< 1 2 3 4 > 
 
   
 

Is consciousness just a subroutine in a “big loop” operating system?

 
Brick Bungalow
 
Avatar
 
 
Brick Bungalow
Total Posts:  5096
Joined  28-05-2009
 
 
 
31 August 2018 17:30
 

I think ‘consciousness’ in this article is pointing to a kind reflective sensory perception or ‘slow thinking’ rather than to subjectivity in general. It seems to be comparing awareness/attention to other faculties like eyesight where narrow, high density focus happens only occasionally and selectively.

I feel like consciousness in the broader sense will continue to evade such analysis. It’s just not the kind of thing that admits to this kind of measurement.

 
Nhoj Morley
 
Avatar
 
 
Nhoj Morley
Total Posts:  6337
Joined  22-02-2005
 
 
 
01 September 2018 11:40
 

This is only the tip of the icelobe.

The lab-lads have discovered an ‘attention’ cycle that runs at 250 milliseconds or 240 times a minute. Devotees of The Cult of Zero scramble to conclude what it means for consciousness. Oh, but that’s right, there is no agreed upon definition of consciousness. It has to be one definable thing, right? Attention in quarter second intervals sounds impractical for many physical tasks. What does that means for the consciousness no one agrees on?

The report describes sorting things into a brisk rhythm of conclusions. Sorting what? Things that are already perceptions as far as our brains are concerned. Notice that the report postulates a process that is decorelated time-wise from the direct visual stimuli that feeds it. It sees what the brain has already seen. That includes perceptions from the distant past or a fraction of a second ago. That is a Bioon two-perception machine.

Why see the process as a thing that happens every quarter second instead of a process that takes 250 ms to occur? If we have a small arsenal of attention cycles for differing tasks, and they all had durations instead of instantaneous results, why would we need ‘consciousness’ as an additional thingie that gives us a durable experience? If each perception is already an endured experience, and not an instantaneous signal, there is no need for a conscious component to do the enduring. All we need is an inner fuss of cross-corelated spans of attention. Nature provides continuity and momentum, unless you’re human with a third perception that helps you see alternate continuities.

This report does more to explain comedic timing than consciousness. It is a peek into our sense of rhythm. In trioon, 250 ms is the default pace for Beat One (the so-called conclusion) of our four-stroke cinematic perception, unless we synchronize it to an outside rhythmic pace of some kind. Like the frames of a movie projector or the rhythms of music and speech, or both at the same time. Why do they need to fall into a certain range of tempo? Where does our copius enjoyment of four-beat rhythms come from unless they cater to the workings and pace of our perception?

If we have perceptions of 40 or 400 milliseconds in duration, do we really need a temporal pinpoint of consciousness that endures the elapsing like a travelling spot of attention on that tiny timeline? If we equate attention with duration, then there is no need for the spot or ever agreeing on what consciousness is.

 
 
Poldano
 
Avatar
 
 
Poldano
Total Posts:  3333
Joined  26-01-2010
 
 
 
02 September 2018 00:03
 
Ground - 31 August 2018 10:28 AM
Poldano - 28 August 2018 09:02 PM
Ground - 28 August 2018 05:28 AM
Poldano - 27 August 2018 11:10 PM
Ground - 27 August 2018 07:01 AM

While “consciousness” belongs to common parlance there is no scientific evidence that something exists of which the linguistic expression “consciousness” might be the appropriate designation. This being so talking about “consciousness” in the affirmative belongs to the sphere of speculative belief.

I think your comment is more appropriate to the Hall of Philosphy than this one, but I will answer briefly from what I consider to be a scientific perspective.

It is obvious that there are some phenomena that we attribute to “consciousness”, however loosely that is defined. ..

In the same way as it is obvious that there are some phenomena that the theists attribute to “god’s will”. What you refer to as “we” may be a larger community of believers compared with the theists but that doesn’t render “consciousness” a valid designation of a scientifically established existent.

To be as succinct as possible. so what?

Your comment is appropriate to the philosophy forum. Science requires a philosophical position that accepts tentative definitions of terms and tentative identification and description of objects. If you wish, I will open a topic in that forum related to the question, with the title Does Consciousness Exist?, unless you provide another title that you prefer.

