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Has Any Objectivist Intellectual Discussed This Topic in Depth?

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7 hours ago, KyaryPamyu said:

I'm using Harry Binswanger's term, as applied to adjusting your degree of mental focus.

I'm not able to get that document but I have some understanding. Adjusting your degree of mental focus is different than focus, or is it the same? My understanding is that the basic choice is to focus or not. Which as far as I can see, is to look or not look with your mind's eye.

To look at something with your mind's eye requires "interest" or motivation. That object (including mental entities) is interesting so I look closer or more at the details. This other thing is not interesting, my attention goes off of it. In theory, if I have no volition, I am interested in X but my mind's eye goes to something that is not interesting. That should indicate a lack of volition. In a sense being forced to do what I don't want to do with my attention.

But does that mean that two magnets slamming into each other, have interest in each other? Focusing on each other? Or, they are magnets, so they act like magnets and slam into each other. That is what I am stuck on.

Now, there are some philosophies or even religions where everything is a alive, the chair you sit on, the wall in front of you, the computer keyboard etc. I could think that everything is alive and conscious, but my question still is why? And finally, the question comes up, how do you distinguish consciousness from existence?

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4 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

I need to modify my statement.

Subconscious processes are related to intelligence.  But automatic body processes carried on without using consciousness or its creations, such as healing or digestion, do not involve intelligence, although we might still use the word "intelligence" metaphorically.

So,

1. Intelligence is 'a process carried on using consciousness'
2. Body processes are not carried on using consciousness
3. Therefore body processes are not intelligent. Q.E.D

Except it's precisely the first premise that's been called into question in this thread, i.e. that intelligent acts are always performed with consciousness. Counter-examples have been provided: your mind comming up with solutions to problems when you're not consciously thinking about those problems; and certain literary pieces being produced in a 'blind-trance', surprising the writer as they come.

You've simply sidestepped that part, asserted your view of intelligence with no justification/evidence, then made a blatantly obvious logical deduction based on it.

Edited by KyaryPamyu
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2 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

I'm not able to get that document but I have some understanding. Adjusting your degree of mental focus is different than focus, or is it the same?

Essentialy, certain things require more attention/effort to fully grasp than others. In such a situation, you can choose to 'work' in order to arrive at a clear understanding, or you can choose not to. As per Rand, this is the basic choice inasmuch as it affects all other choices. Put differently, you're choosing the quality of your choices.

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In theory, if I have no volition, I am interested in X but my mind's eye goes to something that is not interesting.

You seem to have your own view of what volition is. In O'ist theory, volition is not the 'freedom' to put your attention on whatever you find interesting. Quite the contrary, it's the ability to second-guess what you happen to find interesting, and act accordingly.

2 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

how do you distinguish consciousness from existence?

'Existence' in O'ism designates the totality of everything that is - consciousness, trees, chocolate milkshakes and whatever else.

Consciousness is distinguished from its absence, as well as from anything that is not an instance of conscious experience.

If you're an idealist, grasping yourself is held to require a grasp of what you are not, hence those two are never apart in the act of self-knowledge.

Edited by KyaryPamyu
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6 hours ago, KyaryPamyu said:

You seem to have your own view of what volition is. In O'ist theory, volition is not the 'freedom' to put your attention on whatever you find interesting. Quite the contrary, it's the ability to second-guess what you happen to find interesting, and act accordingly.

Yes, at any time, it could be my own formulation. I have my own understanding and without feedback I don't know if I actually did or did not understand. One question I would have is why is motivation separate from consciousness if we are talking about it in a psychological sense? If it were only the "conscious of" sense I could see motivation not being as relevant. Although even in the "conscious of" sense, one has to be motivated to be "conscious of" too.

The choice to focus or not to, is the choice to move you're minds eye toward what you want.

What is the motivation to second-guess? Something interested you. And if something prevents you from doing that, meaning you are not able to, then you don't have a choice (certainly in that area). We can't get away from the fact that at the basis, at the core, at the foundation, choice requires motivation.

As an aside, if in fact your eye accidentally goes onto what interested you, there is no point in believing that the eye was intelligent.

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12 hours ago, tadmjones said:

Cosmologists do describe that scenario as containing information. If I understand their meaning , discrete entities emit information in their existential being their identity. Entities such as matter can change form but not be made nonexistent, the resultant parts still exist and so does the information .

Matter can’t ‘escape’ a black hole but the information of that matter can, or is theorized to be able to.

I’m not sure that necessarily corresponds to the living cells reacting to information and the action of the gas molecules pursuing an equilibrium, but maybe ?

Here you seem to be talking about information in the sense of information theory.

 

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9 hours ago, KyaryPamyu said:

1. Intelligence is 'a process carried on using consciousness'

No.  Intelligence is a process carried on using consciousness or its creations.  

9 hours ago, KyaryPamyu said:

: your mind comming up with solutions to problems when you're not consciously thinking about those problems; and certain literary pieces being produced in a 'blind-trance', surprising the writer as they come.

Both of these use creations of consciousness.

 

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10 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

But does that mean that two magnets slamming into each other, have interest in each other? Focusing on each other? Or, they are magnets, so they act like magnets and slam into each other. That is what I am stuck on.

Magnets are not even alive, much less conscious.  Thus they cannot have interest in anything or focus on anything.  They do not carry on epistemological processes of any kind, so no information in the epistemological sense is involved.  They are indeed just magnets doing what magnets do.  (This does not say anything about information theory.)

 

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