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ReasonFirst

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  1. ReasonFirst

    The Transporter Problem

    @Eiuol That's fine, but this is exactly why the whole bit about fundamental constituents doesn't make sense. It's not consistent, it doesn't fit in with the argument you're going for What is not consistent about it? What does not fit in with the argument that I am going for? You've probably described it accurately enough. It's not a separate experience. This is probably best left to scientists to explain rather than me but I'll try to explain it like this. What this shows is that when it comes to actions that an entity can do but doesn't have to do (such as tell you what it sees or demonstrate how to use what it sees), certain portions of the one whole integrated individual entity undergoing continuous self-generated, self-sustained action contribute to the abilities to execute certain actions but not others. There is no more a violation in this case than the fact that my stomach stores the food that I eat but not my brain (in a simple sense, of course). My legs are used for walking but my hands are not. I use my hand to write but not my hips. This is just a case of certain pieces of a human all contributing their part to the overall integration and the integration has been damaged, but it's not gone. And this is the difference that I'm identifying as something that should be considered when considering whether or not the individual exiting the transporter is the individual who entered. We should. And I don't know much about intellectual property. I do have some doubts about whether it is valid or not. And there may be some parallels between the transporter topic and the intellectual property topic. However, I think even if it is valid, that its validity would be consistent with my argument, especially because it has to do with a lot of stuff that doesn't exist as an entity, such as laws or ideas. I remember I read once what I believe is an Ayn Rand quote in which she states that the mind and body are one and that we distinguish them only conceptually. I was trying to look up that quote but I can't find it anywhere now. I can't state for sure that was what her statement was because I don't remember. Have you ever read or heard a quote like the one I've described about the body and mind of an individual being one?
  2. ReasonFirst

    The Transporter Problem

    @Eiuol The statement from me that you've quoted from me doesn't imply that the mind and thinking are made up of fundamental constituents. They're not. I have tried to explain this before. I have not been defining "you" as a particular body. I have repeatedly stated that I am defining "you" as an entity that undergoes continuous, self-generated, self-sustained action. This is a definition of your identity and it encompasses BOTH the mind and body of you as an individual. Not partially, completely. There's no "you" without your functioning body. I don't think you understood what I was arguing for the continuity of. I was not arguing for the required continuity of your body, I was arguing for the required continuity of your mind AND your body. And what that means is, I was arguing for the necessary continuity of your functioning body. And this doesn't mean that I'm arguing that your body's functions or actions are fundamental constituents. And it doesn't mean that I'm saying that "you" are your body. If either your body's functioning or your body ceases to exist, there won't be a "you" anymore, certainly not if you construct another functioning body somewhere away from where the individual entity in question was. I think Ayn Rand would agree as well because she argued that man is an "integration of mind AND body," with the two being metaphysically inseparable, just like you can't separate a functioning entity from its function or its body without killing the individual entity in question. That's why "your first person awareness" won't just be "interrupted," it will permanently disappear. And more often than not, the issue of whether the continuity of a particular entity undergoing continuous self-generated, self-sustained action is satisfied or not is a scientific one, like the prosthetics example you brought up. But what I can say is that the preservation of a particular functioning entity's structural integrity (body) AND overall functioning (mind) is going to be the key. You have to preserve both if you want that entity (that individual) to keep existing. Additionally, the split-brain example you've brought up is another bad example. You are implying a contradiction here. If they "basically act independently," then how can the brain "naturally figure out how to adapt?" I'll tell you how. Split-brain illnesses are not evidence or examples for "multiple first person experiences." And the explanation for why not is more a scientific one than a philosophical one but it ultimately reduces to philosophy (as pretty much everything does). The primary link, and the keyword is "primary," that links the left and right hemispheres of the brain is severed in split-brain patients. But there are still other links (I think 4 others if I'm not mistaken) that are intact and ARE ACTIVELY PARTICIPATING in the split-brain patient's overall first person awareness. The split-brain example is no more meaningful than if I closed one of my eyes and claimed that since I closed one of my eyes, only one of my two brain hemispheres is involved in generating/sustaining my first person awareness and the other half now has its own first person awareness. That would be a false claim. There aren't two separate brains, which is what you are implying. Instead what's happening is there is still one brain but the continuous self-generated, self-sustained action has been harmed, but it is not gone, and that's what makes it possible for the brain to learn "how to adapt." As long as you are alive, you have your first person experience as one whole integrated individual entity that continuously undergoes self-sustained, self-generated action. Since everyone is proposing some examples to support their arguments let me propose one. If you and I were to independently buy a car of the same make, model, color, everything the same but two separate cars, let's say for example two blue 2019 Toyota Camrys. I'm arguing that my car is one individual car and your car is another individual car despite the fact that they are perfect copies of each other. They are perfect copies and that's it, not one individual car. And if you turned your car on, it would function JUST LIKE mine, the functioning would be the same. This is just like the functioning body that enters the transporter and the OTHER functioning body that exits the transporter. Even though the cars look and function the same, I don't own your car, you own your car. Your car is another car, a separate existent that is not my car. If what you're arguing is true, then I can take you to an objective court of law and tell a judge that I should own your car because your car is my car. As you put it, it "walks like a duck, talks like a duck..." so your car must be my car. So, according to you, if our cars are both on and functioning, I have a right to take your car because I own it. This is what I've been arguing against. That's right, the "certain intensity" portion of my definition is what I think is necessary but not sufficient and that's the part I had a problem with if that's all there was to it. But the "healthy biological processes" portion of my definition is what I was hoping would have been elaborated on in terms of the "specific actions" that "are done to generate/sustain consciousness." All I was trying to say here is that I am ok with complexity and intensity being a part of it, but I was expecting some discussion of what specifically the functioning body does to generate/sustain consciousness, which "healthy biological processes" is a placeholder for in my definition that you quoted. So in my definition I have included both what specifically is done and the intensity/complexity.
  3. ReasonFirst

