Wednesday, June 29, 2011

338: The materialist Brain 4

After our sidetrack on the question "What is matter?", let's return to our main road, that of investigating materialism itself.

If fact, for a materialist, it hardly matters, what matter is made of. Atoms, molecules, whatever, maybe with the exception that matter complies to laws of nature.

When you look at the history of materialism, you look at the basic philosophical question "What exists?" And it is astonishing to see how the human mind has answered that question.

Materialism, and thence monism, has been a theme in European speculative thought from the earliest periods for which there is any record. In the previous lecture I already mentioned Leucippus and his pupil Democritus, who lived in the 5th center BCE!

Their basic idea was that the fundamental stuff was of just one kind (matter) and that the fundamental entities were material atoms. These atoms are in constant motion in a void that surrounds them.

Then when you look at a few theses that can be deduced from their "atom theory" and when you ask yourself the question "How can a human mind come to such insights",

if you take into account that those Greeks had no technology whatsoever, that could have suggested these conclusions, it is amazing.

Theses about what is formulated more than 2500 years ago!

(1) Nothing exists but atoms and empty space.

(2) Nothing happens by chance (for no reason at all);everything occurs for a reason and of necessity.This necessity is natural and mechanical; it excludes teleological necessitation.

(3) Nothing can arise out of nothing; nothing that is can be destroyed. All novelties are merely new combinations or separations of atoms.

The conclusions you can come to drawn from these theses are far reaching.
The world is purely mechanical, an idea that became the basis of of the scientific revolution of the 17th century.

Teleological necessitation is excluded. This means that matter, or we could say, the world, just is as it is, changing because of mechanical, that is causal processes. But there is now direction in that process, not a necessary goal it is steering at.

"Nothing can arise out of nothing" is an interesting thesis because of its implications. It leads to a number of metaphysical riddles. One is: there never was a creation. Do we have to conclude that there was never a beginning?

How do we have to understand the Big Bang from this perspective? Is our mind in any way able to understand the concept of Beginning?

When you look at the history of materialism you see, that this kind of thinking was suppressed for almost 1500 years.

Religious thinking, in this case christianity, was so dominant and powerful, that materialism was just a heresy and good for the stake.

From the close of the classical period until the Renaissance the church and Aristotle so dominated European speculation that materialist theories virtually lapsed.

Pierre Gassendi (1592–1655), who in the last part of his life taught astronomy at the Royal College in Paris, was the first one who brought materialism back in the spotlights.

But he still needed a trick. To bring his materialist ideas into closer conformity with Christian doctrine, he claimed that the atoms are not eternal but created.

They are finite, not infinite, in number and are organized in our particular world by a providential determination of initial conditions.

In England Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) was much more consistent and uncompromising. Hobbes hoped to use the new non-Aristotelian physics of the seventeenth century as the basis for a final, complete account of reality.

No part of the universe is not a body, said Hobbes, and no part of the universe contains no body.Hobbes was a plenist, holding all space to be filled by an intangible material ether if nothing else.

And then Descartes stepped in. The influence of Gassendi and Hobbes was diminished by the prestige of their brilliant contemporary, Rene
Descartes (1596–1650),

who accepted a materialist and mechanical account of the inanimate world and the brute creation but insisted that men had immaterial, immortal spirits whose essential nature lay in conscious thought undetermined by causal processes.

According to Descartes, there are in the world two quite different sortsnof things, extended (material) substances and thinking (spiritual) substances, which are mysteriously united in the case of humankind.

So, after the Middle Ages, which was a dark period for materialism, we now got stuck for another 300 years with the dominance of Dualism, which was politically much more correct than monism.

The Discussion

[2011/06/23 13:25] herman Bergson: to be continued ....thank you :-))
[2011/06/23 13:26] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): ok
[2011/06/23 13:26] Mick Nerido: Care to speculate how the Greeks came up with Monism with no tech to hepl them discover it?
[2011/06/23 13:26] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): all conflicting as usual
[2011/06/23 13:27] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): how could Leucippus and Democritus know that there were things like atoms?
[2011/06/23 13:27] herman Bergson: That is what I find so fascinating Mick
[2011/06/23 13:27] herman Bergson: I have no idea how they could develop such a model of reality...
[2011/06/23 13:27] Mick Nerido: The GREEKS HAD MANY GODS
[2011/06/23 13:27] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): those philosophers knew more than we give them credit for
[2011/06/23 13:28] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): as far as the physical world goes
[2011/06/23 13:28] herman Bergson: Yes Gemma.....but the idea of atoms....
[2011/06/23 13:28] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): i know :-)
[2011/06/23 13:28] herman Bergson: First they thought all was composed of earth , air , water and fire
[2011/06/23 13:28] Bejiita Imako: aa yes
[2011/06/23 13:28] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): but maybe their idea of atom is different from the microscopic atom
[2011/06/23 13:28] Mick Nerido: Yes there philosophers were like scientists
[2011/06/23 13:29] Bejiita Imako: the elements yes
[2011/06/23 13:29] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): Yes-ah!
[2011/06/23 13:29] Bejiita Imako: the word atom mean unsplitable
[2011/06/23 13:29] Bejiita Imako: but later we found out thats not the case either
[2011/06/23 13:29] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): and then guess what!!
[2011/06/23 13:29] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): yep
[2011/06/23 13:30] herman Bergson: Well...just the belief that all things were composed of small particles and just become what they are by configuration of the particles...
[2011/06/23 13:30] herman Bergson: and not by properties of the particles themselves
[2011/06/23 13:31] Mick Nerido: Very strange that they came to this theory with no tech...
[2011/06/23 13:31] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): :-)
[2011/06/23 13:31] herman Bergson: I have no idea why their reasoning went in such a monist direction
[2011/06/23 13:31] herman Bergson: Yes Mick the more you think about it the more fascinating it becomes
[2011/06/23 13:31] Bejiita Imako: indeed
[2011/06/23 13:32] herman Bergson: But it is the work of the human mind.....
[2011/06/23 13:32] herman Bergson: There is however a consequence......
[2011/06/23 13:32] herman Bergson: more than 2500 years ago there was amodel of reality implanted in our thinking....
[2011/06/23 13:33] herman Bergson: we still use that model.....
[2011/06/23 13:33] herman Bergson: I would say basically for pragmatic reasons...
[2011/06/23 13:33] herman Bergson: But when it comes to the mind.....
[2011/06/23 13:33] herman Bergson: the model isnt complete....
[2011/06/23 13:34] Tauto Resident: I'm not sure I understand it correctly, but
[2011/06/23 13:34] Tauto Resident: Guess what is called the prototype of the model do?
[2011/06/23 13:35] Mick Nerido: The Greeks were great theorists inventing Geomerty etc...
[2011/06/23 13:35] herman Bergson: Yes.....quite different from what they now are ^_^
[2011/06/23 13:35] Bejiita Imako: y
[2011/06/23 13:35] Bejiita Imako: the saying
[2011/06/23 13:35] Bejiita Imako: already the old greeks
[2011/06/23 13:35] herman Bergson: Well Tauto....
[2011/06/23 13:36] Mick Nerido: Mathematics had a lot do do with their thinking
[2011/06/23 13:36] herman Bergson: the basic model of reality is that it is constructed out of small particles
[2011/06/23 13:36] (tauto): i just can't follow as fast as and as acurate all.
[2011/06/23 13:36] Bejiita Imako: yes
[2011/06/23 13:36] herman Bergson: The interaction between brain and environment has created that idea...
[2011/06/23 13:37] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): is this old idea true?
[2011/06/23 13:37] herman Bergson: That is the point Beertje....You CAN ask that question.....
[2011/06/23 13:38] Mick Nerido: perhaps we instinctivly reflect the true material world in our brains
[2011/06/23 13:38] herman Bergson: and when it comes to the mind....seen from a materialist point of view you have a problem...
[2011/06/23 13:38] herman Bergson: all that exists is matter....ok
[2011/06/23 13:38] herman Bergson: this matter.....our brain chemistry is than said, produses the mind....
[2011/06/23 13:39] herman Bergson: is the mind material too?
[2011/06/23 13:39] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): hmmm
[2011/06/23 13:39] herman Bergson: If not what isit then?
[2011/06/23 13:39] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): and if it's true..can we re arrange it?
[2011/06/23 13:39] herman Bergson: Is it a feature of the brain chemistry
[2011/06/23 13:40] Tauto Resident: Many psychologists are still other kinds of brain and mind can believe that.
[2011/06/23 13:40] herman Bergson: like liquidity is a feature of H2O molecules?
[2011/06/23 13:40] herman Bergson: We still have a long way to go to get these questions answered
[2011/06/23 13:40] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): :-)
[2011/06/23 13:40] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): maybe another 2500 years...
[2011/06/23 13:41] Bejiita Imako: is an interesting question indeed whaqt makes up the mind
[2011/06/23 13:41] herman Bergson: Oh we will have a lot of fun with that question Bejiita :-)
[2011/06/23 13:41] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): LOL
[2011/06/23 13:41] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): over and over
[2011/06/23 13:42] herman Bergson: Yes Gemma ......
[2011/06/23 13:42] Tauto Resident: I have to wonder. For example, brain damage or remove any part make them human morality says about whether to have.
[2011/06/23 13:42] Mick Nerido: lucky the greek ideas were not lost...
[2011/06/23 13:42] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): how many classes are we up to now
[2011/06/23 13:42] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): strange thing..that some protein can influence the Alzheimer
[2011/06/23 13:42] herman Bergson: But I yet believe that by the end of this project you really have a better understanding of the situation we are in
[2011/06/23 13:43] herman Bergson: yes Beertje..and what you say Tauto.....
[2011/06/23 13:44] herman Bergson: We only can say then that the Brain is the Mind
[2011/06/23 13:44] (tauto): i wish i have exactly accurate translator.
[2011/06/23 13:44] herman Bergson: such a thing doesn't exist Tauto....unfortunately
[2011/06/23 13:44] 방랑자 (tauto): oh..
[2011/06/23 13:44] herman Bergson: One of the big differences between the mind and acomputer....
[2011/06/23 13:45] herman Bergson: A computer isn't able to give MEANING to words...
[2011/06/23 13:45] herman Bergson: especially within a context...
[2011/06/23 13:45] (tauto): i see.
[2011/06/23 13:45] (taut): i try to write a exact word in english then.
[2011/06/23 13:46] herman Bergson: The plane banks to the bank of the river to avoid crashing into the bank in mainstreet
[2011/06/23 13:46] Mick Nerido: Greek word "nous" not translatable into English
[2011/06/23 13:46] herman Bergson: could translate it as mind
[2011/06/23 13:47] (tauto): ^^
[2011/06/23 13:47] Mick Nerido: But not exact translated my point
[2011/06/23 13:47] herman Bergson: But it included also the soul
[2011/06/23 13:47] herman Bergson: no...I agree
[2011/06/23 13:48] Mick Nerido: A great class, I must go thanks all for a stimulating discussion
[2011/06/23 13:48] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): Bye, Bye „ã°
[2011/06/23 13:48] 방랑자 (tauto): bye Mick
[2011/06/23 13:48] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): bye Mick
[2011/06/23 13:48] herman Bergson: Bye mick...thank you too
[2011/06/23 13:48] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): LOL
[2011/06/23 13:48] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): i wont see you til september
[2011/06/23 13:48] Bejiita Imako: ok cu mick
[2011/06/23 13:48] Bejiita Imako: very interesting for sure
[2011/06/23 13:49] herman Bergson: Well....when Mick leaves....I cant hold you here any longer ^_^
[2011/06/23 13:49] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): LOL
[2011/06/23 13:49] herman Bergson: So...thank you all for your participation...
[2011/06/23 13:49] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!!
[2011/06/23 13:49] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): for class
[2011/06/23 13:49] Bejiita Imako: nice once again
[2011/06/23 13:49] herman Bergson: Class dismissed :-))
[2011/06/23 13:49] (tauto): thank you herman and all.
[2011/06/23 13:49] Bejiita Imako: aaa cu
[2011/06/23 13:50] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): thank You Herman..i have a lot to think about again:)
[2011/06/23 13:50] herman Bergson: ok Beertje ^_^
[2011/06/23 13:50] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): bye everybody...

