On Monday, September 16, 2013 5:20:22 PM UTC-4, JohnM wrote:
> Dear Craig: a beautifully crafted post.
> In my opinion the 'gap' is between what we (think we) know and what we
> don't (even think we know).
Yes, I agree. I'm glad that you use the (think) disclaimer on our ignorance
too. In the long run, we can't be sure that our ignorance is total about
anything, and the coherence of any part of the universe may implicate the
totality of coherence, and the coherence of coherence as well...eventually
(maybe it takes an average of a few billion years of human consciousness
> I tried so many times examples for such gap-ideas by looking back 500,
> 1000, 3000 etc. years and compare it with our present info-status (pls! do
> not mix my 'info' term with Cl. Shannon's 'bit' - thank you) just to see,
> how inadequate our PRESENT knowledge (base?) may still be if we use some
> induction for possible anticipation of future growth.
> We don't know the entirety, have ideas only about a fraction and want to
> EXPLAIN everything within that. That gives us the 'gap'.
Sure. By turning the tables on our assumptions about the role of (x)
awareness emerging from (a) physics or (b) information though, I think that
this particular gap between those three disappears, but that is not the
case with any other combination. Only where (a) and (b) *diverge* and *
diffract** from (x) does the gap truly vanish.
*thus providing the translucence through which coherence never loses sight
of itself forever.
> BTW thanks for using pansensitivity instead of that misleading panpsych
Thanks, yes, the term panpsychism and qualia, even though they were really
helpful to me initially, I think need to be transcended. They just scream
'philosophical unrealism' to me.
> And I would not use 'universe' for the "WORLD". I use Infinite Complexity
> of which SOME items infiltrated our 'model' of the knowables - even those
> adjusted into a format our mind(?) is capable(?) to handle. -
> I.e. our conventional sciences.
That's a bit tougher. I hesitate to use Complexity, because I think that
complexity is itself an experienced quality of sensory framing. I think
that sense itself is grounded in that capacity to discern complexity from
simplicity, and thus is even simpler than simplicity and more complex than
absolute complexity. I agree though, universe, infinity...hard to know
what's clear for which audience.
> John M
> On Mon, Sep 16, 2013 at 1:35 PM, Craig Weinberg
> > wrote:
>> The Hard Problem of consciousness asks why there is a gap between our
>> explanation of matter, or biology, or neurology, and our experience in the
>> first place. What is it there which even suggests to us that there should
>> be a gap, and why should there be a such thing as experience to stand apart
>> from the functions of that which we can explain.
>> *Materialism only miniaturizes the gap* and relies on a machina ex deus
>> (intentionally reversed deus ex machina) of ‘complexity’ to save the day.
>> An interesting question would be, why does dualism seem to be easier to
>> overlook when we are imagining the body of a neuron, or a collection of
>> molecules? I submit that it is because miniaturization and complexity
>> challenge the limitations of our cognitive ability, we find it easy to
>> conflate that sort of quantitative incomprehensibility with the other
>> incomprehensibility being considered, namely aesthetic* awareness. What
>> consciousness does with phenomena which pertain to a distantly scaled
>> perceptual frame is to under-signify it. It becomes less important, less
>> real, less worthy of attention.
>> *Idealism only fictionalizes the gap*. I argue that idealism makes more
>> sense on its face than materialism for addressing the Hard Problem, since
>> material would have no plausible excuse for becoming aware or being
>> entitled to access an unacknowledged a priori possibility of awareness.
>> Idealism however, fails at commanding the respect of a sophisticated
>> perspective since it relies on naive denial of objectivity. Why so many
>> molecules? Why so many terrible and tragic experiences? Why so much
>> enduring of suffering and injustice? The thought of an afterlife is too
>> seductive of a way to wish this all away. The concept of maya, that the
>> world is a veil of illusion is too facile to satisfy our scientific
>> *Dualism multiplies the gap*. Acknowledging the gap is a good first
>> step, but without a bridge, the gap is diagonalized and stuck in infinite
>> regress. In order for experience to connect in some way with physics, some
>> kind of homunculus is invoked, some third force or function interceding on
>> behalf of the two incommensurable substances. The third force requires a
>> fourth and fifth force on either side, and so forth, as in a Zeno paradox.
>> Each homunculus has its own Explanatory Gap.
>> *Dual Aspect Monism retreats from the gap*. The concept of material and
>> experience being two aspects of a continuous whole is the best one so far –
>> getting very close. The only problem is that it does not explain what this
>> monism is, or where the aspects come from. It rightfully honors the
>> importance of opposites and duality, but it does not question what they
>> actually are. Laws? Information?
>> *Panpsychism toys with the gap*.Depending on what kind of panpsychism is
>> employed, it can miniaturize, multiply, or retreat from the gap. At least
>> it is committing to closing the gap in a way which does not take human
>> exceptionalism for granted, but it still does not attempt to integrate
>> qualia itself with quanta in a detailed way. Tononi’s IIT might be an
>> exception in that it is detailed, but only from the quantitative end. The
>> hard problem, which involves justifying the reason for integrated
>> information being associated with a private ‘experience’ is still only
>> picked at from a distance.
>> *Primordial Identity Pansensitivity,* my candidate for nomination, uses
>> a different approach than the above. PIP solves the hard problem by putting
>> the entire universe inside the gap. Consciousness *is* the Explanatory
>> Gap. Naturally, it follows serendipitously that consciousness is also
>> itself *explanatory*. The role of consciousness is to make plain – to
>> bring into aesthetic evidence that which can be made evident. How is that
>> different from what physics does? What does the universe do other than
>> generate aesthetic textures and narrative fragments? It is not awareness
>> which must fit into our physics or our science, our religion or philosophy,
>> it is the totality of eternity which must gain meaning and evidence through
>> sensory presentation.
>> *Is awareness ‘aesthetic’? That we call a substance which causes the loss
>> of consciousness a *general anesthetic* might be a serendipitous clue.
>> If so, the term local anesthetic as an agent which deadens sensation is
>> another hint about our intuitive correlation between discrete sensations
>> and overall capacity to be ‘awake’. Between sensations (I would call
>> sub-private) and personal awareness (privacy) would be a spectrum of nested
>> channels of awareness.
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