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Veritas

Consciousness and motion as applied to myself

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Existence is independent of consciousness. I cannot think, "tree move" and it succumb to my wishes. But, what it is it that makes my hand move? It cannot be my thoughts can it? Thoughts have no influence over matter. What is it that makes my hand move? How is it that the material that makes me me connect to my mind in a way that is different that my mind being connected to the tree? Is it simply because my consciousness it part of my identity? 

What am I missing?

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It's not true that thoughts do not have influence over matter, they can in certain contexts. The mind and body are an integrated whole:  thoughts influence the body and vice versa. That is part of the nature of being a human - part of it's identity. The task of science is to study to explain how this occurs.

A tree is a separate entity by which our consciousness (according to its identity) has no control over. Your ability to move it using your thoughts, for example, will not work, simply because reality is what it is. It's not within our ability to do so - it's one of the limitations of consciousness.

Studying the former (how thoughts allow you to move your hand) will help you to understand how it doesn't apply to moving a tree.

Existence is independent of consciousness means: A is A, Consciousness is consciousness - it has a certain nature that cannot be changed, a nature that is independent to our thoughts or wishes. If consciousness has the ability to affect the body, then that is part of its identity. If it does not have the ability to move a tree by its nature, then wishing that the tree moves is going to be futile. 

Edited by thenelli01

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On 6/23/2019 at 5:05 PM, Veritas said:

It cannot be my thoughts can it? Thoughts have no influence over matter.

Yes it can, because thoughts are matter.  Being the same kind of thing, there is no mysterious gap between mind and matter.  Physical contact makes it possible for the matter of the hand to move when commanded by your mind, and if you walked over and pushed on the tree it would move too (at least shake a little if you were big enough).

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On 6/24/2019 at 4:26 PM, Grames said:

Yes it can, because thoughts are matter.  Being the same kind of thing, there is no mysterious gap between mind and matter.  Physical contact makes it possible for the matter of the hand to move when commanded by your mind, and if you walked over and pushed on the tree it would move too (at least shake a little if you were big enough).

I can see that the mind controls the hand and I can't explain the connection.

But the thought or concept "isolation" or "swimming" has no weight or location.

How does that get reconciled?

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33 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

I can see that the mind controls the hand and I can't explain the connection.

But the thought or concept "isolation" or "swimming" has no weight or location.

How does that get reconciled?

Are you thinking about the concept "swimming" 

OR

is the complex natural system which is your brain and body engaged in doing it?

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First I want to focus on the concept itself.

Is the concept matter? (or is "a" concept matter)

I grant you that a concept is "represented" somehow in the brain.

I would argue that the representation mechanism is not the "thing represented". The projector is not what you see on the screen although it does cause it. Kind of like saying "you see that film on the screen, it is a projector".

I see it similar to a "pointer" in a computer program that points to a memory location. The pointer is not the memory location, it points to it.

I hope I am not muddying the water by my examples.

 

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3 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

First I want to focus on the concept itself.

Is the concept matter? (or is "a" concept matter)

I grant you that a concept is "represented" somehow in the brain.

I would argue that the representation mechanism is not the "thing represented". The projector is not what you see on the screen although it does cause it. Kind of like saying "you see that film on the screen, it is a projector".

I see it similar to a "pointer" in a computer program that points to a memory location. The pointer is not the memory location, it points to it.

I hope I am not muddying the water by my examples.

 

Perhaps we do not have enough information to answer this question scientifically.

Your concept is part of your mental contents.  but mental contents are not static material, although some material is necessary to make your mental content possible, some functioning is also required.  A concept probably involves memory recall, some logical processing, a focused mind etc.  when it is active... [are concepts dormant when you are not thinking of them.. or are they just "stored away"... or a potential, the way you can ride a bike now that you know how]...?  I do not know enough about the science of the mind .. or if anyone does.

At the very least, your mental content requires a complex natural system including material and functioning, an that means your concepts also require these things.