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

337: The material Brain continued

So we have arrived at 1700, where two individual persons had an enormous impact on our conception of matter: Descartes and Newton.

According to the conception of matter introduced in the Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century, it is not the case that there are many distinct types of material substance, each with its own essential and irreducible nature

Rather, there is only one universal type of matter, with universal essential properties or ‘attributes’. All material bodies (and, for some, all entities whatever) are to be understood in terms of the motion of this fundamental matter.

According to this view, introduced or at least popularized by Descartes and followed by Newton, matter is a passive substance, incapable of inducing its own action. All action of matter must be caused by an external agent.

There was a deep rooted conviction, that all changes of material objects were caused by an outside force. A kind of billiard ball causality.

This of course led to the fundamental question: who kicked the first billiard ball in the universe. For Newton, matter consists of ultimate particles, atoms, which are discrete, localized, inert, ‘solid, massy, hard, impenetrable, movable’ and extended.

This kept a place free of a First Mover, a being that kicked the first billiard ball. In this sense physics wasn't a threat to religious beliefs at all, for the First Mover was God himself.

What is most amazing to me is, that the searching and inquisitive mind of the homo sapiens comes to the conclusion, that his reality is composed of atoms.

Already among the ancient Greek Philosophers, who had no microscopes or a CERN, philosophers like Leucippus (first half of 5th century BCE) and Democritus (born about 460 BCE) hold the belief that reality was composed of atoms.

We are so used to this idea, that we hardly see how amazing this insight is, which was now at the verge to be proven true.

While Descartes defined matter as extension, Newton introduced the concept of mass as the basic characteristic of matter.

The mass of a body is its inertia or resistance to change of motion. More precisely, it is a property of the body that determines the body’s acceleration under the influence of a given force.

Mass can therefore be measured either by the amount of force necessary to impart to the body a given motion in a given time or by the acceleration produced by a given force.

Again one of those incredible products of the human brain. When you think about the impact it had on the development of science.

Now it is becoming difficult for me. I am a philosopher, not a physicist, but so much I understand, that Newton related mass and energy.

In the 20th century Albert Einstein did it all over again and reshuffled these ideas.Einstein displaced the seventeenth-century model of mechanical action as the universal pattern for intelligible physical processes by a new model based on electromagnetic theory.

Finally, the theory of quantum mechanics, first formulated between 1926 and 1932 by Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schrödinger, and P. A. M. Dirac, has radically undercut one last presupposition, which had underlain physical science since the time of Galileo.

Just as mass has ceased to be entirely distinct from energy, so the particles of Newton’s physics have ceased to be absolutely distinct from the forces of attraction and repulsion acting between them.

All these conceptual changes about matter have a profound impact on sciences like biology and neurobiology.

It leads to new answers on the fundamental question how matter can produce a mind and there we are only just at the beginning of finding the answers.

