2009/7/28 John Mikes <jami...@gmail.com>:

Hi John

> I really do not expect from you to give adequate replies to all these
> questions - it would make the grandkids of our grandkits scientifically
> unemployed but you have unusual solutions and ideas and it may be
> interesting to tape your mind..

Whew!  But you are right about my inadequacies.  Indeed I see my basic
task, as others before me, to witheringly expose the specific
inadequacies of my replies to any and all questions.  To know less and
less with ever greater clarity is the journey and precisely-delineated
ignorance is the ultimate goal.  In that spirit......

> "Mind is what brain does" (although I find it a pars pro toto)
> I am questioning "does". Would we restrict it to our ongoing image of
> physiology, meaning: the brain does physical 'energy' consuming electrical
> changes by (physico/chemical) impact and by physiological changes (such as
> diffeences in blood-stream performance, chemical syntheses and migration of
> molecules) - or do we assign activities of some brain-image beyond today's
> anatomical biology?

I'm pretty convinced that we're going to be stymied in much of this
until we find another schema in which to re-express a new set of
'ultimates' for the purpose.  You've seen the various ways I've tried
to pump people's intuitions about this, but it may be that how one
feels about it is ultimately characterologically influenced rather
than logically compulsive.  However, I believe that we need a new
picture and a different language before the
physical-chemical-biological story you refer to above, and the
experiential, intentional narrative that we ignore at the cost of our
minds, can ever be reconciled satisfactorily.  On this basis, my
interest in COMP is not because I know it to be correct, but rather
that it is the beginning of an attempt to recast the investigation in
these terms, which is VERY hard to discover elsewhere.  In this regard
I should again note that Colin is working on his own approach on a
different basis but very much in the same spirit.

> 1. What instigates the 'function' (called mindwork) - ostentibly with
> connection to our 'material-figment' BRAIN,

In my various ramblings, I've tried to cut the whole Gordian knot of
what can coherently be said to exist, and within this the whole debate
on materialism, panpsychism, mind-body hard problems, causal closure
of the physical, etc. by a simple expediency which then struck me as
obviously true (how about that?).  To re-state:

1) Is there some logically prior requirement for anything to be said
to exist?  Reflect: 'something existing' necessitates presence not
absence.
2) What is the relation between presence and "I"' as I discover
myself?  Reflect: "I" discover myself to be present.
3) Conjunction of 1) and 2): There is presence and it is reflexive.
This constitutes what can be said to exist, and discovers it to be
personal (i.e. there is an "I" associated with it).
4) Is there some logically prior requirement to my 'knowing' anything?
 Reflect: this and that must be distinguishable.  In terms of the
foregoing, this necessitates reflexive encounter (i.e.
self-differentiation)  This necessarily unites the senses of
'perceive', 'intend' and 'act'.
5) Conjunction of 1) - 4) "I" discover myself to be present through
reflexive encounter.  I've called this 'getting-a-grip-on-Oneself.
This move now collapses being, knowing, perceiving, intending and
acting.

That's it.  But now we have all the prerequisites for not only
mindwork, but also matter-energy work, by this (as it seems to me)
simple recognition of a present and differentiable personal synthesis.
 More: this very recognition now seems (to me at least) to be the
logically compelling prerequisite for any meaningful sense of
existence whatsoever.  From this simplicity, by differentiation we can
achieve mental and material multiplicity without limit, sans any
crazy-making ontological separation of mind and body.  The hard part
is the specifics of the correlation.

> 2. What keeps it running (and please, save me from the marvel of physicists
> the call 'energy' - but nobody knows what it is)
> 3. Who tells the process to buzz off, it is done,

Well, it will appear, disappear, and reappear as the manifestation of
patterns of self-encounter.  Fundamentally, these patterns are not to
be distinguished into mind or matter, and this is crucial from the
necessary though limited perspective of causation, because it makes an
indivisible unity of perception, intention, and action central to the
logic of the story.  Nonetheless it will be a requirement of local
narratives in the 'traditions' either of physiology or phenomenology
to deploy the appropriate metaphors plausibly and to give intuitively
graspable answers to your the questions.