I understand that you are admitting that psychology is a variant of religion since it is dominated by belief. So what you are seeking actually is an exchange of beliefs.
The question “Does Consciousness Exist?” is as irrational as the question “Do ghosts exist?” or the the question of this thread “Is consciousness just a subroutine in a “big loop” operating system?”
How about a thread “What’s the color of the horn of a rabbit?” *lol* smile

Everything epistemological is about belief, in one way or another. Any assertion at all is eligible to become a belief, depending entirely upon the subjectivity of the potential believer. There is no admission necessary with respect to that, it is a matter of formal definition.

I do not admit that psychology is a variant of belief, either implicitly or explicitly. Psychology as science is a matter of methodology; psychological theories and facts, insofar as they are assertions, can be beliefs as can any assertions. Having confidence in a psychological research method is a matter of belief, but the method itself need not be.

To get back to the gist of your comments, are you asserting that the term consciousness is so poorly defined that it can refer to nothing real? I’m asking because I really do not get what your point is.

 
 
Poldano
 
Avatar
 
 
Poldano
Total Posts:  3333
Joined  26-01-2010
 
 
 
02 September 2018 00:06
 
Nhoj Morley - 01 September 2018 11:40 AM

This is only the tip of the icelobe.

...

I’m glad you responded, Nhoj. I was looking forward to it.

You’ve brought some good insights into the discussion.

 

 
 
Poldano
 
Avatar
 
 
Poldano
Total Posts:  3333
Joined  26-01-2010
 
 
 
02 September 2018 01:12
 

I’ll explain my own take on the research referenced in the article I referenced.

In the broadest sense, it is an example of the attempt to correlate observable phenomena with subjectively reported phenomena. That’s the only effective way I know of to achieve quantifiable scientific knowledge of subjective phenomena. It’s not perfect, but nothing about scientific instrumentation is perfect. In all cases, we do as much as we can with what we’ve got.

In a narrower sense, and the reason I used an “operating system” metaphor, is that the findings suggest that, with respect to the focus of subjective intention, one significant part of the brain operates as a timer-driven dispatcher loop with a cycle time of around 250 milliseconds. This by no means controls all of the brain’s functionality, much less that of the entire nervous system or all of an individual’s organic functions. The entirety is in my opinion and in all probability a distributed system, with some subsystems operating relatively independently of any central clock. This is not proven beyond reasonable doubt, but is likely based on information from other subsystems. Sensory systems and involuntary motor systems can respond to and react to stimuli in far shorter times, and trained voluntary motor actions can keep tempos greater than 4 hertz. The role of attention seems to be that of integrating a narrative, specifically with respect to deliberate learning of a skill and memory-integrated construction of self-identity, including persona and moral character among other nebulously-defined attributes. I would be particularly interested in the results of similar studies that examined the linkage between memory subsystems and attention. To support the construction of self-identity, et al., there has to be some synchronization timing that is shared between memory formation, memory retrieval, and attention, and I’m curious as to exactly how it works.

For those of you unfamiliar with computer systems programming, of which operating systems programming is a genre, there are two basic ways of getting information into or out of an operating program. The first way is by polling, whereby the program explicitly asks a peripheral device for any input information it has. The second of these is via interrupt, in which a peripheral device’s self-initiated action sends a signal to the computer that results in the currently operating program being suspended temporarily so that an interrupt subroutine can get (or send) the information that the peripheral has (or is ready to get). In reality, only the most bare-metal programs on the most simple computers actually use exclusively one or the other method. In nearly all modern computers, the two methods are interleaved as patterns at various levels of computer operations. Even the ability of an interrupt signal to suspend operation of a program is strictly controlled by CPU execution cycles and additional variable constraints imposed by an operating system, such that the execution of all programs on current general purpose computers can be accurately portrayed as hybrids of interrupt-driven and polled IO.

If we apply such patterning to an animal’s nervous systems, the immediate sensory information is (or can plausibly be assumed to be) interrupt-driven by the arrival of the information, and retained (buffered) at some higher point in the neural sensory pathways as a memory of some kind. In order to maintain the coherent illusion (or delusion, if you prefer) of a continuous stream of consciousness, while at the same time enabling an interruption of attention for possible existential threats, there must be at least one point of synchronization interleaving decision making on new information with processing of previous information. I believe the cycle described in the referenced article is one such point, even if it is not a “point” in geometric terms. I’ve speculated above that the stream-of-consciousness illusion is necessary for integration of self-identity, etc. We certainly burn enough calories on it, in the form of neural activity, that it would be surprising if it there were not considerable net benefit from it.

