How is it possible to know that we feel emotion consciously?

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  • #51
hypnagogue
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Originally posted by Mentat
Consciousness altogether - i.e. "awareness" - is possible in some of the more rudimentary of life-forms. It's consciousness of consciousness (also referred to as self-consciousness) and the ability for analysis that requires a CPU something like ours.
Again, nice hypothesis, but that's all it is. It's something that sounds like it makes sense, but must be tested empirically to see if it is accurate or not. It's certainly not a well-established fact.

Anyway, you need to remember that, in the intentional stance, there is no distinction between the processing and the consciousness. So, such questions as "can something follow MD processing and not be conscious" or "can something be conscious inspite of not following MD" are really non-sequitors - and would be much like asking "can something be conscious without being conscious" :wink:.
This just takes us back to what I said in my last post. You're treating this MD hypothesis as if it is established fact, without having empirical justification to do so.

This hypothesis must be proved empirically before you go about applying its logic with certainty. Until that point, you must recognize that questions like "can something follow MD processing and not be conscious?" are valid inquiries.

No we wouldn't. I think there is a concept that is rather ingrained in your mind (and in most human minds) that doesn't allow for the heterophenomenological approach, but there is really nothing illogical about it. IOW, there is nothing wrong with assuming, not that "if A has physical properties X, then A is conscious", but rather "if A has physical properties X, then A has consciousness, because consciousness = X.
Consciousness = subjective, qualitative awareness. This is the proposition we must start from, if we are to get a meaningful understanding of consciousness. If you redefine consciousness from the start to merely be these physical properties X, then I'm afraid you're not talking about the same thing everybody else is when they say "consciousness."

Again, I am not stating that the intentional stance as such is wrong. Rather, I am stating that it must be subject to empirical verification; it cannot simply be defined a priori that such and such physical property "simply is" conscious. We must demonstrate that such and such property is conscious before we can make this statement.

So, we must be able to establish a relationship such as "physical properties X = subjective, qualitative awareness." We cannot do this by redefining terms to make our lives easier. Rather, we must empirically test to see if, indeed, physical properties X always entail the subjective experience of qualia Y.

Again, this is most emphatically a question of empirically finding physical correlates of consciousness, NOT redefining consciousness to mean those physical properties that we suspect are involved in such and such subjective experience.

But that's the whole point, we are starting from the intentional stance. Besides, and I want to be clear on this: We are not seeking empirical verification of subjective consciousness - this would imply an "apparatus" of consciousness - we are searching merely for the "apparatus" since that is consciousness.
But you can't know a priori which "apparatus" is consciousness and which isn't. Thus, you must empirically test to see which "apparati" are consciousness and which are not.

Not true...at least, not according to the heterophenomenological approach that Dennett takes (I can't state absolute truths), since we can determine the consciousness of any physical system using knowledge of MD and question/answer processes (if Dennett is right, that is).
That's a mighty big "if," Mentat. :wink: How do we change that "if" to "since"? Only by empirically testing the hypothesis!

But the dualism will always be implied when you seperate "subjective experience" from the nitty-gritty of neurological science (the electrochemical processes themselves).
I am not saying that is truly a separation between subjective experience and objective physical processes. Rather I am saying there is a dissociation in our epistemic connection between the two, since we still do not have a complete picture of how objective processes map onto subjective experiences.
 
  • #52
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Originally posted by hypnagogue
Consciousness = subjective, qualitative awareness. This is the proposition we must start from, if we are to get a meaningful understanding of consciousness. If you redefine consciousness from the start to merely be these physical properties X, then I'm afraid you're not talking about the same thing everybody else is when they say "consciousness."

it cannot simply be defined a priori that such and such physical property "simply is" conscious. We must demonstrate that such and such property is conscious before we can make this statement.
I have selected these quotes just to reiterate to Mentat that these words from Hypnagogue are the exact same point I'm trying to make. We see this the same way. This is why I have said that these statements attempt to "define the problem away" as opposed to dealing with it.
 
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  • #53
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Originally posted by hypnagogue
Again, nice hypothesis, but that's all it is. It's something that sounds like it makes sense, but must be tested empirically to see if it is accurate or not. It's certainly not a well-established fact.
Certainly not, however, it's the best I've seen. You see, Dennett cannot postulate that his most definitely is the theory of consciousness - in fact, his theory is structured so as to be slightly incomplete, in the most nitty-gritty of details, so that he doesn't make any detailed scientific predictions (which, when proven wrong, will make people think the whole concept is wrong) - however I have used his reasoning to dismantle every other theory of consciousness I've ever heard of (and I've been doing some reading on this recently), unless it's basically a restatement of his own (which conclusion the author is surely not aware of, but which I have found to be true after analysis).

This just takes us back to what I said in my last post. You're treating this MD hypothesis as if it is established fact, without having empirical justification to do so.
Alright, I apologize if I sounded over-confident, but can you see an actual flaw in the theory?

This hypothesis must be proved empirically before you go about applying its logic with certainty. Until that point, you must recognize that questions like "can something follow MD processing and not be conscious?" are valid inquiries.
No they are not. The concept of doing process X and still not being conscious isn't at all compatible with the MD theory. If you are going to study Dennett's theory then those questions become non-sequitors...if, OTOH, you are going to ask those questions regardless of a very nice theory that side-steps them, that's a completely different matter.

Consciousness = subjective, qualitative awareness. This is the proposition we must start from, if we are to get a meaningful understanding of consciousness. If you redefine consciousness from the start to merely be these physical properties X, then I'm afraid you're not talking about the same thing everybody else is when they say "consciousness."
Not true. If being "conscious" is nothing more than having process X occur in your brain, then I am indeed talking about the same things that every one else is talking about when they say "consciousness", because "subjective awareness" = function X.

