Are there arguments for materialism?

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Re: Are there arguments for materialism?

Postby Sculptor » Wed May 11, 2022 3:56 pm

felix dakat wrote:
Sculptor wrote:
felix dakat wrote:Metaphysical materialism isn't necessary to avoid solipcism. I simply acknowledge that my conscious perceptions exist and extrapolate this to other entities as well, based on the similarities of their form and behavior to my own.


The beginning of your statement contradicts the end, since accepting other entities and their perceptions is avoiding your personal solipsism.


It’s not a contradiction, it’s an inference based on the experience of empathy with other conscious beings. Beyond that I believe consciousness not matter is fundamental substance of the universe in which we live and move and have our beings. I recognize your consciousness as a manifestation of that fundamental consciousness of the universe. Your accusation of solipsism is totally unfounded.

Solipsism is the natural state of the human mind, reduced by the myth of the objective. It is not an "accusation" in any sense. And you positing that "consciousness is fundamental substance of the universe in which we live and move and have our beings." is simply an expression of this childlike state we are all born into.
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Re: Are there arguments for materialism?

Postby Sculptor » Wed May 11, 2022 3:59 pm

Bob wrote:
Sculptor wrote:
Bob wrote:I think that the greatest single problem that we have on this planet is the fact that we fail to see the world and everything in it as a unity that may in fact go beyond this planet. Seeing everything as separate has led to failing to see everything involved in one huge process with many diverse sources of input, and an interpretation of natural history as one grand fight, from which the supposition of the appropriateness of competition and even war amongst human beings arises.

This is an argument for realism and objectivism; and the tragic consequent authoritarianism that follows to impose a single world view.
Better that we accept and try to embrace other's POVs in the hope of finding understanding of the differences that clearly exist between different human groups.

I am not talking about a single worldview, but about recognizing the reality in which we live. .

Yes, well you wasted no time in answering my question about whose authority we have to accept.
When I asked:
Whose "equilibrium", whose view of what is and what is not unacceptable?
And whose POV is going to be posited as anathema?
Where is the objective; where the bias?


Clearly you intend to impose your own personal view.
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Re: Are there arguments for materialism?

Postby Bob » Wed May 11, 2022 4:41 pm

Sculptor wrote:Yes, well you wasted no time in answering my question about whose authority we have to accept.
When I asked:
Whose "equilibrium", whose view of what is and what is not unacceptable?
And whose POV is going to be posited as anathema?
Where is the objective; where the bias?


Clearly you intend to impose your own personal view.

I am always surprised how quickly you jump over what I have said, like "This is of course a task of finding a working consensus, not dictating one," and to your own POV and bias, which was exactly what Mad Man P did in my other thread, when talking about finding a way into the future, both of which were invitations to think about how we could do that. Are you the same person?

I have my own POV, of course, and I have spoken about observed consensus amongst certain experts and scholars, but what would anyone expect? I also pointed out that there are observable pressures and constraints on any way ahead that are dictated by nature as much as anything else. So, what is your intention here? Just to troll me, and prove your prejudgement to be true, or engage in a discussion?
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 » Wed May 11, 2022 4:48 pm

Sculptor wrote:Solipsism is the natural state of the human mind, reduced by the myth of the objective. It is not an "accusation" in any sense. And you positing that "consciousness is fundamental substance of the universe in which we live and move and have our beings." is simply an expression of this childlike state we are all born into.


So the fact that I think it's reasonable that you actually exist doesn't disquality me as a solipcist in your mind?
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Re: Are there arguments for materialism?

Postby Otto » Thu May 12, 2022 2:59 pm

Bob wrote:We are a species that has achieved an accelerating doubling of population on a finite planet with finite resources ....

Well, but "an accelerating doubling of population on a finite planet with finite resources": we had these problems in the past, because the most accelerating doubling of the population was the one between 1960 (3 billion) and 1999 (6 billion) - 39 years (!) -, the second most accelerating doubling of the population between 1927 (2 billion) and 1974 (4 billion) - 47 years (!) -; and that means: a doubling of the population in a shorter time than those 39 years is not possible anymore (not only because of the law of inertia in demography). Or do you think that we will get - for example - a 12 billion population before 2038? We will probably not even ever reach a 10 billion population.

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The world population grew fastest in percentage terms around 1968 and in absolute terms around 1989.

Why does the reckoning have to come from above now, by that I mean that the ones up there - the globalists - were the ones who exploited everything on this planet, even those who were not as successful with the exploitation as the globalists themselves.

Bob wrote:... and a changing climate.

