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Mind-body problem-Chomsky/Nagel

by bohm2
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apeiron
#55
Sep6-11, 12:19 AM
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Quote Quote by PhizzicsPhan View Post
I find it interesting that apeiron still criticizes panpsychism when he has long cited C.S. Pierce as foundational for his views - and Peirce was a panpsychist. I've also argued, without adequate rebuttal, in previous threads that pansemiotism is equivalent to panpsychism is equivalent to panexperientialism.
Funny, I don't remember you winning that argument.

As I said, the semiotic view is also the systems' one - essences emerge.

Both panpsychism and reductive materialism are about a belief in essential properties. So it is a different metaphysical view to argue that reality has no essence (its origins are vague), and the essential then emerges from that.

Quote Quote by PhizzicsPhan View Post
Also, FYI, Strawson would not claim that a glass of water or rock was itself conscious. This is a sophomoric attempt to discredit panpsychism. Modern panpsychists generally hold that these objects are "mere aggregates" in that their constituents have some degree of consciousness but not the aggregate itself. It takes the right kind of organization/complexity/coherence to form a true individual and thus a unitary consciousness.
That's what I mean about having your cake and eat it. Organisation explains nothing, but then it also explains everything.

I mean, how are we to make sense of the idea that "there is something that it is like to be a rock" - except not actually for the rock? Somehow there is an experiential state - but the entity in question is not actually experiencing it.

Yes, panpsychism can construct an unfalsifiable hypothesis about reality. But that makes it unscientific.
bohm2
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Sep6-11, 12:26 AM
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In reading his stuff, I would guess Chomsky favours some type of emergence but such emergence won't make sense with current physics, I think. There are problems with panpsychism like the following:

1. The Combination Problem. Even if we grant that all elements of reality have some kind of mental, conscious aspect to them, how is it that some groups of such elements form higher level and unified states of consciousness? Isn’t this just the generation problem all over again?

2. The Unconscious Mentality Problem. It would be easier to believe in an all pervasive mentality if we didn’t have to swallow the extra implausibility of this being conscious mentality. But then the generation problem is back with full force. What is the secret ingredient that turns certain combinations (see the first problem) of utterly unconscious mental elements into complex states of consciousness? There seems to be no escape from the requirement that panpsychism posit some kind of ‘micro-consciousness’.

3. The Completeness Problem. The physical world view as presented by and in fundamental physics seems to be causally complete. But a truly irreducible, basic feature of the world ought to make a causal difference to the world. Thus panpsychism would seem to threaten a plausible doctrine of physical causal closure.

4. The No Sign Problem. There appears to be no direct evidence whatsoever that every element of reality has an associated mentalistic and in fact conscious aspect.

5. The Not-Mental Problem. Even supposing there was some evidence for a fundamental, non-physical property that pervaded the world and had some kind of causal influence upon events, why would we call it a mental property? (In particular, why not call it a new kind of physical property?)

See Chapter 9 of:

http://bearsite.info/General/Philoso...-Routledge.pdf

I'm actually surprised that more panpsychists haven't looked closer at Bohm's quantum potential because there are quite a few elements/properties in it that would be very conducive to being interpreted as having proto-mental-type properties. But it's not clear if macroscopic coherence (like in SQUID) is possible for a system as large and as hot as the brain? Has anybody found any arguments/loopholes against Tegmark's stuff?
apeiron
#57
Sep6-11, 12:47 AM
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Quote Quote by bohm2 View Post
But it's not clear if macroscopic coherence (like in SQUID) is possible for a system as large and as hot as the brain? Has anybody found any arguments/loopholes against Tegmark's stuff?
Why do you say this is not clear when in fact the mainstream view is that it is an elementary fact of QM that the brain is too hot for largescale QM coherence?

