and imagine that without losing any mass or internal energy, the particle begins to move. In that case, the particle has kinetic energy that it didn't have before. So the total energy of the system (if you draw an imaginary box around the particle) has increased. Well, that energy had to come from somewhere. Usually, it's because some other physical entity imparted energy to it. But if a soul is non-physical (in the usual sense of the word), then it has no energy of its own to impart. So the only way a soul could act on a physical particle is to create energy ex nihilo. And that may happen every time we act.

But I don't really know. These are all just speculations. There was a chapter on this problem in The Soul Hypothesis...

http://www.amazon.com...

...but I didn't really understand all of it.

Alright, thanks. I found that very interesting and enlightening. I'm still trying to work out some sort of philosophy of mind position, so I appreciate hearing your views.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,079
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1/21/2014 9:44:29 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/20/2014 10:26:00 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 1/20/2014 2:19:06 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
It seems that there is an unchanging "self," which every person has.. or IS.

But since the brain changes physically over time, and mental states are always changing as well, what is the "unchanging self"? It seems that the "self" remains the same, and only undergoes non-essential changes.

Thoughts?

However, if there is an afterlife, it may be completely different. You may not have the same memories, or type of consciousness you had with your brain. Would you be the same person?

I would say yes. If I forget my past, it's still the same "me" underneath. If I experience a dream-like state of consciousness, it's still the same "me" underneath.

If you paint a house a different color, or rearrange the furniture inside, or put Christmas lights on it, it's still the same house underneath...
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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1/21/2014 9:46:06 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/21/2014 9:44:29 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/20/2014 10:26:00 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 1/20/2014 2:19:06 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
It seems that there is an unchanging "self," which every person has.. or IS.

But since the brain changes physically over time, and mental states are always changing as well, what is the "unchanging self"? It seems that the "self" remains the same, and only undergoes non-essential changes.

Thoughts?

However, if there is an afterlife, it may be completely different. You may not have the same memories, or type of consciousness you had with your brain. Would you be the same person?

I would say yes. If I forget my past, it's still the same "me" underneath. If I experience a dream-like state of consciousness, it's still the same "me" underneath.

If you paint a house a different color, or rearrange the furniture inside, or put Christmas lights on it, it's still the same house underneath...

True, I suppose it would just be an extreme transformation, but not a completely different being .
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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1/21/2014 10:02:25 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/21/2014 9:41:15 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/20/2014 11:46:45 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 1/20/2014 9:55:08 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/20/2014 5:20:58 PM, philochristos wrote:
The "Self" is what undergoes the physical and mental changes. The "self" is what experiences, perceives, remembers, thinks, acts, and is acted upon, etc.

What exactly do you mean by "is acted upon"?

Well, we get a lot of input from our environment, and when that happen, the self is affected. It is me who changes his mind, for example, when somebody talks me into something. It is me who gets drunk when alcohol is poured down my throat.


That's true, but despite all these "changes" it somehow seems to remain the same... It's still "me" afterall. I suppose to use Arisotelian terms, it undergoes accidental change, but not substantial change.

Also, I've read from your debates that you seem to be somewhat of a substance dualist.. How would you approach the interaction problem?

First, I don't think the problem needs to be solved before we're rational in subscribing to substance dualism. In most situations, we know THAT something happens before we know HOW it happens.

Second, I suspect there are properties in the physical world that we don't know about, which is evident in the fact that we keep discovering them. For example, we didn't used to know that space was expanding or that time was affected by gravity, etc. I also suspect there are properties of the soul that we don't know about. Substance dualists typically make a distinction between "physical" and "non-physical," where "physical" just means anything that has physical properties. But this is an ambiguous term since the physical world may have properties we don't know about. We once thought of physical things merely as matter and energy. Now we also think of time and space as belonging to the physical world even though they don't have any of the usual physical properties. And it may be that if the soul ever becomes the subject of science, then it will be included in what we consider physical. "Physical" is just a word, after all. So basically, I question whether there's really a neat dichotomy between physical and non-physical. That is unless you're talking about abstract entities, which I think are forever doomed to belong to the non-physical. So, anyway, it may be the case that the soul and the physical universe do have some properties in common or some way to connect that we just don't happen to know about because we don't know enough about either one, but if this connection or similarity were known, then we'd understand how there could be causal interaction.

Third, I think it may be possible for the soul to create energy ex-nihilo. Imagine a particle at rest, and imagine that without losing any mass or internal energy, the particle begins to move. In that case, the particle has kinetic energy that it didn't have before. So the total energy of the system (if you draw an imaginary box around the particle) has increased. Well, that energy had to come from somewhere. Usually, it's because some other physical entity imparted energy to it. But if a soul is non-physical (in the usual sense of the word), then it has no energy of its own to impart. So the only way a soul could act on a physical particle is to create energy ex nihilo. And that may happen every time we act.

But I don't really know. These are all just speculations. There was a chapter on this problem in The Soul Hypothesis...

http://www.amazon.com...

...but I didn't really understand all of it.

