Major Bombshell : Manifesto For A Post-Materialistic Science :

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Offline DonQuichotte

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Cheryl :

Schwartz and Ben Libet : Volition as veto power:

  "...The mechanism that allows volition to be physically efficacious  is the one i called mental force .Similarly to what has been called  "mind as a force field " ,mental force also echoes what Ben Libet ,a
pioneer in the study of the neurobiology of volition , has named the "conscious mental field ".
I proposed in the final version of my JCS paper that mental force is a physical force generated  by mental effort.

 It is the physical expression of will,And it is physically efficacious.At the moment an OCD patient actively changes how he responds to the obsessive thoughts and compulsions that besiege him  , the volitional effort and refocusing of attention away from the passively experienced sympthoms of OCD and toward alternative thoughts and behaviors generate mental force.
Mental force acts on the physical brain by amplifying the new emerging brain circuitry responsible for healthy behavior and quieting the OCD circuit.

We know that directed mental effort causes measurable  changes in brain function ,the self-directed neuroplasticity discussed earlier .And we know that mental force is not reducible to brain action : hence the need for a new actor -mental force.

This notion of mental force fit an idea bout free will that Libet had long propounded ,one known  as the "free won't" version of volition.In a nutshell, "free won't " refers to the mind's veto power over brain generated urges -exactly what happens when OCD patients follow the four steps.

Since Libet served as a guest editor for the JCS volume , it didn't hurt that i was able to  acknowledge my intellectual debt to him .But it was hardly a stretch to make the connection to his  work : OCD symptoms can be viewed as high-powered , painfully persistent versions of the desultory mental events that pop into consciousness countless times each day.

.Most of these thoughts do not insist on action, because the will can ignore them rather easily,Libet  had argued.But in OCD patients the thoughts  aren't nearly this well mannered : they are as insistent as a nagging toddler.The discomfort they cause  demands attention.Making that attention mindful and wise  requires effort of the highest degree .That effort , i suspected , becomes causally efficacious on brain action through the mechanism of mental force .

I had discussed this possibility with Libet ,and now  it became part of my argument .The fact that willful refocusing of attention caused brain changes in patients with OCD had exciting  implications for the physics of mind-brain ...." End quote

Same source

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Offline DonQuichotte

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Cheryl :

OCD Faulty but well established circuitry :

In the case of OCD patients , the brain sends deceptive messages to the mind that takes them for granted as real and acts upon them (The origin of those deceptive messages can be traced back to childhood or later history of OCD patients) .OCD patients can then learn how to make the necessary effort to ignore those intrusive compulsory thoughts by trying to refocus away from them, relabel them , revalue them for what they are ( Brain faulty circuitry without any real power or reality ), through Schwartz' four -steps therapy :


Quote : "...A major question now arises. How does the OCD patient focus attention away from the false messages transmitted by the faulty but well-established OCD circuit (“Count the cans in the pantry again!”) and toward the barely whispered “true” messages (“No, go feed the roses instead”) that are being transmitted by the still-frail circuits that therapy is coaxing into existence? Later on, once the “true” messages have been attended to and acted on for several weeks, they will probably have affected the gating of messages through the caudate and be ever-easier to act on.

 But early in therapy this process is weak, even nonexistent. It is not at all obvious how a patient heeds the healthy signal, which is just taking shape in his cortex and beginning to forge a new neural pathway through his caudate, and ignores the much more insistent one being generated incessantly by his firmly entrenched and blazingly hyperactive orbital frontal cortex–basal ganglia “error message” circuitry.

And once appropriate attention has been paid, how does he activate the motor circuitry that will take him away from the pantry and toward the rose garden? This last is an especially high hurdle, given that movement toward the pantry followed by obsessive counting has been the patient’s habitual response to the OCD urge for years. As a result, the maladaptive motor response has its own very well established brain circuitry in the basal ganglia." End quote.


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Offline DonQuichotte

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OCD as a Brain State :

Quote : "...In the buzz of cerebral activity inside the brain, our subjective sense tells us that there arise countless choices, some of them barely breaking through to consciousness. If only for an instant, we hold in our mind a representation of those possible future states—washing our hands or walking into the garden to do battle with the weeds. Those representations have real, physical correlates in different brain states. As researchers such as Stephen Kosslyn of Harvard University have shown, mental imagery activates the same regions of the brain that actual perception does.

Thus thinking about washing one’s hands, for instance, activates some of the same critical brain structures that actual washing activates, especially at those critical moments when the patient forms the mental image of standing at the sink and washing. “The intended action is represented…as a mental image of the intended action, and as a corresponding representation in the brain,” says Stapp. In a quantum brain, all the constituents that make up a thought—the diffusion of calcium ions, the propagation of electrons, the release of neurotransmitter—exist as quantum superpositions.

 Thus the brain itself is characterized by a whole slew of quantum superpositions of possible brain events. The result is a buzzing confusion of alternatives, a more complex version of Schrödinger’s alternative (alive or dead) cats. The alternative that persists longer in attention is the one that is caught by a sequence of rapid consents that activates the Quantum Zeno Effect." End quote .

Same source.

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Offline alancalverd

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Still waiting, Don. Just one example.
helping to stem the tide of ignorance

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Offline DonQuichotte

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[author=dlorde link=topic=52526.msg445841#msg445841 date=1417654761]
dlorde :

Volitional effort is effort of attention.
Attention and volition are the effects of activity in particular (executive) areas of the brain.

I am talking here about the effort of attention that's the essence of volition .You have to make the difference between passive determined attention and the volitional one through effort thus .

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Effort of attention is thus the essential phenomenon of will :
Therefore will is neural activity. You, as a conscious aware individual, are the activity of your brain. That's what the evidence tells us.

The effort of attention is a conscious aware act of the will that  cannot be determined by neurophysiology , come on .

The effort of the will through the effort of attention that acts like some sort of a veto action that chooses which brain states , thoughts ...to focus on through sustained effort .

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My take on the free will issue can be inferred from the above , in the sense that we do choose from all those existing infinite possibilities...
That's a reasonable interpretation. Ironically, like quantum mechanics, free will is a matter of interpretation. Consider why you make a particular choice - you have some reason or preference. Such reasons and preferences are the unique result of the person you are at the time you make the choice; and the person you are is the unique result of a lifetime of experiences, perceptions, memories; filtered and assimilated, having their dynamic influence on the development and organisation of your brain.


After thinking some more about the above , i think that the essence of volition is the veto power : the will can choose to focus through the effort of attention on particular brain states , thoughts , ideas , feelings , emotions ...or not .

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If, by accident or design, relevant parts of your brain are damaged, stimulated or suppressed, your choices can change. Your preferences may change, your reasons may change, your personality may change, your morals and ethics may change (this kind of damage has been observed and these experiments have been done).

Well, that's just because the brain correlates in question are damaged ,and hence the related changes can be explained by a faulty brain circuitry , i guess .

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Whether the results of all this complex neural activity can be considered deterministic is dubious - a certain degree of reliability and repeatability is necessary for effective function, but QM apart, the brain uses noise in its processing which can introduce a degree of randomness. It's certainly inherently unpredictable (despite the surprisingly high general predictability of human activity) due to the complexity of the system and its multiple feedbacks (and a degree of chaotic activity).

I am only concerned here about the volitional effort of attention that cannot be determined by neurophysiology .

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Offline DonQuichotte

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author=dlorde link=topic=52526.msg445839#msg445839 date=1417652153]
Well, then read my above posted evidence to the contrary of what you were saying here above , to see for yourself : prepare yourself for a surprise, big time  :

Your baseless and blind confidence in all that related materialistic  non-sense on the subject will be shaken, big time :

It has been proved ,via many experiments mentioned here above and more , that the mind can alter the structure or anatomy and physiology of the brain through the effort of volition via the effort of attention or focus : that's called self-directed neuroplasticity .
All those studies are quite consistent with what I posted already. The areas of the brain controlling attention, focus, and volition have been identified and some of the mechanisms and pathways by which they effect their influence on other areas of the brain have been identified and, in some cases, traced. As already mentioned, the research was originally prompted by the observation of specific deficits of those functions by damage to the areas concerned or to their connectivity.

The conscious aware effort of attention cannot be determined by neurophysiology , as you have to make the difference between passive and active attention through effort .

The brain correlates such as those concerning attention (There is single center of attention in the brain ) are just brain states.The mindful volitional effort of attention can decide whether or not to pay effortful attention through them or not .

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That you are unable to conceive that your will and volition is neural activity in those executive areas of your brain is something we can't help you with. It is a counter-intuitive realisation on a par with that of the strangeness of quantum mechanics, but in both cases we must follow the evidence rather than intuition.

That's just materialistic non-sense , no empirical facts : the mind is no product of the brain or brain activity , and hence the brain correaltes of the mind are just that : brain correlates or brain states to which the mind can pay the necessary effortful volitional attention or not .

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Offline DonQuichotte

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Cheryl, You were just repeating the refuted materialistic stuff on the subject ,and that before reading my posted evidence also .

You haven't read about all those mentioned experiments here above yet , so, how can you tell then ?
Those experiments just prove the causal efficacy of the effort of mindful and active volition through the effort of focus or attention in changing the neuronal correlates  accordingly (The mind can change the brain , can have causal effects on the brain ...) , a fact that has been denied as such by the intrinsic reductionistic epiphenomalism of materialism , in the sense that the mind cannot have any causal effects on the physical brain , let alone on the rest of the physical reality .

The evidence for which you were asking all along is there above : you can either deliberately choose to check it out while  paying the necessary effort of attention to it through your mindful effort of volition , or not .

That's entirely up to you then .

I know it takes quite some time to read all that , but it's worth it .


You are implying that I am rejecting a claim without adequately looking at your evidence, or not reading "carefully" enough, but what you don't seem to understand is that I am not rejecting the evidence itself. I am not rejecting the author's assertion that volitional acts can alter how information is perceived, or saying that the events observed in the experiments did not occur. I am objecting to the axiomatic assumption that volition requires the immaterial. As with Stapp, it's just assumed, not explained.
And oddly so, since their findings keep indicating that volition requires specific intact brain structures to effect any changes in neuroplasticity which are also required to create other changes in the expression of  will.

You just don't understand what they were saying , i guess .

Since the mind and consciousness cannot be the products of the brain or brain activity , and since the brain correlates are just the physical "circuitry " through which the mind and consciousness work , then , you can't assume that that "circuitry " is all what there is .

See my short new posted excerpts regarding how OCD patients can change their brains and hence their consciousness accordingly through volitional effort and more .

