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Thread: Thoughts about the Consciousness

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    Thoughts about the Consciousness

    I was reading Daniel Dennett's essay (called "Where Am I") about him viewing his own brain. He imagined advanced technology that allows the nerves of his eyes to be stretched so that he can view his own brain in a distant lab.

    Anyways, I am imagining the same situation except that they start operating on my brain with my eyes watching. Assume that they find the tissues responsible for my visual experience. I was going to give the argument that my experience in my brain is different from the tissues that people would see. But when I thought about my mobile eyes being fixed close to someone else's view, we would agree on what is there and what we see!

    Here's where it gets really weird. I am essentially experiencing my own experience. My experience is my experience.

    And if we are our experiences, then the information about me has become me, and I have become the information about me.


    Does anyone want to add anything?

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    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    The experience that is experienced is nothing more than the experience that a brain generates. There is no 'you' as the experiencer of experience....just the experience being generated by a brain that includes a brain constructed self awareness (body/mind map/sense of selfhood), sight, sound, feelings, intended actions as features and attributes of virtual world of mind/subjective consciousness evolutionary adaptive brain interaction with objective external world challenges...

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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    The experience that is experienced is nothing more than the experience that a brain generates. There is no 'you' as the experiencer of experience....just the experience being generated by a brain that includes a brain constructed self awareness (body/mind map/sense of selfhood), sight, sound, feelings, intended actions as features and attributes of virtual world of mind/subjective consciousness evolutionary adaptive brain interaction with objective external world challenges...
    Then why does experience seem so localized to one body?

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    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    The experience that is experienced is nothing more than the experience that a brain generates. There is no 'you' as the experiencer of experience....just the experience being generated by a brain that includes a brain constructed self awareness (body/mind map/sense of selfhood), sight, sound, feelings, intended actions as features and attributes of virtual world of mind/subjective consciousness evolutionary adaptive brain interaction with objective external world challenges...
    Then why does experience seem so localized to one body?
    Er...

    Seriously?

    If consciousness and experiences are characteristics of brains, why would they NOT be localised to the brain that generates them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ryan View Post

    Then why does experience seem so localized to one body?
    Er...

    Seriously?

    If consciousness and experiences are characteristics of brains, why would they NOT be localised to the brain that generates them?
    DBT says that there is no 'you', just a brain. That is purely objective. If true, then how are experiences isolated from other brains? Why aren't all experiences being experienced at the same time in the same frame of reference? There is something very different about the experience that is going on in Edmonton Canada in the home of the person they call Ryan than anyone else.

    The problem seems to be that your side of the argument jumps from subjectivity to objectivity when it is convenient for your argument (I put "seems" in bold italic because I am not sure what exactly is the discrepancy). If you are, you probably don't realize that you're doing this.

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    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post

    Er...

    Seriously?

    If consciousness and experiences are characteristics of brains, why would they NOT be localised to the brain that generates them?
    DBT says that there is no 'you', just a brain. That is purely objective. If true, then how are experiences isolated from other brains? Why aren't all experiences being experienced at the same time in the same frame of reference? There is something very different about the experience that is going on in Edmonton Canada in the home of the person they call Ryan than anyone else.

    The problem seems to be that your side of the argument jumps from subjectivity to objectivity when it is convenient for your argument (I put "seems" in bold italic because I am not sure what exactly is the discrepancy). If you are, you probably don't realize that you're doing this.
    Experiences are isolated from other brains by physical separation in space.

    Each brain has its own experiences; each person is his own universe - he has no neural connection to the brains of others, and can only infer that other brains have any experiences at all, via less direct physical connections, such as observing the actions of others.

    The 'You' to which DBT refers is not a physical entity; it is what your brain does.

    A racing car on the track has velocity. You can't take the velocity and separate it from the car; There is no 'speed' going around the track, just a car.

    There is nothing at all surprising about the fact that each car has its own speed, unrelated to the speeds of other cars. If I asked you 'How is speed isolated from other cars?' or 'Why aren't all cars going the same speed at the same time in the same frame of reference?' You would think I was very confused, and making an incomprehensible category error.

    I feel the same way about your questions here relating to consciousness. Attributes do not exist separately from objects; and similar objects can have different attributes. Consciousness and experience do not exist separately from brains, and similar brains have differing conscious experiences. There is no mystery here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ryan View Post

    DBT says that there is no 'you', just a brain. That is purely objective. If true, then how are experiences isolated from other brains? Why aren't all experiences being experienced at the same time in the same frame of reference? There is something very different about the experience that is going on in Edmonton Canada in the home of the person they call Ryan than anyone else.

    The problem seems to be that your side of the argument jumps from subjectivity to objectivity when it is convenient for your argument (I put "seems" in bold italic because I am not sure what exactly is the discrepancy). If you are, you probably don't realize that you're doing this.
    Experiences are isolated from other brains by physical separation in space.

    Each brain has its own experiences; each person is his own universe - he has no neural connection to the brains of others, and can only infer that other brains have any experiences at all, via less direct physical connections, such as observing the actions of others.
    What is this "he" you speak of? That seems too subjective for what I think DBT's argument is about. And I am not trying to be facetious.

    The 'You' to which DBT refers is not a physical entity; it is what your brain does.
    Why is it my brain; shouldn't it just be a brain?

    A racing car on the track has velocity. You can't take the velocity and separate it from the car; There is no 'speed' going around the track, just a car.
    The velocity needs the environment to exist. The velocity, in a weird way, is global to a reference point.

    This is interesting because it helps me understand how we can know that there is something outside of our brains.

    There is nothing at all surprising about the fact that each car has its own speed, unrelated to the speeds of other cars. If I asked you 'How is speed isolated from other cars?' or 'Why aren't all cars going the same speed at the same time in the same frame of reference?' You would think I was very confused, and making an incomprehensible category error.

