Another "revolution is coming" to explain consciousness (philosophy of science)

#1
The outside/inside dichotomy Goff uses below goes back to Charles Peirce:  "Viewing a thing from the outside, considering its relations of action and reaction with other things, it appears as matter. Viewing it from the inside, looking at its immediate character as feeling, it appears as consciousness." --Man's Glassy Essence ... https://www.gnusystems.ca/Peirce.htm

https://theconversation.com/science-as-w...ing-126143

EXCERPT (Philip Goff): . . . The problem of consciousness, however, is radically unlike any other scientific problem. One reason is that consciousness is unobservable. You can’t look inside someone’s head and see their feelings and experiences. If we were just going off what we can observe from a third-person perspective, we would have no grounds for postulating consciousness at all.

[...] So how can science ever explain it? When we are dealing with the data of observation, we can do experiments to test whether what we observe matches what the theory predicts. But when we are dealing with the unobservable data of consciousness, this methodology breaks down. The best scientists are able to do is to correlate unobservable experiences with observable processes, by scanning people’s brains and relying on their reports regarding their private conscious experiences.

[...] we should not be surprised that our standard scientific method struggles to deal with consciousness. As I explore in my new book, Galileo’s Error: Foundations for a New Science of Consciousness, modern science was explicitly designed to exclude consciousness.

Before the “father of modern science” Galileo Galilei, scientists believed that the physical world was filled with qualities, such as colours and smells. But Galileo wanted a purely quantitative science of the physical world, and he therefore proposed that these qualities were not really in the physical world but in consciousness, which he stipulated was outside of the domain of science. This worldview forms the backdrop of science to this day...

I believe there is a way forward, an approach that’s rooted in work from the 1920s [...] physical science doesn’t really tell us what matter is. This may seem bizarre, but it turns out that physics is confined to telling us about the behaviour of matter. ... Physics tells us nothing about what philosophers like to call “the intrinsic nature of matter”, how matter is in and of itself. It turns out, then, that there is a huge hole in our scientific world view – physics leaves us completely in the dark about what matter really is. The proposal of Bertrand Russell and Arthur Eddington was to fill that hole with consciousness.

The result is a type of “panpsychism” – an ancient view that consciousness is a fundamental and ubiquitous feature of the physical world. But the “new wave” of panpsychism lacks the mystical connotations of previous forms of the view. There is only matter – nothing spiritual or supernatural – but matter can be described from two perspectives. Physical science describes matter “from the outside”, in terms of its behaviour, but matter “from the inside” is constituted of forms of consciousness.

This means that mind is matter, and that even elementary particles exhibit incredibly basic forms of consciousness. Before you write that off, consider this. Consciousness can vary in complexity. We have good reason to think that the conscious experiences of a horse are much less complex than those of a human being, and that the conscious experiences of a rabbit are less sophisticated than those of a horse. As organisms become simpler, there may be a point where consciousness suddenly switches off – but it’s also possible that it just fades but never disappears completely, meaning even an electron has a tiny element of consciousness.

What panpsychism offers us is a simple, elegant way of integrating consciousness into our scientific worldview... (MORE - details)
 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSmfhc_8gew
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#2
I don't know what we hope to explain about consciousness that we don't already know. Will reducing it to another 3rd person property like mass or charge shed light on it? Will it enable us to create in a computer? I feel like consciousness is best understood in a first hand sense introspectively and even spiritually in a zen sense. I'm not going to read some physicist's paper on how consciousness is generated from matter. I'm going to consult a wise and spiritual person about what consciousness is and becomes thru life. Consciousness is above all a personal and individual thing best grasped for oneself. No scientific or theoretical knowledge will unveil its truly rich and profound nature to us. It is a firsthand experience or it is nothing. It is the essence of who and what we are.
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#3
(Nov 6, 2019 01:47 AM)Magical Realist Wrote: I don't know what we hope to explain about consciousness that we don't already know. Will reducing it to another 3rd person property like mass or charge shed light on it? Will it enable us to create in a computer? I feel like consciousness is best understood in a first hand sense introspectively and even spiritually in a zen sense. I'm not going to read some physicist's paper on how consciousness is generated from matter. I'm going to consult a wise and spiritual person about what consciousness is and becomes thru life. Consciousness is above all a personal and individual thing best grasped for oneself. No scientific or theoretical knowledge will unveil its truly rich and profound nature to us. It is a firsthand experience or it is nothing. It is the essence of who and what we are.


These intrinsic states ascribed to matter still wouldn't be granted powers to influence anything, or don't factor into the physical mapping of causal relationships. So thereby such still provides no explanation [in that materialist framework] for why a brain is reporting manifestations and feelings in its senses and thought processes. Other than maybe there's a genetic predisposition for certain neural patterns to pretend that "something is present" which isn't. And miraculously the majority of humans have good universal agreement about those fictitious colors, sounds, objects, motions, etc that are purely expressed as verbal-based imagination. (In an explanatory framework which entails only accepting properties than can be measured slashed detected in a publicly accessible space.)
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