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Vi_Veri
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2/9/2010 11:51:19 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
So I'm doing homework for my Philosophy of Mind class (I know, I should probably get back to it), and we are on the most popular theory at the moment; Functionalism - your standard "The mind is the function of your brain parts" theory. This got me to wonder, what do you guys think about human consciousness?

Are you a duelist (Cartesian or modern)? Do you follow the Identity theory? Are you a Functionalist? Do you believe everything is consciousness and there really is no "material" world?

There are dozens of theories about consciousness out there, each with it's big problems. Where do you fit in?
I could give a f about no haters as long as my ishes love me.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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2/9/2010 11:58:19 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
I've seen no signs of consciousness in the brainless, indeed, consciousness seems to be removed with brain tampering. But brain parts can be intact and yet consciousness can still apparently be suboptimal or even lacking. So alls I can guess is that a brain is necessary but not sufficient for consciousness. I don't think that counts as functionalism. Or dualism. Or identity theory.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Vi_Veri
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2/9/2010 12:00:16 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 11:58:19 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
I've seen no signs of consciousness in the brainless, indeed, consciousness seems to be removed with brain tampering. But brain parts can be intact and yet consciousness can still apparently be suboptimal or even lacking. So alls I can guess is that a brain is necessary but not sufficient for consciousness. I don't think that counts as functionalism. Or dualism. Or identity theory.

It works with functionalism :)

Do you think that we can ever create consciousness artificially (like strong AI)?
I could give a f about no haters as long as my ishes love me.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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2/9/2010 12:01:10 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I was a dualist at one point, but now I'm a panpsychist.

www.wikipedia.org/wiki/panpsychism
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Freeman
Posts: 1,239
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2/9/2010 12:01:19 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 11:51:19 AM, Vi_Veri wrote:
So I'm doing homework for my Philosophy of Mind class (I know, I should probably get back to it), and we are on the most popular theory at the moment; Functionalism - your standard "The mind is the function of your brain parts" theory. This got me to wonder, what do you guys think about human consciousness?

Are you a duelist (Cartesian or modern)? Do you follow the Identity theory? Are you a Functionalist? Do you believe everything is consciousness and there really is no "material" world?

There are dozens of theories about consciousness out there, each with it's big problems. Where do you fit in?

I'm leaning towards accepting functionalism.
Chancellor of Propaganda and Foreign Relations in the Franklin administration.

"I intend to live forever. So far, so good." -- Steven Wright
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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2/9/2010 12:01:53 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 12:00:16 PM, Vi_Veri wrote:
At 2/9/2010 11:58:19 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
I've seen no signs of consciousness in the brainless, indeed, consciousness seems to be removed with brain tampering. But brain parts can be intact and yet consciousness can still apparently be suboptimal or even lacking. So alls I can guess is that a brain is necessary but not sufficient for consciousness. I don't think that counts as functionalism. Or dualism. Or identity theory.


It works with functionalism :)
For Y to be a function of X, each X value must correspond to 1 and only 1 Y value.


Do you think that we can ever create consciousness artificially (like strong AI)?
I don't have thoughts on the matter other than wait and see and applaud anyone who pulls it off.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Freeman
Posts: 1,239
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2/9/2010 12:03:09 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 12:00:16 PM, Vi_Veri wrote:
At 2/9/2010 11:58:19 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
I've seen no signs of consciousness in the brainless, indeed, consciousness seems to be removed with brain tampering. But brain parts can be intact and yet consciousness can still apparently be suboptimal or even lacking. So alls I can guess is that a brain is necessary but not sufficient for consciousness. I don't think that counts as functionalism. Or dualism. Or identity theory.


It works with functionalism :)

Do you think that we can ever create consciousness artificially (like strong AI)?

There is no reason to think that we couldn't. I'm looking forward to that day.
Chancellor of Propaganda and Foreign Relations in the Franklin administration.

"I intend to live forever. So far, so good." -- Steven Wright
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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2/9/2010 12:07:07 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
To all the functionalists out there: if the brain generates consciousness and the brain is just chemical reactions, then what separates the chemical reactions in the brain from all the rest of the ubiquitous chemical reactions?
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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2/9/2010 12:07:28 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
And btw:

Do you think that we can ever create consciousness artificially (like strong AI)?

