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#31
02-12-2014
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Quote:
Why exactly do I have to substantiate that the consciousness (or what people think is the consciousness) is in the brain, and not in the middle toe of the left foot?
well for one bc other societies conceive of consciousness in different terms (though, granted, the head (or above) is usually or universally the metaphor; universally, bodily metaphors like these are at the very heart of each and every one of our understandings of the world, meaning that it's no different in your so-called scientific physicalist approach, either; you equate "you" with system cs. with head/brain), but even so, what i was saying was
Quote:
if anything you'd have to "prove" that the "you" you want to talk about is the same thing as the "conscious you" you're implicitly equating it with
you're relying on your assumptions about the nature of "you" and consciousness without challenging them. that's what i'm saying. i'm not saying your consciousness might be located in your toe.

your original question suggests that "you" and "your consciousness" are the same thing (not only suggesting but stipulating it). okay, but i'm asking what your reasoning is, as a physicalist, for stipulating that, in the first place, and what your reasoning is, as a physicalist, for assuming that "you" therefore must be located only in your brain (and perhaps even only on some side of it) (in before 'bc ur system cs. (i.e. u) is located in ur brain')
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cursed Lemon View Post
Here's the problem - I am not a means to the end of rape culture, I am the end. I am literally the termination of this whole ordeal.
here's the problem

Last edited by PM; 02-12-2014 at 10:14 AM.
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#32
02-12-2014
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I really don't know where you're going with this.

It literally does not matter where the seat of "self" is located - the point is taking a reductionist stance on consciousness, which by its own purported immaterial nature is irreducible until confronted with the fact that you don't see disembodied consciousnesses just floating freely around in the atmosphere.


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#33
02-16-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cursed Lemon View Post
It's Froggy.

Suddenly want to give out hugs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PM View Post
i'd resist froggy's scientific optimism for a number of reasons but i like the idea he's getting at more explicitly than i had before, that is, that speech is essential to having a conception of the conscious you in the first place
It ties into a notion of consciousness I've heard of, but am not entirely comfortable with, which defines consciousness as any 'sufficiently complex' feedback system. Language provides great things in terms of introspection.

There are some interesting studies of children who were raised without any sort of interaction, no language, little stimulation, etc. From what I recall, the child in question was not able to give meaningful information about their state from before they learned language. Of course that's a very extreme case. Also our language really needs a genderless pronoun that isn't considered disrespectful/dehumanizing.

http://neuroanthropology.net/2010/07...hout-language/
I just came across this page which seems to have some interesting information on the topic.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cursed Lemon View Post
Why exactly do I have to substantiate that the consciousness (or what people think is the consciousness) is in the brain, and not in the middle toe of the left foot?

What does that have to do with my original question and what possible reason could you have to suggest the latter in the first place?
If consciousness can be tied to a specific location, that would make the question a lot easier.

I'm assuming for the latter, you're referring to the possibility of the consciousness existing outside of the body? I agree that seems rather unlikely, although I personally have experienced things that indicate the possibility of that, or at least that things are far more complicated than I'd want. I can go into detail there, but then I'd just be throwing out a lot of weird stuff with little support from a single source. What can I say? I'm a bit of a walking anomaly...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cursed Lemon View Post
It literally does not matter where the seat of "self" is located - the point is taking a reductionist stance on consciousness, which by its own purported immaterial nature is irreducible until confronted with the fact that you don't see disembodied consciousnesses just floating freely around in the atmosphere.
It's a pretty frustrating problem. My hope is that we'll see some progress here in my lifetime, but there's all sorts of fun ethical, and just plain terrifying consequences about knowing too much about the nature of consciousness.

I think where we're at right now is having several brain regions that seems to correspond to conscious thought, but no real indication of what they're necessary for, and a necessary subset of these regions is elusive. That's coming from a class on the subject like 5 years ago, so take it with a grain of salt.

I must say, though, consciousness existing outside of the body poses quite a challenge for the problem of self, specifically referring to why I am not another. In that case, I'd imagine the brain would have to exist as some sort of accidental antenna. It's an idea that's very silly, but unfortunately would explain some things I've seen . For now, I'm sticking to the assumption that consciousness is intricately tied to some mysterious set of brain structures.

It's difficult to separate the bits of the brain related to consciousness/'the self' and all of what I'd refer to as support structures that are used by 'the self'. I hold that without any memory of any past events, including language, etc. that you'd still be the same self/conscious entity. So far as anyone is concerned, you wouldn't be the same person, apart from the 'continuous' consciousness.

