Here, I'm not so much interested in Dennett's ideas on consciousness as I am in his ideas concerning privileged access.

 

I like the opening idea that there is the folk-belief among people that everyone is an expert on their own consciousness. After all, they have a direct relationship with their own consciousness, and this, thereby, makes them an expert on consciousness.

 

I'm not all that impressed with this talk -- not that it's not good -- but he really only presents one piece of evidence, and we are lead to the inference that we don't know our own minds only indirectly through that evidence. I was hoping for something a bit stronger.

 

I like though how he incorporates real time thought experiments into his work.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjbWr3ODbAo&feature=player_embedded

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Addicted to beauty - ah, and wanting/needing no cure... Same here!

Since I linked here recently I did a quick skim through. Tom (not kela) was a part of this discussion but when he quit the forum he took all his posts with him because we were too developmentally inferior to have privileged access to his gems. Good riddance to that Bohrg assholon.

Ahh, he's gone?

Good.  Maybe I'll return then.

Yes, he has left.  I don't have any hard feelings towards him and do not want to contribute in any way to his disparagement, but I wanted just to pop in here to say you would be welcome, infimitas, if you decided to post here again.

I'm looking back at this thread it's interesting how it got off topic and turned into a metaphysical discussion on "contextualied wholes." Anyway if we could edit the thread or start a new one made up of the relevant discussions, I'm might have a few further thoughts. There was also another thread at Ning on the same subject I think. Not that I'm beholden to this topic; just lookin' for something to do here.

I remember I had read something recently thinking it relevant, and think I it's Sam Hairris' "Free Will." Here is his thesis, I suspect, that appears on page 5:

"Free Will is an illusion. Our wills are simply not our own making. Thoughts and intentions emerge from background causes of which we are unaware and over which we have no conscious control. We do not have the freedom we think we have. ... Either our wills are determined by prior causes... or they are the product of chance..."

Oddly this line of thinking reminds me a bit of certain Buddhist teachings, and also seems to imply certain Yoogic/Advaita concepts, and even certain ancient anarchic strands like yadrchha vada (spontaneous causality) and the "determinism" of the Ajivikas, Shramanas at the time of the Buddha and Jina.

Shades of Balsekar, as well.

(Good to see you, kela.  Do you want to continue on this thread, or do you want to start a new one?)

We can continue here, I guess. I'll book mark this page. Re: Balsekar, ya that's what I meant by Advaita/yadricha vada... of the Ashtavakra, for example, which I think Balsekar has commented upon.



Balder said:

Shades of Balsekar, as well.

(Good to see you, kela.  Do you want to continue on this thread, or do you want to start a new one?)


Here is the beginning of a response from Tom Clark (Center for Naturalism): 

"Harris is right of course that we don't have conscious access to the neuro physiological process that underlie our conscious choices. But as Dennet points out these processes are as much our own... as our consciousness. We shouldn't alienate ourselves from our neurophysiological processrs and suppose the conscious self, [Harris's] real self, is being pushed around at the mercy of our neurons. So it isn't an illusion that we are authors of our thoughts and actions; we are not mere witnesses to what causation cooks up. We as physically instantiaed beings really do deliberate and choose and act."

An interesting characterization of Harris' position.


Here's some other comments Harris makes, 

"The phrase 'free will' describes what it feels like to identify with certain mental states as they airse in consciousness.... Thoughts arise unauthored. ... If you pay attention to your inner life you will se that the emergence of choices, efforts, and intentions is fundamentally a mysterious process. He later quotes Schopenhauer: "Man can do what he wills but not will what he wills."

And indeed, in the next chapter, where he describes a typology of stances, refers to "determinism" and "libertarianism" (which he adds is not of the political sort) as the two types of stance one can take if one "denies" free will: "Both determinism and libertarianism hold that if our behavior is fully determined by background causes, free will is an illusion." p. 15

kelamuni said:

I remember I had read something recently thinking it relevant, and think I it's Sam Hairris' "Free Will." Here is his thesis, I suspect, that appears on page 5:

"Free Will is an illusion. Our wills are simply not our own making. Thoughts and intentions emerge from background causes of which we are unaware and over which we have no conscious control. We do not have the freedom we think we have. ... Either our wills are determined by prior causes... or they are the product of chance..."

Oddly this line of thinking reminds me a bit of certain Buddhist teachings, and also seems to imply certain Yoogic/Advaita concepts, and even certain ancient anarchic strands like yadrchha vada (spontaneous causality) and the "determinism" of the Ajivikas, Shramanas at the time of the Buddha and Jina.


" 'You' are not the physical organism but Consciousness which works not as someone in charge of the operations of the physical organism but merely as the witness of the operations. 
"

~Ramesh Balsekar, The Essence of the Ashtavakra Gita


Balder said:

Shades of Balsekar, as well.

(Good to see you, kela.  Do you want to continue on this thread, or do you want to start a new one?)

we good, we good, we good...

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