The Brains Potential To Create Consciousness

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Cyperium, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. Rav Valued Senior Member

    Perhaps it's just that you haven't embraced more sophisticated notions of physicality, or you're intuiting a conclusion from a visualization of it that may not be accurate. In fact the latter is undeniably the case, since not even the collective knowledge of all the brightest physicists in the world represents a complete account of the fundamental fabric of physical reality.
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  3. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    There's a basic logical problem that arises when we suggest that one mind might contain a second mind. We would in effect be simultaneously saying that one mind and two minds are present. We might be able to get around that one by defining our terms very carefully.

    But that problem suggests a second problem of individuating minds. How can we distinguish one mind from another and say where one stops and another begins?

    Maybe part of the answer to that one might be access. If I can access an idea, perception or memory in a privileged first-person subjective way, then that mental content is mine and not somebody else's. Of course,, that suggestion has already introduced the idea of an "I" who is doing the accessing, so it might already be assuming what it's trying to explain and thus be circular.

    But just generally, I assume that if I can access a memory or a perception, then it's my own memory or perception.

    But telepathy would thow a curve into that assumption, by giving us access to other people's thoughts. The question that I have about telepathy is that if we did have intuitive access to other people's thoughts, wouldn't we experience them as our own thoughts and not recognize them as telepathic? They would have to contain dramatically different content, I guess, with information about places and things that I've had no physical access to. But if I can remember being in those places and doing those things, then how could I ever say that the content is radically different from my own experience?

    If technology ever develops the ability to put jacks in people's heads, connect cables to them and download memory files to people as if they were computer peripherals, we might find that distinguishing the boundaries of our selves and keeping self and other separate is going to become a real pressing psychological problem. The whole idea of personality and self might get a radical revision in a world in which memories and subjective perceptions can be shared.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011
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  5. Cyperium I'm always me Valued Senior Member

    And what are those sophisticated notions of physicality?? Please back up your claim if you have one.

    The visualization I'm referring to is any experience that I can have, I can see no such manifested experience in any physical reality (with physical I mean that it can either be material, energy or a force, if you can find any other physics I would probably mean that too), where is the color blue that I imagine? Where is it manifested? No physical place holds it, it just isn't there anywhere you look. We have to accept that the image that we see exists completely in it's very own reality. At least until we find even a hint that it is somehow physical (material, energy or even as a force that can be detected without rearranging and as the form it is seen, cause that is what we see, and what should be detected in that case).

    Yes, I don't represent the complete knowledge of physics, but I can tell you that consciousness and the experience within consciousness doesn't fit at all with any notion that we have of what is physical...except for one simple fact, that it exists, I guess that is the case for physical things as well.

    Edit: one last thing, as I see that you haven't answered yet; What are sounds made of? What are colors made of? You may say that sound is pressurewaves in the air, that is what sound is made of, but the pressurewaves in the air is just the physical manifestation of sound, our conscious experience is different, you could say that sound is made of chemical signals in the brain, but that is still different from the sound we hear because the sound we hear is the final product of these signals, yet the product is nowhere to be heard physically, only consciously can we hear it. Physical phenomena all seem to have a counterpart in mental phenomena, which makes the physical phenomena coherent to us.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011
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  7. Cyperium I'm always me Valued Senior Member

    Yes, I see what you mean, the thing is that if you and I had the same body, thought the same thoughts, did the same things, would we still be two existences? In one way, if you died now, and entered me, then you would exist and do exactly the same things that I do. We would be two because of the simple fact that if you didn't enter me, then you wouldn't exist. In such a case there must be two existences, even if we couldn't ever tell them apart.
  8. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    Obviously? Do you know what it would "feel like" to be "only neurons and chemicals"? How would it feel any different?

    Huh? What do you mean?
  9. Cyperium I'm always me Valued Senior Member

    That would be a circular argument, if you argue that neurons and chemicals create feeling, then you can't require that they feel in the first place.

    (if I was only neurons and chemicals, then where is the feeling?)

    (if I imagine a red apple, then where is the image of the red apple amongst those neurons and chemicals? - the image as seen)

    There are no proof of the objective world. In other words, you can't prove that all of this isn't just a simulation happening subjective to you. You might think that such a notion is absurd, but the fact remains that it isn't proven. Only your own existence is proven, but only proven to yourself.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011
  10. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    That's my point. How would you know if you are "only neurons & chemicals"?