I chose the rather imprecise title for this thread precisely because it was imprecise, and likely inflammable because of its imprecision. If I had titled it as appropriately as I could have (albeit with significantly more effort), I don’t think I would have had any response.

 
 
Poldano
 
Avatar
 
 
Poldano
Total Posts:  3333
Joined  26-01-2010
 
 
 
02 September 2018 01:20
 
Brick Bungalow - 31 August 2018 05:30 PM

I think ‘consciousness’ in this article is pointing to a kind reflective sensory perception or ‘slow thinking’ rather than to subjectivity in general. It seems to be comparing awareness/attention to other faculties like eyesight where narrow, high density focus happens only occasionally and selectively.

I feel like consciousness in the broader sense will continue to evade such analysis. It’s just not the kind of thing that admits to this kind of measurement.

I agree. The entire subject is a big amorphous blob that we can currently only comprehend by chipping off little chunks to examine. We have to call the little chunks something else, to distinguish them from the blob.

 
 
Ground
 
Avatar
 
 
Ground
Total Posts:  80
Joined  16-07-2017
 
 
 
02 September 2018 13:57
 
Poldano - 02 September 2018 12:03 AM
Ground - 31 August 2018 10:28 AM
Poldano - 28 August 2018 09:02 PM
Ground - 28 August 2018 05:28 AM
Poldano - 27 August 2018 11:10 PM
Ground - 27 August 2018 07:01 AM

While “consciousness” belongs to common parlance there is no scientific evidence that something exists of which the linguistic expression “consciousness” might be the appropriate designation. This being so talking about “consciousness” in the affirmative belongs to the sphere of speculative belief.

I think your comment is more appropriate to the Hall of Philosphy than this one, but I will answer briefly from what I consider to be a scientific perspective.

It is obvious that there are some phenomena that we attribute to “consciousness”, however loosely that is defined. ..

In the same way as it is obvious that there are some phenomena that the theists attribute to “god’s will”. What you refer to as “we” may be a larger community of believers compared with the theists but that doesn’t render “consciousness” a valid designation of a scientifically established existent.

To be as succinct as possible. so what?

Your comment is appropriate to the philosophy forum. Science requires a philosophical position that accepts tentative definitions of terms and tentative identification and description of objects. If you wish, I will open a topic in that forum related to the question, with the title Does Consciousness Exist?, unless you provide another title that you prefer.

I understand that you are admitting that psychology is a variant of religion since it is dominated by belief. So what you are seeking actually is an exchange of beliefs.
The question “Does Consciousness Exist?” is as irrational as the question “Do ghosts exist?” or the the question of this thread “Is consciousness just a subroutine in a “big loop” operating system?”
How about a thread “What’s the color of the horn of a rabbit?” *lol* smile

Everything epistemological is about belief, in one way or another. Any assertion at all is eligible to become a belief, depending entirely upon the subjectivity of the potential believer. There is no admission necessary with respect to that, it is a matter of formal definition.

c’mon ... stop your irrational talk. It is not that “Everything epistemological is about belief” but it is about empirical scientific rationality. you are taking a shower in the morning,using your coffee machine, using the internet und computers, drivng cars ... all these are products of empirical scientific rationality. But no “consciousness” what so ever has ever been validly affiirmed by empirical scientific rationality. There simply is no evidence for the existence of consciousness.

Poldano - 02 September 2018 12:03 AM

I do not admit that psychology is a variant of belief, either implicitly or explicitly. Psychology as science is a matter of methodology; psychological theories and facts, insofar as they are assertions, can be beliefs as can any assertions. Having confidence in a psychological research method is a matter of belief, but the method itself need not be.

psychology is a system of contradicting beliefs. Mere ideas.. Total bullshit.

Poldano - 02 September 2018 12:03 AM

To get back to the gist of your comments, are you asserting that the term consciousness is so poorly defined that it can refer to nothing real? I’m asking because I really do not get what your point is.