"And a changing climate ..."? Well, because the water is up to the neck of the globalists, they suddenly come up with the "narrative" of the "changing climate". The globalists know that the financial system is at the end ("clinically dead" it is already since 2007/'08), and therefore they have to expropriate those who have really achieved something economically, the achievers, in order to get their property. That is behind all these "narratives", behind "climate change", behind "Covid-19", behind the "Ukrainian-Russian war" and what is still to come. In the end, the super-super-super-rich and super-super-super-powerful globalists (0.0001%) will be on one side and the totally impoverished rest (99.9999%) and probably all the few remaining animals will be on the other side - perhaps even only one very small upper class and only one huge lower class or even two different kinds of a species or even a new - transhuman (!) - "species"! Is that what you want? I do not think so!

A ("saved"?) planet without any humans and other "higher" animals, but with perhaps only a bit less CO2, with much more electricity and radiation, 5G, 6G and more on and around (satellites) the planet. That does not mean "a saved Earth", but does mean the end of all humans and of all other "higher" animals, because they belonged to the Earth and had a right of being on the Earth. The Earth should not be a planet for machines. Machines have no rights, because they are nothing alive, but simply lifeless material. Only living beings can have rights. If the machines take over, then this does mean that the planet Earth is soon also without any life. Why should we fight for a lifeless Earth?

Why this last war?

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Re: Are there arguments for materialism?

Postby Bob » Sat May 14, 2022 11:45 am

Otto wrote:
Bob wrote:We are a species that has achieved an accelerating doubling of population on a finite planet with finite resources ....

Well, but "an accelerating doubling of population on a finite planet with finite resources": we had these problems in the past, because the most accelerating doubling of the population was the one between 1960 (3 billion) and 1999 (6 billion) - 39 years (!) -, the second most accelerating doubling of the population between 1927 (2 billion) and 1974 (4 billion) - 47 years (!) -; and that means: a doubling of the population in a shorter time than those 39 years is not possible anymore (not only because of the law of inertia in demography). Or do you think that we will get - for example - a 12 billion population before 2038? We will probably not even ever reach a 10 billion population.

I take your point and stand corrected. However, the point I was making was that the world population increased from 1 billion in 1800 to 7.9 billion today.
Otto wrote:
Bob wrote:... and a changing climate.

"And a changing climate ..."? Well, because the water is up to the neck of the globalists, they suddenly come up with the "narrative" of the "changing climate". The globalists know that the financial system is at the end ("clinically dead" it is already since 2007/'08), and therefore they have to expropriate those who have really achieved something economically, the achievers, in order to get their property. That is behind all these "narratives", behind "climate change", behind "Covid-19", behind the "Ukrainian-Russian war" and what is still to come. In the end, the super-super-super-rich and super-super-super-powerful globalists (0.0001%) will be on one side and the totally impoverished rest (99.9999%) and probably all the few remaining animals will be on the other side - perhaps even only one very small upper class and only one huge lower class or even two different kinds of a species or even a new - transhuman (!) - "species"! Is that what you want? I do not think so!

Interesting theory, but if you ask the Australians, who have had extreme flooding for the third year running. In February 2020 there was widespread flooding in Sydney basin and the Blue Mountains, as well as flooding in central west to the north of NSW and flooding caused by Tropical Cyclone Damien in Karratha.

In March 2021, there was widespread flooding again in the Sydney basin and the Mid North Coast of NSW, extending into Southeast Queensland. On the 9-10 June 2021, widespread flash flooding occurred across Gippsland. 160,000 properties blacked out, some for 4 days or more. Traralgon in the Latrobe Valley was one of the hardest-hit places with 200 homes evacuated. And in November 2021 floods in Central Queensland.

In January 2022, in Wide Bay-Burnett, Fraser Coast and Gympie Regions, there were floods caused by ex-Tropical Cyclone Seth. In February 2022, in Eastern Australia there were floods. In March 2022, there were the Eastern Australia floods.
Temperatures are rising world-wide due to greenhouse gases trapping more heat in the atmosphere. As of 2019, the average surface temperature of the Earth was 1.17 degrees Celsius higher than the average for the pre-industrial timeframe of 1880-1900. The increasing temperatures aren't uniform everywhere. In some areas, the Earth's temperature has already increased by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius since pre-industrial times. Approximately 20 percent of the population lives in areas that have experienced this level of temperature rise.

