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On 5/8/2022 at 10:20 PM, Economic Freedom said:

Plus the integrative power of the non-material mind, which "converts" or "translates" the combined "puffs" into an integrated whole called a "percept."

You forgot to mention the non-material (non-puff-energy) contribution of mind.

EF, tell me if I understand your position correctly: 

Apart from immaterial mind(s), there are only particles and maybe space. Some of these particles interact with your sense organs, leading to sensations. The immaterial mind (not made of particles) performs an act of thought through which sensations are integrated into percepts.

Reason, integration, purpose etc. belong exclusively to the immaterial mind, and not to some body part.

There are no rocks, trees, and butterflies, only particles. Rocks, trees and butterflies are mental constructs.

The immaterial mind can directly interact with material particles in such a way that it directs the evolution of lifeforms.

The faculty of reason has always existed. Induction is not a valid method of proof because you're inducing from your own integrations of sensations.

If this is an accurate summary, could you clarify the following?

1. There seem to be two clashing premises: a) the existence of sense organs or lifeforms, and b) the notion that there are only particles out there, not rocks, trees and butterflies. Which one is it? Does the mind merely integrate sensations, or does it integrate actual, material particles into sense organs, trees and butterflies?

2. Does the immaterial mind have a physical origin? i.e. the nervous system leads to the immaterial mind, which has a nature of its own and can influence the material nervous system back.

3. If ideas construct percepts, why do you use scientific experiments to validate your positions? For all you know, the ideas that construct the experiment-percepts could be bogus and not related to reality in any way. Are you counting on a pre-established harmony between what is true and what your innate ideas say?

4. Whose mind directs evolution?

Thanks.

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On 5/9/2022 at 6:30 AM, Doug Morris said:
On 5/8/2022 at 9:59 AM, Economic Freedom said:

I might possibly grant the independent existence of so-called "fundamental particles" and "space"; but not the representation of those particles+space as processed by perception and higher conceptual thinking: i.e., trees, clouds, rocks, butterflies, etc.

If there were no minds, trees would still photosynthesize, grow, and reproduce, clouds would still block light and in some cases produce raindrops, it would still take more force to break up a rock than as clod of dirt, butterflies would still move by flying and would still reproduce, etc.  They are not just creations of consciousness.

If there was no mind at all, how would you know trees are growing? Like saying, if "knowing" did not exist, I would know it.

One can make that claim about their own consciousness, as in if I were not around all this would still be happening. But there would have to be a mind to witness what you are saying.

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13 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

If there was no mind at all, how would you know trees are growing? Like saying, if "knowing" did not exist, I would know it.

One can make that claim about their own consciousness, as in if I were not around all this would still be happening. But there would have to be a mind to witness what you are saying.

ET, if there can be facts independent of anyone knowing them, there can be the fact of someone knowing them without there being anyone else knowing that fact.

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4 hours ago, Boydstun said:

ET, if there can be facts independent of anyone knowing them, there can be the fact of someone knowing them without there being anyone else knowing that fact.

Yes, Boyston, I have an appreciation for that argument, but's it's like a discussion about omniscience. If someone knew everything ... this or that would happen. I would argue that to think in terms of no minds, or no consciousness at all anywhere eternally, a nonexistent/impossible state and therefore inappropriate (based on some epistemic rule). Kind of like the arbitrary.

A fact is known to be a fact ... because it's knowable (by something somewhere at some time). The eternally unknowable is by definition the non existent.

But one problem with my argument is the temporal causation issue of "when" did consciousness arise. And if it did arise after some evolutionary process, then things had to exist for it to happen before anything was aware of anything. But there is also a counter to that which is knowing is simply a viral or chemical reaction. Kind of like a smoke detector "knows" when there is smoke. As in a plant knows about sunlight, so it gravitates toward it.

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ET, surely we do know that if A were both p and not-p, then A is not something that exists. Or that were there no letters in these written words, these written words would not be here. Or that if three points lie in a plane, though not on a single straight line, then they determine a triangle in that plane, a triangle with those points as its vertices. We know all those things, and we know them without proof from premisses, without empirical testing, and without relying on authorities in logic or geometry.

I think it would be cheap to simply define the externally unknowable as nonexistent. Those of us who think all existents are knowable (i.e. any among them is knowable) need an argument to that proposition as its conclusion, and it should be an argument that does not lead down the primrose lane of Hegel.

