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A naturalistic approach to consciousness

 
weird buffalo
 
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weird buffalo
Total Posts:  180
Joined  19-06-2020
 
 
 
15 July 2020 07:59
 

There is a disconnect between reality and our perception of reality.  The “good enough” vs. “perfect” is a good way to put that.  Evolution models tell us that perception will always trend towards the fittest perception, and not towards the most accurate.  We do not see reality as it is, but rather as what is most advantageous to us as a species.  I would suggest that the ineffable nature of “experience” that makes it difficult to describe may be a byproduct of this.  Those moments when we can “feel” something that seems true even though there is little to no evidence to actually support it.  Why do we feel it? Because our brains have evolved to construct a reality that is useful to how our species survives as an organism.

The brain can be tricked in all sorts of ways.  Optical illusions are an obvious one, but the sense of touch can be tricked as well.  If direct physical contact with reality can trick our brain into sensing things that are not true, we should immediately be suspect of what “experience” actually is.  I find it much more likely that consciousness is a byproduct of the symbolic nature of how our brain interprets and reconstructs reality.

Donald Hoffman uses the analogy of an icon on a computer screen.  An icon of a pdf represents the information.  We don’t assume that the icon IS the information.  The pdf isn’t literally a small white rectangle on my computer screen.  The information is stored in the hard drive (in the older HDD) by a series of magnetic switches, but I can’t read those tiny magnetic switches, so the computer has a user interface that compiles the information into an understandable format for me.

Going back to Chalmers, it would seem that he is describing that user interface as consciousness that cannot be described by science.  Most of the time the UI that our brain constructs seems to comport with reality on a day to day level, but even without the benefits of advanced science we can experience a disconnect.  I think that dualism, and perhaps even more broadly spirituality, might come from a deep-seated realization that this disconnect exists.  Except evolutionary science tells us that the disconnect doesn’t come from an outside source, but rather is a product of how evolution works (evolution prefers fitness over accuracy).

 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
Total Posts:  6631
Joined  22-02-2005
 
 
 
16 July 2020 09:06
 

I’ve noticed several mentions of space-time. We are confident in the existence of space-time as a prerequisite for the material world. Why doesn’t that inform the materialist’s view of consciousness, which seems to be barking up the wrong tree?

What if neural states cannot by themselves be experienced or be a vessel for the immaterial? Folks are only imagining the space part. What if a series of neural states in a specific time-frame were necessary for sensation or consciousness? As in, brain + time. Then, pardon the pun, numerous sensational operations could be playing out simultaneously in one brain. If we stop the clock, it all disappears and so do we.

If our consciousness relies on a stable flow of clock-time, then it probably has nothing to do with quantumosity. The only immaterial realm we need is latency. We are conscious of a moment of reality during the next moment of reality. If our experience relies on continuous short sequences of neural states, including longer follow-up sequences that are stimulated by conglomerates of other neural sequences, why would we need some further thing immaterial or otherwise, to collect it all into a single basket of awareness?

The only uses I can think of for a singular condensed consciousness are to be something that can have an afterlife or astral project itself or have a deep connection of some sort to the universe or its various cosmic substrates.

A proper materialist’s view should be that consciousness is post-material and has no possible means of being unified for primordial occupation.

 
 
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