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Do animals have volition II?

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6 hours ago, merjet said:

Altogether, i.e. completely? Clearly not. 

1. Pierson and Trout: "The ultimate adaptive function of consciousness is to make volitional movement possible." Ultimate means most important, not only. Volitional movement is only one function of consciousness. Clearly consciousness has many more functions -- attention, awareness, perception, learning, etc. If anybody is trivializing...

Do you truly think that this concrete-bound, causally reversed explanation by P and T, could stand up to the Objectivist formulation of consciousness as being axiomatic?

"... to make volitional movement possible"? Not.

You, as they, prevaricate and equivocate between man - and - animal consciousness. Not is it MAN's consciousness, "to make volitional movement possible". That's for certain for any who cater to Objectivism. Man's physical motions are self-programmed and -automatized in his subconscious mind. (Everything in the subconscious came by conscious means - L. Peikoff)

That self-automatizing ties in with neuro-plasticity, creating so-called muscle memory.

Animals have self-automated, and ALSO, automated movement appropriate to the situation. (For causes I don't have to repeat). Their consciousness-brain ~directly~ made it function so. Not "volition".

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7 hours ago, merjet said:

Altogether, i.e. completely? Clearly not. 

1. Pierson and Trout: "The ultimate adaptive function of consciousness is to make volitional movement possible." Ultimate means most important, not only. Volitional movement is only one function of consciousness. Clearly consciousness has many more functions -- attention, awareness, perception, learning, etc. If anybody is trivializing, .

I see you have hedged your position, predictably. "Ultimate means most important...". Hmm.

There are (now) "many more functions" of consciousness - "Attention, awareness..."

Careful, any time soon you mght retreat rightly, into volition being the INITIATOR of consciousness - rather than volitional movement the ultimate OBJECTIVE of consciousness. . heh

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9 hours ago, merjet said:

2. Obtaining physical ends requires using physical means, i.e. bodily movements. You trivialize bodily movements. A volition without a physical body able to interact with the external world is useless. It's also a contradiction in terms like Ayn Rand said about a consciousness aware only of itself. That's how you trivialize volition.

These proponents of *consciousness for volitional movement* will create mind-body dissonance. They trivialize the criticality of volition, yes.

An individual in advance has to know, to understand, WHY, for what purpose - he is going to "move". They are not random motions, their purpose is supplied by his consciousness, his concepts and values. (Directly). Which he first needed to *volitionally* activate.

His subsequent bodily movements themselves are the lesser part, once decided, keeping integrity with the man's goal, and largely self-programed by habit.

Like animals, I've been saying, the person ~has to~ act/move according to the limits of his knowledge (inc. morality). Unlike animals, he is able to have a clear purpose and a conception of the acts' consequences. That's what we'd call "mind-body integration".

These writers have artificially interfered with that integrity.

Edited by whYNOT
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At some point in evolution, consciousness appeared, not having existed before.  At some later point in evolution, for some animals, consciousness changed from non-human consciousness to human consciousness.

As I understand Pierson and Trout, they are trying to explain how the first of these changes became a successful adaptation and not an evolutionary dead end.

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56 minutes ago, Doug Morris said:

At some point in evolution, consciousness appeared, not having existed before.  At some later point in evolution, for some animals, consciousness changed from non-human consciousness to human consciousness.

As I understand Pierson and Trout, they are trying to explain how the first of these changes became a successful adaptation and not an evolutionary dead end.

The trouble is there's no distinction made by them between volition for human consciousness and 'volition' for animal motions (which I disagree with, anyway).

I.e.:

It was for volitional movements that consciousness evolved. Period.

(It would seem that human consciousness branched off somewhere, some time and evolved quite rapidly).

Second, a glaring omission is animal ~instincts~ from their hypothesis. Especially, the 'survival instinct'. How can that be ignored when speaking of animal motions? The unfailing "generation after generation" repetitions of behavior by each specific species?