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Offline DonQuichotte

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.....James was scrupulously fair in giving equal time to the view that attention is a fully determined result of brain function rather than a causally efficacious force. As he notes, it is entirely plausible that attention may be “fatally predetermined” by purely material laws. In this view, the amount of attention we pay a stimulus, be it one from the world outside or an internally generated thought or image, is determined solely by the properties of that stimulus and their interaction with our brain’s circuits. If the words you hear or the images you see are associated with a poignant memory, for instance, then they trigger—automatically and without any active effort by you —more attention than stimuli that lack such associations. In this case, “attention only fixes and retains what the ordinary laws of association bring ‘before the footlights’ of consciousness,” as James put it.
That is, the stimuli themselves provoke neural mechanisms that cause them to be attended to and fixed on.
 This is the attention-as-effect school of thinking.
But James did not think that attention was always and only a fully determined effect of the stimuli that are its object...." 

Same source .

This paragraph would seem to illustrate the difference in interpretation quite well. Anti-materialists falsely attribute to neuroscience the view that the brain is a uniform, unvarying, unmodifiable structure, that should respond to the exact same stimulus the exact same way every time. It falsely assumes a materialist model of the brain that should only respond to the strongest stimuli without determining the significance or relevance of stimuli, based on prior knowledge or experience. It ignores prior knowledge and new information from the outside world which is updated continuously. It ignores the influence of transient emotional states on perception, or makes one response more likely than another.

When actually, neuroscience does not posit this static model at all, as I've already explained earlier. Topdown flow of information is as important as feed-forward pathways in the brain.

That 's just a simple way of addressing the issue of volitional effort of attention that needs not to talk about all what the brain does  .They know pretty well that the brain is exposed to a storm of "information " from the outside world as well as from the inside , via   the senses , via the inner biology , via the feedbacks of the mind ...

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Offline cheryl j

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Cheryl, You were just repeating the refuted materialistic stuff on the subject ,and that before reading my posted evidence also .

You haven't read about all those mentioned experiments here above yet , so, how can you tell then ?
Those experiments just prove the causal efficacy of the effort of mindful and active volition through the effort of focus or attention in changing the neuronal correlates  accordingly (The mind can change the brain , can have causal effects on the brain ...) , a fact that has been denied as such by the intrinsic reductionistic epiphenomalism of materialism , in the sense that the mind cannot have any causal effects on the physical brain , let alone on the rest of the physical reality .

The evidence for which you were asking all along is there above : you can either deliberately choose to check it out while  paying the necessary effort of attention to it through your mindful effort of volition , or not .

That's entirely up to you then .

I know it takes quite some time to read all that , but it's worth it .


You are implying that I am rejecting a claim without adequately looking at your evidence, or not reading "carefully" enough, but what you don't seem to understand is that I am not rejecting the evidence itself. I am not rejecting the author's assertion that volitional acts can alter how information is perceived, or saying that the events observed in the experiments did not occur. I am objecting to the axiomatic assumption that volition requires the immaterial. As with Stapp, it's just assumed, not explained.
And oddly so, since their findings keep indicating that volition requires specific intact brain structures to effect any changes in neuroplasticity which are also required to create other changes in the expression of  will.

You just don't understand what they were saying , i guess .

Since the mind and consciousness cannot be the products of the brain or brain activity.....



But that wasn't what their experiments demonstrated. They leap frog over the causes or correlates of volition itself, and just demonstrate that volition, what ever "it" is, regardless of how or why it happens, can change other types of brain activity. I'm not disputing that at all, and I agree that neuroplasticity is a very interesting and useful topic.

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Offline DonQuichotte

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dlorde , Cheryl :

See the encounter above between Ben Libet and Schwartz , so to speak .

Concerning Libet's experiment , i guess, that showed that one gets aware of one's decision -making only after the fact can be maybe explained by the following :

The mind is exposed to an infinite number of possibilities , eventualities , probabilities ...as brain states and as inner states ,so, what the mind decides to focus on through the action of volitional effort is what gets actualized : that's the veto power of the active mindful volitional effort ,either way,  in total contrast with the passive determined attention .

Volitional effort triggers a mental force that acts on the neuronal correlates : a mental force that triggers a physical one  : see above  .

P.S.: Why did you ignore all those above displayed  experiments ? that clearly show that the mindful volitional effort can change the brain as Schwartz ' 4-steps therapy also proved ? in relation to OCD patients and others who could change their brain and hence overcome their OCD symptoms by changing the OCD faulty and well established circuitry of the brain through the self-directed neuroplasticity .

OCD patients , for example, changed their correlated neuronal faulty circuitry that was sending false and deceptive messages to their minds ,and hence changed also their minds .

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Offline DonQuichotte

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author=cheryl j link=topic=52526.msg445885#msg445885 date=1417727089]


But that wasn't what their experiments demonstrated. They leap frog over the causes or correlates of volition itself, and just demonstrate that volition, what ever "it" is, regardless of how or why it happens, can change other types of brain activity. I'm not disputing that at all, and I agree that neuroplasticity is a very interesting and useful topic.
[/quote]

No, you're wrong about that , Cheryl, big time : neither you nor dlorde are able yet to understand the essence of those experiments and Schwartz' words .
Those experiments show that volitional effort of attention can strengthen its neuronal correlates and change the brain accordingly ,so, when one would regularly do that ,the new neural pathways override the old habitual ones .

Schwartz' 4-steps therapy can thus also help people get rid of their bad habits , addictions ...not just of OCD symptoms, anxiety ...

I have experienced that myself : i had some bad habits and intrusive thoughts ...
Schwartz therapy helped me get rid of all that successfully : i am one of the living proofs of the power and causal efficacy of the volitional effort of attention in relation to the brain , needless to add thus .

Come, on : you have been thinking and behaving , the both of you , as if the mind is a product of the brain : that's a materialistic false belief assumption or extension of materialism , no empirical fact : the brain does not wholly determin our behaviors .There is absolutely no empirical evidence whatsoever that supports the materialist production theory .

Since you, guys , cannot but think materialistically , then you can't but assume that the brain does all the work ,simply put , while you have been experiencing the power and causal efficacy of volitional effort in relation to the brain and body , in relation to the rest of the physical reality , and that on a daily basis , come on , materialism has been blinding and distorting your perception .

Your brains cannot wholly determin what you are doing here in this forum, for example .Are you nuts ? lol

Even science itself cannot even exist , let alone function or progress without the mind or consciousness .We can't understand the universe or ourselves without the former .

Better still : QM can never be understood without reference to the mind .

Science 's progress that started / starts and will start in the very minds of scientists through ideas , insights , volitional effort of attention , hard work , creativity, imagination ...

Even history and civilizations have been shaped partly by ideas , for example : no small part of the  so-called enlightenment itself was built upon ideas , thoughts ...that were produced in the minds of philosophers ,scientists , artists (Those ideas were not created from a vacuum , ok , but the minds of those thinkers and scientists , artists ...had something to do with all that at least , together with their brain circuitry , together with the social biological psychological economical cultural political and other factors .) ...

How can you deny the obvious power and causal efficacy of the mind through the action of volitional effort of attention in relation to the brain and body and in relation to shaping the rest of the physical reality around you .

You're no powerless or determined hardware run by software ,without any degree of free will : materialism has been turning you into irrational illogical incoherent paradoxical ...insane mindless people , no offense , come on .

You've been conditioned by materialism in the Pavlovian sense , i am afraid .

How can ethics , morality , the sense of responsibility and accountability accounted for by the deterministic insane materialism ,come on ...let alone the rest .

Materialism is so full of incoherent paradoxical non-sense , so full of holes , inconsitencies , faslehood,so full of sh1t lol, sorry ,  that one is extremely perplexed how can intelligent people like yourselves believe in materialism ...Amazing .

Materialism is a fraud , a false distortion of reality , to say the least ...

It gotta be kicked out of all sciences and of all other human activity as well , the sooner the better , for the benefit and progress of science and for those  of all mankind .

Amazing ...

Use your minds , people .
« Last Edit: 04/12/2014 21:53:51 by DonQuichotte »

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Offline cheryl j

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Cheryl :

OCD Faulty but well established circuitry :

In the case of OCD patients , the brain sends deceptive messages to the mind that takes them for granted as real and acts upon them (The origin of those deceptive messages can be traced back to childhood or later history of OCD patients) .OCD patients can then learn how to make the necessary effort to ignore those intrusive compulsory thoughts by trying to refocus away from them, relabel them , revalue them for what they are ( Brain faulty circuitry without any real power or reality ), through Schwartz' four -steps therapy :


Quote : "...A major question now arises. How does the OCD patient focus attention away from the false messages transmitted by the faulty but well-established OCD circuit (“Count the cans in the pantry again!”) and toward the barely whispered “true” messages (“No, go feed the roses instead”) that are being transmitted by the still-frail circuits that therapy is coaxing into existence? Later on, once the “true” messages have been attended to and acted on for several weeks, they will probably have affected the gating of messages through the caudate and be ever-easier to act on.

 But early in therapy this process is weak, even nonexistent. It is not at all obvious how a patient heeds the healthy signal, which is just taking shape in his cortex and beginning to forge a new neural pathway through his caudate, and ignores the much more insistent one being generated incessantly by his firmly entrenched and blazingly hyperactive orbital frontal cortex–basal ganglia “error message” circuitry.

And once appropriate attention has been paid, how does he activate the motor circuitry that will take him away from the pantry and toward the rose garden? This last is an especially high hurdle, given that movement toward the pantry followed by obsessive counting has been the patient’s habitual response to the OCD urge for years. As a result, the maladaptive motor response has its own very well established brain circuitry in the basal ganglia." End quote.



Well, I question the assumption that the compulsive thoughts are generated by the brain, but the desire not to act on them is not. Based on what evidence, when his fMRIs show that both events are accompanied by activity in certain areas of the brain?

There is nothing more material or immaterial about either type of thought, or at least he hasn't shown how they differ.  One could also interpret his findings as the frontal cortex recognizing that the action is unnecessary or possibly even harmful and suppressing another area, and it likely gets easier with practice.

If I eat before going to the grocery store because I know I shop more sensibly when I am not hungry, is that necessarily "my immaterial will" or is it the result of learned past experience? How does one prove that my thoughts about eating healthy or saving money are more immaterial than my thoughts that a chocolate cake might be great for desert tonight? Or is it my prefrontal cortex recognizing that in order to accomplish a long term goal, I have to sacrifice a short term one, and I am better able to do that if I can reduce other brain activity (but I'm hungry!And that looks good!)  that might override my prefrontal cortex's instructions while in the grocery store?

Mathematician John Nash said in later years that he refused to let himself think about politics or religion, because those topics seemed to lead to delusional or paranoid ideas. Even if the initial thought about those subjects seemed reasonable and benign, he just wouldn't "go there" and would distract himself with another topic. I'm sure non-schizophrenics use the same technique with memories that are emotionally traumatic or depressing.

Individuals have mixed emotions or conflicting views about many things, even topics  that do not involve compulsions or urges. Which are the "true" thoughts or the immaterial ones? How does Schwartz know? And what, as he asks, determines the winners?