If you need a definition then that proves that there is no scientific evidence for something called “consciousness”. Do you need a definition for “car” in order to be able to drive it?

 
Poldano
 
Avatar
 
 
Poldano
Total Posts:  3333
Joined  26-01-2010
 
 
 
02 September 2018 22:01
 
Ground - 02 September 2018 01:57 PM
Poldano - 02 September 2018 12:03 AM

Everything epistemological is about belief, in one way or another. Any assertion at all is eligible to become a belief, depending entirely upon the subjectivity of the potential believer. There is no admission necessary with respect to that, it is a matter of formal definition.

c’mon ... stop your irrational talk. It is not that “Everything epistemological is about belief” but it is about empirical scientific rationality. you are taking a shower in the morning,using your coffee machine, using the internet und computers, drivng cars ... all these are products of empirical scientific rationality. But no “consciousness” what so ever has ever been validly affiirmed by empirical scientific rationality. There simply is no evidence for the existence of consciousness.

Have you ever stubbed your toe? Did it hurt? I assert that your experience of pain is evidence for the existence of consciousness.

Ground - 02 September 2018 01:57 PM
Poldano - 02 September 2018 12:03 AM

I do not admit that psychology is a variant of belief, either implicitly or explicitly. Psychology as science is a matter of methodology; psychological theories and facts, insofar as they are assertions, can be beliefs as can any assertions. Having confidence in a psychological research method is a matter of belief, but the method itself need not be.

psychology is a system of contradicting beliefs. Mere ideas.. Total bullshit.

You should be quite familiar with that.

Ground - 02 September 2018 01:57 PM
Poldano - 02 September 2018 12:03 AM

To get back to the gist of your comments, are you asserting that the term consciousness is so poorly defined that it can refer to nothing real? I’m asking because I really do not get what your point is.

If you need a definition then that proves that there is no scientific evidence for something called “consciousness”. Do you need a definition for “car” in order to be able to drive it?

I don’t need a definition. I am quite willing and able to work with nebulous concepts that may or may not correspond to real phenomena, and vague terms that cannot be pinned down to exact meanings. I maintain that one of the objectives of science is to address and if possible answer the questions such ambiguity gives rise to. On the contrary, you seem to be asserting that any speculative entity or substance for which there is no evidence does not exist. I do not agree with that position. If you have a different position, please clarify.

I suggest that what you are doing while you are reading this post is evidence for consciousness. It is not proof, because you could be an ideabot just rearranging terms according to a language processing algorithm.

Using another angle, many of the other respondents have said that the referenced article was really about research into attention. I concur. Do you regard attention as nonexistent?

Also, as a counterexample for you, is there evidence for dark matter, in your opinion? The only evidence for such a thing appears to me to be a difference between what is observed and what is predicted by a dearly loved and otherwise pretty good theory. Yet that does not prevent scientists from looking for evidence of the hypothesized substance. Are those scientists acting irrationally?

[ Edited: 02 September 2018 22:17 by Poldano]
 
 
nonverbal
 
Avatar
 
 
nonverbal
Total Posts:  1783
Joined  31-10-2015
 
 
 
03 September 2018 07:27
 

If he can split up attention into its constituent parts, he’ll likely claim it doesn’t exist. My car is also made up of constituent parts. . . I think I’ll report it stolen due to its nonexistence. The insurance folks will surely understand once I send them a few Ground posts.

 
 
Jb8989
 
Avatar
 
 
Jb8989
Total Posts:  6373
Joined  31-01-2012
 
 
 
03 September 2018 07:28
 
Poldano - 02 September 2018 01:12 AM

I

In a narrower sense, and the reason I used an “operating system” metaphor, is that the findings suggest that, with respect to the focus of subjective intention, one significant part of the brain operates as a timer-driven dispatcher loop with a cycle time of around 250 milliseconds. This by no means controls all of the brain’s functionality, much less that of the entire nervous system or all of an individual’s organic functions. The entirety is in my opinion and in all probability a distributed system, with some subsystems operating relatively independently of any central clock. This is not proven beyond reasonable doubt, but is likely based on information from other subsystems. Sensory systems and involuntary motor systems can respond to and react to stimuli in far shorter times, and trained voluntary motor actions can keep tempos greater than 4 hertz. The role of attention seems to be that of integrating a narrative, specifically with respect to deliberate learning of a skill and memory-integrated construction of self-identity, including persona and moral character among other nebulously-defined attributes. I would be particularly interested in the results of similar studies that examined the linkage between memory subsystems and attention. To support the construction of self-identity, et al., there has to be some synchronization timing that is shared between memory formation, memory retrieval, and attention, and I’m curious as to exactly how it works.

