On 10/4/2011 8:14 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On Oct 4, 8:46 pm, meekerdb<meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
On 10/4/2011 5:15 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On Oct 4, 2:59 pm, meekerdb<meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
This goes by the name "causal completeness"; the idea that the 3-p observable
state at t
is sufficient to predict the state at t+dt. Craig wants add to this that there
additional information which is not 3-p observable and which makes a
difference, so that
the state at t+dt depends not just on the 3-p observables at t, but also on some
additional "sensorimotive" variables. If you assume these variables are not
of the 3-p observables, then this is just panpsychic version of consciousness
on the 3-p states. They are redundant in the informational sense. If you
are independent of the 3-p variables and yet make a difference in the time
the state then it means the predictions based on the 3-p observables will fail,
laws of physics and chemistry will be violated.
Why would they have to be either completely dependent or independent?
Did I use the word "completely"?
You're reducing the possibilities to two mutually exclusive impossible
options, so if 'completely' is not implied then you aren't really
I wrote "not independent" and "independent". Those are mutually exclusive in any logic I
know of. But "not independent" is not the same as "completely dependent". Try reading
what is written.
I've given several examples demonstrating how we routinely exercise
voluntary control over parts of our minds, bodies, and environment
while at the same time being involuntarily controlled by those same
influences, often at the same time. This isn't a theory, this is the
raw data set.
No it's not. In your examples of voluntary control you don't know what your
doing. So you can't know whether you "voluntary" action was entirely caused by
precursors or whether their was some effect from libertarian free-will.
What difference does it make what your brain is doing to be able to
say that you are voluntarily controlling the words that you type here?
If it were the case that the 3p and 1p were completely independent,
then you would have ghosts jumping around into aluminum cans and
walking around singing, and if they were completely dependent then
there would be no point in being able to differentiate between
voluntary and involuntary control of our mind, body, and environment.
Exactly the point of compatibilist free-will.
What does that label add to this conversation?
It makes the discussion precise; instead of wandering around analogies and
Such an illusory distinction would not only be redundant but it would
have no ontological basis to even be able to come into being or be
conceivable. It would be like an elephant growing a TV set out of it's
trunk to distract it from being an elephant.
Or pulling another meaningless example out of the nether regions.
Why meaningless? I'm pointing out that the illusion of free will in a
deterministic universe would be not merely puzzling but fantastically
absurd. Your criticism is arbitrary.
You're "pointing out" the very thing that is in dispute. Your assertion that is absurd is
not a substitute for saying how it could be tested and found false.
Since neither of those two cases is possible, I propose, as I have
repeatedly proposed, that the 3p and 1p are in fact part of the same
essential reality in which they overlap, but that they each extent in
different topological directions;
What's a topological direction?
matter elaborates discretely across space, energy elaborates
cumulatively through time.
A creative use of "elaborates"....does not parse.
specifically, 3p into matter, public
space, electromagnetism, entropy, and relativity, and 1p into energy,
private time, sensorimotive, significance, and perception.
"3p overlaps into entropy"!? Reads like gibberish to me.
3-p doesn't overlap entropy, 3-p is entropic. 1-p is syntropic. The
overlap is the 'here and now'. I'm not sure that it matters what I say
though, you're mainly just auditing my responses for technicalities so
that you can get a feeling of 'winning' a debate. It's a sensorimotive
circuit. A feeling that you are seeking which requires a particular
kind of experience to satisfy it. If I could offer you a drug instead
that would stimulate the precise neural pathways involved in feeling
that you had proved me wrong in an objective way, would that be
satisfying to you? Would there be no difference in being right versus
having your physical precursors to feeling right get tweaked? Isn't
that what you are saying, that in fact this discussion is nothing but
brain drugs with no free will determining our opinions? Isn't being
right or wrong just a matter of biochemistry?
No, it's a matter of passing an empirical test.
No laws of physics are broken by consciousness, but it is very
confusing because our only example of consciousness is human
consciousness, which is a multi-trillion cell awareness.
