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8 Great Philosophical Questions That We’ll Never Solve
Posted: 02 November 2012 11:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 151 ]
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George - 02 November 2012 11:11 AM

Where is the control group to show that your claim is right? Did philosophical zombies participate in the study as well? You may as well say that the colour red of the participants played a role, since the subjects had to have red blood to be able to play.

C’mon George, this is silly. It is obvious that you must instruct the test persons. This is not a serious argument.

And we do not need zombies: the p-zombie is per definition indistinguishable from a conscious human, so Libet’s experiments would give the same result.

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Posted: 02 November 2012 11:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 152 ]
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Of course you must instruct the study’s participant, and of course he’ll become consciously aware of the instructions, and of course he’ll have red blood, but nowhere does it imply that the consciousness is doing anything else than being a spectator and the red blood being, well, red.

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Posted: 02 November 2012 11:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 153 ]
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GdB - 02 November 2012 07:16 AM

And btw, a precise timing, wouldn’t that fall under the illusion of the Cartesian Theatre?

Yeah, I think Dennett’s point is that the desire to pinpoint an exact time and place for ‘conscious awareness’ is the desire to find some modern analogue for the pineal gland, where the little man sits that puts it all together. And that’s clearly misconceived.

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Posted: 02 November 2012 11:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 154 ]
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StephenLawrence - 02 November 2012 10:10 AM
dougsmith - 02 November 2012 06:34 AM

But still, consciousness2 looks like a spandrel. There is no clear selection involved in the property of having ‘qualitative suchness’ or a ‘way it’s like’.

I wonder? We have reason to try to avoid negative consequences and try to get good consequences and that is we want or don’t want to experience them.

Take the experience away and that reason disappears. Couldn’t that be to do with the function?

Consciousness2 has nothing to do with reasons about consequences. That’s consciousness1.

Of course, when I say that the two are necessarily correlated, I’m just saying that if you take the qualia away the (or this sort of) reasoning will come with it. But that isn’t the same as saying they are the same property.

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Posted: 02 November 2012 11:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 155 ]
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GdB - 02 November 2012 11:08 AM
StephenLawrence - 02 November 2012 10:18 AM

The thing is of course science is showing we don’t have free will because the experiments are aimed at showing we don’t have libertarian free will and that is what free will means to the scientists and the people reading the title, by enlarge.

A concept of free will that supports our societal praxis and thinking and feeling about ourselves earns to be named ‘free will’.

Surely there is a mistake here. The whole point is our thoughts and feelings and practices lean towards people having ultimate responsibility.

So compatibilist free will does not support these things, rather it could if we change.


We must free us from wrong conceptions. Determinism is a necessary condition for free will, not its counterpart.

OK, no problem. I’m making the simple point that if an experiment shows we don’t have libertarian free will and that is what is meant by those who claim it does, it’s utterly confusing to say “no it doesn’t”, which seems to be the general strategy.

I just think compatibilists must be able to do better than that.

Stephen

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Posted: 02 November 2012 11:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 156 ]
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dougsmith - 02 November 2012 11:36 AM

Consciousness2 has nothing to do with reasons about consequences. That’s consciousness1.

 

Well I’m confused about consciousness for sure but what I’m saying is consciousness2 does have something to do with it if the very consequence is that I will have the experience. I fear pain because if I don’t avoid it I will experience it. Experience=consciousness2.

Stephen

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Posted: 02 November 2012 12:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 157 ]
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StephenLawrence - 02 November 2012 11:51 AM
dougsmith - 02 November 2012 11:36 AM

Consciousness2 has nothing to do with reasons about consequences. That’s consciousness1.

 

Well I’m confused about consciousness for sure but what I’m saying is consciousness2 does have something to do with it if the very consequence is that I will have the experience. I fear pain because if I don’t avoid it I will experience it. Experience=consciousness2.

Stephen

Experience is a functional property. It tells you to do X if you have seen Y.

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Posted: 02 November 2012 12:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 158 ]
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George - 02 November 2012 11:11 AM
TimB - 02 November 2012 11:02 AM
George - 02 November 2012 06:08 AM
GdB - 02 November 2012 04:54 AM

Is it to far away to say this is a conscious internal dialogue, which conclusion is I do not plan to go to Iceland next year? And thus that consciousness plays an essential role in deciding.

I already said I don’t believe this to be true as I imagine conscious awareness of such a dialogue to be delayed. I don’t think it plays any role whatsoever.

In the Libet experiment, the subjects had to be aware of the pre-experiment dialogue (i.e. instructions from the experimenter) or they would never have pushed the buttons during the experiment.  Thus conscious awareness played a role in the experiments.

