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BaalChatzaf

A photograph of the 29 smartest people in the world

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6 hours ago, Peter said:

If it was, it was serendipity. I cut and pasted some letters or articles from several years ago and then cut and pasted them again just recently. I skimmed the content for broken lines and misspellings and deleted the email addresses.

 

.

Don't knock it.  I thought it was a good essay.  Apparently you combined good ingredients. 

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19 hours ago, Peter said:

[snipped to save space]

Peter, thank you for that piece of history. George Smith, thank you for the distinction between a philosopher's and a theologian's attitude.

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Those last few quotes from George H. Smith were superlative. I am always impressed with Ghs, so thanks to George for enlightening everyone he meets. By far he is the person I most quote and he is the person I most “save.” I just looked and I have approximately 165 different “threads” with his letters, and many times each thread may contain 3 to 12 letters from George The Lion King.

The photographer should add a thirtieth person to that picture of the 29 smartest people in the world.

Peter   

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15 hours ago, anthony said:

 

As nonentities, I must surmise. Physical beings - your "brain and nervous system" - and not much else.If one can't understand the mind, one can't know reality for certain, and evidently one then can't know oneself nor the nature of man.

I have had my  body (including my brain and spine  thoroughly scanned by the most advanced equipment available today -- ECG, X-ray, PET scan, functional NMRI.   None of this scanners have revealed the presence of a mind (???? what is it????).  My skull is full of brain tissue.  

Do you have any idea on what part of your body your mind  occupies????  If you know I will have to arrange a scan of that corresponding part of my body.  Perhaps I will find my mind. 

It may be that I don't have a mind.  I do have a brain that functions very well.  

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44 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

I have had my  body (including my brain and spine  thoroughly scanned by the most advanced equipment available today -- ECG, X-ray, PET scan, functional NMRI.   None of this scanners have revealed the presence of a mind (???? what is it????).  My skull is full of brain tissue.  

Do you have any idea on what part of your body your mind  occupies????  If you know I will have to arrange a scan of that corresponding part of my body.  Perhaps I will find my mind. 

You also can't see heat, sound, taste, smell, or thoughts. Does that imply they don't exist? :o

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I have a plan in mind. Evil minds. Criminal minds. Mind numbing. Simple minds. Mindless. Would you mind if I . . . ? Mind over matter. But if you've changed your mind, I'm glad. We are of similar minds.

Here are a few letters pertaining to *MIND* in Objectivism.

Peter

From: "George H. Smith" To: <objectivism Subject: OWL: Re: Mind as emergent [was: Objectivism's concept of free will] Date: Mon, 12 Apr 2004 14:44:30 -0500

Neil Goodell (4/11) wrote: "I'm not sure I agree with Mike Rael's (4/9) characterization of mind: [Rael] 'The way I see it, once the physical constituents of a mind have been created, the mind can control the starting of its own processes to some degree. What happens when I raise my hand up? Physical things are going on, but the determiner is my mind.' [Goodell] In my reading of it he seems to trying to keep the advantages of a dualist perspective of the mind-body question but without calling it that.

The term "dualism" covers a broad range of views in philosophy. It is often associated with Cartesianism, according to which the mind is a "substance" that can exist independently of matter. In less extreme versions, dualists are those who repudiate reductionism, according to which the mind (i.e., consciousness) is nothing but "matter in motion." Dualists in this latter sense don't necessarily deny that consciousness depends on matter for its existence. They contend, however, that consciousness (a state of awareness) is not something physical per se, however much it may be causally dependent on physical phenomena.

I am a "dualist" only in this latter sense, and I suspect the same is true of Mike Rael. Indeed, the kind of emergence theory that Neil goes on to defend is a common foundation for this variety of dualism.

Ayn Rand, in maintaining that consciousness is epistemologically axiomatic, that a state of awareness cannot be explained by something more fundamental, was also defending this sort of mitigated "dualism." But I doubt if she would have cared for this label, given its customary association with the Cartesian theory of mind, which of course she did not agree with.

