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Posted: 05 June 2012 12:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 331 ]
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GdB - 05 June 2012 06:23 AM

...To soak people out of their Cartesian Cage is not an easy task, as many of the Cartesian notions are firmly rooted in our every day way of thinking about our life. Just simple declaration of a new model, and the arguments in favour of it might not be enough. To give an example: Dennett’s concept of the Cartesian Theatre, and how many people are still imprisoned by it was for me an eye opener: that only the question where in the brain we become conscious, and at what time exactly we become conscious show we are still Cartesian...

Not to sidetrack the thread, but I don’t think that asking what the neurological correlates for consciousness are, and when they occur, necessarily suggests that there exists a “mind” independent of and separate to a material body, as Descartes held.

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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: 05 June 2012 01:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 332 ]
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Occam. - 05 June 2012 12:54 PM

Nah, it’s genetic.  My father was a wise-ass, too.

Occam

Yeah, I know you know.  wink

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Posted: 06 June 2012 04:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 333 ]
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TimB - 05 June 2012 12:54 PM

Not to sidetrack the thread, but I don’t think that asking what the neurological correlates for consciousness are, and when they occur, necessarily suggests that there exists a “mind” independent of and separate to a material body, as Descartes held.

No, but I did not write that. Therefore Dennett replaces the Cartesian ‘Res Cogitans’ with the Cartesian Theatre. It is the place and the time where consciousness occurs. People who hold this idea are still suffering from Cartesian fever, even if the critical phase (the ‘metaphysically dualistic phase’) of the disease is over.

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Posted: 07 June 2012 09:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 334 ]
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GdB - 06 June 2012 04:32 AM
TimB - 05 June 2012 12:54 PM

Not to sidetrack the thread, but I don’t think that asking what the neurological correlates for consciousness are, and when they occur, necessarily suggests that there exists a “mind” independent of and separate to a material body, as Descartes held.

No, but I did not write that. Therefore Dennett replaces the Cartesian ‘Res Cogitans’ with the Cartesian Theatre. It is the place and the time where consciousness occurs. People who hold this idea are still suffering from Cartesian fever, even if the critical phase (the ‘metaphysically dualistic phase’) of the disease is over.

Right.  There is no homonucleus.  As far as when consciousness occurs, I think it occurs each time that it occurs.  Much like walking or any other motoric behavior occurs when it occurs.  As far as where consciousness occurs, I think it occurs, primarily, in the brain, but that each time that it occurs, it involves a complex firing of neurons across areas of the brain.  Each time this firing of neurons could be similar to, or, perhaps quite different, from that of previous conscious experiences, depending on a host of concurrent external and internal contingencies.

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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: 07 June 2012 09:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 335 ]
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Every event in your brain has a definite spatio-temporal location, but asking “Exactly when do you become conscious of the stimulus?” assumes that some one of these events is, or amounts to, your becoming conscious of the stimulus. This is like asking “Exactly when did the British Empire become informed of the truce in the War of 1812?” Sometime between December 24, 1814, and mid-January, 1815 — that much is definite, but there simply is no fact of the matter if we try to pin it down to a day and hour. Even if we can give precise times for the various moments at which various officials of the Empire became informed, no one of these moments can be singled out as the time the Empire itself was informed. The signing of the truce was one official, intentional act of the Empire, but the participation by the British forces in the Battle of New Orleans was another, and it was an act performed under the assumption that no truce had yet been signed. A case might be made for the principle that the arrival of the news at Whitehall or Buckingham Palace in London should be considered the official time at which the Empire was informed, since this was the “nerve center” of the Empire. Descartes thought the pineal gland was just such a nerve center in the brain, but he was wrong. Since cognition and control — and hence consciousness — is distributed around in the brain, no moment can count as the precise moment at which each conscious event happens.

Dennett, Consciousness Explained, page 169.

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Posted: 07 June 2012 10:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 336 ]
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GdB - 07 June 2012 09:23 AM

Every event in your brain has a definite spatio-temporal location, but asking “Exactly when do you become conscious of the stimulus?” assumes that some one of these events is, or amounts to, your becoming conscious of the stimulus. This is like asking “Exactly when did the British Empire become informed of the truce in the War of 1812?” Sometime between December 24, 1814, and mid-January, 1815 — that much is definite, but there simply is no fact of the matter if we try to pin it down to a day and hour. Even if we can give precise times for the various moments at which various officials of the Empire became informed, no one of these moments can be singled out as the time the Empire itself was informed. The signing of the truce was one official, intentional act of the Empire, but the participation by the British forces in the Battle of New Orleans was another, and it was an act performed under the assumption that no truce had yet been signed. A case might be made for the principle that the arrival of the news at Whitehall or Buckingham Palace in London should be considered the official time at which the Empire was informed, since this was the “nerve center” of the Empire. Descartes thought the pineal gland was just such a nerve center in the brain, but he was wrong. Since cognition and control — and hence consciousness — is distributed around in the brain, no moment can count as the precise moment at which each conscious event happens.

Dennett, Consciousness Explained, page 169.


I think Dennett is correct in much of his assertion, here, but I think the statement may be misleading, in that I think that some specific conscious events could be pinned down to have occurred at a somewhat precise moment (surely within the range of a few seconds).  Our neural networks, though possibly analagous to the communication network of an Empire, function exceedingly faster.

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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: 07 June 2012 04:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 337 ]
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I haven’t been posting much lately, but I have been reading.

