What is "Mind?"

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MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Jun 13, 2017 - 11:15am PT
DMT: Has anyone 'changed' my mind?


This question invites so many comments. It would be like wading into the Mississippi delta.

:-D
WBraun

climber
Jun 13, 2017 - 12:12pm PT
We are not here to change any minds.

We are here to post just about the mind and how stoopid we really are although masquerading as smart ..... :-)

MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Jun 13, 2017 - 01:15pm PT
We are here to post just about the mind and how stoopid we really are although masquerading as smart ..... :-)


Ah did nae dae it.


It wisnae me.
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Jun 13, 2017 - 03:55pm PT
In what sense would a sensation be real minus a sentient subject?



Werner once suggested that Largo is motivated to post on this thread out of compassion for poor benighted souls who don't "get it."


I will try to return the proposed favor.


In order for there to be a sensation, there must be a thing which senses.






The work starts to get more nuanced once you start wrangling with (for example) issues like: is a sensation real before it reaches awareness, in the way a chair is "there" if we see it or not?


Only a suggestion:


Suppose a chair is placed in an otherwise empty room at a randomly chosen location. You enter the room in total darkness and walk around for a while and then sit down.

Do the work.



Let reason search into external things at the instigation of the senses, and, while it derives from them its first knowledge - for it has no other base from which it may operate, or begin its assault upon the truth - yet let it fall back upon itself.

Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 1 BCE – CE 65



(a) accept only what is so clear in one's own mind as to exclude any doubt
(b) split large difficulties into smaller ones
(c) argue from the simple to the complex
(d) check when one is done

René Descartes 1596-1650





You didn't exactly miss, but you did miss the balloon.

Winnie the Pooh


jgill

Boulder climber
The high prairie of southern Colorado
Jun 13, 2017 - 04:46pm PT
In what sense would a sensation be real minus a sentient subject?



Sorry, I can't resist the temptation to post this again. Priceless commentary on philosophy.
cintune

climber
Jun 13, 2017 - 06:19pm PT
Mind is McGuffin.
Mind is the Ringer.
I'm here for the banter.
Shallow maybe,
But deeply entertained.
jstan

climber
Jun 13, 2017 - 09:43pm PT
MH2

Ah did nae dae it.


It wisnae me.

In the latter half of the 50's the P/M of the RCAF band in Winnipeg was named Cairns.

Any relation?
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jun 13, 2017 - 10:07pm PT
Thanks one and all for participating in this scintillating exploration of the unknowable. It has been a most remarkable journey and descent into the far reaches of nothing I can remember (when in my right mind). And given the true depths and enormity of the nothingness we achieved, and may possibly never recover from, I hereby declare this thread simultaneously both mindless and braindead. Have a nice day and please be careful during your struggle to return to consciousness (wherever that may find you - oh, and stop feeding that god damn duck).

You can only stare into the abyss for so long...

Dingus McGee

Social climber
Where Safety trumps Leaving No Trace
Jun 14, 2017 - 04:41am PT
Largo,

In a nut shell?

there is a good reason for there being no scientific explanation or mechanism to explain consciousness. Consciousness is an illusion we create and some never see the bigger picture of what is going on with the consciousness awareness experience. Some have told me you have to have enough consciousness to see the bigger picture.

Babies need none of the Largo awareness but their brain and nerve systems monitors their somatic condition of which they later learn to report on. The illusive consciousness arises out of the social needs to tell others of our condition and always have an answer ready. We are trained or prone to go over and over and over this condition assessment and the memory of it. Each time of asking "What is my condition?" the brain sends/receives signals that are the feelings of muscle tension and other somatic conditions from the body. And so some dwell on this repeating manner of assessment and that process becomes the false entity of consciousness to the unwary.

And Chalmer's richness of red is created by dwelling on the condition of all our memories of red in repetitive/recursive fashion. We can break this cycle of dwelling and loose our cherished awareness.

If you have trouble seeing this idea, your mind is cluttered.







WBraun

climber
Jun 14, 2017 - 08:09am PT
You ARE the illusion and NOT consciousness itself.

You are not your material body ......
Bushman

climber
The state of quantum flux
Jun 14, 2017 - 08:37am PT
When Old Men are Sleeping

I slept the sleep of kings last night
And woke in peace
The enormity of the world
And all it's strife
Forgotten for but a brief respite
I thought I had died
Until I saw
The unkempt room and unmade bed
As aching bones shifted in my knees
My back was out
I coughed and wheezed

I slept the sleep of a thousand nights
Packed into one
And wished I'd live for two thousand years
If all my bliss
We're so peaceful as this
But then to a rude awakening I'd find
I was serving a sentence
In the darkest dungeon
Of nineteen hundred and ninety nine

I slept the dream of gods last night
Hovering o'er the world and all
The mountains and trees
What a beautiful sight
And all the stars within my reach
As waves lapped gently at a sandy beach
Then saw myself on a grassy hill
Hunched and grey with wrinkled skin
Snoring as I stumbled along
An old man sleep walking once again

-bushman
06/14/2017

MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Jun 14, 2017 - 12:22pm PT
Any relation?


