Why Philosophy Matters

Okay, let’s get this show on the road.

Religious Deviant: Why Philosophy Matters - Transcendence (winter60.blogspot.com)

Have a good weekend everyone

Another reason. If you have the wrong philosophy, you might just gobble up the world’s resources until they are gone

The “how” doesn’t have anything to do with the fact of understanding it being a prerequisite for a deeper more realistic understanding of ourselves.

The key to cracking the code is in understanding about how consciousness arose and flourished as a product of living creatures, and how that got embellished over eons of worth of varying challenges, experiences and successes.

It seems to me a no-brainer that a first order challenge for the survival and advancement of any organism is its ability to communicate with itself. But that’s the result of a lifetime of part-time learning. I may not have depth, but boy do I have an overview of many details and I know where to look if I need more depth on anything
One of the beautiful things about new Earth Sciences and biological revelations is how consistently they fit into that overarching bottom-up Evolutionary school of understanding, … once the new facts are absorbed.

We can only hope to lead the horse to water, it needs to decide to drink for her/him self.
For sure, takes personal curiosity, followed by a bit of dedication, followed by a willingness to be wrong & embarrassed yet hungry to learn from one’s mistakes. To always improve one’s understanding.

The masses are the masses. This is something for dedicated individuals. That’s sad but the way of the world.

Nothing wrong with making mistakes. It’s the clinging to them that’s counterproductive.

I didn’t say philosophy is stupid.

Carrier says, Philosophy Is…

What exists and what doesn’t.

What its nature is or isn’t.

How much we can trust what we claim to know.

How should we behave—and organize society.

What we should infer from the facts of science to answer all of the above.

How we should integrate those facts with others, e.g. from history, journalism, personal experience.

Philosophy answers questions like…

“Who am I?”

“What should I do with my life? How can I be happy?”

“Do I have the right friends? Are these bad friends?”

“Am I a bad person? Should I be living my life differently?”

“What’s worth making sacrifices for? How much sacrifice?”

“Am I in love? What is love?”

“Is there a god / afterlife / cosmic plan?”

Philosophy = Worldview

Thinking way too many media-celeb. philosophers are windbags with little to nothing to offer,
is not the same as: philosophy itself is stupid.

Nonsense! I know from personal experience that a deep realistic understanding of that certainly does change our perception of ourselves going about or day to days.

But the contemplative experience remains superficial until you can intellectually experience your body as a thing through the lens of deep-time, keeping up with the fast paced pageant of evolution unfolding upon this spectacular Earth of ours. You happen to be living biology’s most recent incarnation of your form.

It’s self-event that living bodies need to communicate with themselves to accomplish anything.
Instead of meditating on nothingness, why not mediate on that “speck of dust that wanted to be more” - or the consciousness of those prokaryote cells that became eukaryote cells and then went crazy with potential and experimentation, as the environment provided more refined resources?

Nope instead we’re busy telling ourselves that consciousness is a product our mind - with minimal superficial consideration of actual creature origins. It’s not wrong, but it does muddle any chance at understanding.

I heard a philosophical reflection on the challenge to come to terms with why the experience is different from the memory . . .
What about this for a solution … the experience is actually being experienced by your biological body/brain, which then registers the experience in your mind, thereafter your memory needs to recalled the memory from your brain, which is busy continued to live and piling on new experiences, why shouldn’t it fade?
Later, …

thereafter what is ever present what is there always to be noticed is consciousness is it’s just the sheer fact that it feels like something to be what you are to be aware of experience to be awake even you know even in the dream state you know potentially even in in

All this contrived mystery and confusion is easily resolved by realizing your consciousness is actually factually the inside reflection of your body dealing with the process of living.

Even in dreams there’s the sheer fact that it’s like something to be what you are and and that is consciousness for lack of a better term. I mean I would also call that awareness um and it’s always the ground truth of your living and caring about anything.

I mean there’s nothing you can value outside of its potential implications for Consciousness. You know whether it’s your Consciousness or the consciousness of those you care about or of the …

The philosophical challenge of coming to grips with why “it feels like something to be you” closely related to, Why a Bat feels like a bat - is a dead end.

Harris rambles on and leaves me totally unimpressed because he’s a stellar example of ignoring the implications of Evolution and the fact of being an evolved animal in his musings! One can’t constructively approach consciousness, without understanding origins of consciousness.

We can’t start doing that without having an out of body experience, or at least awareness :slight_smile: , of your body regressing generations, back through evolutionary time into ever more primitive forms of simpler bodies and simpler awareness (with simpler needs for that matter).

The mistake most talking heads do is focus on our current mind/consciousness and disregard its intimate bond with our individual body, or that it’s a historical legacy rather than a human invention.