That specific instinctive behavior encoded in their DNA ~could~ be considered "an evolutionary dead end". I don't know. But with the advantage that many species have survived, as a result.

Give them volitional motion, take away instincts, (etc.) and they wouldn't last.

(Motion is "the given" - with life. What kind of movement possible is determined by the nature of the animal).

Edited by whYNOT
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4 hours ago, whYNOT said:

I repeatedly affirmed that mammals, in particular, have a consciousness.

I mean, it's not my fault that you're too stupid to comprehend that "the purpose of volition is consciousness" entails that animals are not conscious by your premises. Either that or you're too drunk when you post. 

 

Edited by Eiuol
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3 hours ago, whYNOT said:

Careful, any time soon you mght retreat rightly, into volition being the INITIATOR of consciousness - rather than volitional movement the ultimate OBJECTIVE of consciousness. . heh

if the objective of consciousness is volitional movement, then all conscious things have volitional movement... Which, by the way, also means that the purpose of consciousness is volition.

Edited by Eiuol
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1 hour ago, Eiuol said:

I mean, it's not my fault that you're too stupid to comprehend that "the purpose of volition is consciousness" entails that animals are not conscious by your premises. Either that or you're too drunk when you post. 

 

Cheap tricks. Here:

Animals are conscious - non-volitionally. Their (and men's) brains process sensations into percepts - automatically.

Humans have a conceptual consciousness which only operates - volitionally.

Now tell us why you disagree with Rand:-

"The higher organisms [animals] possess a much more potent form of consciousness: they possess the faculty of retaining sensations, which is the faculty of perception..." VOS

 

Man’s consciousness shares with animals the first two stages of its development: sensations and perceptions; but it is the third state, conceptions, that makes him man. Sensations are integrated into perceptions automatically, by the brain of a man or of an animal. But to integrate perceptions into conceptions by a process of abstraction, is a feat that man alone has the power to perform—and he has to perform it by choice. The process of abstraction, and of concept-formation is a process of reason, of thought; it is not automatic nor instinctive nor involuntary nor infallible. Man has to initiate it, to sustain it and to bear responsibility for its results. The pre-conceptual level of consciousness is nonvolitional; volition begins with the first syllogism. Man has the choice to think or to evade—to maintain a state of full awareness or to drift from moment to moment, in a semi-conscious daze, at the mercy of whatever associational whims the unfocused mechanism of his consciousness produces.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Eiuol said:

if the objective of consciousness is volitional movement, then all conscious things have volitional movement... Which, by the way, also means that the purpose of consciousness is volition.

"If the objective of consciousness is volitional movement..." Wrong premise. (How many times do I have to say that?)

"...means that the purpose of consciousness is volition".

Wrong premises, therefore, wrong deduction.

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1 hour ago, Eiuol said:

I mean, it's not my fault that you're too stupid to comprehend  . Either that or you're too drunk when you post. 

 

Which is about the fifth time you have called me stupid. None of your business but I don't get drunk.

Who gave you these powers to insult a poster? isn't there a moderator to moderate you?

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Between the insults and failure to identify common ground to precede from, and now stretching into 14 pages to be used as a shining example for whom, about what?

I don't see the lions and tigers and bears frittering away their time bickering about their position on such matters. I would suggest that the animals chose otherwise, but I know better. 

Positions have been indicated. Are you (collectively) not men enough accept that an impasse has been reached, that minds may not be changed on the basis of what has been presented? 

This is not the first issue that the charge raised that Rand is deficient on. Rand would also declare that you not take her say so on matters, but to identify the relevant factors within the scope of your own capacity.

 

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15 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

Positions have been indicated. Are you (collectively) not men enough accept that an impasse has been reached, that minds may not be changed on the basis of what has been presented? 