> 4. How does the 'product' incorporate into the rest of it?
> (BTW these questions arise in 'functions','reactions',processes as well, if
> we think beyond Physix Textbook 101).

Ah, the product is of course yet another aspect of being/knowing.
IOW, we exist as mini-mes within perspectival horizons that limit us
to mindworlds  that nonetheless continue seamlessly in relation beyond
those horizons.  The mindworld by the arguments presented above
constitutes both our being and our knowledge. There is not (cannot
logically be) any observer and hence (unfortunately for Copenhagen
interpretations) no observation.  Reflect on the neonate: no
differentiation of self and other has yet occurred.  But through a
sort of inferred video game system of feedback, the "I" polarises to a
complementary subjective pole, forcing the rest of the mindworld to
the objective 'externalised' extreme, wherein characterisations of
'functions', 'reactions', 'processes' in terms of causality are
distinctively 'active' rather than 'intentional'.  Hence you may see
how all reality and all delusion stem from this survival reaction.

> 5. Is a "thought" a product of the mind-process? if so, where does it settle
> to become consciously acknowledged for us... (for WHOM???)

Well, I pursue my line of argument, and from this perspective thought
is a distinguishable modality of our mindworld - IOW a distinguishable
aspect at once of our being and our knowing.  And for whom?  Well,
I've been badgering Bruno on this very topic more than somewhat, but
again my line is that the 'whom' is the reflexively present global "I"
derived above, limited to mini-mes by perspectival horizons and pushed
to a subjective pole by the inexorable requirements of a
biological/evolutionary narrative.  You're entitled to claim on this
basis, as mini-me at any rate, that you are merely the master of all
you survey, but that couldn't be the case if in fact you weren't at
the same time heir to the whole ball of wax.

