As some Hubbers have suggested empiricism aka scientific exploration is the only destiny that humans must aim for? Empiricism is tethered solely to materialism and physicalism. But humans as a specie have unique qualities and qualifications that no other life forms on earth possess ie subjectivity and consciousness. Philosophers have always believed that it is impossible for humans to ever or fully understand the true nature of subjective experiences and consciousness. Scientists on the other hand believe that empiricism will come to a naturalized, quantitative and predictive understanding of consciousness and its place in the universe.
So what side of this debate are you in?
<As some Hubbers have suggested, empiricism, aka scientific exploration, is the only destiny we should aim for.
Empiricism is tethered solely to materialism and physicalism. Scientists believe that empiricism will come to a naturalized, quantitative and predictive understanding of consciousness and its place in the universe.
(concrete: "existing in a material or physical form; real or solid." )
Philosophers, on the other hand, have always believed that it is impossible for humans to fully understand the true nature of subjective experiences and consciousness. But, humans, as a specie, have unique qualities and qualifications which no other life forms on earth possess, i.e., subjectivity,("based on personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.") and consciousness, ("the state of being awake and aware of one's surrounding.")
(abstract) "existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence.")
So what side of this debate are you on?>
The philosophers. They admit there is the metaphysical realm. Plato mentions "soul" and the "gods."
(Maybe I have gotten this thread off on the wrong foot. I don't know.)
I love science and think it matters a great deal in understanding our universe. It's simply amazing and fascinating all the time. Materialism and physicalism are great for understanding things that they are able to explain. For the rest, one must use the kinds of things that explain those things.
The last sentence of your post is quite intriguing. Kindly elucidate.
Before science became the primary vehicle for searching answers to questions about life and existence, philosophy lorded it over the intellectual landscape and have made quite a significant and overarching inspiration to the concordant understanding of our existence and its meaning and purpose. . For that we take a grateful pride in all of the philosophers who contributed to that understanding.
Now that empiricism has taken hold as the premier vehicle for moving forward, do we just discard what has been philosophically intuited and attuned in the past? Hardly. IMO science without philosophy is un-visionary.
"Socrates points out and Glaucon agrees, that the soul desires to do something and at the same time is averse to doing that same thing. This happens, for instance, when a person is thirsty and on that basis wants to drink, but at the same time wishes not to drink, on the basis of some calculation or deliberation, and in fact succeeds in refraining from drinking, thirsty though they are. It follows from the premises stated that the human soul includes at least two distinct subjects, so that one opposite (the desire to drink) can be assigned to one of them and the other (the aversion to drinking) can be assigned to the other. Taking himself to have identified reason and appetite as distinct parts of the soul, Socrates draws attention to other kinds of conflict between desires, which are meant to bring to light spirit, the third part of the soul.
The Republic contains a great deal of information that we can rely on in characterizing the three parts of the soul that Socrates introduces, information that can be found not only in Book 4 itself, but also (among other places) in the catalogue of corrupt forms of city and soul in Books 8 and 9. Here is an outline of what emerges. Reason is the part of the soul that is, of its own nature, attached to knowledge and truth. It is also, however, concerned to guide and regulate the life that it is, or anyhow should be, in charge of, ideally in a way that is informed by wisdom and that takes into consideration the concerns both of each of the three parts separately and of the soul as a whole; these concerns must be supposed to include a person's bodily needs, presumably via the concerns of appetite. The natural attachment of spirit is to honor and, more generally, to recognition and esteem by others. As a motivating force it generally accounts for self-assertion and ambition. When its desires are frustrated, it gives rise to emotional responses such as anger and indignation, and to behavior that expresses and naturally flows from such responses. Socrates takes spirit to be a natural ally of reason, at least part of its function being to support reason in such conflicts as may arise between it and appetite. To assign it this function is neither to say nor to imply that spirit cannot, in the case of a corrupt and de-natured soul, turn against reason, even if well brought-up individuals like Glaucon are not familiar with such corruption either in their own case or in the case of others."
Plato and Socrates were the primal philosophers of their respective times, and their theory of the soul has been expanded by succeeding generations of philosophers, that ultimately led to congruent concepts such as epicureanism and stoicism. These philosophies on how to live life at its utmost sadly has been overtaken by liberalism/secularism and their consequence, perhaps unintended, societal disorder aka anarchy. The intellectual discussion now pervading current historical narrative is replete with physical aggression that one constantly see or experience in extremism be it on the right or the left. A "soul-less" society with compunctions that are undergirded solely by materialistic impressions and insinuations.
