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Definition of "mental"

dylancatlow
Posts: 12,255
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7/22/2015 12:04:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
There's been a lot of discussion on idealism lately. It seems that the conversation so far has been obstructed by an apparent lack of semantic agreement. So I think it would be constructive to try to reach some sort of consensus (or at least mutual understanding) on what we mean by the terms relevant to the debate.

For me, "mentation" is far more general than what happens in the human brain. I believe the same forces which lead our brain to produce an awareness are operative throughout the universe, and thus that everything is "conscious" in a certain sense. I guess the word which comes closest to capturing its meaning would be expression. Mentation is just the aggregate interaction or comprehensive self-description of an informational system. In other words, awareness amounts to recognition of the syntactic rules bearing on one's definition and evolution. So consciousness is the overall identity (description) of information processing, and the kind of consciousness we're familiar with is just the information processing that goes on in the brain. Thus, there's no need to explain how our brain is able to produce consciousness, because everything is conscious. Our brain just "goes with the flow", and needn't recognize that its configuration produces something special which it wouldn't possess otherwise. Ideas, rather than being concrete things, are abstract expressions which have a syntactic (rule-based) dimension responsible for the relationships between the elements and thus the overall identity of the definiendum.

If you disagree, please explain what about this definition you find inadequate/propose one of your own.
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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7/22/2015 2:04:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 12:04:43 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
There's been a lot of discussion on idealism lately. It seems that the conversation so far has been obstructed by an apparent lack of semantic agreement. So I think it would be constructive to try to reach some sort of consensus (or at least mutual understanding) on what we mean by the terms relevant to the debate.

For me, "mentation" is far more general than what happens in the human brain. I believe the same forces which lead our brain to produce an awareness are operative throughout the universe, and thus that everything is "conscious" in a certain sense. I guess the word which comes closest to capturing its meaning would be expression. Mentation is just the aggregate interaction or comprehensive self-description of an informational system. In other words, awareness amounts to recognition of the syntactic rules bearing on one's definition and evolution. So consciousness is the overall identity (description) of information processing, and the kind of consciousness we're familiar with is just the information processing that goes on in the brain. Thus, there's no need to explain how our brain is able to produce consciousness, because everything is conscious. Our brain just "goes with the flow", and needn't recognize that its configuration produces something special which it wouldn't possess otherwise. Ideas, rather than being concrete things, are abstract expressions which have a syntactic (rule-based) dimension responsible for the relationships between the elements and thus the overall identity of the definiendum.

If you disagree, please explain what about this definition you find inadequate/propose one of your own.

You aim towards semantic agreement by introducing more terms. Mentatation? As far as I know that just means mental activity. You have just obfuscated the picture, congratulations.
Did you get that paragraph from Langan? Abstract objects are more often than not characterized as being non-physical, non-mental and causally inert so ideas can hardly be abstract. The rest seems unintelligible, although I see your infamous proof of idealism shining through.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,255
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7/22/2015 2:23:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 2:04:12 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/22/2015 12:04:43 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
There's been a lot of discussion on idealism lately. It seems that the conversation so far has been obstructed by an apparent lack of semantic agreement. So I think it would be constructive to try to reach some sort of consensus (or at least mutual understanding) on what we mean by the terms relevant to the debate.

For me, "mentation" is far more general than what happens in the human brain. I believe the same forces which lead our brain to produce an awareness are operative throughout the universe, and thus that everything is "conscious" in a certain sense. I guess the word which comes closest to capturing its meaning would be expression. Mentation is just the aggregate interaction or comprehensive self-description of an informational system. In other words, awareness amounts to recognition of the syntactic rules bearing on one's definition and evolution. So consciousness is the overall identity (description) of information processing, and the kind of consciousness we're familiar with is just the information processing that goes on in the brain. Thus, there's no need to explain how our brain is able to produce consciousness, because everything is conscious. Our brain just "goes with the flow", and needn't recognize that its configuration produces something special which it wouldn't possess otherwise. Ideas, rather than being concrete things, are abstract expressions which have a syntactic (rule-based) dimension responsible for the relationships between the elements and thus the overall identity of the definiendum.

If you disagree, please explain what about this definition you find inadequate/propose one of your own.

You aim towards semantic agreement by introducing more terms. Mentatation? As far as I know that just means mental activity. You have just obfuscated the picture, congratulations.

Given the context, the intended meaning of "Mentation" should be obvious.

Did you get that paragraph from Langan?

No.

Abstract objects are more often than not characterized as being non-physical, non-mental and causally inert so ideas can hardly be abstract.