The Discussion

[13:23] Jerome Ronzales: lovely
[13:24] herman Bergson: Thank you....
[13:24] Jerome Ronzales: ♪♫♥ Applauds!!! ♥♫♪
[13:24] herman Bergson: If you have any questions or remarks...the floor is yours
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:25] muzar Resident accepted your inventory offer.
[13:25] herman Bergson: Hello Muzar :-)
[13:26] Higgs Boson (muzar): hi :)
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: hehe the higgs boson himself
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: hi :9
[13:26] Higgs Boson (muzar): you found me XD
[13:27] Simargl Talaj: Does monism appear anywhere prior to the mechanization of life and the Industrial revolution?
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: seems so
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: must be from LHC run last night
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:27] herman Bergson: Oh yes Leucippus and Democritus were already monists..
[13:27] Simargl Talaj: It seems as if seeing machines immediately causes humans to leap to the idea that we too are machines.
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: its an interesting question indeed
[13:27] Higgs Boson (muzar): i hate the LHC it causes headaches ^^
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: how can matter generate a mind and consciousness
[13:28] herman Bergson: Oh Simargl..that has a funny tradition in the Philosophy of mind....
[13:28] Simargl Talaj: Do you suppose it was the presence of machines that gave monism "traction" It didn't get much in antiquity…?
[13:28] Qwark Allen: electricity
[13:28] herman Bergson: Leibniz compared the mind with a windmill....
[13:29] Simargl Talaj: metaphor or really meaning it was a material mechanism?
[13:29] herman Bergson: then later it was compared with a switchboard of the telephone..
[13:29] herman Bergson: and today the mind is compared or thought to work like a computer
[13:29] Doodus Moose: ...the latest flawed paradigm
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: aa yes
[13:29] Alaya Kumaki: it may have been form the propagation of the tools itself, when they presented those to the people, they proposed a perspective of life as mechanic,
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: computers were indeed called mechanical brains when they first appeared
[13:30] herman Bergson: Yes they believed in the we now believe in the computational mind
[13:30] Qwark Allen: some already have decoded the language of the brain
[13:30] Simargl Talaj: again , metaphor, analogy, does not imply monism, the belief that being is *only* material
[13:30] Simargl Talaj: not necessarily imply
[13:30] Simargl Talaj: does it?
[13:30] Alaya Kumaki: yes it was decided,
[13:30] herman Bergson: We ill elaborate on these issues in other lectures of course
[13:31] herman Bergson: No no Simargl....
[13:31] herman Bergson: Monism means that there is only one thing...matter....
[13:31] herman Bergson: and today..some believe that we can build a mind with material things...
[13:32] Simargl Talaj: You reject that possibility?
[13:32] herman Bergson: Ok for leibniz it wasn't a question: Can the windmill be conscious...?
[13:32] Qwark Allen: in 20 years the computers will have the same kind of speed and amount of calculations, as the brain
[13:32] herman Bergson: But is a question: can a computer be conscious?
[13:32] Qwark Allen: per second
[13:32] Mick Nerido: Ray Kurzweil "The Singularity is near"
[13:33] Qwark Allen: i think by then Ai will be possible
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: interesting idea
[13:33] Simargl Talaj: I suppose it will be as hard to prove a computer is conscious as it is to prove that I am conscious. What do you have to go on? Only my outputs.
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: a windmill is impossible cause pureley mechanical but a computer hmm
[13:33] Ixax Xigalia: If consciousness is perception, yes. If it is more, then no.
[13:34] herman Bergson: Will be a nice subject....AI and conscious computers, Bejiita :-)
[13:34] Mick Nerido: Kurzweil says the universe will become on big mind
[13:34] herman Bergson: .
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: but i think for consciousness to happen there must be receptors involved to generate that and computer chips haven't these receptors
[13:34] herman Bergson: Well Mick.....
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: just switches
[13:34] herman Bergson: This I already mentioned before…referring to Chalmers...
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: but if you built something that could represent it in some way inside the machine
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: but the question is how
[13:35] herman Bergson: He believes that our theories on physics are incomplete...
[13:35] herman Bergson: that consciousness is also a property of matter...
[13:36] herman Bergson: A difficult concept and I haven't studied the details of it yet....
[13:36] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): what do we loose if we loose conciousness? do we loose matter then?
[13:36] herman Bergson: But well get to Chalmers too here
[13:36] Doodus Moose: good one, Beertje
[13:37] herman Bergson: no.....Beertje...just a specific configuration of matter I would say
[13:37] Simargl Talaj: Ancient Hindus had a concept of the atom. But also asserted the existence of elemental forces that maintained existence, including Love and Joy. Not everyone jumps from the atom to the grossest absolute materialism :)
[13:37] Doodus Moose: i remember tests on dying people to measure any loss of mass
[13:37] Mick Nerido: Mater cannot be destroyed only converted into energy
[13:37] Simargl Talaj: Doodus, what is lost is organization.
[13:37] herman Bergson: True Simargl..
[13:38] herman Bergson: Yes Doodus..the missing 6 grams :-)
[13:38] Alaya Kumaki: it seems that the biologist have had less chance for their perspective than the engineer
[13:38] herman Bergson: But that si a questionable thing.....
[13:38] Alaya Kumaki: why?
[13:38] Simargl Talaj: If there is a is a sort of rigid housekeeping that puts all the mated socks in the right drawer.
[13:38] herman Bergson: Not a single religion will accept it...for it means that the soul that leaves the body has to be material!
[13:39] Doodus Moose: Simargi :-)
[13:39] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): unseen material
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: like dark matter
[13:39] Simargl Talaj: SOme religions described the spirit as a sort of material, an esoteric material, an ether.
[13:39] herman Bergson: unseen but with mass, so weight Beertje
[13:39] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): yes that's what i ment to say
[13:40] Alaya Kumaki: but with mass?
[13:40] herman Bergson: Yes Simargl.....but it seems not to fit into our theories of physics...
[13:41] herman Bergson: No one ever succeeded to catch a soul and investigate it
[13:41] Ixax Xigalia: I recall that people have been weighed during death and lose a bit when they die.... have to find that reference.
[13:41] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): doesn't mean it doesn't exist
[13:41] Mick Nerido: But noe science says matter is only4% of the universe
[13:42] herman Bergson: And what is the rest Mick?
[13:42] Mick Nerido: Dark matter
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: drak matter
[13:42] herman Bergson: and what is that?
[13:42] Mick Nerido: ?????
[13:42] Qwark Allen: no one knows
[13:43] herman Bergson: It is very well possible that our theories of physics are incomplete....
[13:43] Qwark Allen: they are incomplete for sure
[13:43] Simargl Talaj: dark matter is matter possessing properties of gravity but lacking other properties which make normal matter detectable apart from gravity.
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: damn shift key
[13:43] Mick Nerido: it would seem so
[13:43] Qwark Allen: probably in the future we`ll have different kind of theory about it
[13:43] Doodus Moose: Qwark - Bingo!
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: the hopes look not so good for susy anyway the guys at cern days
[13:44] herman Bergson: Patricia Churchland says in her book Neurophilosophy that our concepts will be completely revised ....regarding the philosophy of mind....
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: but the question is then what the dark matter is or if it even exist or if we just have made a miscalculation somewhere
[13:44] herman Bergson: Like we now don't use a single concept that was used in th eMiddle Ages regarding witchcraft...
[13:45] Mick Nerido: And are we the only intelligent beings in the universe?
[13:45] Qwark Allen: there is something for sure, that is stretching the universe we know
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: seems strange that there is some weird stuff that is 94% that we cant see feel omeasure
[13:45] Qwark Allen: what we will find out
[13:45] herman Bergson: So...still amazing discoveries ahead, I guess...
[13:45] Qwark Allen: got to keep the mind open
[13:45] Qwark Allen: :-)
[13:45] Mick Nerido: An exciting time
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: cause matter have substance, neutrinos are only hard to detect cause they are so extremeley tiny
[13:46] Qwark Allen: indeed
[13:46] herman Bergson: Maybe it is time for a new Einstein...
[13:46] Simargl Talaj: Yes to Churchland, as Explanations of mind properties are found more and more in the *material*.
[13:46] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): of course we have a lot to discover..we are only at the beginning of understanding this
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: but cern have shown that neutrinos should have mass
[13:46] herman Bergson: Absolutely Beertje...especially in the field we are discussing now...the brain and the mind
[13:47] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): isn't it wonderful that we may discover such a lot?
[13:47] Doodus Moose: what color are atoms ? oh, never mind....
[13:47] herman Bergson smiles
[13:47] herman Bergson: Yes Doodus...and which atom is really wet?
[13:47] Qwark Allen: oxygene is green
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: hehe the qwark color concept isn't about color at all if you refer to that
[13:48] Doodus Moose: heheh
[13:48] herman Bergson: Talking about color.....
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: its just a ref term but i haven't learned all about it yet
[13:48] Qwark Allen: nitrogene is blue
[13:48] Ixax Xigalia: haven't verified this, nevertheless:
[13:48] herman Bergson: all those beautiful colorful pictures of the nebulae in the universe....all fake...
[13:49] Simargl Talaj: artificial colorings:)
[13:49] Qwark Allen: +/-
[13:49] herman Bergson: the universe isn't so colorful at all...
[13:49] Qwark Allen: the thing is, our eyes can`t see much of the light spectre
[13:49] Simargl Talaj: it is very colorful. It is more colorful than we can see.
[13:49] herman Bergson: yes Simargl...was agreat disappointment for me to learn about that :-)
[13:49] Qwark Allen: yes sima
[13:49] Simargl Talaj: not less
[13:49] Doodus Moose: yet - the colors in astro photos are equated to hydrogen atoms, etc
[13:50] Qwark Allen: not really herman, you can still have hope
[13:50] herman Bergson: yes they have their reasons Doodus :-)
[13:50] Mick Nerido: birds see more colors the mamels
[13:50] Qwark Allen: there is lots of color, we just can`t see most of it
[13:50] Qwark Allen: that is why they had those colors
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: and different animals see different spectras
[13:50] herman Bergson: .
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: some even see infrared
[13:50] Qwark Allen: some in ultraviolet
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:50] Simargl Talaj: Perhaps some day we will have artificial senses that do convey many unseen colors.
[13:51] Doodus Moose: we need to be mindful of the limits of our perception
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: we already have that
[13:51] Doodus Moose: ...i have a subwoofer that plays 15hz at 95 db
[13:51] herman Bergson: Well...I think that we now can have some idea of what matter is....
[13:51] Simargl Talaj: Which we cannot now even imagine...more blue than blue, red past red.
[13:51] Mick Nerido: some eyes might see dark matter lol
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: heat cameras see radiation
[13:51] Doodus Moose: ...something we can't hear played very loudly
[13:51] Qwark Allen: omg dodus
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: and a digital camera can see the light from the invisible infra beam in a remote or ir laser as a white dot
[13:52] herman Bergson: WE'll continue our quest into the brain and mind, now we know what matter is...
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: cause its unaffected by the color filters in the camera sensors and hence white
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: almost at least
[13:52] herman Bergson: particles, waves, foce fields...????
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: mu LHC will hopefully give more answers soon
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:52] herman Bergson: somehow this matter must generate the mind....
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: we havent discovered all yet
[13:53] Qwark Allen: i need to go
[13:53] Qwark Allen: see you thursday
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: much more to learn i think
[13:53] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): not every matter can be seen
[13:53] Qwark Allen: ty heerman for nice class :-)
[13:53] Doodus Moose: bye, Qwarl
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: cu Q
[13:53] CONNIE Eichel: yes, nice class :)
[13:53] Qwark Allen: going for party :-)
[13:53] herman Bergson: So Thank you all for your participation again.....
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: interesting again
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: VERY
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:53] Simargl Talaj: Thank you Herman.
[13:53] herman Bergson: Class dismissed ^_^
[13:53] Mick Nerido: Thanks Herman
[13:53] Doodus Moose: A great session, class & Professor :)
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: nice Herman
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: ok cu all soon
[13:54] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman it was very interesting as usual
[13:54] CONNIE Eichel: jazz time, bye all :)
[13:54] herman Bergson: My pleasure Bejiita...thank you
[13:54] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): bye Connie
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:55] 방랑자 (tauto): thank you herman, and all.
[13:56] herman Bergson: You are welcome Tauto
[13:56] Doodus Moose: don't forget the SL8 birthday, folks!
[13:56] herman Bergson: Allow me to say that the colors of your dress are fabulous, Ixax
[13:56] bergfrau Apfelbaum: i I send you multicolored greet! by the universe. : -) see u thursday!
[13:56] Doodus Moose:
[13:56] bergfrau Apfelbaum: ty herman:-) and class!
[13:57] Doodus Moose: byeeee!!!!!!

