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On 2/3/2019 at 2:13 AM, intrinsicist said:

Like begets like. How can a combination of simple elements combine to form something which can't be explained by the nature and actions of its elements? Logically there would have to be some other element that comes into play, hence the conclusion that this idea of "emergence" is magical or superstitious.

Bringing two things together involves applying additional energy or removing energy, and manipulating their entropy.  So emergence is caused by that, it isn't causeless.

The real ontology is that there is mass and energy, and via Einstein mass and energy are equivalent in a deep sense and can be transformed one into the other. But there is at least one other thing which is not mass or energy.  The thing is information in the physical, causal Claude Shannon sense.   Mass/energy cannot exist without embodying information and no information exists without being in the form of some mass/energy.  That's not the same thing as what you want to call a 'mental' aspect of existence but it is in the direction you are seeking.   (A mental aspect of existence is incoherent as Eiuol well described above, you need better framing for that thought.)

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On 2/3/2019 at 2:21 AM, intrinsicist said:

No I wouldn't say that everything "possesses consciousness". These things all posses a nature or essence, which is part material and part formal (or mental)

The bolded implies consciousness though. There is no "mental" without consciousness.

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On 2/3/2019 at 11:00 AM, Eiuol said:

I'm replying here since I know he won't respond in this way. It does seem like this is his view, but that's because he keeps using the word mental. He doesn't mean that everything has a mental characteristic. He means that everything has a Form of some sort, and this Form exists in a metaphysical sense, not an epistemological sense as we mean by the Objectivist position. It's Platonic realism we're talking about here.

Thanks. I do understand this though. But when I asked where these Platonic Forms metaphysically, first he said something like "why are you asking for the location of an abstraction", and the later said his ideas are Aristotelian instead of Platonic. So he essentially believes in "essences" existing "out there" in metaphysical reality but can't tell me *where* they exist.

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On 1/28/2019 at 6:08 PM, intrinsicist said:

No, for something to have a mental aspect it merely needs to have Form (or "essence", whatever you want to call it), it doesn't need to have any mental capacity for sensation, perception, or concept-formation. You can think about this in the sense of Aristotle's hylomorphic compounds; everything that exists is composed of both Form and matter (the Form being the mental aspect, the matter being the physical aspect).

This doesn't mean everything has a mind, just that an aspect of its nature is mental.

You are clearly contradicting yourself here saying everything that exists has a "mental" aspect, and then saying everything doesn't have a mind. 

I"m done following this discussion because of this. FWIW, I agree the second clause in my above sentence is true, but that the first clause is impossible and you are creating a floating abstraction.

Edited by EC

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On 2/3/2019 at 11:00 AM, Eiuol said:

Combining certain neurons doesn't "create" consciousness. It kind of just happens. Really, I think this is another way of thinking about the axiom that you're conscious. You might be able to explain how neurons work when you're conscious, or the neurotransmitters that move around, or the computational processes underlying perception, but you won't be explaining why it has to be this way. You won't be explaining why it emerges, only that it has emerged.

It emerges because a sufficiently complex systems capable of storing past data and processing it all is what causes consciousness. On a different note I think we should eventually stop calling AI "artificial" intelligence artificial. At a certain point when it is both conscious and capable of thinking and reasoning via concepts and abstract thought it is just intelligence with nothing "artificial" about it.

The "big bang" phase transition of our pocket of the larger eternal universe created hydrogen, helium, and a bit of lithium. Some other elements were created by comic rays hitting the protons in those elements and everything else was made in supernovas and neutron star collisions etc. Combinations of these elements can combine in certain ways such that they are complex enough to cause consciousness to arise. And in even more specific situations conceptual minds like are own. But it would be foolish to say the combination that produced our own consciousness is "natural" while other combinations are supposedly "artificial". Consciousness is consciousness regardless of what the elements that were used to produce it. We should call AI alternative intelligence instead if we want to differentiate it from our own.