Abstract just means non-physical, and therefore syntactic. When I called them abstract expressions, I didn't mean to say that they are entirely abstract, since they often have content. Causality is itself non-physical, since it represents the relationships between physical objects, so your claim that abstract objects cannot cause is patently absurd. Causality causes things to happen, the objects are merely pawns implicated in a causal framework.

The rest seems unintelligible, although I see your infamous proof of idealism shining through.

I'd like to see you try to give a definition for it.
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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7/22/2015 2:58:30 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 2:23:43 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/22/2015 2:04:12 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/22/2015 12:04:43 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
There's been a lot of discussion on idealism lately. It seems that the conversation so far has been obstructed by an apparent lack of semantic agreement. So I think it would be constructive to try to reach some sort of consensus (or at least mutual understanding) on what we mean by the terms relevant to the debate.

For me, "mentation" is far more general than what happens in the human brain. I believe the same forces which lead our brain to produce an awareness are operative throughout the universe, and thus that everything is "conscious" in a certain sense. I guess the word which comes closest to capturing its meaning would be expression. Mentation is just the aggregate interaction or comprehensive self-description of an informational system. In other words, awareness amounts to recognition of the syntactic rules bearing on one's definition and evolution. So consciousness is the overall identity (description) of information processing, and the kind of consciousness we're familiar with is just the information processing that goes on in the brain. Thus, there's no need to explain how our brain is able to produce consciousness, because everything is conscious. Our brain just "goes with the flow", and needn't recognize that its configuration produces something special which it wouldn't possess otherwise. Ideas, rather than being concrete things, are abstract expressions which have a syntactic (rule-based) dimension responsible for the relationships between the elements and thus the overall identity of the definiendum.

If you disagree, please explain what about this definition you find inadequate/propose one of your own.

You aim towards semantic agreement by introducing more terms. Mentatation? As far as I know that just means mental activity. You have just obfuscated the picture, congratulations.

Given the context, the intended meaning of "Mentation" should be obvious.
Yes, I saw the intended meaning, but why would use a term that nobody else uses and alter its definition if you want clarification?

Did you get that paragraph from Langan?

No.

Abstract objects are more often than not characterized as being non-physical, non-mental and causally inert so ideas can hardly be abstract.

Abstract just means non-physical
No.

and therefore syntactic.
What does this even mean?

When I called them abstract expressions, I didn't mean to say that they are entirely abstract, since they often have content.
There is no such thing as degrees of abstraction.

Causality is itself non-physical, since it represents the relationships between physical objects, so your claim that abstract objects cannot cause is patently absurd. Causality causes things to happen, the objects are merely pawns implicated in a causal framework.
Before I respond to this, please present your theory of causation.

The rest seems unintelligible, although I see your infamous proof of idealism shining through.

I'd like to see you try to give a definition for it.
Of 'mental'? Ironically no discussions have been about the definition of this term. I think the simplest picture is the Cartesian one: Mental objects are not spatially extended and include things like sensations and thoughts.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,255
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7/22/2015 3:10:08 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 2:58:30 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/22/2015 2:23:43 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/22/2015 2:04:12 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/22/2015 12:04:43 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
There's been a lot of discussion on idealism lately. It seems that the conversation so far has been obstructed by an apparent lack of semantic agreement. So I think it would be constructive to try to reach some sort of consensus (or at least mutual understanding) on what we mean by the terms relevant to the debate.

For me, "mentation" is far more general than what happens in the human brain. I believe the same forces which lead our brain to produce an awareness are operative throughout the universe, and thus that everything is "conscious" in a certain sense. I guess the word which comes closest to capturing its meaning would be expression. Mentation is just the aggregate interaction or comprehensive self-description of an informational system. In other words, awareness amounts to recognition of the syntactic rules bearing on one's definition and evolution. So consciousness is the overall identity (description) of information processing, and the kind of consciousness we're familiar with is just the information processing that goes on in the brain. Thus, there's no need to explain how our brain is able to produce consciousness, because everything is conscious. Our brain just "goes with the flow", and needn't recognize that its configuration produces something special which it wouldn't possess otherwise. Ideas, rather than being concrete things, are abstract expressions which have a syntactic (rule-based) dimension responsible for the relationships between the elements and thus the overall identity of the definiendum.

If you disagree, please explain what about this definition you find inadequate/propose one of your own.

You aim towards semantic agreement by introducing more terms. Mentatation? As far as I know that just means mental activity. You have just obfuscated the picture, congratulations.

Given the context, the intended meaning of "Mentation" should be obvious.
Yes, I saw the intended meaning, but why would use a term that nobody else uses and alter its definition if you want clarification?