    The Transporter Problem

    @Eiuol My point about the statement that you quoted was that the body of an entity is ultimately made out of fundamental constituents (whatever they may be) that cannot be broken down and that are separate from all other existents in the universe. The integrated actions performed by those fundamental constituents or macroscopically that specific body corresponds to a particular individual's mind. It was meant to refute your claim that a "branched" version of "you" would exist if someone used the transporter on you but without deconstructing you. I am saying that that "branched" version of "you" you mentioned would be another entity, made out of separate fundamental constituents that may or may not be doing the same actions as the original fundamental constituents that comprise the real one and only "you." Because it would be a separate entity made out of separate fundamental constituents even if they are doing the same actions as the real one and only "you," it would not be you. And by the way, that would also serve as evidence for why the individual who gets constructed and exits the transporter is not the individual who was deconstructed after he entered the transporter. The entity who exits the transporter is made out of separate fundamental constituents that happen to be doing the same actions as the entity who entered. The actions may be the same, but the fundamental constituents doing the actions are separate from the original fundamental constituents that are who-knows-where. Remember, when the transporter deconstructs the individual who enters, what it does is pull the individual's body apart into fundamental pieces (rendering them unable to function to generate/sustain a mind). But what happens to those fundamental constituents after separate ones are used to construct the body of the individual who exits? They certainly have not been destroyed because they cannot be destroyed. They are the fundamental constituents that comprised the body of the individual who entered the transporter and they are in disarray located at the transporter's entrance. Those are the fundamental constituents you would have to use to reconstruct the macroscopic body of the individual who entered the transporter if you want to claim that that individual was brought back into existence. Because "you" are not "your consciousness." "You" are an entity that undergoes continuous, self-generated, self-sustained action. Your consciousness is a state of awareness you can achieve by undergoing that continuous, self-generated, self-sustained action. You can differentiate yourself from all other existents by identifying yourself as your definition of what an entity is, "some sort of physically bounded object, usually on the perceptual level." But of course, not just any object, an object or entity that continuously undergoes self-generated, self-sustained action. So your specific body would not be "you," your specific body which continuously undergoes self-generated, self-sustained action would be "you." Not some other body exiting the transporter that continuously undergoes its own continuous self-generated, self-sustained action. And yes I had a problem with intensity and complexity being "all the definition is," as you put it. Keyword "all." I was interested more in what specific actions are done to generate/sustain consciousness not just the complexity and intensity, but I think the answer to what I was interested in is a more scientific issue, that's all. I have no problem with consciousness having complex and intense characteristics as long as that is not everything that is necessary. Why are you not concerned about the specific body? I am arguing that you should be if you are claiming that the individual who exited the transporter IS the individual who entered. The "specific material parts accomplishing the process" constitute one individual's body. Other "specific material parts accomplishing the process" constitute another individual's body. If you are claiming that the individual exiting the transporter is the individual who entered, then you are in effect claiming that the body and mind exiting the transporter (the body undergoing continuous self-generated, self-sustained action exiting the transporter) IS the body and mind that entered the transporter (the body undergoing continuous self-generated, self-sustained action that entered the transporter). And I am arguing that it is not. That is why it is not the only question whether this process can restart if it stops (it is a question but not the only question). Let us assume that it can restart. As I have been arguing, if you successfully construct another entity that is separate from an individual (meaning an entity whose body is ultimately comprised of fundamental constituents which are separate from an the body of the individual in question) and that other entity's body is undergoing the same continuous self-generated, self-sustained action, then, despite the other entity undergoing the same continuous self-generated, self-sustained action, that other entity is not the individual in question. You have not "restarted" that process, you have started that process on another entity. You mentioned being in agreement about what SL stated. It is my understanding that SL, Don Athos, and me are arguing that the individual who gets reconstructed is not the individual who got destroyed. I think we might have our own different reasons for why we are arguing what we are arguing. I don't want to speak for Don Athos and SL too much. You and Devil's Advocate are arguing that it is the individual who got destroyed and he comes back into existence. Correct me if I'm wrong about any of this.
  4. ReasonFirst

