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What if counsciousness is undecidable? Options
 
dragonrider
#1 Posted : 4/22/2020 7:14:26 PM

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Suppose counsciousness is something we'll never understand. Suppose it is something that could never, ever be properly understood.
Suppose we would never be able to determine whether counsciousness is a material phenomenon or not.

What would the philosophical consequence of that be?

Would it demonstrate that counsciousness must be the foundation of reality?

I don't know. Somehow it strikes me as plausible, but i can't realy put my finger on it why that is.
Something like "because if this would be the case, that would be the only explanation left".
 

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downwardsfromzero
#2 Posted : 4/22/2020 10:04:28 PM

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Seeing as consciousness is our fundamental tool for experiencing and understanding things, trying to understand consciousness through using consciousness is like trying to fix a tool using the the self same tool. Perhaps this explains why we understand things better through changing our perspective in various ways.
Ora, lege, lege, lege, relege et labora

“There is a way of manipulating matter and energy so as to produce what modern scientists call 'a field of force'. The field acts on the observer and puts him in a privileged position vis-à-vis the universe. From this position he has access to the realities which are ordinarily hidden from us by time and space, matter and energy. This is what we call the Great Work."
― Jacques Bergier, quoting Fulcanelli
 
GoneWiththeWind
#3 Posted : 4/25/2020 7:12:52 PM

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Or- it’s an illusion. Consciousness is represented by physical processes without actually being real. It may never be solved because it’s possible that it doesn’t exist in the first place, at least not in the way that we think it does.

https://aeon.co/essays/w...on-created-by-your-brain
 
null24
#4 Posted : 4/25/2020 8:43:00 PM

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It seems like a more multi disciplinary approach is needed to understand consciousness, possibly than could ever produce a working model based on measurements and a stable theory other than materialism that could ever be accepted by 'rational' science.

Are we talking about human consciousness or the question of it in other organisms as well, i.e. it's nature in living things? Is it phenomenon of intelligence or simply if being? I'd say the latter, judging on my understanding of my cat, but others would disagree and say the little four-legger operates on pure instinct and need for survival.

Are we talking about the mechanism, it's processes, which seem to be material in nature, or it's result, which is most definitely immaterial? Coming up with a working theory on the two things are bridged is way above my pay grade, that said it seems like it's a question that can be tangled with, but will take a much larger toolset than the one currently in use to analyze it and also require the cooperation of multidisciplinary fields more than most questions, and maybe even a new definition of scientific process since by nature it is doubtful that certain parameters will ever be "measured" and will have to be accepted. It seems unavoidable to stay into realms of metaphysics to bridge the complexity of the problem, and that kind of sucks for science.

If that's impossible to reconcile then no, it will never be defined nor decided satisfactorily for academia and that seems to me too be some real job security for philosophers.

Then again there's the idea that if one discovered the Meaning of Life, then it would be meaningless to continue living.
Sine experientia nihil sufficienter sciri potest -Roger Bacon
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Quetzal7
#5 Posted : 4/25/2020 10:28:36 PM

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Yes, this is the Great Mystery !
And this hypothesis - that it is undecidable - has huge consequences indeed ; First one, you stop freezing your beleives (materialist, reductivist, spiritual ... ) in one way or another, and by keeping this piece of puzzle kind of loose, undecided, the puzzle become a dynamic ; and a new space where concepts and certainties can dissolve get created ; a place of silence that describes consciousness with more eloquence than any philosopher will ever do.
 
BundleflowerPower
#6 Posted : 7/30/2020 3:33:17 AM

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[quote=GoneWiththeWind]Or- it’s an illusion. Consciousness is represented by physical processes without actually being real. It may never be solved because it’s possible that it doesn’t exist in the first place, at least not in the way that we think it does.

https://aeon.co/essays/w...n-created-by-your-brain[/quote]

What is real then? Was it real that you typed that? And that’s the thing, it seemed real enough to me.
 
5 Dimensional Nick
#7 Posted : 8/29/2020 6:09:19 AM

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dragonrider wrote:
Suppose counsciousness is something we'll never understand. Suppose it is something that could never, ever be properly understood.
Suppose we would never be able to determine whether counsciousness is a material phenomenon or not.

What would the philosophical consequence of that be?

Would it demonstrate that counsciousness must be the foundation of reality?

I don't know. Somehow it strikes me as plausible, but i can't realy put my finger on it why that is.
Something like "because if this would be the case, that would be the only explanation left".


deep.

and everyone's replys.

really made me think.... therefor i am?

personally I feel although i like to believe in lots of logic beyond Descartes initial axiom for truth, that it is the only provably true thing and impossible to use as the foundation of any arguments/science or belief systems WHATSOEVER!
"With every thought word and deed, each individual sets forth influence in their surroundings which is subject to no barriers and reaches every level of creation"

".....its our responsibility to uplift the consciousness of the ENTIRE fucking world......" Saul Williams, DJ Krust tune.
 
muladharma
#8 Posted : 11/20/2020 9:10:10 PM

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My take, FWIW:

https://en.wikipedia.org...oes_not_imply_causation ... very relevant for network-like systems. I find it hard to concieve that information travels from left to right, or bottom up, in a brain. A perceptual stimuli could echo everywhere, or nowhere, depending on attention and a number of factors that could be too complex to discuss.

Another highly complex system that is very hard to draw conclusions from is genetics inference, which has many feedback loops and cross interactions. Neurochemistry, pharmacology...