Neil wrote: "George Smith makes a distinction between "hard" determinism and "soft" determinism (4/11), between biology and psychology if you will, concluding, "Even though I disagree with physical determinism, there are powerful arguments in its favor, and it is a position deserving of respect. I'm afraid I cannot say the same about "soft" determinism. As I've said previously, I'm a complete and committed determinist, but I don't agree with any of these views. My position is that mind is an emergent property of the brain. What this means in philosophic terms is that the nature of the causality that operates at the level of the brain is separate and distinct from that which operates at the level of the mind. (This is similar to a levels of analysis argument.)"

I agree with emergence theory, as here summarized. This is one reason I reject physical determinism, and it also plays a role in my not-so-thinly disguised contempt for "soft determinism."  The mind, as an emergent phenomenon, needs to be studied on its own terms, and we can access it directly only through introspection. We should not assume that causation in the world of consciousness is analogous to causation as we observe it in physical phenomena. We should not assume, for example, that "motives" operate like physical particles that, upon striking other mental "things," such as choices, "cause" them to move.

The mind is not a world of mental billiard balls moving to and fro, engaging in endless collisions which "cause" us to choose this or that. Of course, the soft determinist will repudiate this characterization of his position as unfairly crude and inaccurate. But it doesn't take much scratching beneath the language of the soft determinist to see that this is exactly how he analyzes mental phenomena. He adopts what is essentially a mechanistic, linear view of mental causation, in which a mental event (say, a value) somehow "causes" another mental event (say, a preference), which in turn "causes" us to make a choice to put the eight ball in a given pocket.

One needn't defend that view that choices and other mental events are "uncaused" in order to defend volitionism. Certainly Rand didn't take this view, and neither do I. I subscribe (as did Rand) to an "agency theory" of causation, according to which a rational agent -- and not merely antecedent *events,* whether mental *or* physical -- can properly be said to be the "cause" of his own mental acts. This is essentially an Aristotelian perspective, one that has been defended not only by modern Thomists but also by other contemporary philosophers, such as Richard Taylor. It had a number of able defenders in earlier centuries as well, such as the eighteenth-century philosophers Richard Price and Thomas Reid. This position was also defended by Nathaniel Branden in "The Objectivist Newsletter" and, later, in *The Psychology of Self-Esteem.*

Neil wrote: "And I do not believe my position is inconsistent with Objectivism. (More on this below.)"

Emergence theory does not conflict with Objectivism, but any form of determinism most certainly does.

[snip]

"Rand says over and over again that the premises a person holds in their mind is what determines their character. As she writes in Galt's Speech, "...that your character, your actions, your desires, your emotions are the products of the premises held by your mind—that as man must produce the physical values he needs to sustain his life, so he must acquire the values of character that make his life worth sustaining—that as man is a being of self-made wealth, so he is a being of self-made soul—that to live requires a sense of self-value, but man, who has no automatic values, has no automatic sense of self-esteem and must earn it by shaping his soul in the image of his moral ideal..."

This passage does not entail or suggest determinism. On the contrary, Rand's claim that man "is a being of self-made soul" is an expression of free-will.

Some time ago on another list, I wrote a post in which I discussed the possibility that, according to Rand, our only truly free choice is the choice to think (or focus) or not, after which everything else is necessarily determined. Although I concede that there are some passages by Rand that give this impression, I don't think this is what she believed; and I would further maintain that this interpretation is inconsistent with her overall approach, including many of her remarks about ethical theory and moral responsibility. I think the passages in question were probably instances of rhetorical exaggeration, made for the purpose of emphasis. This sort of thing is fairly common in Rand's writings.

Neil wrote: "I don't know whether George Smith would characterize this as "soft" determinism, but it is certainly determinism of a non-biological kind, "your character, your actions, your desires, your emotions are the products of the premises held by your mind." If this were *not* the case, it would mean that the relationship between premises and character was arbitrary, which would have the effect of eviscerating the entirety of Objectivism's concept of virtue."

Rand did not defend any kind of determinism, whether "hard" or soft." In calling our character, actions, desires, and emotions the "products" of premises held by our minds, there is good reason to believe she was drawing logical, rather than strictly causal, connections. In any case, one needn't be a determinist to maintain that how and what we think will greatly influence what kind of characters we have and how we will act. This complex issue has nothing to do with determinism one way or the other.