Sorry, I sidetracked but I'm an INTP and probably have a touch of Asperger's so I tend to think of many different possibilities and concepts at once while trying to connect the concepts in novel ways. So I tend to think in multiple tangents at once. I know it probably makes some of my posts difficult to parse, and I apologize for that. But hey you get a peak inside a slightly autistic INTP's mind for free! lol

Edited by EC

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4 hours ago, EC said:

It emerges because a sufficiently complex systems capable of storing past data and processing it all is what causes consciousness.

I get the idea, and I agree with what you said about AI. But I'm wary of saying that "sufficiently complex" has really much meaning except for one necessary condition for consciousness to be present. I definitely don't want to say that it causes consciousness. In some sense it does, as an efficient cause, in the sense that complex parts go together and create a data processor of the sort that consciousness appears. It's more or less an association you make. The way of describing how things happen in your day-to-day.

But it doesn't really get at a formal cause, the theory of why things are occurring. For something fundamental as our own consciousness (consciousness does not exist in pieces), I don't think were going to have a formal cause. It just is. Someone someday will probably be able to produce consciousness definitively in a robot or something. But I don't think that will involve the discovery of why consciousness is happening.

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On 1/26/2019 at 8:50 PM, intrinsicist said:

I don't equate the metaphysical with exclusively the mental or non-mental; rather the root metaphysical substance has both mental and non-mental aspects. So universals exist independently of your own concept-formation process as a person, but they can also exist within your mind (insofar as your mind is capable of grasping a concept, the mental aspect of a universal).

I am trying to understand this.

First, “root metaphysical substance” seems like a concept rather than metaphysical. In other words a “root metaphysical substance” is being labeled as a metaphysical entity, while it looks like an abstraction.

If I were trying to see the tree structure (classification):

  • Root metaphysical substance
    • metaphysical substance
      • where no contradictions exist
    • epistemological substance (mental entity)
      • where contradictions can exist

Keep in mind: The usage (where) is being used as metaphorical although it would support your view as in there is an overall containing space that both exist inside. But then, there can’t be a root metaphysical substance, because contradictions can only exist in the mental realm (not in the same space). Unless you are using it as a metaphor.

Like saying, there is a space where contradictions exist, right next to where contradictions don't exist. That is a contradiction.

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@Easy Truth I'm not following your description... let me try to clarify and tell me if this helps with your question. Let's take a given universal, like say, Man. There is a root metaphysical substance, i.e. manhood, or manness, it is the essence of this universal Man. This metaphysical universal has two aspects: a physical aspect and a mental aspect. Whenever we deal with individual men embodied, each one is an instance of this metaphysical universal, which we are aware of in its physical aspect. Whenever we deal with the concept of "man", this universal concept which we hold in our mind is this same metaphysical universal, which are we aware of in its mental aspect. The universal itself is real and we can be aware of it in both its physical and mental aspects. Neither aspect is more real or more fundamental than the other (that is, it's not the case that the physical is metaphysically real and the mental is epiphenomenal, or vice versa), but rather they are both aspects of the one underlying metaphysically real thing.

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18 hours ago, intrinsicist said:

The universal itself is real and we can be aware of it in both its physical and mental aspects. Neither aspect is more real or more fundamental than the other (that is, it's not the case that the physical is metaphysically real and the mental is epiphenomenal, or vice versa), but rather they are both aspects of the one underlying metaphysically real thing.

1

Doesn't (a universal with) metaphysical substance imply "it has a referent", an instance?

Then do "errors of knowledge" have metaphysical substance?
As in, do contradictions have metaphysical substance?

That which is and is not in the same way and at the same time. Does this have a metaphysical substance?

The logic question that comes up is "how can that which that has no metaphysical substance, be a "root" metaphysical substance?"

"The universal itself is real and we can be aware of it in both its physical and mental aspects". Agreed, but there, you are describing only a universal that has an instance, as in it (the universal) refers to something. When it refers to nothing (metaphical), then there is only a mental aspect.

A contradiction is a universal too. But there is no physical aspect, only mental. It is a real concept in the mind (but not real "out there" (metaphysically)).
 

Edited by Easy Truth

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