I've put words that don't seem to actually mean anything in context into single quotes for convenience.
Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night.
Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm the rest of his life.

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#34
02-16-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Froggy618157725 View Post
There are some interesting studies of children who were raised without any sort of interaction, no language, little stimulation, etc. From what I recall, the child in question was not able to give meaningful information about their state from before they learned language. Of course that's a very extreme case. Also our language really needs a genderless pronoun that isn't considered disrespectful/dehumanizing.
y not just be tactical n say someat like 'her or his'

Quote:
It ties into a notion of consciousness I've heard of, but am not entirely comfortable with, which defines consciousness as any 'sufficiently complex' feedback system. Language provides great things in terms of introspection.



http://neuroanthropology.net/2010/07...hout-language/
I just came across this page which seems to have some interesting information on the topic.
yeah, this is basically in line with (neo-)freudian thought (though it still, being a neuroscience and all, tends to naturalize things that maybe should be thought of more carefully).






Quote:
If consciousness can be tied to a specific location, that would make the question a lot easier.
it cannot be tied to any location w/o there already being a cultural or linguistic community which ascribes it to some such location
i.e. there's not an objectively pinpointable spot in the brain that is conscious you

Quote:
I'm assuming for the latter, you're referring to the possibility of the consciousness existing outside of the body? I agree that seems rather unlikely, although I personally have experienced things that indicate the possibility of that, or at least that things are far more complicated than I'd want. I can go into detail there, but then I'd just be throwing out a lot of weird stuff with little support from a single source. What can I say? I'm a bit of a walking anomaly...
there is no consciousness outside of the body except for in a more loose sense than what cl's implying with the whole "conscious you" thing in the op.
(you could say there's a kind of oceanic 'effervescent' collective conscious, which can be found or evoked in pop movies and reactions to them, most notably today (but also in crowds or mass or ritualistic gatherings of peoples, for instance). see in this connection freud's work on group psychology and durkheim's on religion).

if we think of consciousness as a system (as system cs.), then we could say that the "you" cl is really wanting to get at in the op is different from the "conscious you" he's at the same time wanting to equate it with. the "you" he's wanting to get at, so i've been assured, is not the "self". i'd say it's a collection of more than the system cs., however, and includes also the systems pcs. and ucs. (given that bodily movements arise from the system pcs., meaning that someone's movements themselves are mostly pre- or less-than-conscious).

marx once said something like 'consciousness is the direct efflux of material behavior'. this means that consciousness as an activity is inseparable from the concept of habitus (structured dispositions; default ways and modes of existing; already-made patterns of action, greased grooves of behavior), to which i've devoted a thread.

another q to think about here is what exactly is the "you" we're recognizing in another person when we say to them, hey "you"?
and w/r/t the original question: what half would be "you" for an interlocutor? (answer: both parts are not you)



Quote:
It's a pretty frustrating problem. My hope is that we'll see some progress here in my lifetime,
>getting even closer to 2015
>still assuming science can answer a question that's really only a problem w language itself
Quote:
but there's all sorts of fun ethical, and just plain terrifying consequences about knowing too much about the nature of consciousness.

I think where we're at right now is having several brain regions that seems to correspond to conscious thought, but no real indication of what they're necessary for, and a necessary subset of these regions is elusive. That's coming from a class on the subject like 5 years ago, so take it with a grain of salt.

I must say, though, consciousness existing outside of the body poses quite a challenge for the problem of self,
>mind/body dualism
>another scientific optimist entertaining rationalism
Quote:
specifically referring to why I am not another. In that case, I'd imagine the brain would have to exist as some sort of accidental antenna. It's an idea that's very silly, but unfortunately would explain some things I've seen . For now, I'm sticking to the assumption that consciousness is intricately tied to some mysterious set of brain structures.

It's difficult to separate the bits of the brain related to consciousness/'the self' and all of what I'd refer to as support structures that are used by 'the self'. I hold that without any memory of any past events, including language, etc.
this is a good point but you're forgetting about the body, etc. keep in mind your brain is a part of your larger body, and that your body is what's seen by other people which you imaginatively apprehend as existing, etc. keep in mind your body seems to have its own language-- keep in mind there is no natural way to swim, or walk, or eat, etc., that these things are 'learned' or picked up on and corrected, reinforced, disciplined until 'natural'.

you guys keep talking about consciousness (system cs.) as "you" as "your brain"; but that's exactly where the problem lies, and as long as you're speaking in these terms your answers are only going to be, e.g., "can't wait til science answers what part of the brain "you" are for good."