The subject and related perspectives are shared in this article:
Cognitive Neuroscience and Causal Inference: Implications for Psychiatry https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2016.00129

...and possibly many others.
Find the wisdom to practice loving-kindness.
 
BundleflowerPower
#9 Posted : 1/7/2021 7:50:52 AM

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dragonrider wrote:
What would the philosophical consequence of that be?


Once I read that in the past, philosophy was about making men’s lives better. Perhaps the philosophical consequence would be some sort of philosophy which is pragmatic for human life, rather than arguments and paradoxes created, as I see it, at least, from attempting to use today’s language to bolster certain philosophical theories of the past.
 
Lemon Flip
#10 Posted : 1/7/2021 5:17:10 PM

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[quote=GoneWiththeWind]Or- it’s an illusion. Consciousness is represented by physical processes without actually being real. It may never be solved because it’s possible that it doesn’t exist in the first place, at least not in the way that we think it does.

https://aeon.co/essays/w...n-created-by-your-brain[/quote]

This to me sounds like the "emptiness" or "void" which is spoken about in Buddhist circles.

My experience tells me everything is made out of consciousness, even the idea of consciousness itself is actually fundamentally made out of consciousness, because of that fact you can never peer directly into consciousness or "the one who is perceiving reality"
 
barkbee
#11 Posted : 1/8/2021 7:20:35 PM

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null24 wrote:
It seems like a more multi disciplinary approach is needed to understand consciousness,


Too many good replies but I think it really begins here.
If you don't know where to look it really complicates the process of finding it.
Just casually tossed in that jaw-dropping pearl of wisdom to establish my credibility...... lol.

Which makes me really want to take a look at how question was proposed.

What if consciousness is undecidable?

I admit, I read this question wrong first time.

I thought the question was:

'what if we can never comprehend consciousness?'

The question, as written, has anthropomorphized the theoretical construct of consciousness and inferred it, in itself, the power to be self determined.

Have I read it incorrectly twice?Embarrased


“People know what they do; frequently they know why they do what they do; but what they don't know is what what they do does.” Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason"
 
BongQuixote
#12 Posted : 1/9/2021 12:25:49 PM
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My understanding is that consciousness is a simple function of matter. The ability to feel and experience is built into matter itself, and therefore distributed across everything. That doesn't mean that a tree or rock has the same inner life as humans, but since they are made of of the same thing as us, they will share this property with us. I don't think consciousness is a function of the human brain, that's more what we call the ego, or person. A tree, or a rock, is perfectly capable of feeling and responding to its environment.
 
BundleflowerPower
#13 Posted : 1/10/2021 3:06:21 AM

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BongQuixote wrote:
My understanding is that consciousness is a simple function of matter. The ability to feel and experience is built into matter itself, and therefore distributed across everything. That doesn't mean that a tree or rock has the same inner life as humans, but since they are made of of the same thing as us, they will share this property with us. I don't think consciousness is a function of the human brain, that's more what we call the ego, or person. A tree, or a rock, is perfectly capable of feeling and responding to its environment.


Each participates,tho according to its own capacity. https://youtu.be/TsvI5Rm_7R8

 
Jin
#14 Posted : 1/10/2021 5:05:49 AM

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What if Matter and consciousness are the same thing , what if matter is consciousness in a condensed state ?
illusions !, there are no illusions
there is only that which is the truth
 
BongQuixote
#15 Posted : 1/10/2021 10:45:47 AM
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Jin wrote:
What if Matter and consciousness are the same thing , what if matter is consciousness in a condensed state ?

That's an idea, but I don't think we need to make it that complicated. Just like a rose is red, it is aware. Simple as that. Thanks for the video link, BundleflowerPower. We are all just swimming in the same soup, are made out of the same things, and work according to the same laws of nature. To assume there is something unique about humans, to think we possess some magical consciousness denied to other parts of the universe, is not only arrogant; it's goes against all reason IMHO.

When we say things like "the sea is angry" or "the flower is happy", we are attributing consciousness and recognizing our own internal states in the world around us. How it is to be a sea or a flower is hard to know, but I'll bet the underlying forces of consciousness are shared among all things and work basically the same.
 
trncefigurate_aomn
#16 Posted : 1/11/2021 5:05:45 AM

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dragonrider wrote:
Suppose counsciousness is something we'll never understand. Suppose it is something that could never, ever be properly understood.
Suppose we would never be able to determine whether counsciousness is a material phenomenon or not.

What would the philosophical consequence of that be?

Would it demonstrate that counsciousness must be the foundation of reality?

I don't know. Somehow it strikes me as plausible, but i can't realy put my finger on it why that is.
Something like "because if this would be the case, that would be the only explanation left".


I do wonder about the nature of our lived experience, the always updating compilation of every type of perceptual signal we are capable of processing: it has so many indications of being a type of very versatile medium, but, one that is not made from particles.

An exceptionally sophisticated process of compiling all of the sensory results is evident, and must have been within the universe quite inevitable in order for perception-dependent lifeforms not only to arise but arise in such an extensively beatific variety and vitality as they have, but, what is the canvas that it reaches??

When the medium that displays our multisensory experiences is not itself made from particles, that seems to give a smooth indication that we are encountering the particle-based dimension from a dimension that doesn't require particles (and thus also situations such as size limitations, physical limitations, energy use) to have phenomena such as activity and presence, basically that every sort of perceptual texture is possible there without requiring it to contain actual objects other than this unique medium.
 
 
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