Droughts are becoming longer and more extreme around the world. 2002 North American drought, 2003 UK Drought and Heatwave, 2006 UK Drought and Heatwave, 2008–2009 Kenya Drought, 2010–2013 Southern United States and Mexico drought, 2011 UK Drought and March–April Heatwave (The drought continued from 2010 and lasted through until March 2012), 2010 Sahel famine, 2011 East Africa drought, 2011–2017 California drought, 2012 Sahel drought, 2012–13 North American drought, 2016 New York drought, 2018–2021 Southern African drought, 2020–21 North American drought.

Tropical storms becoming more severe due to warmer ocean water temperatures. Hurricane Iris 2001, Hurricane Isabel 2003, Hurricane Charley 2004, Hurricane Frances 2004, Hurricane Ivan 2004, Hurricane Jeanne 2004, Hurricane Dennis 2005, Hurricane Katrina 2005, Hurricane Rita 2005, Hurricane Wilma 2005, Cyclone Nargis (Myanmar, 2008), Hurricane Ike 2008.
As temperatures rise there is less snowpack in mountain ranges and polar areas and the snow melts faster. Overall, glaciers are melting at a faster rate. In the United States, the snowpack disappearance dates in southern Alaska, the Cascades, Sierra Nevadas, across the lower Midwest, and along parts of the Appalachians are changing more rapidly than in regions like the Rocky Mountains and Upper Midwest. Globally, parts of the coastal Arctic, the European Alps, and lower regions of the Himalayas have been more affected. The snowpack in Oregon, Washington, and the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountains of California was at a record low in 2015.

Sea ice in the Arctic Ocean around the North Pole is melting faster with the warmer temperatures and progressed more rapidly than previously predicted, has the potential to cause multiple environmental stresses, including warming, acidification, and strengthened stratification of the ocean.

Permafrost is melting, releasing methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. Climatic warming since the last third of the 19th century has caused a warming of the permafrost to a depth of more than 100 metres.

Sea levels are rising, threatening coastal communities and estuarine ecosystems, and the rate has increased in recent decades. In 2014, global sea level was 2.6 inches 67 mm above the 1993 average—the highest annual average in the satellite record (1993-present). Sea level continues to rise at a rate of about one-eighth of an inch 3.2 mm per year. Higher sea levels mean that deadly and destructive storm surges push farther inland than they once did, which also means more frequent nuisance flooding. Disruptive and expensive, nuisance flooding is estimated to be from 300 percent to 900 percent more frequent within U.S. coastal communities than it was just 50 years ago.
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 16, 2022 3:26 pm

Bob please help me make the connection between your last post and metaphysical idealism which is what I think this thread is about.

I know Kastrup argues against the theory Koch is associated with i.e. Giulio Tononi’s Information Integration Theory in Why Materialism Is Baloney: How True Skeptics Know There Is No Death and Fathom Answers to life, the Universe, and Everything (p. 36ff). John Hunt Publishing. Kindle Edition, but I thought it would be interesting to take it up here since it is considered to be on the forefront of research on the material basis for consciousness. 

Christof Koch is a proponent of the idea of consciousness emerges out of complex nervous networks. He maintains that consciousness is a fundamental property of complex things, He introduced the concept that consciousness is a fundamental property of networked entities, and therefore cannot be derived from anything else, since it is a simple substance. He advocates for a modern variant of panpsychism, the ancient philosophical belief that some form of consciousness can be found in all things.

According to Florian Mormann and Christof Koch (2007):

Progress in the study of the Neural Correlates of Consciousness on one hand, and of the neural correlates of non-conscious behaviors on the other, will hopefully lead to a better understanding of what distinguishes neural structures or processes that are associated with consciousness from those that are not.

The growing ability of neuroscientists to manipulate in a reversible, transient, deliberate and delicate manner identified populations of neurons using methods from molecular biology in combination with optical tools (e.g., Adamantidis et al. 2007) opens the possibility of moving from correlation - observing that a particular conscious state is associated with some neural or hemodynamic activity - to causation. Exploiting these increasingly powerful tools depends on the simultaneous development of appropriate behavioral assays and model organisms amenable to large-scale genomic analysis and manipulation.

It is the combination of such fine-grained neuronal analysis in animals with ever more sensitive psychophysical and brain imaging techniques in humans, complemented by the development of a robust theoretical predictive framework and coupled to a more refined philosophical analysis, that will hopefully lead to a rational understanding of consciousness, one of the central mysteries of life.


http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Neu ... sciousness
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Re: Are there arguments for materialism?

Postby Bob » Tue May 17, 2022 9:38 am

felix dakat wrote:Bob please help me make the connection between your last post and metaphysical idealism which is what I think this thread is about.