 

 

No impasse, the hypothesis that consciousness exists and evolved to exist as the precursor or handmaid to volition, thence to physical mobility - is ostensibly FALSE. Never mind that it contradicts every tenet of Objectivism. This stance cuts out the (volitional) conceptual mind and self-made character. Thought without consequent action is impotent, obviously, but actions without prior thinking-identifying - amoral, unguided, perceptually-based. Its epistemology is skepticism/subjectivity and the philosophy is pragmatism. Do whatever 'worked' last time. Repeat. 

Rather than expounding 'volition' the outcome will revert to determinism. 

 

Edited by whYNOT
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People are capable of holding false beliefs. The tenets of Objectivism "speak" for themselves. Volitional, conceptual minds make their own characters. Per the law of excluded middle, the higher animals, excluding man, are either volitional or they are not.

I think of Francisco line to James Taggert prefacing his request to be properly and formally introduced to his bride.

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I see that I misread the post before. But it doesn't change the absurdity of "volition initiates consciousness" or "the purpose of volition is consciousness".

 

Edited by Eiuol
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33 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

the absurdity of "volition initiates consciousness"

 

What would you prefer, Rand's "engine without spark plug" metaphor?

Enough of these sweeping assertions, if you think the statement is "absurd" - show why.

By O'ism and/or reality.

And your second is indeed absurd, referring to: "The ultimate adaptive function of consciousness is to make volitional movement possible". (P and T)

Or as I phrased their position, the purpose of consciousness is volition. This is absurd,

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16 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

This is not the first issue that the charge raised that Rand is deficient on. Rand would also declare that you not take her say so on matters, but to identify the relevant factors within the scope of your own capacity.

 

These are absolutes under discussion. Life and consciousness. Either to be taken as axiomatic - or rejected, with no middle ground.

I am all in favor of expanding upon her ideas, especially relating them to existence, and do so myself. But. The second-guessing of Rand, perhaps to 'improve' upon her works, perhaps to 'prove Rand was wrong', has become a noticeable trend. This I personally view to be creeping skepticism within Objectivism.

Off the top of my head, the only objection I'd raise would be to Rand's views of "gender roles". However, this matter is so derivative and peripheral there's nothing of concern to me.

Edited by whYNOT
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On 7/12/2021 at 1:00 PM, whYNOT said:

I am getting tired of these stupid and dishonest remarks from the Mutt and Jeff duo.

This is pure, malicious, and unwarranted ad hominem.

Translation: He is getting tired of having his "arguments" examined.

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19 hours ago, whYNOT said:

the hypothesis that consciousness exists and evolved to exist as the precursor or handmaid to volition, thence to physical mobility - is ostensibly FALSE.

He says Pierson's and Trout's hypothesis that consciousness existed before (is a precursor to) volition is false. He thus implies that volition existed before consciousness is true! That is more of his gibberish like (a) the purpose of volition is consciousness and (b) volition is the initiator of consciousness.

Dream_weaver, if you believe enough has been said on this topic, then I suggest you close the thread. Tony (whYNOT) has made the most posts, almost 3 times as many as me in 3rd place. His mangling and gibberish have supplied most of the fuel to keep the fire going 14 pages. 

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4 hours ago, merjet said:

He says Pierson's and Trout's hypothesis that consciousness existed before (is a precursor to) volition is false. He thus implies that volition existed before consciousness is true! That is more of his gibberish like (a) the purpose of volition is consciousness and (b) volition is the initiator of consciousness.

 

That hard to tell, that precursor means a ¬causal¬ precursor, yeah?  Same goes for "initiator". Countless times I explained and exampled that causation, for animals' instincts (etc.) and human volition.

And that since consciousness is axiomatic, I repeated, HAD to ¬exist¬ before volition.

So much for your "implies" - a disingenuous effort to turn my words around.

And that "the ultimate adaptive function of consciousness is to make volitional movement possible" - as good as says - the purpose of consciousness is volition. "Function of".