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

336: The material Brain

In a previous lecture I said, that Materialism is the general theory that the ultimate constituents of reality are material or physical bodies, elements or processes.

It is a form of monism in that it holds that everything in existence is reducible to what is material or physical in nature.

Although this is good enough as a base to continue with developing a deeper understanding of materialism as an ontological point of view,

there is a rather obvious question : "What is matter?" The answer to this question has to be at least consistent with our basic assumptions of materialism.

Natural philosophers have studied material objects and contrasted them with such immaterial agencies as energy and fields of force.

The terms “matter” and “material” have played a humble part not only in science but also in moral philosophy and even theology.

Matter has thus been placed in opposition to life and mind, soul and spirit, and a preoccupation with worldly pleasures and bodily comforts, has been condemned as “materialistic” and unworthy of spiritual beings, as opposed to the “higher” pleasures of the mind.

When you look at it more closely, you must come to the conclusion that through the ages matter was not always the same matter: the concept of matter has been progressively refined and modified in the course of intellectual history.

Since Thales of Milete (600 B.C) a basic philosophical problem was the question: “What universal, permanent substance underlies the variety and change of the physical world?”

For Aristotle objects were composed of the four terrestrial elements—earth, air, fire, and water—and could be created and destroyed, Of all terrestrial things only the souls of rational beings were exempted from change and decay.

The alchemical philosophers in the 2nd and 3rd century, for their part, introduced an experimental element into the study of matter. they were led to contrast volatile and chemically active substances, such as alcohol and ether (spirits), with solid and passive ones, such as sand and stones.

The association of the soul and the body in living creatures was thus treated as analogous to the association of volatile and gaseous with solid and earthy substances in a chemical compound.

It could be quite possible that from those ideas come how we see the soul or a ghost: some cloud like, half transparent being. Ideas that were rejected of course by theologians like Thomas Aquinas (died 1274)

The revival of the physical sciences during the Renaissance from 1550 on started from a position in which no single doctrine about the nature of matter was clearly established and generally accepted.

When we meet Descartes (died 1650) there had emerged a new mechanical corpuscular philosophy to a proliferation of new kinds of atom

—for instance, magnetic, calorific, and frigorific corpuscles— introduced to account for the corresponding physical phenomena of magnetism, heat, cold, and so on.

Christian theology had added its own objections to any explanation of mental activity that regarded the mind as composed of atoms, no matter how light or mobile, for this, it was generally agreed, came perilously close to denying the immortality of the soul.

The new physical science of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries accordingly limited its aim. The realm of nature consisted of material bodies interacting mechanically by contact and impact and could be studied by science.

The realm of spirit—including, at least, the intellectual activities of human beings— was a distinct and separate object of speculation to which the categories of physical science were not directly relevant.

And thus you see how the concept of matter is influenced by theologians to prevent a 100% materialist ontology. Cartesian Dualism helped out.

