Emergence and Reductionism

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Emergence and Reductionism

#1  Postby pl0bs » Mar 05, 2010 8:48 pm

The proof:
(in below statements, C stands for "consciousness")
________________________________________________
P1: The only things reductionism reduces, are our own misconceptions.
P2: Misconceptions require C.
C: To say that C is reducible, is to say that C is a misconception that requires C.

________________________________________________

As you see, the conclusion doesnt get rid of C. The statement "C is reducible" can be compared with the statement "C is dreamable". Even if C is dreamable, there is still a C that is dreaming it. That is why C is not reducible to non-C things.

This is the definition of consciousness that im using
Last edited by pl0bs on Mar 05, 2010 9:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Proof: consciousness is not reducible to nonconscious th

#2  Postby cateye » Mar 05, 2010 9:05 pm

pl0bs wrote:The proof:
________________________________________________
P1: The only things reductionism reduces, are our own misconceptions.
P2: Misconceptions require C.
C: To say that C is reducible, is to say that C is a misconception that requires C.

________________________________________________

As you see, the conclusion doesnt get rid of C. The statement "C is reducible" can be compared with the statement "C is dreamable". Even if C is dreamable, there is still a C that is dreaming it. That is why C is not reducible to non-C things.

This is the definition of consciousness that im using

Maybe you should make clear what "C" stands for. At first I thought it stood for conclusion...
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Re: Proof: consciousness is not reducible to nonconscious th

#4  Postby Prof. Faust » Mar 05, 2010 10:33 pm

pl0bs wrote:The proof:
(in below statements, C stands for "consciousness")
________________________________________________
P1: The only things reductionism reduces, are our own misconceptions.
P2: Misconceptions require C.
C: To say that C is reducible, is to say that C is a misconception that requires C.

________________________________________________

As you see, the conclusion doesnt get rid of C. The statement "C is reducible" can be compared with the statement "C is dreamable". Even if C is dreamable, there is still a C that is dreaming it. That is why C is not reducible to non-C things.

This is the definition of consciousness that im using


Shouldn't you say "conception" rather than "misconception"?

If so, then "C is a conception that requires C" is tautologous. "C requires C." C could be anything. You have merely asserted that consciousness is not reducible.

It does not follow that C is not reducible from what you have written alone.
For a moment, consider the set of all sets that have never been considered.
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Re: Proof: consciousness is not reducible to nonconscious th

#5  Postby Dalmat » Mar 06, 2010 2:08 am

pl0bs wrote:The proof:
(in below statements, C stands for "consciousness")
________________________________________________
P1: The only things reductionism reduces, are our own misconceptions.
P2: Misconceptions require C.
C: To say that C is reducible, is to say that C is a misconception that requires C.

________________________________________________

As you see, the conclusion doesnt get rid of C. The statement "C is reducible" can be compared with the statement "C is dreamable". Even if C is dreamable, there is still a C that is dreaming it. That is why C is not reducible to non-C things.

This is the definition of consciousness that im using

Perhaps I'm misreading, but aren't you mixing the cause and effect (in lack of better words at the moment)? I'm not feeling very capable to express myself clearly, I'm still a bit frozen from being out.. maybe I can clarify with an example: even if we couldn't figure out if vision is reducible, we'd still know that the eye is, right?
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Re: Proof: consciousness is not reducible to nonconscious th

#6  Postby pl0bs » Mar 06, 2010 10:09 am

Prof. Faust wrote:Shouldn't you say "conception" rather than "misconception"?

If so, then "C is a conception that requires C" is tautologous. "C requires C." C could be anything. You have merely asserted that consciousness is not reducible.

It does not follow that C is not reducible from what you have written alone.
An example of a misconception is the thought that water/fire/earth/wind are the fundamental elements. They look very different to the human eye, but we now know they can be reduced to the same elementary particles.

