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Dualism made intelligible

  1. Oct 6, 2003 #1


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    Dualism (physical/non-physical interactions) made intelligible

    A common argument against Cartesian dualism, which states that consciousness or "the soul" exists independently of the body but interacts with it, is that such an interaction between the physical body and non-physical mind is logically impossible. Mentat for one (:smile:) is fond of advocating this argument, as exemplified below:

    It is not my intention here to argue for the existence of a non-physical mind or soul, but rather to present a viewpoint which actually seems to make the interaction between a non-physical mind and a physical body intelligible and logically consistent.

    The inspiration for this comes from David Chalmers' essay The Matrix as Metaphysics. Making dualism intelligible is not the main objective of the essay, but arises as an interesting side issue. One will be best served to understand the argument I am about to put forth by reading Chalmers' essay in its entirety, but I will here put forth a brief summary of those points pertinent to our discussion of how dualism is to be made intelligible.

    Let us imagine an individual X who exists in a world fabricated by computers, a la The Matrix. X calls the reality in which he lives and with which he interacts "physical," much as we call the world we live in "physical." The term "physical" applies only to this world X finds himself in; he does not necessarily deny the existence of anything beyond this immediate physical world, but from X's standpoint anything that exists outside his immediately observable world is not "physical" but "non-physical" or "metaphysical." This again agrees with our notions of the words "non-physical" and "metaphysical," as we use them in relation to our own existential circumstances.

    But we also know that X's physical world is, at its base, a rich composite of binary 1s and 0s existing in the computers that simulate this world. For clarity, let us denote anything pertaining to X's immediate, computationally generated world with a *-- so, for instance, X lives in a world*, and X denotes the fundamental substance of this world* as physical*. Likewise, let us denote anything pertaining to the world that exists outside of X's world*-- that world that contains the computers which generate X's fabricated reality-- with a ^. So, for instance, we say that X's world* is, at its most fundamental level, generated by computers^.

    In addition to X's physical* body* and brain*, we know that there is something more to X's existence-- his world* is generated by computer signals^ which feed information into his brain^, and which also take responses from his brain^ and feed them back into his simulated world*. The result is that, from X's standpoint, he is fully immersed in his physical* world*, receiving information from it, processing this information, and then interacting with it. X cannot possibly know about the existence of these computers^ or his "actual" brain^, and thus to him these things are "non-physical*" or "metaphysical*."

    So, X's mind^ (brain^) is actually a non-physical* entity that nonetheless interacts with his physical* world! As summed up by Chalmers in note 6 of his essay:

    (edit for grammar)
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2003
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 6, 2003 #2
    However contentious, the philosophical problem, as distinct from the physiological problem, can be stated quite simply as follows: What, essentially, is the relationship between events in the brain and those private, subjective, introspectible experiences that together constitute our inner mental life? We need not assume here that consciousness is synonymous with mind - consciousness may well be no more than just one aspect of mind - but, with respect to the problem at issue, it is the existence of consciousness that is critical.

    Stated thus, the problem admits of only three basic answers:

    (1) Events in the brain, operating in accordance with the laws of physics, determine completely both our behaviour and our subjective experiences.

    (2) Mental events may be elicited by events in the brain or they may, in turn, elicit brain events and so influence the course of our behaviour (I use here the word 'elicit' rather than 'cause' advisedly since the kind of causation here envisaged is so unlike familiar causation of the physical kind).