Hameroff did argue back to Tegmark - http://www.quantumconsciousness.org/...ecoherence.pdf

But its still the view from the crackpot fringe. There is no evidence in his favour.
PhizzicsPhan
#58
Sep6-11, 02:04 AM
P: 116
bohm2, Whitehead and Griffin have sketched an outline of a solution to the combination problem, referring to a dominant individual in each society of individuals. Whitehead's panpsychist/panexperiential philosophy can succinctly be summarized in his oft-repeated statement that "the many become one and are increased by one." But these thinkers' work in this area leaves many details to be explored and I have done so in my forthcoming paper in the Journal of Conscious Studies ("Kicking the Psychophysical Laws Into Gear: A New Approach to the Combination Problem.") Here's the abstract and feel free to email me for the full paper at tam dot hunt at gmail:

A new approach to the “hard problem” of consciousness, the eons-old mind/body problem, is proposed, inspired by Whitehead, Schopenhauer, Griffin and others. I define a “simple subject” as the fundamental unit of matter and of consciousness. Simple subjects are inherently experiential, albeit in a highly rudimentary manner compared to human consciousness. With this re-framing, the “physical” realm includes the “mental” realm; they are two aspects of the same thing, the outside and inside of each real thing. This view is known as panpsychism or panexperientialism and is in itself a partial solution to the hard problem. The secondary but more interesting question may be framed as: what is a “complex subject”? How do simple subjects combine to form complex subjects like bats and human beings? This is more generally known as the “combination problem” ” or the “boundary problem,” and is the key problem facing both materialist and panpsychist approaches to consciousness. I suggest a new approach for resolving this component of the hard problem, a “general theory of complex subjects” that includes “psychophysical laws” in the form of a simple mathematical framework. I present three steps for characterizing complex subjects, with the physical nature of time key to this new understanding. Time is viewed as fundamentally quantized. I also suggest, as a second-order conceptualization, that “information” and “experience” may be considered identical concepts and that there is no double-aspect to information. Rather, there is a single aspect to information and it is inherently experiential. Tononi’s, Chalmers’ and Freeman’s similar theories are compared and contrasted. Part 2 of this paper will propose an experimental research program for obtaining data to support or negate the asserted framework.

Also see this thread for more discussion with apeiron and others on these topics:

http://www.physicsforums.com/showthr...ghlight=conrad

As for Bohm, I have read much of his work and find it compelling. He refers frequently to Whitehead's work and Bohm was clearly a panpsychist even though he didn't apparently use this term. He stated in a 1986 article: “That which we experience as mind…will in a natural way ultimately reach the level of the wavefunction and of the ‘dance’ of the particles. There is no unbridgeable gap or barrier between any of these levels. … It is implied that, in some sense, a rudimentary consciousness is present even at the level of particle physics." And in 1990: "Every content is a form and every form is at the same time a content. Another way of saying that is that everything material is also mental and everything mental is also material, but there are many more infinitely subtle levels of matter than we are aware of."
PhizzicsPhan
#59
Sep6-11, 02:18 AM
P: 116
apeiron, I think you let the last thread trail off without much resolution :).

With respect to essences and emergence, the process philosophy version of panpsychism holds that there are no essences. All is process and this process is inherently experiential because each "actual entity" oscillates between subject and object. There is a hierarchy of emergence in terms of various levels of experience/consciousness but there is no qualitative emergence of experience/consciousness because it is there from the very beginning.

Again, a systems-focused ontology cannot explain consciousness even in principle unless it admits that some degree of consciousness exists in all the constituents that comprise the systems at issue. That is, unless one is fine positing miracles/magic - older names for radical emergence.

As for "something it is like to be a rock," I'm saying (with most of today's panpsychists) exactly the opposite: there is not something it is like to be a rock. That's my point by saying that the constituents of the rock have some degree of experience but not the rock itself because it lacks the right kind of organization/coherence. It seems that life is the process by which experience can compound above the molecular level on a sustained basis. Through evolution of cell-based life, it seems that the universe has learned how to bootstrap complexity through energy storage and dramatically enhanced communication channels. Mae-Wan Ho's work in this area is illuminating. It could be the case, though it is certainly up for debate, that the vast majority of matter in the universe is confined to extremely rudimentary consciousness because it can't bootstrap to higher levels through energy storage and enhanced communication channels.

