Tuesday, January 31, 2012

377: Consciousness and Unity

Consciousness has three aspects that make it different from other biological phenomena, and indeed different from other phenomena in the natural world.

These three aspects are qualitativeness, subjectivity, and unity. These three essential features of consciousness are logically interrelated.

Qualitativeness - 'it feels like …'- implies Subjectivity - the quality of being MY experience- which implies Unity - consciousness not experiences as a big bag of individual experiences -

This unity, what is meant by that? Philosophers love to talk about mental states. Common sense thinking concludes ..ok so consciousness is a multitude of mental states.

We are inclined to believe that mental states are a kind of stand alone states, as if consciousness is a kind of big container with all kinds of states on board.

But while thinking about the text of this lecture I also can feel a pain in my fingertip, while I have cut myself, but yet I go on formulating sentences.

In other words, all conscious experiences at any given point in an person's life come as part of one unified conscious field.

If I am sitting at my desk looking out the window, I do not just see the sky above and a backyard and a lawn,

and at the same time feel the pressure of my body against the chair, the shirt against my back, and the aftertaste of coffee in my mouth, rather I experience all of these as part of a single unified conscious field.

So, when thinking of all these "separate" conscious states, in fact I am thinking of just a number of different centers of consciousness.

It is a remarkable fact that within my conscious field at any given time I can shift my attention at will from one aspect to another.

So for example, right now I am not paying any attention to the pressure of the shoes on my feet or the feeling of the shirt on my neck. But I can shift my attention to them any time I want.

An interesting problem related to our experiencing the unity of consciousness is called the "binding problem" or how the unity of conscious perception is brought about by the distributed activities of the central nervous system.

When I see an animal, brain scans show that a number of separate areas in the brain are active. Yet we don't experience a kind of puzzle in ourselves, which we have to put together. We just see a tiger and the environment.

Just as the visual system binds all of the different stimulus inputs into a single unified visual percept, so the entire brain somehow unites all of the variety of our different stimulus inputs into a single unified conscious experience.

This kind of instantaneous unity has to be distinguished from the organized unification of conscious sequences that we get from short term memory.

For example, when I speak a sentence I have to be able to remember the beginning of the sentence at the time I get to the end if I am to produce coherent speech.

Whereas instantaneous unity is essential to, and is part of, the definition of consciousness, organized unity across time is essential to the healthy functioning of the conscious organism, but it is not necessary for the very existence of conscious subjectivity. Also people with memory problems are conscious persons.

This combined feature of qualitative, unified subjectivity is the essence of consciousness and it, more than anything else, is what makes consciousness different from other phenomena studied by the natural sciences.

The problem is to explain how brain processes, which are objective third person biological, chemical and electrical processes, produce subjective states of feeling and thinking.

How does the brain get us over the hump, so to speak, from events in the synaptic cleft and the ion channels to conscious thoughts and feelings?

This qualitative, subjective unity, which we experience as our consciousness and emphatically this unity, may perhaps be one of the biggest neuroscientific challenges.

