I think there for I am or I am there for I think

hypnagogue

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Les Sleeth said:
In the conceivability argument, for example, Chalmers begins with an assumption that if something is conceivable, it is possible.
Chalmers argues for metaphysical possibility, not nomological possibility. He doesn't propose that zombies can actually exist in our universe with its unique laws of nature. To say that zombies are metaphysically possible is just to claim that they would be possible with a suitable fudging of natural laws. What this ultimately boils down to is logical coherence. If something is logically coherent, then it is metaphysically possible.

Likewise, as you will see in the consciousness model I am preparing, I’ve had, and studied others’ reports of, certain experiences that contradict a physicalistic model of consciousness; plus, physicalists have yet to demonstrate consciousness can be generated by something physical, such as a computer.
You don't need certain kinds of experiences to raise doubt with the physicalist model. In principle, physicalism can't account for any kind of subjective experience. I do believe that experiencing certain extraordinary states of consciousness may make it more apparent why this is the case, but the core of the argument only really requires that an individual have some sort of subjective experience and then proceed from there.

First I should make it clear that critiquing the logic of any argument, theory, statement, etc. is always called for; and of course we must rely on reason to discuss and develop theories. But I would have to disagree that the only recourse for metaphysical debate/discussion is rationalism, although it’s true that that is how most people end up talking about metaphysics. As far as I’m concerned, if a metaphysical statement has no experience that supports/implies it, or if we have no way to search for the experience which would support/imply it, then it is a big waste of time to discuss it (other than giving one’s logic muscle a work out).
What I meant to say was that once we have a set of metaphysical models that are all consistent with the evidence, then the only way to further decide between them comes from logical considerations (logical consistency as well as concepts such as 'simplicity' and 'beauty' which qualify as sort of inductive extensions of principles already seen to exist in nature). '

Physicalism, dualism, and monism are all consistent with the objective evidence. Only various forms of dualism and monism, however, are consistent with the subjective evidence (first person subjective experience). To this extent, I think the arguments I cited against physicalism do fit your criterion of being empirical, or not overly rationalistic, insofar as they reject physicalism precisely because it doesn't exhaustively describe consciousness as it is experienced from the first person view. If anything, the eliminativist physicalist arguments seem to be the ones falling under the 'overly rationalistic' category since proponents of these arguments tend to flatly deny the first-person evidence. If the first-person evidence is not taken into account, then it's really impossible to construct an argument against physicalism; so if one does launch an argument against physicalism, he must be considering the nature of subjective experience.

You are correct to characterize “generalized knowledge,” as I mean it, as “contentless subjective experience'” if by content you mean an “object” of thought or perception; I couldn’t disagree with calling it “pure consciousness” either.
I think our disagreements on this point have just come down to definitions then. I consider knowledge to be a purely intentional property. According to this definition, if there is nothing for the knowledge to be about, then there can't be knowledge in the first place. I don't think the same can be said for subjective experience. I think you are just using knowledge and subjective experience interchangably.
 

Les Sleeth

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hypnagogue said:
. . . the core of the argument only really requires that an individual have some sort of subjective experience and then proceed from there. . . . What I meant to say was that once we have a set of metaphysical models that are all consistent with the evidence, then the only way to further decide between them comes from logical considerations . . . . If anything, the eliminativist physicalist arguments seem to be the ones falling under the 'overly rationalistic' category since proponents of these arguments tend to flatly deny the first-person evidence.
Good points.


hypnagogue said:
If the first-person evidence is not taken into account, then it's really impossible to construct an argument against physicalism; so if one does launch an argument against physicalism, he must be considering the nature of subjective experience.
Yes, this is sometimes a physicalist strategy; that is, to deny subjective experience exists so that their models work. That's one way to solve the hard problem isn't it.


hypnagogue said:
I think our disagreements on this point have just come down to definitions then. I consider knowledge to be a purely intentional property. According to this definition, if there is nothing for the knowledge to be about, then there can't be knowledge in the first place. I don't think the same can be said for subjective experience. I think you are just using knowledge and subjective experience interchangably.
Why must knowledge be "intentional." What about intuitive knowledge which seems to be present even though we aren't aware of it. In that case, I suspect it is partly due to sensing things all the time we are awake without really paying attention to information that's not in our focus, yet there is a build up of peripheral impressions which some people are able to access.