Neil wrote: In other words, if determinism is denied, there can be no morality. If specific causes do not lead to specific effects (i.e., indeterminism) then effects are arbitrary and a person cannot be held responsible for them."

If this were true, then we could hold a rock or a tree or a snail morally responsible for its behavior -- for in all such cases specific causes lead to specific effects. In order for there to be moral responsibility, there must first be a moral agent, i.e., a rational being who can make autonomous decisions and choices that are not causally necessitated by antecedent events that he is powerless to change or control. If the actions of a mass murderer were causally necessitated by a chain of antecedent events, which reach back (presumably) to infinity, long before he (or any life form) existed, then he is no more "responsible" for his behavior than a snail. Both behave not as they choose, but as they *must.* For what, in a deterministic scheme, could we hold a mass murderer responsible *for*? For being born? For possessing undesirable genes? For not making better choices that were metaphysically impossible for him to make? For not possessing an omnipotent power to alter past events over which neither he nor anyone else has any control?

When we pass a negative moral judgment, part of what we mean is that a person *should* not have made the choice he did under those circumstances. He *ought* to have chosen differently in that precise situation. If, however, his "choice" (and I use the word advisedly in this context) was causally necessitated by antecedent events that he was powerless to change, then to pass moral judgments on humans makes no more sense than to pass moral judgments on clouds for causing a flood. Ghs

From: RogerEBissell To: Peter.Reidy, Geoff.Stark,  Atlantis Subject: Re: ATL: RE: Memorization (was: Request from Ellen M.) Date: Fri, 7 Dec 2001 11:03:02 EST

In his response to Geoff Stark, Peter Reidy anticipated my own remarks in this post, as well as (in part) comments I made in a previous post. However, let's dot the "i" here...

Peter wrote: >This claim that, after all, nobody ought to be expected to memorize Galt's speech, seems to be taking on a life of its own, and it doesn't deserve one. All anyone needed in order to spot Daphne's hoax was a literate acquaintance with Rand's characteristic ideas and with her unmistakable, inimitable (no  matter how many have tried) prose style.  A lot of us had this by the time we finished high school.

Yes. Again, the essential point is that while NO ONE is required to be omniscient or to have "total recall", as Ellen Moore and Geoff Stark refer to it, ANYONE who is claiming to possess a "full integration" of Rand's philosophy MUST be responsible for having, as Peter says, a "literate acquaintance" with Rand's ideas and style. There is no getting around the fact that Ellen M. resoundingly ~flunked~ the test of "literate  acquaintance" in this particular instance.

Peter also says: >I'm curious as to where in ITOE you think Rand established that pleasure and pain are perceptions.  She always said that perception is *of an object*.  In her writings on art she observed that, for this reason, perception is typically visual.  Pleasure and pain are usually tactile.

Both Geoff and Ellen M. have suggested that Rand's earlier statement (in Atlas Shrugged) is in error, and that she later corrected her view in ITOE -- that she earlier thought pleasure and pain are "sensations" but later changed that to view them as "perceptions." I am not sure that she actually did this is any of her writings, but it is somewhat likely that she did at least off-the-record. One of her associates (until the Rand-Branden split in 1968) was neuro-physiologist Robert Efron, who wrote some of the best essays I have ever read on the nature of consciousness. (A selective bibliography is available upon request.) He was listed in the Objectivist

Calendar as having presented a talk "What is Perception?", and this essay is a gem of integrated philosophy and science. Its particular relevance to the present issue is that Efron -- presumably with Rand's knowledge and possible assistance -- corrected the conceptual and terminological muddle about perception vs. sensation. In my mind, once and for all.

