Philosophers 1, Neuroscientists 0

Decades-long bet on consciousness ends — and it’s philosopher 1, neuroscientist 0

Christof Koch wagered David Chalmers 25 years ago that researchers would learn

how the brain achieves consciousness by now.

But the quest continues.

So GNWT fared a bit worse than IIT during the experiment. “But that doesn’t mean that IIT is true and GNWT isn’t,” Melloni says. What it means is that proponents need to rethink the mechanisms they proposed in light of the new evidence

So is argument over how the signals of human consciousness are interpreted?

The fact remains those traces being observed is human consciousness is action.

Can you explain what did the philosopher get correct,
to allow such a chest thumping headline?
That 25 years wasn’t enough to process all the details?
That a young scientist was over enthusiastic in his predictions?

Bonus question:
What achievements has philosophy achieved in that arena over the past 25 years?

Chalmers seems to give pretty much the same talk he always has. What progress has he made - he still can’t get himself to incorporate the fact that the “Thing In Itself” is the freak’n body said creature inhabits. Which has huge implications for how all this information is processed.

Hoffman’s Case Against Reality assures us:

Donald Hoffman: “Spacetime is your virtual reality.
The objects you see are your invention.
You create them with a glance and destroy them with a blink.” (10,¶91)

They didn’t do anything. The headline was written by a journalists intern.

Yeah, and you found it worth waving around :wink:

… In 1998, neuroscientist Christof Koch bet philosopher David Chalmers that the mechanism by which the brain’s neurons produce consciousness would be discovered by 2023.

mechanism by which

Okay we don’t know every step, but consider what neuroscientists can visualize (sorry I don’t have the time to put together a collection, but you know what’s out there), your thoughts in action, are you telling me that’s not consciousness in action? We are observing it in action, why is that treated like chopped liver??

So, what’s missing? Can you describe that?

… Understanding consciousness begins with its most fundamental aspect – the conscious state, which distinguishes wakefulness from sleep, coma, or other unconscious states.

This ability to toggle between conscious and unconscious states hinges on the complex interplay within a network of brain regions called the ascending reticular activating system (ARAS), which includes the thalamus and the brainstem. …

Toggles - as in on off? But from an evolutionary perspective I appreciate that homeostasis is the foundation of emotions, and emotions are the foundation of actions. Consider the insides of our bodies, nothing in there is on off, it’s networks and gradients and balancing, body, brain, mind and mind blowing nuance.

Gina DiGravio – Boston University: “What is completely new about this theory is that it suggests we don’t perceive the world, make decisions, or perform actions directly. Instead, we do all these things unconsciously and then—about half a second later—consciously remember doing them.” …

According to the researchers, this theory is important because it explains that all our decisions and actions are actually made unconsciously, although we fool ourselves into believing that we consciously made them. …

Dec 14, 2018 - Dr. Marcel Just
Dr Just shows us the latest research on using fMRI machines to read
thoughts. Patterns in brain activity can be correlated to images and
more complex concepts independent of language and person using Machine Learning.

Even emotions and semantic elements have surprisingly universal representations in the brain.

With these tools, we can develop more effective ways of teaching and perhaps tackle mental illness. Dr. Marcel Just is the D.O. Hebb University Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging at Carnegie Mellon University. His cognitive neuroscience research investigates the nature of high-level human thought (such as language and concept formation) by relating it to the mechanisms of the underlying brain infrastructure.

The neural signatures of familiar concepts (measured with fMRI) like the thought of an apple or a hammer, or the experience of an emotion, are identifiable by machine learning programs, making it possible for the first time to tell whether someone is thinking of a hammer or an apple, or whether they are feeling happiness or disgust.

One application of this “brain reading” approach is its potential to diagnose and suggest treatments for some psychiatric disorders. For example, in people with suicidal thoughts, the neural representations of death as well as thoughts of positive aspects of life (e.g. carefree) are systematically altered, and these alterations make it possible to diagnose suicidal ideation with very high accuracy. This research is in its infancy, but it is progressing rapidly and could enable a significant advance in understanding and enhancing human intellectual ability.

