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Philosophy of Mind Flowchart

February 20, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments


The idea here is that if we want to take the full spectrum of phenomena into account, we have to either begin with a reductionist realism and work upward, or a holistic idealism and work downward.

When we suppose that consciousness is a phenomenon that arises out of unconscious phenomena, we are saying that mechanism, through some act of emergence (generally by complexity), the mechanism in question (generally physical or computational mechanism) becomes enchanted with itself. In this case, as David Chalmers famously points out, there would have to be some threshold beyond which it would be impossible to tell the difference between a real person and a machine which acts just like a real person (a philosophical zombie). Finding this unacceptable, he suggests instead some variety of panpsychism should be explored, including perhaps, what I would call a promiscuous or ‘leaky’ panpsychism in which devices such as thermostats would have to be considered aware in some sense.

Finding both of these alternatives unacceptable, I suggest that we move over to the right side and begin with a downward facing ideal absolute. For the spiritually inclined, this could be called by any number of theistic names, however, it can also be conceived of equally well in completely non-spiritual, atheistic terms. When we suppose that awareness itself is inescapable and inevitable in all possible or theoretical universes, we are saying that through some divergence or illusion, awareness takes on a temporary solid appearance. In MSR, I suggest that this is a more plausible option than brute emergence from nothingness…modulated constraint within everythingness.*

Rather than positing an appeal to future scientific understanding to explain the emergence of aesthetic realism from mechanism, the divergence of mechanism from total awareness can be made palatable through a nested modulation of insensitivity. Intentionally partitioning intention itself so that it appears unintentional given a certain amount of insensitivity. This could be viewed either in the religious sense of ‘God’s divine plan is not visible to us’, or in a more conservative sense of ‘Shit happens coincidentally, but coincidental shit also happens to be meaningful from some perspective’.

If anyone is interested in what the crazy pink cone and all that is, I can explain in more detail, but briefly, if we take the MSR road from disenchanted idealism (the conservative ‘Shit happens’ option), then instead of the Chalmers dilemma of zombies vs leaky panpsychism, we get a continuum in which local sense is selectively blinded to the sense of non-human experiences, through a combination of frame rate mismatch (time scale difference cause entropy and local sense approximates) and distance (literal spatial scale difference, as well as experiential unfamiliarity).**

The other ten dollar words there, ‘tessellated monism’ and ‘eigenmetric diffraction’ both refer to the juxtaposition of sensitivity and insensitivity, through which a kind of metabolism of accumulating significance (solitrophy) in the face of fading sense (entropy) and fading motive (gravity).

*I call this cosmology the Sole Entropy Well hypothesis and it has to do with reversing Boltzmann’s solution to Loschmidt’s paradox so that entropy is a bottomless absolute, like c, in which local ranges of entropy and extropy stretch and multiply in a fractal-like reproduction.
**I call this aspect of MSR Eigenmorphism, which has to do with things appearing to be more doll-like and less familiar from a distance. This makes, for example, the presence of atoms and solar systems in our experience more similar to each other than either of them seems like a tree or a cell. The limits of our perception coincide with the simplicity of ontology, and they are, in a sense, the same thing (given eigenmorphism). As a rule of thumb, distance = the significance of insignficance.

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