Are there arguments for materialism?

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Re: Are there arguments for materialism?

Postby Mad Man P » Sun May 22, 2022 6:47 pm

felix dakat wrote:There is no solipsism involved. In reality there is only one consciousness. It only seems to be separate and localized and centered in each one of us. The world of perception is an apparent world, bound by time, space, and causation. We are involved in the evolution of nature, and manifestation of the absolute consciousness. that does not change, or re-evolve. Infinite perfection is latent in the tiniest one celled organism. It is an objectification produced by the mind which is itself objectified as the brain. From the amoeba to human the change is not in consciousness itself — that remains the same, unchangeable — but the change occurs in the objectification according to laws of perception and cognition.


Felix... I don't know how to say this politely. I honestly, without meaning to be snide or insulting, cannot process what it is you're describing. I understand the individual words you've strung together, but the picture you're painting is incoherent and so alien to any experience of mine, except perhaps a fever dream, that I don't know how to utilize this conceptual scheme, even if I were to adopt it... it is quite literally, meaningless to me.

Perhaps if you expressed it differently it would make sense... perhaps I'm simply too stupid to comprehend, or perhaps it truly is gibberish... I don't know which.

The evidence is all phenomenal


Yup... but there's a compounding effect as we establish concepts and models that allow us to build on them.
That our senses are what give us limited and sometimes flawed access to a physical, independent, objective world, is one of the earliest ones, and unbelievably well evidenced... so we build on that.
Conversationally receding back to ignorance so as to reevaluate these concepts, won't provide new evidence so as to yield different results... phenomenal or otherwise.

Okay well your concepts seems to work adequately for your "navigational utility. " My concern is primarily with learning how to release people from the things that keep them in psycho-social bondage beginning with myself and working from there. If I can actually have that effect on sentient beings for the remainder of my days as a psycho-somatic entity I will be fulfilled. 


I have no objection to that endeavor and in fact wish you the best of luck... but everything in moderation.
Reason is necessary for collaboration, but is also restrictive... Responsibility is binding, but if you release people from it, it's both destructive and cruel.

Patterns constrain, but to lose them entirely and you have chaos...

Dennett certainly held his own against Ward as well I expected. I thought that Ward's conception of a human being was higher than Dennett's. Ward thinks that we are conscious, free moral agents whereas Dennett thinks we are determined and mechanical.  Consciousness to him may be strictly computational. He floated information theory as an explanation. That's inadequate IMO. Dennett doesn't like to admit that everything he proposes is reductive. But it is.


I don't actually agree with your assessment of Dennett... but this may not be a big gap between us, because to be fair, I'm not entirely in Dennett's camp.
I don't think the science is anywhere near done on this topic and while we currently have many hypotheses, I don't believe we have anything remotely approaching a scientific theory of mind.

Like I said... there are many avenues still left for us to experimentally disprove materialism.
But that doesn't mean I don't disqualify in advance, any untestable hypothesis... precisely because they are untestable, as I prefer ignorance to delusion
Last edited by Mad Man P on Sun May 22, 2022 9:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Are there arguments for materialism?

Postby Bob » Sun May 22, 2022 8:48 pm

felix dakat wrote:In reality there is only one consciousness. It only seems to be separate and localized and centered in each one of us. The world of perception is an apparent world, bound by time, space, and causation. We are involved in the evolution of nature, and manifestation of the absolute consciousness. that does not change, or re-evolve. Infinite perfection is latent in the tiniest one celled organism. It is an objectification produced by the mind which is itself objectified as the brain. From the amoeba to human the change is not in consciousness itself — that remains the same, unchangeable — but the change occurs in the objectification according to laws of perception and cognition.

I think that the metaphors Kastrup uses are helpful, even if they are only metaphors. The whirlpool in the flow of a river, even if it seems to be permanent, is only the river. The local consciousness in each of us is compared by Kastrup to a vortex in the consciousness “at large” and manifests itself in a certain way with its own characteristics and behaves like an "alter" - a dissociated self-state - which we know in multiple personality disorder or dissociative identity disorder, only within a larger context.

