Philosophers 1, Neuroscientists 0

Sam Harris for one.

I don’t think that’s the case. Especially since I’m way more willing to get into the weeds on this, whereas it sure feels like you’re simply trying to underscore your dismissal.

So, let’s call it good. Besides I’ve been promising my copy of Daut my undivided attention hours ago, then got caught up in this.

Wrong question. How can a neural processing system relate to “differential equations” is the better question, because then it may be compared to say heliotropism in plants. The unconscious awareness of an imbalance between environmental states, i.e. position of the sun.
Does full exposure to sunlight cause a state of comfort or energy? And when may this unconscious process of adjustment for comfort become a conscious experience?

That is the correct question.

You are watching too much Youtube and thinking everyone else is. Most of the world is Joe Rogan, Fox News, and sports. Most Americans don’t read books.

That’s why the case of booze and all the invitations to reporters and photographer?

Seriously, its a road show, the intellectual theater for the educated, and it has a long and distinguished history. And as with any show, sensation sells better than regular down to Earth stuff.

So long as philosophers can’t upfront recognize and absorb the fact that our minds are the direct product of our body/brain, which in turn are the direct product of Earth’s evolution, with all it’s magnificent implications,
they’re spinning their wheels.

… Copernican revolution, it’s a complete reversal of the Platonic model,
so the idea is I’m not discovering the patterns of intelligibility
that structurally functionally organized the world.

What’s actually happening
is this pattern is being imposed on the information coming in
so that it will fit my mind and make sense to my mind,
and that’s the basis of my capacity


For reasoning about the world,
I can reason about the world not because the world is ultimately rationally structured,

but like Arkham said the world is absurd in itself,
I can reason about the world
because I have filtered it in such a way that my mind can process it according to its own internal grammar so see how this is this is why
( Ep. 23 - Awakening from the Meaning Crisis - Romanticism)

We are evolved sensing thinking creatures,
Or minds and bodies are not separate entities!!!

Our body/brain produces minds,

and our body has billions of years worth of memories embedded within it.

That matters!

Nothing can make sense without soaking in those simple realities.

Our senses perceive, what they need to, to survive.
Our body/brain processes those senses,
and our minds construct the best impression they can,
with what they have to work with.

Our Mind IS produced by our body & brain interacting with the world and itself.

Consciousness is a fleeting interaction, constantly refreshing itself.

So many of those trite questions and quandaries that I hear philosophers endlessly rehashing, are resolved by this realistic biology/evolution respecting lens of awareness. So why is it still ignored pretty much across the board?

For me, listening to these lectures and other philosophers, the cognitive dissonance is head pounding. *

Yet, out there, it’s endlessly danced around, sort of like how folks managed to deny the CO2 - AGW - societal expectation, connection with such alacrity all these decades.

And if I say ‘blindly self-absorbed and self-certain’, I’m the bad guy, the nasty one, but they’re saying stuff that simply has no consilience with what we know about real life, on this real Earth. It’s mind games. Supercharged mind games, but mind games nonetheless.

“*” Fortunately when I read books like these, so much resonates with my outlook, that I’m reassured.


By: Mark Solms

Brain and the Inner World: An Introduction to the Neuroscience of the Subjective Experience (2002)

The Hidden Spring: A Journey to the Source of Consciousness (2021)

Lectures available on YouTube: “The Source of Consciousness” & “Consciousness and the Mind Body Connection”

By: Antonio Damasio

Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain (2010)

By: Nick Lane

Oxygen: The Molecule That Made the World (2002)

Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution (2009)

The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life (2015)

Transformer: The Deep Chemistry of Life and Death (2022)

By: Robert M. Hazen,

Origins of Life (2005) (Great Courses)

The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet (2012)

Symphony in C: Carbon and the Evolution of (Almost) Everything (2019)

By: Neil Shubin

Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body (2008)

The Universe Within: Discovering the Common History of Rocks, Planets, and People (2013)

By: David Quammen

The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life (2018)

(Featuring, Carl Woese, Lynn Margulis, Tsutomu Wantanabe,

By Sean B. Carroll

The Story of Life : Great Discoveries in Biology (2019)

A Series of Fortunate Events: Chance and the Making of the Planet, Life, and You (2020)

By: Peter Godfrey-Smith

Metazoa: Animal Life and the Birth of the Mind (2020)

By: Ed Yong

An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us (2022)

