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The Unnecessary Concept of Mind

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posted on Oct, 15 2014 @ 09:57 AM
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a reply to: tridentblue

So do you see? Just programs, no little man inside. You can process video streams to look for things using computer programs without needing to design little video cameras inside the software for instance.


But it's not just programs. The entirety of the robot is the robot, not a processor (homunculus fallacy). I'm not even sure how this is in dispute, and I refuse to argue that a robot is all of the robot.

I believe that it is our underlying concept of mind that is different. Yourself and Photon, for instance, are assuming within the current paradigm of computational theory of mind. This is evident by your computer metaphor. However, there is not enough empirical evidence to satisfy myself in regards to that theory, save for perhaps Chomskyan linguistics. Myself, I am utilizing the growing empirical body of evidence known as embodied cognition (which is enhancing AI research) for my conclusions. There is much empirical evidence in its regard. I’m not going to allow scientific papers to speak for me where I am able, so I’m not going to google papers and post them like they do over on the science forum. But please compare the evidence between the two paradigms if you so wish.




posted on Oct, 15 2014 @ 09:58 AM
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a reply to: PhotonEffect


I consider the mind to be the "theatre of our thinking", where we "experience" that which our body is interacting with. If thinking is a steady stream of thought much like a reel of film, then the mind is the screen that it plays on.


Aka the “cartesian theatre”. By saying so, you are committing the homunculus fallacy. I cannot take your idea seriously when it is riddled with such paradoxes. Your assumptions are suspect from the start.


The brain is the physical processor - but where are you "experiencing" everything? To state that it's just [in] the body is equivocation on your part, if not entirely evasive.



We are the body is what I’m saying, not a little processor in the brain. The whole body is what experiences, not something “in” the body.


Equivocation. Just because you state the mind is only a metaphor for the body doesn't make it so. I'm not sure you get to change the meanings of concepts to suit your own argument.


And just because you object in this manner does not make me wrong. This is not an argument, but an evasion of argument.


When one speaks of mind it more specifically denotes mental faculty- i.e of the part of the body that thinks- THE BRAIN. It's an abstraction and sometimes difficult to define, but I don't think it's incorrect as a denotation of our overall mental construct.


And I am arguing that mental faculties are bodily faculties, by virtue that they are performed by the body, consisting of bodily parts, processes and events. Only living bodies think, and I can prove this by showing you a human being. Let’s seat a human being in one chair and a brain in another. Which of the two are thinking?


A thought is a singular thing though - not a series of events. You're forcing yourself to redefine these terms.


Then where does one thought end and another begin? Where is the boundary of a thought? I’ve asked this already.


What is a mental state to you? Or do we just throw away that concept too?


I’ve already stated explicitly that mental states are in fact body states. This is the last time I will repeat myself.


I'm okay with a continuous stream of thought- this is what thinking is, I think. Why though, should this mean that a thought doesn't exist unless it is expressed? Of course it exists.


It’s easy to assert such without arguing how. I will simply assert the opposite. Of course it doesn’t exist. Now what?


I find your use of "stream of consciousness" as a metaphor a bit ironic, if not totally hypocritical, given that you've been claiming this entire time that "consciousness" is a metaphor for nothing. I'm confused by this- Er, no, I mean my body is confused..


I in fact claimed, many times, that consciousness is a metaphor for the body. I’m not sure if I made myself unclear or if I am dealing with a failed attempt at reading comprehension, but unfortunately I do not have the time to provide arguments many times and have them simply overlooked. That is a sign of dogma.


When you think of a horse, do you not "see" a horse? You've had a dream, right? How are you seeing? What are you seeing?


The back of my eyelids. That’s what we see when we sleep.

Regards.



posted on Oct, 15 2014 @ 09:59 AM
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a reply to: tetra50


First, my body, and yours as well, runs on an electrical stimulus that causes the autonomic parts of our nervous system to continue to keep us alive.


What are you basing this upon? I was always under the impression we ran on energy derived from the consumption of food.


