On Jan 13, 5:35 pm, Evgenii Rudnyi <use...@rudnyi.ru> wrote:
> On 13.01.2012 22:39 Craig Weinberg said the following:
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> > On Jan 13, 3:54 pm, Evgenii Rudnyi<use...@rudnyi.ru>  wrote:
> >> On 13.01.2012 19:20 meekerdb said the following:
>
> >>> On 1/13/2012 8:30 AM, John Clark wrote:
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> >>>>> We can even ascribe it [consciousness] a role (explaining
> >>>>> its
> >>>> Darwinian advantage)
>
> >>>> There is no way consciousness can have a direct Darwinian
> >>>> advantage so it must be a byproduct of something that does have
> >>>> that virtue, and the obvious candidate is intelligence.
>
> >>> That's not so clear since we don't know exactly what is the
> >>> relation of consciousness to intelligence. For a social animal
> >>> having an internal model of ones self and being able to model the
> >>> thought processes of others has obvious reproductive advantage.
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> >>> Brent O would some power the giftie gie us to see ourselves as
> >>> others see us. --- Robert Burns
>
> >> In my favorite book on consciousness (by Jeffrey Gray) there is
> >> chapter 7 "A survival value for consciousness" that is summarized
> >> on p. 90:
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> >> "Whatever consciousness is, it is too important to be a mere
> >> accidental by-product of other biological forces. A strong reason
> >> to suppose that conscious experience has survival value in this. It
> >> is only by appealing to evolutionary selection pressures that we
> >> can explain the good fit that exists between our perception of the
> >> world and our actions in dealing with it, or between my perceptions
> >> and yours. Biological characteristics that are not under strong
> >> selection pressure show random drift which would be expected to
> >> destroy the fit. I assume, therefore, that consciousness has a
> >> survival value on its own right. That rules out epiphenomenalism,
> >> but leaves us with a problem of identifying the casual effect of
> >> consciousness in its own right."
>
> >> By the way in the Gray's book the term intelligence is not even in
> >> the index. This was the biggest surprise for me because I always
> >> thought that consciousness and intelligence are related. Yet, after
> >> reading the book, I agree now with the author that conscious
> >> experience is a separate phenomenon.
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> >> Well, if to speak about evolution in general, then another quote
> >> from the book has stroked me:
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> >> "For the good fit between conscious experience and outside reality,
> >> the idealist philosopher Berkley called in God. In this more
> >> materialist age, it is Evolution that we must thank."
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> >> Evgenii --http://blog.rudnyi.ru
>
> > He assumes that consciousness is a simulation from the start though.
>
> Yes, he assumes that conscious experience is created by the brain, so
> you may call this simulation. Well, experiments shows that it takes
> about a quoter of a second to make conscious experience formed, so it
> seems to be reasonable.
>
> > If you do that, then it seems meaningful that the simulation fits so
> > closely with reality, whereas if you understand that sense is what
> > reality is made of, then it's not a surprise. If consciousness has a
> > survival value, then surely omniscience, teleportation, or the
> > ability to turn into a diamond on command would have an even greater
> > survival value. What he admits is the problem of identifying the
> > casual (?) effect of consciousness in it's own right is not a
> > problem, but a symptom of failing to see that causality supervenes
> > upon sense and not the other way around. Cause and an effect are a
> > kind of sense, arising from subjective memory, pattern recognition,
> > and world realism.
>
> If you mean that senses exist independently of conscious experience of a
> person, then you are probably close to panpsychism. Such a possibility
> is discussed in the book as well:

Yes, close. Panpsychism is a little fanciful. It could imply that
rocks have human like awareness. I'm talking more about a continuum of
sense which scales qualitatively, so that something like a human
psyche would be as far from the sensorimotive content of minerals as a
human brain is from a rock. What I suggest is a primitive private
quality along the lines of participation in a contagious sense of
holding and releasing - the experience associated with electromagnetic
charge.

>
> p. 321. Alternatively, no such new arrangement of the existing laws of
> physics and chemistry will turn out to be possible. The fundamental laws
> of physics themselves will need supplementation. It is difficult to see
> how new fundamental laws could come into play only during biological
> evolution, or they would not be fundamental. So it is probably
> inevitable that any theory which seeks to account for consciousness in
> terms of fundamental physical processes will involve panpsychism . That
> is to say, it will be a theory in which the elements of conscious
> experience are to be found pretty well in everything, animate or
> inanimate, large or small. To most people this prospect will seem even
> less palatable that that of consciousness in computers or brain slices.
> But the state of our ignorance in this daunting field is so profound
> that we should rule out nothing a priori on the grounds absurdity alone.
> Bear in mind the absurdity of quantum mechanics!
>
> Evgenii
>

Yes, I don't find it absurd at all. I think it's a lot more credible
than quantum physics since we experience it directly ourselves.

Craig

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