But in any case, that's not what I mean. To say "subjective experience" doesn't tell us what allows/causes that. I am saying that an essential part of the subjective experience is that a level of knowledge is inborn. So in the example of the infant born smiling, I say he already "knew" how to experience joy; I'd also say an infant human knows how to experience joy more deeply than an infant reptile. In fact, I am suggesting that brain sophistication aside (which is no small matter), a major factor in the quality of consciousness between species is the depth of self-knowledge they are born with.

If true, how could that be? In other words, how could consciousness be in possession of some general level of knowledge at birth? If consciousness were some property independent of physical processes, then its very nature could be to learn, develop, evolve . . . so that when a bit of it is drawn into a body as an "individual," it is already a certain way.
 

hypnagogue

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Les Sleeth said:
Why must knowledge be "intentional." What about intuitive knowledge which seems to be present even though we aren't aware of it. In that case, I suspect it is partly due to sensing things all the time we are awake without really paying attention to information that's not in our focus, yet there is a build up of peripheral impressions which some people are able to access.
I think there may be some confusion here over the term 'intentional.' I didn't mean the general usage of the term, which amounts to something like 'willfull.' 'Intentional' has a more technical meaning in philosopy, basically amounting to 'about-ness.' An intentional property is a second order property that exists in virtue of its reference to some first order property; hence all intentional properties are 'about' some more basic properties.

With this in mind, to say that knowledge is intentional is just to say that all knowledge is inherently 'about' something else, that is, that it requires some kind of content. In other words, all knowledge is 'knowing that P.' On this definition, the idea of knowledge without content (some object of knowledge) is incoherent. So it just comes down to how we define the term, and I favor this definition because the idea of knowledge without some object of knowledge just seems to be incoherent. The extra part of knowledge that you refer to, the one that need not have contents, seems to me to just be raw subjective experience.
 
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I'm thinking that 'I think' prooves that something exists, so it's the foremost certainty of that. But thus it doesn't have to be me who's thinking. ie I might be someone in someone's else dream.
 

Les Sleeth

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hypnagogue said:
I think there may be some confusion here over the term 'intentional.' I didn't mean the general usage of the term, which amounts to something like 'willfull.' 'Intentional' has a more technical meaning in philosopy, basically amounting to 'about-ness.' An intentional property is a second order property that exists in virtue of its reference to some first order property; hence all intentional properties are 'about' some more basic properties.
Yes, I'm a little behind on my terminology.


hypnagogue said:
With this in mind, to say that knowledge is intentional is just to say that all knowledge is inherently 'about' something else, that is, that it requires some kind of content. In other words, all knowledge is 'knowing that P.' On this definition, the idea of knowledge without content (some object of knowledge) is incoherent. So it just comes down to how we define the term, and I favor this definition because the idea of knowledge without some object of knowledge just seems to be incoherent. The extra part of knowledge that you refer to, the one that need not have contents, seems to me to just be raw subjective experience.
I haven't denied there is intentional knowing, but I also know of another sort, what I call "integrated." Just like the intentional variety, it does concern something that is known, but in the case of a newborn (remember, I am claiming we are born with some level of knowledge integrated into consciousness), I don't think the child yet knows just how much its core being knows. To say it is merely "raw" subjective experience doesn't account for why a human is more capable than a lizard at birth. Do you want to attribute it all to brain differences? If so, then my consciousness could be inside a lizard body, and I would be every bit a lizard consciousness, and a lizard consciousness in my brain would be human. That notion contradicts what I know about myself.

It seems you want to limit knowing to object knowledge, but I also say there are inherent consciousness potentials that can be developed where we can learn how to be. I know how to experience love even when there is no object to love. I just feel it. I know how to experience joy even though there is nothing specific to be joyful about. I just feel it. I say an infant is born knowing some of how to do that already, and there are less-evolved life forms who know less of it. This type of knowing is so thoroughly integrated into consciousness we can partake in it without having identified it with any external event or object.
 
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