Alright, thanks. I found that very interesting and enlightening. I'm still trying to work out some sort of philosophy of mind position, so I appreciate hearing your views.

I suggest you don't select a messy ontology like Dualism. Materialism and Idealism are more attractive ontologies, because on either one everything is made of the same stuff.

Materialism: All is material
Idealism: All is mind
Dualism: Material and Mind exist (which are as radically different from each other as any two things could be), and interact....somehow.

Materialism is clearly false, and with Dualism you have your immaterial self, your qualiia, (which is clearly a distinct immaterial substance), and hard material things; atoms in the void. However, it is insane to think that my qualia (experience of redness) could possibly interact with neuron firings in a wet and mushy brain. These two worlds are too far apart ontologigically to interact, and if they did interact, one would have to reduce to the other so Materialism or Idealism would seem to entail either way.

So, I guess my question would be, what stops you from Idealism? Do you just find it too bizarre to accept or something?
Juan_Pablo
Posts: 2,052
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1/21/2014 10:50:56 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/21/2014 10:02:25 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 1/21/2014 9:41:15 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/20/2014 11:46:45 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 1/20/2014 9:55:08 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/20/2014 5:20:58 PM, philochristos wrote:
The "Self" is what undergoes the physical and mental changes. The "self" is what experiences, perceives, remembers, thinks, acts, and is acted upon, etc.

What exactly do you mean by "is acted upon"?

Well, we get a lot of input from our environment, and when that happen, the self is affected. It is me who changes his mind, for example, when somebody talks me into something. It is me who gets drunk when alcohol is poured down my throat.


That's true, but despite all these "changes" it somehow seems to remain the same... It's still "me" afterall. I suppose to use Arisotelian terms, it undergoes accidental change, but not substantial change.

Also, I've read from your debates that you seem to be somewhat of a substance dualist.. How would you approach the interaction problem?

First, I don't think the problem needs to be solved before we're rational in subscribing to substance dualism. In most situations, we know THAT something happens before we know HOW it happens.

Second, I suspect there are properties in the physical world that we don't know about, which is evident in the fact that we keep discovering them. For example, we didn't used to know that space was expanding or that time was affected by gravity, etc. I also suspect there are properties of the soul that we don't know about. Substance dualists typically make a distinction between "physical" and "non-physical," where "physical" just means anything that has physical properties. But this is an ambiguous term since the physical world may have properties we don't know about. We once thought of physical things merely as matter and energy. Now we also think of time and space as belonging to the physical world even though they don't have any of the usual physical properties. And it may be that if the soul ever becomes the subject of science, then it will be included in what we consider physical. "Physical" is just a word, after all. So basically, I question whether there's really a neat dichotomy between physical and non-physical. That is unless you're talking about abstract entities, which I think are forever doomed to belong to the non-physical. So, anyway, it may be the case that the soul and the physical universe do have some properties in common or some way to connect that we just don't happen to know about because we don't know enough about either one, but if this connection or similarity were known, then we'd understand how there could be causal interaction.

Third, I think it may be possible for the soul to create energy ex-nihilo. Imagine a particle at rest, and imagine that without losing any mass or internal energy, the particle begins to move. In that case, the particle has kinetic energy that it didn't have before. So the total energy of the system (if you draw an imaginary box around the particle) has increased. Well, that energy had to come from somewhere. Usually, it's because some other physical entity imparted energy to it. But if a soul is non-physical (in the usual sense of the word), then it has no energy of its own to impart. So the only way a soul could act on a physical particle is to create energy ex nihilo. And that may happen every time we act.

But I don't really know. These are all just speculations. There was a chapter on this problem in The Soul Hypothesis...

http://www.amazon.com...

...but I didn't really understand all of it.

Alright, thanks. I found that very interesting and enlightening. I'm still trying to work out some sort of philosophy of mind position, so I appreciate hearing your views.

I suggest you don't select a messy ontology like Dualism. Materialism and Idealism are more attractive ontologies, because on either one everything is made of the same stuff.

Materialism: All is material
Idealism: All is mind
Dualism: Material and Mind exist (which are as radically different from each other as any two things could be), and interact....somehow.

Materialism is clearly false, and with Dualism you have your immaterial self, your qualiia, (which is clearly a distinct immaterial substance), and hard material things; atoms in the void. However, it is insane to think that my qualia (experience of redness) could possibly interact with neuron firings in a wet and mushy brain. These two worlds are too far apart ontologigically to interact, and if they did interact, one would have to reduce to the other so Materialism or Idealism would seem to entail either way.

So, I guess my question would be, what stops you from Idealism? Do you just find it too bizarre to accept or something?