Again, I am not stating that the intentional stance as such is wrong. Rather, I am stating that it must be subject to empirical verification; it cannot simply be defined a priori that such and such physical property "simply is" conscious. We must demonstrate that such and such property is conscious before we can make this statement.
Hold on now, I really hope you haven't just barely missed the point again. The process is not conscious (IOW, consciousness is not a property of the process), the process is consciousness.

So, we must be able to establish a relationship such as "physical properties X = subjective, qualitative awareness." We cannot do this by redefining terms to make our lives easier. Rather, we must empirically test to see if, indeed, physical properties X always entail the subjective experience of qualia Y.
What? Physical properties X have already been observed to be (note, "be", not produce) the process of being conscious of the external world. It is not so large a step to say that this is also how it happens when there is no external (outside of the brain) stimulus.

Again, this is most emphatically a question of empirically finding physical correlates of consciousness, NOT redefining consciousness to mean those physical properties that we suspect are involved in such and such subjective experience.
They are not involved in subjective experience, they are subjective experience. I know that's not been proven, but it is not reasonable to say "you haven't proven it, so it's not true" (though that may not be what you are doing, it's starting to seem like it).

But you can't know a priori which "apparatus" is consciousness and which isn't. Thus, you must empirically test to see which "apparati" are consciousness and which are not.
I don't understand this. If you can determine which apparati are involved in experiencing the objective world, then you have identified the ones that are involved in what we consider the production of a subjective world (provided you add memory of previous stimulation).

That's a mighty big "if," Mentat. :wink: How do we change that "if" to "since"? Only by empirically testing the hypothesis!
Fine, but at least Dennett's theory (or modifications thereof) can be empirically tested, as opposed to ones that require internal viewers and non-physical objects and other such impossibilities.

I am not saying that is truly a separation between subjective experience and objective physical processes. Rather I am saying there is a dissociation in our epistemic connection between the two, since we still do not have a complete picture of how objective processes map onto subjective experiences.
I really don't like that last statement...but you can probably already respond in your own mind as you know I would, and I have to get off-line right now.
 
  • #54
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I seen a very interesting program on Spanish television the other night that i would like to share with whoever reads this. I am sure many have heard of out of the body experiences of people who have a heart attack and die and go into the tunnel of light. That is lung heart and brain waves cease, clinically dead. There was one experience in particular that may shed some light on what we are discussing. A blind women who never saw in her life died for one hour and returned to tell her story. She described in full and complete detail her intervention to try and save her life, the people who were in the hospital, the city she hovered over and birds flying through the air ect. This is proff in itself that consiousness is not only in the brain or body but is an entity also apart. A individual consciousnes when in a body can feel emotions but so can it also when outside of the body. It then appears that the body is only an instument to manifest and move arround in the physical plane that we live in. How is it possible to know that we feel emotion consciously? By having someone account there experience from there consciousnes when both live and dead.
 
  • #55
Zero
Originally posted by Rader
I seen a very interesting program on Spanish television the other night that i would like to share with whoever reads this. I am sure many have heard of out of the body experiences of people who have a heart attack and die and go into the tunnel of light. That is lung heart and brain waves cease, clinically dead. There was one experience in particular that may shed some light on what we are discussing. A blind women who never saw in her life died for one hour and returned to tell her story. She described in full and complete detail her intervention to try and save her life, the people who were in the hospital, the city she hovered over and birds flying through the air ect. This is proff in itself that consiousness is not only in the brain or body but is an entity also apart. A individual consciousnes when in a body can feel emotions but so can it also when outside of the body. It then appears that the body is only an instument to manifest and move arround in the physical plane that we live in. How is it possible to know that we feel emotion consciously? By having someone account there experience from there consciousnes when both live and dead.
The problem is, these are just unconfirmed stories, and we shouldn't just accept them at face value. There is no reputable scientific evidence that these 'out of body experiences' actually occur.
 
  • #56
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Originally posted by Zero
The problem is, these are just unconfirmed stories, and we shouldn't just accept them at face value. There is no reputable scientific evidence that these 'out of body experiences' actually occur.
All data gained should be scientific. We should play the devils advocate. You can be a douubting Thomas. This was a special case and I have listend to very many. This was a controlled experiment. The blind women was under strict control by doctors and scientist, as she had a large chance of dying and if she made it through would possible be able to documnent her experience in the white tunnel. She had a brain tumor and was operated on. She died for one hour as the operation went on. Clinically dead one hour not 3 minutes. No lung heart or brain funtion for one hour. She was blind and could not see ever yet could tell the doctors and scientist the brand name stamped on the scapels used in her intervention. She heard saw and felt them cutting into here cranium. She documented precise moments during the operation by the clock in the room. Really>>>> How much more proof do you want.
 
  • #57
Zero
Originally posted by Rader
All data gained should be scientific. We should play the devils advocate. You can be a douubting Thomas. This was a special case and I have listend to very many. This was a controlled experiment. The blind women was under strict control by doctors and scientist, as she had a large chance of dying and if she made it through would possible be able to documnent her experience in the white tunnel. She had a brain tumor and was operated on. She died for one hour as the operation went on. Clinically dead one hour not 3 minutes. No lung heart or brain funtion for one hour. She was blind and could not see ever yet could tell the doctors and scientist the brand name stamped on the scapels used in her intervention. She heard saw and felt them cutting into here cranium. She documented precise moments during the operation by the clock in the room. Really>>>> How much more proof do you want.
That story is patently false.
 
  • #58
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Originally posted by Zero
That story is patently false.
Might as well tell it how it is, eh Zero? :smile:
 

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