« Last Edit: 05/12/2014 01:05:12 by cheryl j »

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Offline cheryl j

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I am talking here about the effort of attention that's the essence of volition .You have to make the difference between passive determined attention and the volitional one through effort thus .



Define effort, and explain why effort is somehow equivalent with immaterial.

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Offline cheryl j

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Since you like assigning reading, Don, here's an article for you.

An Integrative Theory Of Prefrontal Cortex Function
http://matt.colorado.edu/teaching/highcog/readings/mc1.pdf

The article addresses such things as attention, selective attention, complex goal directed behavior, the PFC's two way connections to virtually all the cortical sensory systems, motor systems, and many subcortical structures,  convergence and integration of information from different areas of the brain, as well as feed back to those areas, top down control of processing, behavioral inhibition, and neuroplasticity.

"Abstract: The prefrontal cortex has long been suspected to play an important role in cognitive control, in the ability to orchestrate thought and action in accordance with internal goals. Its neural basis, however, has remained a mystery. Here, we propose that cognitive control stems from the active maintenance of patterns of activity in the prefrontal cortex that represent goals and the means to achieve them. They provide bias signals to other brain structures whose net effect is to guide the flow of activity along neural pathways that establish the proper mappings between inputs, internal
states, and outputs needed to perform a given task. We review neurophysiological, neurobiological, neuroimaging, and computational studies that support this theory and discuss its implications as well as further issues to be addressed."

Enjoy!

« Last Edit: 05/12/2014 03:23:48 by cheryl j »

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Offline dlorde

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I am talking here about the effort of attention that's the essence of volition .
The sensation of volitional effort is associated with the executive under unusual load, maintaining a sharp focus of attention, with the objective of maximizing relevant neural activity and suppressing irrelevant or distracting activity. The sensation typically involves the same perceptual areas as involved in feedback from physical exertion. The intensity of the activity, and so the sensation of effort, will generally be related to the assessed value of the goal. This can't be maintained for long periods, but can be improved with practice, and changes in the connectivity of the relevant executive areas can be seen as a result. See, for example, Perception of effort and movement-related cortical potential during weight lifting.   

The effects of such intense deliberative (System 2) activity are stressful and often spill over into subconscious (System 1) stress responses, such as tensing of facial muscles, and physical displacement activities. These responses add real physical feedback to the sensation of volitional effort even when it is not involved in intense physical activity. Training can also reduce these stress responses by refining focus and reducing spurious 'leakage' of neural activity and so reducing the sensation of effort.

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Offline DonQuichotte

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author=cheryl j link=topic=52526.msg445893#msg445893 date=1417731350]

Well, I question the assumption that the compulsive thoughts are generated by the brain, but the desire not to act on them is not. Based on what evidence, when his fMRIs show that both events are accompanied by activity in certain areas of the brain?

Well, the brain usually sends messages to the mind from both the outside physical world as well as from the inner biological one,and gets feedbacks from the mind in return ,or not  .OCD is a psychological and biological disorder that occurs thanks to faulty brain "circuitry " that sends false or deceptive messages to the mind that takes them for granted as real and acts upon them .OCD patients can learn about that psychological and biological nature of OCD symptoms , learn how to relabel them for what they are in reality (just disorders ) ,learn how not to attribute them to the self , how to refocus away from them on a regular basis through informed trained effort , by refocusing on healthier thoughts and actions , and learn how to revalue them for what they are (just faulty brain circuitry and psychological disorders without any real reality or power ,  that can be traced back to certain past events  of OCD patients ) .

Furthermore , volitional effort of attention is irreducible to neurophysiological processes .It is a mental force that triggers a physical one through its neuronal correlates. The latter are just the "circuitry " through which the mind works .

Brain activity cannot account for volitional effort of attention thus .The latter is irreducible to the former .

Quote
There is nothing more material or immaterial about either type of thought, or at least he hasn't shown how they differ.  One could also interpret his findings as the frontal cortex recognizing that the action is unnecessary or possibly even harmful and suppressing another area, and it likely gets easier with practice.

Show me a thought then . How does it look like ? How can brain activity produce thoughts ?

Via computation ? Come on, get real . Quantitative neuronal correlates can never produce qualitative thoughts ...

Show me how the conscious and aware smell of a rose , taste of a pizza lol, love , ...can rise from just physics and chemistry  : you can't , simply because they are irreducible to the latter , even though they have neuronal correlates and senses to the brain through which they express themselves....

Volitional mental effort of attention is irreducible to neurophysiology , once again ,as the mind is irreducible to brain activity .

Quote
If I eat before going to the grocery store because I know I shop more sensibly when I am not hungry, is that necessarily "my immaterial will" or is it the result of learned past experience? How does one prove that my thoughts about eating healthy or saving money are more immaterial than my thoughts that a chocolate cake might be great for desert tonight? Or is it my prefrontal cortex recognizing that in order to accomplish a long term goal, I have to sacrifice a short term one, and I am better able to do that if I can reduce other brain activity (but I'm hungry!And that looks good!)  that might override my prefrontal cortex's instructions while in the grocery store?

I am a bit tired now , so, i am not thinking really straight , trying my best though through my volitional effort of attention lol ,seriously .

The mind and its thoughts ...are irreducible to brain activity , even though they need the latter of course through which they work : the mind needs a healthy brain and body .

When you are hungry , your brain and body are deprived of their energy through food , so, they can't work properly as mediums for the mind ,that's why one can't really think quite well when hungry , because the latter urge is so vital and  can  overrides the rest .... a matter of self-preservation ,or survival priority .

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Mathematician John Nash said in later years that he refused to let himself think about politics or religion, because those topics seemed to lead to delusional or paranoid ideas. Even if the initial thought about those subjects seemed reasonable and benign, he just wouldn't "go there" and would distract himself with another topic. I'm sure non-schizophrenics use the same technique with memories that are emotionally traumatic or depressing.

Ironically enough , maths are "matters " of the mind : they use  abstract logic through numbers , symbols, concepts ...and have no physical reality , but they nevertheless underlie the laws of physics ;

Jonathan Shear is his book about consciousness talked about the fact that maths that are high abstractions of the mind are incompatible with materialism , but they were incorporated in science anyway only thanks to their practical inescapable use and relevance  .QM is even highly mathematical .

Materialism  is  the major example of schizophrenic views of the world : denies the very existence and relevance , not to mention causality , of the most important feature of man : the mental one .

Yet without the real and fundamental causal efficacy and reality + power of the mind , no beliefs or world views such as materialism would exist , no science would exist , no understanding of ourselves and the universe would exist , no ethics , no politics , no economics , no religions , no ideas , no imagination, no intellect , no creativity, no awareness  ...just total darkness .

Do you see now how schizophrenic materialism and materialists are , no offense ? , not to mention the inescapable intrinsic cognitive dissonance of materialism and materialists .

Not only that , on top of that , materialism does reduce the mental part of man and the universe to just physics and chemistry , while it is irreducible to the latter .

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Individuals have mixed emotions or conflicting views about many things, even topics  that do not involve compulsions or urges. Which are the "true" thoughts or the immaterial ones? How does Schwartz know? And what, as he asks, determines the winners?

Getting rid of intrusive thoughts or at least trying not to act upon them is what can pave the way for one to be...come oneself .

OCD symptoms ,for example, distort the notion of the self , get mixed up with it and even prevent it from expressing itself .





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Offline DonQuichotte

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Offline DonQuichotte

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I am talking here about the effort of attention that's the essence of volition .You have to make the difference between passive determined attention and the volitional one through effort thus .



Define effort, and explain why effort is somehow equivalent with immaterial.

Have you ever been in a marathon ,for example ?
The brain and body would scream at you to stop , yet you continue running thanks to your volitional effort only .

I am really tired today , so, i can't focus well , i will just refer you to the following that's been backed by many empirical evidence :


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/04/books/review/willpower-by-roy-f-baumeister-and-john-tierney-book-review.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

http://www.amazon.com/Willpower-Rediscovering-Greatest-Human-Strength/dp/0143122231/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417815629&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=wellpower


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Offline DonQuichotte

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dlorde :

Sorry, i am very tired today .Talk to you tomorrow : You're wrong , big time :

You are not your brain , as the mind is no product of the brain , and hence mindful volitional effort of attention is irreducible to its neuronal correlates , no matter what you or other materialists would try to say on the subject .

You're real schizophrenics ,guys ,no offense,  with a lots of cognitive dissonance problems to deal with also .

See also this great book by Schwartz too : OCD patients can never overcome their disorder without the mindful volitional effort of attention ...that's irreducible to neurophysiology : you're all just confusing materialism with science :

http://www.amazon.com/Brain-Lock-Yourself-Obsessive-Compulsive-Behavior/dp/0060987111

« Last Edit: 05/12/2014 22:00:31 by DonQuichotte »

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Offline dlorde

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Well, the brain usually sends messages to the mind from both the outside physical world as well as from the inner biological one,and gets feedbacks from the mind in return ,or not  .
Lol! How can the physical brain 'send messages' outside the physical world? what does that even mean? where's your evidence?

It's unfalsifiable nonsense.

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Offline dlorde

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You're real schizophrenics ,guys ,no offense,
Ah, no. We're the ones saying that the brain is an integrated physical whole and the mind is its activity; you're the one invoking a non-physical consciousness that magically interacts with the physical brain.

p.s. have you realised yet that the conscious collapse version of the Copenhagen interpretation is just billions of years of Many Worlds with eventual conscious interference? The wavefunction of the universe evolves, superposition on superposition, for billions of years (Many Worlds), until consciousness finally evolves and unexplainedly collapses it - quite unnecessarily (evolution of consciousness is a gradual process - at what point did it gain that ability?); far simpler to let the wavefunction continue evolving as it has done for billions of years, including the evolved consciousness in its superpositions - as in Many Worlds. That's why MW is preferred by Ockham's Razor.

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Offline cheryl j

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Well, the brain usually sends messages to the mind from both the outside physical world as well as from the inner biological one,and gets feedbacks from the mind in return ,or not  .OCD is a psychological and biological disorder that occurs thanks to faulty brain "circuitry " that sends false or deceptive messages to the mind that takes them for granted as real and acts upon them .OCD patients can learn about that psychological and biological nature of OCD symptoms , learn how to relabel them for what they are in reality (just disorders ) ,learn how not to attribute them to the self , how to refocus away from them on a regular basis through informed trained effort , by refocusing on healthier thoughts and actions , and learn how to revalue them for what they are (just faulty brain circuitry and psychological disorders without any real reality or power ,  that can be traced back to certain past events  of OCD patients ) .