    The Transporter Problem

    @Eiuol I am not arguing for panpsychism. I am not insisting that the mind is a fundamental constituent. I have stated before that it is not an entity and not a thing. When I was describing fundamental constituents, I meant fundamental constituents that constitute the body, i.e microscopic entities that cannot be broken down into sub-parts and that are separate from all other existents in the universe. The integrated macroscopic interactions (actions) of those fundamental constituents correspond to the mind. And that doesn't imply that actions are reified as "things." It just means a particular macroscopic entity is doing those actions. That "there is something remaining when you physically pull everything apart" is not what I meant. There isn't. My point is not that ""you" is a fundamental, material soul." It's not. Your body is always in a state to support "you" as long as you are biologically functioning, which doesn't have to include higher level of functioning. When I say "higher level," all that I meant by that was a healthy and intensified version of the biological processes that are happening in a person who is in a coma, for example. What you call the "psychological processes" are just healthy biological processes of a certain intensity. That's why I stated before that it's really the biological processes that must exist in order for "you" to exist. And they still do exist for a person in a coma, they're just severely impaired but they are still happening, and that is why you would still exist if you would be in a coma and that is also why you have a chance of recovering while you are in a coma. When those biological processes cease to exist, then you would really stop existing and you would never be able to come back. And you wouldn't be anywhere else (heaven or hell) because like I stated before, "you" are not a material soul. You just wouldn't exist anymore. But "you" are there when you are in a coma or when you sleep because in all of those cases your biology is still functional. And I define "you" as an entity that undergoes continuous, self-generated, self-sustained action. The "self-generated, self-sustained action" is your biological processes. The actions are not entities or things. A particular entity is doing the action. If those self-generated, self-sustained actions should stop (no mind) or if your body is blown up let's say (no body and no mind), "you" won't exist anymore. And those self-generated, self-sustained actions are being done by your body while "you" are in a coma or sleeping and while you are awake. But those actions are not being done by your body when "you" are dead and no longer in existence. That's my position.
  5. ReasonFirst

    The Transporter Problem

    @Eiuol No, I would say the same thing about identical twins and two separate human beings even if they were perfect copies of each other. One reduces down to fundamental constituents that are separate from all other existents and the other reduces down to other fundamental constituents that are separate from all other existents, in accordance with what I have stated before. They each perform their own actions that are metaphysically inseparable from them, i.e. they each have their own inseparable mind. There is a meaningful way to say that it is "you." A low-level continuation of the essential processes your body must go through is still in existence, and that's why you still do exist, as long as those are occurring. So even if you are "psychologically dead" as you mention, the required foundation (your biology) is still operative, so you're still alive. You may not be self-aware, I'll grant you that. Your higher level functions (beliefs, thoughts, awareness) might not be happening but your low-level functions (which are complementary to your higher-level functions and are also a part of what makes you an individual) are still working, so you still exist.
  6. ReasonFirst