So it does make sense to say your mental content and your concepts are "in your head"... but they are also in time, in "change".

 

Back to your earlier post and my vague answer...

If you take as granted that your thoughts are self-directed, willed and steered by yourself, it should not be difficult to see how your choice to think about something.. say beautiful people you find attractive, causes changes in your mind.  BEFORE you decided to think of those things, the material and functioning of your natural complex brain, were in particular complex states and configurations changing, and processing in some particular manner to some particular degree... when you started to think about those beautiful people... the material and functioning of your natural complex brain took on different particular complex states and configurations changing, and processing in some different particular manner likely to some different particular degree...the pulsing and waving complex patterns BEFORE are not the same as the pulsing and waving complex patterns AFTER.  Your CHOICE to think of something different made real changes in reality.

Your complex and natural system which is your whole body (and brain) includes an interface between the material and functioning of the brain and the material and functioning of your muscles, that part of the nervous system which you use to control your body.  In the same way your choice to think of something different automatically makes changes in reality, your can choose to "will" in such a way that the parts of your material and functioning natural complex brain which is coupled to that interface changes so that the muscles are  thereby controlled.

There is a continuity between your brain and your body.  What your brain is and does (which encompasses the mental) is continuous with the rest of your body... the same in reverse is how you can perceive anything at all via your sensory organs.

 

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2 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

So it does make sense to say your mental content and your concepts are "in your head"... but they are also in time, in "change".

Yes and I agree with all of what you have said. Just trying to resolve some questions that come up.

I am concerned that "concepts are also in time, in "change"" is interpreted as an intrinsic view of concepts.

I think of concepts as patterns you can find out there. The argument can be made the pattern is out there no matter if I (we) see it or not.

At the heart of the question is: at what point does a concept exist?

From what I understand if all billions of humans have never come up with the concept via induction it does not exist. When one person comes up with the concept (even if he has not communicated it to any one else), then the concept "exists", i.e. it is real.

That concept did not exist in the physical realm or else we would have said it always existed. Isn't the conclusion: Therefore, it is not physical i.e. matter.

The other thing I notice is that for a concept to stop existing, it has to become unimportant and forgotten by ALL humanity. It is a mistaken contradictory concept that once existed as a valid concept, then changed to a known contradiction, and then poof ... gone.

Maybe its a rationalistic thought process, but I can't help follow the logic.

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4 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

I think of concepts as patterns you can find out there. The argument can be made the pattern is out there no matter if I (we) see it or not.

You should talk to this guy The way you talk about patterns reminded me of that post. By "pattern" do you just mean that some things are similar to other things? Like, if no minds existed anywhere in the universe, two green blades of grass would still make a pattern? 

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53 minutes ago, MisterSwig said:

You should talk to this guy The way you talk about patterns reminded me of that post. By "pattern" do you just mean that some things are similar to other things? Like, if no minds existed anywhere in the universe, two green blades of grass would still make a pattern? 


By pattern I am looking at the way one uses it to find the similar.

In software engineering one does a lot of pattern matching. I see "concept formation" as "coming up with the pattern" and "concept recognition" as "pattern matching" once you have the pattern.
(I will look at what the guy says further)

I am not talking about the pattern that grass makes. A blade of grass has a pattern to it. That pattern does not exist in a table or car.

I use pattern more like "definition".

The aspect of concepts that stands out in this context is that it is a template to recognize (potential) referents with.

If I know "table-ness", then I recognize the pattern, the design, the outline, the definition ... when I see another one, a new one.

I am actually wondering what you and others think in this regard, I have my confusions. I want to see if I am completely off.
My understanding is that if there were no minds, there would be no patterns (in this sense).
I define patterns as a set of relationships.
Does a relationship exist based on consciousness recognizing it, or is a relationship physical/metaphysical?

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12 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Yes and I agree with all of what you have said. Just trying to resolve some questions that come up.

I am concerned that "concepts are also in time, in "change"" is interpreted as an intrinsic view of concepts.