You would appear to be claiming that some thoughts (the deceptive ones, or the unhealthy ones) are the result of "faulty brain circuity" but other kinds of thoughts are the result of immaterial will. But for the past year you've been saying that no kind of thought, no kind of subjective experience, no experience involving qualia can be generated by the brain. Now suddenly certain kinds can?

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Furthermore , volitional effort of attention is irreducible to neurophysiological processes .It is a mental force that triggers a physical one through its neuronal correlates. The latter are just the "circuitry " through which the mind works .
Brain activity cannot account for volitional effort of attention thus .The latter is irreducible to the former .

Did you even bother to read the article about the prefrontal cortex that I posted? Any response to it?
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Show me a thought then . How does it look like ? How can brain activity produce thoughts ?
Well, evidently, it can, since the OCD thought "I need to wash my hands again", or "I must turn around three times when I walk out the door" wasn't produced by the immaterial will, so it had to be produced by something. How does circuitry itself produce a fully formed thought, irrational or otherwise, if you insist it can't produce thoughts at all?

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Quantitative neuronal correlates can never produce qualitative thoughts ...

You seemed to have painted yourself into a corner.

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When you are hungry , your brain and body are deprived of their energy through food , so, they can't work properly as mediums for the mind ,that's why one can't really think quite well when hungry , because the latter urge is so vital and  can  overrides the rest .... a matter of self-preservation ,or survival priority .
Hunger, and the taste of pizza, and pain from a marathon, and the smell of a rose that you mentioned earlier, are all subjective experiences with qualia, which you keep insisting are irreducible to brain activity. Now you're claiming those things are just urges, signals in the brain circuitry representing the body's needs or state, that the immaterial will can ignore. What's your basis now for saying the subjective experience of hunger or pain or "intrusive thoughts" is a material process of circuitry, and other kinds of thoughts are not?






« Last Edit: 06/12/2014 05:29:09 by cheryl j »

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Offline cheryl j

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Show me a thought then . How does it look like ?

We describe consciousness as an "experience" an event in time and use all sorts of verbs to describe different processes associated with it, like thinking, feeling, believing, reasoning.

I could name any number of physical processes that are not "a thing" you can point to, and most people have no trouble recognizing that they are physically based, despite being events or interactions.

Why do you expect the neural code to physically resemble what it codes for? We have no trouble accepting that computers do not work that way, and language does not work that way, and DNA doesn't work that way, and musical recordings do not work that way. What is about brains that makes people insist that unless there are teeny, tiny replicas of a banana or kangaroo or Jennifer Aniston inside my neurons, then "a thought" has to be immaterial?

Is it possible that the first time I experience something, it is coded, and when I recall it, I re-experience it by playing back that code?
« Last Edit: 06/12/2014 07:12:19 by cheryl j »

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Offline DonQuichotte

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author=dlorde link=topic=52526.msg445956#msg445956 date=1417824638]
Well, the brain usually sends messages to the mind from both the outside physical world as well as from the inner biological one,and gets feedbacks from the mind in return ,or not  .
Lol! How can the physical brain 'send messages' outside the physical world? what does that even mean? where's your evidence?

Well, consciousness and the mind are non-local,so.
Maybe they work through entanglement with the brain as well , who knows ?

As Popper used to say : physical-physical interaction is not the only kind of interaction .There is nothing that can make us assume that the non-physical cannot interact with the physical, and vice versa .


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It's unfalsifiable nonsense.

Don't think via your "gastric brain " , dlorde lol :

Ironically enough : QM can never be understood without reference to the mind .QM that's highly mathematical too .Maths as a product of the mind , remember , but maths  nevertheless underlies the laws of physics ...

How can you even make maths compatible with ...materialism ?:they are not ,as Jonathan Shear said in his consciousness explained book .

Explain to me the very origin of maths then : it is  a highly  abstract non-physical product of the mind .

Reminds me of a scientific article i have read ,during my teen -age , in a French scientific magazine (Science & Vie ) where they attempted to answer the question of the origin of maths and whether it is a product of nature or that of biology (As a mainstream materialist magazine , it cannot but a -priori assume that the mind is just brain activity , so ) : they couldn't link maths to nature , so, they tried to prove the biological origin (Absurd false materialistic premise that assumes that the mind is just neurophysiology, for which there is absolutely no empirical evidence whatsoever to support it, once again  ) ,they tried to prove the so-called biological origin of maths .They used clever reasoning in the sense that our minds tend to see or project regularities everywhere and that our reality is mainly a mental construct ...Long story .
« Last Edit: 06/12/2014 19:46:35 by DonQuichotte »

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Offline DonQuichotte

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author=dlorde link=topic=52526.msg445960#msg445960 date=1417825316]
You're real schizophrenics ,guys ,no offense,
Ah, no. We're the ones saying that the brain is an integrated physical whole and the mind is its activity; you're the one invoking a non-physical consciousness that magically interacts with the physical brain.

Brain activity can never account for the mind ,awareness or consciousness (They can never rise from matter , let alone that they can be just a property of matter,like mass , charge  are ...since they are different in kind   from matter ,and hence they are irreducible to the latter ) , come on .When are you gonna grasp this simple fact , dlorde ?

How can you believe in such non-sense such as that of Graziano on the subject , in the sense that the mind is just a simulation computed by the brain , an illusory one that feels real though , a useful illusory survival strategy ,or in the materialistic belief assumption that consciousness can rise from the fundamental physical fields such as electromagnetism lol ...consciousness as a property of matter ( materialistic property dualism lol and materialistic panpsychism in disguise too )

Not to mention that the materialistic related production theory has been supported by no empirical evidence whatsoever = a big zero : correlations are no causations , needless to add .
You, guys, have been just confusing materialism with science ,and have been not able to see  the  'tree  " that hides the  "forest ": neuronal correlates of the mind are not identical with the mind : you have to let go of your impoverished and limited positivism too .

How can an intelligent scientist such as yourself believe in such insane absurd paradoxical materialistic non-sense?

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p.s. have you realised yet that the conscious collapse version of the Copenhagen interpretation is just billions of years of Many Worlds with eventual conscious interference? The wavefunction of the universe evolves, superposition on superposition, for billions of years (Many Worlds), until consciousness finally evolves and unexplainedly collapses it - quite unnecessarily (evolution of consciousness is a gradual process - at what point did it gain that ability?); far simpler to let the wavefunction continue evolving as it has done for billions of years, including the evolved consciousness in its superpositions - as in Many Worlds. That's why MW is preferred by Ockham's Razor.

Quote :


"In the beginning there were only probabilities.
The universe could only come into existence if someone observed it. It does not matter that the observers turned up several billion years later.
The universe exists because we are aware of it."
End quote .
— Martin Rees
« Last Edit: 06/12/2014 20:11:14 by DonQuichotte »

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Offline DonQuichotte

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author=cheryl j link=topic=52526.msg445989#msg445989 date=1417849411]

Show me a thought then . How does it look like ?

We describe consciousness as an "experience" an event in time and use all sorts of verbs to describe different processes  associated with it, like thinking, feeling, believing, reasoning.

(By the way : that willpower book is just a materialistic approach of the will .I made a mistake .I wanted to provide you with a link to another book though instead , Brain lock by Schwartz .)

Show me a thought then .

Ok, that's a rather subjective qualitative experience or process that can never rise from the quantitative impersonal matter, no way , simply because the former is totally different in kind   form the latter  .
What you said here above reminds me of the fact that science has to be communicated through  language , ironically enough , that's also a feature of the mind , even though it has its related speech neuronal correlates and vocal cords ...through which it has to express itself .
Not to mention the fact that the materialistic computational theory is false , simply because the subjective cannot be quantified ,The subjective that's a matter of meaning , purpose , taste , preferences, aesthetics , values , ethics , morality ........Try to quantify all the latter then .

Furthermore , the subjective part of the observer can never be completely separated from the observed objective : they are inseparably and inescapably intertwined with each other ,as QM showed , and as philosophy proved prior to QM ...

Human language that's elusive cultural ideological ...

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I could name any number of physical processes that are not "a thing" you can point to, and most people have no trouble recognizing that they are physically based, despite being events or interactions.

Everybody knows pretty well that thoughts are non-physical , even maths is just a product of the mind : non-physical , even though maths do underlie the laws of physics ...

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Why do you expect the neural code to physically resemble what it codes for?

Code , processing , input , output ...are just computer terminology that gets applied to the working of the brain , even though the materialistic mechanical computer-like view of life is false : living organisms cannot be equated with or compared to machines or computers ( That's 1 of the devastating and false legacies of Descartes ) , even though living organisms do have some 'autonomic or automatic " features.

You're using meaningless semantics and false metaphors in relation to the working of the brain like coding  , processing ...

What makes you think the brain works that computer -like way then ? Right , materialism does that to you .Try to make "conscious or aware living " computers then : can never be done , despite all that bombastic talk of the so-called strong artificial intelligence nonsense : see Searle, Chalmers and others on the subject .

Even the so-called DNA code is a false way of talking about DNA : the sequences or arrangements of aminoacids .., are just the image of the process , not the cause of the process or the process itself, otherwise tell me what DNA's information is ,or what's its origin or how it emerged and from what ?

Even the so-called life information ,DNA information,  or the latter's use in relation to life is inadequate and false : what does that mean ? nothing : they are just materialistic false metaphors regarding life that have been taken literally and have been having a "life : of their own .

Furthermore , biological "information" cannot be compared to that of the computer or machines.

Living organisms get compared to whatever advanced technology of the moment : the brain used to be compared to hydraulic systems lol prior to its computer metaphor .

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We have no trouble accepting that computers do not work that way, and language does not work that way, and DNA doesn't work that way, and musical recordings do not work that way. What is about brains that makes people insist that unless there are teeny, tiny replicas of a banana or kangaroo or Jennifer Aniston inside my neurons, then "a thought" has to be immaterial?

Simply because the brain is a living thing whose correlates of the mind cannot be compared in kind to the mind .See above.

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Is it possible that the first time I experience something, it is coded, and when I recall it, I re-experience it by playing back that code?

You're just using semantics and inappropriate + false  computer terminology in relation to the working of the brain that can never 'store or code " for anything at all : the physical brain is just a tool .

What does it mean to say that the brains or DNA code for something : nothing , just empty rhetorics or semantics and false materialistic analogies or metaphors : materialistic ignorance on the subject in disguise : materialistic mysticism lol
« Last Edit: 06/12/2014 20:58:13 by DonQuichotte »

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Offline DonQuichotte

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author=cheryl j link=topic=52526.msg445979#msg445979 date=1417838634]
Well, the brain usually sends messages to the mind from both the outside physical world as well as from the inner biological one,and gets feedbacks from the mind in return ,or not  .OCD is a psychological and biological disorder that occurs thanks to faulty brain "circuitry " that sends false or deceptive messages to the mind that takes them for granted as real and acts upon them .OCD patients can learn about that psychological and biological nature of OCD symptoms , learn how to relabel them for what they are in reality (just disorders ) ,learn how not to attribute them to the self , how to refocus away from them on a regular basis through informed trained effort , by refocusing on healthier thoughts and actions , and learn how to revalue them for what they are (just faulty brain circuitry and psychological disorders without any real reality or power ,  that can be traced back to certain past events  of OCD patients ) .

