[ExI] Fwd: New article: EM Field Theory of Consciousness

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Fri Jun 17 17:08:29 UTC 2022

Let me ask everybody:  suppose that we find out everything about the
conscious mind:  where it is, what chemicals are involved, and so on.
 This provides explanations at the descriptive level, but does nothing to
explain why we have, how it works, anything beyond what is happening in the
brain.  All of that does not predict behavior as far as I can see.  (Well,
it might if extremely complicated and extensive recording devices are
attached.) And that is the goal of psychology and anyone who wants to
explain, not just describe, human behavior.    bill w

On Fri, Jun 17, 2022 at 9:35 AM Jason Resch <jasonresch at gmail.com> wrote:

> If epiphenomenalism were true we wouldn't have access to reliably talk
> about our inner states of consciousness, our feelings, our awareness, etc.
> The author of "epiphenomenal qualia", Frank Jackson, which introduced the
> thought experiment of Mary the color scientist, later had this epiphany
> leading him to reject his original conclusion that qualia were
> epiphenomenal:
> FJ: “Epiphenomenalism was unbelievable, and indeed that was a
> consideration that eventually made me change my mind.”
> Interviewer: “So why did you change your mind?”
> FJ: “Well, the biggest factor was the picture of myself writing
> ‘epiphenomenal qualia’, but not being caused to write ‘epiphenomenal
> qualia’ by qualia. I said in ‘epiphenomenal qualia’ that you had to be an
> epiphenomenalist about qualia, and what that meant was that qualia didn’t
> change the words that came out of my mouth or the movements of my pen on
> pieces of paper, so that meant that when I gave the talk defending
> ‘epiphenomenal qualia’, when I wrote the paper defending ‘epiphenomenal
> qualia’, the qualia weren’t causing the talk and they weren’t causing the
> writing, and I just decided this was sort of unbelievable.”
> [...]
> “It was the picture of myself writing the paper, uncaused by the qualia..
> I said that I can’t believe this. And I came to think that was the triumph
> of philosophical cleverness over common sense.”
> Jason
> On Fri, Jun 17, 2022, 10:27 AM William Flynn Wallace via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> I can't say that I understand your reply fully.  All behavior,
>> intelligent or not, comes from your unconscious mind.  Maybe I don't
>> understand epiphenomenal as well as I think I do.
>> I do understand this:  : a secondary mental phenomenon that is caused by
>> and accompanies a physical phenomenon but has no causal influence itself. Like
>> seeing tuba notes in color.  bill w
>> On Fri, Jun 17, 2022 at 8:48 AM Stathis Papaioannou via extropy-chat <
>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>> On Fri, 17 Jun 2022 at 23:01, William Flynn Wallace via extropy-chat <
>>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>>> OTOH - it could be that our conscious mind is like God looking down on
>>>> us and observing our behavior - meaning that the conscious has no role in
>>>> our behavior at all - it is superfluous - epiphenomenal.  So if that is
>>>> true, trying to make robots conscious is a waste of time.  No advantage to
>>>> it.  It has programs that monitor all output like our conscious mind  .
>>>>  All is done by our unconscious and the conscious is just an observer.  No
>>>> free will, but we don't need it - our unconscious (which is really
>>>> conscious of all inputs) does all the work.
>>> If consciousness is epiphenomenal, it isn’t an optional extra. It is a
>>> side-effect of intelligent behaviour.
>>> bill w
>>>> On Fri, Jun 17, 2022 at 2:13 AM Colin Hales via extropy-chat <
>>>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>>>> Hi,
>>>>> This is to let you know of the arrival of this publication:
>>>>> Hales, C.G., and Ericson, M.L. (2022). Electromagnetism’s Bridge
>>>>> Across the Explanatory Gap: How a Neuroscience/Physics Collaboration
>>>>> delivers Explanation into all Theories of Consciousness. Frontiers in Human
>>>>> Neuroscience 16.
>>>>> https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnhum.2022.836046/full
>>>>> https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnhum.2022.836046/full#supplementary-material
>>>>> This is the full and final argument.
>>>>> Note that on page 9 there is a brief discussion of a new kind of chip.
>>>>> That is the one I am building at unimelb. AGI because it can't be anything
>>>>> else. Actual artificial neurons (no general-purpose computing, no software,
>>>>> no models, no programming). Bottom line line: put the signalling physics of
>>>>> the brain in in natural form, naturally interacting, naturally adapting on
>>>>> the chips, NOT the physics of a general purpose computer.
>>>>> The abstract is below. Overall:
>>>>> 1) all theories of consciousness are actually EM field theories.
>>>>> 2) bringing explanation of the 1st person perspective requires an
>>>>> epistemic upgrade to the standard model of particle physics.
>>>>> Turns out that to properly cover all the bases needed 22 pages and an
>>>>> 8 page supplementary. Sorry about that.
>>>>> Interesting times.
>>>>> cheers,
>>>>> Colin
>>>>> ==========================================
>>>>> A productive, informative three decades of correlates of phenomenal
>>>>> consciousness (P-Consciousness) have delivered valuable knowledge while
>>>>> simultaneously locating us in a unique and unprecedented explanatory
>>>>> cul-de-sac. Observational correlates are demonstrated to be intrinsically
>>>>> very unlikely to explain or lead to a fundamental principle underlying the
>>>>> strongly emergent 1st-person-perspective (1PP) invisibly stowed away inside
>>>>> them. That lack is now solidly evidenced in practice. To escape our
>>>>> explanatory impasse, this article focuses on fundamental physics (the
>>>>> standard model of particle physics), which brings to light a foundational
>>>>> argument for how the brain is an essentially electromagnetic (EM) field
>>>>> object from the atomic level up. That is, our multitude of correlates of
>>>>> P-Consciousness are actually descriptions of specific EM field behaviors
>>>>> that are posed (hypothesized) as “the right” correlate by a particular
>>>>> theory of consciousness. Because of this, our 30 years of empirical
>>>>> progress can be reinterpreted as, in effect, the delivery of a large body
>>>>> of evidence that the standard model’s EM quadrant can deliver a 1PP. That
>>>>> is, all theories of consciousness are, in the end, merely recipes that
>>>>> select a particular subset of the totality of EM field expression that is
>>>>> brain tissue. With a universal convergence on EM, the science of
>>>>> P-Consciousness becomes a collaborative effort between neuroscience and
>>>>> physics. The collaboration acts in pursuit of a unified explanation
>>>>> applicable to all theories of consciousness while remaining mindful that
>>>>> the process still contains no real explanation as to why or how EM fields
>>>>> deliver a 1PP. The apparent continued lack of explanation is, however,
>>>>> different: this time, the way forward is opened through its direct
>>>>> connection to fundamental physics. This is the first result (Part I). Part
>>>>> II posits, in general terms, a structural (epistemic) add-on/upgrade to the
>>>>> standard model that has the potential to deliver the missing route to an
>>>>> explanation of how subjectivity is delivered through EM fields. The revised
>>>>> standard model, under the neuroscience/physics collaboration, intimately
>>>>> integrates with the existing “correlates of-” paradigm, which acts as its
>>>>> source of empirical evidence. No existing theory of consciousness is lost
>>>>> or invalidated.
>>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>> --
>>> Stathis Papaioannou
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