Subsystems sound right, but I also feel like you’re talking about the trajectory of attention (once triggered). Timing, relative strength of stimuli, and trajectories seem to be the common attention hogs. For example, a memory is neither perceptually invisible nor present at eye level. When we attend to one, there’s an issue with the non-attended portion of the reduced bandwidth information coming in. It’s still coming in, but at what level of awareness can we still be expected to be getting the gist of what’s going on around us, let alone whether it’s perceptually relevant enough to select, organize and store as something important enough to recall. There’s all sorts of visual studies done that prove that people’s ability to task back and forth differ, and has way more utility than just flat out attending to one thing for longer periods of time, but about those other studies I’d have to look.

[ Edited: 03 September 2018 07:30 by Jb8989]
 
 
Poldano
 
Avatar
 
 
Poldano
Total Posts:  3333
Joined  26-01-2010
 
 
 
03 September 2018 19:49
 
Jb8989 - 03 September 2018 07:28 AM
Poldano - 02 September 2018 01:12 AM

I

In a narrower sense, and the reason I used an “operating system” metaphor, is that the findings suggest that, with respect to the focus of subjective intention, one significant part of the brain operates as a timer-driven dispatcher loop with a cycle time of around 250 milliseconds. This by no means controls all of the brain’s functionality, much less that of the entire nervous system or all of an individual’s organic functions. The entirety is in my opinion and in all probability a distributed system, with some subsystems operating relatively independently of any central clock. This is not proven beyond reasonable doubt, but is likely based on information from other subsystems. Sensory systems and involuntary motor systems can respond to and react to stimuli in far shorter times, and trained voluntary motor actions can keep tempos greater than 4 hertz. The role of attention seems to be that of integrating a narrative, specifically with respect to deliberate learning of a skill and memory-integrated construction of self-identity, including persona and moral character among other nebulously-defined attributes. I would be particularly interested in the results of similar studies that examined the linkage between memory subsystems and attention. To support the construction of self-identity, et al., there has to be some synchronization timing that is shared between memory formation, memory retrieval, and attention, and I’m curious as to exactly how it works.

Subsystems sound right, but I also feel like you’re talking about the trajectory of attention (once triggered). Timing, relative strength of stimuli, and trajectories seem to be the common attention hogs. For example, a memory is neither perceptually invisible nor present at eye level. When we attend to one, there’s an issue with the non-attended portion of the reduced bandwidth information coming in. It’s still coming in, but at what level of awareness can we still be expected to be getting the gist of what’s going on around us, let alone whether it’s perceptually relevant enough to select, organize and store as something important enough to recall. There’s all sorts of visual studies done that prove that people’s ability to task back and forth differ, and has way more utility than just flat out attending to one thing for longer periods of time, but about those other studies I’d have to look.

What you’ve said is a useful way of framing the subject matter.

...but at what level of awareness can we still be expected to be getting the gist of what’s going on around us[?]...

That’s a critical question. I am of the opinion that an answer can be reached using currently available instrumentation and methods, some of which the research in the referenced article used.

 
 
Poldano
 
Avatar
 
 
Poldano
Total Posts:  3333
Joined  26-01-2010
 
 
 
03 September 2018 20:48
 
nonverbal - 03 September 2018 07:27 AM

If he can split up attention into its constituent parts, he’ll likely claim it doesn’t exist. My car is also made up of constituent parts. . . I think I’ll report it stolen due to its nonexistence. The insurance folks will surely understand once I send them a few Ground posts.

I’m not so sure about the example you used. He explicitly stated that cars are things that actually exist. If he ever invokes the hoary whole-versus-parts discussion about existence, you can use that to catch him.

