On 8/16/2011 6:57 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On Aug 16, 7:35 pm, meekerdb<meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
On 8/16/2011 12:37 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On Aug 16, 1:44 pm, meekerdb<meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
On 8/16/2011 10:16 AM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
It's not only possible, it absolutely is otherwise. I move my arm. I
determine the biochemical reactions that move it. Me. For my personal
reasons which are knowable to me in my own natural language and are
utterly unknowable by biochemical analysis. It's hard for me to accept
that you cannot see the flaw in this reasoning.
It's not a flaw in his reasoning, it's description at a different
level. While it is no doubt true that you, the whole you, determine to
move your arm; it seems not to be the case that the *conscious* you does
so. Various experiments starting with Libet show that the biochemical
reactions that move it occur before you are conscious of the decision to
You make the decision before the reporting part of you can report it
is all. It's still you that is consciously making the decision. It's
just because we are applying naive realism to how the self works and
assuming that the narrative voice which accompanies consciousness and
can answer questions or push buttons is the extent of consciousness.
Now you're changing the definitions of words again. What does
"conscious" mean, if not "the part of your thinking that you can report
on." I would never claim that you didn't make the decision - it's just
that "you" is a lot bigger than your consciousness.
Consciousness is a very broad term, with different meanings especially
in different contexts; medical vs philosophical vs vernacular,
macrocosmic vs microcosmic, legal, ethical, etc. For the mind/body
question and Turing emulation I try to use 'consciousness'
specifically to mean 'awareness of awareness'. The other relevant
concept though is perceptual frame of reference, or PRIF. In this
case, when you put awareness under a microscope, the monolithic sense
of 'consciousness' is discarded in favor of a more granular sense of
multiple stages of awarenesses feeding back on each other.
look at electrical transmission in the brain over milliseconds and
microseconds, you have automatically shifted outside of the realm of
vernacular consciousness and into microconscious territories.
Just as the activity of cells as a whole is beyond the scope of what
can be understood by studying molecules alone, the study of the
microconscious is too short term to reveal the larger, slower pattern
of our ordinary moment to moment awareness of awareness. Raw awareness
is fast, but awareness of awareness is slower, the ability to
awareness of awareness to be communicated through motor channels is
slower still, and the propagation of motor intention through the
efferent nerves through the spinal cord is quite a bit slower. It's
really not comparing apples to apples then if you look at the very
earliest fraction of a second of an experience and compare it with the
time it takes for the experience to be fully explicated through all of
the various perceptual and cognitive resources. It's completely
misleading and mischaracterizes awareness in yet another attempt to
somehow prove for the sake of validating our third person
observations, that in fact we cannot really be alive and conscious, we
just think we are. I think it's like a modern equivalent of 'angels
dancing on the head of a pin'.
So you admit that what happens that determines you behavior occurs
before you are aware of it, i.e. conscious. And what happens first is
the activity of neurons. The rest of the above paragraph seems to be an
attempt to save dualism by saying why the casual spirit comes after the
motor effect. I have no problem being alive and conscious with
consciousness coming after the decision. The decision was still made by
me. I just don't conceive "me" as being so small as my consciousness.
If moving my arm is like reading a book, I can't tell you what the
book is about until I actually have read it, but I still am initiating
the reading of the book, and not the book forcing me to read it.
Another non-analogy. Is this sentence making you think of a dragon?
A dragon? No. Why would it? Why is it 'another' non-analogy? Is this
'another' ad hominem non-argument?
It's a non-analogy because no one proposed that your actions were
determined by a book or other external effect. The hypothesis was that
they are determined by neural processes of which you are not aware.
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