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StrictlyLogical

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Everything posted by StrictlyLogical

  1. Find the error (according to Objectivism) in the following: 1. Everything existing in reality exists independent of any person's perception, knowledge, consciousness, experience etc. 2. Consciousness identifies existents of reality 3. A person is conscious of first person experience 4. A first person experience is an existent of reality and has identity 5. First person experiences of a particular individual are not experienced by any other person, or another animal, or a machine which is not the particular individual. YOU and ME have identity. YOU are not ME and what it is to be YOU is not what it is to be ME. 6. From 5, first person experience is entirely dependent upon the person experiencing the first person experience, without the person or the person's act of experiencing, there is no first person experience. 7. From 6, something about existence utterly depends upon the experience of a person 8. From 7, NOT everything existing in reality exists independent of any person's perception, knowledge, consciousness, experience etc. (i.e. NOT 1.) I may play devil's advocate in reply to your responses, but am genuinely interested in your answers as to what error gives rise to the contradiction.
  2. StrictlyLogical

    Metaphysical status of First Person Experience

    FPE is not the determining factor however. FPE is crucially important and we each "have it", but plain old identity can be used to make the argument. In fact, since FPE is not any more or less an exemplar of identity, a car or anything else, even a single electron. It's not the same one here as the one there... it's been created/configured to be a copy ... but THIS is never THAT. Now if we look at a DIFFERENT process, one of replacing dying cells, fixing DNA, allowing the body and brain to heal itself, and (possibly one day) achieve indefinite life (until the heat death of the universe), then we have a slow transformation which we already all undergo as we grow and as material enters our bodies and leaves our bodies... this is not the same ... why? Because of continuity... the being was not destroyed here and rebuilt there... it never died it never stopped functioning as it normally does. I disagree that this goes to the heart of FPE's "metaphysical status". I take any claim that questions FPE counting "as anything at all" as logically incoherent on its face. FPE exists and is undeniable. AS for a new thread to discuss teleportation and identity I think it would be fun and better to continue the discussion there... If you are interested Don, please make a new thread.
  3. StrictlyLogical

    Metaphysical status of First Person Experience

    Does our consciousness "die" when we sleep or get knocked out? Break out the coffee...!! Perhaps I should grieve the daily death of me and celebrate my daily resurrection? One could quibble about the wording.. but particular mental states do come and go, are born and die. Emotions are fleeting... you never feel exactly the same way twice.. every moment is precious and unique... that thought I had yesterday is gone...but as an entity I AM more than a single state of consciousness I happen to have at any one time. It is in my nature to exist over a number of different mental states... including sleep which is primarily not conscious. I'm afraid this does not seem to have much to do with the transporter as I understand them to (fictionally) work. Maybe the transporter discussion is worth a new thread?
  4. StrictlyLogical

    Metaphysical status of First Person Experience

    Here is my first attempt to correct this 1. Every thing exists independent of any consciousness awareness of any kind, OF THAT thing. I am using "awareness" in a broad sense, since it subsumes any kind of conscious perception, conception, contemplation, directed attention etc. in respect of a particular thing. So, even when dealing with the specific case of the THING existing being "my conscious awareness of myself", THAT thing either exists or does not exist, and does not require, i.e. is independent of, anyone's conscious awareness OF THAT THING, including my own. I do not need to be consciously aware of "my conscious awareness of myself" in order for me to have "conscious awareness of myself". In fact it is impossible to require any kind of conscious awareness to be at the base of the existence of ANY thing. It is self-refuting. Conscious awareness of a thing presupposes existence of a thing and cannot constitute the basis for the being of the thing. The first person perspective, although an aspect OF consciousness awareness is not created BY consciousness awareness, it simply IS. I think the above is close but maybe not quite perfectly worded?
  5. StrictlyLogical

