Could our actions be decided by our conscious mind?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Speakpigeon, Dec 23, 2018.

  1. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

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    1,123
    If you can't even recognised such basic fact as that you are explicitly reasoning from an argument you redacted and that this redacted argument is on the face of it very different from mine, then there's nothing to discuss.
    I'm talking about some A, you choose to be talking about some B. Nothing to discuss because I'm not interested in your B, which I have already said is indeed invalid.
    I've explained to you in detail why I disagree with your conclusion and provided a clear indication of where you should look to understand your mistake. If you don't understand or don't want to consider what I say, there isn't much else I can do.
    EB
     
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  3. TheFrogger Banned Valued Senior Member

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    I don't know what you mean!

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  5. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    And if you can't comprehend how the example premises I have given relate to yours (by being specific cases within the generality of your premises, thus showing how the premises can be true yet the conclusion false), then I guess there really isn't anything to discuss.
    You are talking about some A, and I have exampled specific cases of A (that fall within the remit of yours) that show your argument to be invalid.
    If you accept that the argument, with B1 and B2 is invalid then you should accept that your argument is invalid, as both B1 and B2 are merely specific examples of "a group of neurons", whereby the premises remain true but the conclusion false.
    Your only explanation has actually been "you're not talking about the same argument". I've clearly explained how it is, merely using specific examples of "a group of neurons" rather than the unspecific wording you used.
    Deal with it or don't. No skin off my nose.
     
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  7. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

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    I don't accept that your argument with B1 and B2 is the same as mine, as I already told you.
    EB
     
  8. TheFrogger Banned Valued Senior Member

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    Try not to stress about him Speakpigeon, he's an ignoramus. He reminds me of someone I used to know. I told him how to time-travel, and he said to me, "I don't know what you mean."

    Now personally I LOVE traversing time, and when someone told me how to do it I was most grateful, and I am forever indebted to Him. However the ignoramus in question was so preoccupied with frustrating me that he is destined to become a sheep (and a bitter Lemon-tree.) Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!!!

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  9. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    I know you don't accept it, but please try to actually offer an explanation that goes beyond merely stating your non-acceptance. So far you haven't.
     
  10. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

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    1,123
    I told you exactly what to look at to understand the problem. You don't seem to have done that.
    EB
     
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    30,994
    I was replying to this bit of silly:
    Perhaps you were just being careless?
    Anyway:
    The observation that consciousness exists, physically, is straightforward.
    That people observe it existing, is also straightforward.
    And this is what they observe:
     
  12. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

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    1,123
    Good, so you're just talking about something else.
    The "conscious mind" in my argument is our subjective consciousness. You're talking about objective consciousness. You can make that argument if you want, but I'm not interested myself.
    EB
     
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    30,994
    I'm talking about the conscious mind that decides on our actions, as stipulated in the OP. Actions are physical, deciding on things is a action (a physical event), and so forth. If you are talking about an action being decided, you are talking about a physical event. If you are not talking about a physical event, you are not talking about an action being decided.
    I have no idea what "subjective" means in this context - observing one's consciousness "subjectively" strikes me as Zen koan material, like biting one's teeth.
     
  14. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

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    1,123
    Good. We're done. This thread is about the validity of a logical argument. If you can't get yourself to address the argument as worded and phrased, that's it.
    Thanks for your suggestions.
    EB
     
  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    30,994
    Which depends on the validity of its premises and assumptions.
    I did exactly that. There are immediate problems with the way it's worded and phrased, and I addressed them beginning in post #2.
     
  16. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    9,491
    No it doesn't, but rather relies solely on the form of the argument.
    One could argue: all men are bald, Socrates is a man, therefore Socrates is bald. This is a valid syllogism. An argument is valid if, and only if, the form makes it impossible for the premises to be true yet the conclusion false. Whether the premises match reality or not is a question of soundness, not validity.
    An argument is sound only if its form is valid and the premises match reality.
     
  17. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

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    1,123
    No.
    Upgrade to understand how logic works. Until then, thank you to spare me your comments.
    Thanks.
    EB
     
  18. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    30,994
    I think you need to reread.
    I am using validity in exactly the same sense you are using it - logically coherent, not self-contradictory, etc.
    You appear to have decided to take it in another sense - as "true" or factually accurate or whatever. That's not how logic works.

    Meanwhile, re the OP:
    .
     
  19. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

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    1,123
    Care to justify your assertion here?!

    I'm using this notion of validity:
    There's nothing I said to the contrary.
    You're just making up stuff as you go.
    EB
     
  20. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    30,994
    The form of the argument is not clear. There are problems with the "wording" and "phrasing".
    For example, if the term "state of the neurons" is interpreted naively, which is indicated, Premise 1 is false, Premise 2 introduces a different sense of the term, and no conclusion follows from the incoherence - not even an "always true" one such as is presented.

    Which is my first guess as to why my attempts to narrow or focus or clarify the meaning of that term met objections - as "objective" where "subjective" was meant, etc.
     
  21. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

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    1,123
    The form of the argument is cristal clear. There are no problems whatsoever with the wording or the phrasing. If you think there is, you would need to explain what it is, something you haven't done.
    Contrary to what you assert without any justification, there is no reason to interpret the expression "the state of a group of neurons" (and not "the state of neurons" as you assert) differently in the premises 1 and 2. I'm not even sure how there could be any reason at all.
    Whether the conclusion follows from the premises is precisely the question of this thread. However, if you think it does not follow, it is up to you to prove it doesn't, something you haven't done so far, and that nobody else has either.
    I repeat the argument here for convenience:

    Premise 1 - For all we know, somebody's conscious mind may be the state of a group of neurons in this person's brain;
    Premise 2 - What somebody does is determined by the state of a group of neurons in this person's brain;
    Conclusion - Therefore, for all we know, what somebody does may be determined by the conscious mind of this person.

    EB
     
  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    30,994
    Yes, there is. Your qualification "as far as we know" possibly separates the two vague references to "state" into two different groups of neurons, and two different meanings of the misleading term "state".
    Which depends on what the premises are.
     
  23. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

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    1,123
    Here is a different instanciation of the same argument:

    For all we know, a wave may be the state of some water in the sea;
    What the buoy does is determined by the state of some water in the sea;
    Therefore, for all we know, what the buoy does may be determined by a wave.

    Is it sound?
    If not, why?
    EB
     

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