On Sun, Jan 12, 2014 at 5:21 AM, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 12 January 2014 15:12, Colin Geoffrey Hales <cgha...@unimelb.edu.au> wrote:
>> RE: arXiv: 1401.1219v1 [quant-ph] 6 Jan 2014
>> Consciousness as a State of Matter
>> Max Tegmark, January 8, 2014
>> Hi Folk,
>> I confess that after 12 years of deep immersion in science’s grapplings with
>> consciousness, the blindspot I see operating is so obvious and so pervasive
>> and so incredibly unseen it beggars belief. I know it’s a long way from
>> physics to neuroscience (discipline-wise). But surely in 2014 we can see it
>> for what it is. Can’t they (Tegmark and ilk) see that the so-called
>> “science of consciousness” is
>> · the “the science of the scientific observer”
>> · trying to explain observing with observations
>> · trying to explain experience with experiences
>> · trying to explain how scientists do science.
>> · a science of scientific behaviour.
>> · Descriptive and never explanatory.
>> · Assuming that the use of consciousness to confirm ‘laws of nature’
>> contacts the actual underlying reality...
>> · Assuming there’s only 1 scientific behaviour and never ever ever
>> questioning that.
>> · Assuming scientists are not scientific evidence of anything.
>> · Assuming that objectivity, in objectifying something out of
>> subjectivity, doesn’t evidence the subjectivity at the heart of it.
>> · Confusing scientific evidence as being an identity with
>> objectified phenomena.
>> 2500 years of blinkered paradigmatic tacit presupposition....now gives us
>> exactly what happened for phlogiston during the 1600s. A new ‘state of
>> matter’? Bah! Phlogiston!!! Of course not! All we have to do is admit we
>> are actually inside the universe, made of whatever it is made of, getting a
>> view from the point of view of being a bit of it...... grrrrrrrr. The big
>> mistake is that thinking that physics has ever, in the history of science,
>> ever ever ever dealt with what the universe is actually made of, as opposed
>> to merely describing what a presupposed observer ‘sees it looking like’. The
>> next biggest mistake is assuming that we can’t deal with what the universe
>> is actually made of, when that very stuff is delivering an ability to
>> scientifically observe in the first place.
>> These sorts of expositions have failed before the authors have even lifted a
>> finger over the keyboard. Those involved don’t even know what the problem
>> is. The problem is not one _for_ science. The problem is _science itself_
>> ... _us_.
>> Sorry. I just get very very frustrated at times. I have written a book on
>> this and hopefully it’ll be out within 6 months. That’ll sort them out.
>> Happy new year!
> I'm a lump of dumb matter arranged in a special way and I am
> conscious, so I don't see why another lump of dumb matter arranged in
> a special way might not also be conscious. What is it about that idea
> that you see as not only wrong, but ridiculous?
I'm sorry I repeat this answer so many times, but this claim is also
made so many times. The main problem I see with this idea is that no
progress has been made so far in explaining how a lump of matter
becomes conscious, as opposed to just being a zombie mechanically
performing complex behaviors. Insisting that such an explanation must
exist instead of entertaining other models of reality strikes me as a
form of mysticism.
> Stathis Papaioannou
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