The only thing the human species has that is not present in any other species to one degree or another is the foreknowledge that 'We will die'. Other species may feel the onset of death and react instinctively but humans have the foreknowledge of death independent of their physical condition;This knowledge has a Huge impact on how we live and what we believe as we attempt to 'mitigate' the concept of Nonexistence...which we are incapable of understanding...imo
The foreknowledge or prescience of death is consciousness at its most incipient functionality. However obvious it is to most of us, birth and death are but part of the cycle of life; however we don't conceptualize the reality of those two existential truth until our consciousness starts to integrate itself into our objective experiences.
Addendum to the above post: If by "the concept of non-existence" you mean the concept of transcendental existence.... of course, we could come to an understanding of its essential quality and consequential factuality.
Two of the most perceptive empiricists that has ever lived i.e. Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein have expressed their belief that cosmological existence could not be purely physical or solely material.
To paraphrase Newton: This most beautiful cosmological system, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of a transcendent Being. To paraphrase Einstein: In view of such harmony in the cosmos, my limited human mind is able to recognize the existence of a transcendent Being and the deeper we penetrate into nature's secrets, the greater become our respect for that transcendent Being.
Watching some of the extreme sports, I'm not sure that some people EVER get integrated.
Oh their consciousness gets integrated alright, but it is the need of their super ego that overcomes that process of integration....otherwise who would want to be involved in such a violent activity, except perhaps to not call it violent but sports.
the theory that all knowledge is derived from sense-experience.
Stimulated by the rise of experimental science
the doctrine that human knowledge is confined to or founded on the realities or appearances presented to the senses.
What about the 6th sense, Mr. A.V.?
Do you believe we can sense the invisible essence of omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient Spirit (Holy Spirit?) which causes all to manifest and also manifests in all??
A short answer to your question- yes I do believe in the 6th sense. In some philosophic quarters, the 6th sense is closely associated with QUALIA., which is defined as the internal and subjective component of sense perception arising from stimulation of the senses by phenomena.
You might want to google Qualia and Erwin Schroodinger. You would find it interesting that the person whose intense interest in quantum mechanics made him aware of the phenomenon that is qualia.
Are you speaking of the perception? How the brain takes the electrical impulses and "converts" them to a "picture" of what is being seen? The "interpretation" our brain makes of what our sensors send it?
A direct quote from E. Schroodinger: "The scientific picture of the world around me is very deficient. It gives me a lot of factual information, puts all our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but is ghastly silent about all that is really near to our hearts (sic and minds) that really matters to us. It cannot tell a word about the sensation of red and blue, bitter and sweet.... it knows nothing of beauty and ugly, good or bad, Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in those domains, but the answers are so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously."
From which I deduce that you ARE talking about the brains "translation", based on past history, feelings, etc. of sensory input into that mental picture of what is there.
An analogy might be a simple radio. The antenna picks up the photonic radiation and converts it to an electrical signal. The radio (brain) then uses specific rules and methods to convert that into movement of a speaker diaphragm. But the radio didn't actually "sense" anything - the antenna did.
By your definition a child at night hears the wind blowing tree branches against a wall. His ears sense that noise, but the brain "senses" a monster trying to get into his bedroom. A monster that isn't there at all, and was thus never sensed.
But if it makes you happy to say that using experience and imagination to interpret what our senses have detected is a 6th sense, have at it.
In the current movie The ARRIVAL, contact with what appeared to be a gigantic heptapod alien was unbearably difficult for a top-notch linguist(played by Amy Adams) to decipher because the alien language was composed of circular symbols with a multiciplity of splattered density along its course. Near the end of the movie, the linguist finally realized ( attuned because of her subjective feelings, emotions, and imagination) that what the alien was trying to communicate with the circular symbols was the message that time is not linear but circular, and that language could be considered "a weapon" or a method for making that understanding mutually beneficial.
It seems to me that in your densely splattered materialistic view, time is solely and purely linear, and that language could be used as a weapon for mutual mis-understanding.
The 6th sense is Qualia and that is what humans have that make them distinctly human, thus separate from all the other life forms on earth. Qualia is what makes humans better able to folow their destiny of being the witnesses to creation.
"attuned because of her subjective feelings, emotions, and imagination"
Understood. And those subjective feelings, emotions, imagination and experience are what made it possible. But they are not a "sense" in any sense of the word; they are the software that decodes the message, not what receives it. There is no "sensing" involved in bringing those things into play to understand what we have already sensed.
It is perhaps just a matter of terminology, but specific terminology which is in use for distinctly other purposes and can thus only spread confusion rather than communication. IMO, if the term "qualia" (which few have even heard of) is used, that's fine. But to use "6th sense" can only confuse those that really do think we have a 6th sense with which to sense the world or even those that are familiar with the term.
You did well to define the term, to indicate that you were making up a new definition for "sixth sense", but why is it even necessary? You had to define "qualia" anyway - just leave it that. Or with "cogitation", or maybe "understanding".