The Discussion

[2012/01/24 13:22] herman Bergson: Thank you...
[2012/01/24 13:22] herman Bergson: If you have any questions or remarks..the floor is yours
[2012/01/24 13:22] Lizzy Pleides: brilliant again!
[2012/01/24 13:23] harmoniasophia Scribe whispers: Hi everyone
[2012/01/24 13:23] Farv Hallison: Thank you Prof Bergson.
[2012/01/24 13:23] herman Bergson: Thank you , Lizzy
[2012/01/24 13:23] Jarapanda Snook: well done Herman - that will set me thinking for days
[2012/01/24 13:23] bergfrau Apfelbaum: and ty herman
[2012/01/24 13:23] bergfrau Apfelbaum: ***** APPPPPPPLLLLAAAUUUSSSSEEEEEEE***********
[2012/01/24 13:23] herman Bergson: That sounds good Jara
[2012/01/24 13:24] herman Bergson: But the unity of consciousness is to me the greatest mystery....
[2012/01/24 13:24] Mick Nerido: Do u think we will ever know how a brain becomes concious?
[2012/01/24 13:24] herman Bergson: THAT is the big question Mick....
[2012/01/24 13:25] Jarapanda Snook: What is The Id? Is that the part that we know as a cognitive unity, despite it comprising of nothing more than electrical pulses?
[2012/01/24 13:25] herman Bergson: We know how molecules can get in a state of liquidity....we know the conditions...
[2012/01/24 13:25] herman Bergson: Well Jara...that is the point....
[2012/01/24 13:25] herman Bergson: how do these braincells do it....
[2012/01/24 13:25] herman Bergson: the thing is....
[2012/01/24 13:26] herman Bergson: not a single brain scans shows whatever unity...
[2012/01/24 13:26] herman Bergson: But yet we experience it....
[2012/01/24 13:26] Farv Hallison: Can a string of zeros and ones become conscious?
[2012/01/24 13:26] herman Bergson: I would say NO...Farv...
[2012/01/24 13:26] Lizzy Pleides: nods*
[2012/01/24 13:27] Jarapanda Snook: If a series of electrical impulses in out brains can become conscious, can a computer ?
[2012/01/24 13:27] herman Bergson: for the simple reason that they are produced in chips....not in th ecomplexuity of our brain
[2012/01/24 13:27] Jaelle Faerye: i think if they could, our computers would have told us
[2012/01/24 13:27] herman Bergson: You all are going too fast....!
[2012/01/24 13:27] Jarapanda Snook: well - what if the computer senses itself, regardless of the fact that it is in a load of chips?
[2012/01/24 13:27] Farv Hallison: What if the values keep changing so if you watch them closely you can decode a message?
[2012/01/24 13:28] herman Bergson: part of the processes in the brain is electircal...
[2012/01/24 13:28] herman Bergson: but that is not the whole brain
[2012/01/24 13:28] herman Bergson: We love to compare the brain with a computer and the mind with the computer program....
[2012/01/24 13:29] Mistyowl Warrhol: Is the function of consciousness, really something that evolved to help processs what our senses have picked up, so we can decide which data we have received is a threat vs food?
[2012/01/24 13:29] Lizzy Pleides: it can only be a simulation or a copy of our consciousness
[2012/01/24 13:29] herman Bergson: it is a simplification in my opinion
[2012/01/24 13:29] herman Bergson: Yes Lizzy....of course computers can simulate waht a brain does....
[2012/01/24 13:29] herman Bergson: but it still is a symbol shuffling machine....
[2012/01/24 13:30] herman Bergson: with no understanding at all
[2012/01/24 13:30] Agnos (agnos): Thank you Herman
[2012/01/24 13:30] Jarapanda Snook: but how do we know that a computer of the future would not reach a level of complexity at which it becomes conscious?
[2012/01/24 13:30] harmoniasophia Scribe: isn't the brain a symbol shuffling machine also?
[2012/01/24 13:30] herman Bergson: I don't think that such suggestions ar erelevant, Jara....
[2012/01/24 13:31] herman Bergson: We also could say...
[2012/01/24 13:31] herman Bergson: how do we know how the homo sapiens will continue his evolution.....and grow wings for instance
[2012/01/24 13:31] herman Bergson: no Harmonia , the brain isn't….
[2012/01/24 13:32] herman Bergson: the brain works with meanings...symbols have meanings
[2012/01/24 13:32] harmoniasophia Scribe: meaning is a symbol
[2012/01/24 13:32] herman Bergson: for a computer no symbol has any meaning....
[2012/01/24 13:32] harmoniasophia Scribe: you cannot have one without the other
[2012/01/24 13:32] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): *smiles
[2012/01/24 13:32] herman Bergson: it is us who assign meaning to what appears on the screen
[2012/01/24 13:33] Sybyle Perdide: the pc is not the point.. imagine we have one, complex enough to "imitate" the brain.. what we need too, is a software.. and there we are again at the point were we are now
[2012/01/24 13:33] Jarapanda Snook: how will homo sapiens evolve further, Herman. All of Darwin's forces have been taken out of our condition.
[2012/01/24 13:33] harmoniasophia Scribe: when we speak of happiness we never speak of happiness in itself- e always reference it to something that causes our happiness - the form from which it was received - we identify objects with meaning
[2012/01/24 13:34] herman Bergson: yes, harmonia....
[2012/01/24 13:34] Lizzy Pleides: why objects?
[2012/01/24 13:34] herman Bergson: and Sybyle...I only can point at th eChinese room agrument of John Searle here
[2012/01/24 13:35] herman Bergson: Do you think so, Jara....?
[2012/01/24 13:35] harmoniasophia Scribe: so our shuffles symbols by way of the meaning which is inteconnected to how we felt
[2012/01/24 13:35] harmoniasophia Scribe: our brain^^
[2012/01/24 13:36] herman Bergson: if evolution is an interaction between organism and environment we still see evolution
[2012/01/24 13:36] Lizzy Pleides: we probably think in associations but is it an object always?
[2012/01/24 13:36] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Is this John Rogers Searle?
[2012/01/24 13:36] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): (wikipedia)
[2012/01/24 13:36] harmoniasophia Scribe: however abstract the symbol is - it still is an object
[2012/01/24 13:36] herman Bergson: At least John Searle, Mick…don't know that second firstname
[2012/01/24 13:37] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Hmm
[2012/01/24 13:37] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Born 1932?
[2012/01/24 13:37] Lizzy Pleides: for the computer i agree
[2012/01/24 13:37] herman Bergson: yes 1932
[2012/01/24 13:37] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Yes that must be him then :)
[2012/01/24 13:38] Farv Hallison: That is a nice year, when the neutron was duiscovered/
[2012/01/24 13:38] herman Bergson: the neutron or the neuron Farv?
[2012/01/24 13:39] Farv Hallison: neutron.
[2012/01/24 13:39] herman Bergson: ok
[2012/01/24 13:39] herman Bergson: You mean it was discovered in 1932?
[2012/01/24 13:39] Jaelle Faerye wishes she would have invented the neuron
[2012/01/24 13:40] herman Bergson: Well anyway....to get back to consciousness...
[2012/01/24 13:40] herman Bergson: We experience ourselves as one person...an "I", a self....
[2012/01/24 13:40] Farv Hallison: nuclear physics was invented because thety knew the the nucleous was mage of protons and neutrons.
[2012/01/24 13:40] Jarapanda Snook: yes - and how do you see how future human evolution will affect what we call consciousness?
[2012/01/24 13:40] herman Bergson: That is the hardest thing to explain neuroscientifically
[2012/01/24 13:41] Jarapanda Snook: Herman - how do you see how future human evolution will affect what we now call consciousness?
[2012/01/24 13:42] herman Bergson: That is a very complex issue Jara.....
[2012/01/24 13:42] Jarapanda Snook: and one i ponder often...
[2012/01/24 13:42] herman Bergson: on the one hand the human brain is inits basic responses to its environment still at the level of the chimpanse
[2012/01/24 13:43] Mick Nerido: Is consciousness an inevitable result in our universe?
[2012/01/24 13:43] herman Bergson: on the other hand we have the development of civilisation....
[2012/01/24 13:43] herman Bergson: I would say it is a coincidence Mick
[2012/01/24 13:43] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): People say then man has evolved very little in 100,000 years
[2012/01/24 13:43] herman Bergson: not a necessary result of the configuration of matter
[2012/01/24 13:43] Mistyowl Warrhol: But unfortunately, humans have learned to control their personal enviorment.. so they are losing the ability to adapt.
[2012/01/24 13:44] Mick Nerido: yiu mean it did not have to happen...
[2012/01/24 13:44] Jarapanda Snook: excatly, Misty - my point precisely.
[2012/01/24 13:44] herman Bergson: I don't agree with you Misty..
[2012/01/24 13:45] Mistyowl Warrhol: We live in air conditioned homes and drive air conditioned vehicles..we do not adapt to extremes any more.
[2012/01/24 13:45] herman Bergson: But there is a big distance between different aspects of our way of being.....
[2012/01/24 13:45] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): I think I know what Misty is saying
[2012/01/24 13:45] herman Bergson: Ah in that way....
[2012/01/24 13:45] Jarapanda Snook: we now control our environment and protect the weak, so I propose that we may not evolve much further at all
[2012/01/24 13:45] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): ooh
[2012/01/24 13:45] harmoniasophia Scribe: we do?
[2012/01/24 13:46] Mistyowl Warrhol: But those that live, say in Alaska or africa and have not the modern things, they will still be able to evolve.
[2012/01/24 13:46] herman Bergson: well Jara....we grow older than our ancestors to begin with
[2012/01/24 13:46] Sybyle Perdide: why not, Jara?
[2012/01/24 13:46] Jarapanda Snook: what evolutionary forces are going to encourage humans to become, for example, more intelligent?
[2012/01/24 13:47] Farv Hallison: We will let the non conforists die because they can't afford healthcare.
[2012/01/24 13:47] Jarapanda Snook: that is due to increases in public health
[2012/01/24 13:47] Mistyowl Warrhol: But As Jara is implying, where the weak used to die off, now they live and so it is not the strong that survive and reproduce.
[2012/01/24 13:47] Sybyle Perdide: may be not more intelligent, but intelligent in another way
[2012/01/24 13:47] Mick Nerido: We are all accidental ....
[2012/01/24 13:47] herman Bergson: Hold on...!!!
[2012/01/24 13:47] Mick Nerido: not inevitable
[2012/01/24 13:48] herman Bergson: This is not right!
[2012/01/24 13:48] harmoniasophia Scribe: evolution is the process of exchanging equal and opposite effects - that this is the case - it nets zero - gives the appearance of pregress but is equal regress - and to the one who sees it as the case is doing the same thing over and expecting different results
[2012/01/24 13:48] Mistyowl Warrhol: but it is bad, that everyone has a chance now..?
[2012/01/24 13:48] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): this is a bit off-topic but still interesting
[2012/01/24 13:48] herman Bergson: Does anyone know Stephan Hawkins???
[2012/01/24 13:48] Lizzy Pleides: yes
[2012/01/24 13:48] Sybyle Perdide: this frustrated man?
[2012/01/24 13:48] Hokon Cazalet: yes
[2012/01/24 13:48] Mick Nerido: yes
[2012/01/24 13:48] Mistyowl Warrhol: Love Doc, Hawkins, my idol !!!
[2012/01/24 13:48] herman Bergson: One of the greatest astrosientists of this century...
[2012/01/24 13:48] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): yes i know him
[2012/01/24 13:48] Jarapanda Snook: of course
[2012/01/24 13:48] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Some say he is the most famous man in the world
[2012/01/24 13:49] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): or... the most recognizable perhaps
[2012/01/24 13:49] Mistyowl Warrhol: For sure the most intelligent
[2012/01/24 13:49] Jarapanda Snook: and amazing considering his health problems
[2012/01/24 13:49] herman Bergson: He would have been dead as we wouldn't have kept the weak alive and took care of them
[2012/01/24 13:49] Hokon Cazalet: correct herman
[2012/01/24 13:49] herman Bergson: there wouldnt have been that great scientist
[2012/01/24 13:49] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): But without reproduction there is no evolution
[2012/01/24 13:49] Mistyowl Warrhol: As I said, is it wrong to let the weak survive?
[2012/01/24 13:50] herman Bergson: SO I guess that the weak - strong dichotomy is a bit obsolete today
[2012/01/24 13:50] harmoniasophia Scribe: Hawkins is a joke
[2012/01/24 13:50] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): aww thats not nice
[2012/01/24 13:50] harmoniasophia Scribe: the truth sometimes hurts
[2012/01/24 13:50] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): how can you say that Harmonia
[2012/01/24 13:50] Hokon Cazalet: i'd also add, evolution does not favor intelligence or strength in themselves, what can survive until it reproduces it what goes on - what works this century may not the next
[2012/01/24 13:50] herman Bergson: No Harmonia...that is an argumentum ad hominen....forbiddenin this class
[2012/01/24 13:51] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): lol
[2012/01/24 13:51] Jarapanda Snook: I suspect that as soon as humanity reached a certain point, when it became civilised and conscious, the natural forces of Darwinism were diminished
[2012/01/24 13:51] harmoniasophia Scribe: In so far as psychology is concerned - I wholly agree with Einstein - we cannot fix a problem with the same mind that created it - and that is the case with all mans knowledge - he just continually excerbates the problem
[2012/01/24 13:51] herman Bergson: frowns....
[2012/01/24 13:52] herman Bergson: that is a kind of metaphysics Jara....
[2012/01/24 13:52] Hokon Cazalet: i think so jara, given that we don't have isolated populations, we make ourselves more and more immune to changes in the enviroment [we make nature change for us], etc
[2012/01/24 13:52] herman Bergson: you presuppose some kind of reality here with forces and so on.....
[2012/01/24 13:52] Farv Hallison: no, we are still evolving by letting the fittest corporations survive.
[2012/01/24 13:53] herman Bergson: Besides that....any evolution takes thousands of years...
[2012/01/24 13:53] Hokon Cazalet: yup
[2012/01/24 13:53] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): We can read faster than one person can write but not as fast as 10 can write
[2012/01/24 13:53] herman Bergson: we can t see the changes
[2012/01/24 13:53] harmoniasophia Scribe: oh Hokon that is merely the opposite side of the see saw - eventually we will push it past the limit and the sides will reverse
[2012/01/24 13:53] Hokon Cazalet: dunno, oxygen producers were quite successful in changing this planet . . .
[2012/01/24 13:53] Jarapanda Snook: NO - I simply imply that Man has reached a certain point, and we won't evolve much further. SO speculation about us developing into super beings is irrelevant
[2012/01/24 13:53] Lizzy Pleides: we can watch differences in thinking between tge generations
[2012/01/24 13:54] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): society is changing rapidly
[2012/01/24 13:54] Hokon Cazalet: evolution doesn't imply super-beings btw, there isn't an Aristotelian ladder
[2012/01/24 13:54] harmoniasophia Scribe: and eventually the planet will compemsate for our theft and push back
[2012/01/24 13:54] Mistyowl Warrhol: Some changes are being seen, as we have better health, we are seeing ppl with higher intelligence and taller bodies, even in the last 100 years.
[2012/01/24 13:54] Jarapanda Snook: I also suspect that this level of consciousness may be a limiting point for all intelligence in the Universe
[2012/01/24 13:54] herman Bergson: Evolution is a randomprocess without a goal...so superbeings...why that direction?
[2012/01/24 13:55] Lizzy Pleides: exactly herman!
[2012/01/24 13:55] Sybyle Perdide: yes
[2012/01/24 13:55] herman Bergson: maybe eventually we return to the sea
[2012/01/24 13:55] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): No goal ... I agree
[2012/01/24 13:55] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Dawkins says that
[2012/01/24 13:55] herman Bergson: Oh does he..lol
[2012/01/24 13:55] Mistyowl Warrhol: I would love the return to the sea :)
[2012/01/24 13:55] Mick Nerido: Most mutations are harmful...
[2012/01/24 13:55] harmoniasophia Scribe: herman when you blow up a balloon past its resistance it will burst - not because it is intelligent or has a goal - but because it has a limit
[2012/01/24 13:55] herman Bergson: yes...never rainy days anymore!
[2012/01/24 13:56] Mistyowl Warrhol: evolution is a direct response to our eviroment.
[2012/01/24 13:56] herman Bergson: Well my friends.....
[2012/01/24 13:56] herman Bergson: looks at his watch...
[2012/01/24 13:56] herman Bergson: A lot to think about....
[2012/01/24 13:56] Jarapanda Snook: awwwww I was so enjoying this
[2012/01/24 13:56] herman Bergson: all will be in the blog , if you want to reread it
[2012/01/24 13:56] Jarapanda Snook: Thanks Herman for your time
[2012/01/24 13:56] Mistyowl Warrhol: We were just getting started :-)
[2012/01/24 13:56] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Yes, a nice get - together
[2012/01/24 13:56] Jarapanda Snook: hehe
[2012/01/24 13:56] herman Bergson: This was a great discussion indeed Jara...
[2012/01/24 13:57] Mick Nerido: Thank herman good lecture!
[2012/01/24 13:57] Jarapanda Snook: I thoroughly enjoyed that
[2012/01/24 13:57] herman Bergson: so thank you all for you terrific participation....
[2012/01/24 13:57] herman Bergson: Class dismissed
[2012/01/24 13:57] Sybyle Perdide: thank you! Herman
[2012/01/24 13:57] harmoniasophia Scribe: lol
[2012/01/24 13:57] Mistyowl Warrhol: awwww sniff
[2012/01/24 13:57] Farv Hallison: Thank you for being provocative.
[2012/01/24 13:57] Jaelle Faerye: thanks all
[2012/01/24 13:57] Lizzy Pleides: Thanky Herman
[2012/01/24 13:57] Mistyowl Warrhol: TY, Herman. for a very thought provoking topic :-)
[2012/01/24 13:57] Hokon Cazalet: lol, i just got here, i always fail when i say "i'll be there in just a moment"
[[2012/01/24 13:58] herman Bergson: Allunanswered questions and remarks of you will keep your brain going....
[2012/01/24 13:58] Hokon Cazalet needs a watch
[2012/01/24 13:58] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Bye everyone
[2012/01/24 13:58] Jaelle Faerye: bye Merlin