As for falsifiability being the hallmark of a scientific theory, this is an overly narrow view that even Popper denied. Falsifiability is the gold standard of scientific theories, but it is not the only standard. Popper himself discussed criticizability as another standard and in philosophy the relevant standards are generally held to be adequacy to the facts and logical coherence.

Part 2 of my paper will explore these ideas in more detail.
Ferris_bg
#60
Sep6-11, 02:33 AM
P: 88
I think we already discussed the pan-topic here, and I would love to read PhizzicsPhan's papers and discuss them in a thread dedicated to the panpsychism itself. So PLEASE someone do us all a favor and separate the threads.
PhizzicsPhan
#61
Sep6-11, 02:37 AM
P: 116
bohm2, seek Skrbina's great book, Panpsychism in the West for detailed responses to the critiques you list, but here's my quick response to each:

2. The Unconscious Mentality Problem. It would be easier to believe in an all pervasive mentality if we didn’t have to swallow the extra implausibility of this being conscious mentality. But then the generation problem is back with full force. What is the secret ingredient that turns certain combinations (see the first problem) of utterly unconscious mental elements into complex states of consciousness? There seems to be no escape from the requirement that panpsychism posit some kind of ‘micro-consciousness’.

There is no need to escape "micro-consciousness" as this is the very point of most versions of panpsychism: the world consists of micro-consciousnesses that occasionally combine into macro-consciousnesses. The "secret ingredient" is the right kind of organization/coherence, which may come about only in cell-based life (or non-cell-based life also perhaps).

3. The Completeness Problem. The physical world view as presented by and in fundamental physics seems to be causally complete. But a truly irreducible, basic feature of the world ought to make a causal difference to the world. Thus panpsychism would seem to threaten a plausible doctrine of physical causal closure.

Panpsychists generally make the lack of completeness and lack of causal closure a key point of their arguments. Emergence and epiphenomenalism often go hand in hand and this is a major argument against emergence/materialism.

4. The No Sign Problem. There appears to be no direct evidence whatsoever that every element of reality has an associated mentalistic and in fact conscious aspect.

To the contrary, there is abundant evidence of rudimentary mentality. Dyson describes explicitly how what we call random behavior in electrons is better described as choice. So where today's science so often posits chance as an explanation, panpsychists see free choice. Obviously, there is even more abundant evidence of mentality in the domains of life, from bats to bacteria.

5. The Not-Mental Problem. Even supposing there was some evidence for a fundamental, non-physical property that pervaded the world and had some kind of causal influence upon events, why would we call it a mental property? (In particular, why not call it a new kind of physical property?)

Because the point of the mind/body problem is a recognition that there is a fundamental difference between experience/feelings/consciousness and objective descriptions of matter. One is interiority, the other exteriority. Physics focuses currently entirely on exteriority. Tomorrow's physics will focus also on interiority by recognizing that every object is also a subject and vice versa.
apeiron
#62
Sep6-11, 07:33 AM
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Quote Quote by PhizzicsPhan View Post
apeiron, I think you let the last thread trail off without much resolution :).
Yes, probably not unconnected with the fact that I went off on holiday for a few weeks at that point.

With respect to essences and emergence, the process philosophy version of panpsychism holds that there are no essences.
..which would seem to conflict with...

All is process and this process is inherently experiential because each "actual entity" oscillates between subject and object.
Talking about processes is good as it makes plain the structure of the causality that is claimed. You can understand why a process has the results it does.

But "oscillating between subject and object" doesn't really give any real view of a causal structure. There is no reason why it should be happening and have the results it does. It is just a claim about a pair of properties that are inherent in an alternating fashion. Why? How?

Peirce was certainly a process philosopher. But I don't see the justification for calling a panpsychic approach a process one. It claims experience as a property inherent in all material events. There is no actual process producing the property.