    Metaphysical status of First Person Experience

    I’m not sure what the point of the point of the exposition on concept formation is about. Knowledge of or conceptualization of something is nothing like what it is to experience something. Also knowing about remembering and imagining experience is not the same as having it. To be clear nothing stands in the way of conceptualization of first person experience... As for the last bit I think it possibly literally incorrect. A third person “perspective” of first person experience is not different by degree, it is different in kind. Even the same individual, if presented with a scenario whereby they know they will fly for the first time. Imagine that person doing some “third person perspective” visualizations beforehand... they look at simulations of thier brain undergoing the experience, they watch videos of other people undergoing the experience, they speak to other people who describe what it was like to them to have the experience, the person even tries very hard to imagine the experience... all of it fails to create in reality what only will exist while that person is actually in the experience of flying. Perhaps I misunderstood your last post and/or its point.
  6. StrictlyLogical

    Metaphysical status of First Person Experience

    DA: You also have shown how 1 is in error.
  7. StrictlyLogical

    Metaphysical status of First Person Experience

    Absolutely agree. It is not difficult to see that creating a copy of something at a new place while simultaneously destroying it at the old place is not the same as moving the thing from the old place to the new place. Rand’s writings on identity is the key to seeing the distinction... and no matter how much sloppy thinkers might repeat the word “identical” they do not understand its meaning.
  8. StrictlyLogical

    Metaphysical status of First Person Experience

    cont... So in the very absolute sense, that existence is identity, that to be is to be something in particular, every single first person experience includes something utterly unique. The nub of the problem is not so much the existence of the experience but its first person viewpoint aspect. A specific person can report feeling happy, others can imagine what it is like for them to feel happy, and even try to imagine being that specific person while being happy, but that imagining is not (identity to the rescue) identical with actually being that other person feeling happy... first person experience REQUIRES being that person. To us this seems paradoxical because it looks like something utterly subjective, yet existing in reality. Surely person A's experience does not depend on the consciousness of anyone ELSE. but can we extend this back to the person somehow? I think possibly, but only if we are careful in tracking the subject-object of the situation. A person for example being conscious, is conscious OF something. A person being conscious OF an apple, is an existent independent of their being conscious of the fact of their own being conscious of the apple.... i.e. the existence of their mental state does not depend on a FURTHER mental state assessing, perceiving, etc. the mental state, in order to "make it real". That is the spirit of 1. that separates primacy of existence from primacy of consciousness. First person experience requires being that first person experiencing something, but the first person experience of being that person experiencing something does not depend upon that person's FURTHER experiencing of the fact that the person is having that first person experience of the something... in a sense that would be a further experience. [Linguistically I think English trips us up by having the verb "experience" for what you do, and the noun "experience" for the object of the doing, and makes things a bit more fuzzy than needed... although I might be wrong] Perhaps there is no way to succinctly phrase THAT thought... and perhaps it does not suffice to rescue 1. I think it comes close. More interestingly is the fact that first person experience is SO fundamentally unique and in that sense utterly precious in the universe, as is the life of the one.
  9. StrictlyLogical

    Metaphysical status of First Person Experience

    If what you say is true, then something about it is universal, but that is still only something about it not everything about it. There is also that something about it which is utterly unique to the particular person... no two people are situated in exactly the same context, no two people are exactly the same people, and no two people have lived the same lives, saw the exactly the same thingsfeom the same points of view or thought exactly the same thoughts.
  10. StrictlyLogical

    Metaphysical status of First Person Experience

    I’m not sure how changing “any” to “every” makes the kind of difference you seem to think it does... can you explain? Also what you say implies a universality of a similar or common experience which instead of being independent of people’s experience is defined by everyone’s shared experience. The spirit of 1. is that the moon for example exists independent of anyone’s knowledge perception or experience .. eg before any of us existed or if all of humanity died. This seems to be the opposite of what you are proposing.
  11. StrictlyLogical