Did you get that paragraph from Langan?

No.

Abstract objects are more often than not characterized as being non-physical, non-mental and causally inert so ideas can hardly be abstract.

Abstract just means non-physical
No.

Yes!

and therefore syntactic.
What does this even mean?

Rule-based.


When I called them abstract expressions, I didn't mean to say that they are entirely abstract, since they often have content.
There is no such thing as degrees of abstraction.

I didn't imply that there were. Something can be partly abstract in the sense that some of its components are 100 percent abstract and some are 100 percent not abstract.

Causality is itself non-physical, since it represents the relationships between physical objects, so your claim that abstract objects cannot cause is patently absurd. Causality causes things to happen, the objects are merely pawns implicated in a causal framework.
Before I respond to this, please present your theory of causation.


Causation amounts to logical (syntactic) implication. That is, things are defined on each other within an overall description of reality which distributes over all of its internal distinctions.

The rest seems unintelligible, although I see your infamous proof of idealism shining through.

I'd like to see you try to give a definition for it.
Of 'mental'? Ironically no discussions have been about the definition of this term. I think the simplest picture is the Cartesian one: Mental objects are not spatially extended and include things like sensations and thoughts.
What distinguishes thoughts from non-thoughts?
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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7/22/2015 4:06:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 3:10:08 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/22/2015 2:58:30 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/22/2015 2:23:43 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/22/2015 2:04:12 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/22/2015 12:04:43 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
There's been a lot of discussion on idealism lately. It seems that the conversation so far has been obstructed by an apparent lack of semantic agreement. So I think it would be constructive to try to reach some sort of consensus (or at least mutual understanding) on what we mean by the terms relevant to the debate.

For me, "mentation" is far more general than what happens in the human brain. I believe the same forces which lead our brain to produce an awareness are operative throughout the universe, and thus that everything is "conscious" in a certain sense. I guess the word which comes closest to capturing its meaning would be expression. Mentation is just the aggregate interaction or comprehensive self-description of an informational system. In other words, awareness amounts to recognition of the syntactic rules bearing on one's definition and evolution. So consciousness is the overall identity (description) of information processing, and the kind of consciousness we're familiar with is just the information processing that goes on in the brain. Thus, there's no need to explain how our brain is able to produce consciousness, because everything is conscious. Our brain just "goes with the flow", and needn't recognize that its configuration produces something special which it wouldn't possess otherwise. Ideas, rather than being concrete things, are abstract expressions which have a syntactic (rule-based) dimension responsible for the relationships between the elements and thus the overall identity of the definiendum.

If you disagree, please explain what about this definition you find inadequate/propose one of your own.

You aim towards semantic agreement by introducing more terms. Mentatation? As far as I know that just means mental activity. You have just obfuscated the picture, congratulations.

Given the context, the intended meaning of "Mentation" should be obvious.
Yes, I saw the intended meaning, but why would use a term that nobody else uses and alter its definition if you want clarification?

Did you get that paragraph from Langan?

No.

Abstract objects are more often than not characterized as being non-physical, non-mental and causally inert so ideas can hardly be abstract.

Abstract just means non-physical
No.

Yes!
Then for once you face the problem of what it means to be physical. Furthermore this means that, on your view, God is the same kind of thing as the number three. Minds are concrete objects for, physicalists, idealists and dualist alike.

and therefore syntactic.
What does this even mean?

Rule-based.
I know what a syntax is, there just is nothing rule based about my mental image of a tomato. Your account of abstract objects is completely unintelligible.

When I called them abstract expressions, I didn't mean to say that they are entirely abstract, since they often have content.
There is no such thing as degrees of abstraction.

I didn't imply that there were. Something can be partly abstract in the sense that some of its components are 100 percent abstract and some are 100 percent not abstract.
What? Are you seriously claiming there to be objects partly concrete, partly abstract?


Causality is itself non-physical, since it represents the relationships between physical objects, so your claim that abstract objects cannot cause is patently absurd. Causality causes things to happen, the objects are merely pawns implicated in a causal framework.
Before I respond to this, please present your theory of causation.


Causation amounts to logical (syntactic) implication. That is, things are defined on each other within an overall description of reality which distributes over all of its internal distinctions.
I can hardly make sense of anything you write. I understand the first sentence, but the second one is gibberish. An implication does not involve an overall description of reality. I take this to mean that causality amounts to A happens implies B happens. That would merely be a necessary condition.

The rest seems unintelligible, although I see your infamous proof of idealism shining through.

