On Tuesday, September 17, 2013 12:40:27 PM UTC-4, freqflyer07281972 wrote:
>
> Thanks Craig, you've articulated quite well a number of difficulties in 
> approaching the hard problem, IMHO. I was reading this article in the SEP 
> and thought of your approach:
> http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nishida-kitaro/
>

Thanks, cool
 

>
> Look especially under his glossing of the idea of 'pure experience.' It 
> reminds me of your MR/PIP and seems quite congenial to it. 
>
> Whaddaya think? 
>

Yes, I agree his 'pure experience' matches my 'sense' in a lot of the 
important ways. I use the opposite assumption about it being 'MU' or 
'nothing'. It is tempting to conceive of the limitation of our local 
experience and propose 'nothing' beyond it, but I think that it works much 
better when we invert it and suppose that beyond local experience is 
'everythingness' and 'eternity'.

I particularly recognize "Pure experience launches the dynamic process of 
reality that differentiates into subjective and objective phenomena on 
their way to a higher unity, and the recapture of our unitary foundation is 
what Nishida means by the Good."

This is the same as my model, although I would say that the differentiation 
first diverges from pure experience to subjective qualia, where objective 
qualia emerge from the public intersubjectivity (quanta). His concept of 
higher unity is "Good" while mine would see good as only a particular 
measure of subjective 'likeness' and the actual higher unity I see as 
"Significance"...the reconciliation of diffracted sense as it is separated 
from the entropy of scaled distance and time.

Thanks,
Craig


> On Monday, September 16, 2013 1:35:27 PM UTC-4, 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 
>> curiosity.
>>
>> *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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