The Discussion

[13:19] herman Bergson: Thank you...:-)
[13:20] herman Bergson: If you like...the floor is yours..
[13:20] Doodus Moose: it's distressing to think of spiritual awareness as chemical transactions
[13:20] Mick Nerido: sort of like seperation of church and state...
[13:20] herman Bergson: why is that Doodus?
[13:21] Doodus Moose: hnmmmm, you'd have to experience a spiritual situation firsthand to understand it
[13:21] herman Bergson: That is an argument of authority….invalid
[13:22] Doodus Moose: i know - that's why i'm going to be quiet on this one
[13:22] Doodus Moose: :-)
[13:22] herman Bergson smiles
[13:22] herman Bergson: a pitty...
[13:22] herman Bergson: For it interests me very much why it is distressing...
[13:22] herman Bergson: what is the distress?
[13:23] Doodus Moose: that would be the start of an all-night discussion
[13:23] Mick Nerido: I have had spiritual or mystical experiences that could be matter based.
[13:23] Doodus Moose: distressing because everything seems reduced to cause-and-effect
[13:23] herman Bergson: Give it a try, for I think this is a quintessential point for many people
[13:23] herman Bergson: Not necessarily Dodus....
[13:24] herman Bergson: Doodus
[13:24] herman Bergson: Quantum Mechanics already has demonstrated that mater not absolutely causal is..
[13:25] herman Bergson: Matter in a modern sense is not just the simple biliard ball causality like Hume thought
[13:25] herman Bergson: Besides that....
[13:26] herman Bergson: Like liquidity is caused by H2O molecules
[13:26] herman Bergson: Consciousness can be causes by our brain....
[13:27] herman Bergson: But that doesn't mean that we know what consciousness is...
[13:27] herman Bergson: We'll spend a number of lectures on that concept...
[13:27] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): I sorry..
[13:27] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): i am I'm Sorry! i have to leave early
[13:27] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): see you next week
[13:28] Qwark Allen: AAHH!!!
[13:28] Doodus Moose: bye. Gemma
[13:28] Qwark Allen: ˜*•. ˜”*°•.˜”*°• Bye ! •°*”˜.•°*”˜ .•*˜ ㋡
[13:28] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): let us know about summer break Herman
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: ok cu gemma
[13:28] Julie Bluebird (lolli.bluebird): Bye Gemma
[13:28] herman Bergson: Be well Gemma :-)
[13:28] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): Mhh *Kiss* Bye bye!
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: hugs
[13:28] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): bye Gemma
[13:28] herman Bergson: Today the question is...what is matter...
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: that im good at if anyone
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: lol
[13:29] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): can i ask a question in dutch please?
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: but well matter is everything you can touch basically
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: that have substance
[13:30] herman Bergson: Most important point till 1700 is that it was defined in such a way that mental phenomena would not be mental to safe the mind and the soul
[13:31] herman Bergson: I almost would ask you all: What is the matter?
[13:31] herman Bergson: Quiet today :-)
[13:31] Doodus Moose: (hi, hi)
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:32] herman Bergson: Well that suits me, for I have guests in RL :-)
[13:32] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): matter is waar de..het..of een..voorkan een gat ook matter?..een niets met iets er omheen? het universum zijn ' gaten' is dat ook matter?
[13:32] herman Bergson: and they make a lot of noise disrupting my concentration :-)
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: well matter is interesting topic for sure and what differs that from nomn material stuff
[13:33] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): sorry had to write that in dutch
[13:33] herman Bergson: I suggest we continue our discussion on matter next class....
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: and is the higgs boson the cause for matter having substance, are the Higgs the difference between matter and energy, thats a question i would want to know kind of soon
[13:33] Qwark Allen: Matter is a general term for the substance of which all physical objects consist. Typically, matter includes atoms and other particles which have mass. A common way of defining matter is as anything that has mass and occupies volume.
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:34] Qwark Allen: from wikipedia
[13:34] Mick Nerido: matter can be changed into energy..
[13:34] herman Bergson: Yes Qwark...I saw that...... not really a satisfactory definition...
[13:34] herman Bergson: A good thing to look into next lecture...
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: ant the opposite around
[13:35] Qwark Allen: good :-)
[13:35] herman Bergson: Allow me to thank you for today and dismiss class.....
[13:36] herman Bergson: RL environment is to disrupting now for me :-)
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: hehe ok
[13:36] Qwark Allen: you welcome herman
[13:36] Julie Bluebird (lolli.bluebird): Thank you herman.
[13:36] Qwark Allen: interesting as allways
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: well have to deal with that sometimes too
[13:36] bergfrau Apfelbaum: ty herman:-)
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: interesting again
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:36] Qwark Allen: i like this thematic
[13:36] bergfrau Apfelbaum: ***** APPPPPPPLLLLAAAUUUSSSSEEEEEEE***********
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: as always
[13:36] Lizzy Pleides: thank you, .. and sorry for being late, byee
[13:36] Bejiita Imako ♪♥♪APPLAUDS!!!♪♥♪
[13:36] Doodus Moose: Good Show Professor, let your guests know you are appreciated!
[13:36] herman Bergson: SO thank you all..hope tosee you on a quiet Thursday again...
[13:36] 방랑자 (tauto): thank you herman
[13:36] herman Bergson: I will Doodus
[13:36] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman...fijne avond nog
[13:37] bergfrau Apfelbaum: byebye CLASS :-)
[13:37] 방랑자 (tauto): bye all
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: bye
[13:37] Julie Bluebird (lolli.bluebird): I'll do some reading up by next week :-))
[13:37] Mick Nerido: thanks bye
[13:38] Julie Bluebird (lolli.bluebird): Bye for now.
[13:38] Lizzy Pleides: good byee
[13:39] herman Bergson: Hi Lizzy
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

335: The materialist Brain 3

To be called a materialist with respect to your metaphysical interpretation of reality has been like a curse for many centuries.

Of course this finds its roots in the fact that materialism was regarded almost synonymous with atheism. You see the same happen with regard to the concept of matter itself.

I am not sure, whether there is a relation with that other meaning of the word "materialist", meaning "a tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values.", according to the online Oxford Dictionary.

It looks like there is a connection in the fact that theistic or spiritual values are not much supported by materialism.

But as I said in the previous lecture, materialism has made considerable progress over the past century, particularly among educated European peoples.

There seem to be a few reasons for this development. One reason is, that there has been a decline in those aspects of religious conviction that involve appeal to providential or satanic interventions in the course of events.

This is due to the fact that many have lost the belief in an intervening god or devil in this world. Earthquakes, climate change or pestilence, for example, are not attributed to nonmaterial, supernatural forces.

Another reason we already have discussed extensively, which you could call "biological materialism": the discovery of the biochemical mechanisms involved in neural functioning,

and their links to psychological processes, so that it is now taken for granted that thinking, feeling, and the will are subserved by the nervous system, and can be altered by making physical changes by the use of drugs or electrodes.

Again another reason, which you could call "medical materialism": diseases are not caused by a punishing god, witchcraft, curses and the like, but by viruses and bacteria.

We have developed a strong belief in the possibilities of medicine. Every illness can be cured and if this is not yet the case, we believe that medical research eventually will find a material cure.

Sometimes I get the feeling, that this medical materialism has replaced the religious beliefs. We get strongly imprinted that our health is the ultimate good on earth, almost meaning "When you are healthy, you are happy!"

And this is all based on a materialist and mechanistic concept of health. When the body(machine) is properly maintained all will be well. Thus jogging has become the contemporary way of praying ( ^_*)

A final reason can be that recent years have witnessed an astonishing expansion in the range and sophistication of the mental tasks that digital machines can perform.

Not only remembering, recalling, and calculating, but pattern recognition, estimation processes, problem solving, and learning new skills,

skills, which hitherto have been the exclusive preserve of living, conscious beings, are now routinely performed by electronic devices that, unless panpsychism is true, are purely physical structures.

This has lead to an increasingly common assumption that mental activity is a special kind of physical process, which even suggests the question "Will a computer eventually become conscious?"

Of course materialism is not THE ontological answer, but it offers a comprehensive, unified account of the nature of reality that is economical, intelligible, and consistent with the most successful of the sciences.