By: Joseph LeDoux

The Deep History of Ourselves: The Four-Billion-Year Story of How We Got Conscious Brains (2019)

By: David Sloan Wilson

This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution (2019)

Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin’s Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives (2007)

By: Jim Al-Khalili

The House of Wisdom: How Arabic Science Saved Ancient Knowledge and Gave Us the Renaissance (2011)

By: James Poskett

Horizons: The Global Origins of Modern Science (2022)

A new discovery for me, astounding stuff, will take a while to absorb, still these are worth recommending:

SubAnima - Created by Jake Brown - YouTube

The Forgotten Piece Of Evolutionary Theory (and why we need it back)
Natural Selection Is Kinda Overhyped
The Problem With Richard Dawkins
How NOT To Think About Cells
Organisms Are Not Made Of Atoms, …

Why is it so difficult to connect the dots?

That’s your philosophy. Not saying it’s wrong. It does ignore living philosophers. If you do philosophy, it’s good to include them.

No it’s not philosophy, it’s what science is revealing to us!

No? Of course, I have no idea what “living philosophers” think, since I only hear about the popular ones that float to the mass media surface - but
so long as Chalmers remains the cats meow, with his contrived construction, I have a point.

So long a talks are started with a just-so story about how unreal physical reality is, because the electron is some point spinning around a teeny tiny nucleus in an enormous space - while ignoring the landscape of covalent shells - is Pre-evolution Cartesian day dreaming. Believing the brain can logic together an impression of reality.

Then I look at the insane world out there today, one that is literally crumbling because of the inept, stupid, insight lacking, greedy, self-obsessed, self-certain vicious fools running the shows right and left. Why are we so proud of our intellectual ancient history, when this is the best it could produce for us?

David Sloan Wilson is pretty amazing, though his embrace of The Templeton Foundation, and his ease with religion keeps me a little skittish, but it’s the words that matter and he really does make sense so repeatedly pulls me back in, when I’m leaning out, but he’s a rarity.

Most of my heroes are non-philosophers, people who actually do real world science with real world observation standards - with their philosophizing growing out of that solid foundation -
instead of a conceit that their job is just to ask questions, and make conjectures, and that they are better read than their audience; so they win.

What is the real problem of consciousness?

The real conundrum is how subjective experience emerges from the body: how the brain—a chunk of meat—produces a subjective “feel”. This is the “hard problem” of consciousness (Chalmers, 1996) (WIKI)

The Brain simply a chunk of meat?

That’s entertainment - but philosophers call it deep thinking

What is the Chalmers mind body problem?

The hard problem of consciousness (Chalmers 1995) is the problem of explaining the relationship between physical phenomena, such as brain processes, and experience(i.e., phenomenal consciousness, or mental states/events with phenomenal qualities or qualia). Why are physical processes ever accompanied by experience?

A purely physical explanation for consciousness falls short.

What you get from purely reductivistic explanations about the functioning of a system cannot answer the deeper questions about our subjective experience (why does all of this feel like something from the inside).
Neuroscience answers some of the questions of consciousness (e.g., what brain activities are related with what experiences) but not all of the questions; it doesn’t address the mystery of WHY it is that all of the physical processing in the brain should be accompanied by consciousness at all? Why is there this inner-subjective movie?

For gosh sake, the man doesn’t even include the body within brain processes!

The man doesn’t even acknowledge that our bodies are the ongoing evolved product of hundreds of millions of years, and longer depending on how we look at it.

Scientists have and continue discovering all sorts of internal awareness and communication happen within the body, well below our conscious awareness.

We feel like something because our bodies freak’n ARE SOMETHING real and tangible, and that matters to your awareness of the world. Which freak’n body one possesses matters to what you will be aware of and how you feel that awareness.

Your body is also an amazing processing machine, that works in conjunction with your brain to produce your mind!

But add all sorts of mystical/philosphical incantations and it becomes mind-blowing and insoluble.

Our self aware conscious mind is the cherry of the evolutionary pageant, but it doesn’t require meta-physical skyhooks to make sense. Just a willingness to follow the physical evidence.

Question: Is this field displaying a form of consciousness?

Suppose this field exists within our brains.
The overhead wires make up the neural network and the fluorescent bulbs the synapses

Send data (EM) over the wires and fluorescent bulbs light up and a very nice picture emerges from a non-biological setting. Now add memory and we enter the self-referential system of thinking.

Does a computer think???