Through Macbeth, Thane of Cawdor.
yanqui

climber
Balcarce, Argentina
Jun 14, 2017 - 02:08pm PT
Eighteen years would pass before the world would have the details of the grandiose vision and of the "mirabilis sientiae fundamenta"-- the foundations of a marvelous science. Such as he was able to give them, they are contained in the celebrated "Discourse on the Method of Properly Guiding the Reason in the Search of Truth in the Sciences." According to Descartes, his "method" should be applied when knowledge is sought in any scientific field. It consists of (a) accepting only what is so clear in one's own mind as to exclude any doubt, (b) splitting large difficulties into smaller one, (c) arguing from the simple to the complex, and (d) checking, when one is done.

This reminded of something that I hadn't thought about for 40 years.

I was a philosophy major as an undergraduate mainly because there was a professor in the department whose classes were interesting to me. This guy seemed like some kind of walking-talking, modern-day Socrates. In the end it wasn't such a bad choice for my eventual career, because the job of studying and reconstructing philosophical arguments under his training ended up having a lot of carry over to mathematics.

Anyways, when it came time to study 20th-century philosophy, I had a sort chip on my shoulder about the Vienna Circle. Their emphasis on formalism, symbolic language and science seemed cold and sterile. It seemed to me they had stripped philosophy of all the drama, imagery, humor, beauty and, well, the humanity present in the works of people like Plato and Descartes. When I told my teacher this, he looked a little surprised and said something like "The logical positivists weren't the bad guys in the story of philosophy. For example, one of their main desires was to bring back Descartes's dream of a unified knowledge." What he said and the respect he showed for that group was, for me, one of those eye-opening moments that so rarely occur during formal education.
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Jun 14, 2017 - 02:25pm PT
It seemed to me they had stripped philosophy of all the drama, imagery, humor, beauty and, well, the humanity


I love the writings of Raymond Smullyan.

R.I.P.
jgill

Boulder climber
The high prairie of southern Colorado
Jun 14, 2017 - 03:03pm PT
Some areas of inquiry in mathematics persist only through "family" structures: A professor has PhD students who continue his research in one way or another, and those students in turn have students who continue the process. When a disruption in this genealogy occurs it may happen that the subject dries up and is at least temporarily abandoned.

I think this has been the case to some extent in the analytic theory of continued fractions when the generation of "masters" retired or passed away. Many of their students ended up at primarily four year institutions, and although some research continued there have been relatively few further descendants. But in all fairness I dropped out of this clique seventeen years ago when I retired.

As you might suspect, the "importance" of such research can be questionable. I bring this up because we banter about philosophy on this thread, but I wonder what's actually happening in the academic world in the discipline? Has metaphysics been replaced by analytics? Is consciousness a popular academic path? Just curious.
okay, whatever

climber
Jun 14, 2017 - 03:10pm PT
I appreciate all the interesting ideas that have appeared on this long-lasting thread. I am less appreciative of contributors (well, one, really) who simply arrogantly dismiss others' ideas or speculations as "stoopid". I don't know the "answer", anymore than the rest of the posters here, but it's worthwhile to toss around the various ideas, I think. Insults are not helpful.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jun 14, 2017 - 06:24pm PT
Wow lots of nay-gative stuff thrown at this po' ol' thread.

A number of you people appear worried about it. It is talked about as if it were some sort of significant abstraction. So therefore there somehow exists this pressing need to let others know just how disappointed you are in the obvious futility of "thousands of posts" and so on.

My advice: try not to take your eye off your own ball.

Credit: Ward Trotter





MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Jun 14, 2017 - 07:12pm PT
Dingus: Consciousness is an illusion we create . . . .

Werner has it right.

Dingus' statement creates a mobius strip, an mise en abyme, like a mirror placed in front of another mirror, a display of a display, a reflection of a reflection, an infinity loop.

Consciousness is that which “you” are. One illusion is that there is a you, as well as all the things that “you” populates onto awareness that facilitates consciousness. Take out the things that are created, and what’s left? (There IT is.)

yanqui: . . . one of their main desires was to bring back Descartes's dream of a unified knowledge."


Kant tried. Couldn’t do it.

Once Nietzsche killed God (or had noticed that God had been replaced by reason), the opportunity for Western Philosophy was lost to unite the 3 pillars of wisdom (truth, beauty, and the good).

The next batter up (so to say) were Eastern Philosophies and radical spiritual traditions, which said there was nothing to find. They said realization was already a done deal if people could just see it. Radical spiritual traditions say there is nothing to discover, because one is already realized. He or she just doesn’t know it.

We're all off the hook. Everyone can relax.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Jun 14, 2017 - 07:31pm PT
And there is nothing new under the Sun, said someone.
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Jun 14, 2017 - 07:44pm PT
the opportunity for Western Philosophy was lost to unite the 3 pillars of wisdom (truth, beauty, and the good).


Sounds anthropomorphic. Who is this Western Philosophy? Is this about the barbed-wire fences?

I am convinced that my own wisdom, such as it is, is not a three-legged stool. More like a magic carpet.
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