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Monday, January 23, 2012

375: Consciousness and Subjectivity

Consciousness has three aspects that make it different from other biological phenomena, and indeed different from other phenomena in the natural world.

These three aspects are qualitativeness, subjectivity, and unity. These three essential features of consciousness are logically interrelated.

Qualitativeness - 'it feels like …'- implies Subjectivity - the quality of being MY experience- which implies Unity - consciousness not experiences as a big bag of individual experiences -

Previous lecture I elaborated on the qualitative feature of consciousness. Closely related to this feature is the fact that conscious states only exist when they are experienced by some human or animal subject. In that sense, they are essentially subjective.

When two people listen to a concert or look at a painting their experiences may be identical qualitatively in the sense, what is it like to listen to a concert or look at a painting.

But additionally both persons add their subjectivity to that experience, which makes the experiences unique for every person.

Because conscious states are subjective in this sense, they have what I will call a first-person ontology, as opposed to the third-person ontology of mountains and molecules, which can exist even if no living creatures exist.

Subjective conscious states have a first-person ontology ("ontology" here means mode of existence) because they only exist when they are experienced by some human or animal agent.

They are experienced by some "I" that has the experience, and it is in that sense that they have a first-person ontology.

Many philosophers and scientists also think that the subjectivity of conscious states makes it impossible to have a strict science of consciousness.

For, they argue, if science is by definition objective, and consciousness is by definition subjective, it follows that there cannot be a science of consciousness.

It looks as if there is no objective knowledge possible of consciousness. However this is a mistake, caused by the ambiguous use of the subjective - objective distinction.

In one sense, the epistemic sense ("epistemic" here means having to do with knowledge), science is indeed objective.

Scientists seek truths that are equally accessible to any competent observer and that are independent of the feelings and attitudes of the experimenters in question.

"Rutte is the prime minister of the Netherlands" and "Rutte is a good prime minister" are two statements. The first one is epistemic objective, the second one is subjective, because it is a personal opinion.

But there is another sense of the objective-subjective distinction, and that is the ontological sense ("ontological" here means having to do with existence).

Some entities, such as pains, tickles, and itches, have a subjective mode of existence, in the sense that they exist only as experienced by a conscious subject.

Others, such as mountains, molecules and tectonic plates have an objective mode of existence, in the sense that their existence does not depend on any consciousness.

From this we can conclude that the ontological subjectivity of the feeling of pain does not preclude an epistemically objective science of pain.

Although the physician does not feel your pain, which is a subjective experience, he yet can have objective knowledge about your pain and its causes and help you.

Thus the subjectivity of consciousness does not exclude the possibility of objective knowledge about consciousness.