The Discussion

[13:16] herman Bergson: Thank you....
[13:17] herman Bergson: Allow a 2 minutes break so that Soussine and Carmela can read the notecard/text of this lecture before we start our discussion...
[13:17] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:17] herman Bergson: Thank you
[13:17] Sousinne Ceriano: Thank you =)
[13:17] Carmela Sandalwood: TY
[13:17] Bejiita Imako: ok
[13:17] Carmela Sandalwood: I'm good
[13:18] herman Bergson: ok..
[13:18] herman Bergson smiles
[13:18] Sousinne Ceriano: done
[13:18] herman Bergson: The floor is yours then....
[13:18] Bejiita Imako: Even if a computer gets more and more advanced i don't think it can ever be conscious
[13:19] Carmela Sandalwood: / what's to prevent a conscious computeR?
[13:19] Bejiita Imako: cause all a computer does do by calculating binary numbers
[13:19] Carmela Sandalwood: and all we do is by chemical
[13:19] Doodus Moose: yes - we'd need a whole different architecture
[13:19] Sousinne Ceriano: If it can't, Bejiita, how can we be conscious?
[13:19] Bejiita Imako: thus see only 1 and 0 surent and no current
[13:19] herman Bergson: We will get to that subject Bejiita when we discuss the chinese Room argument of John Searle..
[13:19] herman Bergson: He is at your side
[13:20] Kleine Tittenmausprinzessin (kraftwerk.maximus): computer can all do what humans can do
[13:20] Mick Nerido: The study of the material world is becoming more metaphycial like with Dark matter and dark energy
[13:20] Doodus Moose: Chinese Room - consider also the Turing Test
[13:20] druth Vlodovic: if pure materialism is true then we aren't really conscious
[13:20] Carmela Sandalwood: why not? consciousness is simply an awareness of surroundings
[13:20] Sousinne Ceriano: druth: That won't be true until you can say we understand the nature of consciousness.
[13:20] Bejiita Imako: t when this happens millions of times per second that the computer can create everything almost but yet its just binary math at very high speed done by billions of switches
[13:20] Kleine Tittenmausprinzessin (kraftwerk.maximus): humans can chinese room only, they haven't a consciousness
[13:21] Carmela Sandalwood: well, humans do it with millions of neural
[13:21] herman Bergson: Let me give you John Searle's arguments about consciousness again
[13:21] Doodus Moose: neural connections self -program
[13:21] Mick Nerido: If materialism is true than atoms could be conscious
[13:21] herman Bergson: I think it is the best answer to the mind body problem so far...
[13:22] herman Bergson: No no Mick...not that fast
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: ut ht is some kind of chemical process and we have receptors for that, but for a computer that would mean that you had to do complete new way of constructing them i think
[13:22] Carmela Sandalwood: I'm not convinced the Chinese room doesn't understand Chinese
[13:22] Kleine Tittenmausprinzessin (kraftwerk.maximus): john searle is irrelevant
[13:22] Mick Nerido: well have the potential for it built in
[13:22] herman Bergson: Ok....plz..listen.....
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: so that it can indeed feel something
[13:22] herman Bergson: Plz...a moment of silence...!
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: and also computers need to do it by math while we interpret it directly
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: sound pictures ect
[13:23] herman Bergson: How to understand the relation between consciousness and matter....
[13:23] herman Bergson: Take a glass of water....
[13:23] herman Bergson: the water is liquid….
[13:23] herman Bergson: Liquidity is a property of that water....
[13:24] Kleine Tittenmausprinzessin (kraftwerk.maximus): humans cant understand substainable
[13:24] herman Bergson: but we can not seperate the liquidity as something on its own from the water
[13:24] herman Bergson: it means...
[13:24] Carmela Sandalwood: liquidity is a type of interaction of the molecules in the water
[13:24] Sousinne Ceriano: "sustainable" means "unchanging". What a magnificent world where stasis is seen as the highest goal for all humanity.
[13:25] herman Bergson: the h2o molecules create that state by being in a certain state...
[13:25] herman Bergson: so..liquidity is caused by these h2o molecules....
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: yes by moving around and binding in between those for ice and steam
[13:25] Carmela Sandalwood: its the interaction, not the molecules themselves
[13:25] Kleine Tittenmausprinzessin (kraftwerk.maximus): incorrect sous
[13:26] Sousinne Ceriano: Right, Kraftwerk.
[13:26] herman Bergson: but we can not pick out a h2o molecule and say..look this is a liquid one...
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: slow movement = ice fast movement steam
[13:26] Kleine Tittenmausprinzessin (kraftwerk.maximus): humans are so annoying
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: and alson the molecule mmovement is same as heat
[13:26] Carmela Sandalwood: not quite Bejiita
[13:26] herman Bergson: thus the brain operates too....
[13:26] Mick Nerido: water = liquid as brain = consciousness?
[13:27] Sousinne Ceriano: I completely agree with you there, Kraftwerk. =)
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: meaning for ex that microwave energy is converted directly into heat when interacting with water in the food
[13:27] herman Bergson: the material processes in the brain cause consciousness
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: its not friction cause the actual molecule vibrations are the heat
[13:27] herman Bergson: save us the details Bejiita :-)
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: thats how it is
[13:27] Sousinne Ceriano: I read a brilliant book some time ago... "I am a strange loop" by Douglas Hofstadter.
[13:27] herman Bergson: So the brain causes consciousness...
[13:28] Carmela Sandalwood: But the question is *how* the brain causes consciousness
[13:28] herman Bergson: Like h20 molecules cause liquidity
[13:28] Kleine Tittenmausprinzessin (kraftwerk.maximus): consciousness is an esoteric concept of our anthropozentric religion
[13:28] Sousinne Ceriano: His view was that consciousness is a product of self-reference.
[13:28] herman Bergson: the how question is just a scientific question...
[13:28] Carmela Sandalwood: it bothers me to say the H2O molecules 'cause' liquidity...
[13:28] herman Bergson: we have our neurobiology and physics and thus can find out
[13:28] Carmela Sandalwood: it's a strange use of the word 'cause'
[13:29] Sousinne Ceriano: I am inclined to agree with him. The way to make a "stale" system of thought is to banish self-reference.
[13:29] herman Bergson: Ahhh Carmela…
[13:29] herman Bergson: That is really a good point.....
[13:29] druth Vlodovic: sci-fi authors pard the term down to "self-aware" machines a long time ago
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: the speed of movement causes the liquidity, the value of it
[13:29] Mick Nerido: consciousness is purely a material process not spiritual
[13:29] herman Bergson: Since Hume we have a peculiar idea of causality...
[13:29] Sousinne Ceriano: Once you accept it, the system grows in ways we don't have good words to explain.
[13:29] herman Bergson: billiard ball causality I call it
[13:30] Carmela Sandalwood: the speed and the degree of interaction is what is associated with the macro-scopic state of liquidity
[13:30] herman Bergson: you have event/object A that causes event/object B
[13:30] Carmela Sandalwood: Hume was better than Aristotle on causality
[13:30] Sousinne Ceriano: But from the earliest moments, every human is faced with an environment containing a very special object: themselves.
[13:30] herman Bergson: Two seperate events...
[13:30] Kleine Tittenmausprinzessin (kraftwerk.maximus): humans act like billiard, but they dont can realised it by itself
[13:30] herman Bergson: but that is a very narrow idea of causality....
[13:31] Carmela Sandalwood: right…liquidity and the molecules are not separate things
[13:31] herman Bergson: on the one hand you have H2O molecules...
[13:31] herman Bergson: on the other hand you have liquidity...
[13:32] herman Bergson: That is aristotelian thinking...but nonsense if you regard liquidity ontologically as a separate entity or property
[13:32] herman Bergson: Liquidity exists ONLY if H2O molecules are in a certain condition
[13:32] Carmela Sandalwood: Well, what defines liquidity? Preservation of volume, ability to flow, etc
[13:32] herman Bergson: The mind exists only...when there is a brain
[13:33] Carmela Sandalwood: A number of different chemicals can have liquid various temperatures and pressures
[13:33] herman Bergson: yes...only variations on the theme
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:33] Carmela Sandalwood: So the question is whether a silicon structure can 'cause' a mind also
[13:33] herman Bergson: But there is one philosophically important issue here
[13:34] druth Vlodovic: I think the point is that "consciousness" is an effect, not a thing in it's own right
[13:34] herman Bergson: saying that the brain causes the mind...
[13:34] herman Bergson: or consciousness...
[13:34] Sousinne Ceriano: If the silicon can do the same things, it will be just as conscious.
[13:34] herman Bergson: doesnt tell us a thing about WHAT consciousness is...
[13:34] Carmela Sandalwood: Right, but if we could get another example of the phenomenon, we would have an easier time defining it :)
[13:35] herman Bergson: Sillicon can't do the job Sousinne...
[13:35] druth Vlodovic: maybe a better question is if computers can eventually make their own choices
[13:35] druth Vlodovic: though many people don't think that people can,
[13:35] Carmela Sandalwood: why not herman?
[13:35] Sousinne Ceriano: How come?
