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Where do people on this forum fall when it comes to Objectivist philosophy of mind / the metaphysics of consciousness? There seem to be quite a variety of views through the spectrum from complete reductionistic materialism on the one end to complete mind-body dualism on the other end.

The only survey of the views of Objectivist scholars that I know is Diana Hsieh's paper here: http://www.philosophyinaction.com/docs/mio.pdf

She wrote another paper on the subject here: http://www.philosophyinaction.com/docs/atom.pdf

Personally I've previously described myself as having the position of reductionistic materialism, but I've also always said it was non-eliminativist, basically as Peikoff describes in the video below... but this may be inconsistent:

It would also describe my position as some kind of form-matter parallelism... maybe like Aristotle's hylomorphic compounds or Spinoza's dual-aspect monism, though I'm not sure as I've only studied their philosophies a little bit so far. Here is Roger Bissell's position from Hsieh's paper:

Quote

Roger Bissell's paper “A Dual-Aspect Approach to the Mind-Body Problem” (published in the Fall 1974 Reason Papers) defends the view that “a mental process and the physical brain process correlated with it are one and the same brain process, as viewed from different cognitive perspectives” (Bissell 1974, P4). Thus the brain has two distinct, irreducible aspects: a mental aspect and a physical aspect (Bissell 1974, P29, P47). And “mental processes are actually mental physical brain processes” distinguishable “from all other physical brain processes by virtue of their introspectable, mental aspect” (Bissell 1974, P47).

...

The Dual-Aspect theory holds that mental processes are actually certain physical brain processes as we are aware of them introspectively, i.e., that “mental” refers to the fully real, introspectable aspects of those particular physical brain processes. Our awareness of them is the form in which we are aware of certain brain processes introspectively, just as our awareness of the physical aspects is the form in which we are aware of those brain processes extrospectively. (Bissell 1974, P45)

... and his paper here: http://www.rogerbissell.com/id11aaa.html

I think the right answer should maintain the integrity of identity while also keeping a necessary/parallel relation to matter. It should avoid any mind-body dichotomy involved in outright dualism (Binswanger), or the idea that mind and matter are separate and causally affect one another (Kelley and others), or that either the form/mind/identity aspect or material aspect are metaphysically unreal or unnecessary to explain consciousness (eliminativist reductionism, ephiphenomenalism, etc).

I'm curious where others come down on these issues, as it seems Ayn Rand left the issue mostly unaddressed.

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Can you define your terms - e.g. what is the Objectivist definitions of mind, consciousness, body, thought processes etc. 

From a metaphysical perspective I thought Objectivism begins by taking an axiomatic approach - so what is unavoidable in our discussion of the mind? That there are existents with identities, identified by a consciousness.

All metaphysics tells someone with a mind is that its existence, its identification of objective reality, and the reality of their thought processes are all inescapable.

The rest is down to epistemology.

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12 hours ago, epistemologue said:

Where do people on this forum fall when it comes to Objectivist philosophy of mind / the metaphysics of consciousness? There seem to be quite a variety of views through the spectrum from complete reductionistic materialism on the one end to complete mind-body dualism on the other end.

 

[...]

I think the right answer should maintain the integrity of identity while also keeping a necessary/parallel relation to matter. It should avoid any mind-body dichotomy involved in outright dualism (Binswanger), or the idea that mind and matter are separate and causally affect one another (Kelley and others), or that either the form/mind/identity aspect or material aspect are metaphysically unreal or unnecessary to explain consciousness (eliminativist reductionism, ephiphenomenalism, etc).

I'm curious where others come down on these issues, as it seems Ayn Rand left the issue mostly unaddressed.

Like most things, I'm no expert on this subject matter. All that I have going for me is a certain amount of years living as a human -- but this is enough to at least have developed some opinions (whether those turn out to be correct or not).

It seems certain to me that "mind" exists, and of course that "matter" does as well. Thus, before we try to avoid the dangers of "dualism," I would begin by throwing out any "reductive" approach which seeks to deny either the existence of matter/existence or mind/consciousness.

