What is "Mind?"


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Somewhere out there
Aug 28, 2011 - 10:23pm PT
What's that story in Quantum Theory that states that an observer ultimately influences the observed.

I think that there can be no meaningful science unless humans have nothing to do with it, and forgo interpretations of said observations.

Humans will find meaning in almost anything.

Just look no further than the bible for your "meaning".

If only us humans have made all meaning up entirely.

Meaning does not exist, it is what humans have ascribed to the things we have all around us. We see this, then this means this. We see this, then this means that. We see that, than it must mean this.

But if one takes a step back, and really observes objectively, then there is no meaning in any of it. There is just observation.

Aug 28, 2011 - 10:24pm PT
Amit Goswami now there's an intelligent man .....

Trad climber
Aug 28, 2011 - 10:31pm PT
I'll do Kant

i'm betting that's the first time anyone has said that on supertopo.

the return of kant has been one of the remarkable deals of the last thirty years. folks like stephen toulimin, steve fuller, and hacohen cohen have argued that many of the writers we think of as quintessentially hard-nosed empirical or rational anti-idealists-- from wittgenstein to popper to everyone in the vienna circle-- were really closet kantians.

toulmin's wittgenstein's vienna (1978) opened the flood gates. cohen's bio of popper has the best case. fuller has the most agressive claims.

and yeah, foucault didn't have much to contribute to the study of consciousness. aside from saying that it was a variety of priestcraft. much as i hate foucault, he has my sympathy on that claim.

Aug 28, 2011 - 11:00pm PT
That's cool - I was just taking the temperature. I figured you guys were no fans of Foucault.

Trad climber
Aug 28, 2011 - 11:03pm PT
^^^^^i love foucault!

especially these days.

order of things is f*#kin brilliant. wrong, but brilliant.

Social climber
So Cal
Aug 28, 2011 - 11:35pm PT
How does consciousness define itself?

Trad climber
Aug 28, 2011 - 11:48pm PT
heh, dr.f. has hit the nerve.

searle et al. want "consciousness" the be something that's more than special-- they want a qualitative rather than a merely quantitative line between other animals and humans called "consciousness."

"language" isn't good enough for john and the others.

at that point, you might start to suspect, as folks from foucault to dennett have argued, that "consciousness" is just a 21st century word for "soul."

nothing wrong with that, except that at that point you wander over into religion, faith, theology and priestcraft, rather than philosophy. all perfectly respectable behaviors, but not open to empirical testing.

Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
Aug 28, 2011 - 11:50pm PT
May I share a somewhat simplistic, jaded perspective?
I work in a world (the ER) where people on a daily bases lose their "consciousness."
People lose their "minds" when their brains stop working. Sometimes their loss is so great that we have to provide machines to breath for them. Sometimes their loss of consciousness is minor and they are just confused about the date or who the President is.
From my perspective consciousness is the chemical reaction between the neurons in the synaptic cleft. Nothing more, nothing less.

Trad climber
Aug 28, 2011 - 11:51pm PT
From my perspective consciousness is the chemical reaction between the neurons in the synaptic cleft. Nothing more, nothing less.


Somewhere out there
Aug 28, 2011 - 11:51pm PT
"at what level is the mind of a lower life form considered consciousness?"

- Good question. Extended further "At what level is the mind of a higher life form considered consciousness?

I have to say... there are a few on this board that fit the lower life form definition, and their consciousness is well in doubt.

Much like myself, there are no correct answers.

Social climber
Aug 29, 2011 - 12:36am PT
Pattern recognition and language and I hope as Searle’s has hypothesized with a moment of quantum uncertainty as the kernel of the core.

Gym climber
Aug 29, 2011 - 12:38am PT
klk is not a historian. he is a polymath, and knows more about parts of my specialties than i do.
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Aug 29, 2011 - 12:42am PT
I'm kind of simplistic, but consciousness to me is
tantamount to awareness. And all awareness is tied to
some or other sense of value. I mean, to look outward
at the night, one manner of mind might see only some flickering
light. Another higher consciousness sees something of
supreme value, something that signifies the vastness of
life and love, how infinitely we feel compared to what
we believe is possible to feel, and how infinitely
we don't know yet anticipate. The higher consciousness
looks deeper, in other words. Whether it be through the
tool of philosophy or of history or poetry or music, or
through plain reflection and response to the world around,
there is a level of feeling and appreciation, of
curiosity and search. We follow our own minds,
using the instruction of forest and air, carefully guided
until at moments we believe almost that we have followed
the right way into the only true living place. We know we are alive.
It is a mystery, all of it, and beauty is only diminished
by trying to pick it apart, to measure it in a scientific
way, or as Dylan once wrote, to "pluck apart the sound of
waves...." Simply, at times the moon is right. The smell
and feel of rock envelop a climber, on some otherwise
silent and empty-seeming tower of another day. We sometimes
must simply breathe, and we learn in ways we cannot speak. We
go on seeing something everywhere, where dreams flow together
in a new reality that appears always to be taking shape....
We are alert to whispers and gestures, attuned to powers,
as the poet W.S. Merwin would say. Children, we hope to be the heir
of every secret. Each hour we go farther into the dream, into
the clouds and rain, and along the distance a caravan of friends
we admire for their kindred sense of adventure through the days and nights.

Trad climber
Aug 29, 2011 - 12:48am PT
heh, murcy, yr just dodging--

start posting some real content in this thread and ill buy the heritage rye

im thinkin potrero green cask.

not like i can actually get my hands on any, but whatever.

Trad climber
Aug 29, 2011 - 12:49am PT
Each hour we go farther into the dream

nice, i like that
john hansen

Aug 29, 2011 - 12:58am PT
I had a strange expereriance coming out of sedation from dental surgery..

My mind was fully aware, but the world was just a white void...

I was thinking while I slowly came to,,is this my new reality? I would exist in this reality forever...

Like suspended animation..

Slowly, after 10 or 12 min, I realized I was in the dentist office looking up at the florescent lights in the ceiling.
It was strange, my mind was completely aware but my body did not exist.

It was kind of fun....

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Aug 29, 2011 - 01:10am PT
Will come back to this thread, but what is wrong with settling on the model that works? Nothing more nothing less.

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Aug 29, 2011 - 02:42am PT
Mind is an endowment. Ask Spock.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Aug 29, 2011 - 02:54am PT
You, Kant, always get what you want. But if you try sometimes you get what you need.

Mountain climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Aug 29, 2011 - 03:13am PT
It's one of my favorite Talking Heads songs.
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