Comments for Cognitive Philosophy http://cognitivephilosophy.net Exploring Mental Landscapes, musings at the intersection of Cognitive Science and Philosophy Fri, 16 Jan 2015 10:48:40 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.2 Comment on Sam Harris’ Moral Assumptions by Dave http://cognitivephilosophy.net/ethics/sam-harriss-moral-assumptions/#comment-1908 Dave Autodesk autocad electrical 2016 price discount buy now PHP with MySQL Beyond Excel 2007 PHP with MySQL Beyond
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Fri, 16 Jan 2015 10:48:40 +0000
http://cognitivephilosophy.net/?p=268#comment-1908 "Maximizing the well-being of conscious creatures" is a moral axiom, chosen arbitrarily/subjectively. That claim has no scientific basis whatsoever. Harris' arguments would work (read: not work) just as well if he asserted "Maximizing devotion to God" is the foundation of ethics and what morality should strive for. Or "Maximizing the well-being of turnips". Everything else he says beyond that is uninteresting mostly because it's trivially obvious. It isn't contentious that science could help maximize well-being of conscious creatures; or maximize devotion to a particular religion's tenets; or maximize turnip health. Science can be used to maximize whatever axiomatic thing humans want it to. This again, is trivially obvious. There doesn't really need to be much more said, and your objections, though firmly logical if we ignore that massive problem, are irrelevant. Harris is wrong. Science cannot decide moral values, because moral values are impossible without a first completely nonscientific moral axiom. He's chosen well-being, others choose different things. Science can never tell us which is right; it can't even be asked the question. This is a category error. Normally intelligent people have wasted untold hours actually thinking Harris found something new. “Maximizing the well-being of conscious creatures” is a moral axiom, chosen arbitrarily/subjectively. That claim has no scientific basis whatsoever. Harris’ arguments would work (read: not work) just as well if he asserted “Maximizing devotion to God” is the foundation of ethics and what morality should strive for. Or “Maximizing the well-being of turnips”. Everything else he says beyond that is uninteresting mostly because it’s trivially obvious. It isn’t contentious that science could help maximize well-being of conscious creatures; or maximize devotion to a particular religion’s tenets; or maximize turnip health. Science can be used to maximize whatever axiomatic thing humans want it to. This again, is trivially obvious.

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There doesn’t really need to be much more said, and your objections, though firmly logical if we ignore that massive problem, are irrelevant. Harris is wrong. Science cannot decide moral values, because moral values are impossible without a first completely nonscientific moral axiom. He’s chosen well-being, others choose different things. Science can never tell us which is right; it can’t even be asked the question. This is a category error. Normally intelligent people have wasted untold hours actually thinking Harris found something new.

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Comment on Moral Intuitions vs. Moral Standards by Jim http://cognitivephilosophy.net/ethics/moral-intuitions-vs-moral-standards/#comment-1890 Jim Tue, 11 Nov 2014 06:42:43 +0000 http://cognitivephilosophy.net/?p=173#comment-1890 Consider Huck. What's "All right then, I'll go to hell" about? Intuitive morality as the gold standard. (For extra points, how 'bout Puddn'head? "Faith is when you believe what you know ain't so.") Twain's gospel in two sentences! Consider Huck. What’s “All right then, I’ll go to hell” about? Intuitive morality as the gold standard. (For extra points, how ’bout Puddn’head? “Faith is when you believe what you know ain’t so.”) Twain’s gospel in two sentences!

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Comment on Is There a Difference Between Memory and Imagination? by Marvin http://cognitivephilosophy.net/consciousness/is-there-a-difference-between-memory-and-imagination/#comment-1881 Marvin Sat, 20 Sep 2014 00:34:09 +0000 http://cognitivephilosophy.net/?p=525#comment-1881 Interesting thought! While reading the verb “to revisit” came to my mind, which links “to visit” (somehow related to imagining) to its literal meaning, to remember, by adding reptitivity to it (“re”). Also interesting is that convincing liars usually explain their skills by fusing imagination and memories. This is another cool term: “magical realism”, instead of asking what actually happened you think about what could have perfectly happened? I have no idea about the relation between region-specific brain activity and it’s function, but it would be interesting to see whether for well trained Pinocchios the activity boundaries between imagination and memory smear out :) Best, Marvin Interesting thought!
While reading the verb “to revisit” came to my mind, which links “to visit” (somehow related to imagining) to its literal meaning, to remember, by adding reptitivity to it (“re”).
Also interesting is that convincing liars usually explain their skills by fusing imagination and memories. This is another cool term: “magical realism”, instead of asking what actually happened you think about what could have perfectly happened? I have no idea about the relation between region-specific brain activity and it’s function, but it would be interesting to see whether for well trained Pinocchios the activity boundaries between imagination and memory smear out :)
Best,
Marvin