On the tropism of plants, I have an old description of how certain plant roots, upon being uprooted, align themselves with the direction of gravity and begin to grow downward, where they are more likely to find nutrition and water. The orienting is not merely the root falling downward by gravity pulling it down; it's a more organically organized response than that, and it shows well how inanimate things can make behavior of organic things happen. It is here, beginning at the bottom of page 188.

 

 

Edited by Boydstun
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2 hours ago, Boydstun said:

I think it would be cheap to simply define the externally unknowable as nonexistent. Those of us who think all existents are knowable (i.e. any among them is knowable) need an argument to that proposition as its conclusion, and it should be an argument that does not lead down the primrose lane of Hegel.

That which is eternally (not externally) unknowable, meaning, no one knows it, no one has ever known it or will know it, by definition, must be non existent. Not something that exists an there is no interest in knowing it.

You could make the case that "that which is unperceivable by some species is not necessarily non existent". But I am making the case with: unperceivable by any possible species.

Now, it may be inappropriate of me to say "eternally unknowable" as in contemplating "one hand clapping". But I don't know how else to do it.

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In order for a fact to be known, there must be somebody to know it.   But the physical universe would still exist, even if there never were any consciousnesses.

It is not possible for something to be unknowable in principle to any rational consciousness that may exist.  But if there were no consciousnesses, that would make things "unknowable" in a way that would be consistent with them existing.

 

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6 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

In order for a fact to be known, there must be somebody to know it.   But the physical universe would still exist, even if there never were any consciousnesses.

It is not possible for something to be unknowable in principle to any rational consciousness that may exist.  But if there were no consciousnesses, that would make things "unknowable" in a way that would be consistent with them existing.

 

I gather there were 17 minutes in which the universe was everywhere undergoing nuclear fusion. From what we know of life and its cells and their chemical requirements and environments, and from what we know of any organization of nature we have been able construct as an instrumentation and control device, which seems necessary for being a possible acquirer of knowledge, I think it is safe to say that at that interval, the universe had nobody to know it. Good thing we came along latter and identified it.

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On 6/27/2022 at 4:35 PM, Easy Truth said:

That which is eternally (not externally) unknowable, meaning, no one knows it, no one has ever known it or will know it, by definition, must be non existent. Not something that exists an there is no interest in knowing it.

You could make the case that "that which is unperceivable by some species is not necessarily non existent". But I am making the case with: unperceivable by any possible species.

Now, it may be inappropriate of me to say "eternally unknowable" as in contemplating "one hand clapping". But I don't know how else to do it.

I think you are on to something, ET. If we are thinking of things unknowable because they are things-in-themselves in Kant's strongest sense, then we can make a case that there are no such things. However there are other things, things that had plenty of identity, that we nor anyone can know. Those are certain particularities of the past that have left no traces in the present because nature with its second law of thermodynamics has rubbed out all the traces they left. We are unable to find any traces of them not due to some feebleness in our observational instruments and inferential abilities, but because of an inconsiderateness of the natural world. I've not found any such unknowable particularities of the past a great loss to intelligent life. I mean like where were the particular carbon molecules that are part of the composition of my body over the entire course of their history since those molecules were first formed? When it comes to fiction, there are things unknowable because there just is no there there in the matter. Did John Galt usually part his hair? Future particular facts in the real world seem rather like that one. Not only because we haven't the capability of projecting all the potentials of present actualities into the future, but because which of those potential will be actualized is not yet set. Not even whether next year will be so good for strawberries as this year. There are some unknowable things in mathematics, of course, because knowledge there is restricted to proofs, and some mathematical theses have been proven unprovable. We can live with that just fine.

 

Edited by Boydstun
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16 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

But the physical universe would still exist, even if there never were any consciousnesses.

If there is an identifier, then there is identification.
If there are no identifiers at all, ever, then it's a moot point.
To say that it is certain that things exist when there is no way know it, is to utter an arbitrary statement.

The position taken is that things do exist even if there is absolutely no way to be certain of it.

The position taken is that there is a logical necessity that things exist "before" consciousness.

Then there must be causal connection between the material universe and consciousness.

Except that it is not deterministic.

The only conclusion that is reasonable at this point is:  "therefore our understanding of consciousness is inadequate".

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