Again, a systems-focused ontology cannot explain consciousness even in principle unless it admits that some degree of consciousness exists in all the constituents that comprise the systems at issue. That is, unless one is fine positing miracles/magic - older names for radical emergence.
Again, a systems approach does not demand a world in which the local materials come first. Instead, the claim is that there is an organic interaction between local materials and global forms. A system involves also top-down constraint which has the effect of forming up the local materials, giving them the properties that appear to inhere.

So perhaps you don't understand the systems ontology yet? The local properties are part of what emerge in the development of a system. They don't have to be crisply definite prior to anything as you suggest.

As for "something it is like to be a rock," I'm saying (with most of today's panpsychists) exactly the opposite: there is not something it is like to be a rock. That's my point by saying that the constituents of the rock have some degree of experience but not the rock itself because it lacks the right kind of organization/coherence.
OK, so what defines a constituent here? Is it the crystals, the atoms, the wavefunctions?

And how do we demonstrate that they indeed have this claimed property? How are we measuring it?

As for falsifiability being the hallmark of a scientific theory, this is an overly narrow view that even Popper denied. Falsifiability is the gold standard of scientific theories, but it is not the only standard. Popper himself discussed criticizability as another standard and in philosophy the relevant standards are generally held to be adequacy to the facts and logical coherence.
So you agree that you are spinning a hypothesis that is unfalsifiable?
PhizzicsPhan
#63
Sep6-11, 09:31 PM
P: 116
apeiron, I urge you go back through our last lengthy discussion because I've addressed all of your questions previously. "Process philosophy" is the term used to describe Whitehead's philosophy and there are journals and countless books on process philosophy, all of which are panpsychist. Whitehead did not deny substance (for what else could be the subject of process?) Rather, he tried to strike a more appropriate balance between process and substance as an antidote to the substantialism of the modern era, which stresses the importance of substance over process. Whitehead is generally a Heraclitean trying to mitigate Parmenidean tendencies that are still deeply rooted in our culture.

Here's the digest of my version of panpsychism, heavily inspired by Whitehead and others, but breaking some new ground also:

- time is quantized (chronon) and the universe is constantly changing from chronon to chronon
- each basic constituent ("actual entity", "simple subject," "occasion of experience," etc.) emanates into actuality from the pure potentiality of the "ground of being" or what Whitehead calls "creativity"
- each basic constituent of the universe oscillates with each time quantum between subject and object
- this oscillation is built into the "creative advance" of the universe, which is the flow of time and the laying down of reality in each moment. This laying down of the universe proceeds through the oscillation of each actual entity from subject to object, which results from the actual entity "prehending" the universe around it and choosing how to manifest based on that information
- actual entities can compound into higher order actual entities given the right energy and communications flows, which allows information to flow through a broader spatial extent than would be possible without these energy and communications flows. The broader spatial extent of each actual entity is perhaps synonymous with forms we call 'life,' which may be characterized by increased energy storage and improved energy flows

As for falsifiability I'm still thinking through approaches that may allow for falsification of panpsychism or materialism for Part 2 of my paper.

One possibility for falsifying materialism - or at least the epiphenomalist version thereof - from my armchair: why do we feel pain if epiphenomenalism is true? Isn't it enough that a reflex prompts us to move away from things that cause us harm? Why is pain (sometimes extreme pain) necessary to deter harmful behavior?
Gold Barz
#64
Sep6-11, 11:13 PM
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Quote Quote by apeiron View Post
As I said, the semiotic view is also the systems' one - essences emerge.
Apeiron, can you elaborate on this, what do you mean by essences?
apeiron
#65
Sep6-11, 11:22 PM
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Quote Quote by PhizzicsPhan View Post
"Process philosophy" is the term used to describe Whitehead's philosophy and there are journals and countless books on process philosophy, all of which are panpsychist.
Yes, and I was commenting that this seems false advertising as things end up back with essentialism rather than with a true process view.

Whereas Peirce, who came before Whitehead and arguably influenced many people in a roundabout way, was really a process thinker IMO.