None of those links I shared up there, make any sort of evolutionary connection, that our body is actually the product of countless adaptations and refinements, regressing back into ever simpler forms, all the way back into swamps and oceans and single celled beings.

How can some philosophers insist that consciousness is a universal property, when all the physical evidence points at consciousness being a product of biology and life itself,
with each creatures consciousness “spark” being in direct correlation to complexity and experience.

{It helps so much contrived confusion fall away}

Pretty much the only point that I’m “wavin around”

No to me it seems you’re simply sharing the same old story line and sticking to it.

and I don’t mean that in snooty way, I’m serious, . . .

Oh and earlier I simply asked for you to offer a bullet list of perceive contradictions, I’m interested in hear them -

The story that we don’t know everything? I guess. What other story is there?

The new is one that absorbed the importance of our body’s providence and how that informs us as to the reality of who we are.

As for the old story it’s all wrapped up in convincing people it’s all an illusion. then comes the mucho blah blah

Are you asking me to focus on mind/consciousness? Because you’ve very specifically said to NOT do that, many times.

One of your contradictions

No, actually I’m trying to figure out what the big deal is about this bet that Koch apparently lost.

Seems to me we’ve been learning a heck a lot about the mechanisms of senses, perception, processing, command’n control, etc., that is thoughts, that is consciousness.

What is it that’s missing?

What makes it so significant?

That’s the sort of stuff I’m wondering about.
Oh, and why is so much left out?

The article is pretty interesting. It’s a funny story and the quirky title sets that tone. There is no “team philosophers”, so I’m not responding to your comments on that. The article covers what’s known and not known and where the science might go in the future. Your links were also good. The size of the “deal” is not an issue for me, so I can’t help you there

Wow, another nothing burger, you disappoint.

It’s rambling article and a reasonable review of the history, but answers no questions.
Is that my sin that I’m expecting some serious answers?

Unfulfilled predictions

“With respect to IIT, what we observed is that, indeed, areas in the posterior cortex do contain information in a sustained manner,” Melloni says, adding that the finding seems to suggest that the ‘structure’ postulated by the theory is being observed. But the researchers didn’t find evidence of sustained synchronization between different areas of the brain, as had been predicted.

In terms of GNWT, the researchers found that some aspects of consciousness, but not all of them, could be identified in the prefrontal cortex. . . .

Oh so consciousness is being observed, …

Better not ask if we’re going at this ass backwards and that that’s perhaps why nothing is ever resolved and most of what we see written for the no experts are ‘funny stories with quirky titles, and provocative suggestions’, but little substance.

But start poking at the beast and it’s this sort of non-participation that’s the best folks can come up with.

Disappointing, but revealing.

At least I attempt to defend my thoughts and words.

One more time:

The new story is one that absorbed the importance of our body’s providence and how that informs us as to the reality of who we are.

As for the old story, it’s all wrapped up in convincing people it’s all an illusion. then comes the mucho blah blah

The source of consciousness is universal, “God” is universal, all that simply reflects a childish disregard for the actual physical evidence that been accumulating, especially these past fifty years - no matter how smart the peddler is.

Earth herself is the source of biology and life and awareness and consciousness and self-consciousness. Until we actually absorb that we’ll remain as lost and clueless as we ever were - and now that we’ve made ourselves God, the outcomes will get progressively more hideous.

Yes. Absolutely yes. I’ve been saying that for months. We don’t know. That’s science, that’s how knowledge works. We don’t have all the answers.

Now, you’re turn. How is, “look at evolution, the body, and you’ll find the answer”, an answer? At best, it’s an approach. A good one, sure. Something science is doing, definitely. The answers are the results of that. For some reason you think they aren’t enough, or we could better, or something, what?

Oh dear, that would require me repeating myself, then you’ll yell at me for repeating myself, even if I try improving with the repetition.

It starts out with the eternal Question Who Am I?

Appreciating (that is actually absorb and internalize the information) of a regression of your own body into the dim reaches of history and the previous forms your current body possesses, puts one in touch with little matters such as homeostasis driving emotions, and emotions driving actions, and actions causing feedback loops that trigger more changes in body/brain/mind and simple awareness moving into increasing awareness as accumulation of experiences add up.