Second: You assume here that we do not transcend the electrically informed and transmitted data that our body perceives of this reality and sends to our brain, for one reason, for our survival, as well as many other reasons. Our minds, can in fact, do just that. Meditation is one such example, where the information of the body going to the mind is perhaps transcended.


Then meditation is no different than going to sleep, and we transcend every time we go to bed.



posted on Oct, 15 2014 @ 10:29 AM
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originally posted by: Aphorism


The back of my eyelids. That’s what we see when we sleep.

Regards.



More evasion.



posted on Oct, 15 2014 @ 10:35 AM
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a reply to: Aphorism



We are the body is what I’m saying, not a little processor in the brain. The whole body is what experiences, not something “in” the body.


The brain is where these signals from the body are processed. Without it, we wouldn't know what the body felt, necessary for our survival, amongst other necessary thinking, consciousness oriented processes.



posted on Oct, 15 2014 @ 10:40 AM
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a reply to: Aphorism

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) regulates the functions of our internal organs (the viscera) such as the heart, stomach and intestines. The ANS is part of the peripheral nervous system and it also controls some of the muscles within the body. We are often unaware of the ANS because it functions involuntary and reflexively. For example, we do not notice when blood vessels change size or when our heart beats faster. However, some people can be trained to control some functions of the ANS such as heart rate or blood pressure.


Neuroscience for Kids

This is as opposed to the somatic nervous system.

The somatic system is the part of the peripheral nervous system that is responsible for carrying motor and sensory information both to and from the central nervous system. This system is made up of nerves that connect to the skin, sensory organs and all skeletal muscles. The system is responsible for nearly all voluntary muscle movements as well as for processing sensory information that arrives via external stimuli including hearing, touch and sight.



Anyway, no meditation is not the same as sleeping. As in meditative states, the "conscious" areas of the brain are still very much aware and in control. I will find some links as to this, as well.
tetra



posted on Oct, 15 2014 @ 10:44 AM
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The hypothesis is that synchronization of neuronal discharges can serve for the integration of distributed neurons into cell assemblies and that this process may underlie the selection of perceptually and behaviorally relevant information.
Role in attentive focus[edit]
The suggested mechanism is that gamma waves relate to neural consciousness via the mechanism for conscious attention:

The proposed answer lies in a wave that, originating in the thalamus, sweeps the brain from front to back, 40 times per second, drawing different neuronal circuits into synch with the precept, and thereby bringing the precept into the attentional foreground. If the thalamus is damaged even a little bit, this wave stops, conscious awarenesses do not form, and the patient slips into profound coma.[4]
Thus the claim is that when all these neuronal clusters oscillate together during these transient periods of synchronized firing, they help bring up memories and associations from the visual precept to other notions. This brings a distributed matrix of cognitive processes together to generate a coherent, concerted cognitive act, such as perception. This has led to theories that gamma waves are associated with solving the binding problem.[3]

Gamma waves are observed as neural synchrony from visual cues in both conscious and subliminal stimuli.[11][12][13] [14] This research also sheds light on how neural synchrony may explain stochastic resonance in the nervous system.[15] They are also implicated in REM sleep, which involves visualizations, and also during anesthesia.[6]



A bit about sleep, here, as well, and how "conscious" we may be during such. This also is happening during meditative states, alluding to consciousness, as well: having perceptions our brain is making connections and "thinking, reasoning, etc." this last is me. Big smile to you this morning
tetra



posted on Oct, 15 2014 @ 10:49 AM
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a reply to: Aphorism

See this is the problem right here, finding ways to couch the argument and call it a fallacy. But if you start from the wrong place, you can't help but end up in a dead end.



believe that it is our underlying concept of mind that is different. Yourself and Photon, for instance, are assuming within the current paradigm of computational theory of mind.


Is that reallly the "current paradigm?" Only for some. I know a lot of neuroscientists who may disagree with you. Especially considering Penrose and Hameroff's latest finding about plant photosynthesis and microtubules in the brain and in plants, and throughout the "current paradigm" that have absolutely nothing to do with computer theory.Even if we are currently in a computer generated simulation (which I doubt that's the whole truth of it, anyway), it remains that though the computer may have an affect on biology, if the mainframe was crashed, the biological processes would continue unaffected, growth, photosynthesis still ocurring, assuming everything environmental remained.