Let alone show any appreciation for the evolutionary origins of consciousness, or the simple need for any active organism to be able to communicate with itself, if it’s going to thrive. There’s nothing mystical, or mysterious, about our mind, it’s what bodies needed to do! Or we wouldn’t be here in the first place.

The evolutionary perspective puts one in touch with how much this body/brain dictates who you are, and what your capabilities can be. Along with that comes a way deeper appreciation for our Flesh vs Spirit conflicts and dysfunctions, (this too comes from personal experience) than any current religious or philosophical or psychological musings get close to .


Also after a few late nights gibber jabbering with folks and trying to explain the outline of my thesis - the question of God came up. Simply can’t dismiss God that easy. I responded that I didn’t dismiss God, I simply pointed out that God is a creation of our minds. That God is not something that comes down from above.

As I’ve chewed on those memories, it occurred to me that rather than God being a creation of our mind, why not, God as a creation of biology! Starting with those first cells that had organelles with specific jobs, places to be and a schedule to keep. The speck of dust that wanted to be more and didn’t stop trying, then when there was finally an environment to flourish within, it took off.

Earthly Consciousness as God, how’s that to hang a god-fear’n hat on?

Seems to me, it adds a certain poetic touch. :v: :wink:

I wish you would have distinguished that a long time ago. Mostly you’ve rhetorically asked why people bother with older philosophers. That seemed like “why bother with philosophy?”

“Stupid” in the title is provocative, to get you to click on it.

I say that (what you heard) in my next sentence. I only said Sam’s words, what he mentioned, to mark the point in the conversation. Ugh. Chasing my tail. I’m relating the common experience of humans and you are trying to argue it. Why do you think you’re description of consciousness is correct?

No. I’m actually not trying to argue anything. I’m pointing out the inadequacy of current explanations right down to the fundamental framing of the discussion.

Until one can conceptualize the regression of the human body back into earliest reaches of biological evolution, one’s conception and discussion of “consciousness” will alway be superficial and self-serving rather than edifying.

And okay, sorry Sam Harris’s word drove your’s into obscurity.

And I’m trying to relate that the human experience can’t be grasped from a human centric perspective.

I feel I have been. How could I dismiss philosophy outright, when what I’ve done all my life is closer to philosophy than science and always has been. I’m a science consumer, not a scientist and never pretended more, I’m still the echo of the toddler who asked mom, Who is god?, isn’t that philosophy?

So give me another try, without distraction, what is the basic point you’re trying to get across?
(Oh and sorry haven’t had time for your new piece, but will read it yet. The good universe will’n :slight_smile: )

What does that mean? Sure, to understand ourselves, we need the 10 billion year view, but we also need the society view, the community, and the personal views.

This is why I’m writing a sci-fi book. This is too difficult to explain with explanations. It needs a story for people to absorb it. My story will have a SBNR woman and a geeky introvert atheist, and someone who has qualities of both. There is a story with guns, kidnapping, and fire, but the theme will be how all of them need each other. One of the things they will talk about is what meditation is, and what it is not. It’s not “nothing”.

I have a bunch of notes on your whole post, but it’s frustrating, you contradict yourself from earlier posts, you hammer your one theme that everyone needs to have your experience, your knowledge, then they would have your same insights. I can’t keep doing this and get anything else done.

There’s some irony in that comment, because it seems that’s all we get is dwelling on society, community, personal views - with very, very little that truly strives to tie that in with our biological origins and the reality of our body.
That’s a failure in communication and imagination on a grand scale - and if trying to point out that is confusing …

A serious discussion about human consciousness should start with the fact that we are living within a body (plan and facility) that has gone through hundreds of millions of years of modifications and dealing with new circumstances & environments to function within.

That’s important because it helps one realize that our body does an awful lot of thinking and calculating and negotiating with the real world, before your conscious mind ever gets involved.

When discussing the duality problem why not point out the real duality challenge is in figuring out the difference between
A) physical body/brain that does a great deal of thinking for itself, below the level of our consciousness.
B) consciousness that is a reflection of that body dealing with this particular place and time within your particular model of one particular lineage of creatures.

Damned straight it frustrating being told how I contradict myself, but not having this perceive contraction specified. Its why I seek feedback hoping to hear perceived contradictions pointed out, because then I have a chance to figure out the breakdown in communication and strive to clarify and do better.

Besides, then I listen to the professional talking heads and golly I find an awful lot of contradictions and too often downright silliness in their ad hoc stories.

Instead I get confused stuff like that.
Of course, if everyone had my experience and my knowledge they would have the same insights. But we all have our own experience and our own knowledge base to work with.