I admit it, I digressed ..

felix dakat wrote:I know Kastrup argues against the theory Koch is associated with i.e. Giulio Tononi’s Information Integration Theory in Why Materialism Is Baloney: How True Skeptics Know There Is No Death and Fathom Answers to life, the Universe, and Everything (p. 36ff). John Hunt Publishing. Kindle Edition, but I thought it would be interesting to take it up here since it is considered to be on the forefront of research on the material basis for consciousness.

I think an explanation for how the correlation of consciousness to material reaction is hinted at in this:
The whole business of consciousness limiting itself by embracing the stickiness of matter (remember, matter slows energy down and makes its forms persist longer than they otherwise would), is to produce differentiation, individuation, thisness, actuality precipitated out of a sea of potential. The process of individuation involves sculpting, filtering – however one wants to put it, delimiting and distinguishing – parts of the seamless whole. Thus the brain needs two streams of consciousness, one in each hemisphere, but they are like two branches of a stream that divide round an island and then reunite.
McGilchrist, Iain. The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World (S.1692-1693). Perspectiva Press. Kindle-Version.

This would suggest what we experience, that consciousness is not one stream of awareness, but complicated when it becomes individual consciousness.

He goes on to say:
A stumbling block for the scientific reception of any such a model is that science is not well disposed towards what cannot be localised, sensed nor measured, such as is mind (contemporary physicists may be, perforce, an exception). Nonetheless mind remains embarrassingly real. Nobel Prize-winning physiologist George Wald thought that ‘the stuff of which physical reality is composed is mind-stuff. It is Mind that has composed a physical universe that breeds life, and so eventually evolves creatures that know and create … In them the universe begins to know itself.’ This is entirely in keeping with the model I am recommending for consideration. But, echoing Yukawa’s words, Wald reflected: ‘Let me say that it is not only easier to say these things to physicists than to my fellow biologists, but easier to say them in India than in the West’. He continues: ‘Mind is not only not locatable, it has no location. It is not a thing in space and time, not measurable; hence – as I said at the beginning of this paper – not assimilable as science.’
McGilchrist, Iain. The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World (S.1693). Perspectiva Press. Kindle-Version.

He also quotes George Wald:
Mind, rather than being a very late development in the evolution of living things, restricted to organisms with the most complex nervous systems – all of which I had believed to be true – that Mind instead has been there always, and that this universe is life-breeding because the pervasive presence of Mind had guided it to be so. That thought, though elating as a game is elating, so offended my scientific possibilities as to embarrass me. It took only a few weeks, however, for me to realize that I was in excellent company. That kind of thought is not only deeply embedded in millennia-old Eastern philosophies, but it has been expressed plainly by a number of great and very recent physicists. Wald ‘The cosmology of life and mind,’ Noetic Sciences Review, 1989
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 » Tue May 17, 2022 3:55 pm

https://philpapers.org/archive/CHAIAT-11.pdf

I will understand idealism broadly, as the thesis that the universe is fundamentally mental, or perhaps that all concrete facts are grounded in mental facts. As such it is meant as a global metaphysical thesis analogous to physicalism, the thesis that the universe is fundamentally physical, or perhaps that all concrete facts are grounded in physical facts. The only difference is that “physical” is replaced by “mental”. D.J. Chalmers
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Re: Are there arguments for materialism?

Postby Bob » Wed May 18, 2022 12:45 pm

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 » Wed May 18, 2022 6:34 pm



Consciousness fits uneasily into our conception of the natural world. On the most common conception of nature, the natural world is the physical world. But on the most common conception
of consciousness, it is not easy to see how it could be part of the physical world. So it seems that
to find a place for consciousness within the natural order, we must either revise our conception of
consciousness, or revise our conception of nature.



A modest proposal not easily accomplished. Scientism forbid that we take a fresh look at what the major religions have been saying about the question since the dawn of history. Some characterize traditional wisdom as the strawman that fundamentalist literalism affords them. Others may conflate objective idealism with religious dogmatism. Chalmers seems to be on the track of fresh insight. I would like to know what he thinks of the perenniel philosophy of people like Watts and Aldous Huxley.
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Re: Are there arguments for materialism?

Postby Bob » Thu May 19, 2022 6:29 am

felix dakat wrote:
Consciousness fits uneasily into our conception of the natural world. On the most common conception of nature, the natural world is the physical world. But on the most common conception
of consciousness, it is not easy to see how it could be part of the physical world. So it seems that
to find a place for consciousness within the natural order, we must either revise our conception of
consciousness, or revise our conception of nature.