That’s what “philosophy” means

That’s it boys, keep the conversation alive with non sequiturs.

While philosophy seeks to understand human nature, science tries to determine reality by applying empirical data . The difference lies in the method of explanation. While philosophy uses philosophical arguments and philosophical principles, science makes use of empirical data and objective evidence. (source)

Descartes was doing math, but he was not doing science.

It depend on your philosophical perspective, if you think every atom has consciousness, of course, then go for it classify EM as all consciousness. In any event, the electrical grid and its boring EM interactions, is of an entirely difference classification.

In real biological life that we humans experience on this planet, consciousness is about dynamic interactions of living creatures and environments, as opposed to simple interactions between laws of physics.

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Science in the time of Descartes was barely doing sience. Your data is irrelevant to your to conclusion

If Descartes was doing math he was doing the science of the universe.

See: (Vervaeke, Awakening from the Meaning Crisis - #99 by write4u

It’s depressing how little you grasp of what I’ve written.

That’s my entire point!

… That mindset had us looking for truths out there in the heavens, the product of cosmic gods (or primal consciousness, or Hoffmanian Conscious Agents, etc.) that created us special and apart from the other creatures within Earth’s biosphere.
Earth was placed at our disposal to use and consume as we saw fit.
Another classic meme, our mind is a special gift to our body - as opposed to our body and environment creating our consciousness.

Who are you?
Who am I?

Even today we repeatedly hear that Descartes provided the best answer for us:

“I Think, Therefore, I Am!”

I’ve heard that cliché hundreds of times and it always seemed to me, an invitation to delusional thinking. An invitation to fancy ourselves the final arbiter of what reality is. Beyond that, it doesn’t offer much to deal with life or the demons and devils within us. Beyond that, it’s pure fantasy, we know that. Yet we can’t stop talking about the old mentality.

“Who am I within this writhing body of mine, full of its conflicting drives and desires, and those voices narrating my moments as I live them and watch myself age?”

I want to be clear I have a great deal of respect for Descartes via personally reading his “ Discourse on Method and the Meditations." Still his words and ideas only make sense when viewed from within his timeframe, using his conceptions to justify any notion related to our current period in human history is another, altogether different, matter.

*A serious high school has light years more data and awareness to work with, then poor Descartes who read through all the important books of his age, and found them so lacking in reliable claims, that he turned his back on contemporary knowledge altogether, and focused solely on his own experience and amazingly disciplined mind, coupled with his super-human will power and determination, and lets not forget ego.

He was also an opportunist, always trying to sell, nothing wrong with that, it was a rough world, if you didn’t take care of yourself, you were fodder for someone else. Still, we shouldn’t kids ourselves into believing he was an impartial ascetic, always focused on finding “truth” and above regular mortal weaknesses. *

Where humanity will need to get to, in the coming post-globalism mess.
At least those that want to rebuild and accommodate the new climate realities and are lucky enough to live somewhere that offer some promise.

Post-evolutionary & biological understanding.

“I Am, Therefore, I Think”

Recognizing the fundamental dualism, that is: our Human Mind ~ Physical Reality divide.
The challenge of our human condition summed up in a simple recognition.

Appreciating that “mind” is a product of our biological body communicating with itself. A necessary, and observed, ability within all of Earth’s biological beings ever studied. (Even before brains, and “minds” evolved, the precursors were around.)

(eliminates the gratuitous challenge: Why does it feel like something to be something? - Because you are something specific! You are the physical entity your awareness resides within.)
Now can we freak’n move on to real life challenges of being a healthy person?)

Consciousness is the inside reflection of our biological body in action. The dialogue that our body & brain must be engaged in, or the system would fail. Communication and decision making.

Humanity is a truly stellar creature in this regard, still all we are is relatable right back into biological history within the animal kingdom and before.

Giving a nod to evolution is not enough, we gotta feel it inside of your own physical body - to get there we gotta pay attention and learn for ourselves.

The Philosopher’s Gordian’s Knot.

“The hard problem of consciousness (Chalmers 1995) is the problem of explaining the relationship between physical phenomena, such as brain processes, and experience (i.e., phenomenal consciousness, or mental states/events with phenomenal qualities or qualia).”

Why are physical processes even accompanied by experience?

The question is contrived. Intellectual candy, not a serious effort to make sense of ourselves - too busy absorbed by the specialness and beauty of our thoughts.

Why doesn’t that open our eyes to the limitations of pre-evolutionary appreciation.

