Panpsychism is crazy, but it's also most probably true
11-10-2017, 12:01 PM, (This post was last modified: 11-10-2017, 12:02 PM by rva_jeremy.)
#1
Panpsychism is crazy, but it's also most probably true
This is more philosophy of mind than science, but it addresses science so I thought it best posted here.  Please move as needed, mods.

Panpsychism is the idea that consciousness is not limited to sentient or living beings but is instead inherent in all matter.  This article points out that it is increasingly being viewed as the simplest way to solve the so-called "hard problem" of consciousness, namely: how do neurons firing create the experience of consciousness?

Quote:In fact, the only thing we know about the intrinsic nature of matter is that some of it – the stuff in brains – involves experience. We now face a theoretical choice. We either suppose that the intrinsic nature of fundamental particles involves experience or we suppose that they have some entirely unknown intrinsic nature. On the former supposition, the nature of macroscopic things is continuous with the nature of microscopic things. The latter supposition leads us to complexity, discontinuity and mystery. The theoretical imperative to form as simple and unified a view as is consistent with the data leads us quite straightforwardly in the direction of panpsychism.

The article is here.

P.S. Here's a counterpoint.  I tend to think that both perspectives are valid and the usefulness of one theory or another has more to do with the problem one wants to solve.  Consciousness is most likely a quantity of X and not simply a quality arising from some specific pattern of X.  But that begs the question of what consciousness actually is, what the nature of things actually are that can be summed into sentience, which I don't think panpsychism determines much better than other theories.  And if one is interested in sentient consciousness, the idea of building that out of smaller consciousnesses of atoms cannot but be of limited practical help.

I just think it's interesting to see ways in which Confederation philosophy shines through academia. Smile

Jeremy
It is not that love will tell you what to do.
It is that love will tell you how to do it with love.
Q'uo 3/19/06
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11-10-2017, 02:58 PM,
#2
RE: Panpsychism is crazy, but it's also most probably true
I love how in the counterpoint, the author compared the billions of atoms that make up the brain to people with cell phones and then used that to discredit the idea.

Yet inexplicably doesn't realize how fallacious such a comparison is.

There are different kinds, or modes, of consciousness.  A cat and a tree aren't going to experience the same way, yet we don't use them to describe each other.  So why would this guy assume anthropomorphizing atoms into humans is valid to explain away the consciousness of atoms because they wouldn't mimic humans?

Wtf, this is academic philosophy?!  It's full of morons apparently Sad

I think this idea, panpsychism, is interesting if it could be properly described using subjective examples.  Such as the measurement or particles is what defines them, how is this possible without an interpreter?  I think consciousness, whatever it may be, is the interpreter that moves the particles into definement and potentiation (an undefined state).

How it does this seems to be a movement of consciousness, like how a naked person seen is likely to manifest embarrassment, a measured atom is manifested into definement. To use a loose example.

The problem is trying to make sense of it all from a singular consciousness.  With just our one gaze we are creating definement, but how is this occurring if our consciousness is the only kind?  The movement from one mode or state of consciousness to another seems to require a dialogue of experience.  The observation of our conscious incites response in the observed, this response implies reaction, which implies a response to stimulus, which implies experience, which implies consciousness or at the least a form of being able to react to something as simple as a gaze.

If it is not consciousness, a seemingly incorporeal essence without physical catalyst needed to exist (as per OBE's and NDE's), then it is a mechanical occurrence, yet how does something smaller than microbacterium react to a human gaze? How can it POSSIBLY perceive the massiveness on that level of a human eye looking over it?

How does it know when to become defined if it is merely a mechanical reaction?  Is it programmed?  That implies a Godly level of technological advancement.  Is it alive? That implies consciousness.

I think this philosophy will gain precedence once consciousness is better understood as a nonphysical occurrence independent of Matter.

I'd also more the irony of the counterpoint's example of particles as humans communicating together through cell phones.

Cells are effected by electromagnetic waves they each give off, but further their combination creates a unified field that effects them collectively as well as individually.  That unity might change how an individual responds, whether a particle or a human.

So I imagine the em field of the heart, how it engulfs every cell in the body.  How it can affect the physical body via vibrations and frequency, how those occurrences are only possible because there is a unity of particles that make up the unity of cells that made up the unity of the organ systems, that make up a circumstance that supports biochemical lifeforms.

All of those things exist in the same field yet are individualized.  My brain, seperate of my consciousness, still can utilize that consciousness to recognize itself as a brain in a flesh capsule talking about itself as it wonders about itself.