A modest proposal not easily accomplished. Scientism forbid that we take a fresh look at what the major religions have been saying about the question since the dawn of history. Some characterize traditional wisdom as the strawman that fundamentalist literalism affords them. Others may conflate objective idealism with religious dogmatism. Chalmers seems to be on the track of fresh insight. I would like to know what he thinks of the perenniel philosophy of people like Watts and Aldous Huxley.

In the podcast “Mindscape” with Sean Carrol, he is asked about idealism, and he says:
Maybe there’s an idealist version of this, but I would actually think of it as a version of property dualism, that is the quantum wave function is real. It’s got an existence. It has nothing to do with the mind. The universe has an objective wave function just as it might on, say, an Everett-style view. It’s rather there’s this aspect of the dynamics of the wave function, which is affected by the mind. And under certain circumstances, physical systems will produce consciousness. Under certain circumstances, that consciousness will collapse the quantum wave function. So it’s actually… Descartes thought that the body affects the mind, and the mind affects the body. That was classic interactionist dualism. Think of this as an updated version of Descartes in a property dualist framework. You’ve got the quantum wave function. You’ve got some dynamics by which the wave function affects consciousness. You’ve got some laws…

However, in the paper “Idealism and the Mind-Body Problem,” he concludes thus:
I do not claim that idealism is plausible. No position on the mind–body problem is plausible. Materialism is implausible. Dualism is implausible. Idealism is implausible. Neutral monism is implausible. None-of-the-above is implausible. But the probabilities of all of these views get a boost from the fact that one of them must be true. Idealism is not greatly less plausible than its main competitors. So even though idealism is implausible, there is a non-negligible probability that it is true.

So where does he stand?
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 Mad Man P » Thu May 19, 2022 10:38 am

Chalmers wrote:Consciousness fits uneasily into our conception of the natural world. On the most common conception of nature, the natural world is the physical world. But on the most common conception
of consciousness, it is not easy to see how it could be part of the physical world. So it seems that
to find a place for consciousness within the natural order, we must either revise our conception of
consciousness, or revise our conception of nature.


If your conceptions of materialism, or the natural world, is incoherent with your conception of consciousness... that's YOUR problem, no?
Maybe your conception of one of them is a foolish one... but why project your own idiosyncrasies onto others? Why is this a "we" problem?
Why not ask for help from those who do not run into the issues your having?
Last edited by Mad Man P on Thu May 19, 2022 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Are there arguments for materialism?

Postby Bob » Thu May 19, 2022 1:38 pm

Mad Man P wrote:If your conceptions of materialism, or the natural world, is incoherent with your conception of consciousness... that's YOUR problem, no?
Maybe your conception of one of them is a foolish one... but why project your own idiosyncrasies onto others? Why is this a "we" problem?
Why not ask for help from those who do not run into the issues your having?

Maybe you should refer to your signature a little.

Not only do you quote wrongly, but you don't even look at what we present. Go away Mad Man P, you are just showing your embarrassment.
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 Mad Man P » Thu May 19, 2022 2:08 pm

Bob wrote:You quote wrongly


Apologies... did not mean to quote you, I just plucked that from your post to felix, so your name was quoted. I realize, that's from Chalmers.
I'll make the correction... but by all means, please feel free to judge my questions as stupid, or judge me stupid... that is your prerogative.

Your signature suits you, btw...
There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.
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Re: Are there arguments for materialism?

Postby felix dakat » Thu May 19, 2022 5:21 pm

Neither of you are stupid. So the difference must lay somewhere else. Wisdom would be knowing how to proceed in dialogue so that all can learn.

May we all go from unreality to reality, from darkness to light (it’s a metaphor). Plato recognized that everyone seeks immortality one way or another. It’s something the life force does and why we have children. It’s in our biology. To deny it is surely nihilism.

Whatever reality is at bottom of everything whether we call it physical or mental, we are all one in that. It’s just that the way it presents itself to us is always in consciousness. The mind produces the sensation of the hard stuff we call matter. At the quantum level it is different and has different rules. Even for the hardcore materialist matter ain’t what it used to be!
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Re: Are there arguments for materialism?

Postby Mad Man P » Thu May 19, 2022 8:41 pm

felix dakat wrote:Whatever reality is at bottom of everything whether we call it physical or mental, we are all one in that. It’s just that the way it presents itself to us is always in consciousness. The mind produces the sensation of the hard stuff we call matter. At the quantum level it is different and has different rules. Even for the hardcore materialist matter ain’t what it used to be!


This is true... we're constantly evolving our understanding.