    Metaphysical status of First Person Experience

    DA: It ... well... close, so in 1. every thing exists “independent” of any person’s experience seems to be either simply incorrect or lacking some nuance in the context where the thing actally is a “person’s experience”. This seems like a naked contradiction... in that case. ME: So ... what you’ve said pretty much explicitly reveals the error is in 1. Is there any sense in which the sentiment is true that the existence of the experience is independent of the person’s experience and if so how could it be saved with a proper expression of the idea? or must we concede that 8 is true and 1 is simply wrong?
  12. StrictlyLogical

    Metaphysical status of First Person Experience

    DA: Surely, everything as in “every thing” is an existent, ie something which exists... “consciousness” is not “synonymous” with “existence” or “identity” but surely it is not supernatural, and like all things every consciousness exists and has identity. No where is it claimed that consciousness is a physical entity or material object as such... hence your use of “tangible” is unwarranted here. As for chapter 6 of ITOE, “The units of the concepts “existence” and “identity” are every entity, attribute, action, event or phenomenon (including consciousness) that exists, has ever existed or will ever exist”
  13. StrictlyLogical

    Metaphysical status of First Person Experience

    Devil's Advocate (not the member of this forum by the same name) DA for short: But all things perceived are not affected by a "person's perception" of them... this is true... and that is what it means for everything to be "independent of a person's perception". Accepting this does not logically entail " your own knowledge is independent of your own experience, and knowledge is independent of consciousness" DA: This does not deny consciousness, it agrees with what 1 states, the something which exists, exists independently from the consciousness of the person "identifying the something through consciousness". Consciousness is the means by which the person identifies the something, it does not affect the something, it remains independent of the consciousness of the person or even whether the person is conscious of it. DA: Although 1 and 8 explicitly contradict each other, you have not specifically or explicitly identified the contradiction in 1
  14. StrictlyLogical