Is the stacked complexity of such systems of particles, cells, and organs, a necessity to forming consciousness or does it all form from consciousness?  Do we ignore that it is a biochemical response that forms our actions and not our conscious?  Do we ignore that consciousness is not a part of the physiological body but a producer of it?  It takes two people, two consciousnesses, to form a new person with consciousness.  Whether consciously or accidentally, they wield the power consciousness has, being both a consciousness but also a biochemical machine.

We shouldn't confuse that integral part of our individual and collective consciousness as belonging to that biochemical process.

There is no proof or disproof that consciousness is created by neural connections, this is assumed 'common sense, except that you can remove half the brain and consciousness isn't majorly effected.  You can replace someone's heart and they'll acquire memories and feelings and behaviours from the donor.

The brain has nothing to do with consciousness, it is a biochemical processor of information, not a holder of consciousness.  Sure you can completely destroy all signs of consciousness with damage to the brain, but life can persist with such damage.  Life and consciousness and the brain are not all intertwined inexplicably.  The loss of consciousness is not the loss of life, the destruction of the brain despite removing the individuals ability to process their consciousness and act it out does not mean there's a total loss of consciousness, only that the mechanism through which consciousness interfaced and interacted with reality has been damaged.

I find that consciousness is the invisible 'Force' that builds that which it interacts through.  It is self perpetuating and self creating, it is not as our reality would commonly be seen to behave.  Our senses are limited extremely to a particles equivalent size on the ENTIRE AVAILABLE SPECTRUM of experiences.  We only see the rainbow colors, and further the gap at the beginning and end of that spectrum is filled in by the brain with magenta to form a circular like array of available experience.  Just as the brain takes in images by the eyes and flips it to be right side up and does whatever it does to make those images flow together into motion, it also fills in the gaps of our experiences.  Hence why optical illusions can occur.

We CANNOT OBJECTIVELY RELY ON OUR BRAINS and senses to portray an accurate image of the actuality of reality around us.  We don't see enough, hear enough, we can't feel enough, or even perceive enough.

We the brain and human are the lens, not the seeing eye.  It is our consciousness that moves us, incites our responses and reactions, our brain is just a processor of those things to turn them into sensable experiences to work within.  It's our consciousness, and consciousness in general, that produces the means to experience such things at all.

From the vibrating particle to the energetic cell to the functioning organ to the self aware brain, without consciousness these things would be empty and devoid of purpose or reason.  The particle would be undefined.  The cell would be static, the organ still, the brain empty of firing neurons producing thought and emotion.

Consciousness isn't human, and we cannot apply our ways of experiencing as valid controls to base other forms of consciousness off of.  If a tree is conscious, it is conscious differently from human consciousness.  Birds can see more colors than we, dogs can smell more than we can, cats can hear more than we can. Animals are different enough despite basic similarities.

They can all sense as we can, yet what they do with that information is different because their consciousness is different.

Considering we now know trees can feel and communicate, and even tell when it's dehydrated and starving or being cut, we can say plants sense, they do so differently from animals, but they do so nonetheless, and if this similarity from humans to animals can make animals conscious then the similarity from animals to plants should make them conscious.

Further because of the lowering of complexity of sensing as we move from human to animal to plant, the modes of sensation by say, a rock, may be so simple and subtle we'd mistake it as empty of reaction.

Yet a fire is conscious, it consumes and reproduces, it reacts albeit on an extremely simplistic scale of physical and chemical reactions.  Hot arid air accentuates it's chemical response.  Humid damp air slows it.  It's senses are of chemical responses to it's surroundings.  It's basic nature is finite but it's extinguishment does not imply extinction, it is able to manifest because it is conscious.

Water reacts in it's own ways as does air and rock.

Rock against the chemical reaction of impact splits, a reproduction, leading down to smaller forms, with smaller forms building to greater ones, as with fire, and water, and air.

Air against the chemical reaction of motion pulled and pushed to formations, cyclones to walls of roaming air, further created by the motions of water swaying up and down.

Water itself reacts to chemical reactions, evaporates, condenses.

The basic elements have a different mode of consciousness, a simpler mode of reaction and action only.  To grow.  To move.  To be.  To roll.  To be reduced, to be increased.

Wind, fire, water can rage.   Rock too can rage.

So moving further down, consciousness changes, simplified the smaller we get.