But the conception of materialism posed in the OP of this thread and repeated by Chalmers is flawed... This conception of material monism where a different "mind" element is spawned into existence by the "material" element, is obviously indefensible as a monistic model. Whenever you conceive of a mind as something immaterial, something other than physical, you're assuming a dualism that is inconsistent with materialism which is a monistic model... suggesting that matter creates the immaterial does not help make it more coherent. The problem was created in the definition, these concepts are incompatible... Correct the conception of materialism to actually be monistic and the problems solve themselves...

Actual monism would be, where every conscious experience you have, is matter, not created by matter... it IS matter. Given materialism, consciousness is a physical object and every event is a material event. A specific object performing a specific function... like a car, or a cup. And like those objects, if it is disassembled or altered, it cease to be that specific object and become a different object. One might say the category of identity, is irreducible... it's one of the laws of logic... but that does not mean the object is irreducible.

The proposition of materialism is that when we look at a brain, we're getting the sight sensory version of a mind. The mind is neither a by-product nor an epiphonema of the brain, It's not a different thing at all... it's the same thing, merely sensed through a different channel, in a different way. No amount of smelling a cup can tell you what the tactile texture of a cup will feel like, no amount of hearing a car well tell you what licking a car tastes like... and in much the same way, no amount of looking at a brain, can tell you what it feels like to be that mind... only actually BEING the object should feel like BEING the object.

As for the charge made in the OP, of assuming my conclusion, or the circularity of proposing a monistic materialism, It's obviously a testable idea and the tests come back as affirming...

I would argue, in a monistic model, it doesn't matter what we call the ONE thing everything is made of... mind or matter... it's the same thing. The relationship between the different objects, however, that's where we might meaningfully disagree. Whether or not the car we hear is the car we see, or whether brains are in fact minds... Obviously, it's no use spinning it the other way. If in fact they are the same thing, then it's semantically meaningless to argue about whether A is B or B is A.

In conclusion... it's no wonder you don't think materialism is defensible, given the dualism that you bring to it.
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Re: Are there arguments for materialism?

Postby MagsJ » Fri May 20, 2022 8:00 am

_
Consciousness can only be as prevalent, as the brain’s chemical properties allow it to be..

Cosmic consciousness —> sentient beings —> animal/mineral/vegetable consciousness.. so derived from the material world, for nothing materialises out of thin air.
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. ~MagsJ

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something important at some point in time.. Huh!? ~MagsJ

You’re suggestions and I just simply don’t mix.. like oil on water, or a very bad DJ ~MagsJ

Examine what is said, not him who speaks ~Arab proverb

aes Sanātana Dharma Pali: the eternal way ~it should not be rigid, but inclusive of the best of all knowledge for the sake of Ṛta.. which is endless.
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Re: Are there arguments for materialism?

Postby Bob » Fri May 20, 2022 9:41 am

David Chalmers presents three arguments in his paper “Consciousness and its Place in Nature

The Explanatory Argument
(1) Physical accounts explain at most structure and function.
(2) Explaining structure and function does not suffice to explain consciousness; so
————————-
(3) No physical account can explain consciousness.

The Conceivability Argument.
We can put the argument, in its simplest form, as follows:
(1) It is conceivable that there be zombies
(2) If it is conceivable that there be zombies, it is metaphysically possible that there
be zombies.
(3) If it is metaphysically possible that there be zombies, then consciousness is nonphysical.
————————-
(4) Consciousness is nonphysical.
A somewhat more general and precise version of the argument appeals to P, the conjunction
of all microphysical truths about the universe, and Q, an arbitrary phenomenal truth about the
universe. (Here ‘&’ represents ‘and’ and ‘¬’ represents ‘not’.)
(1) It is conceivable that P&¬Q.
(2) If it is conceivable that P&¬Q, it is metaphysically possible that P&¬Q.
(3) If it is metaphysically possible that P&¬Q, then materialism is false.
————————-
(4) Materialism is false.

The Knowledge Argument
(1) Mary knows all the physical facts.
(2) Mary does not know all the facts
————————-
(3) The physical facts do not exhaust all the facts.
One can put the knowledge argument more generally:
(1) There are truths about consciousness that are not deducible from physical truths.
(2) If there are truths about consciousness that are not deducible from physical truths,
then materialism is false.
————————-
(3) Materialism is false.
http://www.consc.net/papers/nature.pdf
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Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
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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 MagsJ » Fri May 20, 2022 9:56 am

Bob wrote:David Chalmers presents three arguments in his paper “Consciousness and its Place in Nature

(4) Materialism is false.