I think of concepts as patterns you can find out there. The argument can be made the pattern is out there no matter if I (we) see it or not.

At the heart of the question is: at what point does a concept exist?

From what I understand if all billions of humans have never come up with the concept via induction it does not exist. When one person comes up with the concept (even if he has not communicated it to any one else), then the concept "exists", i.e. it is real.

That concept did not exist in the physical realm or else we would have said it always existed. Isn't the conclusion: Therefore, it is not physical i.e. matter.

The other thing I notice is that for a concept to stop existing, it has to become unimportant and forgotten by ALL humanity. It is a mistaken contradictory concept that once existed as a valid concept, then changed to a known contradiction, and then poof ... gone.

Maybe its a rationalistic thought process, but I can't help follow the logic.

Careful, you are as you say marching toward rationalism and in fact idealism (Platonism).

You speak of a concept as if it were a "universal" or some intrinsic aspect of the universe... and your locating it in reality is troubling for you.

Think about what things ARE. Their identities.  That is all there is.  You must find concepts in natural REALITY... since everything including consciousness and all mental content are ALL part of natural reality. 

Now of course it is not simple.  Concepts are used by a very complex functioning natural system, in fact concepts themselves might be characterized as complex functions carried out by complex natural systems and requiring a special relationship between the external referents and the complex natural system...

 

Perhaps additionally your trouble is trying to "place" something which technically has no particular place. 

If you are running in a field, you might ponder "Where" is your running?  Only when you think about the fact that the "running" you were doing is ONLY what you are doing... it does not have an independent existence or an independent location.  "Your running" is in a sense restricted to where you are because it is restricted to you, doing what you are doing, but that does not mean the doing has an independent existence or location unto itself.

It might sound like an equivocation, but an action can be "localized" to its actor(s) and effects but it does not possess an independent  location.

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7 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

In software engineering one does a lot of pattern matching. I see "concept formation" as "coming up with the pattern" and "concept recognition" as "pattern matching" once you have the pattern.

Things have form. Similar things have similar forms. But things also move and interact with other things. And similar things move and interact similarly. Unless your concept of "pattern" accounts for both form and function, it won't fully explain concept formation. Also, a blade of grass has a form and a function, but its form and function are particular to that blade of grass, until you see a similar blade of grass and abstract the similarities and integrate them into a concept.

I think you're treating a human too much like a computer. Does a computer form concepts through abstraction and integration? Perhaps you are too focused on the perceptual level of the process and confusing it with a computer processing data.

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17 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

At the heart of the question is: at what point does a concept exist?

It's possible to measure all the information in the universe as bytes, which may include anything from recorded music to the concepts that you remember. This can be done because music recorded digitally is represented through binary (which in turn is represented through physical things like switches), or concepts can be represented through a combination of electric signals from neurons, neurotransmitters between neurons, and the spatial relationship between neurons. (If you want citations for that, just ask). Music itself is not matter that you can touch, but the information that makes it real is physical and can be touched. This is the same way with the neuron.

At a relatively concrete level of abstraction, a particular concept will start to be created when a pattern of neurons map themselves to perceptual information. This goes for any creature with neurons. There will be different levels of complexity for that mapping though. So if you want to know when a concept comes into existence for a particular person, you would need to define (through neuroscience) what is sufficiently complex and able to stand for cognitive content. To be a concept as compared to simply a visualization alone.

You seem to be focusing on the existence of a concept as in all of humanity. But this is a different level of abstraction. After all, there is no single pattern of neurons that stands for the concept "science" across all people; reactivating the same patterns in another person's brain won't activate the same concept. It might activate "literature" instead. If we go to a level of abstraction above neuron activation, to say that two people hold the same concept is to say that (somehow) the information they refer to outside of their minds is sufficiently similar. So a concept may cease to exist (within your mind as related to your neurons) and at the same time continue to exist (as information that takes on different particular forms but are sufficiently similar to be called the same concept).

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