By the point of particles, consciousness requires consciousness to react at all, without an observer there is no reaction, only infinite potential.

So, I find this in tandem with the Reciprocal Theory to be a promising adventure into new explorations of reality.

I often joke that Star Trek's Space Exploration is the penultimate frontier, with the True Final Frontier being Reality Exploration.

...Thank you for sharing these...  I am greatly intrigued.
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour
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11-11-2017, 01:02 PM,
#3
RE: Panpsychism is crazy, but it's also most probably true
Looking back perhaps I'm the moron, I shouldn't be so harsh on another's thoughts.
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour
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11-11-2017, 07:46 PM,
#4
RE: Panpsychism is crazy, but it's also most probably true
There is an old alchemical idea that form is symbolic of essence and it is essence that evolves which thus produces changing outer forms. One of the ancient ideas about the metals was the idea that they were living and of a certain grade of consciousness. It was seen that the essence or intelligence behind the metals progressed from a grosser state, such as lead, to a finer state as gold. The process of this happening in nature was seen to take millions and millions of years. However, the idea of the alchemical art was to accelerate this evolution and "produce in a moment what takes nature a thousand years".
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11-11-2017, 08:22 PM,
#5
RE: Panpsychism is crazy, but it's also most probably true
I have felt that everything could potentially be conscious. The chair I sit on, the tools I use, the clothes I wear, the air I breathe...
And that I should be grateful that I have such an impact on my surroundings compared to these other things.

For I would not assume that the cells in my body are not conscious. I believe they are as just as alive as I am.

And I do not mind following the slippery slope in accepting the possibility that everything is conscious.

I often like to think that it is not that everything in the world is insignificant, but rather that we are incapable of fathoming just how important everything is in this universe. That everything has weight and is important. Every thought, action, and event has such significant weight, and we are oblivious to this.

I think this is one of the core reasons we experience life under the veil, so we can make mistakes and learn more about context.
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11-12-2017, 12:03 AM, (This post was last modified: 11-12-2017, 12:43 AM by Dekalb_Blues.)
#6
RE: Panpsychism is crazy, but it's also most probably true
Jeremy wrote: This is more philosophy of science than science, but it addresses science so I thought it best posted here. Please keep yer cotton-pickin' fingers off it, mods. Don't make me come over there, you hear me?
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jeremy, your post's subject reminds me of a story:

Life & Death among the Pots & Pans

One day Nasrudin lent his cooking pots and pans to a neighbor, who was
giving a feast. The neighbor returned them, together with one extra one --
a very tiny frying pan.

"What is this?" asked Nasrudin.

"According to law, I have given you the offspring of your property which
was born when the pots and pans were in my care," said the joker.

Shortly afterwards Nasrudin borrowed many pieces of his neighbor's
cookware, but did not return them.

The man came around to get them back.

"Alas!" said Nasrudin, "they are dead. We have established, have we not,
that pots and pans are mortal?"

-- adapted from Idries Shah's "If a Pot Can Multiply" in his The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin (1966)
https://idriesshahfoundation.org/books/the-exploits-of-the-incomparable-mulla-nasrudin

I seem to recall reading somewhere in the Ra material something vaguely to the effect that (of all things!) all is one. (In fact, it seems these characters from Venus & points elsewhere had seemingly even -- over the many moons of their tooling around the galaxy pondering -- gimmicked up some cosmic law or other on this subject.) Alles ist eins?! Tout est un?! Todo es uno?! Wszystko jest jednum?! Gbogbo won je okan?! Now, of course that's just plumb loco, as any discrete Earthling who can tell one thing from another thing knows . . . but it's also most certainly true. So, let's see -- taking Infinity/Eternity into account, it would be the case that if there's something of anything then everything has some of that something . . .
I guess the backmost dead eddies in the grand river of knowledge in which certain so-called scientists are hesitantly wading, afraid to get their little tootsies wet, haven't gotten the memo yet, as their fragmentative philosophy attests --





-- but luckily there are plenty of real scientists who have, and are currently busy doing their thing quietly but competently.  

[Image: a92b66117dea853aac94215f39003cf9.jpg]  Cool
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11-12-2017, 12:08 PM,
#7
RE: Panpsychism is crazy, but it's also most probably true
If we are all manifested from a source—an implicate field of energy—then the energy of the source, in whatever form it is (either particle or wave), must have consciousness in its most fundamental form or components (such as strings in M or String theory). Therefore, all things would have consciousness, as all things derive from the source.
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