The Discussion

[13:20] herman Bergson: Thank you.....
[13:20] Qwark Allen: ::::::::: * E * X * C * E * L * L * E * N * T * ::::::::::
[13:20] Lizzy Pleides: brilliant!
[13:20] Qwark Allen: seems we got back to dualism
[13:21] herman Bergson: The basic idea here is that if consciousness the result is of a biological process in the brain we can gain objective knowledge about the subjective mental states
[13:21] herman Bergson: No Qwark...
[13:21] herman Bergson: Only when you would agree with David Chalmers' ideas.
[13:22] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Yeah, Im not sure what dualism is
[13:22] Qwark Allen: objectivity/subjectivity
[13:22] herman Bergson: Dualism means that we have a body ...material....and a mind.....not material
[13:22] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Hmm something to do with Descartes as I remember
[13:23] herman Bergson: The dualist claims thus that ontologically there are two substances in the world...
[13:23] herman Bergson: material and mental substances
[13:23] herman Bergson: Yes Merlin that is Descartes..
[13:23] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): mm good :)
[13:24] herman Bergson: This idea of dualism is abandoned by almost all philosophers of mind and neuroscientists and so on
[13:24] herman Bergson: However David Chalmers is one of the few who defends some kind of dualism
[13:24] Mick Nerido: If we could mind read would that prove dualism or objectivism?
[13:24] Lizzy Pleides: it was too easy probably
[13:25] herman Bergson: Most people still have a dualist idea about body and mind Lizzy
[13:25] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): last time you told us we don't have a mind..and now you do..
[13:25] herman Bergson: while among scientists this idea is discarded completely
[13:26] herman Bergson: looks puzzled at Beertje
[13:26] herman Bergson: I hope I didnt Beertje
[13:26] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): you did
[13:26] Lizzy Pleides: how can science be objective but the scientists are not?
[13:26] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): hahaha... look in the notes
[13:26] Qwark Allen: there was something about its definition
[13:26] herman Bergson: What I may have said is that we better can use the term consciousness than mind
[13:26] herman Bergson: because mind has so many meanings
[13:26] Qwark Allen: not mind, but conscience, i think
[13:27] herman Bergson: Yes Qwark....
[13:27] herman Bergson: But if you take mind to be synonymous with consciousness there is no problem
[13:28] herman Bergson: I prefer consciousness because it also is a neurobiological concept
[13:28] druth Vlodovic: wordbaggage
[13:28] herman Bergson: Yes Druth....and the word Mind has a long history in philosophy
[13:28] druth Vlodovic: what is consciousness to a neurobiologist?
[13:29] herman Bergson: one moment Druth
[13:30] herman Bergson: I think the picture answers your question
[13:30] Qwark Allen: ㋡ ˜*•. ˜”*°•.˜”*°• Helloooooo! •°*”˜.•°*”˜ .•*˜ ㋡
[13:30] Qwark Allen: Hey! misty
[13:30] Sybyle Perdide: hello Misty
[13:30] Jaelle Faerye: hiya Misty
[13:30] Mistyowl Warrhol: Hugss everyone
[13:30] herman Bergson: Hello Misty ㋡
[13:30] druth Vlodovic: pretty :-)
[13:31] herman Bergson: fascinating picture isnt it Druth?
[13:31] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): 13:39] herman Bergson: but I prefer to drop the word mind completely...
13:43] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): how can i keep singing..you are always on my mind??...if i haven't one?
[13:31] herman Bergson: Yes Beertje....
[13:31] herman Bergson: as I said....
[13:31] Clerisse Beeswing: hmm good point beertje
[13:32] herman Bergson: I want to drop the WORD mind....not the phenomenon which we call mind or consciousness ㋡
[13:32] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): confusing...
[13:32] Clerisse Beeswing: like braintease
[13:32] druth Vlodovic: "for everything there is a season, and a purpose under heaven" :-)
[13:32] herman Bergson: yes...I understand
[13:33] herman Bergson: just to prevent confusion I prefer to use the word consciousness above mind
[13:33] Claudei: Hello
[13:33] Jaelle Faerye: hi Claudei
[13:33] herman Bergson: Hello Claudia
[13:33] Sybyle Perdide: hello Claudei
[13:34] Lizzy Pleides: hi Claudei
[13:34] Clerisse Beeswing: Hello clauden
[13:34] herman Bergson: So our point today is that we can have objective knowlege of subjective experiences...
[13:35] Sybyle Perdide: but there are strict limits I suppose
[13:35] herman Bergson: In fact is that what all neuroscientists do every day when studying the brain/consciousness
[13:36] herman Bergson: Any questions?
[13:36] Sybyle Perdide: it sounds for me as if we would describe consciousness with its borders without knowing the inner area
[13:37] herman Bergson: we dont know much about consciousness Sybyle....
[13:37] Sybyle Perdide: thats what I got, Herman :))
[13:37] herman Bergson: What we know is that it is generated by the brain....
[13:37] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): its kinda hard to concentrate :)
[13:37] Sybyle Perdide: so far I can follow
[13:38] herman Bergson: we know about a correlation between subjective experiences and objective fMRI scannner results...
[13:38] herman Bergson: the picture behind me is an interesting example of it
[13:38] herman Bergson: but what we absolutely don't know is how the material brain can generate that what we experience as consciousness
[13:39] herman Bergson: but philosophically ...
[13:39] herman Bergson: the quintessential question is....
[13:39] herman Bergson: what we call consciousness....in what sense does it exist?
[13:39] herman Bergson: what IS it....
[13:40] Penelope Apparatchik (penelope.grau): physically, no?
[13:40] Sybyle Perdide: good question..sighs
[13:40] Mick Nerido: and why should it exist?
[13:40] Penelope Apparatchik (penelope.grau): a function of brain activity
[13:40] herman Bergson: Yes Physically..in a material sense
[13:40] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Its a mysterious thing
[13:40] Penelope Apparatchik (penelope.grau): what other sense is there?
[13:40] Mistyowl Warrhol: and does it exist in other places in the universe or just on planet earth?
[13:40] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): What about plants
[13:41] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Is that a stupid question?
[13:41] herman Bergson: Francis Crick , I think it was, suggested that it was the 40Hz eleoctroning vibration or something like that in the brain...
[13:41] herman Bergson: No Merlin that is not a stupid question...
[13:41] Penelope Apparatchik (penelope.grau): but if fMRI shows it as physical activity, what's the issue?
[13:41] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): aaah ty.
[13:41] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): there are no stupid questions at all
[13:42] herman Bergson: The issue is, Penelope, that the fMRI scan shows only part of consciousness
[13:42] herman Bergson: For example....
[13:42] Mistyowl Warrhol: Some plants do sense things..so there could be a form of plant conscious.
[13:42] Penelope Apparatchik (penelope.grau): so ok, in ten years, they'll make a better MRI :)
[13:42] herman Bergson: there never has shown up an "I", a "Self" on an fMRI scan
[13:42] Sybyle Perdide: it sounds a bit like chaos theory
[13:43] druth Vlodovic: the issue is that people think they are their consciousness and want to know themselves as something other than the effect of physical processes
[13:43] herman Bergson: Yes Druth ..and reality is that they aren't
[13:43] herman Bergson: We are the result of physical processes
[13:43] Penelope Apparatchik (penelope.grau): agreed :)
[13:44] herman Bergson: But indeed many people have great difficulty with that....
[13:44] Lizzy Pleides: it is like the question: where ends the universe and what is on the other side
[13:44] herman Bergson: due to religious ideas
[13:44] herman Bergson: nice question Lizzy....yes!
[13:44] Mick Nerido: The physical world behaves very strange at the micro and macro levels
[13:45] herman Bergson: what do you mean with strange Mick
[13:45] Mistyowl Warrhol: So is consciousness something the evolve as a protection process?
[13:45] Mick Nerido: Quantum physics for example
[13:45] herman Bergson: You only can qualify something as strange when you have a standard for normal
[13:45] herman Bergson: Ahh..yes
[13:46] herman Bergson: There seems to be something with matter that confuses us...
[13:46] Penelope Apparatchik (penelope.grau): ooh mysty, YES
[13:46] Penelope Apparatchik (penelope.grau): yes yes!
[13:46] Penelope Apparatchik (penelope.grau): smart!
[13:46] herman Bergson: Laws of nature enable us to predict every outcome of every physical process...
[13:47] herman Bergson: however ...Quantum Physics seems to show us that we cant predict everythinng of every physical process...
[13:47] herman Bergson: that there is a basic randomness
[13:47] Mick Nerido: The material world is filled with mystery, Black holes, consciousness etc...
[13:47] Sybyle Perdide: hihi
[13:48] Mistyowl Warrhol: My consciousness is a black hole right now and a mystery I am still awake :-)
[13:48] herman Bergson: yes Mick....
[13:48] herman Bergson: Just realize that what we call science these days is hardly 300 years old
[13:48] Mick Nerido: Misty I like that!
[13:49] herman Bergson: that compared with a history of million years of the homo sapiens in evolution
[13:49] Claudei: homo sapiens is not a million years old
[13:49] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): did they never think about this matter in earlier years?
[13:49] Sybyle Perdide: but his evolution
[13:49] Sybyle Perdide: or her evolution
[13:49] Mistyowl Warrhol: and so much that we have learned of humans has only really been in the last 100 years or less.
[13:50] Claudei: how far into species evolution are you going
[13:50] Lizzy Pleides: in other cultures they didn't have science?
[13:50] herman Bergson: the first toolmakers existed 2.4 million years ago
[13:50] herman Bergson: Use of fire 1 million years ago
[13:50] Penelope Apparatchik (penelope.grau): hey that's a good question Lizzy asked
[13:50] Claudei: he wasn't homo sapiens
[13:50] Qwark Allen: how you know that?
[13:51] herman Bergson: That is a good question indeed Lizzy...
[13:51] herman Bergson: To give you an example....
[13:51] Mick Nerido: i think he means our direct ancestors
[13:51] herman Bergson: till 1100 A.D the Arab culture was far more developed in science than the european...
[13:51] herman Bergson: they had great mathematicians....
[13:51] Qwark Allen: there was homo sapiens half million years ago
[13:52] herman Bergson: Then is vanished...
[13:52] herman Bergson: and the knowledge was through Spain exported to Europe
[13:52] Lizzy Pleides: even the egytians had, think of the pyramides
[13:52] Mick Nerido: all our tool have extended our senses and expanded or conciousness
[13:52] herman Bergson: The Chinese had great science...
[13:52] Qwark Allen: and much before that
[13:52] herman Bergson: yes....
[13:52] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): but had they great philosophers too?
[13:53] Qwark Allen: just their knowledge didn`t got to our days
[13:53] herman Bergson: But the europeans had some aggressive exploring drive...
[13:53] Qwark Allen: just in time rodney
[13:53] Mistyowl Warrhol: So the fact that some animals also use tools.. does that give credit that they might also have consciousness?
[13:53] Sybyle Perdide: hi Rodney
[13:53] herman Bergson: yes Misty...to some extend certainly
[13:53] Rodney Handrick: Hi Sybyle
[13:54] herman Bergson: There are even animals that have self awareness....recognize themselves in a mirror
[13:54] Lizzy Pleides: Rod :)
[13:54] Rodney Handrick: Hi Lizzy
[13:55] herman Bergson: Welcome Rodney..:)
[13:55] Mistyowl Warrhol: Or duck and run when they have been caught doing something bad!!! Bad conscious... Sorry, couldnt resist.
[13:55] Rodney Handrick: Hi Herman
[13:55] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): hello Rodney
[13:55] Sybyle Perdide: but animals that aren't able to recognize themselves have individual beheviours
[13:55] druth Vlodovic: it'll be another blow to our ego to have to share consciouness with animals, then bugs :)
[13:55] Rodney Handrick: Hi Beertie
[13:55] herman Bergson: I was just ready to end the discussion... ㋡
[13:55] Qwark Allen: AAHH!!!
[13:56] Mick Nerido: Great class thanks Herman
[13:56] Rodney Handrick: Hi Qwark
[13:56] Qwark Allen: ¸¸.☆´ ¯¨☆.¸¸`☆** -O- **☆´ ¸¸.☆¨¯`☆ H E R MA N ☆´ ¯¨☆.¸¸`☆** -O- **☆´ ¸¸.☆¨¯`
[13:56] Qwark Allen: was very good
[13:56] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): why is it a blow to our ego ?
[13:56] Jaelle Faerye: thanks Herman
[13:56] herman Bergson: Well Druth ...we have a high esteem of ourselves indeed due to our consciousness
[13:56] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): we are animals too
[13:56] Qwark Allen: see what i mean, by just in time rodney
[13:56] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:56] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:56] Clerisse Beeswing: great class herman
[13:56] Rodney Handrick: lol
[13:56] herman Bergson: Indeed Beertje....don't underestimate the chimpansees ^_^
[13:57] herman Bergson: So...
[13:57] druth Vlodovic: well, I suspect low esteem, otherwise it wouldn't bother us so much
[13:57] Mistyowl Warrhol: Lots to think about and I only got part of the class.
[13:57] Sybyle Perdide: thanks Herman.. much to think about :)
[13:57] Qwark Allen: we just share 99.5% of our genes with them
[[13:57] Clerisse Beeswing: thank you professor
[13:57] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman
[13:57] Lizzy Pleides: Thanks to YOU Herman!
[13:57] herman Bergson: Yes Qwark..and we behave like them too :-)
[13:58] Qwark Allen: eehehhe indeed
[13:58] herman Bergson: Class dismissed.....
[13:58] Qwark Allen: thank you
[13:58] Sybyle Perdide: great
[13:58] Rodney Handrick: wow...so soon
[13:58] Qwark Allen: see you next tuesday
[13:58] herman Bergson: Next Tuesday it is!
[13:59] Lizzy Pleides: I am in hurry, .. good night everybody!
[13:59] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): have a goodnight every one
[13:59] Jaelle Faerye: night Lizzy
[13:59] Sybyle Perdide: bye Beertje
[13:59] Lizzy Pleides: waves*
[13:59] Mistyowl Warrhol: Bye Lizzy and Beertje..TC
[13:59] Jaelle Faerye: Night Beertje :)
[13:59] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): waves:)))
[13:59] Mistyowl Warrhol: and anyone else :-)
[13:59] herman Bergson: Bye Beertje
[14:00] Mistyowl Warrhol: Anyone have notes on the first part?
[14:00] Jaelle Faerye: it will be on the blog, Misty
[14:00] herman Bergson: I have a blog Misty
[14:00] Mistyowl Warrhol: Ah ok. ty. Sorry for being late, but had appt with oral surg and just got home and straight to computer.
[14:00] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): I have the notes from 1 week ago
[14:01] herman Bergson: url is in my profile
[14:01] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): I dont know if that that was the first one
[14:01] Mistyowl Warrhol: Ok, knew about the blog, just dense today LOL
[14:01] Mistyowl Warrhol: I can go back and read up on old lectures :-)
[14:01] Mistyowl Warrhol: TY Merline :-)
[14:02] Mistyowl Warrhol: humm, Merlin ! Sorry for mistype.
[14:03] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): :)
[14:04] Mistyowl Warrhol: TC all. til we meet again.. hugs :-)
[14:04] Sybyle Perdide: bye Misty
[14:04] Sybyle Perdide: you too
[14:04] Sybyle Perdide: :)
[14:04] druth Vlodovic: have fun guys
[14:04] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Yes, I must go too. Bye all.
[14:04] Mistyowl Warrhol: Ty Sybyle and I will start readin today lol
[14:04] Sybyle Perdide: bye Merlin
[14:05] Sybyle Perdide: bye Druth
[14:05] Jaelle Faerye: Bye Merlin and Druth
[14:05] herman Bergson: Bye Druth]
[14:05] Jaelle Faerye: bye Herman
[14:05] Sybyle Perdide: I am curious how it will continue, Herman
[14:05] Jaelle Faerye: thanks again
[14:06] Sybyle Perdide: see you next week :)
[14:06] Sybyle Perdide: good bye :)

