A Neuroscientist’s Radical Theory of How Networks Become Conscious

#21
Yeah, that is the nub of it. I have to go back to my repitious point on semantics.

There is no way in a physical reality to transfer information without the use of tokens representing things other than themselves. A physical discontinuity between a thing and the thing it represents. This is only ever bridged by consciousness. The fact the physcalist must come to terms with is that the discontinuity is a operational requirement for the input of information.

In the same way a pattern of firing neurons is not the actual thing it represents. It is meaningless without consciousness, so the circular question begging is unavoidable from a purely physical standpoint. As we clearly see in this case. Information is not matter or energy.

All physical sytems transferring information must use patterns that represent things other than themselves. The brain is no exception. That is what it does, that is what we do. And there is no physical connection between the thing and the thing it represents. Conciousness is the only thing that applies meaning, physics does not.

I have been on about this many times, but at least I think I am getting better at describing it.
In the context of consciousness I completely agree with this!

Moreover, it occurs to me that Koch's thinking is undergoing a subtle shift.

The standard position is that science doesn't assume physicalism a-priori, but that it just turns out that everything is explained without resort to a non-physical world of mind.

Now Kock's argument is, in effect, since consciousness exists, and nothing non-physical exists, consciousness must just pop out of complexity!

In other words, instead of nominally 'discovering' that the world is only physical, he uses that 'fact' to force himself into the corner of accepting emergence!

I find it fascinating that conventional science is so obviously stuck on this question.

David
 
#22
The question of physical versus non-physical may be analogous to wave-particle duality. If you look for a wave, you find a wave. If you look for a particle, you find a particle. If you look only for the physical, you find only the physical.
 
#23
The question of physical versus non-physical may be analogous to wave-particle duality. If you look for a wave, you find a wave. If you look for a particle, you find a particle. If you look only for the physical, you find only the physical.
At the lowest state of reality it's more "all waves" than particles. Particles are just peaks and troughs in those waves.
And we're back to the "what is matter question"? An ocean of scalar energy fields governed by (abstract) mathematical rules?

A couple of those free miracles that render materialism possible :D
 
#24
At the lowest state of reality it's more "all waves" than particles. Particles are just peaks and troughs in those waves.
And we're back to the "what is matter question"? An ocean of scalar energy fields governed by (abstract) mathematical rules?

A couple of those free miracles that render materialism possible :D
That's interesting but isn't quite on the point I was trying to make. I was really referring to a mode of thinking, how a mental block can occur, rather than the science or physics itself.
 
#25
That's interesting but isn't quite on the point I was trying to make. I was really referring to a mode of thinking, how a mental block can occur, rather than the science or physics itself.
Yeah sorry, I went off on a tangent :)
I suppose you're right, though I realize that modern science relies almost a 100% on its instruments and their ability to quantify phenomena.
I suspect that even if we had definitive, uncontroversial proof that consciousness is immaterial, scientists by and large would prefer to keep poking and prodding the brain rather than chasing a non physical entity.

Is it a mental block or is it the intrinsic nature of the scientific endeavor? Playing with things. Particles, not waves... waves are boring. Can't put them together like lego bricks :)
Or maybe I am over-simplifying.
 
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