We aren't the body or the mind. We are both. It's one unique package. Though our body can continue when mind is gone, in severe coma, it can no longer perceive nor act without mind.

Here's a link if you're interested: LINK


edit on 15-10-2014 by tetra50 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 16 2014 @ 08:44 PM
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originally posted by: Aphorism
a reply to: tridentblue

So do you see? Just programs, no little man inside. You can process video streams to look for things using computer programs without needing to design little video cameras inside the software for instance.


But it's not just programs. The entirety of the robot is the robot, not a processor (homunculus fallacy). I'm not even sure how this is in dispute, and I refuse to argue that a robot is all of the robot.

I believe that it is our underlying concept of mind that is different. Yourself and Photon, for instance, are assuming within the current paradigm of computational theory of mind. This is evident by your computer metaphor. However, there is not enough empirical evidence to satisfy myself in regards to that theory, save for perhaps Chomskyan linguistics. Myself, I am utilizing the growing empirical body of evidence known as embodied cognition (which is enhancing AI research) for my conclusions. There is much empirical evidence in its regard. I’m not going to allow scientific papers to speak for me where I am able, so I’m not going to google papers and post them like they do over on the science forum. But please compare the evidence between the two paradigms if you so wish.


"Over on the science forum?" Uh oh, have you googled me?


I love science sites. But to point, yeah embodied cognition is a respectable stance. It is different from my stance? Is a robot who's OS has been shaped by its inputs (as would happen with any AI) truly a separable from those inputs? In fact its worth asking the larger question: if our minds are not only our bodies, but our experiences (like with the jet fighter pilot you brought up). There is clearly a lot of truth here, and I find that a really empowering way to look at things. But whether its the most illuminating stance remains to be seen.

The issue I have is with the fact that I "am" these neurons firing in my brain, yet I have no awareness of that happening. Rather, what I experience is thoughts that correspond in some way with those neurons firing. The similarities to a computer hit me: The computer "is" all these electrons being held in a register in memory, but in its own internal representation, that register is only a bit, a 1 or a 0, depending on how many electrons are there. These information entities, like bits, numbers, digital photos etc seem to have a self standing existence which transcends physical barriers, and this phenomenon seems to be like my own experience of mind, of self.

Yet I'm not prepared enough to define the "fundamental reality of information" well enough to argue the point here. Rather this conversation has opened up doors and ideas of research for me that are amazing. I'm really glad you posted, these conversations/debates are WONDERFUL for research inspiration.

Anyway, I have to get to work on something for a week or two, so I won't be back here for a bit. But thanks for posting! I hope you post more threads that bring out the ATS philosophers of mind for debate, its super enjoyable.

edit on 16-10-2014 by tridentblue because: clarity



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 11:43 PM
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a reply to: Aphorism

Let's perform a thought experiment shall we?

Visualize a brick wall in your mind. Where is that brick wall? Is it any particular one or is it one that you created? Is it in any particular real world location or is it in a location that you created?

If I dissect your brain, will I find a tiny brick wall within it? How about a whale or balloon or anything else you can think of? If not then those things are not physical, you cannot touch them nor point them out to anyone as real physical objects.

Those images and thoughts are not physical, yet they are still part of us in a very fundamental way.

How does your viewpoint account for things such as memories, emotions, thoughts, dreams, etc.? It doesn't, and if you never break down the brick wall you yourself have created then you will never understand the truth, and that is we are more thsn just a body.

Yes, our bodies facilitate the things I listed earlier, but those things are not the physical body, they are a product of the body just as smoke is a product of fire or a wave is the product of the ocean.
edit on 10/17/2014 by 3NL1GHT3N3D1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 08:02 AM
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a reply to: Aphorism



The Mind is a mythological construct, a placeholder, an abstraction.


Every word in every language on earth is an abstraction.
Not trying to prove the opposite of yours, I am just adding more.

I am sure one day we will be able to move to a higher level of communication.



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