Quote:
that you'd still be the same self/conscious entity. So far as anyone is concerned, you wouldn't be the same person, apart from the 'continuous' consciousness.

I've put words that don't seem to actually mean anything in context into single quotes for convenience.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cursed Lemon View Post
Here's the problem - I am not a means to the end of rape culture, I am the end. I am literally the termination of this whole ordeal.
here's the problem

Last edited by PM; 02-16-2014 at 11:22 AM.
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#35
02-16-2014
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PM, you realize I'm a skeptic of consciousness, right?


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#36
02-16-2014
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another good, careful, thoughtful response from cl (cl, u realize i'm literally being pushed to become a historian of consciousness, right?)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cursed Lemon View Post
Here's the problem - I am not a means to the end of rape culture, I am the end. I am literally the termination of this whole ordeal.
here's the problem

Last edited by PM; 02-16-2014 at 05:14 PM.
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#37
02-16-2014
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Aaaaaaaaaand I give up.


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#38
02-16-2014
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you gave up a long time ago
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Originally Posted by Cursed Lemon View Post
Here's the problem - I am not a means to the end of rape culture, I am the end. I am literally the termination of this whole ordeal.
here's the problem
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#39
02-17-2014
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Originally Posted by Cursed Lemon View Post
As a physicalist, I'm already of the opinion that consciousness is an emergent phenomenon, and not particularly special in that regard.
there u go





the only other things u've said so far:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cursed Lemon View Post
[Consciousness and ideas of the self (and so also therefore the "you" and "conscious you" i'm conflating already as a physicalist) are rooted in the brain and if you disagree (though you never indicated that you did and I'm just pre-emptively attacking a strawman) then I don't want to talk about it in my own thread dedicated to that question.]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cursed Lemon View Post
Uh, no amputated arm has ever displayed characteristics of consciousness, nor has any amputee ever complained of a loss of self-awareness.

There's nothing to debate about. It's like asking why the sky is blue - a system makes it that way, I don't know how the system got there.
i want to you google "define system" and think about how a system "gets there" for a second

just to make sure-- you realize i never said or implied that the self could/might be located in anything like an arm, right?


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Originally Posted by Cursed Lemon View Post
Being a materialist is basically being a metaphysical atheist. I don't have to prove that something isn't there.
in this moment you are euphoric

being a materialist means you defer to a fundamentally unknowable (mediated through perception) external (material) reality as such, and in your case, so it would seem, thoroughly deny the importance of attending to something like psychical reality, also.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cursed Lemon View Post
I really don't know where you're going with this.
you don't really want to is the problem; like you said, you're already of a very specific opinion (which, as you've made clear itt, at least, only really allows you to defer to the reality of the material exactly like a 15 y.o. christian might defer to the reality of the immaterial). implicitly i'm also calling into question your own system of beliefs.

Quote:
It literally does not matter where the seat of "self" is located - the point is taking a reductionist stance on consciousness, which by its own purported immaterial nature is irreducible until confronted with the fact that you don't see disembodied consciousnesses just floating freely around in the atmosphere.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cursed Lemon View Post
PM, you realize I'm a skeptic of consciousness, right?
so ur saying that u made this thread in order to ask a question about a "you" which is = to a "conscious you" only to later respond to other posters with what's the equivalent of "i'm a physicalist. i'm a skeptic of consciousness"?

good posting as usual cl
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cursed Lemon View Post
Here's the problem - I am not a means to the end of rape culture, I am the end. I am literally the termination of this whole ordeal.
here's the problem

Last edited by PM; 02-17-2014 at 07:54 AM.
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#40
02-17-2014
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Oh, it's this game. The "sporadically quote the whole thread out of context" game. Okay, I'll bite.