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

374: Cosciousness and Qualitativity

Consciousness has three aspects that make it different from other biological phenomena, and indeed different from other phenomena in the natural world.

These three aspects are qualitativeness, subjectivity, and unity. These three essential features of consciousness are logically interrelated.

Qualitativeness - 'it feels like …'- implies Subjectivity - the quality of being MY experience- which implies Unity - consciousness not experiences as a big bag of individual experiences -

We all know that there is a qualitative difference - the how it feels… - between tasting something delicious, or listening to a beautiful piece of music. These experiences don't feel the same.

There is a funny linguistic phenomenon related to this feature of consciousness. Sometimes we describe experiences with the qualities of other experiences.

A sunrise that feels like a concerto of Vivaldi or a whisky in which you smell the robustness of the oak barrels it was kept in for decades. The rest I leave to the poets…..

When you listen to Searle you immediately feel, that we hit a sensitive nerve in the contemporary debate on consciousness.

Searle says: "Some philosophers describe this feature of consciousness with the word qualia, and they say there is a special problem of quaila."

It has to do with the materialist view and the limits of science. In fact the line of thought here is exciting. The basic problem is perfectly formulated by C.D Broad (1925).

A mathematical and chemical genius endowed with unlimited mathematical skills and gifted with the further power of perceiving the microscopic structure of atoms can not predict one specific feature of ammonia, namely its smell:

"He would know exactly what the microscopic structure of ammonia must be; but he would be totally unable to predict that a substance with this structure must smell as ammonia does when it gets into the human nose.

The utmost that he could predict on this subject would be that certain changes would take place in the mucous membrane, the olfactory nerves and so on.

But he could not possibly know that theses changes would be accompanied by the appearance of a smell in general or of the peculiar smell of ammonia in particular, unless someone told him so or he had smelled it for himself."

This issue was repeated by Thomas Nagel in 1974 in his famous article in Philosophical Review “What is it like to be a bat?”
He argues that some facts can only be captured ‘from a subjective perspective’.
He uses his famous example of bats to illustrate the point: Even if we knew everything there is to know ‘from an objective perspective’ about a bat's sonar system,
certain factual questions concerning bats would remain unanswered. We still would not know ‘what it is like’ to perceive a given object with a bat's sonar system.
When your dog or cat looks at you, while you talk to the animal, did you never had that desire to know what your pet actually sees.
Never had that wish to be a bird and see the world through birds eyes. However, we only know how eyes work and how sensory circuits in the brain respond to the input.
Thus the big philosophical question is: what is the ontological status of these quail. Searle is quite clear about this:
"I am reluctant to adopt this usage, because it seems to imply that there are two separate problems, the problem of consciousness and the problem of qualia.
But as I understand these terms, "qualia" is just a plural name for conscious states. Because "consciousness" and "qualia" are coextensive, there seems no point in introducing a special term."
Last word for the other party. The quote of D.C. Board has led to an ongoing debate know as "the knowledge argument", which means, that a scientist may know a lot but not everything and for a specific reason.
The knowledge argument aims to establish that conscious experience involves NON-PHYSICAL properties.

It rests on the idea that someone who has complete physical knowledge about another conscious being might yet lack knowledge about how it feels to have the experiences of that being.

Do you see the implication? Dualism is back on the stage fighting materialism or as it it also called physicalism.

The Discussion

[13:24] herman Bergson: thank you...
[13:25] herman Bergson: The floor is yours
[13:25] Lizzy Pleides: brilliant Herman!
[13:25] Sybyle Perdide: that was famous
[13:25] Farv Hallison: Thank you, herman.
[13:25] herman Bergson: thank you Lizzy ^_^
[13:25] Agnos (agnos): Thank you
[13:26] Mick Nerido: no two people see the world exactly the same because their senses are different so their awarness is different
[13:26] herman Bergson: Yes Mick…
[13:26] herman Bergson: Let me say is in common language, what philosophers seems to get upset about so much
[13:27] Farv Hallison: yes, I am keenly aware of Beertje's gown from the inside, but I don't know how she feels about here gown.
[13:27] herman Bergson: waits for other responses
[13:27] Sybyle Perdide: and if we could catch these differences, Mick spoke about, we would not be able to "feel" them.. onl to describe
[13:27] Lizzy Pleides: we can alway see only a part and never the whole
[13:28] Mick Nerido: we can agree a color is red or green but what the color looks like to me may be differnent for each of us
[13:28] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): i feel very good about my gown Farv..i made it this day and i'm proud of it
[13:28] herman Bergson: very true Mick....
[13:28] Sybyle Perdide: that means, we will stay caught in our own cognition
[13:28] herman Bergson: the philosophical issue here is the "I"
[13:29] herman Bergson: not what Farv sees under Beertjes skirt
[13:29] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): i wish i could see sometimes through eyes of someone else
[13:29] herman Bergson: `YES Beertje that's the whole point...!
[13:29] Lizzy Pleides: behave you Farv!
[13:29] Mistyowl Warrhol: LOL I have really tried to avoid the topic of Farv and the gown :-)
[13:29] Mick Nerido: consciouness is a subject point of view taken to an extreme
[13:30] herman Bergson: Very good Misty...
[13:30] Sybyle Perdide: but, if you do so, you would have to be yourself on the other hand, to recognize the differences
[13:30] herman Bergson: Leave it to the professor..lol
[13:30] herman Bergson: Ahh Sybyle...yes ...
[13:31] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): i see my world in 2D..it would be exiting to see it in 3D
[13:31] herman Bergson: But just to know what your whatever sees....
[13:31] Sybyle Perdide: could it be possible.. if I got someones point of view to differ from my own completely?
[13:32] herman Bergson: even if we technologically succeeded in implanting all kinds of electrodes in the brain of my cat...
[13:32] Sybyle Perdide: to be able to see what is mine and what is not?
[13:32] Mick Nerido: when you read a good novel one can come close to being inside anothers conciousness
[13:32] herman Bergson: and i would see on a monitor what it sees...
[13:33] Sybyle Perdide: and would it be enough to have her view? wouldn't it be necessary to have her feelings and so on too?
[13:33] herman Bergson: I only see what my technology has created to see...not what my cat sees
[13:33] Mistyowl Warrhol: Events can change how we view the world. A lady who was blind all her life got sight.. She didn't understand perspective, so had to relearn her world so not to run into things. So while what we perceive today, can be different tomorrow.
[13:33] herman Bergson: maybe it is the same maybe not...I'll never know
[13:34] herman Bergson: yes Misty...
[13:34] herman Bergson: it isn't such a blessing to make the blind see or the deaf hear....
[13:35] Farv Hallison: I was blind to Beertje's underwear, but now thanks to a wardrobe malfunction, I see the world from a whole new perspective.
[13:36] Mick Nerido: that's called insight, Farv
[13:36] herman Bergson: Farv.....lol...
[13:36] Mistyowl Warrhol: "duct taping" Farv hands before I get into trouble.. So how someone perceives something can effect our points of view :)
[13:37] herman Bergson: Well...
[13:37] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): blushes..
[13:37] herman Bergson: If there arent any questions or remark...
[13:37] Mistyowl Warrhol: I was thinking what a lovely gown it is and wondering if it were new...and now...
[13:37] herman Bergson: unless about Beertjes underwear perhaps???
[13:37] Richard (richard.fonda) is Offline
[13:38] Lizzy Pleides: what a funny lesson today:))
[13:38] herman Bergson: Ok...we have left the realm of philosophy here...
[13:38] Mistyowl Warrhol: I think Beertjes gets the A in class today for being such a good sport !!!
[13:38] herman Bergson: thank you all for your participation...
[13:38] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): yay!!!my first A in years..
[13:38] herman Bergson: Class dismissed....
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

373: Consciousness defined

"As recently as about the 70s there was little interest among neuroscientists, philosophers, psychologists and cognitive scientists generally in the problem of consciousness.

Reasons for the resistance to the problem varied from discipline to discipline. Philosophers had turned to the analysis of language,

psychologists had become convinced that a scientific psychology must be a science of behavior, and cognitive scientists took their research program to be the discovery of the computer programs in the brain that, they thought, would explain cognition.