One of the things that came out of that last discussion was a better understanding of all the currents or thought that were swirling at that time. Peirce, of course, was a loner and embittered crank for much of his career, not publishing and so only an indirect influence. Yet I think that the vogue for neutral monism seen in Russell and James, the rise of holism, and then the success of Whitehead, shows that at least the thinking was quite adventurous back then.

By contrast, we are now in an era that is again relentlessly materialist and reductionist. So I have no problem considering panpsychism on its merits. But I am very critical of its inability to model the actual causality of reality. It does more to conceal than reveal when you get down to brass tacks.

Whitehead did not deny substance (for what else could be the subject of process?) Rather, he tried to strike a more appropriate balance between process and substance as an antidote to the substantialism of the modern era, which stresses the importance of substance over process. Whitehead is generally a Heraclitean trying to mitigate Parmenidean tendencies that are still deeply rooted in our culture.
Agreed, but then that does not go far enough from the Peircean perspective. The dichotomy is not between substance and process but substance and form (or local constructive actions and global downward acting constraints). And it is that totality which is the process.

So the process is about how the substance constructs the forms and the forms produce (via constraint) those very same substances. This is the radically emergent view of nature.

Applied to the mind-body issue, this means that we would call "mind" the process. And it emerges via that interaction between the local and global, between substance and form. And matter - the material world usually described by micro-physics - is also a process. It also emerges via the same kind of synergistic, systematic, interaction.

So mind is emergent, the material world is emergent. Both are levels of development of the same general process. (Peirce called it semiosis. Systems scientists today might call it hierarchy theory, or dissipative structure theory, or cybenetics, etc).

You keep saying that we have to believe in panpsychism because nothing essential can emerge from something that wasn't already there as an essence. It seems a plain logical fact to you (and many others).

But Peirce is precisely an example of switching the game around. Now the logic is that everything that exists (or rather persists) and so appears to have an inherent or essential character is in fact radically emergent. It is the result of a process of self-organising development. This applies as much to the universe as our own minds. So there just is no fundamental problem about the essential emerging. Even if there is of course still the issue of making working scientific models of a universe that emerges, or a mind that emerges.

Here's the digest of my version of panpsychism, heavily inspired by Whitehead and others, but breaking some new ground also:
- time is quantized (chronon) and the universe is constantly changing from chronon to chronon
- each basic constituent ("actual entity", "simple subject," "occasion of experience," etc.) emanates into actuality from the pure potentiality of the "ground of being" or what Whitehead calls "creativity"
- each basic constituent of the universe oscillates with each time quantum between subject and object
- this oscillation is built into the "creative advance" of the universe, which is the flow of time and the laying down of reality in each moment. This laying down of the universe proceeds through the oscillation of each actual entity from subject to object, which results from the actual entity "prehending" the universe around it and choosing how to manifest based on that information
- actual entities can compound into higher order actual entities given the right energy and communications flows, which allows information to flow through a broader spatial extent than would be possible without these energy and communications flows. The broader spatial extent of each actual entity is perhaps synonymous with forms we call 'life,' which may be characterized by increased energy storage and improved energy flows
Again, there is a reliance here on essentialist statements such as an oscillation between two states - the objective and the subjective - as a fact. What is it that makes these states different?

Now in QM, you do have a definite appeal to process here. You have the state of the system pre-measurement and post-measurement. OK, that then appears to require an observer. Or you can try to make a no-collapse interpretation seem ontologically sensible (and fail). So there are difficulties still. But the process is modelled mathematically in very clear fashion. And has been well tested. Something critical about reality has been captured to many decimal places.

But your subject/object oscillation just appears a play on words. It sounds a little like QM-speak and so piggy-backs on that theory's credibility. But there is nothing really that connects you to "experiential". The process needed to create that aspect of things is just not outlined in a way it can even be checked for logical rigour, let alone measured in practice.

