Quantum Consciousness

Discussion in 'Chemistry' started by Write4U, Mar 21, 2018.

  1. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Definitely microscopic life forms do survive; and if there are mobile, macroscopic organisms elsewhere in the universe, it's no given that they would possess an organ equivalent to a brain (thus the generic placeholder of "mind" -- which can be variably, concretely instantiated by different substrates).

    The source of mechanistic activity at one level is the connected activity or relational influences taking place at another. That humans prefer to discriminate certain types of interaction and categorize them as "conscious" is similar to their preference for distinguishing certain types of sounds and categorizing them as "music". In neither case has something radically novel truly emerged (there were dynamic mechanistic relationships beforehand and atmospheric vibrations beforehand). But is instead just humans projecting distinction-making "special-ness" upon what is interesting and useful to them.

    But should we choose to include experience (for even the case of microscopic life) as opposed to ignoring it ... Then the whole point of a view like, say, panexperientialism... is that it treats experience as outrunning the cognition which intelligence provides, thus not being dependent upon brains. Cognition is recognition and understanding of the manifestations. Which includes the very acknowledgement that something is being exhibited, by relating the experience to either linguistic thoughts or substitute for the latter.

    Whereas more improbable panpsychism -- since it contains the etymological word unit of "psyche" -- would suggest at least minimum intellectual and memory processes being coupled to the manifestations. (But not always; there are some theorists who seem to use panpsychism interchangeably with panexperientialism.)

    So once we realize that cognition (minimal memory / intelligence) is required to know or validate that "stuff" is even being presented, the supposed "not even nothingness" of non-conscious matter is no longer a given. Phenomenal manifestations could be ubiquitous, even if usually lacking organization (random and meaningless). Biological structure simply harnesses and organizes that global occurring capacity for representing external / environmental affairs, and items like bodily damage (pain).

    The correlation between quantitative events (matter) and qualitative events (experiences) can be converted to non-dualism by making their association deeply ontological rather than psychologically anomalous. Charles Pierce offered an early example of the remedy back in the 19th-century: "Viewing a thing from the outside, considering its relations of action and reaction with other things, it appears as matter. Viewing it from the inside, looking at its immediate character as feeling, it appears as consciousness." --Man's Glassy Essence

    So we have the extrinsic character of matter (outer relationships, measurements, etc) and the intrinsic states of matter (inner phenomenal stuff, what matter actually is to itself minus our abstract descriptions).

    Michael Lockwood: Do we therefore have no genuine knowledge of the intrinsic character of the physical world? So it might seem. But, according to the line of thought I am now pursuing, we do, in a very limited way, have access to content in the material world as opposed merely to abstract casual structure, since there is a corner of the physical world that we know, not merely by inference from the deliverances of our five senses, but because we are that corner. It is the bit within our skulls, which we know by introspection. In being aware, for example, of the qualia that seemed so troublesome for the materialist, we glimpse the intrinsic nature of what, concretely, realizes the formal structure that a correct physics would attribute to the matter of our brains. In awareness, we are, so to speak, getting an insider's look at our own brain activity. --The Enigma of Sentience ... in Hameroff, S.R. et al, 1998​

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