To define Qualia more succinctly: Qualia are the immediate individual conscious sensations that we experience, (such as redness or pain) that we then put together and interpret as we mentally model the world. In the matter of redness for example... how do I know that the redness I perceive when I look at a red candle is the same as the redness you perceive?
David Misselbrook, (Dean Emeritus of the Royal Society of Medicine) argues this in favor of Qualia : "Logically, if physical science can tell us all that can be known about the world, then a person with color blindness must be able to know what it is to see red. We can construct this knowledge scientifically around a model of having the right sort of cones in the retina to perceive light with a wave length of 650 nm, for example. Yet if this person--in possession of all available knowledge about redness-- were to be cured of his color blindness, then he will learn something new that he did not know before: what it is to see red. An exhaustive scientific description of the perception of red objects does not contain an account of qualia I experience as 'redness'. This argument is a demonstration of something that is both profound and also obvious to all but the most extreme physicalist.
'Extreme physicalist'--- doesn't that perfectly describe you ?
"how do I know that the redness I perceive when I look at a red candle is the same as the redness you perceive?"
measure the wavelength of the light from the candle. That will be the ONLY color received, whatever the perception the brain supplies.
But now I'm confused - you say qualia is the sensation received (as opposed to perceived), but that sensation comes from the 5 senses and cannot be from a 6th sense instead. Are you sure you don't mean that qualia is the perception assigned to what those sense receive?
How we interpret the world and our individual experiences in it is what qualia is all about. Now I may have conflated the 6th sense with qualia, but only to emphasize the fact that both are neither objectively sequenced nor materially dispensed.
The same is true with consciousness. We may know how neurons work but we still have no convincing explanation for consciousness itself. Consciousness is often described as an emergent quality. In a complex system such as the human brain, qualities and realities, 'emerge' that are more than the sum of their lower-order component parts. There is something about consciousness that cannot be reduced down to physical processes in the material world. Materialist theories of mind omit the essential component of consciousness, namely that there is something that it feels like to be a particular conscious thing. Current reductionist efforts to tackle the mind-body conundrum cannot succeed. Qualia, and thus human self-awareness, cannot be contained within a purely physical account of the self.
Wasn't it Milton who remarked: "The mind is its own place".
Then qualia is the sum of sensors + interpretation by the brain. I would emphasize the interpretation over sensors, while acknowledging that we know all sensors are not the same (color blindness, for instance).
But there is no reason or need to mystify consciousness or qualia. Both are quite handily contained within the brain and require no supernatural elements to exist. Or at least we know of no requirement; probably a more precise statement than a denial.
Can you offer evidence that Qualia "is in the brain?"
The same as you can offer that it is in another universe or dimension.
But we DO know the brain exists, which is more than can be said for a hypothetical second universe. And we DO know where the sensory inputs are located (not in the brain, so qualia also exists outside the brain, in eyes, ears, etc.) And we DO know that when those inputs are active the brain activity increases. We DO know that when the brain is inactive (coma) there is no perception - little to no interpretation of signals from the inputs.
Put it together and it seems that 100% of available evidence points to the brain and associated inputs...there is zero evidence of any supernatural "universe", let alone of any cogitation taking place there. At best you may state that the brain is incapable of providing the necessary perceptions, but you can't even back that up with anything but "I don't think it is".
Brain activity does not imply thought perceptions/ subjective feelings; in a comatose patient one can detect brain activity via EEG and Functional MRI, but it does not mean that thought perceptions are simultaneously occurring.
Qualia is not dependent on Central and Peripheral Nervous system circuitry functioning--- thus qualia is unrelated to 5 the sensory inputs that you are referring to. You might want to read some more on the topic of Qualia... that way, this conversation would be more meaningful.
True - some activity is necessary just to keep the body running. Breathing, heart, etc. But I do stand by the statement that without large amounts of brain activity there is little to zero perception of the world around.
Back to confusion, then, with qualia - I thought sure you meant that it included the senses. But if qualia is solely interpretation of the electrical impulses sent by the senses, it must be in the brain. I'm trying to use you as a source for the idea and concept, but having a hard time of it as most of what is being said here is "I don't know", contradictory impressions (meant or not), and vague concepts that are not defined themselves.
"Qualia is not dependent on Central and Peripheral Nervous system circuitry functioning"
This in itself, for instance, has to be incorrect for without those senses transmitting to the brain there IS no perception of the outside world. Only imagination, coming from the brain convincing itself that there IS something there. Kind of like the kid imagining monsters because it is dark - that sort of thing.
And that's the reason why you might want to read more about qualia... you don't want second hand information... unless of course you totally depend on my interpretation of qualia as the absolute truth.... which in the past you have not been inclined to do.