My original thought experiment:

Quote:
If you split the brain and body vertically down the center, which side do "you" end up on?
Since this is a thought experiment, it's somewhat understood that I'm not asking because I'm having difficulty solving the issue myself, but rather I'm asking because I'd like the viewers to consider it and adopt it into their views about materialism, phenomenology, the hard problem of consciousness, etc. The implied tenets, naturally, are as follows:

1. The consciousness is rooted in the brain.

2. The consciousness is singular.

In addition to not even addressing the original question, you instead decided to indirectly argue the tenets themselves. Which on any other day would be a perfectly acceptable course of arguing, but when your opening statement is this:

Quote:
when you say "you", do you mean the "me" that thinks or that assumes it's "me" that does the thinking? (since you're talking about "consciousness", i'm assuming this is what you meant). or did you mean something else, like "my" personality or my "self", etc.?
I don't even know what to make of this. I don't observe two "kinds" of consciousness or self-awareness, so for me to even approach this question would be pointless. Call consciousness whatever you like, the idea of being aware of the self and recognizing the "thing that thinks" and the "thing that sees" inside of ourselves is what I think we all clearly hold to be the definition of consciousness. Nevertheless, I respond with:

Quote:
That depends. Do you think there is a distinction between those two things?

And just for clarification, I'm not talking about simply severing the corpus callosum, and it is given that both hemispheres of the brain tend to specialize in different aspects of intelligence.

We're strictly talking about consciousness.
This is me legitimately asking you what in the living fuck you're talking about, since I don't know, and stating that I think consciousness is just an example of weak emergence.

You come back with:

Quote:
i think the simplest good answer to give to your simple question is that the left hand is part of a whole body, which is part of a whole way of being. the left hand is different from the privileged right hand (basically everywhere except china), etc.

if you're really asking the question of "which side of the brain (left or right) are you-- the conscious you-- on like if you're cut in half" as if this is something which could be answered either by any of us or by science, then i think you're thinking wrongly about consciousness itself (let me educate you). think of the activity of consciousness as symbolic assemblages, and think of consciousness as imaginative apprehension. it's not as if there's a conscious you separate from your body, even if you perceive of yourself as "embodied". if the body/brain is split in half, you as you were are split in half. then the question of whether you are (on) the right or left half is made absurd-- it's a linguistic trick really-- since you're dead.
To which I'm stewing in my head, "I don't think the consciousness actually exists in the left or right hemisphere exclusively, and don't know where I possibly indicated that."

And it is also where I'm starting to feel like you fundamentally misunderstood the original question, because it was intended as an attack on the idea of the immaterial consciousness as postulated by dualism, believers of qualia, quantum nutcases, etc. Whereas you seem to be suggesting in this quote that I am advocating the idea of just such a thing, when I actually meant the exact opposite.

So I return fire with:

Quote:
As a physicalist, I'm already of the opinion that consciousness is an emergent phenomenon, and not particularly special in that regard.
Stating very plainly that I think the phenomenon of "consciousness" and "self-awareness" are just a result of a complicated system inside the physical brain.

You respond:

Quote:
because there specifically i want to know why you think "you" are in your brain and not in your groin, legs, feet, toes etc., also. (i want to see your reasoning as a physicalist)
What in the living hell does this have to do with anything?

Since I don't know, I return with:

Quote:
If you're contesting the notion that the consciousness or any like idea of the self is rooted in the brain, well that's not really an argument I'd care to take on.
Which is me telling you that I'm really not going to bother debating with you over whether severing a foot is removing a part of the "whole-body consciousness" or whatever idea it is that you are trying to peddle, since that is:

1) Something I've never even put any thought energy into.
2) Something I outright don't agree with.
3) Something I don't find particularly thought-provoking.
4) Something that makes absolutely zero front-end sense and has exactly zero precedence outside of whatever esoteric context you are probably speaking it from, a context which is not clear and is obviously not the same point from which I am speaking.

It then proceeds:

Quote:
hu? i was asking for what your reasoning looks like, being a physicalist and all
Quote:
Uh, no amputated arm has ever displayed characteristics of consciousness, nor has any amputee ever complained of a loss of self-awareness.

There's nothing to debate about. It's like asking why the sky is blue - a system makes it that way, I don't know how the system got there.
Quote:
>unquestioningly naturalizing consciousness ("system is as system does, don't ask me how it got there" (stays there*), which really means, "don't ask me bc i don't care to ask myself about that at all")
>unquestioningly treating "you" as "your consciousness"

i'm not saying the arm, etc., is "you", or even that you're no longer "you" without your arm, etc.
i was just asking for how you're rationalizing the fact that, for you, "you" is the brain (is consciousness)
Quote:
Being a materialist is basically being a metaphysical atheist. I don't have to prove that something isn't there.
Are you literally asking me what my justification is for assuming that the consciousness as we understand it lies within the brain?

What kind of question is that? Has anyone ever been Phineas Gage'd by getting shot in the kneecap? Every single aspect we can ascribe to consciousness can be affected by altering the physical brain.