David

> David,
> this question of mine is not within the ongoing discussion-details, just
> 'about' the ideas exposed in them.
>
> "Mind is what brain does" (although I find it a pars pro toto)
> I am questioning "does". Would we restrict it to our ongoing image of
> physiology, meaning: the brain does physical 'energy' consuming electrical
> changes by (physico/chemical) impact and by physiological changes (such as
> diffeences in blood-stream performance, chemical syntheses and migration of
> molecules) - or do we assign activities of some brain-image beyond today's
> anatomical biology?
> In the first case 'mind' is physical, memory, thought, mentality is as of
> yesterday and we can stop perspective research. Slowly return to faithful
> creationism.
> If we believe in further enrichment of our cognitive inventory, I question:
> 1. What instigates the 'function' (called mindwork) - ostentibly with
> connection to our 'material-figment' BRAIN,
> 2. What keeps it running (and please, save me from the marvel of physicists
> the call 'energy' - but nobody knows what it is)
> 3. Who tells the process to buzz off, it is done, and
> 4. How does the 'product' incorporate into the rest of it?
> (BTW these questions arise in 'functions','reactions',processes as well, if
> we think beyond Physix Textbook 101).
> 5. Is a "thought" a product of the mind-process? if so, where does it settle
> to become consciously acknowledged for us... (for WHOM???)
>
> I really do not expect from you to give adequate replies to all these
> questions - it would make the grandkids of our grandkits scientifically
> unemployed but you have unusual solutions and ideas and it may be
> interesting to tape your mind...
>
> You mentioned below the 'mind-body' problem. Considering 'body' as part of
> the figment of the 'physical world' and 'mind' something more than just
> that, I see an old artifax of a problem, how to save obsolescence into
> advancement.
> I am not ready to go into that.
>
> John Mikes
>
>
>
>
> On Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 7:34 PM, David Nyman <david.ny...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> 2009/7/27 Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com>
>>
>> > That's a bit of a straw man you're refuting.  I've never heard anyone
>> > claim that
>> > the mind is the brain.   The materialist claim is that the mind is what
>> > the
>> > brain does, i.e. the mind is a process.  That's implicit in COMP, the
>> > idea that
>> > functionally identical units can substituted for parts of your brain
>> > without any
>> > untoward effects.
>>
>> Yes indeed.  But what do we mean by a process in materialist ontology?
>>  To speak of what the brain 'does' is to refer to actual changes of
>> state of physical elements - at whatever arbitrary level you care to
>> define them - of the material object in question.  So now you have two
>> options: either the 'process' is just an added-on description of these
>> material changes of state, and hence redundant or imaginary in any
>> ontological sense, or else you are implicitly claiming a second -
>> non-material - ontological status for the mind-process so invoked. As
>> I said, it would be difficult to imagine two states of being more
>> different than minds and brains (i.e. this is the classic mind-body
>> dilemma).
>>
>> This is the insight in Bruno's requirement of the COMP reversal of
>> physics and mind as described in step 8 of his SANE2004 paper.  It's
>> aim is to deal a knockdown blow to any facile intuition of the mind as
>> the computation (i.e. process) of a material brain, and IMO the
>> argument more than merits a direct riposte in that light.
>> Furthermore, in a platonic COMP, the question of the level of
>> substitution required to reproduce your mind is unprovable, and has to
>> be an act of faith in any 'doctor' who claims to know.
>>
>> AFAICS, until these 'under-the-carpet' issues are squarely faced, the
>> customary waving away of the brain-mind relation as a simplistic
>> functional identity remains pure materialist prejudice, and on the
>> basis of the above, flatly erroneous. To say the least, any such
>> relation is moot, absent a radically deeper insight into the mind-body
>> problem.
>>
>> David
>>
>> >
>> > Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> > >
>> > > On 26 Jul 2009, at 16:52, David Nyman wrote:
>> > >
>> > >> Thanks to everyone who responded to my initial sally on dreams and
>> > >> machines.  Naturally I have arrogated the right to plagiarise your
>> > >> helpful comments in what follows, which is an aphoristic synthesis of
>> > >> my understanding of the main points that have emerged thus far.  I
>> > >> hope this will be helpful for future discussion.
>> > >>
>> > >> THE APHORISMS
>> > >>
>> > >> We do not see the mind, we see *through* the mind.
>> > >>
>> > >> What we see through the mind - its contents - is mind-stuff: dreams.
>> > >>
>> > >> Hence dream content - i.e. whatever is capable of being present to us
>> > >> - can't be our ontology - this would be circular (the eye can't see
>> > >> itself).
>> > >>
>> > >> So the brain (i.e. what the eye can see) can't be the mind; but the
>> > >> intuition remains that mind and brain might be correlated by some
>> > >> inclusive conception that would constitute our ontology: Kant's great
>> > >> insight stands.
>> >
>> > It's more than an intuition.  There's lots of evidence the mind and
>> > brain are
>> > correlated: from getting drunk, concusions, neurosurgery, mrfi,...
>> >
>> > >>
>> > >> It is similarly obvious that 'identity' theories and the like are
>> > >> non-sense: it would indeed be hard to think of two descriptions less
>> > >> 'identical' than brain-descriptions and mind-descriptions: hence
>> > >> again, any such identification could only be via some singular
>> > >> correlative synthesis.
>> > >>
>> > >> Hence any claim that the mind is literally identical with, or
>> > >> 'inside', the brain can be shown to be false by the simple - if messy
>> > >> - expedient of a scalpel; or else can be unmasked as implicitly
>> > >> dualistic: i.e. the claim is really that 'inside' and 'outside' are
>> > >> not merely different descriptions, but different ontologies.
>> >
>> > That's a bit of a straw man you're refuting.  I've never heard anyone
>> > claim that
>> > the mind is the brain.   The materialist claim is that the mind is what
>> > the
>> > brain does, i.e. the mind is a process.  That's implicit in COMP, the
>> > idea that
>> > functionally identical units can substituted for parts of your brain
>> > without any
>> > untoward effects.
>> >
>> > Brent
>> >
>> >
>> > >
>> >>
>

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