[13:35] herman Bergson: Searle pointed that out pretty clearly in his Chinese room for it :-)
[13:35] Kleine Tittenmausprinzessin (kraftwerk.maximus): silicon can do it far better
[13:36] Carmela Sandalwood: And I disagree with Searle on that
[13:36] Doodus Moose: Sous - assuming consciousness is synapse-based, silicon junctions can't do the sam ething
[13:36] herman Bergson: Computers are symbol shuffling machines...
[13:36] herman Bergson: our mind isnt....
[13:36] Sousinne Ceriano: How come?
[13:36] Kleine Tittenmausprinzessin (kraftwerk.maximus): chinese room is antropzentric nonsense
[13:36] herman Bergson: Our mind adds semantics to the symbols...
[13:36] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): Goodevening
[13:36] Carmela Sandalwood: Well, one difficulty is that we are thinking of computers as non-interactive....look more at the advances of robots lately...much closer to what is required
[13:36] Sousinne Ceriano: Whatever consciousness is, it is a product of shuffled information.
[13:36] druth Vlodovic: what the heck is an anthropzen?
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: yes made of silicon but its not the silicon itself, its the dopant substrate that conduct current and performs binary math
[13:37] herman Bergson: I think you have to come up with a better counter argument Kleine
[13:37] Kleine Tittenmausprinzessin (kraftwerk.maximus): google it with the right spelling ^^
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: just raw number crunching nothing conscious there
[13:37] Carmela Sandalwood: how do you know Bejiita?
[13:37] Sousinne Ceriano: And for us: just raw chemical shuffling, nothing conscious there?
[13:37] Carmela Sandalwood: efine what it means to be conscious first...then we can see if computers qualify
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: I know the basics behind cpus and know how they are made and works
[13:38] Carmela Sandalwood: so do I...and I also know the basics for neurons
[13:38] herman Bergson: I don't agree Sousinne....
[13:38] Sousinne Ceriano: Who said anything about a computer?
[13:38] Sousinne Ceriano: I said a silicon structure.
[13:38] Kleine Tittenmausprinzessin (kraftwerk.maximus): humans do only crude statistic operation in his little neuronal network.
[13:38] herman Bergson: Our chemical shufflling in the brain causes consciousness
[13:38] Carmela Sandalwood: we are carbon based structures with some water, and a few other chemicals
[13:39] Sousinne Ceriano: Yes, professor, BECAUSE information gets spread in certain patterns.
[13:39] Carmela Sandalwood: and why can't that chemical shuffling be mimicked by computers?
[13:39] herman Bergson: yes Carmela....and with some remarkable features
[13:39] Kleine Tittenmausprinzessin (kraftwerk.maximus): its not a question by the materials at first, they don't understand it
[13:39] herman Bergson: consciousness is one of the features our our material construction :-)
[13:40] Carmela Sandalwood: just like other chemicals can be liquid, why can't other structures support consciousness?
[13:40] Doodus Moose: bingo
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: something cause conscious ness yes and its electrical signals so in someway might be possible but i have a hart time to see how todays construction of a computer can be because the e way they work
[13:40] Sousinne Ceriano: Unless you mean to say that there are certain chemicals that cause consciousness, you are going to have to deal with the idea that all our brains do is shuffle information
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: just switching current on and off like a light switch
[13:40] Mick Nerido: Why is there consciousness at all?
[13:40] herman Bergson: Good question Carmela...but a scientific one...
[13:40] herman Bergson: not a philosophical one...
[13:40] Carmela Sandalwood: agreed....but as a philosophical question, is there a barrier?
[13:40] Kleine Tittenmausprinzessin (kraftwerk.maximus): consciousness is a other believe system like human god believe sytsem
[13:41] Sousinne Ceriano: No... it is not about belief.
[13:41] herman Bergson: Why is there consciousness at all.....? Not a meaningful question in my opinion
[13:41] druth Vlodovic: the chinese room argument seems to be saying that computers can't be conscious because their hardware can't have understanding
[13:41] herman Bergson: Then you also can ask...Whey are there trees at all?
[13:41] Sousinne Ceriano: Consciousness is a subjective experience, not any sort of system of thought
[13:41] druth Vlodovic: but isn't understanding a software problem?
[13:41] Carmela Sandalwood: consciousness exists because information processing makes it more likely that living things will reproduce
[13:42] Kleine Tittenmausprinzessin (kraftwerk.maximus): our consciousness is dead like our god. think monkeys!
[13:42] herman Bergson: no is a matter of semantics...
[13:42] herman Bergson: computers aren't able to add meaning to the symbols they shuffle..
[13:42] herman Bergson: our mind does that
[13:42] Doodus Moose: nor respond to them emotionally
[13:42] Carmela Sandalwood: that i am not so convinced about...what is meaning in this context?
[13:43] Carmela Sandalwood: emotionally is just another form of information processing
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: no they arent a computer can not understand what it does
[13:43] herman Bergson: That is why translation programs are so google translate for instance
[13:43] Kleine Tittenmausprinzessin (kraftwerk.maximus): humans don't know the meaning of its own acting. thats why the will die out next time
[13:43] Carmela Sandalwood: ever talked to a three year old? all sorts of grammatical mistakes
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: what the program i wrote really does it cant see that it is a game second life or whatever
[13:44] Kleine Tittenmausprinzessin (kraftwerk.maximus): if you dont like our programs don't use them ;-P
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: it just switches its current on and off in different binary patterns
[13:44] Ciska Riverstone: but own language you do no longer understand carmela ;)
[13:44] druth Vlodovic: but computer programs are asked to act upon the symbols, when they are given instructions, so the meaning of an abstract symbol becomes, say, movement
[13:44] Sousinne Ceriano: If it had consciousness, maybe it would, Bejiita.
[13:44] Carmela Sandalwood: none of my neurons understands english...but the whole structure of my brain does
[13:45] Mick Nerido: At what point is life conscious?
[13:45] herman Bergson: the action on symbols is applying rules Druth
[13:45] Sousinne Ceriano: Maybe meaning, emotions, all those things we see as being human, maybe they all require consciousness?
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: maybe but that would require a completely different way of constructing a cpu than just millions of on and off switches
[13:45] druth Vlodovic: to humans meaning is a matter of "what do I do with this?" or "How does this mesh with previously accumulated meanings?"
[13:45] Carmela Sandalwood: Bejiita: I think that main difference is we need more interaction of the silicon structures with the 'real world'
[13:45] herman Bergson: Of course Sousinne...!
[13:45] Kleine Tittenmausprinzessin (kraftwerk.maximus): humans aren't a real life form
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: yes something like that
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: and also as said computers need to take the way over mathematics while we can interpret directly
[13:46] Carmela Sandalwood: consciousness comes from interaction with an environment, using the information collected by the senses
[13:46] Sousinne Ceriano: And thus, you need to solve the issue of consciousness BEFORE you tap into emotions and meaning... it also means neither is necessary for consciousness.
[13:46] Doodus Moose: so, my hamster is conscious?
[13:46] Julie Bluebird (lolli.bluebird): :)
[13:47] herman Bergson: To some extend yes Doodus
[13:47] Kleine Tittenmausprinzessin (kraftwerk.maximus): hamsters and humans haven't a consciousness
[13:47] Carmela Sandalwood: where do we put the line for consciousness? bacteria? lizards?
[13:47] herman Bergson: It will be conscious of pain when you torture it
[13:47] Doodus Moose: +when+
[13:47] Sousinne Ceriano: not if
[13:47] Sousinne Ceriano: =)
[13:47] herman Bergson: It will not have the ability to say to you "I am in pain"
[13:47] druth Vlodovic: my car is "conscious" of a low oil condition
[13:48] Carmela Sandalwood: and bacteria move away from noxious stimuli
[13:48] Sousinne Ceriano: No... your car is nothing of the sort.
[13:48] Carmela Sandalwood: with micro-computers in cars, it might be
[13:48] druth Vlodovic: it can react to it, by lighting a warning light
[13:48] herman Bergson: Your car is a 100% causally operation mechanism Druth
[13:48] Doodus Moose: ...but that's not consciousness
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: if not the oil level just trigs a switch connected to a computer programmed to send current to 2 leads leading to a warning light, those 2 lights could be connected to whatever
[13:48] Sousinne Ceriano: Whether machines will be capable of being conscious or not, they are not currently able to be conscious.
[13:49] Carmela Sandalwood: and I do tend to agree the car is not conscious...but the term is ambiguous
[13:49] Julie Bluebird (lolli.bluebird): Souisinne - how would we know?
[13:49] herman Bergson: Welll Doodus..that is the whole point regarding animal rights...
[13:49] druth Vlodovic: if I burn my hand I'll retract it, in fact, it would take conscious interference to avoid doing so
[13:49] herman Bergson: Descartes believed that animals were just plain mind at all
