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Current time: May 16, 2022, 12:13 pm

Poll: Does the mind produce thoughts or do thoughts produce the mind?
This poll is closed.
Mind produces thoughts
26.67%
4 26.67%
Thoughts produce mind
6.67%
1 6.67%
Both
13.33%
2 13.33%
Neither
53.33%
8 53.33%
Total 15 vote(s) 100%
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Mindfulness or Mindlessness?
#1
Mindfulness or Mindlessness?
I've been working on a Theory of Mind and need a bit of help.

The framework seems sound and I've been trying to relate it to various fillysoffical positions and psychology, biology and physics and stuff - subjects in which I'm not trained - so I'm in need of a sounding board.

I've been on many a Zoom meetup with actual, proper, published philosophers and I think I'm getting through to some of them but there's a language barrier (my lack of background in their subjects and vice versa).  IT people get it straight away.

I've got the morals / ethics bit pretty much sorted and also:
Mind / body problem - done.
Ship of Theseus - done.
Consciousness - done, apart from a tidy way of dismissing the 'hard problem'.
Epistemology - done but needs some tidying up.
Nature / nurture and formation of beliefs - still need to write it up.
Free will - as above.

Anyone up for bouncing some ideas around?
The PURPOSE of life is to replicate our DNA ................. (from Darwin)
The MEANING of life is the experience of living ... (from Frank Herbert)
The VALUE of life is the legacy we leave behind ..... (from observation)
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#2
RE: Mindfulness or Mindlessness?
The Mind doesn't produce thoughts, your brain produces thoughts. Thoughts are useless distractions. Being mindful means being focused, doing what you must do, without letting your thoughts influence your actions.
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#3
RE: Mindfulness or Mindlessness?
Duuuude.... DLJ! How ya been? Long time no see.

And great job solving the Ship of Theseus! IDK about mind/body though. John Searle is the only philosopher I've read that was like, "yeah, I solved it. pffft." Maybe you should ask him?

As for the poll, I think I want to say neither. "Mind" doesn't not create thoughts. That one is right out. I think the brain creates thoughts. But create might not be the best way to term it.

1) There is a causal relation between brain states and conscious states. Every thought exists because of a brain state. Period.

I think we can all agree with 1. The problem is we have no idea how the brain creates or is involved in conscious states otherwise. We only understand that there is a direct causal relation. It's kinda like if you showed an ancient person how a lamp works. They will quickly see the causal relation between turning on the light and hitting the switch, but they'd have no idea HOW the one caused the other.

We're in a similar position with consciousness.
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#4
RE: Mindfulness or Mindlessness?
I'm pretty sure I clicked the wrong thing.
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#5
RE: Mindfulness or Mindlessness?
Count me as skeptical that you have solved all the main issues in philosophy. The proof of the pudding is in the tasting.

IMHO physical reduction is like trying figure out the meaning of a novel by studying the chemical composition of a books ink and paper.
<insert profound quote here>
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#6
RE: Mindfulness or Mindlessness?
(August 21, 2021 at 2:17 am)Ahriman Wrote: The Mind doesn't produce thoughts, your brain produces thoughts. Thoughts are useless distractions. Being mindful means being focused, doing what you must do, without letting your thoughts influence your actions.

I'm wondering about your definition of 'thoughts'.

Would there be for example, 'planning' thoughts or 'analysis' thoughts or 'supportive' thoughts that would be useful? How about thoughts about conflicting principles by which one determines a course of action?

If one does what one "must do" without thoughts are we therefore akin to automaton?

To get even more surreal... what word would you use for 'thoughtless' lifeforms that don't have central processors (brains) e.g. plants? What produces a plant's equivalent of 'thoughts'?

Cheers

(August 21, 2021 at 7:48 am)vulcanlogician Wrote: Duuuude.... DLJ! How ya been? Long time no see.

And great job solving the Ship of Theseus! IDK about mind/body though. John Searle is the only philosopher I've read that was like, "yeah, I solved it. pffft." Maybe you should ask him?

As for the poll, I think I want to say neither. "Mind" doesn't not create thoughts. That one is right out. I think the brain creates thoughts. But create might not be the best way to term it.