It equally seems certain to me that this mind is efficacious -- that there exists will or volition in some form -- and thus I would also reject any form of "epiphenomenalism," insofar as I understand that approach (though what reading I have done on the subject has at times left me feeling a bit unclear), or determinism.

Where I reject "dualism" is in any suggestion that mind and matter are somehow unrelated, or that mind can exist without matter. Again: mind and matter each exist. Furthermore, I do not believe that they are the same thing -- the mind is not, in itself, matter. This is perhaps enough for some to account me a "dualist," yet I believe it's the truth. The brain is matter, but the mind is not (just as chairs are made of matter, but the concept "chair" is not). Yet the mind cannot exist without the brain, and can perhaps be said to be a function of the brain (or certain brains, living human brains, at least); a la "mind is what the brain does." Where a living human being is concerned, the particulars of the material arrangement give rise to phenomena which are not themselves material, and yet which do have practical and observable consequence on the material world.

If this does not exactly solve the "mind/body problem" as conceived by some, I'm okay with that. It's not my intention to address that problem, exactly, except to hold to those things which I believe are true, based on my experiences. And all of the above, I believe are true: mind exists as does matter; mind is efficacious on matter; mind exists as a function of matter, and depends upon the same. To argue otherwise, I believe, is to argue against the human experience.

Edited by DonAthos

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More from Bissell's paper on "dual-aspect" metaphysics:

Quote

It is true that we are unable to view the mental aspect of brain processes by extrospection, just as we are unable to grasp the physical aspect of brain processes introspectively. We shall never be able to do these things, any more than we could every see the length of a table with our hands, or feel the length of a table with our eyes.

Yet, just as a child identifies seen length with felt length, through a combination of evidence and (at least implicit) reasoning, so too does the Dual-Aspect theory propose that we identify mental processes and physical brain processes (though by a more explicit reasoning process). The common factor here is the presence of data which are correlated across different cognitive modes, and the decision to economize by regarding the data as coming from a single source.

...

It is these special circumstances which suggest that only within the past century or less has the possibility of a mental-physical Dual-Aspect theory, and the ontological parsimony it provides, seemed a scientifically and philosophically tenable alternative to the traditional Interactionist and reductionist theories.

...

The reason why a single process can be presented to our awareness in two forms so radically different is provided by the Dual-Aspect theory. In the one case, we see its mental aspect, because we are apprehending it through introspection; and in the other case, we see its physical aspect, because we are apprehending it extrospectively. [24] Since, however, the mental process and the physical process are the same process, and in that sense are identical, we are aware of the same unique process in both cases.

 

Dual-aspect as against eliminativist reductionism:

Quote

 

The reductive materialists seek above all to deny the reality of anything other than "matter" (material entities) and actions and interrelationships thereof. As such, they maintain that spiritual or mental phenomena do not really exist, that they are illusory, mere appearance, a distortion, etc.; and that what appears to be a mental phenomenon is really nothing but a physical phenomenon. They seek to strip away the illusory, to shrink or reduce our view of reality so that it excludes the realm of mental or spiritual "appearances." [20]

As a logical corollary, the reductionists also seem to obliterate the distinction between different species of physical brain processes. Since there is no real basis upon which to distinguish certain brain processes from other brain processes (except the "unreal appearance" of their being "mental"), the reductionists have reduced the number of conceptual classifications we must retain when thinking about brain processes. They have said there is not really a separate group of brain processes that we call "mental processes." We are mistaken if we fail to realize that they are really nothing but brain processes. [21]

...

First, the Dual-Aspect theory holds that mental processes are actually certain physical brain processes as we are aware of them introspectively, i.e., that "mental" refers to the fully real, introspectable aspects of those particular physical brain processes. Our awareness of them is the form in which we are aware of certain brain processes introspectively, just as our awareness of the physical aspects is the form in which we are aware of those brain processes extrospectively.

It has been the error of reductionists to grant a cognitively monopoly to extrospection. In correcting this error, we must realize that one must be aware of reality (viz., brain processes) in some form, but may be aware of reality in any form (and not just some one particular form exclusively). [22] Just as both visual perception and tactual perception are different but equally valid forms for apprehending real aspects of entities (such as their length), which can be correlated with one another, so too the Dual-Aspect theory maintains, are extrospection and introspection different but equally valid forms for apprehending real aspects of brain processes.