It seemed especially puzzling that neuroscientists should be reluctant to deal with the problem of consciousness, because one of the chief functions of the brain is to cause

and sustain conscious states. Studying the brain without studying consciousness would be like studying the stomach without studying digestion, or studying genetics without studying the inheritance of traits", according to John Searle.

Brian cells or the discovery of new neurotransmitter were good subjects for neuroscientific investigation, but consciousness seemed to be too elusive.

This picture has changed dramatically and we can ask now the question, what exactly is the neurobiological problem of consciousness?

The problem, in its crudest terms, is this: How exactly do brain processes cause conscious states and how exactly are those states realized in brain structures?

If we regard consciousness as a biological phenomenon, this sounds similar to other biological problems, for instance, concerning micro-organisms: How, exactly, do they cause disease symptoms and how are those symptoms manifested in patient?

A closely related question is, what exactly are the neurobiological correlates of conscious states, and which of those correlates are actually causally responsible for the production of consciousness?

With respect to the correlation between neurobiological states and conscious states does the picture behind me show what enormous progress has been made in neuroscience.

The neurologist Steven Laureys, head of the Coma Science Group of the University of Luik in Belgium has succeeded to localize the brain areas which correlate with the state of consciousness of a person.

Of course, there are a number of definitions of consciousness. Some authors use the word only to refer to states of self consciousness, which means the consciousness that humans and some primates have of themselves as agents.

Some use it to refer to the second-order mental states about other mental states; so according to this definition, a pain would not be a conscious state, but worrying about a pain would be a conscious state.

John Searle defines consciousness thus: Consciousness consists of inner, qualitative, subjective states and processes of sentience or awareness.

Consciousness, so defined, begins when we wake in the morning from a dreamless sleep - and continues until we fall asleep again, die, go into a coma or otherwise become "unconscious."

It includes all of the enormous variety of the awareness that we think of as characteristic of our waking life. It includes everything from feeling a pain, to perceiving objects visually,

to states of anxiety and depression, to working out cross word puzzles, playing chess, trying to remember your aunt's phone number, arguing about politics, or to just wishing you were somewhere else.

Dreams on this definition are a form of consciousness, though of course they are in many respects quite different from waking consciousness.

However, Consciousness has three aspects that make it different from other biological phenomena, and indeed different from other phenomena in the natural world.

These three aspects are qualitativeness, subjectivity, and unity. I'll discuss them in the next lecture.

The Discussion

[13:19] herman Bergson: Thank you.....
[13:19] Lizzy Pleides: fantastic Herman!
[13:19] herman Bergson: If you have any questions or remarks...
[13:19] Sousinne Ceriano: Thank you =)
[13:19] herman Bergson: the floor is yours ㋡
[13:20] herman Bergson: Well I ant to add one thought to this....
[13:20] herman Bergson: I just got is a moment ago...
[13:21] herman Bergson: the brain causes consciousness…and the brain is a material thing....
[13:21] Sousinne Ceriano: Well... the triangle in the image behind you is the area where visual, tactile and aural information meet... the place where we hold our model of our surroundings.
[13:21] herman Bergson: Now consider this.....
[13:21] herman Bergson: h2o molecules can be in a frozen state.....
[13:22] herman Bergson: certain conditions and we know it is tempreture...pretty simple cause liquidity of the h2o molecules...
[13:22] herman Bergson: so ...
[13:23] herman Bergson: the fundamental object of neuroscientific resueach could be to discover the conditions which generate consciousness...
[13:23] herman Bergson: generated by the matter of our brain...
[13:23] herman Bergson: immense complex issue , but theoretically?
[13:23] Sousinne Ceriano: Absolutely
[13:23] herman Bergson: well..this as addendum ^_^
[13:24] herman Bergson: Now it is your turn ㋡
[13:24] Sousinne Ceriano: But I would say that the area pointed out is not solely responsible for generating consciousness.
[13:24] Sybyle Perdide: but?
[13:24] Sousinne Ceriano: It is our model of our surroundings. Anytime we are active physically, we use it
[13:24] herman Bergson: that is true Soussinne
[13:25] Sousinne Ceriano: Which explains the different situations on the map
[13:25] herman Bergson: But this is what the fMRI scanner shows as brain activity in conscious or unconscious persons
[13:25] Sousinne Ceriano: But when we are doing abstract thought, it likely happens elsewhere
[13:25] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): I cannot see why philosophers need to be interested in exactly where in the brain things take place
[13:26] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Only brain surgeons need to consider it
[13:26] herman Bergson: They aren't Merlin....I am ㋡
[13:26] Sousinne Ceriano: We know, for example, that the parts of sensory input that we are directly aware of are those in the thalamus
[13:26] Lizzy Pleides: we have overlappings in several disciplines
[13:26] herman Bergson: Reason for this is that I started with a materialist idea of the mind
[13:27] Sousinne Ceriano: Materialism roxx0rs =)
[13:27] Mistyowl Warrhol: lol
[13:27] herman Bergson: yes Lizzy that is another aspect…
[13:28] herman Bergson: You cant be just a philosopher or psychologist or neuroscientist as such...
[13:28] herman Bergson: all fields overlap...are related
[13:28] herman Bergson: And Merlin....
[13:28] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): yes
[13:29] herman Bergson: another answer to your question.....kind of funny...
[13:29] Mistyowl Warrhol: If one attempts to separate them too much, then one is seeing a part of the whole.
[13:29] herman Bergson: Descartes WAS interested in WHERE body and mind were related..
[13:29] Sybyle Perdide: so consciousness depends, partially on overlapping sytsems?
[13:29] herman Bergson: He even dissected human brains to find the spot
[13:29] Jaelle Faerye: i wonder something
[13:30] Sousinne Ceriano: Consciousness happens in self-referring systems.
[13:30] herman Bergson: That is a neurobiological issue Sybyle.....
[13:30] Sousinne Ceriano: Frege and Russell were systematically avoiding precisely that which would have made their theories amazing.
[13:31] herman Bergson: What is philosophically important here is that consciousness is caused by the brain as a biological process...
[13:31] herman Bergson: in the previous lecture I discussed the ontological status of consciousness
[13:31] herman Bergson: just like you can question the ontological status of liquidity…
[13:31] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): I need a dictionary :)
[13:32] Sybyle Perdide: thats normal Merlin
[13:32] herman Bergson: it is a feature of matter....
[13:32] Lizzy Pleides: if we can explain everything with physics and chemistry we dont need philosophy anymore ...
[13:32] Sousinne Ceriano: Sure we do.
[13:32] Jaelle Faerye: sorry to play "mouche du coche" here
[13:32] Jaelle Faerye: but
[13:32] Jaelle Faerye: what tells us if "higher activity" in a small brain area is more efficient in producing consciousness than not so high activity in larger areas of the brain?
[13:32] Sousinne Ceriano: We are getting to the why border here... smething natural science never was able to ross.
[13:32] herman Bergson: THAT is a huge statement Lizzy.....
[13:32] Sousinne Ceriano: cross
[13:33] herman Bergson: Just think of the implications of your statement...!!!!
[13:33] herman Bergson: If everything is only pure physics....
[13:33] herman Bergson: there are the laws of nature....
[13:33] herman Bergson: we can predict the outcome of any chemical process....
[13:33] Sousinne Ceriano: Jaelle, I am with you. I believe the different qualities of consciousness depend on other parts of the brain, with the sum total at 100%
[13:34] herman Bergson: This means if Lizzy is right all is determined in this universe....
[13:34] Sybyle Perdide: but thats no solution
[13:34] Lizzy Pleides: yes!
[13:34] herman Bergson: That is the origin of the discussion on FREE WILL, Lizzy
[13:35] Sybyle Perdide: of course consciousness must come from somewhere in our brains/into our brains
[13:35] Sousinne Ceriano: So what if it is? As long as we can't practically know, it will not affect our decision making
[13:35] Sybyle Perdide: but that doesn't say how it works
[13:35] herman Bergson: Your statement implies that free will does not exists
[13:36] herman Bergson: Makes me think of a lecture of John Searle on free will....
[13:36] herman Bergson: Quantum mechanics has shown that matter isnt deterministic in its processes at all at the lowest level
[13:37] herman Bergson: and he pointed at that fact to say that there is room for free will as there is room for randomness in the behavior of matter
[13:38] herman Bergson: smiles
[13:38] Jaelle Faerye: Randomness in the behavior? That's a random thought!
[13:38] herman Bergson: AmI too hard on you all?
[13:38] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): what do you mean by free will?
[13:38] Farv Hallison smiles
[13:38] Jaelle Faerye: free will is deciding to stay
[13:38] Jaelle Faerye: or to go
[13:39] Sybyle Perdide: the problem of free is its definition
[13:39] Sousinne Ceriano: With randomness at that level, we can develop and learn to make decisions depending on the situation.
[13:39] Jaelle Faerye: for instance
[13:39] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): no..i think it';s more than that
[13:39] Mistyowl Warrhol: No, just my brain is consciously using it's free wwill to feel the pain of working this hard.
[13:39] herman Bergson: Free will means that based on your self awareness you make a decision which could not have been predicted based on your biochemical processes in your brain in advance
[13:40] Jaelle Faerye: yep
[13:40] Farv Hallison: In QM we can go to two different places at the same tikme
[13:40] herman Bergson: the decision is there just at the moment you make it
[13:40] Sybyle Perdide: but is this free?
[13:41] herman Bergson: Let's stick to philosophy here, Farv... ㋡
[13:41] Sybyle Perdide: may be its a mechanism of our brain to react more quickly
[13:41] herman Bergson: Yes Sybyle....that observation is one of the big discussions at the moment
[13:42] Sybyle Perdide: it remembers me, what is my program in difficult situations
[13:42] herman Bergson: Observations that certain brain areas already have made the decision before you are consciously aware of it that you made th edecision
[13:43] Mistyowl Warrhol: I may be way off base here, but when we attempt to look at one theory of consciousness without looking at the whole self, are we not seeing just part of the picture?
[13:43] herman Bergson: Well..I think I have tortured you enough for today ^_^
[13:43] Farv Hallison: Who made the decision if you are not aware of it?
[13:43] herman Bergson: The brain Farv....!
[13:43] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:43] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:44] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): and who leads the brain?
[13:44] herman Bergson: That is the whole point in the debate on free will
[13:44] Sousinne Ceriano: we do... that does not mean we know all that it does
[13:44] Sybyle Perdide: so freedom is only a freedom, my brain gives to me?
[13:44] Mistyowl Warrhol: Your unconscious self makes decisions for your conscious self.
[13:44] herman Bergson: the bio chemical process Beertje in interaction with its environment
[13:45] herman Bergson: That is too much psychology Misty....
[13:45] Sousinne Ceriano: bye all.
[13:45] Jaelle Faerye: Bye Sousinne
[13:45] Lizzy Pleides: tc sousinne
[13:45] Sybyle Perdide: bye Sou
[13:45] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): bye
[13:45] Mistyowl Warrhol: Bye Sousinne
[13:45] herman Bergson: Time to finish our discussion.....
[13:46] herman Bergson: May I thank you all for enduring me this time again :-)
[13:46] Qwark Allen: ::::::::: * E * X * C * E * L * L * E * N * T * ::::::::::
[13:46] Qwark Allen: ¸¸.☆´ ¯¨☆.¸¸`☆** =O= **☆´ ¸¸.☆¨¯`☆ H E R MA N ☆´ ¯¨☆.¸¸`☆** =O= **☆´ ¸¸.☆¨¯`
[13:46] Jaelle Faerye: well thank YOU
[13:46] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): thank you professor
[13:46] Sybyle Perdide: that was again a very interesting session, Herman
[13:46] Jaelle Faerye: it was a pleasure to endure this
[13:46] Sybyle Perdide: thank you
[13:46] Mistyowl Warrhol: Need time to digest this
[13:46] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): yes ,thank You!
[13:46] herman Bergson: Thank you all for participating
[13:46] Lizzy Pleides: Thank you!!!
[13:47] Sybyle Perdide: sure Qwark
[13:47] Ageliki Mekanic: thank you
[13:47] Sybyle Perdide: : )
[[13:47] herman Bergson: Yes Qwark..I'll make it a subject of a lecture..
[13:47] Qwark Allen: nice
[13:47] Sybyle Perdide: wow
[13:47] herman Bergson: Lizzy started it !!!!!
[13:47] Qwark Allen: very interesting subject for lecture
[13:47] Lizzy Pleides: blushes*
[13:47] Jaelle Faerye looks at Lizzy
[13:47] Qwark Allen: kind related with this one
[13:47] herman Bergson: So we have to answer to it
[13:48] herman Bergson: yes indeed Qwark
[13:48] Qwark Allen: very complex this classes
[13:48] Qwark Allen: but i think we are getting there
[13:48] Qwark Allen: see you next tuesday
[13:48] Qwark Allen: :-)))
[13:48] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): it takes a long way
[13:48] Qwark Allen: thank you
[13:49] herman Bergson: Indeed Qwark....I realize it was...
[13:49] Mistyowl Warrhol: Well, give the brain a work out for sure LOL
[13:49] herman Bergson: it does Misty...
[13:50] herman Bergson: Class dismissed... ㋡