One possibility for falsifying materialism - or at least the epiphenomalist version thereof - from my armchair: why do we feel pain if epiphenomenalism is true? Isn't it enough that a reflex prompts us to move away from things that cause us harm? Why is pain (sometimes extreme pain) necessary to deter harmful behavior?
Pain is a well studied story in neuroscience. The nervous system has a hierarchical structure so that it can handle reality at the most appropriate level. We have hardwired spinal reflexes so we react to things (like a hand on a hot stove) before the signals would even have time to travel up to the brain. Genes have hardwired in an immediate response because millenia have proved its worth.

But more complex brains can make more complex negotiations. So pain signals may be routed to a lower part of the brain, like the periaqueductal gray, and remapped to a higher part, like the anterior cingulate. The higher brain can then make choices. It can ignore pain - suppress it top-down - because some goal is more critical. Or in contrary fashion, it can amplify pain (bad backs are often an example of over-attention that perpetuates a signal of tissue damage that in fact is no longer there).

This hierarchical design also allows for new sources of pain as a motivating signal. We can feel the psychic pain of an interior decorator entering a badly done room. Or less jokingly, the empathetic pain that is basic to social animals.

So pain is a reaction to what it harmful. It drives a response. Simple creatures feel simple pain (there is something that it is like to be a live lobster chucked in the broiler ). And complex creature are able to feel complex pain (there is something that it is like to be to be into S&M too).

And we can explain the difference in process terms. We can point not just to some simple raw measure of complexity, but an actual structural logic that is plainly there in brain architecture. And which is functional in terms of an explicit ecological context. There is no mystery about the reason for things being this way.

So epiphenomenalism has no place here. We have a process that can result in experiences of pain as the result of some often complex negotiations.

We don't really need pain to drive a reflexive action (so we don't need to feel too guilty about lobsters perhaps). But we do need pain nagging on us to do things like protect a damaged limb until it has healed.

That is why complex brains evolved areas like the periaqueductal gray to keep us factoring the fact of inflammation into our ongoing decision making. And then areas on top of that like the anterior cingulate that can both chose to suppress knowledge of a damaged limb (because we really need to use it for some goal), and also connect more complex kinds of choice making (such as those of a socially-intelligent animal) to this "pain circuit", or central choice-making part of the brain.

So you can ask the question of why a pain has to hurt, just like you can ask about the redness of red. Why doesn't red look blue or gruen, etc? Once you get down to a certain level, you run out of counterfactuals and so any way to talk about how things could be reasonably otherwise.

But that is a tautology rather than a legitimate question really. The right kinds of questions are why is pain such a dominating sensation? What is its ecological function? What is its neural architecture? Why does it have such a variety of psychic sources? Why do the drugs work sometimes and not others? What is the placebo effect? What is a phantom limb?

There are a bunch of questions about pain as a process that can have answers. But that is because there is a context (containing counterfactuals) that allows there to be a real question.

If you insist on reducing the scope of the discussion to a question like why does pain have to hurt, then you are not falsifying materialism but instead putting the whole discussion beyond the falsification of any theory, as all real theories must outline a process. They must make counterfactuals available so that "what is" can be contrasted with "what is not".

And, as I say, where are the counterfactuals with panpsychism? Where is the model of a process that is open to falsification? Even just in the terms of logical argument, let alone scientific observation? If you can't say why a chronon is experiential in one phase of its oscillation by virtue of some explicit process, then you have shut off any genuine engagement here. You have assumed a conclusion without demonstrating any working out.
PhizzicsPhan
#66
Sep6-11, 11:43 PM
P: 116
PS. Apeiron, can you point me toward a good (hopefully brief) exposition of the systems theory approach to consciousness that you like?
apeiron
#67
Sep7-11, 12:05 AM
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Quote Quote by PhizzicsPhan View Post
PS. Apeiron, can you point me toward a good (hopefully brief) exposition of the systems theory approach to consciousness that you like?
Yes, this is the best current neuroscientific paradigm in my opinion. It contains all the important ingredients of the systems approach, and it is fully detailed.