    I feel the same way about your questions here relating to consciousness. Attributes do not exist separately from objects; and similar objects can have different attributes. Consciousness and experience do not exist separately from brains, and similar brains have differing conscious experiences. There is no mystery here.
    You bring up an interesting point, but I don't see how it helps your argument.

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ryan View Post

    DBT says that there is no 'you', just a brain. That is purely objective. If true, then how are experiences isolated from other brains? Why aren't all experiences being experienced at the same time in the same frame of reference? There is something very different about the experience that is going on in Edmonton Canada in the home of the person they call Ryan than anyone else.

    The problem seems to be that your side of the argument jumps from subjectivity to objectivity when it is convenient for your argument (I put "seems" in bold italic because I am not sure what exactly is the discrepancy). If you are, you probably don't realize that you're doing this.
    Experiences are isolated from other brains by physical separation in space.

    Each brain has its own experiences; each person is his own universe - he has no neural connection to the brains of others, and can only infer that other brains have any experiences at all, via less direct physical connections, such as observing the actions of others.

    The 'You' to which DBT refers is not a physical entity; it is what your brain does.

    A racing car on the track has velocity. You can't take the velocity and separate it from the car; There is no 'speed' going around the track, just a car.

    There is nothing at all surprising about the fact that each car has its own speed, unrelated to the speeds of other cars. If I asked you 'How is speed isolated from other cars?' or 'Why aren't all cars going the same speed at the same time in the same frame of reference?' You would think I was very confused, and making an incomprehensible category error.

    I feel the same way about your questions here relating to consciousness. Attributes do not exist separately from objects; and similar objects can have different attributes. Consciousness and experience do not exist separately from brains, and similar brains have differing conscious experiences. There is no mystery here.
    Ryan, a few other thoughts. There are objective explanations for one's subjective consciousness. Its a matter of interpreting how a brain functions as an entity in an organism whose existence depends on the brain keeping it safe from those who might do it harm, other humans, in an environment where some social concert is necessary for humans to even exist.

    Humans seem to think they are operating in the present where its clear they are operating after the fact to all stimuli including that of other humans who may hurt them. All that is taking place is the brain coupling attended too events into scenarios that work in the presence of other humans who are reacting similarly. The part we call consciousness is that cobbling together of attended events into a scene where each of us believes she is in control of events.

    The fiction works primarily because, as social beings, we have equipment that permits us to gather threat and safe information for others through mostly unconscious processes. These are processes that sit under the very structure of our senses, systems that gather information attuned to social stimuli of body, face, intonation, gesture, data that become the basis for conscious forming scenarios.

    As a subjective consciousness it is of that consciousness one is aware. From that perch one cannot get to the basis for having that thing. At a minimum it takes one who understands the basis for having a subjective thing which we believe is capable of deciding and acting then it is not too difficult to understand how such a system works.

    Of course it helps to have decades of study of human and other animal behavior and of the processes underlying that behavior to present any semblance of story that holds with brain and behavior and subjective experience. It is just not possible for one unfamiliar with behavior's objective bases to understand how objective behavior can result in an individual having subjective experience unless one has some idea how one behaves and to what one is behaving and how that behaving can be objectively explained.

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    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post

    Er...

    Seriously?

    If consciousness and experiences are characteristics of brains, why would they NOT be localised to the brain that generates them?
    DBT says that there is no 'you', just a brain. That is purely objective. If true, then how are experiences isolated from other brains? Why aren't all experiences being experienced at the same time in the same frame of reference? There is something very different about the experience that is going on in Edmonton Canada in the home of the person they call Ryan than anyone else.

    The problem seems to be that your side of the argument jumps from subjectivity to objectivity when it is convenient for your argument (I put "seems" in bold italic because I am not sure what exactly is the discrepancy). If you are, you probably don't realize that you're doing this.
    I didn't say that there was no you, I said there no you apart from and distinct from what the brain constructs in terms of self identity and self awareness...that without the elecrochemical information processing power of the brain, the attributes of self awareness and self identity would not exist (these attributes being constructs of the brain). In other worlds, conscious self is not an homunculus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post

    Ryan, a few other thoughts. There are objective explanations for one's subjective consciousness. Its a matter of interpreting how a brain functions as an entity in an organism whose existence depends on the brain keeping it safe from those who might do it harm, other humans, in an environment where some social concert is necessary for humans to even exist.

    Humans seem to think they are operating in the present where its clear they are operating after the fact to all stimuli including that of other humans who may hurt them. All that is taking place is the brain coupling attended too events into scenarios that work in the presence of other humans who are reacting similarly. The part we call consciousness is that cobbling together of attended events into a scene where each of us believes she is in control of events.

    The fiction works primarily because, as social beings, we have equipment that permits us to gather threat and safe information for others through mostly unconscious processes. These are processes that sit under the very structure of our senses, systems that gather information attuned to social stimuli of body, face, intonation, gesture, data that become the basis for conscious forming scenarios.

    As a subjective consciousness it is of that consciousness one is aware. From that perch one cannot get to the basis for having that thing. At a minimum it takes one who understands the basis for having a subjective thing which we believe is capable of deciding and acting then it is not too difficult to understand how such a system works.

    Of course it helps to have decades of study of human and other animal behavior and of the processes underlying that behavior to present any semblance of story that holds with brain and behavior and subjective experience. It is just not possible for one unfamiliar with behavior's objective bases to understand how objective behavior can result in an individual having subjective experience unless one has some idea how one behaves and to what one is behaving and how that behaving can be objectively explained.
    I don't even know what I am doing on here half of he time. Talking about this stuff is like a drug: it's a waste of time, it doesn't help me much and it messes with my brain.

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