    (3) There are no such things as private, subjective, introspectible, sense-data or qualia (e.g. that red patch that I am now staring at in the centre of my visual field). Hence there just is no problem. All that exists, in the last resort, are the physical events underlying the information-processing, colour-coding or whatever such as any sophisticated computer or automaton could, in principle, be programmed to perform. It follows that there is no mind-brain problem for humans or animals any more than there is for robots or other artificial intelligence.
    There are, of course, innumerable alternative formulations. The most salient, historically, is the Idealist position according to which the brain, along with all other physical contents of the universe, is just a creation of mind. But, despite the eminence of some of their proponents, these other options are too strained, too evasive, or just too incoherent to detain us here and I shall take the liberty of ignoring them. Regarding the three contenders I have enumerated, I shall call (1) Epiphenomenalism, Double-Aspect, or just Weak Dualism; (2) Interactionism, Radical or just Strong Dualism and (3) Monistic Materialism or Functionalism. I shall argue that (3) is so flagrantly counter-intuitive that, although widely endorsed at the present time by so many of the foremost philosophers, psychologists, physiologists and exponents of artificial intelligence, we have the right to reject it and reaffirm that there is a mind-brain problem. Accordingly, our only serious options are (1) and (2). I shall not attempt to disguise my own preference for (2).
  4. Oct 6, 2003 #3


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    OK, but I don't really see how this is directly relevant to my first post. It doesn't matter what framework of the 3 you listed we choose to adopt; for each of them, we could still say that a person in a Matrix-esque situation has a non-physical* mind (his non-computational brain^ in the "outside" world^) that interacts with his (computationally generated) physical* body*.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2003
  5. Oct 9, 2003 #4
    Re: Dualism (physical/non-physical interactions) made intelligible

    I'm sorry, good buddy, but there is a flaw from the start in any argument that postulates a continuous "stream of consciousness" - an "inner world", if you will. That flaw is the (ever-popular :wink:) homunculun problem. This problem will come up, ever time one postulates an "inner world" of phenomenology (that conclusion is based on both Inductive and Deductive reasoning).

    Also, even if someone could finally solve the combinatorial problems of creating such a MASSIVE hallucination as the "Matrix" (which is possible in principle, so we will assume that it can happen), they would still only be dealing with physical things (electrochemical interactions in the brain of the "victim" (for lack of a better term)), and everything that the "victim" believes he's "experiencing" is merely the action (note: not the "product" of the action, just the action) of his own brain.
  6. Oct 9, 2003 #5
    btw, I'm sorry if I sounded over-convinced in the previous post. Looking back...well, I could have been more humble in that, but I hope you will be able to look past that error at the points I'm trying to make.
  7. Oct 9, 2003 #6


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    Re: Re: Dualism (physical/non-physical interactions) made intelligible

    I would like to hear more of your thoughts on this, specifically how it negates the results of Chalmers' thought experiment.

    Ah, but what is "physical"? To a person in a 'matrix' the definition of the physical world is the same as ours, with respect to our own existential circumstances: we define that immediate reality that we can perceive and with which we interact "physical." So to a person who has been in a 'matrix' for his entire life, he defines the computer simulation as the physical world. Thus, to him anything existing outside the simulation-- even his 'envatted' or 'en-matrixed' brain in the 'actual' world-- is not physical, but metaphysical. To simply redefine the 'actual' world as physical itself is to make an ad hoc redefinition of terms.

    The thrust of this argument lies in the fact that we could be in such a situation ourselves, since our existential circumstances, from our own perspective, are identical to those of an 'envatted' person. If we were in such a situation, then our 'actual' brains would be metaphysical, or non-physical, identities by our own definitions of the terms. That is, our notion of 'physical' would simply be a label for something described on a more fundamental level as 'computationally generated reality.' Thus we would have physical/non-physical interactions taking place, as a consequence of our definitions-- the metaphysical ('actual') envatted brain interacting with the physical (computational) world.
  8. Oct 9, 2003 #7
    Re: Re: Re: Dualism (physical/non-physical interactions) made intelligible

    I haven't read his thought experiment yet (and would do so right now, except I have to get off-line in a couple of minutes). I will try to read it tomorrow; but, until then, are you asking me to expound on why the homunculun problem must always arise in any theory that requires a "narrative" of consciousness?

    Yes, that is the question du jour (I read the rest of your post, but I think the rest hinged on this question, so I will answer just this question), and my answer is "anything composed of wavicles and spacetime". I only answer this way because that is what science has taught us (not because of any "truth" that may lie in the statement itself, since philosophy and logic are not at all interested in "truth" merely "validity").