Secondly, the Dual-Aspect theory holds that mental processes are actually mental physical brain processes. As such they are not merely nothing but physical brain processes, but rather physical brain processes of a certain special kind, distinguished from all other physical brain processes by virtue of their introspectable, mental aspect. Since this mental aspect is a real aspect of those brain processes, it provides a valid basis for making the distinction, a basis derived from reality.

Thus it is that the Dual-Aspect theory avoids the stigma of reductionism. Even as it insists that mental processes are actually physical processes, it equally steadfastly denies that they are nothing but physical processes. The Dual-Aspect theory is thus basically opposed not only to traditional anti-reductionist alternatives, but to reductionism as well.

...

People who reject the identity of mental processes with physical brain processes often do so because such a Dual-Aspect or Identity theory seems to entail reductive materialism. Admittedly, such materialists do maintain some sort of Dual-Aspect or Identity theory, but that is not the essential part of their theory. The component of reductive materialism distinguishing it from the Dual-Aspect theory is its view that anything other than physical aspects of reality is unreal, particularly, mental aspects. This, together with the consequent rejection of introspection as a valid means of knowing reality, is its essential characteristic.

 

Lastly his take on free will:

Quote

 

The doctrine of free will maintains that man is capable of himself causing certain actions, no antecedent conditions being sufficient for his causing just that action. What this means is that man's will allows him to cause certain actions (or make certain choices) without anything else external or internal causing him to do so. [31]

"Free will," thus formulated, appears to be simply the principle present in all living organisms--namely, the principle of self-generated (self-caused) actions--as found on the level of self-conscious human beings. All living organisms are self-determining and in this sense are "free;" but only man has a will, so only man's self-determination may properly be referred to as the possessing of "free will."

The difference between man and the lower animals is not that man alone is self-determining. All living beings are self-determining; i.e., all living beings generate their own actions themselves. Man's distinction in this respect is that he is self-determining psychologically.

Man has the ability, by virtue of his capacity for self-awareness (introspection) to integrate his consciousness into the top of his organismic hierarchy, allowing it to be more than just an automatic system of signals of danger and safety, pain and well-being, etc. With the awareness of future consequences and alternatives, with the awareness that he is a being who can weigh the alternatives and choose the one he thinks best, a man's consciousness becomes subject to his control. he is able to use it actively, instead of automatically responding to its data.

 

 

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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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5 hours ago, ReasonFirst said:

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).

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.

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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10 hours ago, ReasonFirst said:

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. 

It was a while since I read the paper, but I think all he was saying is that a sufficiently high degree of complexity and intensity is necessary for consciousness, but not sufficient for consciousness. Not only does the complexity matter, but the relation of brain processes to each other also matters. This means that the direction information flows would matter, and the type of information it processes (mental content for instance). "Reverse" consciousness you describe is like a movie projector, where the information contained within is placed somewhere outside. Sure, it might be equally complex in either direction, but filming a movie is not just the opposite of projecting a movie onto a screen. It's a different process.

Edited by Eiuol

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At what threshold exactly is there "enough" complexity for consciousness to arise? Why isn't consciousness present at lower levels of complexity (as a panpsychist would argue)? Are other complex phenomena like the climate or an ecosystem conscious?

Mind doesn't emerge because you have "enough of something" (complexity, intensity, or anything else). That's a lazy definition.

How exactly does consciousness "arise" from purely unconscious matter? This suggests that it's epiphenomenal (i.e. the matter is the stuff that really defines and controls things, whereas the consciousness that happenstance "arises" is some byproduct thereof). Indeed that's exactly his conclusion in this section, "Thus it is that consciousness (or mental processes) and mind are causally inefficacious".

epiphenomenalism: "this is the unimportant area of the fundamental nature of reality. it serves no purpose whatsoever"

I think Bissell is going down the right path with exploring dual-aspect monism, but his position here is indistinguishable from reductive materialism, despite his attempts to avoid that conclusion.