1) There is a causal relation between brain states and conscious states. Every thought exists because of a brain state. Period.

I think we can all agree with 1. The problem is we have no idea how the brain creates or is involved in conscious states otherwise. We only understand that there is a direct causal relation. It's kinda like if you showed an ancient person how a lamp works. They will quickly see the causal relation between turning on the light and hitting the switch, but they'd have no idea HOW the one caused the other.

We're in a similar position with consciousness.

Yay, man! Good to see you (virtually of course)

Life's good. Mostly. Have you heard about those people who got stuck in a foreign country when the world shut down?
I'm one of those. 18 months (to the day) in a strange, primitive land where they barely speak English!! The horror!
I dread to think what's happened in my fridge in the mean time.

How about you? All good, I hope.

The Ship of Theseus problem is surprisingly obvious once one sees it. I can imagine Darwin looking at his notes and thinking "I can't possibly be the first person to notice this." As it turns out, he wasn't but that's another story.

Isn't John Searle persona non grata at the moment? I seem to remember a #metoo thingy.
I struggle a bit with his terminology but I think he's close. Except I've seen a couple of lectures where he starts with "You want your arm to go up and it goes up." Pah!
Try it. It doesn't. It's like he hasn't noticed that conscious thought is not the same as (auto)motive stimulus.

Anyway, the poll... I agree regarding the word 'create'. Hence the word 'produce'.

Regarding consciousness, yup, it's a tricky one. I'm coming to the conclusion that there's something fundamentally wrong with the question.
It's a bit like the centuries of asking about the nature of god and pin-dancing angels... yeah but no... wrong question.

I'm thinking that the phenomenologists were onto something with 'intentionality' in that we are conscious 'of' something. So consciousness isn't some 'extra' factor (as the Philosopher I was debating last week insists)... it's part of an organisms monitoring system.

But I need a bit more than "Consciousness is a phenotypic machine's monitoring system's, monitoring systems, monitoring system." Or that it's "the non-automated (manual?) processing of prioritised governance events / information items" - and that's the best I've got so far - accurate but not pretty.

(August 21, 2021 at 8:20 am)Jackalope Wrote: I'm pretty sure I clicked the wrong thing.

Oooooh!  I'm so tempted to give the answer away.  Big Grin

(August 21, 2021 at 9:50 am)Neo-Scholastic Wrote: Count me as skeptical that you have solved all the main issues in philosophy. The proof of the pudding is in the tasting.

IMHO physical reduction is like trying figure out the meaning of a novel by studying the chemical composition of a books ink and paper.

I know, right? I'm sceptical too which is why I need a bit of a peer review.

Consider this thread the buffet of puddings... which would you like to taste first?

Y'know what? The book analogy is apt to what I've been working on. Would you say the novel as a whole has meaning (not just in the 'semantics' sense, obvs) or passages within the book?

Have you come across, in your travels, the idea of Information Layers?

Cheers.
The PURPOSE of life is to replicate our DNA ................. (from Darwin)
The MEANING of life is the experience of living ... (from Frank Herbert)
The VALUE of life is the legacy we leave behind ..... (from observation)
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#7
RE: Mindfulness or Mindlessness?
Both. It's a re-entrant system.

The mind produces thoughts, but what produced the mind? It was the feedback from the environment and thoughts. Sure, the hardware is just biology, but that isn't the mind - that is just a framework for the mind to form.
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#8
RE: Mindfulness or Mindlessness?
What do you mean by mind?

If you mean the brain then yes the brain produces thoughts.
"For the only way to eternal glory is a life lived in service of our Lord, FSM; Verily it is FSM who is the perfect being the name higher than all names, king of all kings and will bestow upon us all, one day, The great reclaiming"  -The Prophet Boiardi-

      Conservative trigger warning.
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#9
RE: Mindfulness or Mindlessness?
Mind is an emergent property of the brain's neuron activity. Thoughts are some aspect of mind, though to call them building blocks wouldn't be accurate. Perhaps every thought is a miniature version of mind and we simply consider them collectively to be our Mind.

Thinking about it too much makes mine shut down.
Why is it so?
~Julius Sumner Miller
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#10
RE: Mindfulness or Mindlessness?


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