Or perhaps, Rantiona Thinker, it's also possible that Materialism and Idealism are in fact the same thing - a philosophy I subscribe to! Everything in this universe is conscious ( including apparent "empty space" ) and is therefore mind and yet everything is some kind of material substance ( including apparent "empty space" ) and is therefore matter. ( I'm not saying that space is a state of matter we're familiar, but more that it's just another unique state of matter, and there are physics theories out there that even insinuate such a view, such Paul Dirac's explanation for the creation of anti-particle / particle pairs. )

I think the next great leaps on this issue of science will have to start thinking in terms of a natural, unavoidable unity between idealism and materialism. This is the direction in which I'm going because I don't seen another possibility in which the existence of consciousness and the material world can be reconciled . . . a kind of animated-materialist perspective.
Juan_Pablo
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1/21/2014 10:54:17 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
By the way, I think if George Berkeley would have gone further with his idea of Subjective Idealism, he would have reached the same exact conclusion. The worlds of Idealism and Materialism are in fact one.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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1/21/2014 10:59:54 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/21/2014 10:50:56 AM, Juan_Pablo wrote:
At 1/21/2014 10:02:25 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 1/21/2014 9:41:15 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/20/2014 11:46:45 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 1/20/2014 9:55:08 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/20/2014 5:20:58 PM, philochristos wrote:
The "Self" is what undergoes the physical and mental changes. The "self" is what experiences, perceives, remembers, thinks, acts, and is acted upon, etc.

What exactly do you mean by "is acted upon"?

Well, we get a lot of input from our environment, and when that happen, the self is affected. It is me who changes his mind, for example, when somebody talks me into something. It is me who gets drunk when alcohol is poured down my throat.


That's true, but despite all these "changes" it somehow seems to remain the same... It's still "me" afterall. I suppose to use Arisotelian terms, it undergoes accidental change, but not substantial change.

Also, I've read from your debates that you seem to be somewhat of a substance dualist.. How would you approach the interaction problem?

First, I don't think the problem needs to be solved before we're rational in subscribing to substance dualism. In most situations, we know THAT something happens before we know HOW it happens.

Second, I suspect there are properties in the physical world that we don't know about, which is evident in the fact that we keep discovering them. For example, we didn't used to know that space was expanding or that time was affected by gravity, etc. I also suspect there are properties of the soul that we don't know about. Substance dualists typically make a distinction between "physical" and "non-physical," where "physical" just means anything that has physical properties. But this is an ambiguous term since the physical world may have properties we don't know about. We once thought of physical things merely as matter and energy. Now we also think of time and space as belonging to the physical world even though they don't have any of the usual physical properties. And it may be that if the soul ever becomes the subject of science, then it will be included in what we consider physical. "Physical" is just a word, after all. So basically, I question whether there's really a neat dichotomy between physical and non-physical. That is unless you're talking about abstract entities, which I think are forever doomed to belong to the non-physical. So, anyway, it may be the case that the soul and the physical universe do have some properties in common or some way to connect that we just don't happen to know about because we don't know enough about either one, but if this connection or similarity were known, then we'd understand how there could be causal interaction.

Third, I think it may be possible for the soul to create energy ex-nihilo. Imagine a particle at rest, and imagine that without losing any mass or internal energy, the particle begins to move. In that case, the particle has kinetic energy that it didn't have before. So the total energy of the system (if you draw an imaginary box around the particle) has increased. Well, that energy had to come from somewhere. Usually, it's because some other physical entity imparted energy to it. But if a soul is non-physical (in the usual sense of the word), then it has no energy of its own to impart. So the only way a soul could act on a physical particle is to create energy ex nihilo. And that may happen every time we act.

But I don't really know. These are all just speculations. There was a chapter on this problem in The Soul Hypothesis...

http://www.amazon.com...

...but I didn't really understand all of it.

Alright, thanks. I found that very interesting and enlightening. I'm still trying to work out some sort of philosophy of mind position, so I appreciate hearing your views.

I suggest you don't select a messy ontology like Dualism. Materialism and Idealism are more attractive ontologies, because on either one everything is made of the same stuff.

Materialism: All is material
Idealism: All is mind
Dualism: Material and Mind exist (which are as radically different from each other as any two things could be), and interact....somehow.

Materialism is clearly false, and with Dualism you have your immaterial self, your qualiia, (which is clearly a distinct immaterial substance), and hard material things; atoms in the void. However, it is insane to think that my qualia (experience of redness) could possibly interact with neuron firings in a wet and mushy brain. These two worlds are too far apart ontologigically to interact, and if they did interact, one would have to reduce to the other so Materialism or Idealism would seem to entail either way.

So, I guess my question would be, what stops you from Idealism? Do you just find it too bizarre to accept or something?

Or perhaps, Rantiona Thinker, it's also possible that Materialism and Idealism are in fact the same thing - a philosophy I subscribe to! Everything in this universe is conscious ( including apparent "empty space" ) and is therefore mind and yet everything is some kind of material substance ( including apparent "empty space" ) and is therefore matter. ( I'm not saying that space is a state of matter we're familiar, but more that it's just another unique state of matter, and there are physics theories out there that even insinuate such a view, such Paul Dirac's explanation for the creation of anti-particle / particle pairs. )

I think the next great leaps on this issue of science will have to start thinking in terms of a natural, unavoidable unity between idealism and materialism. This is the direction in which I'm going because I don't seen another possibility in which the existence of consciousness and the material world can be reconciled . . . a kind of animated-materialist perspective.