    Since none of his "thoughts" are composed of wavicles or spacetime (otherwise they would take up more and more space in his head, and you still have the homunculun problem, just a Materialistic version of it), they don't exist. There are no "thoughts" merely electrochemical interactions in his brain.
  9. Oct 9, 2003 #8


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    Re: Re: Re: Re: Dualism (physical/non-physical interactions) made intelligible

    I'm more looking for your reasons for thinking that this homunculan problem undermines this specific thought experiment itself.

    As for reading his essay, I think it would be beneficial only as a means of perhaps getting a clearer idea of what I'm trying to say. But the basic points of his position, with regard to this specific conversation on dualism, have all been covered more or less by my initial post.

    An envatted person's reality is composed of wavicles and spacetime, from that person's perspective, just as it is from ours. The caveat is that in such a reality, there is something more fundamental underlying the wavicles and spacetime-- strings of binary code (or whatever) in the computer matrix.

    Plus, it may very well be that the ontology of the 'actual^' world is not mirrored by the physics of the envatted person's 'physical*' world. To say that the 'actual' world is composed of wavicles and spacetime is an assumption-- there's no binding logical reason why it must be this way.

    The issue is not thoughts as such, but what those thoughts represent. For an envatted person, his thoughts model the reality created by the computer system. Thus, to him that reality that he calls physical is actually information existing in and governed by the computers of the 'actual' world. The 'actual world^' or 'metaphysical world*' itself is an entirely different reality, with an entirely different ontology, although obviously there is overlap-- the computational world is a subset of the actual world. But an envatted person only perceives that specific subset, and necessarily he perceives it only partially and imperfectly. He calls this computational realm existing in the computers 'physical,' and everything existing outside of the computer generated reality 'metaphysical' or 'non-physical.'
  10. Oct 9, 2003 #9
    I think that Note 10 of the article addresses Mentat's point of view.

    Note 10: What is the ontology of virtual objects? This is a hard question, but it is no harder than the question of the ontology of ordinary macroscopic objects in a quantum-mechanical world. The response to objection 6 suggests that in both cases, we should reject claims of token identity between microscopic and macroscopic levels. Tables are not identical to any object characterized purely in terms of quantum-mechanics; likewise, virtual tables are not identical to any objects characterized purely in terms of bits. But nevertheless, facts about tables supervene on quantum-mechanical facts, and facts about virtual tables supervene on computational facts. So it seems reasonable to say that tables are constituted by quantum processes, and that virtual tables are constituted by computational processes. Further specificity in either case depends on delicate questions of metaphysics.

    Reflecting on the third-person case, in which we are looking at a brain in a vat in our world, one might object that virtual objects don't really exist: there aren't real objects corresponding to tables anywhere inside a computer. If one says this, though, one may be forced by parity into the view that tables do not truly exist in our quantum-mechanical world. If one adopts a restricted ontology of objects in one case, one should adopt it in the other; if one adopts a liberal ontology in one case, one should adopt it in the other. The only reasonable way to treat the cases differently is to adopt a sort of contextualism about what counts as an "object" (or about what falls within the domain of a quantifier such as "everything"), depending on the context of the speaker. But this will just reflect a parochial fact about our language, rather than any deep fact about the world. In the deep respects, virtual objects are no less real than ordinary objects.

    The bolding is mine. I emphasize it because I think this is what Mentat is doing. This is very similar to other discussions we've had where I have been convinced that while Mentat's materialistic conclusions may be logical, they are built on materialistic assumptions/definitions and no other conclusion is possible.
  11. Oct 10, 2003 #10
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dualism (physical/non-physical interactions) made intelligible

    Well, if you covered his main points in your post, then the homunculun problem arises in this case just as it does in any other than takes consciousness as a product of the functions of the brain, rather than as those functions themselves.

