On Apr 24, 1:33 pm, Richard Ruquist <yann...@gmail.com> wrote: > Craig, Can you give us a synopsis of the consciousness conference? > Is there any convergence of their thinking or is it still rather scattered? > Richard
The conference had a good mix of well known names, professors and grad students doing presentations. For others like me they had a gallery of billboards/posters where we had a designated time to stand around and answer questions or chat with people. It has been going on for several years now, so I don't know if there has been any real progress as far as coming to a consensus, but in the lectures I attended and the people I talked to, I was surprised to find that there was a lot of overlap. Really Susan Blackmore was the only speaker that I saw who advocated a purely materialist view and she was practically booed when she put up a slide that said "Consciousness is an Illusion". Microtubules were well represented, as were fractals and Higher Order Theories, but nowhere was the kind of knee-jerk instrumentalism that I encounter so often online. It seemed to me that variations on panpsychism were more popular. There is a link to abstract book here: http://www.consciousness.arizona.edu/ if you want to read about all of the presentations. Craig > > On Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 1:19 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote: > > > > > > > > > On Apr 24, 8:59 am, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote: > > > On Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 12:49 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> > > wrote: > > > >> But are decisions that a person makes freely caused or uncaused? > > > > > Both and neither. Just as a yellow traffic signal is neither red nor > > > > green but represents possibilities of both stop and go. We are the > > > > cause. We are influenced by causes but to varying degrees. We > > > > influence our body and by extension the world with varying degrees of > > > > freedom. > > > > EITHER something is determined/caused OR it's random/uncaused. This is > > > standard use of language. You can define your own terms but then at > > > least you should explain them in relation to the standard language: > > > "what everyone else calls green, I call red, and what everyone else > > > calls a dog, I call a cat". > > > It is a standard use of language to say that people are responsible in > > varying degrees for their actions. I don't understand why you claim > > that your binary determinism is 'standard language' in some way. When > > we talk about someone being guilty of a crime, that quality of guilt > > makes no sense in terms of being passively caused or randomly > > uncaused. It is you who should explain your ideas in relation to the > > standard language: "what everyone else calls intention, I call > > irrelevant." > > > > >> >> By this reasoning nothing can ever have an adequate explanation, > > since > > > >> >> if the explanation offered for A is B, you can always ask, "But why > > > >> >> should B apply to A?"; and if the answer is given, "Because > > empirical > > > >> >> observation shows that it is so" you can dismiss it as > > unsatisfactory. > > > > >> > It depends what A and B are. If A is a cloud and B is rain, then you > > > >> > can see that there could be a connection. If A is a neural fiber > > and B > > > >> > is an experience of blue, then there is a gigantic gap separating > > the > > > >> > two which can't be bridged just because we are used to looking at > > > >> > physical objects relating to other physical objects and think it > > would > > > >> > be convenient if subjects behaved that way as well. > > > > >> If you're bloody-minded enough you can claim here isn't really an > > > >> obvious connection between clouds and rain either. > > > > > Sure, it's a matter of degree. If I squeeze an orange, it follows very > > > > logically that what comes out of it is orange juice. If I poke a > > > > microorganism like a neuron with an electrode, it does not follow very > > > > logically at all that comedy, symphonies or the smell of pineapple > > > > should ensue. At some point you have to decide whether sanity is real > > > > or reality is insane. I choose the former. > > > > But it's an empirical observation that if certain biochemical > > > reactions occur (the ones involved in processing information) , > > > consciousness results. That you find it mysterious is your problem, > > > not nature's. > > > If I turn on a TV set, TV programs occur. That doesn't mean that TV > > programs are generated by electronics. Fortunately I just spent a week > > at the consciousness conference in AZ so I now know how deeply in the > > minority views such as yours are. The vast majority of doctors and > > professors researching in this field agree that the Explanatory Gap > > cannot simply be wished away in the manner you suggest. I don't find > > it mysterious at all that consciousness could come from configurations > > of objects, I find it impossible, as do most people. > > > Craig > > > -- > > You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups > > "Everything List" group. > > To post to this group, send email to email@example.com. > > To unsubscribe from this group, send email to > > everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. > > For more options, visit this group at > >http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en. -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.