|Feb11-12, 05:38 PM||#494|
What I find interesting about language acquistion/language evolution in connection with the Hard Problem is how it illustrates a general shift in science towards developmental systems thinking. Things don't exist. Things have to emerge.
It is what people called the process philosophy view a century earlier. And it requires a holistic view of causality, such as Aristotle's "four causes", where top-down constraints are part of what is the ontically "real".
So Chomsky vs the Behaviourists represented some weird broken view of causality.
The Behaviourists wanted to argue for simple-minded reductionism - the construction of the mind from atomistic "learning" events. The blank slate view. Although, as was then argued, Behaviourists did invoke contextual/situational factors - so holism was in there at the back of things, as it must be. And then even though Behaviourism seemed to be very much focused on individual learning - adaptation on the timescale of the developing organism - it did still accept also species-level learning, adaptation on the genetic timescale.
So Behaviourism - once reined back from the cartoon version of Watson in particular - does not seem so objectional from the systems view. It just did not have an actual model of emergent mental organisation.
Chomsky on the other hand does seem to come at all this from a strange and anti-science position. His focus is on the top-down constraints aspect of a developmental systems perspective. But he does this from a dualist/rationalist/Platonist standpoint which denies many crucial things.
So Chomsky fails to see that this is an interactionist story - the bottom-up in interaction with the top-down. He thus wants to explain everything in terms of Platonic principles and exclude anything to do with the other side of the story.
He doesn't see it as a developmental story either. So his strong Universal Grammar principles have to "exist" somewhere prior to their emergence in human communication. They can't be seen to have a naturalistic evolutionary or developmental story, such as one where small and subtle biases (ie: informational constraints) early in growth can strongly shape the final outcome. Thus when forced to give some evolutionary account of how human grammar emerged, Chomsky makes ridiculous statements about "hopeful monsters".
Chomsky ends up tangled in knots, even though he is "right" in that a systems view stresses the importance of global constraints in the development of any kind of organisation. And semiotics in particular gives a theory of how living systems construct such constraints.
The link with the Hard Problem is that this also is a false dilemma that arises out of a cartoon reductionist view of causality. And it is resolved by taking a full systems view of causality where downwards causation is taken to be ontic, and all real objects are understood to be developmentally emergent.
|Mar15-12, 09:13 PM||#495|
I thought this was an interesting and pretty neat and easy to understand piece on this topic (I wish I knew who wrote it?), arguing for "mind" as an intrinsic property of matter:
|Mar15-12, 10:04 PM||#496|
The systems/pansemiotic view would suggest every "element of reality" indeed would have further "intrinsic" degrees of freedom.
Every locale has unlimited degrees of freedom (is vague) until some constraints are imposed top-down to limit the degrees in strong fashion, so creating an element of reality with some now definite, or extrinsic, properties.
But constraint is not absolute, and so further degrees of freedom remain, but in unexpressed fashion.
So taking his example of H20, we could say an unexpressed degree of freedom of a water molecule is its ability to collaborate in the broader organisation that we call liquidity. This "property" lurks intrinsically until it gets the chance to emerge and be expressed as a collective extrinsic property.
The same would be true of mentality. If you really want to insist on defining subjective experience as a property of a material object, you could in some sense say the necessary degrees of freedom exist at the level of the neuron, or the molecule, or the particle, or the quantum field. However far you want to drill down. If something emerges, you can claim there must have been the local degrees of freedom waiting to be harnessed. And give them the label of intrinsic (as opposed to latent, or potential, or whatever).
But it is an unnecessarily clunky story IMO. It becomes just a way of avoiding talking about formal causes and reducing your descriptions to "nothing but hidden properties of matter". It takes you further away from useful models for the sake of preserving a reductionist ontology.
|Apr23-12, 10:07 AM||#497|
There is this recent paper discussing a possible solution to the "combination problem" of panpsychism. One of the major criticisms of panpsychism is that panpsychism must also resort to some form of emergentism and this has led even more "panpsychist-friendly" philosophers (e.g. Goff?) to be critical of panpsychism:
I have trouble understanding the meaning of subjectless qualia/phenomenology or even how such subjectless ultimates can lead to a "unified" subject/organism without some type of emergentism?
|Jul23-12, 03:36 PM||#498|
I thought this was an interersting dissertation (just abstract) that this guy is doing. He seems to be arguing against treating consciousness as genuine emergent phenomena suggesting that information at the micro-level leads to consciousness at the macro-level:
For an overview of Tononi's model and an interesting quote:
|Jul26-12, 01:02 AM||#499|
Could it at all be possible that this "Mind Wave" is the quantum consideration of your observations? Because couldn't one infer that sapience is just increased/altered potential quantum energy due to the unique shape of our brain?
|Aug17-12, 10:04 PM||#500|
Maybe there are physical reasons why Rigg's model will not work and why Bohm/Hiley thought it necessary to advance their "active information" model?
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