First Causes

JPL Verhey matterDELminds at hotmail.com
Wed Sep 8 16:44:58 EST 2004

"Traveler" <traveler at nospam.com> wrote in message 
news:d6prj0p7h7qp099mfnm9mvgiodnmcb4c6h at 4ax.com...
> 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 
>>>>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 
>>the moon I *see* is indeed (visual) brainprocess in my skull that is 
>>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.

Indeed it doesn't directly see the world (otherwise we wouldn't need 
eyes and brains), but what is "seen in the brain" can without a problem 
be called an internal representation, at least if you assume that it is 
a pretty correct one. When you see a car coming right at you and it 
crashes into you.. and you wake up in a hospital later, the internal 
representation that told you there was a car crashing into you was quite 
a correct one. (as opposed to for instance dreaming an accident)

>> When I don't look at the moon, that
>>experience-independent moon is still there - this is the assumption 
>>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.

I would think that the brain certainly creates its own reality - an 
experiential reality which is body-brainprocess.

>>Similarly, my brain as I can *see* is a mental image 'superimposed' on 
>>brain that is also there independent of anyone, myself or a 
>>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 
>>you possibly experience "in your mind" are experiential brainprocesses 
>>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 
>>works with the assumption that independent of our experiential 
>>there really is a world out there that can be studied. As you can 
>>move around in the world in a high-tec tank with only cameras and 
>>screens inside. We are just cybernatic organisms with high-tec 
>>auto-pilot functions, i.e. without needing a pilot/homunculus sitting 
>>in the
> 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.

Maybe without the echo-box of language: "I know that I know what I 
know.." there would be no self-awareness?

> 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.

Maybe the I ("self") is the conscious evaluation between the known and 
the possible, in as far as it serves the organism to function and 
survive. The duality would be the past-future duality. The unknown is 
the "now" - it might not even exist!

For poetical purpose only:

"Being rides on the crest of becoming"

(source UNKNOWN :-)

Cheers, JPL

On consciousness: experiential bubbles,
solipsism, mind-brain duality, the binding problem,
the hard problem and artificial consciousness.

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