    If you really believe that, then what's the point in asking anyone anything?
  11. Rav Valued Senior Member

    Wave-particle duality, quantum superposition/entanglement... you know, all the 'spooky' features of reality that have forced us to expand our definition of physical phenomena. Further, the fact that we haven't figured out what the mediating mechanism(s) of quantum nonlocality is/are (for example) doesn't force us to conclude that something 'unphysical' is going on. Rather, we assume that some as yet undiscovered mediating physical phenomenon is indeed at work. My overarching point here is that any consideration of the nature of physicality, must also leave room for a further expansion of it's scope.

    If consciousness is not physical, then how do you explain the fact that it can interact with the physical? There's not a single thought or experience you have that exists without associated physical activity.

    Then perhaps your notion of physicality is underdeveloped.

    To give a comprehensive reply here would be to spread the same discussion over too many different threads. See my own current thread for my tentative views on the subject of the emergence of cognition and conscious awareness.
  12. Big Chiller Registered Senior Member


    Necessities? Not that I agree with a solipsist view, also the philosophical 'objectivity' is very different from scientific 'objectivity', the latter provides an 'escape' from the former imo.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2011
  13. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member

    I believe that consciousness is information integration. That consciousness depends on the way the brain functions, i.e. the interconnectivity among different elements. What we view as consciousness is an interacting network. We are not always conscious. I think that separatism is only popular because it feels intuitively correct.

    The Secret You


    Neural Correlates of Consciousness
  14. Cyperium I'm always me Valued Senior Member

    Exactly, I wouldn't know as I wouldn't be conscious to that knowledge. If we aren't conscious of the feeling then where is the feeling?

    I don't believe that at all, but it's still a fact that it's not proven, which was the argument.

    True, I also think that physicality must be expanded if we are to explain some of those phenomena.

    Of course, if physicality is everything that is real, or everything that exists, then everything is physicality even beforehand. As it is now, physicality isn't all that exists but all that can be measured in any way. Consciousness has the effect that you have to be it to measure it, why it is pretty safe to say that it won't ever be in what we understand as the 'physical' realm, or physical area of research. Origins of consciousness can be researched though, but that is fundamentally different from consciousness itself. At least that is what I believe.

    True, consciousness seems to be the meaning of that activity. If something in the brain interprets relations of the world, then consciousness is the result of that interpretation.

    You have to agree that even though every aspect of consciousness has a physical relation, if we could shrink and observe all of that activity it won't render a consciousness before our eyes, it won't render the green apple that the subject imagines. Only before the subject is it rendered through his inner vision. What does that image consist of? Where is it drawn?

    I don't think so.

    I'll give a reply to that discussion.
  15. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

  16. Pincho Paxton Banned Banned

    In my theory, which I created myself, what it is, is this, and this is my theory, so here it is.... my theory... (Monty Python)...

    Ok here it is.. my theory of Consciousness, based on my particle physic simulation....

    This is it...


    If you imagine space as a field, which you can think about as a very perfect fog. Perfect in the sense that the particles are lined up to form a cube. So you have a mist of particles in space. Each particle you can imagine as a drop of water, but very tiny. So the particles are floating around in cube formation, and all lined up. Between each particle spaced apart very neatly is a tiny treadmill (think of it like a tank track). The treadmill between pairs of particles takes a little bit of water from one particle, and passes it to the next, and as it passes the water to the next particle it takes some if its water back underneath to the first particle. So now in each strip of the cube you have particle interactions, where water is circling around from on place to the next. If you shove the cube with your hands, the particles of water bunch up on the treadmills. Lots of water gets carried at once, back, and forwards...

    So you have this cube of transported water in neat little lines, and patterns...

    The Treadmills are Atoms, and the water particles transported between the Atoms are time. So the treadmills have X/Y/Z coordinates, but the water particles never stay still long enough for us to easily measure. Time just keeps looping in small sections, but is also being carried partly over to far away treadmills, because the water is all mixing together.

    Now.. if we wanted to cross the cube as a little polystyrene ball (we are this polystyrene ball, it's us.), we could enter one side of the cube, and drift from treadmill, to treadmill. Imagine we cross the Z plane north to south.

    Now somebody puts a cup at the end of the south exit, so we drop in the cup. We are told to drop into any cup that is placed at the end of a treadmill. So somebody puts a cup at X(10), Z(10). We have to enter X(1), Z(1), and wait until the treadmills carry us to X(10), Z(10).

    Which is fine, we are travelling in straight lines through time, which is fuzzily mixing together, and we can travel to the ends of any cube lane.

    Consciousness is this...

    A brain shaped version of the cube, with us in the MIDDLE. So we are already on a conveyor belt even before somebody puts a cup at the end. The first path that we take is random, but always in the middle. But take a look at time from here. It is heading in every direction from our first path. It is heading towards us, and away from us at the same time, and up, and down. We are in a random area of timelessness, and the cup hasn't been placed yet....

