Anil Seth

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SatChitAnanda
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Anil Seth

Post by SatChitAnanda »

Anil Seth:
Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg ... o-dissolve
"Science can solve the great mystery of consciousness – how physical matter gives rise to conscious experience – we just have to use the right approach."
He goes on to say:
"Not so long ago, biologists and chemists doubted that the property of “being alive” could ever be explained mechanistically. Nowadays, although there are still many things about life that remain unknown, the idea that being alive requires some special sauce has long been retired. The hard problem of life wasn’t so much solved as dissolved.
Now, it is true that life isn’t the same thing as consciousness..."

I thought life was the same as consciousness. I think he might be confusing meta-consciousness with phenomenal consciousness.
In any case I am astounded that he says "The hard problem of life wasn’t so much solved as dissolved."
Does this mean we now know how to make life from non-life?

Can anyone help ?
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AshvinP
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Re: Anil Seth

Post by AshvinP »

SatChitAnanda wrote: Mon Oct 18, 2021 6:49 pm Anil Seth:
Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg ... o-dissolve
"Science can solve the great mystery of consciousness – how physical matter gives rise to conscious experience – we just have to use the right approach."
He goes on to say:
"Not so long ago, biologists and chemists doubted that the property of “being alive” could ever be explained mechanistically. Nowadays, although there are still many things about life that remain unknown, the idea that being alive requires some special sauce has long been retired. The hard problem of life wasn’t so much solved as dissolved.
Now, it is true that life isn’t the same thing as consciousness..."

I thought life was the same as consciousness. I think he might be confusing meta-consciousness with phenomenal consciousness.
In any case I am astounded that he says "The hard problem of life wasn’t so much solved as dissolved."
Does this mean we now know how to make life from non-life?

Can anyone help ?

You're right, materialist science has not solved any of those things. Not only does it not know how life can come from non-life, or consciousness from non-consciousness, it doesn't even know how life evolves once it is already there. It cannot explain the most simple facts about our individual evolution from infancy to adulthood. My suggestion is stop reading these people altogether - even though there usually is some value from considering positions which disagree with our own, that is no longer true with absurd materialist position. There is negative value, since it just confuses our thinking if we are still susceptible to some of the bad mental habits underlying these positions in the modern age (and most of us are still are very susceptible).
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
NeoMatrix
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Re: Anil Seth

Post by NeoMatrix »

My comments are five comments here as this is just stupid:
1. Elizabeth Irvine mentions this here: https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9789400751729 but eliminates the concept of consciousness from science altogether. That way we don't have these stupid theories.
2. If we want to explore a brain-mind identity theory fine. Get a group of philosophers and neuroscientists together to do it. We do this all the time with metaphysics of time and physicists so why not here?
3, Anil Seth does not get that even if we get a measurement for consciousness he runs into the problem of multiple realizability here. He needs a measurement that works for all animals not just humans. Therefore his comments about measurement are laughable.
4. Not getting the problem of introspection and cognition bias reports.
5. We figured this out now with the metaphysics of time being beyond science and slowly coming to that with free will. Perhaps it's time for us to do this with the metaphysics of mind as well.
findingblanks
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Re: Anil Seth

Post by findingblanks »

Anil starts by presupposing a material base, therefore what he genuinely sees as solutions won't actual address the real issues. That said, Steiner would write long glowing missives about people's ideas that we steeped in materialism. He wouldn't even necessarily spell out the deep problems with the ideas. Of course people tried to use this against him by claiming he contradicted himself in other contexts when he seemed to indicate the ideas were not worth deep praise. Those aren't contradictions of course.

I'm thinking of his praise of Haeckel, Darwin, and Nietzsche.

Materialist love making an analogy between how they were able to find some good biochemical explanations of, say, plant development (not true explanations of course but better than many prescientific theories) with how they will email explain consciousness.

Leaving aside problems with the idea that they explained life!, they don't/can't see the massive difference between finding mecho-chemical patterns in life and introducing a new ontological category for explaining consciousness.
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AshvinP
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Re: Anil Seth

Post by AshvinP »

findingblanks wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 11:02 pm Anil starts by presupposing a material base, therefore what he genuinely sees as solutions won't actual address the real issues. That said, Steiner would write long glowing missives about people's ideas that we steeped in materialism. He wouldn't even necessarily spell out the deep problems with the ideas. Of course people tried to use this against him by claiming he contradicted himself in other contexts when he seemed to indicate the ideas were not worth deep praise. Those aren't contradictions of course.

I'm thinking of his praise of Haeckel, Darwin, and Nietzsche.

Materialist love making an analogy between how they were able to find some good biochemical explanations of, say, plant development (not true explanations of course but better than many prescientific theories) with how they will email explain consciousness.

Leaving aside problems with the idea that they explained life!, they don't/can't see the massive difference between finding mecho-chemical patterns in life and introducing a new ontological category for explaining consciousness.