No, we couldn't. Maybe you can. I can't, don't have the foggiest idea how.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Vi_Veri
Posts: 4,487
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2/9/2010 12:09:40 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 12:03:09 PM, Freeman wrote:
At 2/9/2010 12:00:16 PM, Vi_Veri wrote:
At 2/9/2010 11:58:19 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
I've seen no signs of consciousness in the brainless, indeed, consciousness seems to be removed with brain tampering. But brain parts can be intact and yet consciousness can still apparently be suboptimal or even lacking. So alls I can guess is that a brain is necessary but not sufficient for consciousness. I don't think that counts as functionalism. Or dualism. Or identity theory.


It works with functionalism :)

Do you think that we can ever create consciousness artificially (like strong AI)?

There is no reason to think that we couldn't. I'm looking forward to that day.

What do you think about the Chinese room Argument, Freeman? It seems to be pretty trying for functionalists.

" The criticisms implied by the Turing test are expanded upon by another thought experiment provided by the American philosopher John Searle. Searle imagines that someone who does not understand Chinese is placed in a room with an "In" hatch and an "Out" hatch. Through one hatch come Chinese symbols, which the person responds to by arranging other Chinese symbols according to rules laid down in a book and sending them out through the other hatch.

If we imagine that the "In" hatch provides questions in Chinese which the person "answers" by following rules set out in the book, we have what Searle considers a certain view of artificial intelligence. But would the person in the room really be said to understand Chinese? Searle thinks no and therefore argues that no view of artificial intelligence could ever result in a truly conscious being (in the human sense) because all that is ever happening is rule-based activity (which is not how humans work)."

http://www.philosophyonline.co.uk...
I could give a f about no haters as long as my ishes love me.
Vi_Veri
Posts: 4,487
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2/9/2010 12:13:33 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 12:01:53 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:

For Y to be a function of X, each X value must correspond to 1 and only 1 Y value.


No, that's Identity theory.

Functionalists believe you can have an outcome like consciousness with the right part (this is why they believe in real artificial intelligence coming to light in the future).

Just like a boat can be made with all sorts of different materials, as long as the structure is correct, it produces the same function...

Like, all the parts of a pully (the rope, etc) being put together create the function of a pully. You can make a pully out of wires as well - you don't have to use rope.
I could give a f about no haters as long as my ishes love me.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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2/9/2010 12:19:09 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 12:13:33 PM, Vi_Veri wrote:
At 2/9/2010 12:01:53 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:

For Y to be a function of X, each X value must correspond to 1 and only 1 Y value.



No, that's Identity theory.
And what the word function means.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Itsallovernow
Posts: 29
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2/9/2010 12:27:28 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I have no idea which I am, but I believe that the mind is something that can exist within the person, and sometimes the energies that channel wihin the persons mind can be directed towards outside sources. Which one of those is that?
Itsallovernow
Posts: 29
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2/9/2010 12:28:25 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I have no idea which I am, but I believe that the mind is something that can exist within the person, and sometimes the energies that channel wihin the persons mind can be directed towards outside sources.
belle
Posts: 4,113
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2/9/2010 12:39:44 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 12:19:09 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 2/9/2010 12:13:33 PM, Vi_Veri wrote:
At 2/9/2010 12:01:53 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:

For Y to be a function of X, each X value must correspond to 1 and only 1 Y value.



No, that's Identity theory.
And what the word function means.

so the equation detailing the graph of a circle isn't a function?
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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2/9/2010 12:46:25 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 12:39:44 PM, belle wrote:
At 2/9/2010 12:19:09 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 2/9/2010 12:13:33 PM, Vi_Veri wrote:
At 2/9/2010 12:01:53 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:

For Y to be a function of X, each X value must correspond to 1 and only 1 Y value.



No, that's Identity theory.
And what the word function means.

so the equation detailing the graph of a circle isn't a function?