You would appear to be claiming that some thoughts (the deceptive ones, or the unhealthy ones) are the result of "faulty brain circuity" but other kinds of thoughts are the result of immaterial will. But for the past year you've been saying that no kind of thought, no kind of subjective experience, no experience involving qualia can be generated by the brain. Now suddenly certain kinds can?

Even though you seem to have read Schwartz' posted words on the subject , you still do not understand what he meant .

We're still in almost total darkness regarding how the mind works through the brain , so, we just use our deceptive and limited human language to try to describe that through relatively informed empirical evidence : we interpret the latter our human limited way through our human limited language .We cannot do otherwise ,since our knowledge , perception and human language are limited .

Saying that the brain sends deceptive message to the mind through its well established and faulty OCD "circuitry " , for example , just means how we currently understand the relationship between mind and the brain in the non-materialistic sense on the subject , that is : it does not mean that what we say on the subject does correspond to the actual reality : we can't help but say that, since the brain seems to  "inform " the mind about both the outside physical world and about the inner biology as well , and since OCD has an underlying biological and psychological nature , then the well established OCD brain "circuitry " as a result of the related psychological OCD disorder , "informs " the mind about the OCD  "corresponding" biological disorder .
The mind takes the latter biological disorder  for granted as real  and acts on that , instead of realising through informed insights that that biological disorder is just the "image " of the OCD psychological disorder .

When OCD patients would understand what's really going , they can override their OCD symptoms through informed self-directed neuroplasticity via the volitional effort of attention through some particular steps on a regular basis.

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Furthermore , volitional effort of attention is irreducible to neurophysiological processes .It is a mental force that triggers a physical one through its neuronal correlates. The latter are just the "circuitry " through which the mind works .
Brain activity cannot account for volitional effort of attention thus .The latter is irreducible to the former .

Did you even bother to read the article about the prefrontal cortex that I posted? Any response to it?

I stopped reading it , just after scanning some line of it .That's obviously a biased materialistic stuff that a-priori assumes that the mind is the product of the brain, and hence volitional effort of attention also is .Why continue reading it then ? What for ? since they  base all their talk on the major intrinsic materialistic false premise : all is matter , including the mind .

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Show me a thought then . How does it look like ? How can brain activity produce thoughts ?
Well, evidently, it can, since the OCD thought "I need to wash my hands again", or "I must turn around three times when I walk out the door" wasn't produced by the immaterial will, so it had to be produced by something. How does circuitry itself produce a fully formed thought, irrational or otherwise, if you insist it can't produce thoughts at all?

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Quantitative neuronal correlates can never produce qualitative thoughts ...

You seemed to have painted yourself into a corner.

I don't think so .That's just your own materialistic interpretation of what i said : they are doomed to conflict with each other , no wonder .

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When you are hungry , your brain and body are deprived of their energy through food , so, they can't work properly as mediums for the mind ,that's why one can't really think quite well when hungry , because the latter urge is so vital and  can  overrides the rest .... a matter of self-preservation ,or survival priority .
Hunger, and the taste of pizza, and pain from a marathon, and the smell of a rose that you mentioned earlier, are all subjective experiences with qualia, which you keep insisting are irreducible to brain activity. Now you're claiming those things are just urges, signals in the brain circuitry representing the body's needs or state, that the immaterial will can ignore. What's your basis now for saying the subjective experience of hunger or pain or "intrusive thoughts" is a material process of circuitry, and other kinds of thoughts are not?

They all have to express themselves through their neuronal correlates , as the whole mind has to express itself through the brain, so, what's your point ?

Neuronal correlates of hunger , taste , smell ....are not identical to their qualia,even though  the smell of a rose , a taste of a delicious cake , feeling of hunger have to use their neuronal correlates and the corresponding senses ,,,,,, .

In short :

The mind is irreducible to brain activity and cannot be the product of the latter : there is no empirical evidence whatsoever that supports the latter materialistic intrinsic claim : that's science upside down :

Materialists do a -priori believe in the intrinsic materialistic belief assumption that all is matter , including the mind , without bothering to check whether it is correct or false , they take that false axiom of theirs for granted as "an empirical fact " and from there they continue building their sand castles ...= making science or the empirical evidence fit into the materialistic theory of nature lol , instead of the other way around .

Any scientific theory must be  supported by empirical evidence , must be falsifiable, either directly or indirectly  : the materialistic theory of the nature of reality and all its extensions, including the materialistic models or theories of consciousness ,have been supported by a big zero evidence , but nevertheless they keep being regarded as being scientific .

Worst : all materialistic sand castles have been built on the false materialistic theory of the nature of reality, including that regarding the nature of the mind thus  .

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Offline dlorde

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author=dlorde link=topic=52526.msg445956#msg445956 date=1417824638]
Well, the brain usually sends messages to the mind from both the outside physical world as well as from the inner biological one,and gets feedbacks from the mind in return ,or not  .
Lol! How can the physical brain 'send messages' outside the physical world? what does that even mean? where's your evidence?
Well, consciousness and the mind are non-local,so.
Maybe they work through entanglement with the brain as well , who knows ?
Clearly not you. Colour me unsurprised that you can't say how the non-existent interacts with the existent.

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As Popper used to say : physical-physical interaction is not the only kind of interaction .There is nothing that can make us assume that the non-physical cannot interact with the physical, and vice versa .
Perhaps; but if he said that, he was either referring to something else, or referring to the subjective and/or objective abstractions of his metaphysical Worlds 2 & 3.  Because, regarding mind and brain, Popper was property dualist, not a substance dualist. So he did not think that the mind is a substance separate from the body: he was an interactionist who thought that mental or psychological properties or aspects of people are distinct from physical ones, but arise from them. His 'Three Worlds' model involved a metaphysical hierarchy of abstraction, World 1 was the physical level of objects, World 2 was the subjective abstract, personal knowledge - arising from World 1, and World 3 was the objective abstract, the sum of human knowledge - arising from World 2. So, rather than supporting your hypothesis, he contradicts it.

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Explain to me the very origin of maths then : it is  a highly  abstract non-physical product of the mind .
I can't say, I wasn't there; but it presumably originates in observation and interaction with the physical world (e.g. counting). It's not a huge step from keeping a pebble for every sheep to counting, and from counting or token exchange to simple arithmetic.

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They used clever reasoning in the sense that our minds tend to see or project regularities everywhere and that our reality is mainly a mental construct ...Long story .
Empirical evidence suggests that this is indeed the case. We are pattern-matching systems and our perception of reality is a construct largely based on our expectations.
« Last Edit: 07/12/2014 00:04:13 by dlorde »

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Offline Ethos_

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Everybody knows pretty well that thoughts are non-physical , even maths is just a product of the mind

Not so Don,..........Math is as real as any physical law, and the laws of physics were here long before men came to understand them with the mental capacity that the brain has provided men with.

 Math is not just an invention of the mind, it was a discovery associated with material physical evidence.

IN SHORT; The reality of math was here long before men ever walked this earth, and will be here long after we are all gone!

« Last Edit: 07/12/2014 16:00:18 by Ethos_ »
"The more things change, the more they remain the same."

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Offline RD

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... maths is just a product of the mind ... 

... IN SHORT; The reality of math was here long before men ever walked this earth ...

e.g. Snails were using "Cellular Automata Rule 30" before human-beings existed ...

http://artfail.com/automata/

Rule 30 produces a complex-patten which emerges by repeatedly applying simple-rules.
But Don does not believe in complex emergent properties , despite them occurring in nature, ( e.g. on the shell above ).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergent_properties
« Last Edit: 07/12/2014 07:53:53 by RD »

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Offline cheryl j

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Nice example, RD.

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Offline cheryl j

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You're just using semantics and inappropriate + false  computer terminology in relation to the working of the brain that can never 'store or code " for anything at all : the physical brain is just a tool .What does it mean to say that the brains or DNA code for something : nothing , just empty rhetorics or semantics and false materialistic analogies or metaphors : materialistic ignorance on the subject in disguise : materialistic mysticism lol


There may well be great differences between biological systems and computers. I wasn't claiming they were identical in every way. But they do both store information, and there is good evidence of neural coding. We've shown you the experiments.
If it's not coded and stored in the brain, how are memories, knowledge, facts, etc stored immaterially, and how does the immaterial send and receive this information?

Your responses lately are full of back peddling, special pleading, and rants with meaningless, untestable claims that everything is "just the image of the process, not the real  process."  You're really floundering.

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Offline dlorde

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There may well be great differences between biological systems and computers. I wasn't claiming they were identical in every way. But they do both store information, and there is good evidence of neural coding. We've shown you the experiments.
If it's not coded and stored in the brain, how are memories, knowledge, facts, etc stored immaterially, and how does the immaterial send and receive this information?
We know they're coded and stored in the brain from experiments & studies like this: Rat memory restored by installing replay electronics, this: Real-time neural coding of memory, and this: How the Brain Encodes Memories at a Cellular Level.

There are plenty more, for those willing to learn - I'm thinking of Don's classic excuse a few posts back, where he refused to read a paper that wasn't based on the hypothesis he prefers (magic):
Quote from:  DonQuichotte
...I stopped reading it , just after scanning some line of it .That's obviously a biased materialistic stuff that a-priori assumes that the mind is the product of the brain, and hence volitional effort of attention also is .Why continue reading it then ? What for ?
To learn, Don. To learn. 

Sometimes with all his evasions, distractions, goalpost shifting, etc., he gives the impression he's afraid that learning and understanding too much about different world views and ideas will change his mind!
« Last Edit: 07/12/2014 11:36:31 by dlorde »

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Offline cheryl j

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Dlorde made a comment last year that I liked so much I saved:

"It's reminiscent of a shaman who claims that a motor car is motivated by spirits; when told it is the internal combustion engine, he says that spirits make that work; when the mechanism is explained, he says spirits make the spark and ignite the fuel; when electricity and fuel combustion are explained, he says they're controlled by spirits; and so-on. Ultimately, a fully detailed explanation of the car is made, down to the quantum mechanical level, which the shaman insists is the work of spirits."

I often wonder what difference would it make if Don wanted to believe that ultimately, at the very end, it is spirits. Would it change his understanding or the knowledge of the world all that much? But he's even more dogmatic than the Shaman, by stubbornly dragging his heels and insisting it's an immaterial process from the outset, making it impossible to discuss any interaction or explanation at another level of order - lower or higher.