Exactly what I said. In fact one's only example of consciousness is their own.
consciousness of other humans is an inference.
I agree. Although I would qualify the inference. It's more of an
educated inference. I'm making a different point with it though. I'm
saying there is a problem with our default assumptions about micro
brain mechanisms correlating with macro psychological experiences.
Fine. Think of a test that would prove the competing theory wrong.
The trick is
to realize that you cannot directly correlate our experience of
consciousness with the 3-p cellular phenomenology, but to only
correlate it with the 3-p behavior of the brain as a whole.
That's the experimental question, and you don't know the answer.
I don't claim to have the answer, but I have a hypothesis, which has
to be understood using this way of looking at the mind and brain.
starting point. If you are going to try to understand what a movie is
about, you have to look at the whole images of the movie, and not
focus on the pixels of the screen or the mechanics of pixel
illumination to guide your interpretation. There is no human
consciousness at that low level. There may be sensorimotive 1-p
phenomenology there, and I think that there is, but we can't prove it
now. What we can prove is there in 3-p would only relate to that low
level 1-p which is unknown to us.
My proposition is that our 1-p consciousness builds from lower level 1-
p awareness and higher level 1-p semantic environmental influences,
like cultural ideas, family traditions, etc.
But that is entirely untestable since we have no access to those 1-p
Cultural ideas, family traditions are 3-p observables.
We have access to our own 1-p consciousness. What else do we need?
We need to show that it is not entirely determined by the the physical
evolution of the brain.
Cultural ideas and family traditions are not 3-p observable - they
have no melting point or specific gravity, they occupy no location -
they must be inferred by 1-p interpretation/participation/consensus.
Everything is inferred from 1-p experiences. But cultural ideas and traditions are
public; they can be observed by more than one person and they can reach intersubjective
agreement just like any other facts about the world.
It is not predictable
from 3-p appearances alone, but not because it breaks the laws of
physics. Physics has nothing to say about what particular patterns
occur in the brain as a whole.
Sure it does - unless magic happens.
Consciousness happens. Physics has nothing to say about what the
content of any particular brain's thoughts should be. If give you a
book about Marxism then you will have thoughts about Marxism - not
about whatever physical modeling of a brain of your genetic makeup
Do you think a book about Marxism is not physical and reading it is not a physical
process? What is your evidence for this. That's the whole question: Is thinking a purely
physical process or does it include some extra-physical part.
There is no relevant biochemical
difference between a one thought and another that could make it
So you say. But I think there is. If you think of an elephant there is
biochemical happening that makes it not a thought about a giraffe. So when you
"elephant" it is impossible to think of a giraffe at that moment.
Nah, you can easily be hypnotized to think of a giraffe whenever you
see the word elephant. I don't understand what it would prove anyways.
Each person reading the word for elephant in their own language will
have different biochemical happenings which could not be proactively
tied to elephantness or giraffeness if you didn't already have a
correlation established beforehand from first hand anecdotal reports
of subjective content. There is no predictive route from the
biochemistry to zoological linguistic complexes and no role for any
such complexes to play in the observed biochemistry.
just as there is no sequence of illuminated
pixels that is preferred by a TV screen, or electronics, or physics.
Of course this violation maybe hard to detect in something very complicated
like a brain;
but Craig's theory doesn't seem to assume the brain is special in that respect
and even a
single electron supposedly has these extra, unobservable variables, i.e. a mind
No. I have never said that a particle has a mind of it's own, I only
say that it may have a sensorimotive quality which is primitive like
charge or spin, but that this quality scales up in a different way
than quantitative properties.
Scales up how?
Qualitatively. Richer, deeper, more meaningful qualia. Where else does
it come from? A metaphysical dimension?
How is this sensormotive quality detected or measured?
It is felt. It is experienced first hand as qualia.
What form do you want it in? Defined in terms of what?