I suspect that he uses any convenient basis to attempt to discredit any discussion that he thinks he can get a handle on. If that’s the case, there will be inconsistencies and contradictions among his various implicit assertions.

 
 
Ground
 
Avatar
 
 
Ground
Total Posts:  80
Joined  16-07-2017
 
 
 
04 September 2018 14:15
 
Poldano - 02 September 2018 10:01 PM
Ground - 02 September 2018 01:57 PM
Poldano - 02 September 2018 12:03 AM

Everything epistemological is about belief, in one way or another. Any assertion at all is eligible to become a belief, depending entirely upon the subjectivity of the potential believer. There is no admission necessary with respect to that, it is a matter of formal definition.

c’mon ... stop your irrational talk. It is not that “Everything epistemological is about belief” but it is about empirical scientific rationality. you are taking a shower in the morning,using your coffee machine, using the internet und computers, drivng cars ... all these are products of empirical scientific rationality. But no “consciousness” what so ever has ever been validly affiirmed by empirical scientific rationality. There simply is no evidence for the existence of consciousness.

Have you ever stubbed your toe? Did it hurt? I assert that your experience of pain is evidence for the existence of consciousness.

*lol* you’re one of these funny believers. smile

Poldano - 02 September 2018 10:01 PM
Ground - 02 September 2018 01:57 PM
Poldano - 02 September 2018 12:03 AM

I do not admit that psychology is a variant of belief, either implicitly or explicitly. Psychology as science is a matter of methodology; psychological theories and facts, insofar as they are assertions, can be beliefs as can any assertions. Having confidence in a psychological research method is a matter of belief, but the method itself need not be.

psychology is a system of contradicting beliefs. Mere ideas.. Total bullshit.

You should be quite familiar with that.

I am quite familiar with the difference between the empirically observable and mere ideas. And psychology is the sphere of mere ideas. There is no psychological fact that is observable. What you and other believers claim to be psychological “facts” are actually merely interpretations and thus mere ideas.

Poldano - 02 September 2018 10:01 PM
Ground - 02 September 2018 01:57 PM
Poldano - 02 September 2018 12:03 AM

To get back to the gist of your comments, are you asserting that the term consciousness is so poorly defined that it can refer to nothing real? I’m asking because I really do not get what your point is.

If you need a definition then that proves that there is no scientific evidence for something called “consciousness”. Do you need a definition for “car” in order to be able to drive it?

I don’t need a definition. I am quite willing and able to work with nebulous concepts that may or may not correspond to real phenomena, and vague terms that cannot be pinned down to exact meanings. I maintain that one of the objectives of science is to address and if possible answer the questions such ambiguity gives rise to. On the contrary, you seem to be asserting that any speculative entity or substance for which there is no evidence does not exist. I do not agree with that position. If you have a different position, please clarify.

I suggest that what you are doing while you are reading this post is evidence for consciousness. It is not proof, because you could be an ideabot just rearranging terms according to a language processing algorithm.

Using another angle, many of the other respondents have said that the referenced article was really about research into attention. I concur. Do you regard attention as nonexistent?

Also, as a counterexample for you, is there evidence for dark matter, in your opinion? The only evidence for such a thing appears to me to be a difference between what is observed and what is predicted by a dearly loved and otherwise pretty good theory. Yet that does not prevent scientists from looking for evidence of the hypothesized substance. Are those scientists acting irrationally?

you don’t have to reaffirm that you’re a believer.
Things are very easy: Existence or Non-existence and the basis for existence is evidence. No evidence means non-existence.
A hypothesis may be rational or irrational. If the latter then the hypothesis can be discarded. If the former the hypothesis still is not valid. Only if the hypothesis is validated by experiment then the hypothesis turns into theory. Using a theory one is able to change/amend empirical reality as in the case of cars, internet, coffee machines and showers. See?
Now tell me about theories of psychology that can be validated by everybody independent of their beliefs. There are none! In psychology everything depends on beliefs. Even if a change of behaviour can be observed after applying psychological methods there is no scientific evidence for the cause, there is only interpretation and thus only mere idea.
People who believe in psychology are like people believing in god. And discussing with believers if futile.