    The Transporter Problem

    @Eiuol I apologize for using distracting text. You wrote, "All you argued here is that a mind can't be disembodied. I don't disagree. This doesn't say how a conscious mind can or cannot be transferred to another entity." I would say that it does because by virtue of the mind being (at a basic level) a process that is done by a particular entity, that makes it inseparable from that particular entity and makes it a particular mind. It is not a process done by another entity, it is a process done by "this and not that" entity in accordance with the law of identity (whatever the thing is, dog, cat, elephant, human, whatever). And this is where the word "transferred" is inappropriate. That word "transfer" implies movement from one place to another, which is a concept applicable only to entities, which the mind is not, as you and I agree on. You also wrote, "If you want to define "you" as also the physical body you have, that doesn't make sense to me. As long as there is a body it doesn't matter. The question is if you have a psychological death, not just a biological death. It isn't enough to say "the light went out". Another way to phrase the question: if you die biologically, does this mean you always die psychologically?" Well I would say yes you do die psychologically if you die biologically. Because your psychology is ultimately based on your biology. If the required foundation stops existing, then anything that follows from it can't exist either. It would be like saying that a treehouse can exist without a tree. And I meant to define "you" as a physical body that continuously undergoes essential physical processes. That latter portion of the definition "that continuously undergoes essential physical processes" is an essential part of the definition. Furthermore, I would be careful about making claims that a FPE before a coma is distinct from after a coma and that a consciousness "completely halts" and comes back. Doctors say that "someone who is in a coma is unconscious and will not respond to voices, other sounds, or any sort of activity going on nearby. The person is still alive, but the brain is functioning at its lowest stage of alertness." That part, the "lowest stage of alertness" part is an indication that even in a coma your consciousness is still operative at a basic level. And a much stronger argument can be made for going to sleep and waking up, your consciousness is still there, it is only its strength that has changed. Even bacteria that is supposedly "frozen" and then "brought back to life" has never died. There are organisms on this world that have metabolisms that can continue to function in what is called "cryobiostasis." Their identities allow their organs to function at such a minimal level that we call "frozen" but they are not truly frozen or static like what you might think.
  7. ReasonFirst

    The Transporter Problem

    @Eiuol you wrote, "That's the problem right there. I'm not treating consciousness as a constituent, fundamental or otherwise. I am treating it as irreducible, but I'm not also treating it as a fundamental "thing". That is, it isn't made out of parts to take apart and reassemble. Rather, consciousness and the mind is all or nothing. As I said earlier, the mind is a process. That's why it can go out of existence then return to existence. I described earlier that some things can go out of existence then return. I'd agree with you if consciousness or the mind were a type of particle, or fundamental constituent of reality. My whole point is that if a mind is continuous in all the ways I mentioned, that is the same "you". The mind is not an entity anyway, at least not by Objectivist standards. An entity would be some sort of physically bounded object, usually on the perceptual level." Ok, first I want to make sure that we are both thinking of the same definition of the word "fundamental." I would say that the word "fundamental" is synonymous with "irreducible." There are existents that can be broken down into simpler existents. Those existents are not fundamental. Those existents are not irreducible. If they are broken down, the simpler pieces that you can observe after the breakdown may or may not be "fundamental" or "irreducible." However, if you keep on progressively breaking something down into simpler and simpler constituents, EVENTUALLY you will get to a purely "fundamental" or "irreducible" constituent that cannot be broken down further. These fundamental constituents, whatever they may be, whether they are atoms, particles, waves, whatever, are irreducible primaries that cannot be destroyed and recreated and will always be separate from one another. I agree with you that the mind is not a "thing" and at this point I also want to make sure that we can distinguish between "consciousness" and the "mind." I am treating consciousness as a state of awareness that we can achieve only by having a mind. Consciousness is not an entity, it is a state of awareness. And the mind is a faculty for perceiving that which exists and I agree with you that is a process. But "awareness" and "process" are meaningless terms if we don't specify WHAT is BEING AWARE and WHAT is UNDERGOING THE PROCESS. Ultimately, both "awareness" and "process" are metaphysically based on what is being aware and what is undergoing a process. So what is being aware and what is undergoing a process? Well, the answer to this question first comes from you. It involves your self-identification. When you started existing, you went through the process of first identifying existents which are not you. You identified entities and then at some point you grasped that they each possess an identity. If you have ever seen two entities which are perfect copies of each other you can hold one in one hand and hold the other in another hand and you can grasp that entities, even if they are perfect copies of each other, are not one entity. You can destroy one and the other still exists. You can damage one and the other entity exists unharmed. So you used your mind to gain an awareness of the external world first and then as you got older your awareness ascended into a higher-level self awareness, which you achieved by using your mind to identify WHAT YOU ARE. And by using my perception and proprioception, what I have identified myself to be is entity, a "physically bounded object, usually on the perceptual level" as you put it. But of course, not just any "physically bounded object, usually on the perceptual level." A "physically bounded object, usually on the perceptual level" that CONTINUOUSLY undergoes self-generated, self-sustained ACTION. That ACTION is the foundation of your mind and subsequent state of awareness (consciousness) and the foundation of that ACTION is the ENTITY that is doing the ACTION, not SOME OTHER entity away from the entity that is doing the action. YOUR "mind" and consequently YOUR states of awareness (consciousness) are metaphysically grounded in the entities (your functioning organs) which you are made up of (which I have stated above are separate from all the other entities that exist in the universe when broken down enough). And if you are like me, whatever continuity of your mind exists ONLY EXISTS across the entities (your functioning organs) that are constituting you as one whole integrated macroscopic entity. That continuity DOES NOT and CANNOT extend beyond the entity that it is metaphysically grounded in, which is ultimately SEPARATE from all other fundamental constituents in the universe.
  8. ReasonFirst