Well, you are almost correct. Everything is the same, but everything is mind, and matter is just a concept in God's mind (it isn't real). I take Max Planks view:

"There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force"We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter." " Max Planck

Mind/ conscious is immaterial, and matter is material, so it would be a contradiction to say they were the same.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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1/21/2014 11:00:32 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
* "There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter." - Max Planck
Juan_Pablo
Posts: 2,052
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1/21/2014 11:06:57 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/21/2014 10:59:54 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 1/21/2014 10:50:56 AM, Juan_Pablo wrote:
At 1/21/2014 10:02:25 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 1/21/2014 9:41:15 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/20/2014 11:46:45 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 1/20/2014 9:55:08 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/20/2014 5:20:58 PM, philochristos wrote:
The "Self" is what undergoes the physical and mental changes. The "self" is what experiences, perceives, remembers, thinks, acts, and is acted upon, etc.

What exactly do you mean by "is acted upon"?

Well, we get a lot of input from our environment, and when that happen, the self is affected. It is me who changes his mind, for example, when somebody talks me into something. It is me who gets drunk when alcohol is poured down my throat.


That's true, but despite all these "changes" it somehow seems to remain the same... It's still "me" afterall. I suppose to use Arisotelian terms, it undergoes accidental change, but not substantial change.

Also, I've read from your debates that you seem to be somewhat of a substance dualist.. How would you approach the interaction problem?

First, I don't think the problem needs to be solved before we're rational in subscribing to substance dualism. In most situations, we know THAT something happens before we know HOW it happens.

Second, I suspect there are properties in the physical world that we don't know about, which is evident in the fact that we keep discovering them. For example, we didn't used to know that space was expanding or that time was affected by gravity, etc. I also suspect there are properties of the soul that we don't know about. Substance dualists typically make a distinction between "physical" and "non-physical," where "physical" just means anything that has physical properties. But this is an ambiguous term since the physical world may have properties we don't know about. We once thought of physical things merely as matter and energy. Now we also think of time and space as belonging to the physical world even though they don't have any of the usual physical properties. And it may be that if the soul ever becomes the subject of science, then it will be included in what we consider physical. "Physical" is just a word, after all. So basically, I question whether there's really a neat dichotomy between physical and non-physical. That is unless you're talking about abstract entities, which I think are forever doomed to belong to the non-physical. So, anyway, it may be the case that the soul and the physical universe do have some properties in common or some way to connect that we just don't happen to know about because we don't know enough about either one, but if this connection or similarity were known, then we'd understand how there could be causal interaction.

Third, I think it may be possible for the soul to create energy ex-nihilo. Imagine a particle at rest, and imagine that without losing any mass or internal energy, the particle begins to move. In that case, the particle has kinetic energy that it didn't have before. So the total energy of the system (if you draw an imaginary box around the particle) has increased. Well, that energy had to come from somewhere. Usually, it's because some other physical entity imparted energy to it. But if a soul is non-physical (in the usual sense of the word), then it has no energy of its own to impart. So the only way a soul could act on a physical particle is to create energy ex nihilo. And that may happen every time we act.

But I don't really know. These are all just speculations. There was a chapter on this problem in The Soul Hypothesis...

http://www.amazon.com...

...but I didn't really understand all of it.

Alright, thanks. I found that very interesting and enlightening. I'm still trying to work out some sort of philosophy of mind position, so I appreciate hearing your views.

I suggest you don't select a messy ontology like Dualism. Materialism and Idealism are more attractive ontologies, because on either one everything is made of the same stuff.

Materialism: All is material
Idealism: All is mind
Dualism: Material and Mind exist (which are as radically different from each other as any two things could be), and interact....somehow.

Materialism is clearly false, and with Dualism you have your immaterial self, your qualiia, (which is clearly a distinct immaterial substance), and hard material things; atoms in the void. However, it is insane to think that my qualia (experience of redness) could possibly interact with neuron firings in a wet and mushy brain. These two worlds are too far apart ontologigically to interact, and if they did interact, one would have to reduce to the other so Materialism or Idealism would seem to entail either way.

So, I guess my question would be, what stops you from Idealism? Do you just find it too bizarre to accept or something?

Or perhaps, Rantiona Thinker, it's also possible that Materialism and Idealism are in fact the same thing - a philosophy I subscribe to! Everything in this universe is conscious ( including apparent "empty space" ) and is therefore mind and yet everything is some kind of material substance ( including apparent "empty space" ) and is therefore matter. ( I'm not saying that space is a state of matter we're familiar, but more that it's just another unique state of matter, and there are physics theories out there that even insinuate such a view, such Paul Dirac's explanation for the creation of anti-particle / particle pairs. )

I think the next great leaps on this issue of science will have to start thinking in terms of a natural, unavoidable unity between idealism and materialism. This is the direction in which I'm going because I don't seen another possibility in which the existence of consciousness and the material world can be reconciled . . . a kind of animated-materialist perspective.

