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Thread: The human mind

  1. Top | #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by OLDMAN View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    That does show how marijuana changes the behavior of cells.

    And it states that changing the behavior of cells will change experience and subjective reports, which is true.

    But it does not show any understanding of how cellular behavior results in a subject capable of making reports about the things it experiences.
    Just as a spider can build a web with genetic information that is passed on from one generation to the next, these brain cells function as triggers that coalesce information into pools of patterns. These patterns are memorable and can be altered as our experiences grow. Before you know it your thinking outside the box.

    At least that is my take on it...
    The phenomena of experiencing can experience patterns but it is an ability, the ability to be aware of things, not a pattern.

  2. Top | #12
    Contributor Speakpigeon's Avatar
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    Here is the OP again...
    EB

    Quote Originally Posted by Speakpigeon View Post
    We tend to see our conscious mind, i.e. the part of our mind that's capable of proper reasoning, i.e. thinking using a formal language, as properly "us". This is the "I" in Descartes' Cogito, I think, therefore I am. We also see it as the part that's really intelligent compared to our more brutish, instinctive, "intuitive", and essentially apparently non-conscious mind. Many people think of this as a two-system set-up. The second system, the conscious part of our mind, is assumed as having evolved at some point in our more recent history well after the first system was already in place, system which is seen therefore as much closer in terms of evolution to that of our closest animal relatives. Basically, we tend to think that all the intelligent ideas we have when awake are produced by the second system, typically through a sort of "verbal", or formal, thinking. The first system is usually understood as providing us with emotions, sensations, perceptions etc. and also intuitions.

    What do you think of this view?

    Do you have any alternative view?
    EB

  3. Top | #13
    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speakpigeon View Post
    We tend to see our conscious mind, i.e. the part of our mind that's capable of proper reasoning, i.e. thinking using a formal language, as properly "us". This is the "I" in Descartes' Cogito, I think, therefore I am. We also see it as the part that's really intelligent compared to our more brutish, instinctive, "intuitive", and essentially apparently non-conscious mind. Many people think of this as a two-system set-up. The second system, the conscious part of our mind, is assumed as having evolved at some point in our more recent history well after the first system was already in place, system which is seen therefore as much closer in terms of evolution to that of our closest animal relatives. Basically, we tend to think that all the intelligent ideas we have when awake are produced by the second system, typically through a sort of "verbal", or formal, thinking. The first system is usually understood as providing us with emotions, sensations, perceptions etc. and also intuitions.

    What do you think of this view?

    Do you have any alternative view?
    EB
    I do. It's not a two system set up. It's more like a twenty, or two hundred system set up, or thousands. Each human urge, or goal, no matter how small, has it's own mind/cerebral machinery to reach it's goal. Overlayed with a control system that weighs these between them in terms of value to the individual. Developed over time through evolution and also memories. So basically, a seeming chaotic mess of signals and cabling that somehow works. How exactly it works is a mystery though. So this is just an educated guess.

    Calling it a two level system is a handy metaphor though. It makes a hell of a lot easier to talk about.

  4. Top | #14
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    The set up is one thing experiencing many other things.

    The set up is one mind experiencing emotions, experiencing sensations, experiencing memories, experiencing dreams, experiencing movements, experiencing thoughts, experiencing controlling the body to move, experiencing having the ability to accept or reject an idea, experiencing controlling ideas to conform to beliefs.

    One center that can experience and act. But both experiencing and acting within limits. The mind does not have total control.

    Thoughts pop into mind without control. Desire makes you go over and talk to that woman as if you have no control.

    But changing your mind implies control.

    And a brain that is reflexive tissue. One huge bundle of reflexes.

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    Contributor Speakpigeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Speakpigeon View Post
    We tend to see our conscious mind, i.e. the part of our mind that's capable of proper reasoning, i.e. thinking using a formal language, as properly "us". This is the "I" in Descartes' Cogito, I think, therefore I am. We also see it as the part that's really intelligent compared to our more brutish, instinctive, "intuitive", and essentially apparently non-conscious mind. Many people think of this as a two-system set-up. The second system, the conscious part of our mind, is assumed as having evolved at some point in our more recent history well after the first system was already in place, system which is seen therefore as much closer in terms of evolution to that of our closest animal relatives. Basically, we tend to think that all the intelligent ideas we have when awake are produced by the second system, typically through a sort of "verbal", or formal, thinking. The first system is usually understood as providing us with emotions, sensations, perceptions etc. and also intuitions.

