Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Fundamentals of Consciousness?

Ian Waldie/Getty Images
Science also lacks even a back-of-the-envelop concept explaining the emergence of consciousness from the behavior of mere matter. We have an elaborate understanding of the ways in which experience depends on neurobiology. But how consciousness arises out of the action of neurons, or how low-level chemical or atomic processes might explain why we are conscious — we haven't a clue.
We aren't even really sure what questions we should be asking.See: Are The Mind And Life Natural? 13.7 and by Alva Noë
I open with reference too, Is There A Place For The Mind In Physics? Part I as it sets up the question that looks as if it will lead to further discussion. Adam Frank will reveal more about, of course realizing this is Part 1, one assumes there should be more.

The basis of discussion seems to center around Thomas Nagel's work so it seems there is a foundational treatment here that is used to bounce off of,  in order to express Adam Frank's position(The truth is, while I deeply suspect he is wrong, I do find his perspective bracing.)He also writes, "Now, as 13.7 readers know, I am no fan of reductionism. In its grandest claims, reductionism tends to be more an affirmation of a faith then a tenable position about ontology (what exists in the world)." 

Okay, so the idea is expressed here then that what I had linked previous of Quantum Consciousness (Stuart Hameroff) and Stuart Kauffman on Beyond Reductionism some question for me about  how such measure could  have existed if the mind did not attempt to define it self as a "measure of something?" Alva sets the bar high by writing, "We aren't even really sure what questions we should be asking."

So there seems to be this group thinking over at 13.7 since Alvae's work on  October 12, 2012 that raises  the subject title presented by Adam Frank. It shows such connections in reference to Thomas Nagel's work. I forgot to include Stuart Kauffman before that in terms of emergent processes, as well as Tania Lombrozo , so you sort of get what I mean by as a "Group Think."


So to begin,  with out argument, consciousness "just is,"  or how else can such awareness exist for any of us of such a discussion? IN that sense the notion of any reductionist versions are not necessary because it would  not need to define parameters around anything other then, "are we aware?" Alva expresses this very nicely by  saying, "But how consciousness arises out of the action of neurons, or how low-level chemical or atomic processes might explain why we are conscious — we haven't a clue." 

So by asking us to impose a vision of a blue monkey, does Adam rank reveal some fundamentalism inference to what exists as a consciousness? I hope to explore more of this as we go along. Can we gain awareness without understanding that  an Observer exists?

Alvae explains it nicely as he askes us to recognize.

 We think we can't explain life, but only because we insist on adhering to a conception of life as vaguely spooky, some sort of vital spirit. And likewise, we think we can't explain consciousness, but again this is because we cling to a conception of consciousness as, well, somehow spiritual, and precisely because we insist on thinking of it as something that floats free of its physical substrates ("a ghost in the machine"), as something essentially interior and private. See: Are The Mind And Life Natural? 13.7 and by Alva Noë
 In a sense it is a call out to scientists to get beyond themselves as  Adam Frank is doing, as well as a call out to others to start to deal with the question with what exists "as is." Experimentally as a physicist I am not sure how a scientist can not be a reductionist. Adam Frank writes,"What if the Mind was something as real as Space and Time and Higgs Bosons?" . It is experimentally necessary to be specific and burdened with proof even if in speculation raised as a question.?



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