Well, you are almost correct. Everything is the same, but everything is mind, and matter is just a concept in God's mind (it isn't real). I take Max Planks view:

"There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force"We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter." " Max Planck

Mind/ conscious is immaterial, and matter is material, so it would be a contradiction to say they were the same.

Well, I'm going to start applying a few of Wittgenstein's positions on language views here and say that the definition of "mind" that is popularly used is in fact wrong! Mind too is a physical substance, capable of physical transformation, alteration, and movement; that one mind can also physically be broken up or combined to form new minds - just like matter in the material world can!

I think many of the definitions that are currently used are just wrong.
Juan_Pablo
Posts: 2,052
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1/21/2014 11:10:54 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Rational Thinker, I do agree with Max Plank's quote you cite there. I think it presents an accurate view of the universe.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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1/21/2014 11:13:00 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/21/2014 11:06:57 AM, Juan_Pablo wrote:
At 1/21/2014 10:59:54 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 1/21/2014 10:50:56 AM, Juan_Pablo wrote:
At 1/21/2014 10:02:25 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 1/21/2014 9:41:15 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/20/2014 11:46:45 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 1/20/2014 9:55:08 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/20/2014 5:20:58 PM, philochristos wrote:
The "Self" is what undergoes the physical and mental changes. The "self" is what experiences, perceives, remembers, thinks, acts, and is acted upon, etc.

What exactly do you mean by "is acted upon"?

Well, we get a lot of input from our environment, and when that happen, the self is affected. It is me who changes his mind, for example, when somebody talks me into something. It is me who gets drunk when alcohol is poured down my throat.


That's true, but despite all these "changes" it somehow seems to remain the same... It's still "me" afterall. I suppose to use Arisotelian terms, it undergoes accidental change, but not substantial change.

Also, I've read from your debates that you seem to be somewhat of a substance dualist.. How would you approach the interaction problem?

First, I don't think the problem needs to be solved before we're rational in subscribing to substance dualism. In most situations, we know THAT something happens before we know HOW it happens.

Second, I suspect there are properties in the physical world that we don't know about, which is evident in the fact that we keep discovering them. For example, we didn't used to know that space was expanding or that time was affected by gravity, etc. I also suspect there are properties of the soul that we don't know about. Substance dualists typically make a distinction between "physical" and "non-physical," where "physical" just means anything that has physical properties. But this is an ambiguous term since the physical world may have properties we don't know about. We once thought of physical things merely as matter and energy. Now we also think of time and space as belonging to the physical world even though they don't have any of the usual physical properties. And it may be that if the soul ever becomes the subject of science, then it will be included in what we consider physical. "Physical" is just a word, after all. So basically, I question whether there's really a neat dichotomy between physical and non-physical. That is unless you're talking about abstract entities, which I think are forever doomed to belong to the non-physical. So, anyway, it may be the case that the soul and the physical universe do have some properties in common or some way to connect that we just don't happen to know about because we don't know enough about either one, but if this connection or similarity were known, then we'd understand how there could be causal interaction.

Third, I think it may be possible for the soul to create energy ex-nihilo. Imagine a particle at rest, and imagine that without losing any mass or internal energy, the particle begins to move. In that case, the particle has kinetic energy that it didn't have before. So the total energy of the system (if you draw an imaginary box around the particle) has increased. Well, that energy had to come from somewhere. Usually, it's because some other physical entity imparted energy to it. But if a soul is non-physical (in the usual sense of the word), then it has no energy of its own to impart. So the only way a soul could act on a physical particle is to create energy ex nihilo. And that may happen every time we act.

But I don't really know. These are all just speculations. There was a chapter on this problem in The Soul Hypothesis...

http://www.amazon.com...

...but I didn't really understand all of it.

Alright, thanks. I found that very interesting and enlightening. I'm still trying to work out some sort of philosophy of mind position, so I appreciate hearing your views.

I suggest you don't select a messy ontology like Dualism. Materialism and Idealism are more attractive ontologies, because on either one everything is made of the same stuff.

Materialism: All is material
Idealism: All is mind
Dualism: Material and Mind exist (which are as radically different from each other as any two things could be), and interact....somehow.

Materialism is clearly false, and with Dualism you have your immaterial self, your qualiia, (which is clearly a distinct immaterial substance), and hard material things; atoms in the void. However, it is insane to think that my qualia (experience of redness) could possibly interact with neuron firings in a wet and mushy brain. These two worlds are too far apart ontologigically to interact, and if they did interact, one would have to reduce to the other so Materialism or Idealism would seem to entail either way.

So, I guess my question would be, what stops you from Idealism? Do you just find it too bizarre to accept or something?