    Metaphysics of Consciousness

    What a minute, intrinsicist are you epistemologue?
  15. StrictlyLogical

    Metaphysics of Consciousness

    Quote: "reject the Cartesian notion that the mind is some sort of entity distinct from the brain—and that mental processes are some sort of processes distinct from brain processes.. they are causal consequences.. a physical part of the brain." "The mind is not an intrinsic phenomenon, like the brain and nervous system.. And "we" is not a reference to anything ethereal or mysterious, but simply to the living organism" "The mind is not an intrinsic phenomenon (like a material entity).. The entity involved is the brain. Consciousness is not some other entity cohabiting in Cartesian mystery with the brain. Instead, it is the brain as we are aware of it introspectively" "our mental states and their qualities are not causal primaries, but are the effects of our brains" "the entire realm of mind, as we introspect it, is an effect—an effect produced by the operation on certain sensitive tissues in the brain" "Mind is another name for the brain (or perhaps a part of the brain) viewed introspectively." etc.  .................................. These are full of logical errors, stolen concepts, circular reasoning and identity avoidance.... He says mind is not an "intrinsic phenomenon" (whatever that means) like a "material entity", and he is careful to indicate mind is a "consequence", "effect" or "phenomenon" BUT (without stating this explicitly in terms we would understand) implies that somehow "causal consequences", "effects" and "phenomenon" are separate from existence... and acausal. His use of the term "causal primary" is also dubious in view of objectivist metaphysics. Can anything be a causal "secondary"? Can a non-causal entity be said to interact at all with anything of existence? Can anything which has any role in the causal chain of reality by virtue of its interactions with other things be seen as anything other than simply "causal"? His statement of "Mind is another name for" smacks of Nominalism... the games of word play do not rise to identification of reality. And his use of "when viewed introspectively" ... viewed by WHAT? A mind? No a mind is just a consequence (which is acausal and hence is of no consequence)... When viewed by a brain?... but if a Brain can view things introspectively.. what need do we have to speak of minds? FURTHERMORE, "viewing something" presupposes a something viewed having an EFFECT on the viewer. A mind which is NOT CAUSAL would NOT be capable of having an EFFECT necessary for ANYTHING to view it introspectively (or to view it AT ALL or in any manner). IF we cant view MIND introspectively why CALL something OTHER than MIND (which we could not see in any case) a mind? Round and round we go... all because of the mind/brain dichotomy is not resolved properly. From these quotes one gets the sense that he is trying to reason mind out of existence, while at the same time claiming it is the brain. This is not the right approach to integration and dispelling the false dichotomy of mind and brain. It may be close to a claim that mind is "what the brain does" or better still "a brain doing" but to reason that it is acausal is to dispel it from the realm of reality. Too many scientists of mind are afraid of physicists explicitly or implicitly claiming that free will is impossible... so they try to deny the mind in order to save it... its nonsensical.
  16. "Ends" and "means" are often invoked in a non-strict way to indicate respectively the result of action or an action's goal i.e. the ends, and the particular manner, the particular "how" one acts toward that end, i.e. the means. As you probably already can see this is somewhat superficial and sloppy, as it characterizes the action towards the ends vaguely, in the context of the ends, but then attempts to characterize the action in the context of means, as particular. Also it is somewhat clear that the ends are superficially treated. The sloppiness leads to a sort of dichotomy divorcing the actual connection between all that make up the particular means and all that make up the particular ends, or equivalently a false understanding of the relationship between means and ends. When someone says the "ends do not justify" the means, at first blush it seems they are saying "what is achieved is good, but HOW you've achieved it is bad, therefore the how is unjustified". The upshot is that It counsels one to choose a different means, one supposedly more "justified" to achieve the ends. This is a type of error which ignores the identify of action and its consequences... and fails to completely take cognoscence of causality. There is a direct relationship between ALL the ends (the totality of the result) and the particular actions taken, so what REALLY is meant by "the ends do not justify the means" is that ALL of the ends which result, because their sum does not amount to the good, dictate taking a different course of action(s). For example: "Possessing a MountainDew does not justify stealing it." Observe however, it is not the possession of the MountainDew simple, which are the ends of stealing it. Threatening a convenience store clerk into placing a MoutainDew in your possession and paying the clerk to hand you the MoutainDew are not two different means to the same end. One is a means to 1. keeping money in your pocket, 2. getting a mountain dew, 3. psychological stress on the clerk, 4. a loss for the owner, 5. a witness to two or more crimes, 6. a police investigation, 7. possibly jail time etc., the other is a means to I. trading your money away, II. receiving a mountain dew, III. a profit for the owner, IV. reaping the value of an increase in wealth by an exchange, etc.. Contrary to the popular saying "ends do not justify the means", ends (ALL of them) can be the ONLY justification of, various means, various actions, from which one may choose. All means and action have identify, and due to causality they result in particular ends (also having identity), and there is no dichotomy between means and ends, only sloppy thinking surrounding them. Particular means have corresponding particular ends and can only ever be justified by those particular ends.
  17. StrictlyLogical

    Means and Ends - False Dichotomy or Just False?

    I agree, and here Rand has chosen to speak in a manner such that she could be understood by the masses. I think the main psychological takeaway here is that "intention" or "goal" or "intended consequences" are such a focus of common everyday non-attentive action, that people forget that WHAT they are doing most often achieves NOT ONLY what their goal happens to be... but with blinders on, thinking muted, and eyes on the "prize"... the interpretation then is that the action taken and the particular intended consequence are one and the same. So much so, that a popular self-help writer of the 80s and 90s Steven Covey (Seven Habits?) had to explicitly state (and I am paraphrasing from foggy memory) "when you pick up one end of the stick, you pick up the other end of the stick too", something one might forget if only focused on picking up one particular end of the stick...
  18. StrictlyLogical