    What do you think of this view?

    Do you have any alternative view?
    EB
    I do. It's not a two system set up. It's more like a twenty, or two hundred system set up, or thousands. Each human urge, or goal, no matter how small, has it's own mind/cerebral machinery to reach it's goal. Overlayed with a control system that weighs these between them in terms of value to the individual. Developed over time through evolution and also memories. So basically, a seeming chaotic mess of signals and cabling that somehow works. How exactly it works is a mystery though. So this is just an educated guess.

    Calling it a two level system is a handy metaphor though. It makes a hell of a lot easier to talk about.
    And what you describe does look like a two-system set up anyway.

    Seems also fair to assume that what you call the "control system" is basically our conscious mind? Or is that something else?

    Because although me can usually choose to consider our many urges to assess them and decide what to do next, I don't think this is the default mode. Rather, it seems we suddenly want to do something rather than something else and that's when we may choose instead to step back and see whether it's a good idea to proceed with that. So, basically, there's a level of control that would be unconscious and another one which is the conscious one. After all, if dogs are not conscious in the way we are, we would still expect their brain to be able to decide what to do next between barking, biting and peeing for example. So, the question is whether we have two levels of control, and thereby truly two systems, only the second one conscious, or just one level of control and therefore just one system. And how do you explain consciousness in this second case?
    EB

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    Quote Originally Posted by Speakpigeon View Post
    Seems also fair to assume that what you call the "control system" is basically our conscious mind?
    Exactly.

    A mind is an evolved controlling system, a subsystem of brain activity. A system that makes choices.

    It's purpose is to give the organism with a mind some control beyond a reflex.

    In the human it has become something amazing. It is tied to many brain subsystems, like the visual and auditory systems, most importantly the subconscious language capacity, the language system.

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    RE: OP this:
    Only we know it isn't an it. Whatever exists is many things intermingled often conflicting, never disembodied, never placeholder, never dualistic, always determined.

  8. Top | #18
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    You would tell the stroke victim to do nothing since there is no mind to try to reconnect to the body.

    You would harm people with your nonsense in other words.

  9. Top | #19
    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speakpigeon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Speakpigeon View Post
    We tend to see our conscious mind, i.e. the part of our mind that's capable of proper reasoning, i.e. thinking using a formal language, as properly "us". This is the "I" in Descartes' Cogito, I think, therefore I am. We also see it as the part that's really intelligent compared to our more brutish, instinctive, "intuitive", and essentially apparently non-conscious mind. Many people think of this as a two-system set-up. The second system, the conscious part of our mind, is assumed as having evolved at some point in our more recent history well after the first system was already in place, system which is seen therefore as much closer in terms of evolution to that of our closest animal relatives. Basically, we tend to think that all the intelligent ideas we have when awake are produced by the second system, typically through a sort of "verbal", or formal, thinking. The first system is usually understood as providing us with emotions, sensations, perceptions etc. and also intuitions.

    What do you think of this view?

    Do you have any alternative view?
    EB
    I do. It's not a two system set up. It's more like a twenty, or two hundred system set up, or thousands. Each human urge, or goal, no matter how small, has it's own mind/cerebral machinery to reach it's goal. Overlayed with a control system that weighs these between them in terms of value to the individual. Developed over time through evolution and also memories. So basically, a seeming chaotic mess of signals and cabling that somehow works. How exactly it works is a mystery though. So this is just an educated guess.

    Calling it a two level system is a handy metaphor though. It makes a hell of a lot easier to talk about.
    And what you describe does look like a two-system set up anyway.

    Seems also fair to assume that what you call the "control system" is basically our conscious mind? Or is that something else?

    Because although me can usually choose to consider our many urges to assess them and decide what to do next, I don't think this is the default mode. Rather, it seems we suddenly want to do something rather than something else and that's when we may choose instead to step back and see whether it's a good idea to proceed with that. So, basically, there's a level of control that would be unconscious and another one which is the conscious one. After all, if dogs are not conscious in the way we are, we would still expect their brain to be able to decide what to do next between barking, biting and peeing for example. So, the question is whether we have two levels of control, and thereby truly two systems, only the second one conscious, or just one level of control and therefore just one system. And how do you explain consciousness in this second case?
    EB
    Not at all. Rather the opposite. The control system are even smaller parts of the machinery. They're highly specialised to only kick in in certain situations. Take for example our innate fear of snakes. This control system does nothing but analyse pictures coming in and look for things that have a complete set of certain markers. The snake control system sits on high priority. So has a lot of power. But only kicks in if it detects a snake. And if it does it can take over completely. Sometimes this cabling gets wrong and this fires at inopportune moments. I'm thinking cats and cucumbers.