Have a nice believing time! smile

[ Edited: 04 September 2018 14:19 by Ground]
 
Poldano
 
Avatar
 
 
Poldano
Total Posts:  3333
Joined  26-01-2010
 
 
 
04 September 2018 21:19
 
Ground - 04 September 2018 02:15 PM
Poldano - 02 September 2018 10:01 PM
Ground - 02 September 2018 01:57 PM
Poldano - 02 September 2018 12:03 AM

Everything epistemological is about belief, in one way or another. Any assertion at all is eligible to become a belief, depending entirely upon the subjectivity of the potential believer. There is no admission necessary with respect to that, it is a matter of formal definition.

c’mon ... stop your irrational talk. It is not that “Everything epistemological is about belief” but it is about empirical scientific rationality. you are taking a shower in the morning,using your coffee machine, using the internet und computers, drivng cars ... all these are products of empirical scientific rationality. But no “consciousness” what so ever has ever been validly affiirmed by empirical scientific rationality. There simply is no evidence for the existence of consciousness.

Have you ever stubbed your toe? Did it hurt? I assert that your experience of pain is evidence for the existence of consciousness.

*lol* you’re one of these funny believers. smile

Poldano - 02 September 2018 10:01 PM
Ground - 02 September 2018 01:57 PM
Poldano - 02 September 2018 12:03 AM

I do not admit that psychology is a variant of belief, either implicitly or explicitly. Psychology as science is a matter of methodology; psychological theories and facts, insofar as they are assertions, can be beliefs as can any assertions. Having confidence in a psychological research method is a matter of belief, but the method itself need not be.

psychology is a system of contradicting beliefs. Mere ideas.. Total bullshit.

You should be quite familiar with that.

I am quite familiar with the difference between the empirically observable and mere ideas. And psychology is the sphere of mere ideas. There is no psychological fact that is observable. What you and other believers claim to be psychological “facts” are actually merely interpretations and thus mere ideas.

Poldano - 02 September 2018 10:01 PM
Ground - 02 September 2018 01:57 PM
Poldano - 02 September 2018 12:03 AM

To get back to the gist of your comments, are you asserting that the term consciousness is so poorly defined that it can refer to nothing real? I’m asking because I really do not get what your point is.

If you need a definition then that proves that there is no scientific evidence for something called “consciousness”. Do you need a definition for “car” in order to be able to drive it?

I don’t need a definition. I am quite willing and able to work with nebulous concepts that may or may not correspond to real phenomena, and vague terms that cannot be pinned down to exact meanings. I maintain that one of the objectives of science is to address and if possible answer the questions such ambiguity gives rise to. On the contrary, you seem to be asserting that any speculative entity or substance for which there is no evidence does not exist. I do not agree with that position. If you have a different position, please clarify.

I suggest that what you are doing while you are reading this post is evidence for consciousness. It is not proof, because you could be an ideabot just rearranging terms according to a language processing algorithm.

Using another angle, many of the other respondents have said that the referenced article was really about research into attention. I concur. Do you regard attention as nonexistent?

Also, as a counterexample for you, is there evidence for dark matter, in your opinion? The only evidence for such a thing appears to me to be a difference between what is observed and what is predicted by a dearly loved and otherwise pretty good theory. Yet that does not prevent scientists from looking for evidence of the hypothesized substance. Are those scientists acting irrationally?

you don’t have to reaffirm that you’re a believer. ...

You’re avoiding answering any of the questions I asked you. You deflect them by asserting that I am a member of a class whose members you believe yourself to be superior to. The technique you use is an example of ad hominem rhetoric. You’re convincing no one but yourself and others like you. You may be amusing some people by seeming to pull my crank, so to speak, but I get off on your attempted insults.

Ground - 04 September 2018 02:15 PM

...
Things are very easy: Existence or Non-existence and the basis for existence is evidence. No evidence means non-existence.
...

That is a fallacy. Lack of evidence merely means that there is justification for lack of belief. It says absolutely nothing about existence itself.

Ground - 04 September 2018 02:15 PM

A hypothesis may be rational or irrational. ...

What does rational mean in this context? My own interpretation is that rational means specifically not contradicted by available evidence, in this context.

Ground - 04 September 2018 02:15 PM

... If the latter then the hypothesis can be discarded. ...

I agree that such a hypothesis does not merit further consideration.