Where is the control group to show that your claim is right? Did philosophical zombies participate in the study as well? You may as well say that the colour red of the participants played a role, since the subjects had to have red blood to be able to play.

Just have a control group in which the subjects get no instructions from the experimenter.  The subjects would have to guess what they were supposed to do.  I submit that the results would be nonsense.  But if the results matched those of the original experiment, then your position that conscious awareness plays no role in our behavior would be supported.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 02 November 2012 12:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 159 ]
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TimB - 02 November 2012 12:07 PM
George - 02 November 2012 11:11 AM
TimB - 02 November 2012 11:02 AM
George - 02 November 2012 06:08 AM
GdB - 02 November 2012 04:54 AM

Is it to far away to say this is a conscious internal dialogue, which conclusion is I do not plan to go to Iceland next year? And thus that consciousness plays an essential role in deciding.

I already said I don’t believe this to be true as I imagine conscious awareness of such a dialogue to be delayed. I don’t think it plays any role whatsoever.

In the Libet experiment, the subjects had to be aware of the pre-experiment dialogue (i.e. instructions from the experimenter) or they would never have pushed the buttons during the experiment.  Thus conscious awareness played a role in the experiments.

Where is the control group to show that your claim is right? Did philosophical zombies participate in the study as well? You may as well say that the colour red of the participants played a role, since the subjects had to have red blood to be able to play.

Just have a control group in which the subjects get no instructions from the experimenter.  The subjects would have to guess what they were supposed to do.  I submit that the results would be nonsense.  But if the results matched those of the original experiment, then your position that conscious awareness plays no role in our behavior would be supported.

Getting the instruction has nothing to do with being aware of getting the instruction. A calculator needs to calculate to figure out that 1+1=2. If it so happens that it will be also aware of what it’s doing, say a more couplex calculator like Data (or us grin ), then that’s a bonus, a gift, just like other evolutionary meaningless gifts like art or happiness.

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Posted: 02 November 2012 12:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 160 ]
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dougsmith - 02 November 2012 12:04 PM

Experience is a functional property. It tells you to do X if you have seen Y.

I’m using ‘experience’ differently, To experience pain is to be conscious in the sense of consciousness2 to me. It’s the ‘what it is like’ that is the problem with pain and why I fear it.

If I discovered for sure that certain animals didn’t have consciousness2, as another example, I would know it wouldn’t matter to them if I mistreated them, which would make a difference to my behaviour.

So it seems to me that there being something pain (and pleasure) is like does provide a consequence missing without it.

Stephen

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Posted: 02 November 2012 03:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 161 ]
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George - 02 November 2012 12:22 PM

Getting the instruction has nothing to do with being aware of getting the instruction.

Getting the instruction has something to do with being aware of the instruction.  One could not (correctly) be aware of getting the instruction if the instruction had not been delivered.  But your previous point was more about awareness of the instruction having no impact on the subsequent performance.

If one group of subjects has to demonstrate awareness of instructions by stating the instructions back to an experimenter, and another group does not repeat the instructions back, which group will follow the instructions more effectively?  I submit that the 1st group will most often be more effective.  The 1st group would presumably have a “forced” awareness vs. the other group that may or may not have had an awareness of the instructions.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 02 November 2012 06:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 162 ]
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Yes, the first group: becuase they have trained a little more than the second group by repeating the instructions. They engaged in more thinking and as a result will be more aware. The more you think, the more aware you are. That’s why worms and babies are less aware than you—because they are stupid; they are not stupid because they are less aware. Intelligence comes first, consciousness follows next as a direct consequence.

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Posted: 02 November 2012 06:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 163 ]
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George - 02 November 2012 06:04 PM

Yes, the first group: becuase they have trained a little more than the second group by repeating the instructions. They engaged in more thinking and as a result will be more aware. The more you think, the more aware you are. That’s why worms and babies are less aware than you—because they are stupid; they are not stupid because they are less aware. Intelligence comes first, consciousness follows next as a direct consequence.

You could have said that without insulting babies.  But anyway, granted that awareness develops with experience, doesn’t mean that awareness has no subsequent impact on behavior.  And the Libet experiment does not prove that awareness has no impact on subsequent behavior.  It only suggests that we may engage in some behavior before we aware of our doing so.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 02 November 2012 08:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 164 ]
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Some behaviour? As far as I know all the experiments have shown the same results. The only differnce is that the better they get at doing the experiments, the more obvious it becomes that conscious awareness happens after the decision has been made.

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Posted: 02 November 2012 09:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 165 ]
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George - 02 November 2012 08:01 PM

Some behaviour? As far as I know all the experiments have shown the same results. The only differnce is that the better they get at doing the experiments, the more obvious it becomes that conscious awareness happens after the decision has been made.

LL.  You’re a man after my own heart!

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