    The Transporter Problem

    @Eiuol you wrote "I think you're asking in the second question what would happen if I use a transporter that assembled another version of me at the other end of the transporter, while my current self stayed put. In a sense, that would only be one of me still. But this is where it would get weird. I would describe this as a "branched" version of me. It would be like having a parallel mind. I don't think in principle a mind must only have 1 first-person experience. Why not 5 distinct first-person experiences? Part for part, they are distinct, but they are still all me. " And you also wrote "I know my solution is very weird, but I don't think that violates the law of identity." This is where the law of identity is either misunderstood OR it is not being as clear as it should be. For EVERY existent that exists, there is a "this one and not that one" aspect of its existence that sets it apart from all other existents. This would be better understood if we consider lets say 5 fundamental constituents of reality and lets assume that they are all EXACT PERFECT copies of each other. They can be particles or atoms or "waves" or whatever fundamental "something" that cannot be destroyed or "reconstituted." Regardless of what these fundamental constituents may be, they would have an identity in accordance with the law of identity that we have validated through observation in everyday life. These 5 fundamental constituents are FOREVER (in ALL of the past and ALL of the future SEPARATE from one another no matter what may be done to them, keeping in mind that they cannot be destroyed and "reconstituted" because they are fundamental constituents). If a fundamental constituent was capable of having First Person Experiences, its first person experiences would be the first person experience of that particular fundamental constituent. In other words its cognition might go something like this, "I am a fundamental constituent that looks a certain way, thinks a certain way, and I see 4 OTHER fundamental constituents that are NOT ME but they look exactly like me and it looks like they think exactly like me. It looks like we are copies of each other." And macroscopic entities are just the integration of these fundamental constituents. If fundamental constituents 1 and 2 integrated to create a higher level entity, that higher level entity would be metaphysically inseparable from fundamental constituents 1 and 2 but it would be SEPARATE from whatever fundamental constituents 3, 4, and 5 could integrate to become. If the higher level entity made up of fundamental constituents 1 and 2 would have a first-person experience, that first person experience would be created by fundamental constituents 1 and 2 having a first person experience as the ONE higher-level entity that they have integrated THEMSELVES TO BE. The "branched" version of you that you mentioned is made up of separate entities that are NOT THE ENTITIES that constitute the real one and only you. They are as SEPARATE from you as fundamental constituents 3, 4, and 5 are from 1 and 2. They are not you.
  9. @Grames I'm sorry I have one more question related to misperception. Let's say for example that I misperceive a temperature, do I have a right to claim that a temperature exists in some quantity even though I haven't perceived it? Or if I misidentify a watercup as a ball, do I have a right to claim that something exists? This kind of relates to my thinking about "depth perception" and it being distorted. If your perception is distorted, you have misperceived something (some object) but I think you must have at least done something right if you were able to achieve the form of perception that you did. And I'm wondering are there any valid claims that you can make based on misperception like the examples I gave?
  10. @Grames you mentioned “Your issue is very much similar to debating if a thing is truly red or merely painted red. The appearance of redness is genuine in either case, and so is the appearance of three dimensionality in your example where the 3-Dness is 'painted on'. That appearances can be deceiving is long known.” So here is what I find troubling about your statement. In your example, there is actually something about the paint that contains physical properties that I perceived as red. It EXISTS and is there for me to perceive it. And it was placed on the object which also EXISTS and is there for me to perceive it. I understand this situation. But I don’t think my example should be granted an equal status and I will try to argue why. In the case when you are focusing on a 2D screen, THERE IS NO THIRD dimension so therefore it follows THAT THERE SHOULD BE NO WAY TO PERCEIVE it. You can’t perceive something that doesn’t exist. You only may perceive something else and you might think that that something else is something, in which case you would be perceiving something but mistaking it for something else. Although this whole situation with 3D glasses is making me doubt what I wrote in my previous sentence so I am actually interested in what you think about being able to perceive something which does not exist. For example, if we did not live in 3D universe, only 2 dimensions, would it even be possible to perceive or even misperceive a third dimension if a third dimension didn’t even exist? I would assume that it would be impossible and I based some further thinking about this situation on this assumption and it gave me another idea. Even with 3D glasses, whatever object you are perceiving, even if it is a 2D screen, is still located a certain depth away from you. And it might be possible that you can misperceive that depth and misperceive it varyingly (by “varyingly” I mean certain parts of it appear closer than others) under the right circumstances. So I read a little bit about what those circumstances might be and I stumbled onto stereopsis. So it turns that there are multiple mechanisms by which we perceive depth, with a major one being by having two eyes spaced a certain distance apart. In normal vision, because the eyes are spaced a certain distance apart, your eyes get two slightly different images delivered to them by light and light is incident at slightly different angles. Your mind than takes those images and integrates them into sensations. Then it integrates those sensations into a perception. And it actually uses the two different images to perform the integration to perceive depth. And it is at this point that I have another doubt and it relates