If I harp on my experience and my knowledge base, it’s because that’s the only one I have to work with, it’s the only one I can speak about with any authority. I take it beyond my experience when I summarize:

A) Appreciating the Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide

B) Appreciating that our bodies are evolved animals,
built upon the evolving body plan of our ancestors, using widgets and gadgets and strategies that were developed in previous incarnations of our individual body, over a very slow steady march of increasing complexity of body and brain and experiences.

C) Appreciating the our consciousness is quite literally the insider reflection of our bodies getting on with living, seeking, surviving, homeostasis and interaction.

D) Explicitly recognizing that every moment is an interaction between the duality of our body’s physical nature and the metaphysical mind it produces.
Why would the body produce a mind in the first place?
Because it could not have accomplished anything to begin with, with only body and no processing or command center. Evolution took it from there.

See and here you bring it right back into the confines of our mindscape, as if the physical background were an irrelevance.
Where do you tie in how much the body/brain has to do with how we behave and process?

And how much do we miss about the thoughts we have when we disregard our body’s influence on our thoughts and our Evolution’s influences on our bodies and their impulses?

And . . . , so, implication being that: meditating on our body and origins is useless and irrelevant?

Earlier I listened to “Sam Harris: The Self is an Illusion.”

Again no reference to the biological you.

And I’m thinking if the object is to help people better understand themselves, why is so little attention paid to our bodies and their essence, which requires understanding our biological provenance so to speak?

You are you because of the body you inhabit, not because of the conversation going on within your head. Yet not a word of acknowledgment for how our bodies define us and direct our thinking and interactions.

Of course, your thoughts and the directions they drive you, are another “self” (the meta-physicial self) cloaked over the frame that is your physical body. But we also need to look past that to the foundations of who we are.

Does any of that make sense?
Do you think there are contradictions within that?


Earlier I listened to “Sam Harris: The Self is an Illusion.”

Does Anil Seth’s “controlled hallucination” begin to make more sense?

Again no reference to the biological you.

The biological you is autonomous and works at the subconscious level. Homeostasis.

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No wonder we don’t make sense to each other.

You really believe that is all your physical body is to/for you?

You really haven’t thought about it as much as you like to presume.

Stick to defending microtubules.

Why? Do you have a more recent talk where he steps up his game a little? It would be nice to hear a more nuanced talk, rather than the usual ‘provocative’ crowd pleasers. :cat2:

You know the answer to that. You are getting contentious.

I’ve pointed these out before. It’s kind of rude to demand I review our threads when my post was telling you that I’m getting tired of reviewing our threads and trying to come at this from some new angle when your responses are often a block quote that I’ve read dozens of times.

[quote=“citizenschallengev4, post:31, topic:10293”]
You really believe that is all your physical body is to/for you?

What gave you that idea?

You really haven’t thought about it as much as you like to presume.

On the contrary, I have given that considerable thought.

Stick to defending microtubules.

Microtubules are also instrumental in data transfer for homeostatic purposes.
But perhaps you are not giving enough credit to homeostasis as a complex process of
maintaining the entire physical biome in balance .

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I’d like more focus on the question, rather than my follow-up. I know you want more focus on evolution, starting, I don’t know when, pre-primates I think.

My question was supposed to focus on this part of your statement, “…the human experience can’t be grasped from a human-centric perspective.” That’s the human condition, that we are human, that we evolved for however long, then that evolution gave us language and a frontal cortex and we started using it to figure out how we got here. Funny thing, for a long time, we didn’t know it had anything to do with the frontal cortex, we thought our “self” was coming from the heart or the guts.

The human perspective is the only perspective we have. Part of that is we can imagine, like Jimi Hendrix, that UFOs are looking down on us and laughing, but that’s the best we can do, imagine.

Oh uh,
I see fingers, hands and shades of faces,
Reachin’ up and not quite touchin’ the promised land,
I hear pleas and prayers and a desperate whisper sayin,
Oh, Lord, please give us a helpin’ hand,
Yeah yeah

Way down in the background,
I can see frustrated souls of cities burnin,
And all across the water,baby,
I see weapons barkin’ out the sting of death,
And up in the clouds I can imagine UFOs jumpin’ themselves,
Laughin’ they sayin’,
Those people so uptight, they sure know how to make a mess
Music video by Jimi Hendrix performing Somewhere. (P) 2012 Experience Hendrix L.L.C., under exclusive license to Sony Music Entertainment

You writing as though our body’s homeostasis systems are somehow separate from our consciousness, or that consciousness is one thing and our subconscious a totally different thing. are the sorts of comments that give me that impression. Just like your Microtubules being the answer to conscious, or simply the cats meow, to the excuse of all the systems they work in conjunction with.