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Comment on Is Implicit Memory Actually Memory? by Marvin http://cognitivephilosophy.net/consciousness/is-implicit-memory-actually-memory/#comment-1878 Marvin Sat, 20 Sep 2014 00:16:04 +0000 http://cognitivephilosophy.net/?p=442#comment-1878 Hey Greg, thanks for your very amusingly thought provoking blog! Without having read too many of your memory related posts yet I was wondering whether you would agree with the following. I agree that calling learned behavior "implicit behavior" is misleading in the sense that the very simplest neurophysiological changes would not have much to do with explicit memories, which involve or at least are linked to conscious recalling or reflection. However, there is another aspect of memory, in the light of which it seems to me that it does make sense to linguistically link the two phenomena: Memory is there to improve our behavior. Of course you mention this, too. However, just as you say in your (future) blog entry about the difficulty of distinguishing remembering from imagining, the function of our memory is to make our actions evolve and it seems to be part of a larger group of mechanisms we have for doing so (such as imagining). Still, the way memories influence actions such as arm retractions seems to be less direct than say synaptic strengthening during learned behavior. However, if we regard not only arm retractions as actions but consider our thoughts as a way of acting too (since they can have similar consequences), in this light learning ("implicit memory") and remembering ("explicit memory") appear somewhat closer conceptually. Does remembering mean to thoughts what learned behavior means to simpler actions? This would make sense also in the neurophysiological picture: Just as learned behavior modifies the immediate reaction to a sensory input, new memories influence the way our thoughts construct imaginative experience upon initiation of a memory trace (or linking thought). At least, linguistically connecting "explicit memory" with "learned behavior" using "implicit memory" as a bridge, seems not purely misleading after all. Thanks again for the great blog :) Best, Marvin Hey Greg,
thanks for your very amusingly thought provoking blog!
Without having read too many of your memory related posts yet I was wondering whether you would agree with the following.
I agree that calling learned behavior “implicit behavior” is misleading in the sense that the very simplest neurophysiological changes would not have much to do with explicit memories, which involve or at least are linked to conscious recalling or reflection.
However, there is another aspect of memory, in the light of which it seems to me that it does make sense to linguistically link the two phenomena: Memory is there to improve our behavior. Of course you mention this, too. However, just as you say in your (future) blog entry about the difficulty of distinguishing remembering from imagining, the function of our memory is to make our actions evolve and it seems to be part of a larger group of mechanisms we have for doing so (such as imagining).
Still, the way memories influence actions such as arm retractions seems to be less direct than say synaptic strengthening during learned behavior. However, if we regard not only arm retractions as actions but consider our thoughts as a way of acting too (since they can have similar consequences), in this light learning (“implicit memory”) and remembering (“explicit memory”) appear somewhat closer conceptually. Does remembering mean to thoughts what learned behavior means to simpler actions? This would make sense also in the neurophysiological picture: Just as learned behavior modifies the immediate reaction to a sensory input, new memories influence the way our thoughts construct imaginative experience upon initiation of a memory trace (or linking thought).
At least, linguistically connecting “explicit memory” with “learned behavior” using “implicit memory” as a bridge, seems not purely misleading after all.
Thanks again for the great blog :)
Best,
Marvin

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Comment on Human Cognition and the Chinese Room by max http://cognitivephilosophy.net/consciousness/human-cognition-and-the-chinese-room/#comment-1856 max Sat, 24 May 2014 10:50:22 +0000 http://cognitivephilosophy.net/?p=304#comment-1856 Yes sum of the parts of the room including the man WOULD be conscious and there is no reason for it not to be. If you think it's absurd because a collection of inanimate objects can't be conscious, consider that the brain is just made of a bunch of neurons that fire electricity. If you think it's absurd because you can't have a living thing inside one mind, think again: The brain is made of cells, each of which are living. You could give each of the cells a huge mini-brain to make them conscious and it still wouldn't make our brain unconscious! Therefore the Chinese room argument is flawed. And in any case, if one is to believe Chinese room is proof that strong AI is impossible, then you'd have a paradox: Even if one is to simulate a brain perfectly it would be not intelligent. Even if we built a fake brain out of wires (arranged the same way as real human neurons in a brain) it would not be intelligent. Yet it is functionally the same as a human brain. And Searle resolves this paradox by believing in something really strange: "Searle is adamant that "human mental phenomena [are] dependent on actual physical–chemical properties of actual human brains." If our neurons were made of plant cells, or man-made cells, or man-made neuron-simulators, would Searle and his supporters really think that these humans (with identically arranged brains but just made of a different material or chemicals) would be non-conscious? THAT is absurd. Yes sum of the parts of the room including the man WOULD be conscious and there is no reason for it not to be. If you think it’s absurd because a collection of inanimate objects can’t be conscious, consider that the brain is just made of a bunch of neurons that fire electricity. If you think it’s absurd because you can’t have a living thing inside one mind, think again: The brain is made of cells, each of which are living. You could give each of the cells a huge mini-brain to make them conscious and it still wouldn’t make our brain unconscious!

Therefore the Chinese room argument is flawed.