1.  Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu & James Robinson

2.  Monsoon by Robert D. Kaplan which in addition to much other excellent material has a chapter on Bangladesh and the effects of the rise of sea levels due to global warming may have on it.

3.  The Future of Power by Joesph Nye

4.  The Orignis of Satan by Elaine Pagels

5.  Humanity’s Law by Ruti G Teitel

6. Religion in Human Human Evolution by Robert N Bellah

Currently reading The Post American World by Fareed Zakarta

Sorry no book reports at this time; I am finally able to get up and around a bit and my wife took a header down the stairs Memorial Day; carring the laundry, broke her left elbow; forearm and wrist, two compound and a sigle frature; required immediate surgery.  So now I am a fulltime house husband, besides being behind on my yardwork, with limited time.  shock

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All the Gods and all religions are created by humans, to meet human needs and accomplish human ends.

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Posted: 07 June 2012 04:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 338 ]
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garythehuman - 07 June 2012 04:19 PM

Sorry no book reports at this time; I am finally able to get up and around a bit and my wife took a header down the stairs Memorial Day; carring the laundry, broke her left elbow; forearm and wrist, two compound and a sigle frature; required immediate surgery.  So now I am a fulltime house husband, besides being behind on my yardwork, with limited time.  shock

Yikes! I wish her a speedy recovery.

Take care,

Derek

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Posted: 07 June 2012 05:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 339 ]
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garythehuman - 07 June 2012 04:19 PM

Sorry no book reports at this time; I am finally able to get up and around a bit and my wife took a header down the stairs Memorial Day; carring the laundry, broke her left elbow; forearm and wrist, two compound and a sigle frature; required immediate surgery.  So now I am a fulltime house husband, besides being behind on my yardwork, with limited time.  shock

Yikes! I hope her recovery is more uneventful than her accident!

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Posted: 07 June 2012 06:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 340 ]
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garythehuman - 07 June 2012 04:19 PM

Sorry no book reports at this time; I am finally able to get up and around a bit and my wife took a header down the stairs Memorial Day; carring the laundry, broke her left elbow; forearm and wrist, two compound and a sigle frature; required immediate surgery.  So now I am a fulltime house husband, besides being behind on my yardwork, with limited time.  shock

Ouch! You guys must be getting sick of doctors!

Best to you both.

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Posted: 07 June 2012 09:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 341 ]
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TimB - 07 June 2012 10:27 AM

I think Dennett is correct in much of his assertion, here, but I think the statement may be misleading, in that I think that some specific conscious events could be pinned down to have occurred at a somewhat precise moment (surely within the range of a few seconds).  Our neural networks, though possibly analagous to the communication network of an Empire, function exceedingly faster.

(Bold by me)

What should I add? If you mean that, then there is not much to discuss about. That is exactly what I mean.

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GdB

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Posted: 08 June 2012 10:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 342 ]
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Back on topic (for the moment). wink

I’m reading the White Gryphon by Mercedes Lackey. (Second book of the Mage Wars trilogy.)

Take care,

Derek

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Posted: 08 June 2012 11:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 343 ]
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I’m taking a break from serious reading and doing some reminiscing from my childhood. Just finished Game Six: Cincinnati, Boston, and the 1975 World Series: The Triumph of America’s Pastime by Mark Frost. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Now I’m reading The Machine: A Hot Team, a Legendary Season, and a Heart-stopping World Series: The Story of the 1975 Cincinnati Reds by Joe Posnanski. Sure wish the 2012 Reds were half the team that one was. Or half as colorful.

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“I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.”—Edith Sitwell

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Posted: 08 June 2012 03:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 344 ]
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FreeInKy - 08 June 2012 11:23 AM

I’m taking a break from serious reading and doing some reminiscing from my childhood. Just finished Game Six: Cincinnati, Boston, and the 1975 World Series: The Triumph of America’s Pastime by Mark Frost. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Now I’m reading The Machine: A Hot Team, a Legendary Season, and a Heart-stopping World Series: The Story of the 1975 Cincinnati Reds by Joe Posnanski. Sure wish the 2012 Reds were half the team that one was. Or half as colorful.

It is my experience teams and people are usually more colorful in retrospect, even if they were currently colorful. There are always things going on in the background not privy to our current news system, which gets unearthed to titillate us years later.

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Posted: 08 June 2012 06:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 345 ]
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I’m taking a break from serious reading and doing some reminiscing from my childhood. Just finished Game Six: Cincinnati, Boston, and the 1975 World Series: The Triumph of America’s Pastime by Mark Frost. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Now I’m reading The Machine: A Hot Team, a Legendary Season, and a Heart-stopping World Series: The Story of the 1975 Cincinnati Reds by Joe Posnanski. Sure wish the 2012 Reds were half the team that one was. Or half as colorful.

Who could forget Sparkie’s big red machine? That was one of the most exciting baseball seasons in this area. Joe Morgan and Johnny Bench were two of our favorites. It clearly shows the Red Sox curse was still alive then. Sounds like a book worth reading Free. BTW, I’m half way through Dennet’s “Breaking the Spell” and as this is my first encounter with his philosophical view of religion it’s been a tough read though. My background in psychology is hampering me somewhat as outside of the usual survey courses that educators are required to take I haven’t done much reading except as to how it relates to history. Also reading Chris Stringer’s book “Homo Britannicus”. His research reaches back 700,000 years and includes the glacial and interglacial periods where hominids inhabited the country. Very well written with extensive notes. They’re both a good read and I plan to pickup more Dennet’s books in the near future.


Cap’t Jack

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