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

372: The Brain and Consciousness, a temporary answer

Today I 'll try to clarify once again to what conclusion I have come with regard to the classic "MIND - BODY" problem.

To begin with, there never has been a "problem". The problem was created by Descartes (1596 - 1650). In the 17th century natural science emerged as a new realm of human knowledge.

The method was derived from the Ancient Greek: formulate a theory, make observations and test your theory: a systematic set of logically related propositions that attempt to explain the phenomena of some domain.

It is that in the seventeenth century there was a very serious conflict between science and religion, and it seemed that science was a threat to religion. Like religion is attacked these days again. Just think of Richard Dawkins.

Descartes devices the solution: he argued that reality divides into two kinds, the mental and the physical, res cogitans and res extensa.

Descartes made a useful division of the territory: Religion had the territory of the soul, and science could have material reality.

This shaped our vocabulary about the metal and the physical, which was of course heavily extended by the rise of psychology. Everything became mental or physical.

A good example of opposition this view: do you realize that for decades psycho-somatic diseases didn't exist. Psychiatric patients were put in cages, as if it were malfunctioning machines, good for a laugh.

It is in our time, actually these past few decades, that we have accepted the unity of being: that there is not such a thing as a mind and another thing called the body.

Yes, there is a causal relation between the mind and the body, to be more specific between the brain and the mind, defined as consciousness.

Ontology is the philosophical branch which asks the question: what does exist. Thus, our question is "Does consciousness really exist?" Or is our mental vocabulary just another way of talking about matter.

John Searle says: consciousness is a natural biological phenomenon just like digestion is, but it has some specific features in which it differs from other biological processes. We'll get to that later.

Let me try to explain the ontological status of consciousness. Consciousness is generated by the brain. No brain no consciousness.

Important here is to have a good understanding of causality. The general idea is that A causes B, where A and B are two independent events, which in a way also could exist independent of each other. After cause A, B could go on on its own.

That however, is not the case with consciousness, nor with other phenomena in physics. There exists also a kind of causality of mutual dependence.

And here we have difficulty to grasp the meaning of the statement that consciousness exists. Let me give you again the example of the causal relation between h2o molecules and liquidity.

We all accept that liquidity exists. Ok, as a property of water and there is the catch: WHAT is the ontological status of "liquidity", of such a property? Matter exists, molecules exist, but in what sense does a property exist?

Descartes solved the problem easily. He just concluded that this property could be regarded as an independent non material matter.

And here comes the brainteaser. Liquidity is not identical with h2o molecules under certain circumstances, for when I pick out such a molecule it will be just a collection of atoms and not liquid. Neither can you find a braincell of which you can say that it is conscious.

There is a way of existence which totally depends on the configuration of matter, which can be a subject of scientific research without forcing us to postulate something more than matter. In other words…the mind is the brain….