This appreciation of the previous forms this genetic package of mine experienced puts me in touch with the internal mechanics going on behind all the Sturm und Drang that unfolds within myself, as I deal with situations and people - in a way nothing before came close to, since most self improvement is about following someone else’s way, without appreciating that we need to find ourselves and our own way, for a satisfying life. It doesn’t mean I’ve mastered myself, but it has given me the awareness to better use the Free-Won’t that all this extra evolutionary hardware enabled the human body to acquire.

This evolutionary bottom up perspective also inspires a sort of bond, respect, love, caring for Earth that Robin Wall Kimmerer writes about, a recognition that Earth created us and that we are part of the fabric - as opposed to the current conviction of most religious & non-religious people that Earth was put here to satisfying our human greedy insatiability, in blight disregard for all other inhabitants.

I feel my body & self as part of a continuum and don’t understand why so many people feel “lost”, except I do know that they have no realistic conception of who they are, thanks to a global society where magical thinking whether religious or political or intellectual is as far as most people see/feel.

On my walk with Maddy, this remark started playing in my head

and I started to wonder if you’d be able to define what we don’t know. Or is that out of bounds also?

If I ask that question you call it drivel. But when you explore it, you sound like an ancient Shaman on mushrooms describing a ritual and vision, and you think that’s fine. It’s not wrong. It’s that you say it’s wrong when others do it, but when you do it, it’s some kind of truth.

To, the unanswered, “don’tknow”. I listed them as the top philosophical questions not too long ago. There is no out of bounds, but there is asking me to repeat myself and say obvious things, like the first milliseconds after the big bang. You know the answer (to the question of what we don’t know). If you know what consciousness is, publish your paper.

No that is the “hard” part of the question. It appears to be an emergent property and it is the scientific problem to solve.

I still like Tegmarks approach of identifying what we do know. The “hard facts”, from which we may gain insight as to the solution.

Keep in mind that Tegmark correctly identified the fact that we do know that we are conscious and that consciousness emerges from our neural network. We possess all the ingredients necessary for consciousness to emerge as a result of the neural activities.

Perhaps it may be as simple as the rising awareness of neural dynamics when processing information in the form of differential equations (different values).

Coming to a profound recognition of your body regressing into its previous incarnations back to the beginning of time, isn’t a shaman’s journey anymore !!! It is based on sound science with more varied threads of solid physical evidence woven into a consistent harmonic rational story, than anything else humanity has ever achieved.

I’m saying that needs to be better incorporated into today’s philosophy and you come off upset that I dare question the adequacy of today’s public dialogue - which continues pounding on the same old trite notions that life is an illusion and our consciousness is nothing but a hallucination and . . .

A public dialogue that consistent ignores biology and evolution and Earth, when discussing human consciousness.

Transience doesn’t mean Illusion.

How’s a human being going to relate to that?

As opposed to relating to the biological neurological fact that everything you have going on inside of you is also reflected (in degrees) in mammalian animals, and in degree even further back, to the origins even. The fact that nothing about us is totally novel, or comes down from up above,
but instead that it has come up through evolution of and on this spectacular unique Earth itself.

That we exist because of uncounted layers of complexity, each dependent on the solidity of the previous layers below.

Not as some jingle to disregard as soon as you hear it, or as historical myth,

but as a concept with scientific solidity that helps explain all these mysteries we’ve wondered about since forever - with a ring of truth nothing pre-20th century could dream up.

I don’t know what trite dialogue you’re overhearing. I had a discussion about caulk the other day. If I’m at a coffee shop and overhear someone talking about life, illusion or otherwise, I want to meet those people.

Speaking of illusions, I no longer have the DElusion that I will have an epiphany and awaken to whatever profound recognition you claim, or that you will suddenly realize that you aren’t saying what you think you are. I think we see things very much the same and are traveling in almost exactly the same direction, but there is some space between our two parallel journeys. That bothers only a tiny bit, but seems pretty important to you.