It's interesting that I was just listening to a Steiner lecture (about Goethe's theory of knowledge) where he mentions Haeckel. Basically, he says Haeckel assumed that, if we could have actually perceived life evolve, we could develop a complete physical account of inner conscious experience and its development as well. Steiner says this is not true - it is assumed the method of physical science can be applied to the science of life and consciousness, but it cannot be according to Steiner. That method can only fully explain the purely mechanistic dynamics of the mineral world. Once we turn to living organisms and inner experience, different peceptual faculties and methods are needed, and moreover they are ones which only became possible to employ recently. That is not to say these phenomena cannot be objecitvely investigated, because obviously Steiner knew they could be and he did, but he distinguished between the methods which are required for physical, soul, and spiritual phenomenal relations respectively. Goethe intuited this as well, which is why he looked for the phenomena to instruct him on what methods would be required when investigating them, rather than simply assuming the same mechanistic method could be used for everything in our experience. That, of course, is the genuine phenomenological method.
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
SatChitAnanda
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Re: Anil Seth

Post by SatChitAnanda »

This is great and also quite deep. I need to spend some time assimilating it. Resistance is futile.
Thanks once again.
Starbuck
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Re: Anil Seth

Post by Starbuck »

Remember, those we call materialists are probably better described as quantifiers. For one thing to independently act upon another it must be composed of separate and different quantities. The chimera of matter then must arrises to make sense of that. Consciousness as we experience it does not fit that paradigm. In their view it is therefore a redundant question. 'Redundant' is but a short step from 'solved' or even 'dissolved'.

Who is the quantifier?
findingblanks
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Re: Anil Seth

Post by findingblanks »

I like that Starbuck. Makes me think of comments by Steiner when he goes out of his way to make clear that the nefarious aspect of 'materialism' is the style of thinking rather than the content of the thought and that he'd prefer a world of creative materialists than dogmatic anthroposophists.

The thinkers I always find myself attracted to are those whose ideas are often changing and in whom you can't avoid the true joy they have in the process of researching, more than adding another line or stroke to whatever map they currently prefer. Steiner's absolute love for Haeckel's findings reflect that kind of passion in both Steiner and in Haeckel, despite Haeckel's absolute denial of 'Higher Worlds'.

When you can find the mobility in the thoughts themselves, their content becomes less important than how and where they point. Of course, many many people could have been misled by reading Haeckel into the form of materialism he embraced. Many were! But that didn't Stop Steiner from writing a small book in pure praise of Haeckel's work without feeling any need to point out a downside to studying him.

Thanks for adding "A quantifier" to the conversation.
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AshvinP
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Re: Anil Seth

Post by AshvinP »

findingblanks wrote: Tue Oct 26, 2021 6:32 pm I like that Starbuck. Makes me think of comments by Steiner when he goes out of his way to make clear that the nefarious aspect of 'materialism' is the style of thinking rather than the content of the thought and that he'd prefer a world of creative materialists than dogmatic anthroposophists.

The thinkers I always find myself attracted to are those whose ideas are often changing and in whom you can't avoid the true joy they have in the process of researching, more than adding another line or stroke to whatever map they currently prefer. Steiner's absolute love for Haeckel's findings reflect that kind of passion in both Steiner and in Haeckel, despite Haeckel's absolute denial of 'Higher Worlds'.

When you can find the mobility in the thoughts themselves, their content becomes less important than how and where they point. Of course, many many people could have been misled by reading Haeckel into the form of materialism he embraced. Many were! But that didn't Stop Steiner from writing a small book in pure praise of Haeckel's work without feeling any need to point out a downside to studying him.

Thanks for adding "A quantifier" to the conversation.

The bolded part is a very good observation, FB. If we take idealist monism and its implications seriously, then it is undeniable that the true World Content will be somewhere present in any systematic world-conception, unless the latter is somehow the product of pure hallucinations. The consistent theme of Steiner's philosophy is that it is the manner and depth of Thinking that truly makes the difference. It is the deepened Thinking spirit who can observe these world-conceptions and see how each one "goes forth from the World Harmony". How each one has taken up the fragmented pieces of the ideal Unity and endeavored to put them back together. And it is really clear to see why certain worldviews, like materialism or mystical nondualism, will never stimulate one towards this sort of deepened Thinking... since they deny the irreducible nature of Thinking itself, and therefore its absolutely critical role in the evolution of humanity. Materialism reduces it to abstract 'particles' (which are shuffled around and renamed every so often), while mystical nondualism reduces it to illusory fantasies of the underlying "instinctive" Mind. Sometimes these things are so simple that we wonder, "how could all these brilliant thinkers miss what is happening?", but that is only after someone else has pointed us towards what is happening to make it rather obvious. The truth is, we have all started out as some version of materialist, dualist, and reductionist and only gradually and somewhat painstakingly learned to overcome those bad mental habits. It would be a real shame if we lapsed back into those old habits now...
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
SatChitAnanda
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Re: Anil Seth

Post by SatChitAnanda »

Are theories stating that simple organic compounds assembling into more complex coalitions that could grow and reproduce were the very first life on earth incorrect ?
Materialist would see this as inanimate matter becoming animate.
Idealists would see this as the image of a dissociative process in consciousness.
Either way is it true to say that we have a cogent scientific theory of how inanimate matter becomes animate from a materialist POV ?
I didn't think we actually had a proper theory to explain the move from inanimate to animate. How those first reproducing creatures came about.
Because such a theory would also explain the emergence of phenomenal consciousness and there would be no "hard problem of consciousness".
This is why I thought Anil Seth was incorrect when he said the problem of life had been solved and the reason for my post.
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