to what to DavidOdden stated about the “metaphysically given.” I find myself asking “Is depth metaphysically given?” If depth is perceptual, then it has to be “metaphysically given.” But it just might be so that only objects are metaphysically given. This is also why I titled my post the way I did. I am starting to suspect that “depth perception” might instead be a first-level concept and I would be very interested in your response to this thought. Besides the question about depth, another reason that I am thinking that “depth perception” could be a first-level concept is that we all make an implicit assumption (and no assumptions are supposed to be involved at the perceptual level of consciousness) that we do not think about when we look at any object. That implicit assumption is also how the makers of 3D glasses trick us into perceiving a 3rd dimension that IS NOT THERE. We assume that we are looking at the SAME OBJECT WITH BOTH EYES. This turns out to be an extremely significant and overlooked implicit assumption because passive 3D glasses actually filter two types of light that are coming from DIFFERENT LOCATIONS from a screen. One lens blocks out one type of light so your eye never sees it and the other lens blocks out the other type of light so your other eye never sees the light the former eye sees. THIS IS HOW YOU GET TWO DIFFERENT IMAGES DELIVERED to your eyeballs. You’re actually looking at two different pictures (objects) and you don’t know it. Active 3D glasses create an almost equivalent situation but not exactly the same. They either function as a screen or synchronize with a T.V screen to alternate back and forth between images that your right and left eyes would see if you were not being deceived. The TV shows an image intended for your right eye and your left lens darkens completely (so your left eye never sees the image intended for your right eye) and a split-second later the TV shows an image for your left eye and your right lens darkens completely (so your right eye never sees the image intended for your left eye) and this happens so fast and frequently that your brain can’t tell the difference. It’s a slightly different situation but it achieves the same end result, you get two slightly different images delivered to your eyeballs that your eyes would not see if they were both simultaneously looking at one image on a screen, but THAT THEY WOULD SEE if you were looking at the object in real life. It’s almost like your mind is performing a trigonometric triangulation calculation with an object being one vertex and your two eyes being the other two vertices… The bottom line is that those glasses deliver two slightly different images to your eyeballs and your brain integrates them into one whole 3D perception. The last question I am hoping to get your response on which is slightly tangent from this OP (but not too tangent) is the following: Is there a spatial relationship that exists between entities in reality independent of the mind? And if it does exist independent of the mind, is it “metaphysically given” (meaning can it be perceived?) or is it just metaphysically real and conceptually identified? I know Peikoff said that “Space is a concept” but he did mention that it refers to relationship between entities so I am thinking that the relationship it refers to has to exist in reality, right? The reason I ask this is because I think depth perception might be based on the conceptual identification of a spatial relationship between “metaphysically given” entities. I don’t know about depth, but I suspect that you can at least know based on observation that we live in at least a 2D universe because you can visually perceive at least in 2D (because the images you get even of the real world are in fact in 2D) and you can geometrically conceptualize that you can two perpendicular line segments between the entities you see that would also determine two axes (or two dimensions of space). I think connecting these line segments and understanding how they determine two axes of space could be the very act of conceptually identifying the spatial relationship between entities. And I think that the way that you know that there is a 3rd Dimension is by connecting line segments from the entities that you see in 2D TO YOURSELF (since you yourself are self-aware and are therefore also at least a “metaphysically given” entity). When you connect this line segment to yourself, I think you have conceptually correctly identified a 3rd dimension of the spatial relationship between you and every other entity that exists. I think by going through this geometric proof you can at least know that there are 3 dimensions and depth has to exist as a result of this conclusion being true and it may exist in any quantity, but it must exist in some quantity.
  11. Recently, I read a transcript taken from one of Binswanger's lectures in which he defends perception from certain skeptical attacks against it. He calls perception "inerrant" which means that the information that you do perceive cannot be wrong because it is silent and cannot play tricks on you because it does not tell you anything. The concepts that you form based on perception can be wrong, according to my understanding of Binswanger. At first, I was in complete agreement with this but then I thought of the example of depth perception. With modern 3D glasses (either passive or active), it seems to me that your eyes are truly deceived because they get sensory input that leads to you perceiving a 3D object that is not really a 3D object at all, just a projection on 2D screen. I see this as significant because if depth perception can be wrong, then so can all perception, which conflicts with Oist epistemology's teachings that humans are infallible at the perceptual level. The only way that I could think of this not invalidating the sense of sight is if depth is not something that is perceived, but instead is a concept formed based on perceiving entities that have a spatial relationship to you. I know that Peikoff did mention that Space is a relational concept and refers to a relationship between entities that exists in reality. And this reinforces my thinking that depth cannot be perceived because depth is like space and there is no such thing as the space between two entities to perceive in the first place. There is only a relationship between entities that exist in the universe. I'm not sure about this though and I hope to learn what anybody else's thoughts are on this.
  12. ReasonFirst