The Knowledge Argument
(1) Mary knows all the physical facts.
(2) Mary does not know all the facts
————————-
(3) The physical facts do not exhaust all the facts.
One can put the knowledge argument more generally:
(1) There are truths about consciousness that are not deducible from physical truths.
(2) If there are truths about consciousness that are not deducible from physical truths,
then materialism is false.
————————-
(3) Materialism is false.
http://www.consc.net/papers/nature.pdf

What are these truths, exactly?

Word-games aren’t facts, that can then be validated/fact-checked, for truth.

..anything more from me, and I should be doing this as a paid job.
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. ~MagsJ

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something important at some point in time.. Huh!? ~MagsJ

You’re suggestions and I just simply don’t mix.. like oil on water, or a very bad DJ ~MagsJ

Examine what is said, not him who speaks ~Arab proverb

aes Sanātana Dharma Pali: the eternal way ~it should not be rigid, but inclusive of the best of all knowledge for the sake of Ṛta.. which is endless.
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Re: Are there arguments for materialism?

Postby Mad Man P » Fri May 20, 2022 10:58 am

(1) It is conceivable that there be zombies

Not given materialism, it's not. It's actually impossible... but by assuming materialism is false, you can conclude materialism is false... that's not shocking.
If you were to demonstrate the existence of such zombies, I'd say you'd have falsified materialism... merely imagining one, does not do it.

(1) Mary knows all the physical facts.
(2) Mary does not know all the facts

As this state of affairs is made impossible given materialism... this too, just assumes materialism is false.
Consider that knowledge must be physical as there is no other element for it to be. Mary would have to BE all physical facts to know all facts.

(2) Explaining structure and function does not suffice to explain consciousness

Yes it does, if you mean "explain" in the sense of understanding it's structure and function...
What it feels like to BE, can only be known by BEING, however... and all materialism adds to that tautology, is that BEING is physical.
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Re: Are there arguments for materialism?

Postby felix dakat » Fri May 20, 2022 11:55 am

Mad Man— it seems to me you are being dogmatic and refusing to see the possibility that it is consciousness IS what Being fundamentally is. And by saying that I wish to make it clear I’m not a dualist. We see the world as hard stuff because that’s the way our sensory-cognitive processing system is designed to see it. If you don’t wish to entertain propositions other than your strictly, ratonalized but unexplained materialist assumption then why continue the discussion? I’m not into the kind of hateful things people say when they disagree around here. Love you man!

So, if you can keep an open mind, here Giulio Tononi presents his Integrated Information Theory and Its Implications for Free Will https://youtu.be/0hex5katLGk Dr. Christof Koch, one of the world’s leading neuroscientists in the field of consciousness research, considers Tononi's theory the best materialist theory of consciousness available today. Watch the amazing video and we can talk about it.
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Re: Are there arguments for materialism?

Postby felix dakat » Sat May 21, 2022 12:29 pm

https://youtu.be/mongL_2KMGg

Daniel Dennett vs Keith Ward • Are we more than matter? Mind, consciousness and free will

To Dennett we are merely highly sophisticated machines with consciousness as an epiphenomenal gloss. He's so comfortable and confident about it that he finds Ward's metaphysical idealism amusing. Ward thinks the existence of a conscious free subject makes moral responsibility are possible. Both have to explain why reality is not like appears. If they had been looking for common ground, there it was. Maybe if we wish to make progress in dialogue that's what we need to do. It would mean going against our natural tendency to fight for our side which in this case is our status quo way of seeing things. Entertaining that possibility reveals what is at stake . In the case of these two guys, they've built their careers on their metaphysical positions. So it would take more than a good argument from the other side to get them to change their positions. Reputation then is antithetical to an open mind.
Last edited by felix dakat on Sat May 21, 2022 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Are there arguments for materialism?

Postby Mad Man P » Sat May 21, 2022 5:28 pm

felix dakat wrote:Mad Man— it seems to me you are being dogmatic and refusing to see the possibility that it is consciousness IS what Being fundamentally is.


I don't actually disagree that consciousness is what BEING ME fundamentally IS, but I don't think everything that IS, is me. It's not another commitment that makes me reject the solipsism which birthed that premise... It's the fact that this conceptual scheme you're presenting me with simply does not adequately describe the reality that I am experiencing.

There's a reason we use maps and concepts are like maps. Though they don't often depict things from our perspective, by assuming another perspective they give us greater sight than we naturally have... and we can tell if they are accurate by whether or not they guide us true. Making a fuss about how the map isn't itself the locations on it, as though this were some great revelation, is not a problem with the map, nor reason to think it's inaccurate, much less cause to be rid of it.