No. It isn't. http://www.mathwords.com...
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
belle
Posts: 4,113
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2/9/2010 12:47:47 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
as for the mind i think i am a functionalist by default (no other theories make much sense to me) and the chinese room gives me headaches. still working on the why part :P

i think it was dennett who said something silly like the room is conscious? at the very least i think that would make the analogy more realistic...
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
belle
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2/9/2010 12:50:02 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 12:46:25 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 2/9/2010 12:39:44 PM, belle wrote:
At 2/9/2010 12:19:09 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 2/9/2010 12:13:33 PM, Vi_Veri wrote:
At 2/9/2010 12:01:53 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:

For Y to be a function of X, each X value must correspond to 1 and only 1 Y value.



No, that's Identity theory.
And what the word function means.

so the equation detailing the graph of a circle isn't a function?

No. It isn't. http://www.mathwords.com...

haha, fine. clearly i have lost my high school calculus already. not good.

i don't think the definition applies to the philosophical school of functionalism though, since functionalists don't hold the mathematical definition (1 to 1 correspondence is the brain was long ago abandoned as far as i am aware)
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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2/9/2010 12:51:33 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 12:50:02 PM, belle wrote:
At 2/9/2010 12:46:25 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 2/9/2010 12:39:44 PM, belle wrote:
At 2/9/2010 12:19:09 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 2/9/2010 12:13:33 PM, Vi_Veri wrote:
At 2/9/2010 12:01:53 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:

For Y to be a function of X, each X value must correspond to 1 and only 1 Y value.



No, that's Identity theory.
And what the word function means.

so the equation detailing the graph of a circle isn't a function?

No. It isn't. http://www.mathwords.com...

haha, fine. clearly i have lost my high school calculus already. not good.

i don't think the definition applies to the philosophical school of functionalism though, since functionalists don't hold the mathematical definition (1 to 1 correspondence is the brain was long ago abandoned as far as i am aware)

So you can abandon functions and still be a functionalist? Vi's definition of functionalism, after all, was holding that consciousness was a function of brain parts.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
belle
Posts: 4,113
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2/9/2010 12:58:25 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 12:51:33 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:

So you can abandon functions and still be a functionalist? Vi's definition of functionalism, after all, was holding that consciousness was a function of brain parts.

the mathematical definition of function is not the only possible meaning the word can take on.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com...

8 definitions right there. the philosophical usage is something along the lines of 4 or 6
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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2/9/2010 1:07:36 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
That's an imprecise definition. Imprecise definitions are a capital crime in philosophy.

In case anyone's still confused.

http://img692.imageshack.us...
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
belle
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2/9/2010 1:18:28 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 1:07:36 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
That's an imprecise definition. Imprecise definitions are a capital crime in philosophy.

In case anyone's still confused.

http://img692.imageshack.us...

haha. cute.

but if no one in philosophy defines function in terms of one on one correspondence, despite what mathematicians have to say about it, your objection is moot.

"arising from the activity of the brain" is precise enough to exclude dualism and other competing theories. the exact mechanism behind it seems more the domain of science than philosophy anyhow
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
Ragnar_Rahl
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2/9/2010 1:21:15 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 1:18:28 PM, belle wrote:
At 2/9/2010 1:07:36 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
That's an imprecise definition. Imprecise definitions are a capital crime in philosophy.

In case anyone's still confused.

http://img692.imageshack.us...

haha. cute.

but if no one in philosophy defines function in terms of one on one correspondence, despite what mathematicians have to say about it
Then they are using suboptimal precision and have no place in philosophy.


"arising from the activity of the brain" is precise enough to exclude dualism and other competing theories.
That's just it. If it "arises from the activity" alone then activity is a sufficient cause-- which would make it a one to one function :P.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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2/9/2010 2:46:39 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I think we naturally assume both Body and Mind.

But, since we now know that the Brain is so vastly complex (what with Trillions of paths connecting billions of neurons in different ways) of the Brain today, And with the evident progression through Physical evolution of Humans from apes from lemurs from... from... from lizards.. from fish... from Bacteria...etc., Along with countless examples of specific head injuries correlating with evident specific deficiencies of thought on the part of the subject...