An opertaional definition is in terms of operations that will detect or measure
phenomena is a universal primitive. It is the capacity for
participatory being - to detect and respond to changing interior and
How is it different from connective complexity of processes -
which is the quality that most people think gives a brain its special quality.
Without sensorimotive qualities, those processes cannot be experienced
by anything. What knows the difference between simplicity and
complexity if you have no awareness to distinguish it?
If you have no awareness then you don't know anything. It doesn't follow that everything
depends on your awareness of it.
The brain is very special *to us* and I
suspect that it is pretty special relatively speaking as far as
processes in the Cosmos. It's not special because it has awareness
though, it's just the degree to which that awareness is elaborated and
The problem with electrons or other simple systems is that while we have
access to their 3-p variables, we don't have access to their hypothetical other
the ones we call 1-p when referring to humans. So when all the silver atoms in
Stern-Gerlach do just as we predict, it can be claimed that they all had the
variables and that's why the 3-p variables were sufficient to predict their
Why is that a problem?
It's a problem because it makes your theory untestable for anything except a
Why would you need more than a human brain? You just have to turn it
into a laboratory. Figure out how conjoined twins who share the same
brain do that, and then conjoin your brain with other kinds of brains,
tissues, cells, molecules. It's a lot easier than trying to copy
someone's brain by duplicating the position of every atom in their
So the only way I see to test this theory, even in principle, would be to
brain at a very low level while having him report his experiences (at least to
and show that his experiences and his brain states were not one-to-one.
No, I'm not saying that 1-p and 3-p are not synchronized, they are
synchronized, but that doesn't mean that voluntary choices supervene
on default neurological processes. Look at how our diaphragm works. We
can voluntarily control our breathing to a certain extent, but there
are involuntary default behaviors as well. This does not mean that we
can't decide to hold our breath or that it can only be our body which
is doing the deciding. How do you explain the appearance of voluntary
control of our body?
I appears voluntary because we can't perceive the brain processes that produce
action. So when the action comports with the brains usual pathways we feel "we
That doesn't explain the appearance at all. You're just acknowledging
that there is a feeling despite your not knowing (or caring) why it's
Which is the point of David Eagleman's experiment with shifting a person's
time calibration. If he shifted it so that the result appeared earlier (in
time) than the voluntary act then the person no long felt that they had done
happened without them.
There is no question that our feeling of free will as a unified
phenomenon is limited to a particular scale of time, but so what? We
know that our consciousness is multi-threaded so that many awarenesses
compete for attention. That takes time. The threads that are involved
with tying the perceptions together are going to lag behind the flow
of sensations because you are slicing the time frame too thin to
reveal the minimum thickness of human consciousness. That doesn't mean
that our voluntary actions are not voluntary.
what's the operational definition of "voluntary". Does it exclude "determined by
It just means that our
psyche is very complex and arriving at a consensus can only happen so
fast. Measurements faster than that are going to look strange, just as
freezing a movie mid frame is going to give you some strange artifacts
and blurs that defy ordinary expectations of what a movie should look
Of course this is
probably impossible with current technology. Observing the brain at a coarse
level leaves open the possibility that one is just missing the 3-p variables
that you show
the relationship to be one-to-one.
So I'd say that until someone thinks of an empirical test for this "soul
discussing it is a waste of bandwidth.
Way to argue from authority. "Your thoughts are a waste of everyone's
time unless I think that they can be proved to my satisfaction".
I didn't say anything about which outcome would satisfy me. I said it's a
waste of time
to argue a theory that cannot be tested.
It can be tested, just maybe not with the technology we are using. You
could build instruments which use living tissue to test these ideas.
Replace someone's eye with a petri-dish retina that can serve as a
laboratory for different types of cells to see if vision can be
recreated out of other kinds of tissue, see if you get new colors,
etc. There's all kinds of ways this theory could be tested,
How would you know if it perceived new colors? You couldn't ask it, and you have no
access to its qualia (if it has any).
some of which would require less innovation. You just have to get a
few people who are curious about the ideas rather than curious about
ways to defend the status quo against it.
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