If we study living things, we notice in many of them signs of an awareness in different degrees. The interaction with humans seems to further that awareness and help the brain of animals to identify with situations that do not belong within the normal range of activities. It is often connected to food, but there are learning processes at work that indicate a progress beyond the immediately apparent food dependency. This suggests that the local consciousness we are talking about may even be present in animals.

It is the vastness of the world, let alone the universe, and the consequence of the hypothesis, that either boggles the mind or moves us to reject it, because it is beyond our imagination. However, I am sure that we are on to something. I’ll have to react to the rest of the post later …
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
When you are out of touch with reality you will easily embrace a delusion, and equally put in doubt the most basic elements of existence. If this reminds you of the mindset of the present day materialist science and philosophy establishments, as well as of the loudest voices in the socio-political debate, we should not be particularly surprised, since they show all the signs of attending with the left hemisphere alone. I live in the hope that that may soon change: for without a change we are lost.
McGilchrist, Iain . The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World (S.562). Perspectiva Press. Kindle-Version.
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Re: Are there arguments for materialism?

Postby Bob » Mon May 23, 2022 5:55 am

I have to do this in steps ...
felix dakat wrote:The world of perception is an apparent world, bound by time, space, and causation. We are involved in the evolution of nature, and manifestation of the absolute consciousness. that does not change, or re-evolve. Infinite perfection is latent in the tiniest one celled organism. It is an objectification produced by the mind which is itself objectified as the brain. From the amoeba to human the change is not in consciousness itself — that remains the same, unchangeable — but the change occurs in the objectification according to laws of perception and cognition.

I think that it is normal for people to have difficulty in getting their heads around this, because it goes against much of what had been suggested as the proven material basis of being. The fact that numerous great minds throughout the last two centuries have doubted this is ignored because, in general, people didn’t understand anything they said, and had to just accept that in their fields they had made great discoveries. The fact that these people made a connection to Advaita/Non-Duality in the ancient traditions suffered under the fact that it was so foreign to western thought.

I think that what a lot of people have in common, who embrace this view, are people who, back in seventies and eighties had discovered Alan Watts, or the numerous other people who brought Buddhism and Zen to the west. Having comparisons to contemporary views that seem to have been influenced by a struggle between Monotheism and Atheism, people like you and myself have been able to ascertain the general dogmatism of western society and contradicted it. It is a bit like what Owen Barfield noted as paradigm changes in the participation with reality, which brought about the axial age, then Christianity (with all of its Greek influence), and later the Reformation and the rise of science. In each case, it was met with resistance, just as violent as it is met with today (perhaps more), and science has proven itself to not be better in this regard.

felix dakat wrote:Concepts are mental representations. According to cognitive science, conceptual structure arises from our sensorimotor experience and the neural structures that give rise to it. The very notion of "structure" in our conceptual system is characterized by such things as image schemas and motor schemas. Our brains are structured so as to project activation patterns from sensorimotor areas to higher cortical areas. Projections of this kind allow us to conceptualize abstract concepts on the basis of inferential patterns used in sensorimotor processes that are directly tied to the body. The structure of concepts includes prototypes of various sorts: typical cases, ideal cases, social stereotypes, salient exemplars, cognitive reference points, end points of graded scales, nightmare cases, and so on. Each type of prototype uses a distinct form of reasoning. Most concepts are not characterized by necessary and sufficient conditions.