    Let me break it down for you: If there is a "thought" in my brain, that exists as the product of brain processes (and note: it does not matter whether it is physical or not, in this case, since the homunculun problem applies either way) then there must be some "internal viewer" (in scare quotes since I'm trying to incorporate all ideas of "mind's eyes" or other such notions) that views these phenomenological events. However, this "internal viewer" would have to be conscious, which means that he too must have an "internal viewer" since that is how we "think" in the first place (with "thoughts" coming up as products of our brain's activity), according to the presupposition in the first sentence. This will go on ad infinitum, and you can probably see why (if not, suffice it to ask "What good is a monitor inside your PC?").

    Very true, but you still have the homunculun problem to deal with, if you postulate a virtual "world" in his mind. Besides, the definition of "physical" is based on modern science, and is thus not a logical necessity but is commonly taken for granted as true.
  12. Oct 10, 2003 #11
    Fliption, I would respond to this, but I don't think you will understand my response, since I have yet to explain the homunculun problem adequately for you to understand it. The homunculun problem arises whether the "virtual world" is physical or not.
  13. Oct 10, 2003 #12


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    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dualism (physical/non-physical interactions) made intelligible

    I still don't think the homunculan problem is relevant here. So the thoughts of a person in the matrix are not a 'product' of his 'actual' brain's^ mechanisms, but are those mechanisms. Fine. Regardless, he still calls the computational structures of the computer matrix 'physical reality,' and from his standpoint his 'actual' brain^ is still a metaphysical* entity, since it is not part of that computational reality termed 'physical.' It follows that his own mind, which can be identified with the mechanisms of his 'actual' brain^, are metaphysical entities to him, existing outside of but still interacting with his 'virtual' or computer-generated world. Everything argued thus far still holds up-- there has been no dependence, tacit or otherwise, on the notion of an 'internal viewer.'

    The virtual world, as such, derives its existence from the computer matrix that stores and processes its underlying bits (or whatever) of data, not in mind of the person. This 'virtual world' exists in the person's mind only in the same sense as our own external reality 'exists' in our own minds. A person in the matrix regards his computationally generated world as 'physical' and 'substantial' and 'real' in precisely the same way as we regard things in our reality as 'physical' and 'substantial' and 'real' (as a function of the external inputs being processed by his brain, and outputs from his brain affecting that reality in turn). This correspondance holds regardless of the ultimate ontology of our own reality.

    The humunculan problem has no bearing on the argument, since it can easily be sidestepped and all the arguments made thus far still hold. You're creating a problem where one doesn't exist.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2003
  14. Oct 11, 2003 #13
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dualism (physical/non-physical interactions) made intelligible

    Mis-statement, IMO. The thoughts of the person in the matrix have no existence at all. There is no such thing as the matrix. There is just a stimulation of electrochemical processes in the victim's brain.

    I emphasize this, because to postulate that he thinks "this" (referring to some perceived "thing" in the Matrix) is pretty (for example), is completely fallacious, since there's nothing to think of as pretty. His brain was stimulated as it usually is by something pretty, but in this case there was nothing there.

    That's the point - there is no "computational reality". He may think there is, but there is not.

    Yes there has, since you cannot think of a person as "seeing" this or that in the "virtual world" unless there are two worlds (one virtual and one "normal" (for lack of a better term)). Whether or not this "virtual world" is supposed to be physical or not is irrelevant, that there is supposed to be a virtual world in addition to this "normal" one is enough to require an "internal viewer" (which would be experiencing these phenomenal events).

    Very true, except that external reality never really does exist in our own minds...we just percieve it to. We percieve that there is a world around us because of the way we process it...however there is never an "inner display" of the outside world (which draws it's information from light or sound or whatever), there is only the light or sound itself and the firing through synapses.

    But you are still referring to the "world in our minds" as though we re-presented it (the external world) in our own minds. This is not, and cannot be the case, since it falls into the homunculun paradox.

    Or, you're attempting to side-step one that really does.