    Now a cup starts to appear through the mist of the foggy particles all around us.. but the cup looks kaleidoscopic through these water droplets.. which one to go for? So you head towards the middle of the kaleidoscopic pattern.

    The pattern starts to spin, and mix in all sorts of shapes, but it is reducing at least to a small choice of cups. Then oddly... you pass yourself!...

    6 cups left.. which to go for.. I only have a millisecond!!!

    Luckily for you, with 6 cups left to choose from, you are joined by 6 of yourself, and you all drop in one cup each. So problem solved!

    In the head of the human around you, all he hears is Problem Solved!.. and for some very strange reason, that you do not understand, he runs up the street shouting Eureka!!!

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Last edited: Nov 6, 2011
  17. Cyperium I'm always me Valued Senior Member

    That's probably the solution for the problem of finding the cup in that particular reality. But is it a solution for consciousness?

    Sorry, but I don't find any relations to actual consciousness in what you wrote. It's probably a nice solution to that particular problem though. Perhaps it's a part of a solution to memory - how we can find a particular memory.
  18. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    I don't see the connection between synapse and sentience.

    The idea that sentience arises in the brain is perhaps the best explanation available that has some evidence of a sort.

    But there is no evidence concerning the "virtual" aspects of the mind. So what if a trillion pulses form a particular pattern? We can see them in controlled experiments, associated with particular activities the subject engages in. The question is, what does that pattern mean? What does any of it mean?

    And why does a person with no observable brain anomaly exhibit personality disorder? Or, as was mentioned before, sectioning the corpus callosum as a treatment for seizures, then the patient emerges as two personalities.

    Since the mind is virtual, for lack of a precise term, it would seem like its only connection with the brain is through virtual interactions. This gives a possible connection to a known virtual aspect of the brain, the electromagnetic fields seen in the PET scans.

    It is also interesting that animals appear to exhibit gradual degrees of sentience arising from their brains, but what is the actual mechanism?
    How does it work?
  19. Cyperium I'm always me Valued Senior Member

    A very good question. Why does one pattern represent sound and another sight? What is it in the patterns themselves that translates it into a image or a sound? In our imagination everything is possible (that we can think of), we can easily 'hear' a sound in our inner reality, we can make up any image we want and see it. What is this laboratory we call imagination where we can, like crazy doctors, create any experience we want and mix them into colorful worlds or even wrap ourselves around the entire universe? If everything is predetermined, so that there is no free will, then the universe sure has imagination ;D, I do think that free will is real though even though no causual link has been found between the consciousness and the brain.

    In my view, consciousness is the meaning of the patterns, so no causual link is needed as they exist parallell to eachother, or are different natures of eachother, where one nature is physical and the other is meaning.

    It is still difficult to explain free will using this view, as somehow the meaning has to change the physical (I think it is usually the other way around), there would still be causual links between each change, but I think that there is enough freedom between each cause and effect so that a choice can be made. The only requirement for options would be that each option has equal probability. Or is it so, that each action must produce an exact reaction? Are there no options in physics?
  20. 420Joey SF's Incontestable Pimp Valued Senior Member

    If there is something beyond a 3+1 dimensional frame work you would ultimately come to the conclusion that consciousness is limitless:
    allready in our frame work we can create simulated reality states, it can be infered that physical reality is not component but a property of consciousness from our perspective.
  21. Pincho Paxton Banned Banned

    We struggle to go beyond the 3D framework. Try thinking about RGB and add a new colour like Z.. you can't do it, and if you can, you can't describe it to anyone. Yet mathematically it is easy to do.
  22. Cyperium I'm always me Valued Senior Member

    A new property of the RGB system could be the alpha, which is transparancy. I do understand what you are getting at though, humans have receptors for red green and violet/blue and a receptor for grey tones while many animals have receptors for red, green, violet/blue, grey and infrared. Many animals have as much as 9 different receptors of the electromagnetic spectrum, how these colors are perceived can't be known to man because even though we can describe it as much as we want to, we can never imagine such colors, not even the colors mixed with even one extra parameter, which may be infrared, as is the case in some animals, which we have even seen patterns in infrared that is similar as those found for mating purposes, for us they are detected and shown using ordinary colors, but for the animals they are a extra dimension of the colors that are already there, and this extra dimension of the colors are what we just can't know unless we actually experience them.
  23. Robittybob1 Banned Banned

    A very interesting thread. Worth reading.

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