On 24 April 2012 19:37, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:
> 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".
Susan Blackmore, New Scientist, 22 June 2002, p 26-29:
"First we must be clear what is meant by the term "illusion". To say
that consciousness is an illusion is not to say that it doesn't exist,
but that it is not what it seems to be--more like a mirage or a visual
illusion.........Admitting that it's all an illusion does not solve
the problem of consciousness but changes it completely. Instead of
asking how neural impulses turn into conscious experiences, we must
ask how the grand illusion gets constructed. This will prove no easy
task, but unlike solving the Hard Problem it may at least be
The article in the NS, taken as a whole, suggests that her position is
more nuanced than the slogan you quoted might suggest.
> 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.
>> 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
>> > To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
>> > everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com.
>> > For more options, visit this group at
> 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
> For more options, visit this group at
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
For more options, visit this group at