Suffering from the dunning-kruger effect
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16-07-2017, 04:40 AM (This post was last modified: 16-07-2017 04:56 AM by Thoreauvian.)
RE: Suffering from the dunning-kruger effect
(16-07-2017 12:07 AM)ImFred Wrote:  Free will and consciousness are illusions that provide an evolutionary advantage. Atoms are not alive. Reading people's desperate attempts to explain the workings of things that don't even exist is becoming tiresome. Unless you think you've been infused with some sort of supernatural magic this should be obvious.

To say consciousness doesn't exist is like saying Cleveland doesn't exist because its made up of people, roads, and buildings.

Atoms are not alive, as you say, but cells are, and higher level organisms most certainly are. Similarly, consciousness is an emergent property of a complex arrangement of matter and can't be reduced to mere chemical processes. There is nothing spooky or anti-materialistic about emergent explanations. All they are saying is that you must discuss such things at the appropriate level of material complexity.
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16-07-2017, 05:14 AM
RE: Suffering from the dunning-kruger effect
(16-07-2017 04:40 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(16-07-2017 12:07 AM)ImFred Wrote:  Free will and consciousness are illusions that provide an evolutionary advantage. Atoms are not alive. Reading people's desperate attempts to explain the workings of things that don't even exist is becoming tiresome. Unless you think you've been infused with some sort of supernatural magic this should be obvious.

To say consciousness doesn't exist is like saying Cleveland doesn't exist because its made up of people, road, and buildings.

Atoms are not alive, as you say, but cells are, and higher level organisms most certainly are. Similarly, consciousness is an emergent property of a complex arrangement of matter and can't be reduced to mere chemical processes. There is nothing spooky or anti-materialistic about emergent explanations. All they are saying is that you must discuss such things at the appropriate level of complexity.
That's true. But you should be able to describe how the high level phenomenon emerges from low level ones. If you can't do that, I think talking about the high level phenomenon is unscientific. You can attach all sorts of delusions to the high level phenomenon as long as you have not understood exactly HOW it emerges from the lower level phenomena. Because it's essentially a mere abstract concept as long as the lower level foundations are not known. You can play with it however you want. This is the reason consciousness is the favorite device for new-age pseudoscientific fanatics.

Take the example of temperature. Temperature emerges from the kinetic energy of very large number of particles at equilibrium. Before this fact was understood, temperature was essentially a woo-woo, people could have all sorts of magical theories to describe temperature. Scientist didn't bother with playing language games with temperature as an abstract concept, they tried hard until they found how temperature is emerged from the movement of small particles.

You seem to be suggesting that we cannot describe how consciousness emerges from chemical processes, we should leave it at that and only talk about the higher level, emergent concept. I don't think this is true. This is not what the scientific method would suggest. I think as long as scientists haven't figured out how consciousness emerges from the brain, every attempt to describe it in higher levels would be most likely unfounded and nonsensical, unscientific at best.
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16-07-2017, 05:22 AM (This post was last modified: 16-07-2017 05:40 AM by Thoreauvian.)
RE: Suffering from the dunning-kruger effect
(16-07-2017 05:14 AM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  You seem to be suggesting that we cannot describe how consciousness emerges from chemical processes, we should leave it at that and only talk about the higher level, emergent concept. I don't think this is true. This is not what the scientific method would suggest. I think as long as scientists haven't figured out how consciousness emerges from the brain, every attempt to describe it in higher levels would be most likely unfounded and nonsensical, unscientific at best.

All sorts of good scientific work has been and is being done with different aspects of how the brain and nervous system work to produce consciousness. It's just that consciousness doesn't reduce to just one or two aspects of the total problem, but must take all into account and likely many more we haven't yet understood.

Yes, a lot of woo is discussed about consciousness. (I understand this very well from personal experiences.) But to say we can't discuss how consciousness works at higher level, through psychological and sociological studies for instance, is assuming that those particular aspects can never be relevant to our questions about consciousness.
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16-07-2017, 05:33 AM
RE: Suffering from the dunning-kruger effect
This is pretty much what I'm trying to convey:

Quote:What can be said at all can be said clearly, and what we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence.
Ludwig Wittgenstein
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16-07-2017, 05:38 AM
RE: Suffering from the dunning-kruger effect
(16-07-2017 05:22 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(16-07-2017 05:14 AM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  You seem to be suggesting that we cannot describe how consciousness emerges from chemical processes, we should leave it at that and only talk about the higher level, emergent concept. I don't think this is true. This is not what the scientific method would suggest. I think as long as scientists haven't figured out how consciousness emerges from the brain, every attempt to describe it in higher levels would be most likely unfounded and nonsensical, unscientific at best.

All sorts of good scientific work has been and is being done with different aspects of how the brain and nervous system works to produce consciousness. It's just that consciousness doesn't reduce to just one or two aspects of the total problem, but must take all into account and likely many more we haven't yet understood.

Yes, a lot of woo is discussed about consciousness. (I understand this very well from personal experiences.) But to say we can't discuss how consciousness works at higher level, through psychological and sociological studies for instance, is assuming that those particular aspects can never be relevant to our questions about consciousness.

I will read more about those scientific works to see how exactly they are investigating consciousness. I will return if I had anything useful to add.

Psychological and sociological studies are not always considered "science" the same way that neuroscience and physics are considered to be science. There are psychologists who believe in all sorts of metaphysical concepts and they actually utilize those concepts in the foundations of their "scientific" theories.
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16-07-2017, 05:46 AM
RE: Suffering from the dunning-kruger effect
(16-07-2017 05:38 AM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  Psychological and sociological studies are not always considered "science" the same way that neuroscience and physics are considered to be science. There are psychologists who believe in all sorts of metaphysical concepts and they actually utilize those concepts in the foundations of their "scientific" theories.

Soft versus hard sciences, yes.

I personally can't see how anyone can still take Freudian or Jungian assumptions seriously anymore. The actual science is much better now.
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16-07-2017, 06:05 AM
RE: Suffering from the dunning-kruger effect
Quote:To say consciousness doesn't exist is like saying Cleveland doesn't exist because its made up of people, roads, and buildings.

That's a false equivalency but it's useful because a lot of what I pretend Cleveland to be is based on a social construct that actually doesn't really exist, like God.
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16-07-2017, 07:37 AM
RE: Suffering from the dunning-kruger effect
(16-07-2017 06:05 AM)ImFred Wrote:  
Quote:To say consciousness doesn't exist is like saying Cleveland doesn't exist because its made up of people, roads, and buildings.

That's a false equivalency but it's useful because a lot of what I pretend Cleveland to be is based on a social construct that actually doesn't really exist, like God.

Just as there are inaccurate social constructs, there are also accurate social constructs.
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16-07-2017, 07:42 AM
RE: Suffering from the dunning-kruger effect
How about half truths?
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16-07-2017, 07:48 AM
RE: Suffering from the dunning-kruger effect
(16-07-2017 07:42 AM)ImFred Wrote:  How about half truths?

Half truths are better than none at all. We all have to start somewhere.
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