    Metaphysics of Consciousness

    True and false. Complexity is a necessary condition. Complexity is not a sufficient condition. Mind exists because of the complexity AND the particular configuration functioning etc. No one DEFINES mind as "that which results from enough complexity"... and that would be not only lazy but ridiculous. Simply structured things can only "do" simple things, e.g. a ball can roll, whereas a complex thing can "do" more complex things e.g. a Roomba cleaning your kitchen. IF you define consciousness according to what we experience, according to our level of identification, conceptualization, introspection etc. then by definition a thermostat cannot be conscious as it does not do those things. We should not dismiss it as not broadly exhibiting a most primitive and atomistic or binary of phenomenal "experience" (on its own terms of being rather than ours) as that is the kind of argument which a panpsychist should be able to validly make, although they rarely remain within what is valid. Try to get these inconsistencies and paradoxes without ever first engaging in a mind-brain dichotomy... don't start the inquiry with the mind-brain dichotomy as a premise. Recall: Things are their attributes. A functioning human brain IS a living consciousness. What then is the problem?
  19. I'm no psychologist, but it is fairly common knowledge that grief is a natural part of life, if we conceive of it broadly as going through the process of psychologically dealing with loss. Loss is natural and ubiquitous if one is alive, growing, or changing... all the time one loses one's former self to become something new , something more (or different), a process of being is not static - it is a process of becoming. We transform from a dependent child to an adult, we learn to accept that Santa Claus is a fiction, as an adult we accept "the highschool years" as a part of our ever evolving lives and not its definition, and we must learn to make the transformation through old age and decline as well... These transformations and the subsequent introspections of the differences of self, require a process to fully deal with. We are aware that those who do not properly process these changes, as with those who do not properly process the death of a loved one, have psychologically unresolved issues... which can and will be problematic, until they are properly processed and there is closure and acceptance of the reality of that particular loss or change on a deep psychological level. One of the biggest psychological transformations a person can go through is to convert from an adherent of the religious/supernatural/mystical to a complete atheist. This is no trifle... it is a fundamental shift of a world view, indeed a view of the universe, all of existence, its relation to the self and the very definition of self also. Is anyone aware of any authority, academic, or psychologist who delved into, contemplated, and/or wrote substantively on the subject matter of the psychological process of Grief necessary for fully completing the transformation from religion to atheism in a psychologically healthy manner?
  20. StrictlyLogical

    Grieving the loss of God

    I'm wondering a bit now about some characteristics of the standard process of grief and how it does not seem to depend upon so much on the knowledge or expectation of the loss, and it is more about the degree of the loss and its permanence... I believe this has some relevance to the subject of the OP. When a movie, a vacation, or the summer comes to an end we are sad, but we do not grieve or sense great loss, partly because we expected it to end. So at least in part, the knowledge of the impermanence of the movie etc. could be used to explain why one should not "grieve" the end of it. BUT nothing is as certain as death itself, and the inevitability of the loss of a very old grandparent or parent. Yet, even with overwhelming knowledge, expectation, and certainty of the imminent loss, the death of a loved one is still often grieved intensely. So the knowledge of the imminent loss does not seem to brunt its psychological effect. A complete prior rational acknowledgement of reality as it is and will be is not quite the same as psychological acceptance. Some process is still required. Bringing this to the "loss" of discovery of reality having been different all along from what one had previously believed (e.g. cheating spouse or non-existence of God), the complete POST rational acknowledgement of reality as it is and apparently as it always was, is not quite the same as psychological acceptance. Some process is still required. As to the degree of the loss and its permanence, another reason why we do not grieve the end of a movie, a vacation or summer is partly because in a sense it is not a permanent loss: in future can see another movie, experience another vacation, or summer, the loss is temporary. And also its just a movie etc. it is small. The loss of something dear and profound, like a loved one is not small, the values presented are almost incalculable to one's life and happiness. The "misapprehended understanding" of a cherished relationship, a loved one, and one's very own family, even if only in the mind of a person fooled by their spouse, would have constituted a very profound value, they genuinely believed they had. Likewise, the "misapprehended certainty" (based on faith) of immortal life for oneself and all one's loved ones, and the same certainty in a loving omnipotent and omniscient God.. such, although fraudulently created only in the mind of the faithful, would constitute immeasurable values. The loss of a loved one to death is as permanent as it gets. The discovery and rational acknowledgement of a cheating spouse, a lie of a life, or that there is no God are likewise not things which are likely to be temporary.
  21. StrictlyLogical