Misconceptions cannot exist without a consciousness.
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Re: Proof: consciousness is not reducible to nonconscious th

#7  Postby pl0bs » Mar 06, 2010 10:12 am

Dalmat wrote:Perhaps I'm misreading, but aren't you mixing the cause and effect (in lack of better words at the moment)? I'm not feeling very capable to express myself clearly, I'm still a bit frozen from being out.. maybe I can clarify with an example: even if we couldn't figure out if vision is reducible, we'd still know that the eye is, right?
It is consciousness that causes the misconception to exist. The misconceptions exist by grace of our misunderstanding of the world around us, so without consciousness, there would be no misconceptions to reduce.
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Re: Proof: consciousness is not reducible to nonconscious th

#8  Postby byofrcs » Mar 06, 2010 10:21 am

I don't know about the proof but I imagine that Hannibal Lecter-like I could slowly remove bits of your brain until you ceased to be conscious.

I imagine an array of brain bits in front of me, each is not conscious but the whole was conscious.

I think the practical reductionist model works.
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Re: Proof: consciousness is not reducible to nonconscious th

#9  Postby viralmeme » Mar 06, 2010 10:25 am

pl0bs wrote:The proof: (in below statements, C stands for "consciousness") ..

Sorry to burst your bubble but consciousness is a property of the mind which is an emergent property of the brain. No brain - no consciousness. Unless you can provide any proof of the existence of a non-corporeal consciousness all you are doing here is engaging in intellectual etymological circle jerk.
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Re: Proof: consciousness is not reducible to nonconscious th

#10  Postby pl0bs » Mar 06, 2010 10:30 am

viralmeme wrote:Sorry to burst your bubble but consciousness is a property of the mind which is an emergent property of the brain. No brain - no consciousness. Unless you can provide any proof of the existence of a non-corporeal consciousness all you are doing here is engaging in intellectual etymological circle jerk.
That little burden thingy is upon you. You claim C is an emergent property of the brain. Prove it. Show me the experiment that demonstrates the creation of consciousness.
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Re: Proof: consciousness is not reducible to nonconscious th

#11  Postby pl0bs » Mar 06, 2010 10:33 am

byofrcs wrote:I don't know about the proof but I imagine that Hannibal Lecter-like I could slowly remove bits of your brain until you ceased to be conscious.

I imagine an array of brain bits in front of me, each is not conscious but the whole was conscious.

I think the practical reductionist model works.
But thats just imagination. You could imagine that after removing bits of brain, a soul departs and lives on in heaven. But that too its just a imagination.
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Re: Proof: consciousness is not reducible to nonconscious th

#12  Postby cateye » Mar 06, 2010 10:58 am

pl0bs wrote:
byofrcs wrote:I don't know about the proof but I imagine that Hannibal Lecter-like I could slowly remove bits of your brain until you ceased to be conscious.

I imagine an array of brain bits in front of me, each is not conscious but the whole was conscious.

I think the practical reductionist model works.
But thats just imagination. You could imagine that after removing bits of brain, a soul departs and lives on in heaven. But that too its just a imagination.

So, in which bits does the soul reside then? Keep in mind that the loss of consciousness through brain-damage is an observed fact. Therefore a physical brain is prerequisite for consciousness (or a soul if it's what you preffer to call it...). It does not seem far stretched to conclude that consciousness requires some physical process to be going on inside a brain. At this point the dualist has to fight an uphill battle: positing that consciousness has some additional non-physical aspects is not required and falls victim to occams razor...
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Re: Proof: consciousness is not reducible to nonconscious th

#13  Postby pl0bs » Mar 06, 2010 11:06 am

cateye wrote:So, in which bits does the soul reside then?
The same bits that causes unconsciousness in your thought experiment.