Or perhaps, Rantiona Thinker, it's also possible that Materialism and Idealism are in fact the same thing - a philosophy I subscribe to! Everything in this universe is conscious ( including apparent "empty space" ) and is therefore mind and yet everything is some kind of material substance ( including apparent "empty space" ) and is therefore matter. ( I'm not saying that space is a state of matter we're familiar, but more that it's just another unique state of matter, and there are physics theories out there that even insinuate such a view, such Paul Dirac's explanation for the creation of anti-particle / particle pairs. )

I think the next great leaps on this issue of science will have to start thinking in terms of a natural, unavoidable unity between idealism and materialism. This is the direction in which I'm going because I don't seen another possibility in which the existence of consciousness and the material world can be reconciled . . . a kind of animated-materialist perspective.

Well, you are almost correct. Everything is the same, but everything is mind, and matter is just a concept in God's mind (it isn't real). I take Max Planks view:

"There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force"We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter." " Max Planck

Mind/ conscious is immaterial, and matter is material, so it would be a contradiction to say they were the same.

Well, I'm going to start applying a few of Wittgenstein's positions on language views here and say that the definition of "mind" that is popularly used is in fact wrong!

No, it is right. All you have to do is think and engage in introspection to prove this.

Mind too is a physical substance, capable of physical transformation

No, it is not. The mind has no physical properties that we know of.

, alteration, and movement; that one mind can also physically be broken up or combined to form new minds - just like matter in the material world can!

No, it can't.


I think many of the definitions that are currently used are just wrong.

I think they are right. What is it to ya?
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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1/21/2014 11:13:00 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/21/2014 11:06:57 AM, Juan_Pablo wrote:
At 1/21/2014 10:59:54 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 1/21/2014 10:50:56 AM, Juan_Pablo wrote:
At 1/21/2014 10:02:25 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 1/21/2014 9:41:15 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/20/2014 11:46:45 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 1/20/2014 9:55:08 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/20/2014 5:20:58 PM, philochristos wrote:
The "Self" is what undergoes the physical and mental changes. The "self" is what experiences, perceives, remembers, thinks, acts, and is acted upon, etc.

What exactly do you mean by "is acted upon"?

Well, we get a lot of input from our environment, and when that happen, the self is affected. It is me who changes his mind, for example, when somebody talks me into something. It is me who gets drunk when alcohol is poured down my throat.


That's true, but despite all these "changes" it somehow seems to remain the same... It's still "me" afterall. I suppose to use Arisotelian terms, it undergoes accidental change, but not substantial change.

Also, I've read from your debates that you seem to be somewhat of a substance dualist.. How would you approach the interaction problem?

First, I don't think the problem needs to be solved before we're rational in subscribing to substance dualism. In most situations, we know THAT something happens before we know HOW it happens.

Second, I suspect there are properties in the physical world that we don't know about, which is evident in the fact that we keep discovering them. For example, we didn't used to know that space was expanding or that time was affected by gravity, etc. I also suspect there are properties of the soul that we don't know about. Substance dualists typically make a distinction between "physical" and "non-physical," where "physical" just means anything that has physical properties. But this is an ambiguous term since the physical world may have properties we don't know about. We once thought of physical things merely as matter and energy. Now we also think of time and space as belonging to the physical world even though they don't have any of the usual physical properties. And it may be that if the soul ever becomes the subject of science, then it will be included in what we consider physical. "Physical" is just a word, after all. So basically, I question whether there's really a neat dichotomy between physical and non-physical. That is unless you're talking about abstract entities, which I think are forever doomed to belong to the non-physical. So, anyway, it may be the case that the soul and the physical universe do have some properties in common or some way to connect that we just don't happen to know about because we don't know enough about either one, but if this connection or similarity were known, then we'd understand how there could be causal interaction.

Third, I think it may be possible for the soul to create energy ex-nihilo. Imagine a particle at rest, and imagine that without losing any mass or internal energy, the particle begins to move. In that case, the particle has kinetic energy that it didn't have before. So the total energy of the system (if you draw an imaginary box around the particle) has increased. Well, that energy had to come from somewhere. Usually, it's because some other physical entity imparted energy to it. But if a soul is non-physical (in the usual sense of the word), then it has no energy of its own to impart. So the only way a soul could act on a physical particle is to create energy ex nihilo. And that may happen every time we act.

But I don't really know. These are all just speculations. There was a chapter on this problem in The Soul Hypothesis...

http://www.amazon.com...

...but I didn't really understand all of it.

Alright, thanks. I found that very interesting and enlightening. I'm still trying to work out some sort of philosophy of mind position, so I appreciate hearing your views.

I suggest you don't select a messy ontology like Dualism. Materialism and Idealism are more attractive ontologies, because on either one everything is made of the same stuff.

Materialism: All is material
Idealism: All is mind
Dualism: Material and Mind exist (which are as radically different from each other as any two things could be), and interact....somehow.

Materialism is clearly false, and with Dualism you have your immaterial self, your qualiia, (which is clearly a distinct immaterial substance), and hard material things; atoms in the void. However, it is insane to think that my qualia (experience of redness) could possibly interact with neuron firings in a wet and mushy brain. These two worlds are too far apart ontologigically to interact, and if they did interact, one would have to reduce to the other so Materialism or Idealism would seem to entail either way.