To quote from my essay "Music and Perceptual Cognition" (Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, vol. 1, no. 1, 1999) (posted in full on my web site at http://members.aol.com/REBissell/indexmmm10.html):

As Robert Efron (1968) characterizes it, perception is any form of "direct, immediate awareness of external reality which [results] from energy absorption by receptor organs" (143, 147). [Efron notes that the perception of external reality is sometimes called "exteroception." This is to distinguish it from one's direct, immediate awareness of the physiological state or condition of one's own body that results from energy absorption by receptors in one's internal organs, muscles, joints, etc. These latter types of awareness are referred to variously as "sensations," "feelings," or "enteroceptions" (144). The important point to bear in mind is that both are sensory forms of extrospection.

Both, in a broader sense of the term, are forms of perception. That is, even though enteroception is of facts ~inside~ one's ~body~, it is of facts ~outside~ one's ~mind~. That places it within the field of extrospection, rather than introspection. The ambiguity, which we can now easily deal with, lies in the term "external reality." For the purpose of this discussion, I will use it in the sense of: external to the ~body, rather than in its more fundamental sense which includes bodily states, as well, as in Dretske 1995, 149ff. See also Bissell 1997a.)][unquote]

And

The impingement of the stimulus-energy upon our sensory receptors causes those receptors to send primary sensory inputs to the neural centers of our brains,[23] where they are integrated into perceptual contents or "percepts." [These primary sensory inputs, too, are often referred to as "sensations." See Efron 1968. What is perception? Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, IV (1966-68). [unquote]

 

So, technically speaking, even though "sensation" was and continues to be used both in the vernacular and among numerous scientists as a term referring to ~enteroceptions~ (perceptions of internal bodily states), it is correct to eschew the term as a label for pleasures and pains and to use instead the term "pereption." Understanding, of course, that it has a broadened meaning in keeping with the broadened view that "external reality" refers not only to environmental phenomena, but also to bodily states.

Whether Rand fully understood this is unclear. She seemed to have a considerable amount of confusion as to whether musical tones were sensations or perceptions (as I discuss in the above-mentioned essay). But her former associate, Robert Efron, had no such problem. He is a model of crystal clarity and consistency on this issue.

Best to all, Roger Bissell

From: PaleoObjectivist To: atlantis Subject: ATL: What is sensation? (acc. to Robert Efron) Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2002 16:06:48 EDT

In his 1968 essay "What is Perception?", neurophysiologist and former Objectivist Robert Efron carefully sorts out the concepts and terminology pertaining to perception and sensation.

He begins by noting that "perception" refers to any form of "direct, immediate awareness of external reality" that results from "energy absorption by receptor organs." He distinguishes this from the other category of direct, immediate awareness that gives us information about not external reality, but the "physiological state or condition of our body" (e.g., our experiences of nausea, hunger, pain, cramp). We can differentiate between these two categories of awareness in two ways: (1) psychologically, the latter are clearly and directly  experienced as "inside us," while the former give us direct awareness of what is "out there;" epistemologically, the latter tells us about our physiological condition, while the former tells us about external entities.

The latter type of awareness is sometimes called "sensation," "feeling," or "enteroception." What we call it is not so important to Efron as our keeping it distinguished from our awareness of the external world, which he wants to call "perception." (Personally, I think that both forms of direct awareness should be categorized as "perception," and that our awareness of the external world should be called "exteroception," and our awareness of our internal physiological states "enteroception.")

Efron says that all perception is the "immediate consequence of energy absorption," but that we do ~not~ perceive "energy qua energy." Instead, we perceive "discriminated existents." Efron proceeds to unpack this term. An existent is simply "something which exists." He says that "it is the only word which is sufficiently abstract to encompass all the different kinds of things we perceive. We need a word to refer to the ~objects~ which we see or touch, to the ~sounds~ we hear such as the 'chirp' of a bird, to the ~shadow~ cast by an object, or to an ~odor~ or ~taste~ of an object." While the term "existent" applies to ~all~ perceptual contents, the terms "object" or "entity" typically are used to apply more narrowly to "spatially cohering collections of matter." As for the term "discriminated," it calls our attention to the psychological pre-condition for perceptual awareness of reality, which is also the ~defining~ characteristic of perception: "the action of perceptually isolating and treating as a unit some ~part~ of the total spatio-temporal stimulus configuration" that interacts with our bodies. (He acknowledges that the term "discriminated" is redundant here. "How could one be aware of an existent that was ~not~ discriminated?") Thus, Efron intends to use the term "discriminated existent" to refer to "the segregated, isolated, cohering 'thing' which is perceived. The objects we see or touch; the notes, tones, or voices we hear; the odors we smell, and the flavors we taste."