    Metaphysics of Consciousness

    So I read Bissell's paper and some of his statements have certain problems. Ayn Rand did once say that a consciousness that is only conscious of itself implies a contradiction and therefore an impossibility. She mentioned this to argue that the process of consciousness starts with an entity receiving sensory data from the outside world and ends with external and subsequently internal awareness. But some of the statements that Bissell makes conflict with Ayn Rand's statements. For example, Bissell states "Consciousness is a necessary aspect of brain processes at a sufficiently high level of complexity and/or intensity. It can no more exist apart from those processes than can the color, mass, or volume of the human body, or the incandescence of an iron rod of certain high temperature; [27] nor can those brain processes exist apart from consciousness." "Consciousness is a natural, necessary attribute of those brain processes at or above that particular level. Those brain processes would not be those brain processes, were they not also possessed of their attribute of consciousness. Had consciousness never existed, it would be because brain processes of a sufficiently high level of complexity and intensity had never existed--otherwise, consciousness would have to have existed." If you consider the "brain processes" that Bissell discusses and imagine the exact opposite processes, you'll find that there's a problem. Basically, REVERSE the processes that Bissell discusses similar to hitting the rewind button on a VCR so that EVERYTHING happens in reverse, you would end up with a different, opposite brain process which starts with awareness and ends with the entity sending sensory data into the external world. This reverse, opposite brain process would have the same "complexity/intensity" as you had in the forward direction and would also be a conscious process according to Bissell. So, you would end up with an entity who never received any information from the outside world and according to Bissell he would be conscious (either of the outside or himself but the point is according to Bissell, he would be conscious, which can't be the case if he never received any information from the outside world).
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