    Metaphysics of Consciousness

    You state “imagine the exact opposite process, you’ll find there is a problem” The problem here is not with the paper but with trying to “imagine the exact opposite process” If you hypothesize reversal of absolutely every process of the universe, and posit (ignoring the arrow of time exhibited by some processes) that the entire universe would simply “rewind” itself, all you have done is hypothesize a universe exactly as ours but have arbitrarily labelled past as future and vice versa. If you hypothesize merely reversing motions of processes within a localized area, the end result (especially in complex systems) is not necessarily a reverse process... in some cases it results in a similar process. Imagine “reversing” all the hot gas molecules cooling in a jar. It does not reverse the process of heat loss to the jar it only changes how, in particular (at the atomic level), the heat would be slowly transferred to the jar. The process however is not meaningfully different, the gas is at the exact same temperature and the gas cools down as the jar warms up in substantially the same way and at the same rate. On a more specific level you have to remember that a conscious brain is complex in structure and complex in function and if mind is intimately connected with what the brain does (perhaps identical with it) then hypothetically “reversing” the process is hypothesizing something other than a mind being conscious no matter what the context (the paper or not) because the “process” of mind has identity, and a “reverse process” is not simply the same process “in reverse” it is as different in kind as process of destruction is from a process of creation, and it is quite possible that reversal of the simples making up the process do not end up creating a reverse process at all, it might not create the same process (as in the gas) it just might destroy any meaningful process of mind at all. Also localized processes have time asymmetry relative to thier surroundings... recall the gas in a jar. Becsuse of the jar, the process tha gas undergoes, namely cooling, cannot be reversed by simply reversing the gas. The paper might have errors but it is not due to a problem with the paper arising from imagining the “exact opposite process”, there are a whole host of issues associated with the sheer exercise of trying to imagine the exact opposite process.
  22. StrictlyLogical

    Grieving the loss of God

    I'm sorry for that. Here we see a poetic glimpse of what only really could stand for concepts such as God, Life, One, and Two who are One... only as experienced from the unique perspective they can be experienced, by the One experiencing... that one God who were two.. experienced as identical with Life, I'm sorry for its passing. Still... one God remains... and its world is its to win.
  23. StrictlyLogical

    Grieving the loss of God

    What you describe is the difference between a Greek god, which is portrayed not as the ultimate power but as bigger players within creation... and the human hero’s often wrested with and fought these gods... and the mystical Judeochristian God... which by contrast is identical with the ultimate power, is all knowing, all powerful and all wise. Here, whether you are in a contest of brains or a contest of wills there simply is no chance to defeat that God .. so why even think about it?
  24. StrictlyLogical

    Grieving the loss of God

    Aside: Note the "stolen concept" fallacy is an example ITSELF of using words, normally referring literally to things outside the mind, ONLY in a metaphorical manner when describing things happening inside the mind, because they are impossible IN THE MIND. What is literally "stolen" in the mind when a stolen concept fallacy is psychologically enacted? Stealing implies property and implies conversion from one who rightfully owns that which is stolen to one who does not... who owns in one man's mind the concept which is converted ... to whom could it be converted in the same mind? Can concepts even be owned much less stolen in a mind?... "Let's do be literal...??" Please.
  25. StrictlyLogical

    Grieving the loss of God

    Words used to describe things in the realm of reality outside of the mind are often used to describe what goes on in the mind, by way of analogy, because of the objective familiarity of the outside world and the inability to point directly inside our minds ostensively. The words are not meant to imply that what happens inside the mind and labeled as such IS what is happening outside the mind when that label is used. It is only to indicate in a metaphor what inside the mind is being referred to, because we can grasp the analogy. IF you prefer a different word, other than psychological "loss", by all means please propose one which captures best the psychological concept being discussed here. Please keep in mind the example of being deceived by your wife for the best possible analogy when deciding upon a term... I look forward to hearing what you come up with.
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