What, then, is sensation? Efron notes that "there are so many different ways in which [the term] is used that it is impossible today to use this word without inviting confusion." While he declines to decide on "the most defensible meaning for the term sensation," he does list the seven most common meanings and gives them alternate labels, preferring to avoid the inevitable confusion of the term "sensation."

1. forms or modalities or perception -- many writers refer to the "sensation of light" or the "sensation of sound" (note that Helmholtz does this in his 1862 work on musical awareness, and that Rand picks up this usage in "Art and Cognition", referring to our "sensation" of tones)

2. attributes of discriminated existents -- e.g., the "sensation of brightness", the "sensation of loudness"

 

3. enteroceptions as contrasted with exteroceptions -- e.g., the "sensations" of pain, hunger, cramp, or nausea

4. marginal awareness of discriminated existents -- e.g., "sensations from the toe" of which we are marginally aware while perceiving something else; anything of which we are not focally aware would be a "sensation" by this usage

5. undiscriminated, unintegrated raw sense data – Efron mentions the two schools of thought on this kind of "sensation" (a) some hold that we are ~never~ conscious of such sense data, that such data is not a phenomenon of ~consciousness~ but instead "action potentials in nerve fibers," which is a ~physiological~ phenomenon. (b) others hold that we only experience such sense data in early infancy prior to beginning to perceive discriminated existents. (Note: this is the concept of "sensation" that Rand borrowed from William James and which she uses in 1966 in ~Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology~.)

6. unretained perceptions -- "sensation" here refers to awareness of unintegrated facts that are fleeting, unattended, and unretained

7. undifferentiated perceptions -- this use of "sensation" refers to experiences such as a vague awareness of "light" with no precise location, shape, or color. Efron explains that this usage is arbitrary and unjustified, because such perceptions lie on a continuum with the most highly differentiated perceptions (see p. 155 of his essay)

In my opinion, Efron has performed an ~enormous~ service to the world of psychology by sorting and clarifying these various usages of "sensation." He is a largely unsung hero of the Objectivist movement, and (IMO) we are considerably poorer without his continued efforts on our behalf.

           *                    *                     *                      *

In closing, I want to note that Rand greatly confused her discussion of music by an unannounced ~definition switch~ between ~Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology~ and "Art and Cognition." In the earlier work, she employed the Jamesian concept of "sensation" (sense 5 above), while in the later work, she employed the Helmholtzian view (sense 1 above). While there is ~some~ rationale (perhaps) for using the Jamesian concept in regard to very early infant awareness, there is ~none whatsoever~ for applying James' concept to our awareness of tones. Our awareness of tones is discriminated and integrated. (A tone is the resultant, integrated by our nervous system, of a number of "simple tones" that are a complex of vibration patterns of the object producing the sound.) Thus, it is not a "sensation" in James' sense (#5).

And, as Efron's analysis makes clear, the proper term to use to refer to forms or modalities of perception (such as tone) is not "sensation" as Rand and Helmholtz did (#1), but instead "perception." Our awareness of light and sound is always integrated and differentiated, to ~some~ extent, so it is always ~perception~, not a "sensation".

At the very least, Rand appears to have become confused between the two senses of "sensation." She apparently wanted to treat tones as equivalent (and not merely similar) to the unintegrated, undifferentiated sensations of very early infancy, and Helmholtz' faulty terminology allowed her to do so. But Helmholtz' use of "sensation" to apply to tones was to what Efron identifies as a form or mode of perception, and Helmholtz made it clear that tones are integrated and differentiated, and he formulated the theory and performed the experiments that prove it. His 1862 book bears ~careful~ reading, not just the cursory glance that Rand apparently gave it.