I think that, assuming the physical world, it is reasonable to say that our "mind" is no more than a function of our physical nature.

Now we might not now have a full understanding of how the physical determines the realities of our mind, and we may never since it is sooo mind boggalingly complex, but I think it certainly seems as though that's the case.

Now that's not a reason to act as though we don't have "minds"; for we still do, and anyways the only reason to act is because you care to, and having such an understanding doesn't mean you won't care. You will b/c your a person, and people "care" even if those cares are ultimately physical processes.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
wjmelements
Posts: 8,206
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2/9/2010 2:55:58 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 11:51:19 AM, Vi_Veri wrote:
Do you believe everything is consciousness and there really is no "material" world?

It's not implausible.
in the blink of an eye you finally see the light
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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2/9/2010 3:05:47 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 2:55:58 PM, wjmelements wrote:
At 2/9/2010 11:51:19 AM, Vi_Veri wrote:
Do you believe everything is consciousness and there really is no "material" world?

It's not implausible.

That's the position I hold, the notion of panpsychism.

Instead of "mind emerges from matter," matter emerges from mind and everything that exists IS mind.

And another challange to you functionalists, either nothing is conscious or everything is conscious. So you would have to deny your own consciousness to be a functionalist.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
belle
Posts: 4,113
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2/9/2010 4:09:46 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 1:21:15 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
"arising from the activity of the brain" is precise enough to exclude dualism and other competing theories.
That's just it. If it "arises from the activity" alone then activity is a sufficient cause-- which would make it a one to one function :P.

ah, so you believe that for a given brain state there is more than one possible configuration of consciousness that would follow?

if one on one correspondence simply means that given the state of the entire brain only one mode of consciousness is possible (while in that exact state) then i suppose most philosophers would adhere to such a definition. but i would add that brain states are almost infinitely variable, and that furthermore different brain states can probably converge on similar, if not identical, states of consciousness.

At 2/9/2010 3:05:47 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:

And another challange to you functionalists, either nothing is conscious or everything is conscious. So you would have to deny your own consciousness to be a functionalist.

absolutely not. you make the mistake of assuming that consciousness is some nugget inside individuals cells rather than the result of an extremely complex organization of cells. its not like a bacterium is "a little bit conscious" and if you yolked enough of them together we'd be able to teach the amalgam english and have a conversation. its the *pattern* that matters, not the substance. which is why i think most functionalists are also believers in AI....
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
Ragnar_Rahl
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2/9/2010 4:16:30 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 4:09:46 PM, belle wrote:
At 2/9/2010 1:21:15 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
"arising from the activity of the brain" is precise enough to exclude dualism and other competing theories.
That's just it. If it "arises from the activity" alone then activity is a sufficient cause-- which would make it a one to one function :P.

ah, so you believe that for a given brain state there is more than one possible configuration of consciousness that would follow?

if one on one correspondence simply means that given the state of the entire brain only one mode of consciousness is possible (while in that exact state) then i suppose most philosophers would adhere to such a definition. but i would add that brain states are almost infinitely variable
Vi's definition said "parts." States are possibly different, depends how it is defined I suppose (what varies?), but I'm agnostic about that.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
mattrodstrom
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2/9/2010 4:24:00 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 2:55:58 PM, wjmelements wrote:
At 2/9/2010 11:51:19 AM, Vi_Veri wrote:
Do you believe everything is consciousness and there really is no "material" world?

It's not implausible.

I'd say it's not impossible, I can think of how mind might come of matter, but not (without adding unproven things like god) concieve of how my idea of "matter" might come of mind.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
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2/9/2010 4:34:51 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 4:24:00 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 2/9/2010 2:55:58 PM, wjmelements wrote:
At 2/9/2010 11:51:19 AM, Vi_Veri wrote:
Do you believe everything is consciousness and there really is no "material" world?

It's not implausible.

I'd say it's not impossible, I can think of how mind might come of matter, but not (without adding unproven things like god) concieve of how my idea of "matter" might come of mind ***(purely from mind that is, clearly the idea is of the mind)***.

Fixd
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."