Yeah, currently I’m feeling a bit contentious towards the universe and all the stuff and people it dumps on me, leaving me with zero time for focusing and typing out what’s at my finger tips. But that’s what life is, a constant dance of triage, and people do matter, but dang I want to get back to Daut’s project since I believe that will be a better way forward then this May Pole dance, and damned if I simply can’t, every time I think I’ll finally get a day for myself, something else is tossed at me, and unfortunately I have a tough time say no. And now I hear lil B and lil G have a baby sister in the oven. When too much is never enough.

Besides, it’s not like there isn’t some satisfaction in all the bustling, besides the friendships and love and jobs fairly well done, there’s stuff like this.

A peak at the new FLML StoryWalk, on a trail who’s building I helped organize & coordinate during successive Arbor Day tree planting days some 30-35 years ago, (during one of my past lifetimes).

Very cool. A little town in Indiana, Harmony, has something like that. I’d love to do something similar, some day. I contributed to this bog walk, 3rd or 4th pic. My ash trees for the planks and some labor in the construction

Very cool !

Some satisfaction can only be earned by hard work and sweat equity. :+1:t2:

[quote=“citizenschallengev4, post:35, topic:10293”]
You writing as though our body’s homeostasis systems are somehow separate from our consciousness, or that consciousness is one thing and our subconscious a totally different thing. are the sorts of comments that give me that impression.

But what you seem to be missing is that homeostatsis is an autonomous subconscious control mechanism that operates on pure chemistry. The only feed back you get from homeostasis is if something goes wrong and the system sends an alarm to the conscious brain in the form of pain or nausea.

Consider that when you receive anesthetics only your conscious brain becomes inoperative, while the subconscious homeostatic part of the brain remains active in controlling the body’s functions.

If they were connected then anesthetics would kill you, by rendering homeostasis inactive and death would follow within minutes.

Just like your Microtubules being the answer to consciousness, or simply the cats meow, to the excuse of all the systems they work in conjunction with.

Consciousness keeps you aware!!!
Subconscious homeostasis keeps you alive!!!

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Correction: excuse = excess

The homeostasis you describe sounds to me like a bunch of thermostats and switches wired together. But when I read what the big boys/girls have to say it always gets way more complicated, and integrated with our consciousness to boot.

An informative way of understanding the interactions of various selves is through the use of a wardley map.

We can thus see a parallel between selves and the motivations we find in spiral dynamics and constructive developmental theory. Modern society consists of shared doctrines, the most prevalent of which belong to purple (security), red (energy and power), blue (order), orange (success) and green (community). These doctrines all exist simultaneously and typically in conflict or cooperation in modern civilization. The lower developmental stages evolved first and have existed longer than subsequent stages. Different cultures give greater emphasis on one stage over the other.

We can make the analogy of stages of development with the development of selves within the mind.


  • Homeostasis could explain consciousness in physical terms.
  • The biological roots of consciousness are deeply related to emotions.
  • Attention does not depend on homeostasis and can explain many types of unconscious reasoning.

. . . Solms, who is also trained as a psychoanalyst, explains the fundamental role that unconscious cognition plays in perception, planning, and memory. This is crucial to understand an important nuance of his view. The refined contents of our thoughts, beliefs, and plans may all occur unconsciously. This is why the notion of unconscious attention is so important to understand the mind (we go into more detail in a previous post). What is unique about consciousness is its valence structure, grounded on homeostasis. Emotions and their “raw feel” is the substance of consciousness—a deeply visceral and biological aspect of our minds. We are “conscious homeostats,” and given the basic features of our emotions, one wonders if consciousness evolved before the more refined forms of thoughts, such as long-term action planning and conceptual contents.

According to Solms, it is likely that consciousness is indeed reliant on a more “primitive” region in the brain, the brain stem, which also supports valence judgment and visceral responses that help regulate homeostasis in unpredictable contexts (see Solms, 2019). In other words, affective consciousness can complement the predictive functions of the brain in times of uncertainty to help it reach a state of equilibrium (which can also facilitate learning). Interestingly, this can be described by physical laws, such as entropy and the minimization of free energy in self-organizing systems, in this case the nervous system (and Solms calls on the work of Karl Friston to support his view on homeostasis). . . .

But you must go by the evidence

When you are having surgery the anesthesiologist renders you “unconscious”.

For the duration your conscious mind has been separated from the rest of your body and you are just an object until consciousness has been restored.

However your homeostasis is not affected and continues to control the bodily functions. If that went asleep along with your conscious awareness, you’d die in minutes.

Homeostasis is a subconscious function. We do not consciously control our autonomous body functions. Consciousness is not required, just biochemical control.