 Best 2 all, Roger Bissell

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2 hours ago, merjet said:

You also can't see heat, sound, taste, smell, or thoughts. Does that imply they don't exist? :o

My skin -sees- heat in a certain frequency range. Heat is electromagnetic radiation in a lower frequency range than visible light.  And for -see-   substitute -perceive-.  We have senses for IR electromagnetic radiation,  visible radiation.  chemical senses for smell and taste.  Thoughts we experience  with the same vividness as sight or sound.  For  electromagnetic radiation in other bands we have  radios and t.v. systems that "see" in the microwave range,  we have detectors that "see"  or detect in the U.V.  X-ray and Gamma Ray  frequency ranges.   yes.  They exist.

Now tell me, if you know,  in what part of your body is your mind located. 

I never detected a mind in my body -anywhere-!!!  And I sense my thoughts which are produced by my brain  which is not only visible (if the skull is opened)  but is readily detectable and measurable by a variety of means.   So I have concluded I don't have a mind.  But I KNOW  I have a brain.  I have seen its image,  observed its works with an MRI and PET scan and have sensed some of its doings  the way most people claim they know when they are thinking.  My brain does my thinking for me.  I don't need an undetectable Mind which does not seem to obey any physical laws. 

Since you seem to imply that you have a mind,  perhaps you can tell me where in your body it is. 

By the way.  I do not have Soul or a Spirit, either.   I am one hundred percent physical down to the subatomic level 

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1 hour ago, BaalChatzaf said:

My skin -sees- heat in a certain frequency range.

......

Since you seem to imply that you have a mind,  perhaps you can tell me where in your body it is. 

......

By the way.  I do not have Soul or a Spirit, either.   I am one hundred percent physical down to the subatomic level 

No, your skin feels heat. I meant see with your eyes.

It's rather widespread but centralized in the brain.

Do you have a consciousness? If so, where is it? If not, how did you read and understand what I posted? Where in your body is your awareness?

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2 hours ago, merjet said:

No, your skin feels heat. I meant see with your eyes.

It's rather widespread but centralized in the brain.

Do you have a consciousness? If so, where is it? If not, how did you read and understand what I posted? Where in your body is your awareness?

It is sensor nerves responding to electromagnetic radiation of a certain frequency range.  The retina feels light just like the skin feels heat.  However the nerve output from the retina  process the data differently.  There is  a visual cortex in the brain the  retains the topological  distribution of the light on the retina.  There is no corresponding processing for heat sensed by the skin.  However for pressure (sense of touch)  topological  information is retained in the brain.  That is why we can determine shapes using our sense of touch.  The blind can "see"  with their  finger tips because the pressure sensitive nerves are packed densely in the finger tips.  Using touch  we can produce a topological image. 

It all works according to the laws of physics.  

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Ba'al wrote, "Now tell me, if you know, in what part of your body is your mind located."

I think there is plenty of evidence to show the mind is located in the little finger. If it is chopped off in a meat cleaver vs. side of beef accident the butcher immediately becomes comatose. How can the mind be located in the head when goats butt heads? My little finger just said it is bored.

You know some ladies say a man's brain is located in his . . .

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On 7/3/2017 at 5:38 PM, BaalChatzaf said:

I have had my  body (including my brain and spine  thoroughly scanned by the most advanced equipment available today -- ECG, X-ray, PET scan, functional NMRI.   None of this scanners have revealed the presence of a mind (???? what is it????).  My skull is full of brain tissue.  

Do you have any idea on what part of your body your mind  occupies????  If you know I will have to arrange a scan of that corresponding part of my body.  Perhaps I will find my mind. 

It may be that I don't have a mind.  I do have a brain that functions very well.  

Odd, that you rely upon scanners - admirable tools as they are - to be valid in searching for consciousness, but your own experience with your mind to reveal nothing. (The instruments remind me just a little, of interposed "veils of perception" between reality and mind). For all that you've disavowed 'a priori', your often repeated authority of "laws of physics" were discovered by other minds, (which we can learn from). Therefore you learned from and take their laws or principles as axioms as your starting point for "knowing" and negate your consciousness. Your evident metaphysics-skepticism simply follows the same error several philosophers made, equating the supernatural with metaphysics. 