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2 hours ago, intrinsicist said:

Mind doesn't emerge because you have "enough of something" (complexity, intensity, or anything else). That's a lazy definition.

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.

 

2 hours ago, intrinsicist said:

Why isn't consciousness present at lower levels of complexity (as a panpsychist would argue)?

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.

2 hours ago, intrinsicist said:

How exactly does consciousness "arise" from purely unconscious matter? This suggests that it's epiphenomenal (i.e. the matter is the stuff that really defines and controls things, whereas the consciousness that happenstance "arises" is some byproduct thereof). Indeed that's exactly his conclusion in this section, "Thus it is that consciousness (or mental processes) and mind are causally inefficacious".

epiphenomenalism: "this is the unimportant area of the fundamental nature of reality. it serves no purpose whatsoever"

I think Bissell is going down the right path with exploring dual-aspect monism, but his position here is indistinguishable from reductive materialism, despite his attempts to avoid that conclusion.

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?

Edited by StrictlyLogical
Edited for clarification

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6 hours ago, intrinsicist said:

Why isn't consciousness present at lower levels of complexity (as a panpsychist would argue)?

How would you answer this? Would your answer be anything like you wrote about in the OP?

 

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2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

How would you answer this? Would your answer be anything like you wrote about in the OP?

Bissell doesn't go as far as saying consciousness is present at lower levels of complexity, because apparently he is only seeking to defend the natural and common sensical belief that our introspective experience is real and meaningful, and not pure illusion as eliminativist materialists argue.

The problem with his argument is that he doesn't argue why this model must be true. He only presents his model of how it could be true without suffering some of the problems he attributes to the models of other philosophers. But his model is ultimately unsatisfying even for the limited problem he's trying to solve (due to the problems inherent in epiphenomenalism described above).

Further, he seems to be defining the "mental" purely as introspection, hence the assertion that only a brain process of "certain complexity" is capable of it (namely, a process complex enough to reflect on itself). But he's merely using the word "mental" to label the self-reflection of a purely physical process (like any process I could program on a computer which observes and models its own behavior).

He does the same thing to "freedom" (a word with which he uses mock quotes like this). By this he isn't referencing a truly libertarian free will; he doesn't mean that there is some metaphysically basic mental aspect which has causal efficacy. Everything ultimately reduces to physical process under his model. All causality reduces to physical force.

Just labeling any old thing as "mental" and saying it's an aspect doesn't mean you've offered a dual-aspect theory of the metaphysics of consciousness. He is very far away from what a genuine dual-aspect theory of metaphysics looks like - he offers us a reductionistic materialist view of the universe totally devoid of any mental aspect whatsoever. 

In a real dual-aspect theory, the mental suffuses everything in reality - it's one of the basic aspects of everything that exists. Like Aristotle's hylomorphic compounds, everything has both a physical and mental aspect: part matter and part form, part material and part idea. Every object in existence is a material instantiation of a universal, mental kind. The mental is intrinsic in the identity of everything, defining the kind of thing that it is. The concepts we hold in our minds and combine in our thoughts, the contents of our introspective experience, are metaphysically real in the sense of being one and the same as the universals which make up the things in reality. These concepts and thoughts in our mind aren't subjective inventions of individual people out of some pragmatic need for the collection and relation of observed material particulars, but rather they are genuine metaphysical universals which are intrinsic in all particulars of their given kind; they are a necessary, discoverable part of the way reality really is. And likewise, our choices and actions are not merely the results of a process of physical force, but rather these mental objects and relations have real causal effects providing for a genuine libertarian free will.

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3 hours ago, intrinsicist said:

In a real dual-aspect theory, the mental suffuses everything in reality

Are you a panpsychist then? Is the view you're talking about really any different than supposing that God's consciousness, being the creator, suffuses everything? I'm trying to get a clear picture on the position you're arguing for so I don't misunderstand it.

 

Edited by Eiuol

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For reference, here is Bissell's newer paper on the subject: https://www.jstor.org/stable/41560375?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

Unfortunately it looks like his view has not substantially changed with respect to the above criticisms. Quotes from the paper:

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.

 

 

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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.

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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