Ground - 04 September 2018 02:15 PM

... If the former the hypothesis still is not valid. Only if the hypothesis is validated by experiment then the hypothesis turns into theory. ...

A hypothesis never turns into a theory. The term hypothesis refers specifically to a statement that has been framed in such a way that it can be verified to be true or false.  Hypotheses do not need formally-stated or explicit theories to support them.

Theories can exist independently of hypotheses, but theories can also generate hypotheses. Once verified, a hypothesis can be considered a fact that can be used as evidence to confirm or deny the applicability of theories.

Do you deny the validity of observational science? Astronomy is an observational science, and astrophysics is largely an observational science with key theories and facts borrowed from other subdisciplines of physics.

Ground - 04 September 2018 02:15 PM

... Using a theory one is able to change/amend empirical reality as in the case of cars, internet, coffee machines and showers. See? ...

Theories can be helpful in the process of invention. The process usually requires quite a few intervening steps, however, and is not automatic. A validated theory by itself does not change empirical reality, apart from its existence as a theory (which existence you will probably deny because a theory is basically a set of ideas). The part of reality that the theory addresses is exactly the same both before and after its validation, or invalidation, as the case may be.

Ground - 04 September 2018 02:15 PM

...
Now tell me about theories of psychology that can be validated by everybody independent of their beliefs. There are none! In psychology everything depends on beliefs. Even if a change of behaviour can be observed after applying psychological methods there is no scientific evidence for the cause, there is only interpretation and thus only mere idea. ...

Here are a few, off the top of my head:

1. The existence of color blindness.
2. Classical conditioning.
3. Operant conditioning.
4. The effects of opiates on behavior.
5. The latency times of subliminal visual stimuli.
6. The effects of anxiety on the immune system.

With a little more research I can go on, but you may get the picture. More importantly, anyone else reading this exchange will get the picture.

Ground - 04 September 2018 02:15 PM

...

People who believe in psychology are like people believing in god. And discussing with believers if futile.

...

What about people who merely use the term psychology as a reference to a field of study generally related to the behavior of individuals? I think that more closely describes the majority of people who post here, including myself. Using that interpretation, the notion of believing in psychology strikes me as being like the notion of believing in agronomy, or believing in zoology, or believing in geology, merely an expression of confidence in the methodology of the science. That is grounds for discussion, of course, but discussing it requires examination of the particulars of methods. That’s not what you are doing, it seems to me.

Now, if the term psychology is used to refer primarily to that portion of the field’s subject matter that comprises practical efforts to change empirical reality, then the notion of believing in it might be more comprehensible, perhaps a bit more like believing in the automobile, for instance, or believing in the the paleo diet. But that is not how I chose to interpret the term when I posted in this forum. There are ample grounds for criticism of the practices referred to by the second usage of the term, but such criticisms are irrelevant to my usage of it here.

Ground - 04 September 2018 02:15 PM

...

Have a nice believing time! smile

Thank you for the opportunity you gave me to indulge in a favorite hobby, even though I needed to go off topic, strictly speaking, to do so.

 

[ Edited: 04 September 2018 23:56 by Poldano]
 
 
Brick Bungalow
 
Avatar
 
 
Brick Bungalow
Total Posts:  5096
Joined  28-05-2009
 
 
 
05 September 2018 22:56
 
nonverbal - 03 September 2018 07:27 AM

If he can split up attention into its constituent parts, he’ll likely claim it doesn’t exist. My car is also made up of constituent parts. . . I think I’ll report it stolen due to its nonexistence. The insurance folks will surely understand once I send them a few Ground posts.

This point deserves a double take. Not every phenomena is illuminated in the same way. Many of our discoveries in nature are reductive. We zoom in through microscopes or dissect things into pieces or otherwise figure out how a set of parts is assembled and how it functions. Some events, however are not understood and predicted this way. Somethings require several steps back instead of forward. The analysis of traffic patterns, for instance or certain market trends. I think functions of the mind might be this way. There may be some wheel spinning when we simply assume that insight into things like subjective experience will be found by slicing dead brains into thinner and thinner slices. I suspect many of the more useful observations will be found by zooming out and considering brain function in larger and larger contexts. It’s relation to the body and the environment and to other minds and to nature in general.

 
 < 1 2 3 4 >