And I find he overturns the table just when the discussion is getting interesting. For example, one thing that I do question about the computer/brain comparison is the idea that just because computers don't need or require consciousness to carry out certain processes, biological systems should not either. But perhaps that is the strategy we evolved, in the same way that their are multiple strategies for obtaining energy, locomotion, or reproduction.
Attention, choice, and volition are really fascinating topics, and Ramachandran's investigations, such as blind sight patients, suggest they are tied to the function of consciousness and qualia.


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Offline Ethos_

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 Math is not just an invention of the mind, it was a discovery associated with material physical evidence.


Material Don! It's all about physical reality and the presence of evidence that we come to understand reality! Our minds don't invent reality, our minds discover it!

If one prefers to invent their own reality as opposed to discovering it, they risk bordering on the insane. Don, you asked me once if I thought you should see your shrink, and my answer would be; It might be a good idea!

I never see you post anywhere but on this thread. And honestly, it's beginning to look like an obsession with you. And that's not a good thing Don. Frankly, I used to think you were just misguided and needed some thoughtful instruction. But lately, I've begun to worry about you my friend. And in all honesty, I'm not trying to be facetious here. I think you need to do some honest reflection about how much dedication you render to this subject. And honestly try to listen to many of your detractors concerning the valid points they're making.
« Last Edit: 07/12/2014 17:54:48 by Ethos_ »
"The more things change, the more they remain the same."

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Offline DonQuichotte

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"Quantum physics : illusion or reality ?" By Alastair Rae: About Positivism:
Excerpt from chapter 11 : Illusion or reality ?:


 Quote:

"I first want to refer briefly to a way of thinking about philosophical
problems known as ‘positivism’. Encapsulated in Wittgenstein’s phrase
‘of what we cannot speak thereof should we be silent’, positivism
asserts that questions that are incapable of verification are ‘non-questions’,
which it is meaningless to try to answer.

Thus the famous, if apocryphal, debate between medieval scholars about how many angels can dance on the point of a pin has no content because angels can never be observed or measured so no direct test of any conclusion we might reach about them is ever possible. Opinions about such unobservable phenomena are therefore a matter of choice rather than logical necessity.

Positivism can often exert a salutary beneficial influence on our thinking, cutting through the tangle of ideas and verbiage we (or at least I) sometimes get into, but if taken too far it can lead us to a position where many obviously acceptable, and apparently meaningful, statements are in danger of being dismissed as meaningless.

 An example is a reference to the past such as ‘Julius Caesar visited Britain
in 55 BC’, or ‘Florence Nightingale nursed the troops in the Crimean War’. There is no way such statements can be directly verified as we
cannot go back in time to see them happening, but everybody who knows some history would believe them to be both true and significant and certainly not meaningless. Or what are we to make of a statement
about the future such as ‘the world will continue to exist after my death’? There is no way that I can directly verify this proposition, but I
 firmly believe it to be both meaningful and true. A positivist analysis can be useful, but it has to be employed with caution." End quote.

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Offline DonQuichotte

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author=cheryl j link=topic=52526.msg446063#msg446063 date=1417967210]
Dlorde made a comment last year that I liked so much I saved:

"It's reminiscent of a shaman who claims that a motor car is motivated by spirits; when told it is the internal combustion engine, he says that spirits make that work; when the mechanism is explained, he says spirits make the spark and ignite the fuel; when electricity and fuel combustion are explained, he says they're controlled by spirits; and so-on. Ultimately, a fully detailed explanation of the car is made, down to the quantum mechanical level, which the shaman insists is the work of spirits."

(Prior note : that's a misleading, a misplaced  and a simplistic post from dlorde that cannot be applied to what i was saying : see below why not . Positivism is in fact the one that's a reductionist version of  "shamanistic " simplistic and false view of the world or methodology , in the sense that only the observable is real ...QM and the observer cannot even be separated from each other , for example : try to apply that silly positivism to QM then lol ) )

See my posted short excerpt above about positivism from someone who 's a proponent of MW theory .

Positivism is an impoverished misleading , false and limited view of the world, philosophy  and  methodology that goes back all the way to Comte , in the sense that only the observable is real : that's clearly a fundamentally false myopic view of the world and methodology : try to apply it to QM, for example lol

There are once again phenomena or processes whose existence can be inferred indirectly from some axioms or empirical evidence : not to mention what   Godel proved : there are some true propositions the truth of which cannot be proved from the axioms ...  :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_G%C3%B6del

Furthermore : as Popper proved : who says that the non-physical cannot interact with the physical, and vice versa ?

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I often wonder what difference would it make if Don wanted to believe that ultimately, at the very end, it is spirits. Would it change his understanding or the knowledge of the world all that much? But he's even more dogmatic than the Shaman, by stubbornly dragging his heels and insisting it's an immaterial process from the outset, making it impossible to discuss any interaction or explanation at another level of order - lower or higher.

 (Prior note : you're just projecting , Cheryl : you're the dogmatic ones here, guys, all of you  : you have been believing in the materialistic false dogmatic belied system at the heart of current science ,by taking it for granted as science , without question,  despite all overwhelming evidence against it . Materialism has been turning science into a dogmatic secular orthodox ideological religion , science that should  not be or become an ideology in fact ,while science is all about dispelling dogmas ,half-truths and falsehood like those of materialism, ironically enough .)

Well, like it or not : see above : your simplistic positivism here above have been challenged and refuted by QM even that can never be understood without reference to the mind , ironically enough , otherwise , everything would remain in entangled  superposition states ,as the materialistic MW theory assumes by building all its sand castles on the materialistic false belief assumption that consciousness is just a material process , and hence cannot but make part of the physical universe , and therefore must remain in a superposition state in its turn through entanglement ...

Once again , If the mind was just a material process like the rest of them, we wouldn't have had that interpretation problem of QM, in the first place to begin with .Von Neumann even proved, through rigorous maths ,that the only plausible or logical candidate for the collapse of the wave function must be none other than a non-physical and a non-local process at the end of the measurement or observation chain : consciousness .

That's why materialists came up with such absurd paradoxical and unfalsifiable theories (like the hidden variable and the MW theories ) to elude the problem , in order to try so desperately to rescue their refuted deterministic reductionist materialism by sticking to their false and fundamental intrinsic premise : all is matter , including the mind .


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And I find he overturns the table just when the discussion is getting interesting. For example, one thing that I do question about the computer/brain comparison is the idea that just because computers don't need or require consciousness to carry out certain processes, biological systems should not either. But perhaps that is the strategy we evolved, in the same way that their are multiple strategies for obtaining energy, locomotion, or reproduction.

Ok, tell me then how consciousness allegedly evolved or arose from ...matter ? : non-sense .

Biological evolution can never account for , let alone explain, consciousness , its nature emergence or origin , let alone its 'evolution " .

http://www.amazon.com/Explaining-Consciousness-The-Hard-Problem/dp/026269221X

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Attention, choice, and volition are really fascinating topics, and Ramachandran's investigations, such as blind sight patients, suggest they are tied to the function of consciousness and qualia.

Blind people do not have to see to apply their mindful volitional effort of attention and action to themselves,to  their brains and to the rest of the physical reality .Their lost sight capacity gets compensated by other abilities .
Volitional effort of attention is neither  identical with the activity of its neuronal correlates  nor is it dependent of sight  ,let alone that it can be reducible to  brain activity through the senses .

The problem with brilliant neuroscientists like Ramachandran from which i have learned a lot , the problem of those kinds of scientists is that they try to make the empirical evidence fit into their a-priori held materialistic false beliefs or premises , instead of the other way around , instead of following the evidence wherever it might take them( as Von Neumann and many other prominent scientists did/do) , by misinterpreting the empirical evidence materialistically .

As a materialist thus , Ramachandran cannot but a -priori assume that the mind is a product of the brain or just brain activity , and hence volitional effort of attention also is .
« Last Edit: 07/12/2014 19:12:42 by DonQuichotte »

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Offline alancalverd

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Ok, tell me then how consciousness allegedly evolved or arose from ...matter ? : non-sense .


You define it and I'll explain it. Not that your narrow false nonmaterialist mind will accept the explanation, but it would be fun.
helping to stem the tide of ignorance

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Offline DonQuichotte

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... maths is just a product of the mind ... 

... IN SHORT; The reality of math was here long before men ever walked this earth ...

e.g. Snails were using "Cellular Automata Rule 30" before human-beings existed ...

http://artfail.com/automata/

Rule 30 produces a complex-patten which emerges by repeatedly applying simple-rules.
But Don does not believe in complex emergent properties , despite them occurring in nature, ( e.g. on the shell above ).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergent_properties


QM has been showing to us all that it  can never be understood without reference to the mind , no matter how many MW or hidden variable theories materialists would try to come up with to elude that fact , in order to rescue their  false deterministic materialism .

The mind of the observer cannot thus be separated from the observed objective reality , if there is such a latter thing at all , and hence maths that seem to be a product of the mind as well as underlying the laws of physics might be just a human mental construct ( the mental that's irreducible to the physical ,that is , despite  the false materialistic intrinsic reductionist attempts to reduce the mind to just brain activity .) :

http://www.kavlifoundation.org/science-spotlights/kavli-origins-of-math#.VISt8MnCkYw
« Last Edit: 07/12/2014 19:57:57 by DonQuichotte »

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Offline dlorde

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author=cheryl j link=topic=52526.msg446063#msg446063 date=1417967210]"It's reminiscent of a shaman who claims that a motor car is motivated by spirits; when told it is the internal combustion engine, he says that spirits make that work; when the mechanism is explained, he says spirits make the spark and ignite the fuel; when electricity and fuel combustion are explained, he says they're controlled by spirits; and so-on. Ultimately, a fully detailed explanation of the car is made, down to the quantum mechanical level, which the shaman insists is the work of spirits."

(Prior note : that's a misleading and simplistic post from dlorde that cannot be applied to what i was saying

If you look back over your posts here about consciousness, you'll see it's a fair analogy of the changes in your description of it (vague though they are). 

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See my posted short excerpt above about positivism from someone who 's a proponent of MW theory .
I'm equally accepting of Relational EPR as an interpretation of QM - I just find Many Worlds more fun - particularly as you were spectacularly unaware that your criticisms of it here were equally applicable to the Copenhagen 'conscious collapse' interpretation in the absence of a consciousness... Note that the Relational EPR paper emphasises that for the purposes of QM, an observer is any physical system:
Quote from:  Smerlak & Rovelli
An observer, in the sense used here, does not need to be, say “complex”, or even less so “conscious”. An atom interacting with another atom can be considered an observer. Obviously this does not mean that one atom must be capable of storing the information about the other atom, and consciously computing the outcome of its future interaction with it; the point is simply that the history of its past interaction is is principle sufficient information for this computation.