    Note: Careful use of wording will be fundamental in a debate this complex, but don't think that rewording something while maintaining the same concept in your own mind is going to be enough (since a hint of what's going on in the writer's mind almost always shows up). IOW, don't think that I'm harping on your use of the words that lead to the homunculun problem...instead, know that I'm combating the actual concept behind the words being used.
  15. Oct 11, 2003 #14


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    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dualism (physical/non-physical interactions) made intelligible

    Of course there is such a thing as the matrix (in our hypothetical example): it is the set of computers that store and process information to emulate a reality. And of course the person in the matrix has thoughts: his thoughts just happen to be guided by the elaborate illusion of that matrix. Arguing the ontology of this situation is one thing, but you won't get vary far saying these things don't exist in the first place.

    Of course there is something to think of as pretty. A person in the matrix perceives prettiness in precisely the same way we do: certain signals activate certain parts of his actual^ brain, leading to a brain state where there is a conscious perception of a flower, which the person regards as pretty. The fact that in this case the inputs leading to this perception of the flower were created by a computer is irrelevant. The patterns of brain activity are the same, and thus the sense of prettiness is the same. The ultimate nature of the input doesn't make a difference.

    We never think that a flower, in and of itself, is pretty. Rather, we think that our visual perception of a flower is pretty. The object of prettiness is nothing but a set of subjective visual qualia, and ultimately it is irrelevant precisely how these qualia are evoked. To say otherwise basically amounts to naive realism.

  16. Oct 11, 2003 #15
    I agree.

    Cartesian dualism is worth examining because it reveals many misunderstandings that beset other dualistic approaches, while the homunculus problem deals more with the proposition of: "John is taller than Mary. Jill is shorter than Mary." if we are then asked "Who's taller- John or Jill?" we may conclude that we
    require a homunculus to work out the problem as it requires us
    envisaging the characters. However, if we used dolls to make a PHYSICAL comparison we are discharging the homunculus.

    Matter and mind is construed as created substances, each constituting a radically different and independent form of reality. Their interaction does not stem from a common origin.

    I don't see the connection Mentat is with homunculus problem and dualism.
  17. Oct 13, 2003 #16
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dualism (physical/non-physical interactions) made intelligible

    What "things"?

    Uh...WRONG! They do not lead to a "brain state" of anything, they simply process the image in a way that is different from processing of things that are "plain". Remember, the processing is the consciousness, it does not "lead to it".

    Not at all (though I have to congratulate you on making me think twice about contradicting you...that proactive insult was a good idea), since you have taken the HUGE (and logically fallacious) step of implying that there is such a thing as the visual quality of a "flower" in our mind. This cannot be the case (due to logical inconsistency) and thus there is no reason for me to combat the rest of it, since it all spawned from a flawed ascertion. We've been through this before: The homunculun problem will always come up when one tries to say that we only think the "visual qualia" are pretty.

    Sure, except that there are not two worlds, but merely two different sets of external stimulus (one set of which is merely a part of the other, larger, set) which cause electrochemical interaction in the brain.

    The point is that, every single time you refer to "generation" of "qualia" or phenomenological events, you imply the internal viewer. It's inevitable. What you probably don't realize yet, is that your use of this term is a Freudian slip, not a semantic error in expressing your actual thoughts.
  18. Oct 13, 2003 #17
    Even when it's so obvious?! No offense, but how can you not see that to posit an inner homunculus (a little guy in your head, that does the calculating for you) is to cause infinite regress (which makes your a logically impossible idea)? If I say that my calculating something is due to the inner calculating of the little guy in my head, then he must be calculating, and thus must have a little guy in his own head (because that is our current explanation of how one calculates, he has a little guy in his head doing the calculating for him), which in turn must also have a little guy in his own head, ad infinitum.
  19. Oct 14, 2003 #18


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    The things that you said didn't exist, of course. :wink: The matrix exists... it is the computers. The thoughts of a person in the matrix exist... they are the processes taking place in his actual^ brain.

    You meant to say that these things don't exist in the way they appear to exist. But they quite obviously exist in some sense or another.

