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Is awareness more basic than the material world?
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10-04-2015, 05:07 PM (This post was last modified: 10-04-2015 05:19 PM by ClydeLee.)
RE: Is awareness more basic than the material world?
I'm still not certain to why one should accept this knowing awareness or existence. Especially in this standard when it's not even certain what "awareness" is that we apparently are aware of.

I think it when it's really scoped out there still are failures to the Descartes type of evaluating you can proclaim to know are.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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10-04-2015, 05:16 PM
RE: Is awareness more basic than the material world?
(10-04-2015 04:54 PM)Th3box Wrote:  If I accept that I am existing, then I accept that existence is aware.

All of Alma Cogen is dead, but only some of the class of dead people is Alma Cogen.

You can't jump from "things that exist CAN be aware" to "things that exists ARE aware" (or, if you prefer, from "some things that exist are aware" to "all things that exist are aware") whether you define your terms or not.

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10-04-2015, 05:19 PM (This post was last modified: 10-04-2015 05:27 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Is awareness more basic than the material world?
(10-04-2015 05:03 PM)Th3box Wrote:  I'm a Brit so I actually haven't taken biology 101.

Biology hasn't confirmed or denied any theories of conscious awareness, although it has confirmed times when we can report conscious awareness as existing, and guesses at times when consciousness doesn't exist. I'm not saying that a dead brain is aware like a live brain; in fact I didn't originally intend to say anything about where awareness is or is not in reality. My argument was purely logical and epistemological, working with the most basic two statements of knowledge; 'I am' and 'existence is'. Kind of pointless, but also fascinating IMHO.

So, not having taken ANY Biology, you think you can go on about what it has or has not confirmed ? You should shadow a Neurologist for a day. Weeping

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10-04-2015, 06:16 PM (This post was last modified: 10-04-2015 06:19 PM by Momsurroundedbyboys.)
RE: Is awareness more basic than the material world?
(10-04-2015 05:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(10-04-2015 05:03 PM)Th3box Wrote:  I'm a Brit so I actually haven't taken biology 101.

Biology hasn't confirmed or denied any theories of conscious awareness, although it has confirmed times when we can report conscious awareness as existing, and guesses at times when consciousness doesn't exist. I'm not saying that a dead brain is aware like a live brain; in fact I didn't originally intend to say anything about where awareness is or is not in reality. My argument was purely logical and epistemological, working with the most basic two statements of knowledge; 'I am' and 'existence is'. Kind of pointless, but also fascinating IMHO.

So, not having taken ANY Biology, you think you can go on about what it has or has not confirmed ? You should shadow a Neurologist for a day. Weeping

A self proclaimed philosophy masters student who's never taken biology?

He doesn't need to shadow a neurologist. No neurologist worth anything would waste their time on that discussion.

*feeds Pablo some popcorn Smile *


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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10-04-2015, 06:40 PM
RE: Is awareness more basic than the material world?
(10-04-2015 06:16 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  
(10-04-2015 05:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  So, not having taken ANY Biology, you think you can go on about what it has or has not confirmed ? You should shadow a Neurologist for a day. Weeping

A self proclaimed philosophy masters student who's never taken biology?

He doesn't need to shadow a neurologist. No neurologist worth anything would waste their time on that discussion.

Haha I didn't say I hadn't taken biology, just that as a Brit I don't take 'biology 101'. We just call it biology. I also did take the (masters) philosophy of biology last year though, (although it was mainly concerning the theory of evolution by natural selection) and got a distinction for my critique of Dawkin's concept of a gene as portrayed in 'The selfish gene' and 'The extended phenotype'.
(Seeing as we getting into the ad hominem)Shy

You're right that neurologists won't waste their time discussing basic epistemological truths. They study specific neural networks and their roles. That doesn't mean my argument is useless or fallacious though, or even irrelevant. It's an argument which concerns the most basic knowledge which we as aware agents can have, and applies ubiquitously, in that sense it is interesting. It was never trying to make a claim about when biological systems are conscious.
On that point though; of course neurology and biology can look at a certain state and call it conscious, and then look at another state and call it not conscious, because it lacks certain features; this means that we create a definition of 'conscious' which relates to the criteria we have created, but this doesn't mean that consciousness as an actual thing is definitely present in one case and not in another. We have just drawn non arbitrary lines which nonetheless may not represent the underlying reality. But that's a massive, relatively unrelated discussion, which involves postulating a hell of a lot more truths than the two which the first argument deals with.
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10-04-2015, 06:55 PM
RE: Is awareness more basic than the material world?
I was aware of a general uneasiness in my life....

But...

Upon retrospection - I realized...

I'd picked the wrong pair of underwear out of the laundry......

And my ol' ladies shorts were cutting off the circulation to my nads.....

....

Wouldn't it be great if all problems were that easily solved????

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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10-04-2015, 07:12 PM
RE: Is awareness more basic than the material world?
(10-04-2015 05:16 PM)unfogged Wrote:  
(10-04-2015 04:54 PM)Th3box Wrote:  If I accept that I am existing, then I accept that existence is aware.

All of Alma Cogen is dead, but only some of the class of dead people is Alma Cogen.

You can't jump from "things that exist CAN be aware" to "things that exists ARE aware" (or, if you prefer, from "some things that exist are aware" to "all things that exist are aware") whether you define your terms or not.