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Positivism is an impoverished misleading , false and limited view of the world, philosophy  and  methodology that goes back all the way to Comte , in the sense that only the observable is real : that's clearly a fundamentally false view of the world and methodology : try to apply it to QM, for example lol
You still haven't grasped that this is a fundamental feature of QM - that, in a sense, only the observable (note again an observation is any interaction of physical systems) is real - IOW it really does change what we mean by 'real' - e.g. the relativity of reality:
Quote from:  Smerlak & Rovelli
This recalls the conclusion that the late Prof. Peres reached in his analysis of EPR in 2004: “The question raised by EPR ‘Can the quantum–mechanical description of physical reality be considered complete?’ has a positive answer. However, reality may be different for different observers”.

Quote
There are once again phenomena or processes whose existence can be inferred indirectly from some axioms or empirical evidence : not to mention what   Godel proved : there are some true propositions the truth of which cannot be proved from the axioms ...  :
What have Godel's theorems about mathematical logic got to do with this?

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Furthermore : as Popper proved : who says that the non-physical cannot interact with the physical, and vice versa ?
That's not a proof, it's a question; and I've already explained what he probably meant by 'non-physical'. If you have some evidence he wasn't referring to his Three Worlds metaphysics (such as the context of that quote), by all means present it.

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Once again , If the mind was just a material process like the rest of them, we wouldn't have had that interpretation problem of QM, in the first place to begin with .Von Neumann even proved, through rigorous maths ,that the only plausible or logical candidate for the collapse of the wave function must be none other than a non-physical and a non-local process at the end of the measurement or observation chain : consciousness .
You should be aware that the collapse of the wavefunction isn't part of the quantum formalism. Von Neumann didn't realise it at the time, but it's an unnecessary addition that causes more problems than it solves; for example, it's now clear that the apparent collapse occurs in the absence of consciousness and, if a consciousness is present, before any signal can reach that consciousness. Unless you're prepared to ascribe consciousness to every physical system, from subatomic particles upwards, it's a dead duck - and if you do that, you'll have to find some other way to make human consciousness 'special' (in fact, panpsychism really changes nothing in this respect).

You're flogging a dead horse - worse, an imaginary dead horse.

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That's why materialists come up with such absurd paradoxical and unfalsifiable theories (like the hidden variable and the MW theories ) to elude the problem...
The hidden variable hypothesis was an entirely reasonable one, following classical physical principles - the simplest and most obvious explanation. And it was falsifiable - it was tested and found to be false!
MW is not a theory, it's an interpretation of the theory of QM (how many times?).

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Ok, tell me then how consciousness allegedly evolved or arose from ...matter ? : non-sense .
So where does it come from in your view?  Provide as much detail as you can...

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The problem with brilliant neuroscientists like Ramachandran from which i have learned a lot , the problem of those kinds of scientists is that they try to make the empirical evidence fit into their a-priori held materialistic false beliefs or premises , instead of the other way around , instead of following the evidence wherever it might take them( as Von Neumann and many other prominent scientists did/do) , by misinterpreting the empirical evidence materialistically .
Lol! Pot, meet kettle!  [:o)]
« Last Edit: 07/12/2014 20:23:18 by dlorde »

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Offline dlorde

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QM has been showing to us all that it  can never be understood without reference to the mind...
That's simply wrong. Have you not watched that MIT 'Introduction to QM' video yet?

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Offline DonQuichotte

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author=dlorde link=topic=52526.msg446036#msg446036 date=1417910486]
Quote
author=dlorde link=topic=52526.msg445956#msg445956 date=1417824638]
Well, the brain usually sends messages to the mind from both the outside physical world as well as from the inner biological one,and gets feedbacks from the mind in return ,or not  .
Lol! How can the physical brain 'send messages' outside the physical world? what does that even mean? where's your evidence?
Well, consciousness and the mind are non-local,so.
Maybe they work through entanglement with the brain as well , who knows ?
Clearly not you. Colour me unsurprised that you can't say how the non-existent interacts with the existent.

What are you talking about ? What non-existent ....Let go of your fundamentally false and myopic positivism .See above my posted excerpt about positivism and my post to Cheryl on the subject here above .
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As Popper used to say : physical-physical interaction is not the only kind of interaction .There is nothing that can make us assume that the non-physical cannot interact with the physical, and vice versa .
Perhaps; but if he said that, he was either referring to something else, or referring to the subjective and/or objective abstractions of his metaphysical Worlds 2 & 3.  Because, regarding mind and brain, Popper was property dualist, not a substance dualist. So he did not think that the mind is a substance separate from the body: he was an interactionist who thought that mental or psychological properties or aspects of people are distinct from physical ones, but arise from them. His 'Three Worlds' model involved a metaphysical hierarchy of abstraction, World 1 was the physical level of objects, World 2 was the subjective abstract, personal knowledge - arising from World 1, and World 3 was the objective abstract, the sum of human knowledge - arising from World 2. So, rather than supporting your hypothesis, he contradicts it.

Popper was referring to the non-physical consciousness interacting with the physical brain .

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Explain to me the very origin of maths then : it is  a highly  abstract non-physical product of the mind .
I can't say, I wasn't there; but it presumably originates in observation and interaction with the physical world (e.g. counting). It's not a huge step from keeping a pebble for every sheep to counting, and from counting or token exchange to simple arithmetic.

Do you see any numbers walking down the streets ? lol,any logarithms or square roots....sun-bathing on the beach ?  Come on , maths are mental constructs that happen to be underlying the laws of physics also (QM observer effect interpretation is the only one that can account for both facts: our reality is mainly mental ,if not wholly mental . )

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They used clever reasoning in the sense that our minds tend to see or project regularities everywhere and that our reality is mainly a mental construct ...Long story .
Empirical evidence suggests that this is indeed the case. We are pattern-matching systems and our perception of reality is a construct largely based on our expectations.

Aha : now you're trying to make that fit into your false refuted outdated and superseded materialistic mechanical deterministic world view .
Way to go, scientist .
Maths are mental constructs that are irreducible to biology or to neurophysiology ...
« Last Edit: 07/12/2014 20:51:39 by DonQuichotte »

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Offline DonQuichotte

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QM has been showing to us all that it  can never be understood without reference to the mind...
That's simply wrong. Have you not watched that MIT 'Introduction to QM' video yet?

That's just a materialistic approach .

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Offline dlorde

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Popper was referring to the non-physical consciousness interacting with the physical brain .
Evidence? the context of the quote might help. As I said, Popper wasn't a substance dualist; he didn't believe in the non-physical in the sense you do.

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Offline dlorde

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QM has been showing to us all that it  can never be understood without reference to the mind...
That's simply wrong. Have you not watched that MIT 'Introduction to QM' video yet?

That's just a materialistic approach .
It describes what is empirically observed; no more.

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Offline cheryl j

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Blind people do not have to see to apply their mindful volitional effort of attention and action to themselves,to  their brains and to the rest of the physical reality .Their lost sight capacity gets compensated by other abilities .

That isn't what blindsight refers to, which you should know if you are so familiar with his work.

Humans have two visual pathways from the eyeballs to the higher centers of the brain.  The  evolutionarily older pathway, more prominent in some mammals and reptiles,  goes to the brain stem, and then gets relayed eventually to the higher centers of the brain. The evolutionarily newer pathway goes from the eyeball through the thalamus to the visual cortex of the brain.
In blindsight, the first pathway still works, and some kind of visual information is shared with other parts of the brain, but without the conscious experience of seeing and without the qualia of vision, because the second pathway, or part of the the visual cortex it leads to, doesn’t work.  Patients with blindsight can track objects, avoid obstacles, detect position and movement, sometimes even identify color or orientation (vertical or horizontal) and yet they insist categorically they cannot see - to them it feels like a wild guess, even though they are consistently accurate.

There are several reasons why Ramachandran found all of this interesting. One is, that these patients allowed him to compare vision with consciousness to vision without consciousness & qualia, and see how they differed, or what consciousness added. The evidence from his experiments suggests that without consciousness and qualia, a person cannot use visual information to make choices in which the response to a stimulus is open-ended - that is, when there is a vast variety of responses possible in reaction to stimulus. One biological function of qualia, according to Ramachandran, is it that qualia allows an image to be held in working memory long enough for the executive function to work with it, assign meaning or significance based on a myriad of associated information from other parts of the brain.

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The problem with brilliant neuroscientists like Ramachandran from which i have learned a lot , the problem of those kinds of scientists is that they try to make the empirical evidence fit into their a-priori held materialistic false beliefs or premises , instead of the other way around , instead of following the evidence wherever it might take them( as Von Neumann and many other prominent scientists did/do) , by misinterpreting the empirical evidence materialistically .As a materialist thus , Ramachandran cannot but a -priori assume that the mind is a product of the brain or just brain activity , and hence volitional effort of attention also is .


You can criticize Ramachandran for not considering a supernatural or immaterial explanation (while also failing to provide the immaterial mechanism yourself) but his interpretations lead to more testable hypothesizes, more experimental designs, and more information about how things work, etc. Yours lead no where.That was my point about the shaman reference. Your automatic attribution of every mental process and aspect of consciousness to the immaterial prevents any further exploration or insight into the process, and has no explanatory power.
 

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Offline dlorde

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You can criticize Ramachandran for not considering a supernatural or immaterial explanation (while also failing to provide the immaterial mechanism yourself) but his interpretations lead to more testable hypothesizes, more experimental designs, and more information about how things work, etc. Yours lead no where.That was my point about the shaman reference. Your automatic attribution of every mental process and aspect of consciousness to the immaterial prevents any further exploration or insight into the process, and has no explanatory power.
The problem for Don is that not only does his hypothesis have no explanatory or predictive power, but it has no supporting evidence; which, of course, is why researchers like Ramachandran don't need to consider it - they simply follow the evidence they have, finding no need to invoke redundant magical entities.

And, as has already been said, the quantum theory Don has currently latched onto, much like a drunk clinging to a lamp post - more for support than illumination - actually does the opposite, not only providing no support for his idea, but actively contradicting it by illuminating the fields and forces available for everyday interaction with the brain (basically the electromagnetic field alone). Regardless of how he tries to force his preferred interpretation to fit his hypothesis, his hypothesis doesn't have a mechanism because quantum field theory behind the interpretation tells us there is, and can be, no such mechanism... His current response of ignoring or dismissing all 'materialist approaches' is the equivalent of a child stuffing his fingers in his ears and shouting "La la la la la, I can't hear you!".

I can't wait to see what else he'll find to scrape from the bottom of his immaterial barrel!