    I actually tried to go out of my way to use language that did not imply that consciousness was anything but the processing of the brain, but apparently I failed. I also think you are overly sensitive to phrases like "leading to" when it comes to consciousness. :wink: Let me try again to state my case. You said:

    Now, what I was trying to say before was that epistemically, the perception of a flower in the matrix and the perception of a flower in the real world are identical. This is so because presumably the precise same pattern of information-- the same pattern of input stimuli exciting the optical nerves-- is implicated in both cases, leading to (and this is the sense I meant it before) the same general activity (processing of this input information) in the brain, and thus deriving all the same perceptual properties, including greenness, flower-shaped-ness, and prettiness. (We need not invoke the homunculus; simply apply your own personal favorite theory of cognition. The important point is that whatever is being done by the 'matrix' brain is indistinguishable from what is done by the 'real world' brain.)

    The upshot of this is that the 'prettiness' of the flower is not something that depends on the existence of a 'real world' flower in the first place. The 'prettiness' of the flower simply depends on the introduction of a set of appropriate input stimuli into the optic nerves of the brain. So while we attribute 'prettiness' to the 'real world' flower itself, in actuality we should attribute it to the optical input pattern that the flower generates in properly lit conditions, since this is the minimally sufficient "thing" needed to illicit the perception of prettiness in the perceiver. (This also explains why a picture or hologram of a flower can be just as pretty as a 'real' flower itself.)

    So yes, there is something to think of as pretty in the case of the matrix flower. In fact, it is the same thing to think of as a pretty in the case of the 'real' flower. It is simply the set of optical stimuli that we normally associate with flowers in general.

    It was not an insult at all, proactive or otherwise. "Naive realism" is simply an established term in philosophy; its definition is "the doctrine that in perception of physical objects what is before the mind is the object itself and not a representation of it."

    On the other hand, I am inclined to think of a retort to an argument such as "Uh...WRONG!" to be a sort of insult along the lines of "man, you are stupid for not agreeing with me." :wink: In any case, rest assured that no insults were meant on my part, and I hope no more are forthcoming from you.

    Well, obviously a visual quality of "flower" exists in some sense or another, no matter what we say about its ontology. If you don't believe me, go look at a garden.

    In any case, the important part of my argument can be encapsulated by this less controversial statement: prettiness (whatever that might be) exists as a function of how the brain processes sensory input from an object, not in that object itself. Thus, we can perceive the prettiness of a flower even if there is not a 'real' flower (whatever that might be) to perceive.

    True! But what is a world X, in the most stripped down logical sense, but a closed set of stimuli such that all stimuli belong to X?

    We presume the most basic building blocks of our world to be quarks, electrons, and the like. If we were actually in a matrix, then there would exist a deeper level to the ontology of our world that we could not hope to know: quarks and electrons would actually be themselves composed of bits (or whatever) of information in the computer matrix. Everything we call 'physical' would actually refer to information existing in this computer. The things we call 'the laws of physics' would actually be rules existing in the computer code. And so on.

    It thus follows that everything existing outside the information of the computer matrix 'world' would be called by us 'non-physical.' To simply step back and say "no, this whole existence itself would be 'physical'" is not very fruitful at all, since the redefinition of the term is not consistent with the original usage. Now things that we cannot detect even in principle (such as the actual computers of the computer matrix) are to be called 'physical,' destroying any meaningful definition of the word.

    We could take the same approach of redefinition to the more traditional dualist vision, with equally unsatisfying results. We could say that the immaterial mind, or the immortal soul, or whatever, is itself actually a 'physical' entity even though we have no means of actually detecting it, measuring it, or knowing about it. And just like that, the physical/non-physical interaction problem of traditional dualism vanishes like so many homunculi. :smile:

    You can't have it both ways-- either accept a redefinition of the word physical to mean roughly "whatever exists," or accept the definition of physical to mean roughly "those things that are measurable in the closed set of stimuli that we call 'our world.'" Once you have accepted one of these alternatives and stick to it (doesn't matter which), you are obliged to accept that dualism is indeed logically consistent and possible, at least in principle.