The Discussion

[13:21] herman Bergson: thank you....
[13:21] herman Bergson: The floor is yours!!
[13:21] Sousinne Ceriano cheers.
[13:22] Sybyle Perdide: sighs
[13:22] druth Vlodovic: so it's all because of politics, I knew it!
[13:22] herman Bergson: Well druth....the dualism is
[13:22] Farv Hallison: the social construction of reality.
[13:23] herman Bergson: Dualism was Farv....
[13:23] druth Vlodovic: why is sybyle sighing?
[13:23] Mick Nerido: The brain is a organ that is an electro chemical computer...
[13:23] Netty Crystal is Offline
[13:23] Sybyle Perdide: cause she have to get the clue..slowly
[13:24] Sybyle Perdide: has*
[13:24] Mariella Diesel (mariella.deezul) is Offline
[13:24] herman Bergson: Welll Mick...say that it is electro -chemical ....and leave the computer part...:-)
[13:24] herman Bergson: A computer is not even a shadow of the capacities of the brain
[13:25] Mick Nerido: just for a functional comparison not the same
[13:25] herman Bergson: I know MIck.....
[13:25] herman Bergson: But you know....the mind - computer comparison is an issue in itself....
[13:25] Sousinne Ceriano: to me, the most convincing evidence of this is what happens to a brain and a mind after a stroke. You lose a brain area, you lose its function...
[13:26] herman Bergson: Just look at the picture behind me Sousinne...
[13:26] herman Bergson: there is your story
[13:26] Loo Zeta: But the brain compensates and regenerates new pathways
[13:27] Sybyle Perdide: yes
[13:27] Sousinne Ceriano: Which says to me that if you were to lose your entire brain, say, at death... you would lose ALL function - i.e. oblivion
[13:27] Loo Zeta: we chuck computers out
[13:27] Mick Nerido: All our senses are feeding the brain information and the brain synthezises all to produce a "consciousness"
[13:27] Sybyle Perdide: but not always completely
[13:27] Farv Hallison: then let the brain heal and redistribute its memories and the function comes back.
[13:27] Sybyle Perdide: not always, Farv
[13:28] Sousinne Ceriano: Not really... areas are not interchangeable.
[13:28] Loo Zeta: Some memory function is lost forever
[13:28] Sousinne Ceriano: When you do get a partial refunctioning, it's not as it happens witout a cost
[13:28] herman Bergson: Yes but some functions can move to other brain areas....it happens
[13:29] Sybyle Perdide: sure
[13:29] Loo Zeta: reschematics
[13:29] Sousinne Ceriano: it happens in a limited way. A damaged brain stays damaged.
[13:29] herman Bergson: True Sousinne
[13:29] Sybyle Perdide: nods
[13:30] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): and a damaged mind?
[13:30] Sybyle Perdide: but good question Beertje
[13:30] Sybyle Perdide: (without but)
[13:30] Sousinne Ceriano: And a damaged mind.
[13:30] herman Bergson: That is not a good question, Beertje..lol
[13:31] Sybyle Perdide: why not?
[13:31] herman Bergson: It is ambiguous...
[13:31] Sousinne Ceriano: We don't use 10% of our brain... we use exactly 100% of it, but not all the time.
[13:31] Jaelle Faerye: one has to define what a damaged mind is
[13:31] Jaelle Faerye: and
[13:31] Jaelle Faerye: this is SL...
[13:31] Jaelle Faerye looks suspiciously around
[13:31] druth Vlodovic: lol
[13:31] Sousinne Ceriano: So every little area destroyed will respond to lost function.
[13:31] herman Bergson: because a damaged mind refers to a psychological state, not to a neurobiolocal state
[13:32] Sybyle Perdide: but if the mind is the brain...
[13:32] druth Vlodovic: but isn't the idea that any psychological state has a corresponding neurological state?
[13:32] herman Bergson: I mean...my mind is damaged of course..I am crazy ..:-)
[13:32] Sybyle Perdide: hihi
[13:32] Sousinne Ceriano: It doesn't matter much, as you said, Sybyle
[13:32] herman Bergson: but my brian is ok....as is my consciousness :-)
[13:32] Jaelle Faerye: i am not sure the mind is the brain, Sybyle
[13:33] Sousinne Ceriano: Brain damage is mind damage
[13:33] Jaelle Faerye: the mind is "part of", or "sits in" the brain, maybe?
[13:33] Sybyle Perdide: you are to fats Sousinne
[13:33] Sousinne Ceriano: No
[13:33] Jaelle Faerye: not necessarily
[13:33] herman Bergson: yes...if you keep the terms in the neurobiological context Sousinne
[13:33] Loo Zeta: Frontal lobe?
[13:33] Sousinne Ceriano: I always do, Herman
[13:33] druth Vlodovic: if "mind" is how you think then you have to include the effects of hormones
[13:34] herman Bergson: hold on....!!!!!
[13:34] Sousinne Ceriano: And where do hormones come from?
[13:34] herman Bergson: Something is going wrong here.....
[13:34] herman Bergson: All of a sudden we ar e using the term MIND....
[13:34] Mick Nerido: Thanks Herman, have to go Bye
[13:35] Farv Hallison: bye Mick
[13:35] Sousinne Ceriano: Hormones come from glands that are directly or indirectly regulated from the Thalamus.
[13:35] Sybyle Perdide: bye Mick
[13:35] Lizzy Pleides: and we didnt define it b4
[13:35] herman Bergson: I think that is a completely obsolete term....with no meaning at all or hundreds of meanings
[13:35] Sousinne Ceriano: Hmmm, hypothalamus. sorry.
[13:35] herman Bergson: yes Sousinne...better place to be ^_^
[13:35] Sousinne Ceriano: Which is definitely part of the brain.
[13:35] druth Vlodovic: "brain" is an organ while "mind" is a concept, yes?
[13:36] Lizzy Pleides: too general i think
[[13:36] herman Bergson: Brain is an organ Druth and consciousness is its product
[13:36] druth Vlodovic: but not everything we do is conscious
[13:37] herman Bergson: Mind is a word form the history of philosophy...
[13:37] arabella Ella is Online
[13:37] herman Bergson: no use for that anymore
[13:37] herman Bergson: leads only to confusion....
[13:37] druth Vlodovic: we even make decisions without really engaging the consciousness
[13:37] herman Bergson: unless you say mind is synonymous with consciousness
[13:38] herman Bergson: yes we do Druth....
[13:38] Sousinne Ceriano: Mind is consciousness.
[13:38] herman Bergson: with every step you take for instance
[13:38] Farv Hallison: I think the mind is where understanding occurs.
[13:38] druth Vlodovic: I was thinking of "mind" as being a more general term encompassing everything that causes thought or action
[13:39] Sybyle Perdide: so we need to find a definition of mind, before talking about
[13:39] Lizzy Pleides: but we have supernatural phenomens that you cant explain this way
[13:39] Sousinne Ceriano: Such as...?
[13:39] herman Bergson: To begin with Sybyle
[13:39] Lizzy Pleides: transfer of thoughts
[13:39] herman Bergson: but I prefer to drop the word mind completely...
[13:40] Sousinne Ceriano: Well, if you have evidence of telepathy, I am sure there are many who would listen.
[13:40] Sybyle Perdide: its okay
[13:40] Lizzy Pleides: i agree
[13:40] herman Bergson: And what Farv said I would reply....
[13:40] druth Vlodovic: if I am uncomfortably warm it will make me irritable, this will affect my thoughts, so my overheated body becomes part of my mind without being part of my brain
[13:40] Farv Hallison: but if you drop the mind, where does understanding happen?
[13:41] herman Bergson: you refer to cognitive functions which are inherent to consciousness
[13:41] herman Bergson: Understanding as a function of consciousness
[13:41] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): i feel a bit empty without a mind...
[13:42] herman Bergson: But you are a still a conscious person Beertje
[13:42] Jaelle Faerye: i would feel empty without a soul
[13:42] Jaelle Faerye: but that's another question
[13:42] Jaelle Faerye smiles
[13:42] Lizzy Pleides: soul is very unscientific jaelle:_))
[13:42] herman Bergson: the word mind is so related to our dualist views of mind and body....
[13:42] druth Vlodovic: I dropped the idea of a soul a while back, the emptiness fills in :)
[13:42] Sousinne Ceriano: Understanding happens in the very highest abstract thought centers.
[13:42] herman Bergson: you feel lost without a mind and happy without a body...
[13:43] Sybyle Perdide: if you can define soul, it becomes scientific, Lizzy
[13:43] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): how can i keep singing..you are always on my mind??...if i haven't one?
[13:43] Lizzy Pleides: absolutely
[13:43] Sousinne Ceriano: You are always on my consciousness?
[13:43] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): lol
[13:43] herman Bergson: oh dear Beertje...
[13:44] Farv Hallison: Where do you make the descion to jump out of the way when you see a shadow that might be a tiger?
[13:44] druth Vlodovic: lol, I have to go or I'll feel empty inside without a pizza
[13:44] druth Vlodovic: thanks herman
[13:44] herman Bergson: the limbic system of the brain does that Farv...
[13:44] Sybyle Perdide: bye druth
[13:44] druth Vlodovic: bye all
[13:44] Sousinne Ceriano: In some risk evaluation center. Also pretty high up.
[13:44] herman Bergson: it is not evne a decision in a conscious sense
[13:44] Jaelle Faerye: ye Druth
[13:45] druth Vlodovic is Offline
[13:45] herman Bergson: Well..I have burned out half of my class now....looks good
[13:45] herman Bergson: time to end the discusion.....^_^
[13:45] Jaelle Faerye feels like a mindless survivor
[13:46] herman Bergson: Thank you all for your participation....great discussion again today....!
[13:46] Sousinne Ceriano: Always been mindless here =)
[13:46] Loo Zeta: Thanks sorry missed beginning
[13:46] Sousinne Ceriano: Thank you, professor.
[13:46] Sybyle Perdide: I am crazy..so I don't feel my mindlessness here ;)
[13:46] herman Bergson: Class dismissed ^_^
[13:46] Sybyle Perdide: but.. well done, Herman..thanks a lot
[13:46] Jaelle Faerye: haaa
[13:46] herman Bergson: and never mind....
[13:46] Jaelle Faerye: Thanks Herman
[13:46] Jaelle Faerye: ooh nice pun
[13:46] Lizzy Pleides: Thank you Herman! it was great again!
[13:47] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): can't sing that song anymore..but i can sing..toen onze mop een mopje was..lalallalalal
[13:47] herman Bergson: My pleasure Lizzy...
[13:47] herman Bergson: lol
[13:47] Sybyle Perdide: will we continue at that point next time?
[13:47] Farv Hallison: yes
[13:48] herman Bergson: Great class today!
[13:48] Sybyle Perdide: great teacher ; )
[13:48] Loo Zeta: and i will direct RL son to your blogs, he is starting Philosophy degree in Wales soon
[13:49] Qwark Allen: ¸¸.☆´ ¯¨☆.¸¸`☆** -O- **☆´ ¸¸.☆¨¯`☆ H E R MA N ☆´ ¯¨☆.¸¸`☆** -O- **☆´ ¸¸.☆¨¯`
[13:49] Qwark Allen: getting interesting everyday more
[13:49] herman Bergson: Oh...Might be a good help for him....
[13:49] herman Bergson: If he really reads through all my projects he really get s good insight in many topics
[13:50] herman Bergson: He may skip the discussions :-)
[13:50] Sousinne Ceriano giggles.
[13:50] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): bye all...have a goodnight
[13:50] Lizzy Pleides: nite Beertje!
[13:51] herman Bergson: By eBeertje
[13:51] Sybyle Perdide: bye Beertje
[13:51] Jaelle Faerye: bye Beertje
[13:53] Jaelle Faerye: ooh
[13:53] Qwark Allen: see you next class
[13:53] Qwark Allen: ¸¸.☆´ ¯¨☆.¸¸`☆** -O- **☆´ ¸¸.☆¨¯`☆ H E R MA N ☆´ ¯¨☆.¸¸`☆** -O- **☆´ ¸¸.☆¨¯`
[13:53] Qwark Allen: ty
[13:53] Jaelle Faerye: Bye Qwark
[13:53] herman Bergson: Bye Qwark!
[13:53] Jaelle Faerye: i just discovered that you give the "class notes" on your blog!
[13:53] Jaelle Faerye: nice!
[13:54] Lizzy Pleides: thank you Herman, good night!
[13:54] herman Bergson: Thnx for coming Lizzy :-)
[13:54] Jaelle Faerye: Thanks, Herman
[13:55] herman Bergson: My pleasure Jaelle
[13:55] Sybyle Perdide: good night Herman
[13:55] Jaelle Faerye: I am glad my friends made me discover this class
[13:55] Jaelle Faerye: :)
[13:55] Sybyle Perdide: it was a pleasure
[13:55] Sybyle Perdide: as always
[13:55] herman Bergson: Bye Sybyle

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