First Causes

Traveler traveler at nospam.com
Tue Sep 7 11:54:56 EST 2004


In article <413dd321$0$62386$5fc3050 at dreader2.news.tiscali.nl>, "JPL
Verhey" <matterDELminds at hotmail.com> wrote:

>
>"Traveler" <traveler at nospam.com> wrote in message ...
>
>>>Yet this notion is absolutely correct in the sense that any conscious
>>>experience - from thoughts and emotions to objects seen around you in the
>>>world "out there" including stars and galaxies - are all brain process -
>>>out of convenience called mind - and occuring within your own skull.
>>
>> I thought that your own skull was also "out there." IOW, if nothing
>> exists but what's in your mind, does your mind also exist within your
>> mind? This is the sort of self-referential problems associated with
>> extreme solipsism.
>
>I look at it a bit differently. When I look at the moon that orbits earth, 
>the moon I *see* is indeed (visual) brainprocess in my skull that is an 
>experiential interface 'superimposing' the image of the moon on the 
>experience-independent moon out there.

Correct. This is the primary reason that the idea (advanced by GOFAI)
that the brain creates a representation of the world is pure nonsense.
The brain does not see the world. It only sees what is in the brain.

> When I don't look at the moon, that 
>experience-independent moon is still there - this is the assumption science 
>works with and to which I subscribe as well.

I agree wholeheartedly. Although some QM thinkers will insist that
reality is not independent of the mind. We often hear people seriously
promote the nonsensical notion that the mind creates its own reality.

>Similarly, my brain as I can *see* is a mental image 'superimposed' on the 
>brain that is also there independent of anyone, myself or a brainsurgeon 
>looking at it.
>
>I think this is the most accurate way of understanding "the problem" and it 
>actually resolves solipsism, without denying the obvious truth that whatever 
>you possibly experience "in your mind" are experiential brainprocesses or 
>states (as opposed to un- or preconscious brainprocesses) that occur 
>entirely in your own skull.
>
>Science, scientists do not escape the experiential interface, but it rightly 
>works with the assumption that independent of our experiential interface 
>there really is a world out there that can be studied. As you can really 
>move around in the world in a high-tec tank with only cameras and computers 
>screens inside. We are just cybernatic organisms with high-tec self-aware 
>auto-pilot functions, i.e. without needing a pilot/homunculus sitting in the 
>box.

Well, I was with you up until the end, although I am not sure we
disagree altogether. I, too, dismiss the homunculus concept but the
hard logical fact is that nothing can be aware of itself. That would
be like saying that opposites are equal. Conscious awareness requires
two complementary opposite entities: the knower and the known. One can
make three observations about them:

1. Neither can know itself.
2. The knower cannot be known.
3. The known cannot know.

These things follow by logical definition: knower and known are
opposites and nothing can be its own opposite. Does that mean there is
a need for homunculus? No. It only means that conscious awareness
requires a duality.

Louis Savain

Artificial Intelligence From the Bible:
http://users.adelphia.net/~lilavois/Seven/bible.html

The Silver Bullet or How to Solve the Software Crisis:
http://users.adelphia.net/~lilavois/Cosas/Reliability.htm



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