As for materialism itself, I've already told you I'm a physicalist - the justifications (which you should already be aware of if you're so well-versed in this subject) for that worldview as a whole are a completely different debate from the one that I'm currently trying to have in this thread, unless you plan on providing a clear and non-muddled pathway all the way down to it.

You then say:

Quote:
what.

how does that relate to what i was saying? (if anything you'd have to "prove" that the "you" you want to talk about is the same thing as the "conscious you" you're implicitly equating it with, but i didn't even ask for a proof, only your rationale; correct me if i'm wrong but the reasoning you gave consists in saying that, based on your other unchallenged/unchallengeable assumptions, you don't have to prove that consciousness isn't outside the brain? (keep in mind also that i never implied it was)). you're not really considering something froggy took up in his post, namely, that human beings mostly act out of habitus, that is, pre-consciously, not consciously. (it is the system "preconscious" that, by default, controls movements, like all bodily movements, after all).
What exactly do I have to prove? You're the one who is assuming for no good reason that I'm talking about some weird off-brand version of consciousness, and not the consciousness that 99% of all people tend to agree upon as being the very definition of the word.

And once again, you're pitching physicalism to the physicalist - probably not going to get very far with that (or really, it's more like running a 1-meter sprint).

So I try to get back on topic:

Quote:
Why exactly do I have to substantiate that the consciousness (or what people think is the consciousness) is in the brain, and not in the middle toe of the left foot?

What does that have to do with my original question and what possible reason could you have to suggest the latter in the first place?
And you come back with:

Quote:
well for one bc other societies conceive of consciousness in different terms (though, granted, the head (or above) is usually or universally the metaphor; universally, bodily metaphors like these are at the very heart of each and every one of our understandings of the world, meaning that it's no different in your so-called scientific physicalist approach, either; you equate "you" with system cs. with head/brain), but even so, what i was saying was

your original question suggests that "you" and "your consciousness" are the same thing (not only suggesting but stipulating it). okay, but i'm asking what your reasoning is, as a physicalist, for stipulating that, in the first place, and what your reasoning is, as a physicalist, for assuming that "you" therefore must be located only in your brain (and perhaps even only on some side of it) (in before 'bc ur system cs. (i.e. u) is located in ur brain')
The only alternative to the traditional idea of consciousness is solipsism, and I'm really hoping you don't want to drive this down that road because I'll shut it all down pretty quickly.

My original question assumes that the purportedly immaterial consciousness is tied to the physical body. How that works is something not even staunch dualists can answer, but really is not the point of the initial question in any way, shape, or form, and has zero consequence on the outcome of my thought experiment, hence my confusion as to why you're dragging it out.

Again, trying to focus, I say:

Quote:
I really don't know where you're going with this.

It literally does not matter where the seat of "self" is located - the point is taking a reductionist stance on consciousness, which by its own purported immaterial nature is irreducible until confronted with the fact that you don't see disembodied consciousnesses just floating freely around in the atmosphere.
Then you say in a response to Froggy:

Quote:
if we think of consciousness as a system (as system cs.), then we could say that the "you" cl is really wanting to get at in the op is different from the "conscious you" he's at the same time wanting to equate it with. the "you" he's wanting to get at, so i've been assured, is not the "self". i'd say it's a collection of more than the system cs., however, and includes also the systems pcs. and ucs. (given that bodily movements arise from the system pcs., meaning that someone's movements themselves are mostly pre- or less-than-conscious).
Where I'm becoming even MORE convinced that you think I'm some variety of holist, which I am most assuredly not - even after telling you this over and over again.

So I say, one more time, trying to be painstakingly clear:

Quote:
PM, you realize I'm a skeptic of consciousness, right?
To which you most sarcastically return:

Quote:
another good, careful, thoughtful response from cl (cl, u realize i'm literally being pushed to become a historian of consciousness, right?)
Leading us to where we are now, and my unwillingness to continue this conversation until you realize that

THE POINT OF THE THREAD IS TO DEMONSTRATE THAT AN IMMATERIAL CONSCIOUSNESS, A "SELF-SEEING SELF", IS A STEAMING LOAD OF HORSECRAP THAT CAN BE DEBUNKED BY A SIMPLE THOUGHT EXPERIMENT - IT'S TELLING DUALISTS TO STOP BEING HOLISTIC RETARDS AND THAT REDUCTIONISM ISN'T A DIRTY WORD.


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