Re: MD mental and neural states

From: Scott R (
Date: Thu Apr 03 2003 - 02:34:38 BST

  • Next message: Scott R: "Re: MD Philosophy and Theology"


    > Scott said:
    > > It could be, but I see assuming that as a weak response to the argument.
    > It
    > > would still be necessary that space and time be transcended for the
    > > incipient consciousness of elementary particles to merge into our
    > perception
    > > of big and complex things, so I see assuming that electrons or whatever
    > have
    > > some sort of ur-conscioousness as not getting us very far.
    > The angle that I am coming at this from is a denial of 'materialism' (or
    > even), by which I mean the idea that matter and mind are radically
    > things. If you deny that fundamental axiom (which I think has to follow
    > a Christian, BTW, given the claim of Incarnation; it's also, of course,
    > ruled out in the MoQ) then it's not an 'assumption' that electrons have
    > ur-consciousness, it's a basic perspective. (Same thing, different
    > interpretation). I just smell a very faint whiff of dualism in your
    > argument, which I'm uncomfortable with.

    I would have thought the whiff would be of idealism, not dualism, but more
    on that below. My objection to the phrase of "incipient consciousness" of
    electrons is the "incipient" part. I think there is only full-blown
    consciousness, and that the difficulty we have of imagining an electron as
    conscious stems from the particular organization of our current kind of
    consciousness, namely its subject/object form. An electron may be a bad
    example, since it is really not much more than a piece in an elaborate
    conceptual system known as modern physics. So take a rock. My assumption is
    that seeing it as dead matter is a consequence of our limitation, not its.
    On the other hand, we *do* experience it as dead matter, and that does need
    explaining (which I am not about to do, but see Barfield for something
    reasonable along these lines.). Also, I am not conjecturing that this
    particular rock that I perceive is having thoughts, or experiencing any of
    the sort of mental experiences that I have. What I conjecture is that what I
    see as a dead rock is a tiny piece of a surface of some elaborate conceptual
    system of which modern physics is a distant approximation.

    The problem with this conjecture is our habit of treating "concept" as
    strictly mental, hence I would guess the whiff of dualism or idealism. The
    way I propose to avoid dualism is twofold. First, to treat every "thing" as
    being word-like, since a word is at one and the same time a physical object
    and a mental object (to our S/O consciousness). So a rock is word in a
    language that Quality speaks, but we don't understand. We have some
    knowledge of that language's syntax (physics), but none of its semantics.
    Second, to notice that all manifestation can only be approached
    (philosophically) with the logic of contradictory identity. (On this phrase,
    an analogy is wave-particle duality in quantum physics. Just as we can only
    see a particle as a wave OR as a particle, which within macroscopic physical
    experience is an impossibility, so in inquiring into, say, the act of
    perception, one invariably comes up with two concepts, like identity and
    difference, which contradict each other, but require each other. Another
    analogy are the duck/rabbit pictures -- one can see the duck or the rabbit,
    but not both at once. Both analogies fall short, though, in that one can
    also experience pictures that are just ducks, but one can never have just
    identity, or just difference.) My conjecture is that the logic of
    contradictory identity does not imply that reality is fundamentally
    paradoxical, but that it does imply that our present kind of consciousness
    is inadequate to understand reality. Which is to say, we are insane, and
    need saving.

    - Scott

    P.S. I don't really know if I am responding to your quibbles, as you call
    them, but figured I'd just expand, and see how it plays.

    MOQ.ORG -
    Mail Archives:
    Aug '98 - Oct '02 -
    Nov '02 Onward -
    MD Queries -

    To unsubscribe from moq_discuss follow the instructions at:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu Apr 03 2003 - 02:35:50 BST