I'd like to see you try to give a definition for it.
Of 'mental'? Ironically no discussions have been about the definition of this term. I think the simplest picture is the Cartesian one: Mental objects are not spatially extended and include things like sensations and thoughts.
What distinguishes thoughts from non-thoughts?
Someone who can apparently can make sense of Langan should be familiar with cartesian dualism.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,255
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7/23/2015 9:29:47 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 4:06:19 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/22/2015 3:10:08 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/22/2015 2:58:30 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/22/2015 2:23:43 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/22/2015 2:04:12 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/22/2015 12:04:43 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
There's been a lot of discussion on idealism lately. It seems that the conversation so far has been obstructed by an apparent lack of semantic agreement. So I think it would be constructive to try to reach some sort of consensus (or at least mutual understanding) on what we mean by the terms relevant to the debate.

For me, "mentation" is far more general than what happens in the human brain. I believe the same forces which lead our brain to produce an awareness are operative throughout the universe, and thus that everything is "conscious" in a certain sense. I guess the word which comes closest to capturing its meaning would be expression. Mentation is just the aggregate interaction or comprehensive self-description of an informational system. In other words, awareness amounts to recognition of the syntactic rules bearing on one's definition and evolution. So consciousness is the overall identity (description) of information processing, and the kind of consciousness we're familiar with is just the information processing that goes on in the brain. Thus, there's no need to explain how our brain is able to produce consciousness, because everything is conscious. Our brain just "goes with the flow", and needn't recognize that its configuration produces something special which it wouldn't possess otherwise. Ideas, rather than being concrete things, are abstract expressions which have a syntactic (rule-based) dimension responsible for the relationships between the elements and thus the overall identity of the definiendum.

If you disagree, please explain what about this definition you find inadequate/propose one of your own.

You aim towards semantic agreement by introducing more terms. Mentatation? As far as I know that just means mental activity. You have just obfuscated the picture, congratulations.

Given the context, the intended meaning of "Mentation" should be obvious.
Yes, I saw the intended meaning, but why would use a term that nobody else uses and alter its definition if you want clarification?

Did you get that paragraph from Langan?

No.

Abstract objects are more often than not characterized as being non-physical, non-mental and causally inert so ideas can hardly be abstract.

Abstract just means non-physical
No.

Yes!
Then for once you face the problem of what it means to be physical. Furthermore this means that, on your view, God is the same kind of thing as the number three. Minds are concrete objects for, physicalists, idealists and dualist alike.

"Physical objects" can be associated with the content of syntax. God is not the same thing as the number three.


and therefore syntactic.
What does this even mean?

Rule-based.
I know what a syntax is, there just is nothing rule based about my mental image of a tomato. Your account of abstract objects is completely unintelligible.


There are rules inherent in its interpretation, whether or not you realize it.

When I called them abstract expressions, I didn't mean to say that they are entirely abstract, since they often have content.
There is no such thing as degrees of abstraction.

I didn't imply that there were. Something can be partly abstract in the sense that some of its components are 100 percent abstract and some are 100 percent not abstract.
What? Are you seriously claiming there to be objects partly concrete, partly abstract?


Yes. An object amounts to something which exists and behaves in a certain way.


Causality is itself non-physical, since it represents the relationships between physical objects, so your claim that abstract objects cannot cause is patently absurd. Causality causes things to happen, the objects are merely pawns implicated in a causal framework.
Before I respond to this, please present your theory of causation.


Causation amounts to logical (syntactic) implication. That is, things are defined on each other within an overall description of reality which distributes over all of its internal distinctions.
I can hardly make sense of anything you write. I understand the first sentence, but the second one is gibberish. An implication does not involve an overall description of reality. I take this to mean that causality amounts to A happens implies B happens. That would merely be a necessary condition.


What is so incredible about the notion that every aspect of reality is "aware" of the definition and structure of reality? In order for an aspect of reality to know that it is implicated in the definition of reality, it must also know that its cause is implicated, and the cause of that cause is implicated, etc. In order for reality to be coherent, all of its aspects must be able to recognize the reality of other aspects.


The rest seems unintelligible, although I see your infamous proof of idealism shining through.

I'd like to see you try to give a definition for it.
Of 'mental'? Ironically no discussions have been about the definition of this term. I think the simplest picture is the Cartesian one: Mental objects are not spatially extended and include things like sensations and thoughts.
What distinguishes thoughts from non-thoughts?
Someone who can apparently can make sense of Langan should be familiar with cartesian dualism.

You can't just appeal to the dichotomy to describe the difference. You have to specify what about them allows the distinction to be made in the first place. Also, I don't think the notion of "non-thoughts" is a meaningful concept. That's why I don't accept cartesian dualism.