So, I guess my question would be, what stops you from Idealism? Do you just find it too bizarre to accept or something?

Or perhaps, Rantiona Thinker, it's also possible that Materialism and Idealism are in fact the same thing - a philosophy I subscribe to! Everything in this universe is conscious ( including apparent "empty space" ) and is therefore mind and yet everything is some kind of material substance ( including apparent "empty space" ) and is therefore matter. ( I'm not saying that space is a state of matter we're familiar, but more that it's just another unique state of matter, and there are physics theories out there that even insinuate such a view, such Paul Dirac's explanation for the creation of anti-particle / particle pairs. )

I think the next great leaps on this issue of science will have to start thinking in terms of a natural, unavoidable unity between idealism and materialism. This is the direction in which I'm going because I don't seen another possibility in which the existence of consciousness and the material world can be reconciled . . . a kind of animated-materialist perspective.

Well, you are almost correct. Everything is the same, but everything is mind, and matter is just a concept in God's mind (it isn't real). I take Max Planks view:

"There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force"We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter." " Max Planck

Mind/ conscious is immaterial, and matter is material, so it would be a contradiction to say they were the same.

Well, I'm going to start applying a few of Wittgenstein's positions on language views here and say that the definition of "mind" that is popularly used is in fact wrong!

No, it is right. All you have to do is think and engage in introspection to prove this.

Mind too is a physical substance, capable of physical transformation

No, it is not. The mind has no physical properties that we know of.

, alteration, and movement; that one mind can also physically be broken up or combined to form new minds - just like matter in the material world can!

No, it can't.


I think many of the definitions that are currently used are just wrong.

I think they are right. What is it to ya?
Rational_Thinker9119
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1/21/2014 11:13:00 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/21/2014 11:06:57 AM, Juan_Pablo wrote:
At 1/21/2014 10:59:54 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 1/21/2014 10:50:56 AM, Juan_Pablo wrote:
At 1/21/2014 10:02:25 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 1/21/2014 9:41:15 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/20/2014 11:46:45 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 1/20/2014 9:55:08 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/20/2014 5:20:58 PM, philochristos wrote:
The "Self" is what undergoes the physical and mental changes. The "self" is what experiences, perceives, remembers, thinks, acts, and is acted upon, etc.

What exactly do you mean by "is acted upon"?

Well, we get a lot of input from our environment, and when that happen, the self is affected. It is me who changes his mind, for example, when somebody talks me into something. It is me who gets drunk when alcohol is poured down my throat.


That's true, but despite all these "changes" it somehow seems to remain the same... It's still "me" afterall. I suppose to use Arisotelian terms, it undergoes accidental change, but not substantial change.

Also, I've read from your debates that you seem to be somewhat of a substance dualist.. How would you approach the interaction problem?

First, I don't think the problem needs to be solved before we're rational in subscribing to substance dualism. In most situations, we know THAT something happens before we know HOW it happens.

Second, I suspect there are properties in the physical world that we don't know about, which is evident in the fact that we keep discovering them. For example, we didn't used to know that space was expanding or that time was affected by gravity, etc. I also suspect there are properties of the soul that we don't know about. Substance dualists typically make a distinction between "physical" and "non-physical," where "physical" just means anything that has physical properties. But this is an ambiguous term since the physical world may have properties we don't know about. We once thought of physical things merely as matter and energy. Now we also think of time and space as belonging to the physical world even though they don't have any of the usual physical properties. And it may be that if the soul ever becomes the subject of science, then it will be included in what we consider physical. "Physical" is just a word, after all. So basically, I question whether there's really a neat dichotomy between physical and non-physical. That is unless you're talking about abstract entities, which I think are forever doomed to belong to the non-physical. So, anyway, it may be the case that the soul and the physical universe do have some properties in common or some way to connect that we just don't happen to know about because we don't know enough about either one, but if this connection or similarity were known, then we'd understand how there could be causal interaction.

Third, I think it may be possible for the soul to create energy ex-nihilo. Imagine a particle at rest, and imagine that without losing any mass or internal energy, the particle begins to move. In that case, the particle has kinetic energy that it didn't have before. So the total energy of the system (if you draw an imaginary box around the particle) has increased. Well, that energy had to come from somewhere. Usually, it's because some other physical entity imparted energy to it. But if a soul is non-physical (in the usual sense of the word), then it has no energy of its own to impart. So the only way a soul could act on a physical particle is to create energy ex nihilo. And that may happen every time we act.

But I don't really know. These are all just speculations. There was a chapter on this problem in The Soul Hypothesis...

http://www.amazon.com...

...but I didn't really understand all of it.

Alright, thanks. I found that very interesting and enlightening. I'm still trying to work out some sort of philosophy of mind position, so I appreciate hearing your views.

I suggest you don't select a messy ontology like Dualism. Materialism and Idealism are more attractive ontologies, because on either one everything is made of the same stuff.

Materialism: All is material
Idealism: All is mind
Dualism: Material and Mind exist (which are as radically different from each other as any two things could be), and interact....somehow.