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16 minutes ago, anthony said:

Odd, that you rely upon scanners - admirable tools as they are - to be valid in searching for consciousness, but your own experience with your mind to reveal nothing.

I have seen more of consciousness than you have of yours.  Watching a PET scan while solving a problem is quite a light show.

And I don't have a mind.  I have a brain and it serves me quite well.

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1 hour ago, anthony said:

Odd, that you rely upon scanners - admirable tools as they are - to be valid in searching for consciousness, but your own experience with your mind to reveal nothing. (The instruments remind me just a little, of interposed "veils of perception" between reality and mind). For all that you've disavowed 'a priori', your often repeated authority of "laws of physics" were discovered by other minds, (which we can learn from). Therefore you learned from and take their laws or principles as axioms as your starting point for "knowing" and negate your consciousness. Your evident metaphysics-skepticism simply follows the same error several philosophers made, equating the supernatural with metaphysics. 

I go with what works.  Physics works.  Science works  Instruments help us see things that we otherwise would not even no exist.   To see the planet Saturn with its rings I put  that veil of perception,  a 400X  refracting telescope  between me and Saturn. 

I follow the same set of errors that have given us anti-biotics,   telescopes, microscopes,  radar, GPS and computers.  What do you follow?  And where has that led you?

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40 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

I go with what works.  Physics works.  Science works  Instruments help us see things that we otherwise would not even no exist.   To see the planet Saturn with its rings I put  that veil of perception,  a 400X  refracting telescope  between me and Jupiter. 

I follow the same set of errors that have given us anti-biotics,   telescopes, microscopes,  radar, GPS and computers.  What do you follow?  And where has that led you?

Derivative of others' works. You learned these findings as I did (if not to your proficiency or level of interest). Anyone obviously - can - and should - also employ the empirical methodology, as method, for his purposes. It is pretty easy to find out *what* we know. To dismiss in skepticism *how* one knows in favor of this pragmatic "whatever works" will defeat itself.

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32 minutes ago, anthony said:

Derivative of others' works. You learned these findings as I did (if not to your proficiency or level of interest). Anyone obviously - can - and should - also employ the empirical methodology, as method, for his purposes. It is pretty easy to find out *what* we know. To dismiss in skepticism *how* one knows in favor of this pragmatic "whatever works" will defeat itself.

Oh, the pain of defeat! Technology, preservation of health,  comfort,  prosperity.  Oh the horror, the horror!

 

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51 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

I have seen more of consciousness than you have of yours.  Watching a PET scan while solving a problem is quite a light show.

And I don't have a mind.  I have a brain and it serves me quite well.

Alright. You don't have a mind. I believe you. I will try to remember, and to stop defending your um, "mind" against its self-made idiocy. You don't mind that others have minds, though?

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2 minutes ago, anthony said:

Alright. You don't have a mind. I believe you. I will try to remember, and to stop defending your um, "mind" against its self-made idiocy. You don't mind that others have minds, though?

I don't care. They have what they have.

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Bob, prosperity, health and comfort over any other consideration, is exactly what we'll lose first--if left in the hands of "whatever works" skeptics. You'll know the one about giving up a little freedom for the sake of a little security, not deserving either, and losing both? (B. Franklin?)

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22 hours ago, anthony said:

Bob, prosperity, health and comfort over any other consideration, is exactly what we'll lose first--if left in the hands of "whatever works" skeptics. You'll know the one about giving up a little freedom for the sake of a little security, not deserving either, and losing both? (B. Franklin?)

Better "whatever works"  than "does not work at all".  For instance scientific judgments related to Rand and Objectivism.  They are mostly worthless. 

Some of the most  active pro-objectivist writers  denied quantum theory.  Even a very smart fellow like the late Stephen Speicher (Betsy's husband). No matter how well quantum physics predicts, the Objectivist Objectors  object on philosophical  grounds.  Apparently overwhelming experimental corroboration counts for naught. 

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1 hour ago, BaalChatzaf said:

Better "whatever works"  than "does not work at all".  For instance scientific judgments related to Rand and Objectivism.  They are mostly worthless. 