    Consciousness cannot be the control system. Partly because we've proven experimentally that the consciousness doesn't take decisions. Whatever it is that takes decisions is elsewhere. But also, because it's a dumb model. Nothing in nature works that way. And not just living nature, but nature nature. If our consciousness was truly in control it would be a self causing causal agent. That's physically impossible. Or as Daniel Dennet to aptly put it, it would require an infinite regress of humunculi

    I suspect consciousness is part of our story telling machinery. It's used to create compelling and interesting stories. Things that risk revealing our true motives is hidden in our subconscious. The stuff we're conscious about is mostly self agrandising facts that make us seem more impressive to our peers. Anyway... that's Stephen Pinker's theory, and I think it's compelling.

  10. Top | #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Speakpigeon View Post

    And what you describe does look like a two-system set up anyway.

    Seems also fair to assume that what you call the "control system" is basically our conscious mind? Or is that something else?

    Because although me can usually choose to consider our many urges to assess them and decide what to do next, I don't think this is the default mode. Rather, it seems we suddenly want to do something rather than something else and that's when we may choose instead to step back and see whether it's a good idea to proceed with that. So, basically, there's a level of control that would be unconscious and another one which is the conscious one. After all, if dogs are not conscious in the way we are, we would still expect their brain to be able to decide what to do next between barking, biting and peeing for example. So, the question is whether we have two levels of control, and thereby truly two systems, only the second one conscious, or just one level of control and therefore just one system. And how do you explain consciousness in this second case?
    EB
    Not at all. Rather the opposite. The control system are even smaller parts of the machinery. They're highly specialised to only kick in in certain situations. Take for example our innate fear of snakes. This control system does nothing but analyse pictures coming in and look for things that have a complete set of certain markers. The snake control system sits on high priority. So has a lot of power. But only kicks in if it detects a snake. And if it does it can take over completely. Sometimes this cabling gets wrong and this fires at inopportune moments. I'm thinking cats and cucumbers.

    Consciousness cannot be the control system. Partly because we've proven experimentally that the consciousness doesn't take decisions. Whatever it is that takes decisions is elsewhere. But also, because it's a dumb model. Nothing in nature works that way. And not just living nature, but nature nature. If our consciousness was truly in control it would be a self causing causal agent. That's physically impossible. Or as Daniel Dennet to aptly put it, it would require an infinite regress of humunculi

    I suspect consciousness is part of our story telling machinery. It's used to create compelling and interesting stories. Things that risk revealing our true motives is hidden in our subconscious. The stuff we're conscious about is mostly self agrandising facts that make us seem more impressive to our peers. Anyway... that's Stephen Pinker's theory, and I think it's compelling.
    To understand the brain you first have to ask yourself 'why a living thing at all', and then secondly 'why did intelligence evolve', being the the thing that is unique to humans.

    In the first part the function of the brain is to propagate itself, and so the most deeply embedded functions of our nervous system are intrinsic to our survival: our neuromotor system allowing us to move around and manipulate the world, automatic systems that keep our heart beating and our lungs pumping. Or like you mention, things like automatic reactions to dangerous animals.

    What distinguishes people from other animals, though, is intelligence. The reason intelligence evolved is because over time people increasingly existed in social groups, and their ability to reproduce became more dependent on their social status within the group, rather than things like brute strength or body size. Intelligence is to humans as the size of horns are to rams. Our evolutionary history has become an arms race to outsmart other people.

    Eventually this evolution led to language, and language evolved as our culture experiences added to it, and over time we gained the ability to conceptualize both the world and ourselves. So what most people usually think of as 'consciousness' is actually just our ability to think and conceptualize in terms of language, because we can know ourselves we feel like an I. But this is also an automatic process. You can't just not think, and in that way it's similar to the deeper, sub-conscious, and also intrinsic to our survival, it just feels like the 'I'.

    And I also believe people tend to think that we have some kind of special status re: consciousness, that other animals don't have, but I don't think this is the case. Pending on the animal, they feel like an I too, just without language.

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