Materialism is clearly false, and with Dualism you have your immaterial self, your qualiia, (which is clearly a distinct immaterial substance), and hard material things; atoms in the void. However, it is insane to think that my qualia (experience of redness) could possibly interact with neuron firings in a wet and mushy brain. These two worlds are too far apart ontologigically to interact, and if they did interact, one would have to reduce to the other so Materialism or Idealism would seem to entail either way.

So, I guess my question would be, what stops you from Idealism? Do you just find it too bizarre to accept or something?

Or perhaps, Rantiona Thinker, it's also possible that Materialism and Idealism are in fact the same thing - a philosophy I subscribe to! Everything in this universe is conscious ( including apparent "empty space" ) and is therefore mind and yet everything is some kind of material substance ( including apparent "empty space" ) and is therefore matter. ( I'm not saying that space is a state of matter we're familiar, but more that it's just another unique state of matter, and there are physics theories out there that even insinuate such a view, such Paul Dirac's explanation for the creation of anti-particle / particle pairs. )

I think the next great leaps on this issue of science will have to start thinking in terms of a natural, unavoidable unity between idealism and materialism. This is the direction in which I'm going because I don't seen another possibility in which the existence of consciousness and the material world can be reconciled . . . a kind of animated-materialist perspective.

Well, you are almost correct. Everything is the same, but everything is mind, and matter is just a concept in God's mind (it isn't real). I take Max Planks view:

"There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force"We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter." " Max Planck

Mind/ conscious is immaterial, and matter is material, so it would be a contradiction to say they were the same.

Well, I'm going to start applying a few of Wittgenstein's positions on language views here and say that the definition of "mind" that is popularly used is in fact wrong!

No, it is right. All you have to do is think and engage in introspection to prove this.

Mind too is a physical substance, capable of physical transformation

No, it is not. The mind has no physical properties that we know of.

, alteration, and movement; that one mind can also physically be broken up or combined to form new minds - just like matter in the material world can!

No, it can't.


I think many of the definitions that are currently used are just wrong.

I think they are right. What is it to ya?
Juan_Pablo
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1/21/2014 11:21:46 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Rational Thinker, you're actually very wrong. We have lots of scientific evidence to show that the mind is altered when the physical brain is effected! This proves that the mind is irrefutable, unavoidably altered as physical processes in the brain are changed!

You're position is refuted!

I said: "I think many of the definitions that are currently used are just wrong."

You said: "I think they are right. What is it to ya?"

In the worlds of reasoning and critical thinking, ideas have to be supported with evidence to demonstrate that they can or are true. An opinion doesn't matter much otherwise.
Rational_Thinker9119
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1/21/2014 11:27:02 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/21/2014 11:21:46 AM, Juan_Pablo wrote:
Rational Thinker, you're actually very wrong. We have lots of scientific evidence to show that the mind is altered when the physical brain is effected!

So? That evidence doesn't support your position. Just because the mind is effected by the physical, doesn't mean it is physical. Also, then you have the interaction problem to deal with. Thus, Idealism entails anyway.

This proves that the mind is irrefutable, unavoidably altered as physical processes in the brain are changed!

So? That just means mental/ conscious states are dependent on physical states, not that they are physical states. Also, define "physical"!


You're position is refuted!

Nope, your argument is based on a non-sequitur fallacy and is invalid, and therefore, must be rejected.


I said: "I think many of the definitions that are currently used are just wrong."

You said: "I think they are right. What is it to ya?"

In the worlds of reasoning and critical thinking, ideas have to be supported with evidence to demonstrate that they can or are true. An opinion doesn't matter much otherwise.

There is no evidence to support your philosophy. Try again.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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1/21/2014 11:28:42 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/21/2014 11:21:46 AM, Juan_Pablo wrote:
Rational Thinker, you're actually very wrong. We have lots of scientific evidence to show that the mind is altered when the physical brain is effected! This proves that the mind is irrefutable, unavoidably altered as physical processes in the brain are changed!

You're position is refuted!

I said: "I think many of the definitions that are currently used are just wrong."

You said: "I think they are right. What is it to ya?"

In the worlds of reasoning and critical thinking, ideas have to be supported with evidence to demonstrate that they can or are true. An opinion doesn't matter much otherwise.

You haven't even defined "physical".
Juan_Pablo
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1/21/2014 11:30:24 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Currently the popularly accepted definitions of "physical" are

1.
of or relating to the body as opposed to the mind.

2.
of or relating to things perceived through the senses as opposed to the mind; tangible or concrete.

I'd like to point out that these definitions are not scientific, however.

Alfred North Whitehead, who contemplated something nearly identical to what I have presented here, would have criticized the dualist perspective provided by those definitions.

Western Culture, with its long history and contemplation of an immaterial soul, has made the soul this fuzzy, unmanageable, difficult category forever out of reach of physical experimentation and science.

I reject this view. The soul, like all matter in the universe, is physical, mutable, material substance.