Keep in mind that the loss of consciousness through brain-damage is an observed fact. Therefore a physical brain is prerequisite for consciousness (or a soul if it's what you preffer to call it...). It does not seem far stretched to conclude that consciousness requires some physical process to be going on inside a brain. At this point the dualist has to fight an uphill battle: positing that consciousness has some additional non-physical aspects is not required and falls victim to occams razor...
Unconsciousness can by definition never be observed. We dont know whether these people were still minimally conscious in some sense. Or that they just cant remember it. Or that their consciousness is so much altered that it has no semblance of human consciousness. Etc. I like the eels organ analogy. You may hit the eels organ with a hammer so that it can no longer electrocute you, but it doesnt mean electric charge was created by the organ.
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Re: Proof: consciousness is not reducible to nonconscious th

#14  Postby cateye » Mar 06, 2010 11:12 am

pl0bs wrote:
cateye wrote:So, in which bits does the soul reside then?
The same bits that causes unconsciousness in your thought experiment.

Keep in mind that the loss of consciousness through brain-damage is an observed fact. Therefore a physical brain is prerequisite for consciousness (or a soul if it's what you preffer to call it...). It does not seem far stretched to conclude that consciousness requires some physical process to be going on inside a brain. At this point the dualist has to fight an uphill battle: positing that consciousness has some additional non-physical aspects is not required and falls victim to occams razor...
Unconsciousness can by definition never be observed. We dont know whether these people were still minimally conscious in some sense. Or that they just cant remember it. Or that their consciousness is so much altered that it has no semblance of human consciousness. Etc. I like the eels organ analogy. You may hit the eels organ with a hammer so that it can no longer electrocute you, but it doesnt mean electric charge was created by the organ.

Err, yes. Where exactly did I speak of unconsciousness?

Does it mean a rock might be conscious, since we cannot observe it being unconscious?
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Re: Proof: consciousness is not reducible to nonconscious th

#15  Postby pl0bs » Mar 06, 2010 11:24 am

cateye wrote:Err, yes. Where exactly did I speak of unconsciousness?
Sorry that was byofrcs, not you.

Does it mean a rock might be conscious, since we cannot observe it being unconscious?
Yubsels, we just dont know. A different example would be some people in a vegetative state. We cant really tell if they are conscious either. This is all due to the fact that we cannot directly observe C in others, but can only infer it from behaviour. When such behaviour is lacking, we are no longer able to infer the presence C. The inability to infer presence of C is not the same as the ability to infer absence. Take a closed box: we cannot infer whether there is an object inside it (because its closed), but thats not to say that there is no object inside it.
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Re: Proof: consciousness is not reducible to nonconscious th

#16  Postby cateye » Mar 06, 2010 11:30 am

pl0bs wrote:
cateye wrote:Err, yes. Where exactly did I speak of unconsciousness?
Sorry that was byofrcs, not you.

Does it mean a rock might be conscious, since we cannot observe it being unconscious?
Yubsels, we just dont know. A different example would be some people in a vegetative state. We cant really tell if they are conscious either. This is all due to the fact that we cannot directly observe C in others, but can only infer it from behaviour. When such behaviour is lacking, we are no longer able to infer the presence C. The inability to infer presence of C is not the same as the ability to infer absence. Take a closed box: we cannot infer whether there is an object inside it (because its closed), but thats not to say that there is no object inside it.

Ah. Now we're getting somewhere. I agree, it is impossible to infer presence of consciousness. But I go one step further: I say that consciousness is an unneeded concept. See campermons question in the other thread, about the difference between "simulated" and "real" consciousness. I'm satisfied by explaining the behaviour of a person, and that can be done without the requirement of unphyiscal entities.
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Re: Proof: consciousness is not reducible to nonconscious th

#17  Postby viralmeme » Mar 06, 2010 11:34 am

pl0bs wrote:
viralmeme wrote:Sorry to burst your bubble but consciousness is a property of the mind which is an emergent property of the brain. No brain - no consciousness. Unless you can provide any proof of the existence of a non-corporeal consciousness all you are doing here is engaging in intellectual etymological circle jerk.

pl0bs wrote:That little burden thingy is upon you.