[13:50] Sousinne Ceriano: Lolli: Enough analysis and we will know EVERY signal there is in the car's electrical system.
[13:50] herman Bergson: We now know that animals can experience stress and fear....
[13:50] Sousinne Ceriano: It is eminently predictable and not one bit of it will generate any sort of consciousness.
[13:50] herman Bergson: Even have emotions!
[13:50] Carmela Sandalwood: experience....
[13:50] Sousinne Ceriano: A nut is not conscious because I throw a rock at it to make it fall down from a branch
[13:51] Carmela Sandalwood: ok, how do we know they experience anxiety? or emotions?
[13:51] herman Bergson: Soem animales even have a self conscious...recognize themselves in a mirror
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: an interesting thing is plants
[13:51] Sousinne Ceriano: Measurements of stress hormones
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: are they conscious
[13:51] Sousinne Ceriano: No.
[13:51] Carmela Sandalwood: so if a computer shows the signs of emotions and stress, is it conscious?
[13:51] Sousinne Ceriano: They don't even have any sort of nervous system.
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: they are alive but can they think or have a mind
[13:51] Sousinne Ceriano: No
[13:51] herman Bergson: no Bejiita...stop that ...:-)
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: no because unlike us they are just a bunch of independent cells with no brain
[13:52] Sousinne Ceriano: If a computer shows signs of stress, get a new one before it breaks down. =)
[13:52] Carmela Sandalwood: not independent...plants are 8very* interconnected
[13:52] herman Bergson: Plants can interact with their environment..yes...
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: in some way it seems indeed
[13:52] herman Bergson: respond to a nice rain or suffer under a hot sun...
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: cause as said
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: they are alive
[13:52] Carmela Sandalwood: how about a robot that has been programmed to work in an environment? if it shows stress, is it conscious?
[13:53] herman Bergson: that is a whole different matter...
[13:53] Mick Nerido: Any complex enough brain can be conscious because the atoms and molecules have the potential to behave that way
[13:53] Kleine Tittenmausprinzessin (kraftwerk.maximus): humans can't interact with there environment
[13:53] Sousinne Ceriano: A robot would need to be self-referential for that to happen.
[13:53] Sousinne Ceriano: It would need to relate to ITSELF.
[13:53] Carmela Sandalwood:
[13:54] herman Bergson: Yes mick..therefore some animales can be attributed consciousness....even self awareness
[13:54] Carmela Sandalwood: Big Dog: conscious or not?
[13:54] druth Vlodovic: I wonder if the term "conscious" isn't obfuscating
[13:54] Sousinne Ceriano: Showing a mimicked symptom of stress doesn't help
[13:54] herman Bergson: Ok Druth....I know.....:-)
[13:54] herman Bergson: We'll deal with is in coming lectures in detail ^_^
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: the stress in the robot is stull just programmed math
[13:55] Carmela Sandalwood: and is *our* stress just un-programmed math?
[13:55] Sousinne Ceriano: Until such a time as the robot can consider its own situation.
[13:55] herman Bergson: No Carmela...a robot never shows stress...
[13:55] Carmela Sandalwood: and they do now....they work with information to adjust their behavior
[13:55] Mick Nerido: A robot could be made of carbon and be organic like people
[13:55] Sousinne Ceriano: And not just seeing its environment
[13:55] Bejiita Imako: we feel directly without calculating numbers, a machine cant do that at least not yet
[13:55] herman Bergson: its program shuffles symbols according to given rules...
[13:56] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:56] Carmela Sandalwood: herman: I disgaree.....look at the video of Big Dog being pushed over....
[13:56] Carmela Sandalwood: or being on an icy road
[13:56] Sousinne Ceriano: We feel because billions of neurons toggle chemicals on or off.
[13:56] herman Bergson: so it may simulate behavior we would call stres sbehavior
[13:56] Carmela Sandalwood: is that Descartes argument against animals?
[13:56] herman Bergson: It is programmed to respond like that
[13:56] Kleine Tittenmausprinzessin (kraftwerk.maximus): nobody need the humans species on that planet
[13:56] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:57] herman Bergson: We could discuss the need of your presence here Mr. Kleine..:-)))
[13:57] druth Vlodovic: so you can be considered "conscious" if you can do things you are not programmed for?
[13:57] Julie Bluebird (lolli.bluebird): smiles at herman :))
[13:57] Carmela Sandalwood: modern robots respond 'creatively' to new situations
[13:57] Kleine Tittenmausprinzessin (kraftwerk.maximus): YES i know human fascism well
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: yes and can interact with directly and not just go through numbers
[13:58] herman Bergson: ok ok..hold on...
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: we hear sound see pictures and so a machine se just 1001001101010101010101
[13:58] Carmela Sandalwood: I'm not convinced our neurons don't just 'go through the numbers'
[13:58] herman Bergson: Is my computer conscious ...willl be one of the subjects of coming lectures
[13:58] Ciska Riverstone: the question is how they get the numbers they go through Carmela
[13:59] Carmela Sandalwood: through their sensory inputs...just like us
[13:59] Kleine Tittenmausprinzessin (kraftwerk.maximus): you will only not see the conscious of a computer or other species cause its different to human conscious
[13:59] herman Bergson: We cant deal with all such complex questions and observations with just a few general remarks or arguments
[13:59] herman Bergson: so..patience plz....
[14:00] Ciska Riverstone: the sensoric will have to be programmed too Carmela
[14:00] herman Bergson: Today I only gave you some reasons why materialism has become a widely accepted ontology
[14:00] Carmela Sandalwood: and ours is pre-programmed by genetics
[14:00] Ciska Riverstone: but we program the computers carmela
[14:00] Doodus Moose: i'm always suspicious of things that make too much sense
[14:00] Kleine Tittenmausprinzessin (kraftwerk.maximus): ciska computer programs tier sensorik by learning it self today
[14:00] Carmela Sandalwood: so we need genetic robots?
[14:01] Ciska Riverstone: after patterns we gave them kraftwerk
[14:01] Ciska Riverstone: we predefine
[14:01] herman Bergson: Well...Thank you all for this very good discussion....
[14:01] Carmela Sandalwood: thank you herman
[14:01] herman Bergson: feel free to continue...
[14:01] Ciska Riverstone: ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[14:01] herman Bergson: but ...
[14:01] herman Bergson: thank you all
[14:01] Bejiita Imako: interesting as usual
[14:01] CONNIE Eichel: great class :)
[14:01] Bejiita Imako: VERY
[14:01] herman Bergson: Class dismissed ^_^
[14:01] Bejiita Imako: :9
[14:01] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[14:01] herman Bergson: Hey CONNIE
[14:01] Mick Nerido: Nice class
[14:01] CONNIE Eichel: hi :)
[14:02] herman Bergson: didnt see you come in!!!!
[14:02] CONNIE Eichel: :)
[14:02] Ciska Riverstone: thanx herman- bye all
[14:02] Bejiita Imako: ok cu ㋡
[14:02] CONNIE Eichel: i stayed in silence :)
[14:02] Soniah Beaumont: thanks
[14:02] Soniah Beaumont: :)
[14:02] Carmela Sandalwood: what happens if we replace every neuron in our system by a silicon module that does the same thing?
[14:02] Kleine Tittenmausprinzessin (kraftwerk.maximus): human philosophy sound like moo moo
[14:02] CONNIE Eichel: hehe
[14:03] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[14:03] Julie Bluebird (lolli.bluebird): Thank you herman.
[14:03] Doodus Moose: Carmela - two _totally_ different architectures
[14:03] Carmela Sandalwood: <--definitely a materialist
[14:03] CONNIE Eichel: well, till next class, jazz time fo me :)
[14:03] herman Bergson: Then you should not attend this class Mr.Kleine
[14:03] Sousinne Ceriano: Carmela: Yay!
[14:03] Carmela Sandalwood: so? why is that relevant doodus?
[14:03] Kleine Tittenmausprinzessin (kraftwerk.maximus): YES humans never learned by other species.
[14:04] Doodus Moose: neurons can "learn" by connecting in various patterns. silicon is 'fused' into non-changeable patterns
[14:04] herman Bergson: Envy you CONNIE!
[14:04] Carmela Sandalwood: if the reactions are the same, will the new construct be conscious?
[14:04] CONNIE Eichel: :)
[14:04] Carmela Sandalwood: it is possible to modify things so that the strength of the connection changes over time...
[14:04] Sousinne Ceriano: Doodus: She said that it would work the SAME way.
[14:04] Bejiita Imako: aFPGA circuit can be programmed to change its internal structure but still olny programming
[14:04] CONNIE Eichel: kisses you all :)
[14:04] Doodus Moose: ..but by architecture , it can't (yet)
[14:04] herman Bergson: Yeah!!!
[14:04] herman Bergson: :-)
[14:05] Doodus Moose: :-)
[14:05] Kleine Tittenmausprinzessin (kraftwerk.maximus): even rats will survies the homo sapiens. rats adaped to radioactivity and global warming
[14:05] Bejiita Imako: ok need to head on
[14:05] Carmela Sandalwood: TC Bejiita
[14:05] druth Vlodovic: we need to start cross-breeding with rats immediately
[14:05] herman Bergson: That is a triviality Mr. Kleine
[14:05] Sousinne Ceriano: One good thought experiment: If you could teleport somewhere, by making a copy and destroying the original, would you want to go?
[14:05] Bejiita Imako: time to scare the neighbours unconcious with a little Qwark Psy
[14:05] Bejiita Imako: lol
[14:06] Doodus Moose: llIInduceLobotomy(key, status);
[14:06] Bejiita Imako: cu soon again ㋡

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