Some of the most  active pro-objectivist writers  denied quantum theory.  Even a very smart fellow like the late Stephen Speicher (Betsy's husband). No matter how well quantum physics predicts, the Objectivist Objectors  object on philosophical  grounds.  Apparently overwhelming experimental corroboration counts for naught. 

In the preface Harry Binswanger’s “How We Know,” he writes: Mankind has existed for 400,000 years but 395,000 of those years were consumed by the Stone Age. The factor that freed men from endless toil and early death, the root cause of the elevated level of existence we now take for granted, is one precious value: *knowledge.* The painfully acquired knowledge of how to master nature, how to organize social existence, and how to understand himself is what enabled man to rise from the cave to the skyscraper, from warring clans to a global economy, from an average lifespan of less than 30 years to one approaching 80. end quotes

 

So I don’t think dogma will be trumping *science* for long.

From “The Twilight Zone,” Next stop, Willoughby.”

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3 hours ago, BaalChatzaf said:

Better "whatever works"  than "does not work at all".  For instance scientific judgments related to Rand and Objectivism.  They are mostly worthless. 

Some of the most  active pro-objectivist writers  denied quantum theory.  Even a very smart fellow like the late Stephen Speicher (Betsy's husband). No matter how well quantum physics predicts, the Objectivist Objectors  object on philosophical  grounds.  Apparently overwhelming experimental corroboration counts for naught. 

Turn things around to your pet subject if you like, under a pretense I have been knocking science. What I have knocked is the sort of thinking that is crowned by the statement: "I don't have a mind".

Multiply such radical skepticism by millions, and we have masses of people who (it follows logically) don't know that other people's minds actually exist and have an identity. Also, who aver that they can't "know" anything for sure. Finally, since they don't "know", logically again, they wouldn't know better and therefore are free to do whatever their emotions dictate (to any other supposedly mind-less people)..

Tell me how Quantum Physics will rectify that.

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2 hours ago, anthony said:

Turn things around to your pet subject if you like, under a pretense I have been knocking science. What I have knocked is the sort of thinking that is crowned by the statement: "I don't have a mind".

Multiply such radical skepticism by millions, and we have masses of people who (it follows logically) don't know that other people's minds actually exist and have an identity. Also, who aver that they can't "know" anything for sure. Finally, since they don't "know", logically again, they wouldn't know better and therefore are free to do whatever their emotions dictate (to any other supposedly mind-less people)..

Tell me how Quantum Physics will rectify that.

I have had my physical corpus scanned  as well as anyone ever has been scanned.  No sign of a mind.  So it is very reasonable to assume I have no mind. 

When the best equipment for finding something comes up empty handed  we can conclude that the something very probably  does not exist  or we have been looking in the wrong place.  Perhaps I do have a mind  but it is nowhere to be found in my body.  Do you have any suggestions where to look? 

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48 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

I have had my physical corpus scanned  as well as anyone ever has been scanned.  No sign of a mind.  So it is very reasonable to assume I have no mind. 

When the best equipment for finding something comes up empty handed  we can conclude that the something very probably  does not exist  or we have been looking in the wrong place.  Perhaps I do have a mind  but it is nowhere to be found in my body.  Do you have any suggestions where to look? 

Well, that's the whole issue about volitional consciousness vs determinism. The "mind" is willfully turning a blind eye or choosing to focus, refusal to think or doing the mental labor of study. What we see in a scan of physical corpus is a snapshot of the result, not the action of mental management that could have produced a different physical result over time. Paradoxically a lot of mental work gets done when we have lucid dreams.

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33 minutes ago, Wolf DeVoon said:

Well, that's the whole issue about volitional consciousness vs determinism. The "mind" is willfully turning a blind eye or choosing to focus, refusal to think or doing the mental labor of study. What we see in a scan of physical corpus is a snapshot of the result, not the action of mental management that could have produced a different physical result over time. Paradoxically a lot of mental work gets done when we have lucid dreams.

What entity is "turning the blind eye"  and where is it?  Everything that exists in the cosmos has to be someplace. So where is your mind located?

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10 hours ago, BaalChatzaf said:

So where is your mind located?

Where are your thoughts located?

No thoughts implies no mind. :)

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