And in any case, if one is to believe Chinese room is proof that strong AI is impossible, then you’d have a paradox: Even if one is to simulate a brain perfectly it would be not intelligent. Even if we built a fake brain out of wires (arranged the same way as real human neurons in a brain) it would not be intelligent. Yet it is functionally the same as a human brain. And Searle resolves this paradox by believing in something really strange:

“Searle is adamant that “human mental phenomena [are] dependent on actual physical–chemical properties of actual human brains.”
If our neurons were made of plant cells, or man-made cells, or man-made neuron-simulators, would Searle and his supporters really think that these humans (with identically arranged brains but just made of a different material or chemicals) would be non-conscious? THAT is absurd.

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Comment on Is There a Difference Between Memory and Imagination? by Eyal http://cognitivephilosophy.net/consciousness/is-there-a-difference-between-memory-and-imagination/#comment-1855 Eyal Fri, 23 May 2014 10:43:34 +0000 http://cognitivephilosophy.net/?p=525#comment-1855 enjoyed it a lot. searched something in this line of thinking. when this idea occured to me, heavily reading locke, bergson etc, after a long period of thinking, my best assumption is that we differentiate memory by its repetetivness (to which i think you refer) and empathy/identification. that is to say, we empathize with our memories, we take them as part of our identity. if we do so with that which is regularly considered as imagination (especially when it is clearly harmful), we are suffering from madness, phobia or a certain disturbance. i am looking to read about such things... guess i will try that book :-) enjoyed it a lot.

searched something in this line of thinking. when this idea occured to me, heavily reading locke, bergson etc, after a long period of thinking, my best assumption is that we differentiate memory by its repetetivness (to which i think you refer) and empathy/identification.

that is to say, we empathize with our memories, we take them as part of our identity. if we do so with that which is regularly considered as imagination (especially when it is clearly harmful), we are suffering from madness, phobia or a certain disturbance.

i am looking to read about such things… guess i will try that book :-)

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Comment on Book Review – Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami by Neha Sharma http://cognitivephilosophy.net/book-reviews/book-review-kafka-on-the-shore-by-haruki-murakami/#comment-1853 Neha Sharma Fri, 16 May 2014 16:17:32 +0000 http://cognitivephilosophy.net/?p=351#comment-1853 Kafka on the Shore - A sensational journey into the mesmerizing realm of forbidden love and fantastic concepts which is both haunting and enlightening. Your Comments Kafka on the Shore – A sensational journey into the mesmerizing realm of forbidden love and fantastic concepts which is both haunting and enlightening. Your Comments

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Comment on To Upload or Not To Upload by Agnostic http://cognitivephilosophy.net/consciousness/to-upload-or-not-to-upload/#comment-1845 Agnostic Mon, 06 Jan 2014 21:36:10 +0000 http://cognitivephilosophy.net/?p=88#comment-1845 Today I was testing if the Google had indexed my new article "To upload or not to upload – that is the question" and your webpage came up right on top. My view is that a copy, however perfect, would not be - me - if it is a snapshot copy. This copy would be my mind-child though. So I would say - yes - to the offer. I would even say yes to destructive uploading, but only if I didn't have long to live. However, I believe that a gradual replacement of failing brain cells and synapses is likely to result in a graceful mind transfer into a new -You-. http://subversive-medicine.webs.com/minduploading.htm Today I was testing if the Google had indexed my new article “To upload or not to upload – that is the question” and your webpage came up right on top. My view is that a copy, however perfect, would not be – me – if it is a snapshot copy. This copy would be my mind-child though. So I would say – yes – to the offer. I would even say yes to destructive uploading, but only if I didn’t have long to live.

However, I believe that a gradual replacement of failing brain cells and synapses is likely to result in a graceful mind transfer into a new -You-.

http://subversive-medicine.webs.com/minduploading.htm

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Comment on Is There a Difference Between Memory and Imagination? by Rishi http://cognitivephilosophy.net/consciousness/is-there-a-difference-between-memory-and-imagination/#comment-1838 Rishi Sun, 06 Oct 2013 11:19:55 +0000 http://cognitivephilosophy.net/?p=525#comment-1838 A fantastic read. Thank you for sharing. Learned much from it. A fantastic read. Thank you for sharing. Learned much from it.

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Comment on How am I not myself? by Nina Nina http://cognitivephilosophy.net/consciousness/how-am-i-not-myself/#comment-1822 Nina Nina Fri, 17 May 2013 00:11:17 +0000 http://cognitivephilosophy.net/?p=397#comment-1822 Wow. I haven't pulled my eyes from my screen since I started reading this post and comments. I just wanted to say that all of you's thoughts and ideas about the "self" have gotten my mental engines running. What's really running my mental engine? I have no idea. This post has made me realize that I have never examined my "self" with the 5 simple (yet not so simple) Ws..Who, What, When, Where, and the very hard to answer Why. The point of my comment is to just say thank you all for stimulating and inspiring my mind. -Nina Wow. I haven’t pulled my eyes from my screen since I started reading this post and comments. I just wanted to say that all of you’s thoughts and ideas about the “self” have gotten my mental engines running. What’s really running my mental engine? I have no idea. This post has made me realize that I have never examined my “self” with the 5 simple (yet not so simple) Ws..Who, What, When, Where, and the very hard to answer Why. The point of my comment is to just say thank you all for stimulating and inspiring my mind.

-Nina

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