    If you accept the redefinition, then we simply redefine 'the mind' or 'the soul' to be a physical entity that causally interacts with the brain, even though we have no means of detecting these ethereal agents. If you do not accept the redefinition, then Chalmers' matrix analogy is a straightforward demonstration of how 'physical' and 'non-physical' systems can interact.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2003
  20. Oct 20, 2003 #19
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dualism (physical/non-physical interactions) made intelligible

    Matter and mind are here seen as radically different form of reality.
    But what is dualism?
    When "anything is composed of wavicles and spacetime" then the two phenomena are just compositions of wavicles and spacetime which are differently composed.

    This is non-commutative (putting your socks on and then yours shoes is decidedly not the same as putting your shoes on and then your socks (http://www.kingsu.ab.ca/~brian/phys/phys370/lectures/lect5/sld005.htm).

    When spacetime makes layers then we get different situations.
    Call that 'putting your socks on and then yours shoes' : spacetime layering A, and "putting your shoes on and then your socks": spacetime layering B ... then we can say that in both case (A and B) the moves of the socks and the moves of the shoes will influence each other ... but in another way.
    Both are spacetime structured (locally) in another way. Both can interact and even couple. Couplings bring direct oscillating interactions of spacetime. This is local. But non-local interactions (oscillations) happens also by common spacetime sheets. That is non-local.

    That can explain what hypnagogue called: "there is something more fundamental underlying the wavicles and spacetime".

    Then the physical "brain" can be the shoes and 'mind' can be the socks. And they interact with each other by less complex compositions of spacetime.
    From this view there is just local dualism (or discrete spacetime structuring). Basically there is unity.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2003
  21. Oct 21, 2003 #20
    In a very real sense my, our mind is "envatted" within the human body. It is in a physical sense totally isolated from whatever may be outside of it. The only information I/we receive is via our senses. This information is conveyed to our mind/brain via nerve fibers in the form or electrochemical impulses. Our minds receive and interpret these inputs to become perceptions and thoughts. There is no difference and no way of knowing whether these inputs are accurate and actually from our physical sensory organs or if they or totally inaccurate and come from a computer or other such device.
    I KNOW only one thing. I AM. I know only that my mind exists. I do not know that I have a brain, sensory organs or a body. I do not know that there is any other reality other than my mind and my existance. I am told that I have a brain and senses and a body and I am told that they are real. I am told that there are other minds and bodies and a universe outside of my mind and I am told that this is called reality. I do not KNOW this. I am told this and I accept this as true. There is only one mind and one reality and I call that ME.
    The rest is all presumption and assumption.
    To say that I, my mind, does not exist is absurd and it is the only thing that I know absolutely. To say that thought does not exist is just as absurd for it it thought and the act of thinking that proves that I, my mind, exists. There is simply no way that I can KNOW anything else. I can deduct, induct, reason and process inputs and assume that they all represent a reality outside of my mind.

    If thoughts are generated by electrochemical actions in my brain then they are energy and take the only form that enegy can take so far as we "know", wavicles; therefore, if thoughts are energy wavicles they are real and exist even in a purely materialistic universe.
    If then thoughts are real in a physical sense and my mind is made up of pure thought then my mind exists in a real physical universe. If thought and mind exist in a real physical universe then I exist in a real physical universe and presumably so do you, all of you.
    Where am I and where is my mind? The brain is made up of and contains neurons and axions that generate and carry electrochemical impulses that I assume are thoughts, memories, perceptions, etc. Is this my mind. Is my mind then my brain or is my brain only the physical means of making me, my mind real?
    If thoughts are physical wavicles then there is no doubt that they, thought, can and do effect physical matter just as any other form of energy does.
    Whatever the conclusion we are in a matrix and we are the matrix but is the matrix real or a simulation of reality. We have no real way of knowing. Reality exists only in my mind. Whatever may or may not exist ouside my mind is only as real or unreal as I chose to let it be.
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