We’re still dancing around the specialness of humans while ignoring absorbing the specialness of this planet that provides for us.

Why does it bother me?

Because the global society I see around me, is the legacy of all those centuries worth of brainiacs, who never got past humanity’s self-absorption and self-certainty.

Today our society is in a free fall and all we do is fiddle and add more fuel to the fire. We don’t know anything else. Just look at what’s happening to the Republican Party and the insanity in our Congress.

When no one takes anything (among other things - our planet’s biosphere, and life support systems, loom pretty big) serious, what can we hope for.

Heck if we can’t even take school children’s lives and health seriously, where’s that leave us? I know there are always exceptions, and we do what we can, when we can, but none of that eliminates the rest of it, all of that out there, will be catching up to all of us.

Back at ya buddy bro

“I Am, Therefore, I Think”

I was at a storytelling festival tonight where Kevin Kling said those very words. But you’re stuck in a world from centuries ago, shaking your fist at dead people and people who don’t listen. You barely acknowledge the progress that’s going on all around you. It’s a big world. Good things can happen while backwards steps also take place.

Biochemical experience. There is no mind necessary to experience and react to stimuli.
A self-referential experience is already a form of thinking.

Oh that’s wonderful, a storyteller, let it percolate through society one block party after another.

But it’s okay for Vervaeke to dance right past the topic.

Don’t blame me for being stuck on the “world from centuries ago” when your star philosopher does the same in so much of his presentation.
He’s offered no lead-in towards an enlighten appreciation that you are an evolved biological organism and your body and brain produce your mind and all the thoughts you entertain. And that that matters.

Or that this biological arrangement developed step by step over deep time, and is reflected throughout our bodies.

No, we get to listen philosopher/physicists talking about primal consciousness and quantum collapse and such wavy gravy self-indulgence flights of fancy. Ignoring that consciousness is an interaction.

While the talking heads are still celebrating today’s philosophers profoundest moment - that we can’t fathom “why it feels like something to be you?”

When the answer is right in front of us and inside of us!

What am I supposed to acknowledge when this fundamental foundation of our human condition and our connection to Earth and evolution, keeps getting ignored - with the exception of perhaps a few storytellers at parties?

That’s what’s so maddening, it is obvious, but ignored. And telling me I’m ignoring all the positive stuff doesn’t change any of that. Why shouldn’t I be irritated by it, especially considering the profoundly self destructive habits we’ve acquired and continue amplifying?

Although, fundamentality I think we can guess why that is.
Because en masse we are Self-obsessed and Self-serving, in large part because that’s what our mass media is constantly reinforcing through its various boob-tubes, that we’re attached to. Oh, but better not mention that, no matter how accurate, might hurt someone’s feeling.

As for progress - that COVID thing, besides a few scientists that rushed through a vaccine, it was a pretty disaster in every other respect. Doctors, Nurses, hospitals were pretty much left to fend for themselves. Decades worth of public health advances, got trampled into the ground.

I mean using a medical mask, is now a political lightening bolt, but you want to lecture me about all the progress I’m ignoring, what about all the back sliding others are ignoring?

How many students are going to medical school these days, that doesn’t seem to be progressing that well. I can’t figure out why there aren’t big public service announcements and other incentives to coordinate the train and retention of doctors and nurse.

It’s like generations worth of prosperity have us forgetting about the basics, like food, fresh water, living space, etc.

Progress, how’s that going on the climate Science communication front?

How about these projects, is this what I should think of as progress, I know a lot of people do?

Well not if we keep ignoring some of our most fundamental misconceptions.

Anil Seth

It bears repeat viewing!

It bears revising!

In what way?
He shows how the human brain experiences reality. He does not offer anything but simple elegant facts with some profound implications.

We’ve been over my dissatisfaction with reinforcing an impression that the world out there is an illusion.

Our mind produces an impression of a very materially real world! -
it is that impression that you can get away with calling an illusion or hallucination.

I believe I’ve even heard him make that distinction in another talk, so it’s not like I’m disputing the science he is conveying.

It’s the way he’s conveying it, that invites a jump to considering the world around us is a shape shifting hallucination. Which I’m sure he doesn’t believe it, but his words sure make a good springboard for others to dive over the deep end.

I’m sure as Anil Seth learns more and matures, he will come up with a more relevant if less sexy analogy.

Hallucination = “an experience involving the apparent perception of something not present.”