UFO Conjectures

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Consciousness will remain inexplicable?

My pal, academic Bryan Sentes, provided a link (on Facebook) that indicates some think consciousness is not explainable or resolvable by cogitation.

Click HERE to read the article.



  • A good follow-up is this related commentary on philosopher Thomas Nagel's latest short, readable work.

    By Blogger Bryan Sentes, at Wednesday, August 24, 2016  

  • As you are a philosophical savant, Bryan, I can see why you'd like the material (and Nagel) delineated in your link.

    I have to agree that, aside from the snark about the multiverse, that science is awash with hokum and ravings of an almost insane kind, certainly irrational hypotheses and/or theories.

    Also, I'm seeing a tendency for philosophers (and science) to attribute our existence to something that thinks, something we can. for expediency, call God.

    This is the ineffable God, not the god beneath god that I keep writing is "dead."


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, August 24, 2016  

  • Nagel is a philosopher, and philosophy is the most idiosyncratic, self-indulgent and faddish academic enterprise in which one might wallow.

    Steven Hawking has said that philosophy is worthless, and that two thousand years of philosophy has produced absolutely no knowledge of the world. I can just hear him snorting at the very idea of the "philosophy of cosmology."

    And I agree mostly. It's really simple: From what one real world do we think about any other, or anything at all?

    Why the modern Scientific-realist (materialist neo-Darwinist) one of course. That should be the end of it. I know it is for me. As the great philosopher Ludwig W said a century ago: "The World is composed of facts." That is all we can know and all we need to know. Another great philosopher, Friedrich N, had said just a few decades before that he had no knowledge of other worlds! He only knew of the world in front of his face. Some philosophers, a very few, are great thinkers, but most are just rank eejits.

    Horgan talks about the End of Science, he could more appropriately be talking about the End of Philosophy. Horgan is a magazine writer. It's his job to write, to be witty, to stir his pot. But I've often agreed with what he says.

    Philosophers mostly engage in repeatedly examining all sides of fundamental questions and using the tools of logic they've created to expand their examinations into other areas of human knowledge. In the twentieth century it was the philosophy of language and science, of mind and consciousness; in this century it appears to be the philosophy of cosmology. Of what practical benefit most of these studies have been is doubtful.

    I do agree with Ed Witten but not for the "limits of science" reason he thinks. This is a case where philosophy has been beneficial: I think the problem of consciousness will never be solved because consciousness is a subjectively real individual and collective social delusion. We are all born with the evolutionary-acquired capacity for consciousness but it takes being an operational member of a society to bring it into being, a mind, a self.

    Call it a zoamchomskyan theory of consciousness: Primal sentience through the use of abstract language created relatively modern self-consciousness in humans as members of civilization. So maybe we already know the nature of consciousness as well as we ever will. I wouldn't call it a "mysterian" theory of consciousness though.

    Consciousness is an illusion created by brains in bodies having histories, experiences; and only by sharing these experiences and the endless flood of thoughts of the waking mind does consciousness become being.

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Thursday, August 25, 2016  

  • Zoam...

    You are so erudite,

    I've always maintained that philosophy is a lot of hoo-haa.

    Bryan Sentes is a philosophy scholar (and poet/professor). I can't, and few can, hold a candle to him. He knows more about philosophy than almost anyone I know or know about.

    He would disagree with you, as he often disagrees with me and my shallow forays into his domain.

    A discussion of consciousness can go nowhere here (or anywhere). It's a topic rife with unknowable facets.

    Anything I can say, or you can say, or Bryan can say would be fraught with a patina of silliness.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, August 25, 2016  

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