http://www.fil.ion.ucl.ac.uk/~karl/T...n%20theory.pdf

The New Scientist did a popular account too, if you want to start with something simpler.

http://reverendbayes.wordpress.com/2...new-scientist/
Gold Barz
#68
Sep7-11, 12:37 AM
P: 461
That New Scientist link was a very good read, pretty interesting theory by Karl Friston but I didn't really read anything about consciousness though just the brain itself.
apeiron
#69
Sep7-11, 12:56 AM
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That New Scientist link was a very good read, pretty interesting theory by Karl Friston but I didn't really read anything about consciousness though just the brain itself.
A serious neuroscientist like Friston doesn't claim to be solving the riddle of consciousness because that would be treating it as a thing rather than a process. The idea that consciousness is some particular kind of substance or essence is exactly what we are trying to get away from here. Instead what we want is a general theory about mind-like processes.

But as I keep saying, if a brain has anticipatory states, then it doesn't seem a big jump to feeling that there should be something that it is like to be that brain (as opposed to some similar lump of matter that is not forward modelling the world).
Gold Barz
#70
Sep7-11, 01:09 AM
P: 461
So the free energy principle is a mind-like process?

Also, are there any other theories that you like that fits in with the whole systems approach? I'm in the mood for some reading
apeiron
#71
Sep7-11, 02:55 AM
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Quote Quote by Gold Barz View Post
So the free energy principle is a mind-like process?
No, that would be the general material basis for the theory. So out of thermodynamics as a physical-level description of reality, we have a bunch of robust mathematical models that are to do with symmetry breaking, dissipation, and these kinds of processes. We also have the concepts of information and entropy as a measure of what is going on. So you have that general material paradigm that gives you the set of tools, then you build your model of the brain from that.

Contrast this with the old computer science approach where the attempt was to use computational theory as a basis.

Or indeed the dynamical systems approach which tried to tap into chaos and non-linear dynamics for a source of modelling tools.

This free energy story is a sort of hybrid of these two. But the computational aspects are more like neural network modelling and the dynamical aspects are more based on dissipative structure principles than chaos theory.

And both these things are moves away from straight reductionist thinking (cogsci and deterministic chaos) towards a systems view (hierarchical and self-organising neural nets and dissipative structures).

So you can see it as a hardening up of the view of the correct modelling language to describe the brain/mind as a system. But then you still have to build the model.
bohm2
#72
Sep7-11, 05:51 PM
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Quote Quote by PhizzicsPhan View Post
As for Bohm...Another way of saying that is that everything material is also mental and everything mental is also material, but there are many more infinitely subtle levels of matter than we are aware of."
He's kind of forced to throw in russian dolls downwards because of the properties of his quantum/guiding/pilot wave, since it has unusual properties (e.g. non-local and propagates not in ordinary space but in a multidimensional-configuration space)

Bohm argues that this isn't like other force fields but is an "active information" field:

We therefore emphasize that the quantum filed is not pushing or pulling the particle mechanically, any more that the radio wave is pushing or pulling the ship that it guides. So the ability to do work does not originate in the quantum field, but must have some other origin...Such a notion suggests, however, that the electron may be much more complex than we thought (having a structure of a complexity that is perhaps comparable, for example, to that of a simple guidance mechanism such as an automatic pilot.

Hence the russion dolls...

Some have criticized this "radio wave" metaphor:

The radio metaphor is worrisome for a number of reasons. First, there is the concern about where the electron (or other particles) are getting the energy to put the information they receive to work. Radios have batteries or some other power source to draw on. Metaphorically speaking, where are the electron’s batteries? Second, the radio metaphor suggests that just as radio waves are too weak to move a ship, so too the force given by
taking the appropriate partial derivative of Q is too weak to move an electron (or some other particle). But this is false (and Bohm knew that). The quantum potential is such that when the appropriate partial derivative is taken, we arrive at the required force to move the particle.


http://www.tcm.phy.cam.ac.uk/~mdt26/...arini_2003.pdf


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