The argument is not quite like that though-the point is that you cannot jump from 'things that exist are aware' to 'things that exist can or can not be aware'

The point of the argument is that it goes-

'I am (aware)'

'I am existing'

so

'Existing things are aware' (and by this also 'can be aware'- but essentially are)

And then you may go on with whatever line of reasoning you take. That may lead to 'not all things that exist are aware' depending on how you come to understand your awareness, but the most immediate conclusion before that observation and reasoning is that awareness is non specific, and therefore universal and basic.

I am not specifically trying to make any claims about reality, and am not denying that material existence is in a sense basic, but I am pointing out that awareness is, in another sense, also basic, and that that is the more immediate reality we are presented with as conscious agents coming to know the world.
There are other reasons to consider it as metaphysically basic rather than purely epistemically basic, as it avoids dualism and the emergence of a different type of existence (the aware consciousness) at some level of complexity, which has defied adequate scientific definition up to now (not many have tried, but I know that the last guy I heard of who tried, about a year ago, to provide a mathematical scientific model for when consciousness would emerge, something to do with a certain amount of neurons being connected to a central point which allowed unity of self experience, found that the theory couldn't adequately explain consciousness in non human animals and some impaired but seemingly conscious humans).
This wasn't the line of the original argument though, although it is something I have touched on in these comments. Yes it is relatively fruitless argument in terms of getting to know reality, but it is fruitful in getting to know our knowledge of reality, which I personally find interesting and, dare I say, important.
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10-04-2015, 07:25 PM
RE: Is awareness more basic than the material world?
(10-04-2015 05:07 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  I'm still not certain to why one should accept this knowing awareness or existence. Especially in this standard when it's not even certain what "awareness" is that we apparently are aware of.

I think it when it's really scoped out there still are failures to the Descartes type of evaluating you can proclaim to know are.

I guess because if we don't accept that we are aware we are a strange kind of nihilist who doesn't even believe they exist?
Even a sceptic has to believe that they are aware of something to be sceptical of (and perhaps the nihilist is aware of something to be nihilistic about?)

Of course the undefined nature of 'awareness' is a problem, but I think when we get down to the most basic constituents of reality, subjective and objective, we inevitably meet problems with definition. Defining matter, or energy, is a much more difficult task than defining the popcorn currently being eaten, and fed, by the topic contributors (although because it's imaginary popcorn (I think?!?!?) that'll be more tricky than this example is meant to show). Anyway, you hopefully get the point; the more complicated and obvious objects and thoughts, like popcorn or lust, can be defined in a much more satisfactory manner than energy or awareness can. That's just part of what being a fundamental constituent of reality is about: being so ubiquitous and basic that we can't really define it; we just accept it as being the foundations of the other, gradually more complicated and proportionally definable things.

**I'm going to bed... It's late across the atlantic, but I'll look back same time tomorrow after a days hard grafting paying those uni fees...
Cheers for the discussion guys**
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10-04-2015, 07:36 PM (This post was last modified: 10-04-2015 08:30 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Is awareness more basic than the material world?
(10-04-2015 06:40 PM)Th3box Wrote:  They study specific neural networks and their roles. That doesn't mean my argument is useless or fallacious though, or even irrelevant. It's an argument which concerns the most basic knowledge which we as aware agents can have, and applies ubiquitously, in that sense it is interesting.

That's not what any neurologist I know does. You asked if awareness was "more basic" than the material world. Since there is not one example of awareness in the absence of a functioning (material) brain, the answer is still "no". You can fart around all you like dressing it up with all the highfaluting philosophic-babble you can cook up, but the fact remains, there is no known "awareness" in the absence of :
1. an intact neuro-sensory system
2. an intact memory to reference the sensory input to,
and you cannot come up with one.

(10-04-2015 06:40 PM)Th3box Wrote:  'I am (aware)'
'I am existing'
so
'Existing things are aware' (and by this also 'can be aware'- but essentially are)

Exactly. That's the problem. The most you can say is that *some existing things are aware*. It's the fallacy of the illicit minor.

You're also committing the "false / hasty generalization" fallacy. You cannot generalize from yourself (one example) and from there, JUMP WITH NO EVIDENCE, to any conclusion about anything else, other than maybe another being, very similar to, and with all the properties, as yourself. You have a material brain. If you have evidence that any other systems are aware, let's see it.

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10-04-2015, 08:38 PM
Re: RE: Is awareness more basic than the material world?
(10-04-2015 07:12 PM)Th3box Wrote:  
(10-04-2015 05:16 PM)unfogged Wrote:  All of Alma Cogen is dead, but only some of the class of dead people is Alma Cogen.

You can't jump from "things that exist CAN be aware" to "things that exists ARE aware" (or, if you prefer, from "some things that exist are aware" to "all things that exist are aware") whether you define your terms or not.

The argument is not quite like that though-the point is that you cannot jump from 'things that exist are aware' to 'things that exist can or can not be aware'

The point of the argument is that it goes-

'I am (aware)'

'I am existing'

so

'Existing things are aware' (and by this also 'can be aware'- but essentially are)

I'm not sure about that. See below.

A is B.
A is C.
All B is C.

The monkey flings poo.
The monkey is brown.
All poo-flingers are brown.
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