And after many attempts explaining, and reiterating Rand on, volition, you finally realized Pierson and Trout's theory counters Rand:  "Psychologically, the choice “to think or not” is the choice “to focus or not.” Existentially, the choice “to focus or not” is the choice “to be conscious or not.” Metaphysically, the choice “to be conscious or not” is the choice of life or death . . . ."

Notice any reference to muscle volition in there?

You haven't an argument left.

Edited by whYNOT
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4 hours ago, merjet said:

This is pure, malicious, and unwarranted ad hominem.

Translation: He is getting tired of having his "arguments" examined.

That's very good. The two of you have attacked me personally right through with slurs and ad homs, but a little of your own medicine is "malicious".

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5 hours ago, merjet said:

 

Dream_weaver, if you believe enough has been said on this topic, then I suggest you close the thread.

Why? What is there to hide? You can stop or not, as you please. Others might choose to join in. I welcome anyone's thoughts.

Edited by whYNOT
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2 hours ago, whYNOT said:

And that since consciousness is axiomatic, I repeated, HAD to ¬exist¬ before volition.

Consciousness being axiomatic refers to how we know things.  It is not relevant to the question of what existed before what.

Why couldn't consciousness and volition have arisen at the same time?

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2 hours ago, whYNOT said:

So much for your "implies" - a disingenuous effort to turn my words around.

That's how logic works. It doesn't matter what you meant to say. What you mean to say might be true, but what you are saying is illogical by the way you have arranged your terms.

2 hours ago, whYNOT said:

And that since consciousness is axiomatic, I repeated, HAD to ¬exist¬ before volition.

Now you said it explicitly. You believe that volition causes consciousness (you said this earlier), you believe that consciousness causes volition, you believe that consciousness exists before volition. Put that together and you have a contradiction. 

23 minutes ago, Doug Morris said:

Why couldn't consciousness and volition have arisen at the same time?

I think this probably is the case. That's why I think that anything which is conscious has some degree of ability to choose. I think this is most fitting to the way that we observe animal behaviors in relation to their fixed action patterns, where context changes resulting behavior changes to varying degrees depending on the animal. Earthworms barely change, humans change quite significantly. It seems that consciousness without some kind of means of intended selection would do nothing at all. It would be passive. Epiphenomenal. Awareness without purpose or goal.

Edited by Eiuol
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We get what you are saying, whYNOT. If Pierson and Trout say that consciousness precedes volition (according to you), you say that is false. If Ayn Rand said that consciousness precedes volition (according to you, since consciousness is axiomatic), you say that is true. You are oblivious to your own contradictions. 

Of course, Pierson and Trout did not say what you attribute to them. The word precedes is in their article once, and it is about Libet's finding. The word precursor is in their article zero times. So what you attribute to Pierson and Trout is another of your mangled creations. What they in fact said are:
1. "Consciousness evolved as a platform for volitional attention."
2. "Volitional consciousness and the brain may have co-evolved."
So the most reasonable interpretation is Doug Morris' -- consciousness and volition arose at the same time. They evolved together.

3 hours ago, whYNOT said:

Notice any reference to muscle volition in there?

So what? Because Ayn Rand chose to use "volition" in a very restricted sense does not prove volition doesn't exist beyond that very restricted sense. Are you saying she didn't volitionally use the muscles in her hands to write simply because she never said so?

She also wrote in The Romantic Manifesto (link): "The faculty of volition operates in regard to the two fundamental aspects of man’s life: consciousness and existence, i.e., his psychological action and his existential action, i.e., the formation of his own character and the course of action he pursues in the physical world."

A course of action pursued in the physical world requires using muscles. You ignored that.

Edited by merjet
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1 hour ago, Doug Morris said:

Consciousness being axiomatic refers to how we know things.  It is not relevant to the question of what existed before what.

Why couldn't consciousness and volition have arisen at the same time?

Because "a volitional consciousness" does not presuppose that an individual chooses to use it.

That's why - "volitional".

 not automatic nor “instinctive” nor involuntary—nor infallible.

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