Excuse me but you started the thread with "Proof: consciousness is not reducible to nonconscious things", so I have a prior claim as to proof of non-corporeal consciousness.
pl0bs wrote:You claim C is an emergent property of the brain.

Yes, unless you can provide any evidence as to the contrary.
pl0bs wrote:Prove it.

No brain - no consciousness
pl0bs wrote:Show me the experiment that demonstrates the creation of consciousness.

Consciousness is not created; rather it is a developmental process, an imprinting of the mothers consciousness onto the developing infant. We can see such processes in action in the growth and maturity of the average human being. From a newborn infant with as much consciousness necessary to feed itself and attract the attention of the mother. Such interactions promoting interaction with the environment and as the infant physically grows eventually leading to mobility and speech. Consciousness is not created so much as a developmental process, conjured into existence by the interaction between mother and child. One such instance being the pointing game that mothers play with their babies. Baby points, mother points and says 'car', baby looks at mothers mouth and attempts to imitate sound, and so on. Eventually intellectual faculties increase to such an extent that the said infant can engage in futile philosophizing on the Internet.
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Re: Proof: consciousness is not reducible to nonconscious th

#18  Postby pl0bs » Mar 06, 2010 11:37 am

cateye wrote:Ah. Now we're getting somewhere. I agree, it is impossible to infer presence of consciousness. But I go one step further: I say that consciousness is an unneeded concept. See campermons question in the other thread, about the difference between "simulated" and "real" consciousness. I'm satisfied by explaining the behaviour of a person, and that can be done without the requirement of unphyiscal entities.
This definition of consciousness im using doesnt say its material or immaterial. When you talk about simulated consciousness, would you say that rocks have it? A materialist would still have to explain what is special about brains that allows that to have (simulated or real) consciousness, whereas a rock does not.
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Re: Proof: consciousness is not reducible to nonconscious th

#19  Postby campermon » Mar 06, 2010 11:40 am

pl0bs wrote:
viralmeme wrote:Sorry to burst your bubble but consciousness is a property of the mind which is an emergent property of the brain. No brain - no consciousness. Unless you can provide any proof of the existence of a non-corporeal consciousness all you are doing here is engaging in intellectual etymological circle jerk.
That little burden thingy is upon you. You claim C is an emergent property of the brain. Prove it.

I've got 4 of them. Aged 13,12,10 and 6.....
pl0bs wrote:
Show me the experiment that demonstrates the creation of consciousness.


You'll forgive me for not sharing the experimental details.... :lol:

But you'll agree that my children started off as unconscious groups of cells.
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Re: Proof: consciousness is not reducible to nonconscious th

#20  Postby pl0bs » Mar 06, 2010 11:41 am

viralmeme wrote:Excuse me but you started the thread with "Proof: consciousness is not reducible to nonconscious things", so I have a prior claim as to proof of non-corporeal consciousness.
I should have put the definition of consciousness in the opening post. I do not claim it is material or immaterial. My definition is theoretically neutral: philosophy/enough-the-end-all-definition-of-consciousness-t1559.html

Consciousness is not created; rather it is a developmental process, an imprinting of the mothers consciousness onto the developing infant. We can see such processes in action in the growth and maturity of the average human being. From a newborn infant with as much consciousness necessary to feed itself and attract the attention of the mother. Such interactions promoting interaction with the environment and as the infant physically grows eventually leading to mobility and speech. Consciousness is not created so much as a developmental process, conjured into existence by the interaction between mother and child. One such instance being the pointing game that mothers play with their babies. Baby points, mother points and says 'car', baby looks at mothers mouth and attempts to imitate sound, and so on. Eventually intellectual faculties increase to such an extent that the said infant can engage in futile philosophizing on the Internet.
I agree that consciousness develops and is not created. Btw, the baby cannot see the mothers mouth and hear her words unless it is conscious in the first place.
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