Sunday, January 17, 2016

Why science can't explain consciousness

Here. 

8 comments:

B. Prokop said...

Whether or not "science" can explain consciousness is asking the wrong question. Science does a great job at explaining how things work, but it doesn't even begin the explain why they work. (And isn't that the more interesting question? I'd far rather know why, rather than how, I think.)

Astronomy and cosmology have shown us what makes a star "tick", how galaxies evolve, and (maybe*) even how the universe itself began. But it cannot tell us anything about why stars, galaxies, and the universe are here to study in the first place.

Many atheists (at least, many who haunt the internet) seem to believe that as soon as science "explains" consciousness, that will somehow translate to "consciousness is an illusion". But any explanation will no more do this than knowledge of how the eye works somehow proving there's no such thing as light.

As The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "The unity of soul and body is so profound that one has to consider the soul to be the "form" of the body: i.e., it is because of its spiritual soul that the body made of matter becomes a living, human body. Spirit and matter, in man, are not two natures united, but rather their union forms a single nature." (365, my emphasis)

Jezu ufam tobie!

* The jury is still out, as far as I'm concerned.

planks length said...

This is a wonderful article! Thanks for linking to it, Victor.

It sheds a lot of light on why atheists are terrified by the existence of consciousness, and would love to explain it away by any means necessary. I especially love where Feser distinguishes between the physical characteristics of various entities and their qualitative aspects (color, sound, odor, taste, heat, cold, etc). It's small wonder why the materialist prays (intentional irony) for some, any, "scientific" explanation for consciousness. Anything is preferable to the necessity of admitting to the existence of non-material things.

Gyan said...

Atheism is not necessarily discomfited by non-material things--witness the philosophy of Russell.

Gyan said...

VR,
This is very interesting:
Ed Feser is quoted:
"The redness we see in a “Stop” sign, as common sense understands redness, does not actually exist in the sign itself but only as the quale of our conscious visual experience of the sign; Objectively there are only colorless, odorless, soundless, tasteless, meaningless particles in fields of force"

"The very way science does its work is to exclude the qualitative features of reality as experienced by human consciousness"

I guess here "science" means physics.
What does it mean to say that the "redness" exists in the "Stop" sign? In what sense of "exists" it might refer to?

Joe Hinman said...



this is actually one chapter in forthcoming book but it's now two posts on Metacrock's blog

Mind is not reducible to Brain


<a href="http://metacrock.blogspot.com/2014/05/mind-not-reduceable-to-brain-part-2.html><b>part 2</b></a>

Part 2 has positive scientific evidence not just arguments why it might not be so.

Joe Hinman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Hinman said...

last try


part 2

http://metacrock.blogspot.com/2014/05/mind-not-reduceable-to-brain-part-2.html

part 2

Joe Hinman said...

"The redness we see in a “Stop” sign, as common sense understands redness, does not actually exist in the sign itself but only as the quale of our conscious visual experience of the sign; Objectively there are only colorless, odorless, soundless, tasteless, meaningless particles in fields of force"

\
>>>what are fields of force? what are they made of? no one knows. all answers I get from the scientists I've asked are reductive. fields are made of smaller fields.