Iain McGilchrist points to the fact that, as he puts it, we are being dominated by a left-hemisphere view of life, which is like spotlight vision as against floodlight vision, and concerned with particulars, and with components, and fail to see what makes those pieces become a whole. It isn’t just that we see things in a particular way, we have the ability to habitually focus away from the larger picture and fail to give ourselves the benefit of putting what we see into perspective. We are carried along by a general narrative that lays down the language we used and therefore also the concepts, which we tend to project onto what we experience. Obviously, we all do this, but it is becoming aware that we are doing this, and taking the step back to allow the right-hemisphere put things into perspective, that is important and it is habitually not done.

felix dakat wrote:The evidence is all phenomenal and therefore processed by the perceptual - cognitive mental system I described above. Thereby the world is objectified. What it is in itself is beyond the limitations of the brain we can't say. It exceeds the limitations of language which can only point to it and that not literally because space too is an apriori based product of the brain as Kant showed . It's even beyond mathematics which too is a method of objectication which requires the a priori structures of time and space.

Of course, the biggest problem people have with this is that it isn’t something they can dissect in a lab, figuratively speaking. Materialism wants something that they can slap about, grasp and take apart. When what you are looking at is the ground of being, you just don’t have that possibility, and when you are used to left-hemisphere categorisation, something that is both the studied object and the studying person, as well as the space in which it all takes place, blows your categorisation apart.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
When you are out of touch with reality you will easily embrace a delusion, and equally put in doubt the most basic elements of existence. If this reminds you of the mindset of the present day materialist science and philosophy establishments, as well as of the loudest voices in the socio-political debate, we should not be particularly surprised, since they show all the signs of attending with the left hemisphere alone. I live in the hope that that may soon change: for without a change we are lost.
McGilchrist, Iain . The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World (S.562). Perspectiva Press. Kindle-Version.
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Re: Are there arguments for materialism?

Postby felix dakat » Mon May 23, 2022 2:50 pm

Bob wrote:
felix dakat wrote:In reality there is only one consciousness. It only seems to be separate and localized and centered in each one of us. The world of perception is an apparent world, bound by time, space, and causation. We are involved in the evolution of nature, and manifestation of the absolute consciousness. that does not change, or re-evolve. Infinite perfection is latent in the tiniest one celled organism. It is an objectification produced by the mind which is itself objectified as the brain. From the amoeba to human the change is not in consciousness itself — that remains the same, unchangeable — but the change occurs in the objectification according to laws of perception and cognition.

I think that the metaphors Kastrup uses are helpful, even if they are only metaphors. The whirlpool in the flow of a river, even if it seems to be permanent, is only the river. The local consciousness in each of us is compared by Kastrup to a vortex in the consciousness “at large” and manifests itself in a certain way with its own characteristics and behaves like an "alter" - a dissociated self-state - which we know in multiple personality disorder or dissociative identity disorder, only within a larger context.

If we study living things, we notice in many of them signs of an awareness in different degrees. The interaction with humans seems to further that awareness and help the brain of animals to identify with situations that do not belong within the normal range of activities. It is often connected to food, but there are learning processes at work that indicate a progress beyond the immediately apparent food dependency. This suggests that the local consciousness we are talking about may even be present in animals.

It is the vastness of the world, let alone the universe, and the consequence of the hypothesis, that either boggles the mind or moves us to reject it, because it is beyond our imagination. However, I am sure that we are on to something. I’ll have to react to the rest of the post later …


I remember when I encountered the idea that it is consciousness all the way down in A.N. Whitehead. So I visited him this morning.

God and the World stand over against each other, expressing the final metaphysical truth that appetitive vision and physical enjoyment have equal claim to priority in creation. But no two actualities can be torn apart: each is all in all. Thus each temporal occasion embodies God, and is embodied in God. In God's nature, permanence is primordial and flux is derivative from the World: in the World's nature, flux is primordial and permanence is derivative from God. Also the World's nature is a primordial datum for God; and God's nature is a primordial datum for the World. Creation achieves the reconciliation of permanence and flux when it has reached its final term which is everlastingness— the Apotheosis of the World.

Whitehead, Alfred North. Process and Reality (Gifford Lectures Delivered in the University of Edinburgh During the Session 1927-28) (p. 348). Simon & Schuster, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
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