This acclaimed scientist gives a friendlier face to atheistic neuroscience |331|

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, Oct 25, 2016.

  1. Alex

    Alex New

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    Hi Grant... you might have finnally nudged me over the cliff :) I gotta try to get Gazzaniga on Skeptiko.
     
  2. Alex

    Alex New

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    great point.
     
  3. Alex

    Alex New

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    yes it does. I always cringe when I hear (or use) the TV analogy, then again, it's hard to bring hardcore folks like George up-to-speed without some oversimplification.
     
  4. Alex

    Alex New

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    agreed. it's a strange twist of the materialistic torture wheel... "experts"
     
  5. Alex

    Alex New

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    agreed. it's the touchstone. you can talk quantim physics and eyes just glaze over, but bring up evolution and everyone "knows."


    interesting take. I think NDE science has won over a lot of folks.
     
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  6. ChadWooters

    ChadWooters New

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    As I recall, the question Alex "teed-up" was whether or not there was a paradigm shift away from materialism/physicalism to something that could incorporate the findings of consciousness research into ESP, mediumship, NDE's, etc.Personally, I do not think so judging from the popular science media I read. "Mind" and "brain" seem to be used interchangeably. Articles covering the paranormal have a sensationalist bent. I frequently debate on atheistforums.org. I can tell you that I hear the same mocking attitude and ridiculous straw-men continually presented in otherwise serious publications. I have no doubt that the guest is quite serious about his research yet he was quick to dismiss NDE perceptions as "floating eyeballs". It is very difficult to reach people who immediately fit inexplicable phenomena into childish notions of the transcendent.
     
  7. ChadWooters

    ChadWooters New

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    Neither to I. Part of the problem is that the most popular theories of mind are based on the assumptions of modern analytic philosophy. In Thomism, because it starts with different assumptions, the mind-body problem simply doesn't exist.
     
  8. Alex

    Alex New

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    I agree... we all have resist the pull of the echo chamber. most of the "normal" people I encounter are only slightly more open to this stuff.
     
  9. Mat

    Mat Member

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    sorry, I don't understand the direction of your post. Why do you think it is an error to acknowledge that the physical brain and the conscious mind are not synonymous? Most people would assume that conscious experience ceases under deep anaesthesia before it comes back afterwards. Do you simply want to point out that consciousNESS is a strange term?
     
  10. Mat

    Mat Member

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    I think you got me wrong. Maybe I wasn't clear enough. I didn't want to oppose an immaterial consciousNESS to brain-based contents of consciousness. I don't like using the term consciousNESS. I think that while the brain (as we understand it in contemporary science i.e. a biological information processing machine) does determine WHAT we experience, it cannot provide the ontological basis for conscious experience.

    To me, the wording "the brain CREATES conscious experience" implies that the brain provides the ontological basis for consicous experience. But people use language differently...
     
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  11. Mat

    Mat Member

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    Then, probably, we can find a better analogy.

    I recently had the idea to use an orchestral score and the music it conveys as an analogy for brain and consciousness:

    - To a large extent, the score determines the music.

    but:

    - Paper and ink is not the ontological basis for music, in other words, music is not localized on a sheet of paper. Why at all can music exist then? Because it is created and experienced somewhere else!
    - the essential structures of a piece of music (not fully amenable to analytic/reductionistic analysis) fundamentally differ from those of musical notation and a piece of paper&ink. How can this be possible? because the latter is interpreted by a process located in a different realm!

    One important limitation of this analogy is that it describes a uni-directional relation. I don't think the relation between brain and conscious experience is uni-directional (why would biological evolution have come up with a uni-directional relation?). But the TV-analogy suffers from the same limitation.

    Probably we can start some brain-storming here about analogies that might replace the TV-set-analogy. Has anyone a good idea for a bi-directional analogy?
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2016
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  12. Kamarling

    Kamarling Member

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    I am doing a bit of personal brain-storming trying to imagine what you mean by a bi-directional analogy. Anyhow, I often use the TV analogy with the caveat that it is simplistic and not literal. If I get anywhere with that (and, more often than not, I don't) I'll try to introduce the filter theory.

    But what I find is the real road-block is the refusal on that part of mind=brain materialists to consider subjectivity seriously. If I talk about the subjective qualities of music, drama, art, etc. or the beauty of a red rose, I am told that brains have evolved to recognise patterns and that the feelings associated with those patterns have some evolutionary advantage. The response is so pat and so consistent that I imagine classrooms full of students repeating passages from Dawkins like the Chinese during the Cultural Revolution reciting Mao's little red book. At that point I usually remember the gulf that exists between worldviews - one that I can never expect to bridge.
     
  13. Mat

    Mat Member

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    1) bi-directional: brain processes have causal effects on conscious experience. Conscious experience have effects on brain processes.

    2) uni-directional: the broadcasted TV programm has effect on the physical processes in my TV. Physical processes in my TV have no effect on what is being broadcasted.
     
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  14. Mat

    Mat Member

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    Don't give up trying to bridge the gulf. One point I keep trying to make: many people seem to think that if they find a point of view from which a problem becomes invisible, they have solved the problem. If you look at brains who claim to have conscious experience, you can't see the mind-body problem. It is a perspective from which the mind-body problem becomes invisible. I remember one or two materialists who after a lively discussion finally acknowledged that ignoring a problem isn't precisely the same as solving it. So they converted from Eliminativism to one-day-we-will-find-it-out-materialists...
     
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