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Offline DonQuichotte

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MATERIALIST THEORIES OF MIND:

Let's go back to basics , guys :
Materialists have been building all their sand castles on their intrinsic fundamental false premise : all is matter , including the mind, and hence the latter is either identical with the former , a product of the former or just an epiphenomena : 

Enjoy :


Quote : "The doctrine of materialism is one of the implications of taking classical physics to be a complete description of all of nature, including human beings. It is essentially the idea that all events have a physical cause; in other words, that all events are caused by the interaction between particles of matter and force fields. It follows from this that mind has no causal role in nature but is at most merely a useless by-product produced by the brain, and so in short, all that matters is matter.
There are three basic materialist approaches: the mind does not exist, the mind is identical to the brain, or the mind is a useless by-product produced by the brain.

The eliminative materialists seriously argue that consciousness and the self do not exist, but that children are indoctrinated by “folk psychology” into believing that they exist as conscious, thinking beings.

 For instance, journalist Michael Lemonick writes, “Despite our every instinct to the contrary, there is one thing that consciousness is not: some entity deep inside the brain that corresponds to the ‘self,’ some kernel of awareness that runs the show, as the ‘man behind the curtain’ manipulated the illusion of a powerful magician in The Wizard of Oz. After more than a century of looking for it, brain researchers have long since concluded that there is no conceivable place for such a self to be located in the physical brain, and that it simply doesn’t exist.”

This may sound bizarre, but since materialism cannot account for consciousness, some materialists simply deny their own existence as conscious beings. They are driven to this act of desperation by their conviction that science, which they understand as applied materialism, supports them. Note the self-refuting nature of this position: If I believe that consciousness does not exist, then how could my belief exist? If my consciousness does not exist, then neither does my belief. And if my professed belief is nothing more than a machine going through its motions, then you have no reason to accept it as correct.

The identity theory holds great attraction for many philosophers, as it seems to offer a simple and easy solution to the problem. It says, for instance, that the subjective awareness of a red patch is objectively the movement of particles taking place in one’s brain. Some identity theorists hope that neuroscience will one day be able to map out the brain states that correspond to mental states, so that we will be able to simply describe mental activity as the activity of the brain. But Beauregard points out why this is a false hope:

Every human mind and brain moves through life differently, changing as it goes, so the information obtained for his brain would not apply to anyone else’s—or even to his own brain at a later time! This point bears repeating because it is so contrary to materialist hopes that it is often ignored in public discussions. One outcome, for example, is that [Jean-Peirre] Changeux’s view that mind states and brain states are completely identical is untestable and lacks predictive value.

Any theory that is untestable and lacks predictive value does not belong to science, but rather to philosophy at best, ideology at worse. And it does get worse. How are we even to understand the assertion that thoughts and brain states are really one and the same? If they are the same, then every characteristic of one must be a characteristic of the other; but this leads to nonsense, as physicist and philosopher C. D. Broad pointed out.

There are some questions which can be raised about the characteristics of being a molecular movement, which it is nonsensical to raise about the characteristics of being an awareness of a red patch; and conversely. About a molecular movement it is perfectly reasonable to raise the question: Is it swift or slow, straight or circular, and so on? About the awareness of a red patch it is nonsensical to ask whether it is a swift or slow awareness, a straight or a circular awareness, and so on. Conversely, it is reasonable to ask about an awareness of a red patch whether it is a clear or a confused awareness; but it is nonsense to ask of a molecular movement whether it is a clear or a confused movement. Thus the attempt to argue that “being a sensation of so and so” and “being a bit of bodily behavior of such and such a kind” are just two names for the same characteristic is evidently hopeless.

Eliminative materialism and identity theory are varieties of monism, the idea that only one kind of substance exists in the universe. A materialist monist believes that matter is all that exists, in contrast to a dualist, who believes that reality contains two sorts of essences: psychical and physical. The materialist believes that the full authority of science supports his position and that dualism is an outmoded legacy of a prescientific era, but many modern scientists disagree. Astronomer V. A. Firsoff writes, “To assert there is only matter and no mind is the most illogical of propositions, quite apart from the findings of modern physics, which show that there is no matter in the traditional meaning of the term.”

 As we saw earlier, many quantum theorists were driven to the conclusion that prior to conscious observation, matter exists only in a half-real state as possibility waves, without definite values for dynamic attributes such as position or velocity. Hence Walker’s remark that “duality is already a part of physics.” Wolfgang Pauli, one of the major contributors to quantum theory, concluded, “The only acceptable point of view appears to be the one that recognizes both sides of reality—the quantitative and the qualitative, the physical and the psychical—as compatible with each other, and can embrace them simultaneously."

Epiphenomenalism does not deny the existence of consciousness, but holds that the interaction between the brain and mind runs strictly one way, from brain to mind. This view was popularized by Darwin’s friend and colleague Thomas Huxley, who described the mind as a mere epiphenomena—a useless by-product of brain activity. According to this theory, free will and intent are only illusions.
Although Darwin liked and admired Huxley, he would have none of this. Supporting Huxley’s opinion would have contradicted his life’s work, as Karl Popper rightly pointed out.

The theory of natural selection constitutes a strong argument against Huxley’s theory of the onesided action of body on mind and for the mutual interaction of mind and body. Not only does the body act on the mind—for example, in perception, or in sickness—but our thoughts, our expectations, and our feelings may lead to useful actions in the physical world. If Huxley had been right, mind would be useless. But then it could not have evolved … by natural selection.

So from a strictly Darwinian approach, the mental powers of animals and men should be expected to lead to useful actions and should therefore be a causal influence in nature. According to this account, perceptions, emotions, judgments, and thoughts all have a real effect. And the more highly developed the mental powers, the more causal impact they should be expected to have.
However, Darwin’s viewpoint was thought to conflict with the physics of his time, which could specify no mechanism by which the mental could influence the physical. Arguments based on physics, being a more “basic” science than biology, were thought to trump arguments based on evolutionary theory.

 However, as we have seen, modern physics allows nonmechanical causation and has eliminated the causal closure of the physical.
Harold Morowitz, professor of molecular biophysics and biochemistry at Yale University, pointed out that while biologists have been relentlessly moving toward the hard-core materialism that characterized nineteenth-century physics, “at the same time, physicists, faced with compelling experimental evidence, have been moving away from strictly mechanical models of the universe to a view that sees the mind as playing an integral role in all physical events. It is as if the two disciplines were on fast-moving trains, going in opposite directions and not noticing what is happening across the tracks.”

 For Beauregard, this raises questions: “If physics fails to support biology, which discipline should rethink its position—physics or biology? On a practical note, can we reasonably expect much progress in neuroscience, given the problems, if we do not begin by reassessing the materialism that has characterized our hypotheses for decades?”.

Materialist theories of mind are based on the assumption that brain activity, and hence mental activity, is driven from below by the deterministic, observer-independent motions of elementary particles in the brain, as described by classical physics. But we have known since the early years of the twentieth century that classical physics fails drastically at the atomic and subatomic levels, and that the behavior of such particles is indeterministic and observer dependent. The irony here is that while materialists often describe themselves as promoting a scientific outlook, it is possible to be a materialist only by ignoring the most successful scientific theory of matter the world has yet seen.

 The materialist believes that consciousness is created by matter, yet the best theory we have about the nature of matter seems to require that consciousness exists independently of matter. And materialist models of mind utterly fail to answer the hard problem: why should consciousness exist in the first place and then constantly deceive us as to its function?.
Materialist philosopher of mind John Searle has lamented the bankruptcy of most work in the philosophy of mind and has candidly suggested that the motivation behind acceptance of materialist views is more emotional than rational.

Acceptance of the current views is motivated not so much by an independent conviction of their truth as by a terror of what are apparently the only alternatives. That is, the choice we are tacitly presented with is between a ‘scientific’ approach, as represented by one or another of the current versions of ‘materialism,’ and an ‘anti-scientific’ approach, as represented by Cartesianism or some other traditional religious conception of the mind." End Quote .

Chris Carter

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Offline DonQuichotte

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dlorde :

Here below will you find the specific quote of Popper within  its specific  context :


THE DREADED INTERACTION PROBLEM :

Quote : "Critics of dualism often question how two fundamentally different properties such as mind and matter could possibly interact (materialist philosopher William Lycan calls this the “dreaded” interaction problem). How can something nonspatial, with no mass, location, or physical dimensions, possibly influence spatially bound matter? As K. R. Rao writes:

The main problem with such dualism is the problem of interaction. How does unextended mind interact with the extended body? Any kind of causal interaction between them, which is presumed by most dualist theories, comes into conflict with the physical theory that the universe is a closed system and that every physical event is linked with an antecedent physical event. This assumption preempts any possibility that a mental act can cause a physical event.

Of course, we know now that the universe is not a closed system and that the collapse of the wave function—a physical event—is linked with an antecedent mental event. The objection Rao describes is of course based on classical physics.
By asking “How does unextended mind interact with the extended body?” Rao is making the implicit assumption that phenomena that exist as cause and effect must have something in common in order to exist as cause and effect. So is this a logical necessity or is it rather an empirical truth, a fact about nature? As philosopher and historian David Hume pointed out long ago, we form our idea of causation from observations of constant correlation; and since anything in principle could correlate with anything else, only observation can establish what causes what. Parapsychologist John Beloff considers the issue logically:

If an event A never occurred without being preceded by some other event B, we would surely want to say that the second event was a necessary condition or cause of the first event, whether or not the two had anything else in common. As for such a principle being an empirical truth, how could it be since there are here only two known independent substances, i.e. mind and matter, as candidates on which to base a generalization? To argue that they cannot interact because they are independent is to beg the question… . It says something about the desperation of those who want to dismiss radical dualism that such phony arguments should repeatedly be invoked by highly reputable philosophers who should know better.

Popper also rejects completely the idea that only like can act upon like, describing this as resting on obsolete notions of physics. For an example of unlikes acting on one another, we have interaction between the four known and very different forces, and between forces and physical bodies. Popper considers the issue empirically:
In the present state of physics we are faced, not with a plurality of substances, but with a plurality of different kinds of forces, and thus with a pluralism of different interacting explanatory principles.
 Perhaps the clearest physical example against the thesis that only like things can act upon each other is this: In modern physics, the action of bodies upon bodies is mediated by fields —by gravitational and electrical fields. Thus like does not act upon like, but bodies act first upon fields, which they modify, and then the modified field acts upon another body
." End quote

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Offline DonQuichotte

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Von Neumann and Consciousness :

Consciousness as a key component or a key "building block"  of the universe :

Quote : "The von Neumann interpretation of reality leaves open the possibility that the mind is not an emergent but rather an elemental property, that is, a basic constituent of the universe as elemental as energy and force fields.

 This idea is seriously entertained by physicists such as Herbert, and in its favor we should note that it would resolve the paradox that is raised by the von Neumann interpretation: if consciousness depends on the physical world and if the value of many quantum physical properties depends on consciousness, then how did the physical world ever bring about consciousness in the first place? The solution to this puzzle is apparently what Jeans means when he writes, “Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter; we ought rather hail it as the governor of the realm of matter.”End quote .

Chris Carter