There is generally speaking two criteria by which any concept can be demonstrated to be true or false... one is if it's internally consistent or coherent, and the other is evidence, which requires it to be falsifiable. Materialism is easily falsifiable, it renders clear expectations that could fail to be met, and we have yet more experiments to run, any of which could disprove it. As it continually fails to be disproven, its truth value increases in probability approaching certainty. The second criteria is INTERNAL consistency. That is to say, if you wish to disprove it, you have to assume it's true, then show how it produces a contradiction. You have accomplished nothing, by assuming it's false and then generating a contradiction with it being true... the only defense it needs from such an assault, is to reprimand the fool who made it.

I have given you my criteria for reconsidering... you may well be upset with me for not making it easy for you, but I don't suppose it should be easy for you, if its a well considered position. Your version of epistemology may well prioritize other factors to what I consider relevant. I'll concede any day of the week that my sole priority when it comes to the truth value of concepts is their navigational utility and if you're merely claiming your map offers something other than navigational utility, that is better than mine... I'll likely agree with you. That won't change my priorities, I won't use your map, but we'll get to understanding, at least... which may be the best we can hope for.

I'll consider materialism successfully defended, you will know why someone would subscribe to materialism other than stupidity or dogmatism... and the question posed in this thread will have been answered.

P.S.
I've already seen and recall enjoying the Dennett vs Ward discussion... good stuff
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Re: Are there arguments for materialism?

Postby felix dakat » Sun May 22, 2022 5:00 pm

Mad Man P wrote:I don't actually disagree that consciousness is what BEING ME fundamentally IS, but I don't think everything that IS, is me. It's not another commitment that makes me reject the solipsism which birthed that premise... It's the fact that this conceptual scheme you're presenting me with simply does not adequately describe the reality that I am experiencing.


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.

Mad Man P wrote:There's a reason we use maps and concepts are like maps. Though they don't often depict things from our perspective, by assuming another perspective they give us greater sight than we naturally have... and we can tell if they are accurate by whether or not they guide us true. Making a fuss about how the map isn't itself the locations on it, as though this were some great revelation, is not a problem with the map, nor reason to think it's inaccurate, much less cause to be rid of it.


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. 

Mad Man P wrote:There is generally speaking two criteria by which any concept can be demonstrated to be true or false... one is if it's internally consistent or coherent, and the other is evidence, which requires it to be falsifiable. Materialism is easily falsifiable, it renders clear expectations that could fail to be met, and we have yet more experiments to run, any of which could disprove it. As it continually fails to be disproven, its truth value increases in probability approaching certainty. The second criteria is INTERNAL consistency. That is to say, if you wish to disprove it, you have to assume it's true, then show how it produces a contradiction. You have accomplished nothing, by assuming it's false and then generating a contradiction with it being true... the only defense it needs from such an assault, is to reprimand the fool who made it.


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.

Mad Man P wrote:I have given you my criteria for reconsidering... you may well be upset with me for not making it easy for you, but I don't suppose it should be easy for you, if its a well considered position. Your version of epistemology may well prioritize other factors to what I consider relevant. I'll concede any day of the week that my sole priority when it comes to the truth value of concepts is their navigational utility and if you're merely claiming your map offers something other than navigational utility, that is better than mine... I'll likely agree with you. That won't change my priorities, I won't use your map, but we'll get to understanding, at least... which may be the best we can hope for.


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. 

Mad Man P wrote:I'll consider materialism successfully defended, you will know why someone would subscribe to materialism other than stupidity or dogmatism... and the question posed in this thread will have been answered.


I have already acknowledged your intelligence.  I think you thought I was being sarcastic.  I'm confident you have many reasons for holding to materialism. 
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.

Aove I posted the links to Giulio Tononi presenting and discussing his Integrated Information Theory so we could get an idea of the actual current status of what is considered the avant garde of research into the putative material bases of consciousness. The theory takes as input what Tononi calls ‘complexes’: closed-cycle neural processes in the brain, each entailing a given anatomic organization. The amount of information integrated by a complex, represented by the variable Φ, is then calculated for each complex based on its anatomic organization. As I understand it, the idea is that, when Φ crosses a certain threshold, the complex somehow becomes conscious. The problem is he doesn't explain how or why that would happen. 

So if that's where the research is at then Dennett's materialism is based on faith and hope in the future whereas presently there is a lack of evidence. Of course if my "evidence" is insufficient I could be accused of a kind of "God of the gaps" position which is threatened by the same future possibility when AIs become conscious. 
My favorite movie "Blade Runner" dramatizes that exact scenario.  I recently watched the sequel to Blade Runner which wasn't as good as the original IMO, but it continues to spin out this theme which is still fascinating. 
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