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Philosophy of Mind

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Can someone explain to me how to make sense of direct realism, more precisely : how can one claim that to perceive is to have direct access to the object itself if we grant that perceiving is the end product of a certain pattern of neurons firing ?

I can understand direct realism on aristotelian grounds where an objective form leaves the object and penetrates the intellect, but if firing neurons are involved, aren't we obliged to say that the brain reconstructs the "thing in itself" ? (I understand also the problems involved with the theory of sense-data and the motivations that originate from physicalism : my question is purely regarding the constraints imposed by basic neurological ideas).
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The psychule is a proposed model for a fundamental type of event related to mind/sentience/consciousness. The term "psychule" is meant to be analogous to the term "molecule" as the fundamental unit of a substance, except that a psychule is not a substance but an event.  I would like to say the proposed model describes the fundamental unit of consciousness (as in the subject line), but for many philosophers the term "consciousness" brings along certain expectations which tend to be missing from the simplest requirements of the model.  Similarly with the term "sentience".  Therefore I have coined (I think) a new term to describe the fundamental unit.  I will then claim that any sentient or conscious event is a psychule, and leave it to future generations to decide whether the definitions of consciousness and sentience should be extended to include each and every psychule.

As mentioned, a psychule is an event.  More specifically, a psychule is a pattern recognition type of event. I use th ... (read more)

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Some words in my paper:

T(hj|ei)--fuzzy truth function of a predicate hj.

T(hj)--logical probability or  average thue-value of a predicate hj.

Popper defined Testing severity and Verisimilitude (1963/2005, 526, 534). Since Logical Probability and Statistical Probability are not well distinguished by him, his definitions are not satisfactory. The author suggests defining log [1/T(hj)] as testing severity, and T(hj|ei)/T(hj) as verisimilitude. In terms of Likelihood method, P(ei| hi is true)/P(ei) =T(hj|ei)/T(hj) is also called standard likelihood. So, we may say Semantic information = log (Standard likelihood) = log (Verisimilitude)=Testing severity - Relative deviation
 If negative verisimilitude for lies or wrong predictions is expected, one may also define verisimilitude by log [T(hj|ei)/T(hj)]. 

The figure 8 in the paper shows how positive and negative degrees of believe affect thruthlikeness. 

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In foot note 3 of Daniel Dennett's  paper "What RoboMary Knows", Dennett notes:


Robinson (1993) also claims that I beg the question by not honouring a distinction he declares to exist between knowing "what one would say and how one would react" and knowing "what it is like."  If there is such a distinction, it has not yet been articulated and defended, by Robinson or anybody else, so far as I know.  If Mary knows everything about what she would say and how she would react, it is far from clear that she wouldn't know what it would be like. 


In the paper Dennett imagines RoboMary as follows:

"1.RoboMary is a standard  Mark 19 robot, except that she was brought on line without colour vision; her video cameras are black and white, but everything else in her hardware is equipped for colour vision, which is standard in the Mark 19."

Dennett then, it seems to me, considers that RoboMary would consciously experience red when in a simila ... (read more)

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(1) all atoms in a form that does consciously experience, would behave the same if individually they had the same surroundings in a form which does not. 


(2) The reasons for the behaviour would be the same in both cases. 


(3) What the form was consciously experiencing is not a reason for any atomic behaviour. 

because given (2) the reasons for each atom's behaviour are the same reasons as when in a form that is not consciously experiencing. 
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In two recent papers (Journal of Modern Physics (open access), I have shown that a fundamentally irreversible world (deduced from a dynamic interpretation of the principle of least action) not only eliminates paradoxes in quantum physics and cosmology, but also leads to maximum entropy production (within the constraints of the systems involved) in self-organized systems. Under such conditions also information systems can self-organize to develop consciousness and mind. Mind can thus be materialistically explained as a higher (self-organized) hierarchy compared to mere computation. 
In the second paper I have given three conditions for falsification of this theory. If, on the other hand, they cannot be demonstrated the presently established scientific concept of a fundamentally time invertible, reversible world is shown to be incorrect. This has dramatic consequences for understanding o ... (read more)
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It seems to me that this work is very much unavailable to students and professionals. Have not found it online in any form, save for a few hardcover editions for more than $500. Crazy.
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I have been following the discussion thread here on the topic of qualia. I was also interested in recent reports about observations made by brain scanning on brains affected by LSD (Carhart-Harris 2016) which seem to show that a great many additional areas of the brain are activated as the test subject experiences vivid drug-induced hallucinations. That seems to suggest that it is not in the nature of the data itself to be of a special kind that contains the information stored in a quale, but rather it is due to the procedure that is interpreting the data. That is analogous, perhaps, to a person, accustomed to reading novels, reading a dictionary by mistake and wondering why the plot seemed so confusing. I accept that the information content of an experience must be stored internally in some form. However, rather than being a replication of something which forms the input to our sensory perceptions, it must instead be a replication of some aspect of the output. A replication of the inp ... (read more)
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I'd love some feedback on my prediction that we can "detect" qualia, simply by qualitatively interpreting correctly what we are observing.  I also describe, or at least predict, why we are currently "qualia blind" when we interpret things the "intuitive" way.