"In philosophy, qualia are what some consider to be individual instances of subjective, conscious experience. The term "qualia" derives from the Latin neuter plural form (qualia) of the Latin adjective quālis meaning "of what sort" or "of what kind"). Examples of qualia include the pain of a headache, the taste of wine, or the perceived redness of an evening sky."
Totally subjective, then, although the senses are a big part of it. But doesn't that apply to everything we sense? They are ALL completely subjective as no other person has the same eyeball, same optic nerve or same brain with which to interpret (sight, for example). If so, this is self-evident and there is no great philosophical discovery; there isn't even a need for new terminology. The only possible use would be to make the speaker sound mysterious or philosophical; surely there is more to it than that?
Of course qualia is subjective. To stretch my debating point---- there is no objective reality. The interpretation of everything that materially exists depends on the subjective perception by a sentient entity. Quantum mechanics says it plainly: reality does not exist if it is not being subjectively perceived and subjectively interpreted. Going several forums back--- your example of an object you labeled "bed" will be interpreted as "soft" by an elephant that lays down on it, while a dog that also lies on it will interpret it as hard. Now if you lie down on it... you might say... darn this bed is too hard, or too soft for me. The elephant does not label it a bed, neither would the dog. The mere fact that you labeled it a bed, does not make it a "bed" according to the elephant or the dog.
"there is no objective reality."
While that is an old philosophical debating point, it has little or nothing to do with reality and is quite false.
"The interpretation of everything that materially exists depends on the subjective perception by a sentient entity. "
And within this statement is the reason it is false: subjective perception (whether by a sentient or non-sentient makes no difference) is just that: perception. While we always hope (and expect) that our perception equals reality, it often does not. But that does NOT mean that reality isn't there, or that it is whatever we perceive it to be. It is what it is, and whether we perceive reality or a subjective version of that reality is up to us.
Of course a label does not determine a bed; labeling reality with anything at all does not define it. It only defines our perception of that reality. I label it a bed because it conforms to the accepted definitions of a bed. The elephant may label it as a walking surface (elephants seldom lie down) while the dog may agree with me that it is a location for sleeping: a bed. But labels are most often quite subjective and the perception of reality changes with the perceiver. Not, of course, the reality itself, but the perceptions of that reality.
Perception alone is not enough to adequately inform us of materially existing objects. Interpretation of those objects definitely allows or makes the perception more cogently and inherently subjective.
True, but I lump the perception of our senses and the interpretation of that perception into one, called simply "perception". Yes, it is subjective, and yes, it takes both to form our "picture" (perception) of reality. For instance - even if the electrical impulses from our eyes did not need interpretation, the image they form does. Past experience certainly plays a part and so does the present expectations.
Remember the lion story, with a lion in the pasture alongside the road? The instantaneous image of a lion was immediately replaced with experience coming forth and saying "That isn't possible: try again", whereupon the same image now producing a horse.
Perception and interpretation are separate mechanisms that allow sentient beings to react materially to the object that is being perceived and interpreted. What connects these very different phenomena is "entanglement" --ie the concept that separate mechanisms could have a connection that then affects each other in ways that may not be as "spooky" as Einstein's perception and interpretation of the entanglement in the quantum realm that may be operative as well in his relativity world.
Just a note . . . thank you for introducing me to Qualia . . .
"God" can be sensed within and without. Its a simple fact. If we use our imaginations to imagine the God we read about in the Bible or hear about from imaginative ministers and priests preaching to us in pulpits, that is not the same thing as quietly sensing, feeling and perceiving reality for ourselves.
by Alexander A. Villarasa5 years ago
The eminent and prominent physicist, Stephen Hawkings avers, in an interview with a British magazine, that the human brain is nothing more than a computer, and when that computer malfunctions then stops...
by Alexander A. Villarasa2 years ago
The geography and topography of human existence, like that of the moon, (if one looks at it literally) has been pock-marked by the consequential impact of the credulity and incredulity of the human mind.So...
by ptosis2 years ago
The soul, by definition, is meta-physical and is thought that the soul would be connected to the brain, not within the brain.It used to be thought that the soul resided in your heart - but getting a heart transplant...
by helenathegreat9 years ago
In your personal spiritual beliefs, do animals have souls? Are they interchangeable with human souls? In the past few days I've spent some time looking into my dog's eyes, and I can't decide what I believe...
by Misha9 years ago
I asked this question in another thread, and got this excellent answer from Jenny:However, there are more people willing to answer this, too - and we don't want to hi-jack the other thread So, if you can add something...
by Elijah75 years ago
This question, ONCE properly answered and understood, will FOREVER change your opinions regarding the Time Honoured Subject of LIFE AFTER DEATH.The challenge is for YOU to PROVE you have NO soul, no spirit, and...
Copyright © 2017 HubPages Inc. and respective owners.
Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners.
HubPages® is a registered Service Mark of HubPages, Inc.