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In a recent article “From Sexuality to Eroticism: The Making of The Human Mind”  I have tried to describe and to explain the uniqueness of human consciousness in the light of our unusual erotic experience. Eroticism is difficult to define as it is close to sexuality and at the same time transforming it into spiritual issues. Unfortunately, my Eroticism-hypothesis is often identified with Freud’s pansexual position. Instead, I am aware of the fact that sexual exploits take only a small part in human life-history. Nevertheless I am pleading for a structural or formal analogy between the erotic and the function of human consciousness. Both show a curious ambiguity in the experience of the outer and the inner world, combining reality and appearance. The interference of physical experience and emotional imagination distances the human mind from mere animal awareness---a difference that is not merely gradual but qualitative.

Evolutionary biologists do not like ... (read more)

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In, I try out a speculative way through the hard problem of consciousness and dealing with qualia. It's very incomplete and tentative, but I'd appreciate any feedback or criticisms.
Basically, I take Chalmers's idea of consciousness as a fundamental property, but instead of seeing it as a high-level, emergent property arising from complex information processing, I consider that it might be a low-level input into the full, constructed mind. Specifically, I suggest the qualia might be the direct (not mediated) experience of individual, or small groups of, cells.

Of course, this would push the qualia/consciousness mystery down to the cellular level, but at least it could help explain what is happening in the brain at higher levels of organization!
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I told this philosophy joke to some friends, and they think I should tell it to philosophers, but I wonder whether it is already known. Just in case not:

How many homunculi does it take to change a lightbulb?
An infinite number, getting smaller and smaller.
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If you have any thoughts, comments or questions about this paper, let me know!
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Concerning his recent paper I agree almost 100% but I am more receptive to IIT than Curello. I am arguing in a new paper that it addresses some aspects of consciousness, but not all.
The main problem that Tononi and Koch seem entirely unaware of is that a theory of consciousness that does not address intelligence cannot be a theory of consciousness at all.


Eray Ozkural, PhD
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Some people are dualists and some are materialists, but for some reason they can't convince each other, they always seem to be talking past each other, so what is going on?

Here is what is going on: The only information that our brains (we) receive from outside are electrical pulses from our sensory nerves, these pulses are not random, they carry very complicated mathematical patterns, you would expect that we would be completely overwhelmed if we tried to find and track these patterns, but fortunately we have customized - less conscious - brain features that help us and this results in new sensations that we can understand, like pictures and sounds and our sense of space and time in general, but this sub conscious help comes at a price, because we forget that they are just mathematical patterns and we start making stupid assumptions e.g. a force field is more mysterious then a rock i.e. a rock is a "thing" and a magnetic field is not, or that rel ... (read more)
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Hi everybody, Hi philosophy of mind lovers!

In the beginning, I am very grateful for reading this new thread. The question is as follows,but I suppose before that, I give a brief explanation of my background. I entered to the realm of western philosophy especially with concentration on mind issues around 2 years before.
In fact, my main background in philosophy comes from an eastern philosophy (especially Sufism). That`s why most of articles I submit to the conferences and journal about mind based on eastern philosophy are rejected in the west !!! (No problem! This is life!) 
In any case, I passed a cumbersome path to reach in a level of analytical philosophy that I understand somehow what is going on here. So, for me, it is the time to choose a topic for my thesis in philosophy of mind. My professors have proposed me some topics, but I ask you here based on your strong background in philosophy of mind: which topic do you recommend to me to start? Which topic is the most challenging iss ... (read more)
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Via the internet, I’ve recently been watching an excellent series of televised lectures by a leading researcher in palaeoanthropology at the Collège de France. I am by no means a specialist in this field and a lot of what he has to say is too technical for me and goes over my head. But I understand enough to feel reassured in a conclusion I had already reached, namely that philosophical attempts to explain human consciousness in evolutionary terms are, and probably always will be, doomed to failure, as are attempts in the philosophy of art to explain art in evolutionary terms. (I should add that the lectures in question don’t address either question specifically; they’re about human evolution generally.)

I’ve read very little of the relevant philosophical literature (and most of what I have read relates to art) because I tend to avoid topics that strike me as a waste of time. But I’m aware that there are some who would disagree with me and who believe that philosophy has important thing ... (read more)

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Hello there,
Do you have any recommendations to submit a philosophy of mind paper that argues strongly against dualism? I am looking for a respectable journal about philosophy of mind that is open to philosophical, lengthy, inquiring articles that are written from a strictly scientific and logical point of view. Basically, I regard dualism as an anti-scientific attitude, and I would like to be able to liberally criticize a philosophical position that I view as intellectually lazy and harmful.

Kind Regards,

Eray Ozkural, PhD.
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