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Out of the armchair and into the lab

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dookie On 51 minutes ago
Foolish Bombu





, United Kingdom
#16New Post! Sep 03, 2020 @ 07:47:51
@Jennifer1984 Said

Loving "Hatchet Job"....

Seriously though.... I appreciate that I must appear hostile to your position on philosophy. Please know... I do respect your views and I read all your posts with interest.

I think I'll just make my own position clear one more time, that I have no antipathy towards philosophy, but adhere to the tenet that, at a certain point, the path of enlightenment splits into two and after that, the two only come together again, and only for as long as science needs to refresh itself with new wonder before diverging again.

Can we allow philosophy to impede science...? Well, actually, we do. We have ethics. Pure science, unrestrained by ethics could lead to the darkest elements of human endeavour becoming unrestrained. Ethics keeps us on the straight and narrow of beneficence to humankind.

Philosophy goes off on its own wanderings and good luck to those who wander. It seems that Mr Goff does exactly that - and as I freely admitted, I have not read his book - I'm content to leave him to his meanderings. If he is on the different part of the path to me, then fine.


I'm not sure you actually understand my "position" at all. I DO see "enlightenment" (call it what you will) as the "bottom line" but that does not preclude any scientific pursuit at all.

You appear to see some sort of division. The armchair OR the lab. The "doers" v the "thinkers".

There is at the moment turmoil in the scientific world as far as the understanding of "consciousness". There are untold theories jostling for position. How will it be solved?

Where did the theory of evolution originate? During the voyage of the Beagle or in the lab, with a flow chart, or in the imagination of Charles Darwin? One does not exclude the other.

And as Philip Goff writes:- "In the years when he was developing special relativity, Einstein wasn’t busy conducting experiments; rather he was staring into space wondering what would happen if you rode on a beam of light."

Reading Kuhn on scientific revolutions, of paradigm shifts, is enlightening (!)

Where precision comes in is when theories are tested. What experiment can be made to test how accurate they are? Then, certain explanations/theories gain credibility while others fall to the wayside.

Really, I find your own position, of the divisions I have spoken of, as unreal and unrelated to the real world.
dookie On 51 minutes ago
Foolish Bombu





, United Kingdom
#17New Post! Sep 03, 2020 @ 16:17:29
After being rather put off by previous reviews ( ) but now sustained by a Toastie and a cappuccino , I returned to read Mr Goff's book and there is a section beginning....


Indeed, there is in our culture at the moment a fair amount of scepticism — or perhaps a better word is “bemusement” — at the idea that philosophers might have anything to contribute to the scientific project of uncovering the nature of reality.



Philip Goff then proceeds to give reasons why such scepticism is unfounded, this by pointing to the progression of the scientific endeavour in history. For instance, of Galileo (irrespective of other errors!) who demonstrated that the physics of Aristotle was false purely by thought, by "pondering", NOT by experiment.

Mr Goff sums up this section by saying:-

The purpose of this digression was to persuade the reader that philosophy has a role to play in the project of finding out what reality is like.

And - at least for me - he makes a strong, if not irrefutable case. But obviously, those not inclined to read his book will never know whether he has or not.

darkman666 4 minutes ago




Saint Louis, Missouri
#18New Post! Sep 04, 2020 @ 14:05:11
but now sustained by a Toastie and a cappuccino

good for you! this is morning, i had a bologna sandwich. i have your book haven't read it. i been using it under table's leg to balance. your right, this book has a message to balance the world in order. now, keep it's my table in line!
dookie On 51 minutes ago
Foolish Bombu





, United Kingdom
#19New Post! Sep 05, 2020 @ 13:26:32
Well into Mr Goff's book now. His contention is that science/physics tells us not what "matter" is but simply what matter does. Therefore, science remains successful in terms of prediction. Therefore, again, successful with respect to ever new technology, inventions......which rely simply upon how matter behaves but never upon what matter is.

He also speaks of the three current theories concerning the "explanation" of consciousness. Dualism, materialism and panpsychism. I googled to get these three explained...

"Panpsychism is the view that mentality is fundamental and ubiquitous in the natural world. The view has a long and venerable history in philosophical traditions of both East and West, and has recently enjoyed a revival in analytic philosophy. For its proponents panpsychism offers an attractive middle way between physicalism (materialism) on the one hand and dualism on the other. The worry with dualism — the view that mind and matter are fundamentally different kinds of thing — is that it leaves us with a radically disunified picture of nature, and the deep difficulty of understanding how mind and brain interact. And whilst physicalism offers a simple and unified vision of the world, this is arguably at the cost of being unable to give a satisfactory account of the emergence of human and animal consciousness. Panpsychism, strange as it may sound on first hearing, promises a satisfying account of the human mind within a unified conception of nature."


I thought back to something learnt long ago, of how ancient navigational charts, based purely upon a totally false theory of the movement of the planets (i.e. circular motion, earth centred solar system) nevertheless allowed our old seafarers to get from A to B. The charts worked . Such seems relevant in many ways. There are now many theories of consciousness.

Anyway, Mr Goff argues - I think totally legitably - that if consciousness is ever to be explained at all then both pondering and experimentation will be involved. One does not exclude the other. Obviously, he believes that his own favourite theory, panpsychism, has less arguments against it (he lists some)

I actually see much of this as entertainment. Really, I feel no need to back any of the theories.
dookie On 51 minutes ago
Foolish Bombu





, United Kingdom
#20New Post! Sep 05, 2020 @ 20:40:36
Well, I have finished the book by Philip Goff. I must admit to "bleeping" over one or two sections where the argument became beyond my own capacity to follow. But all in all, very readable.

I took a look back at the previous "hatchet job" by Jennifer ( ) and wondered if it was the same book! But that is how it goes. Out of 101 Amazon reviews, 86 people gave the book 4 or 5 stars out of 5.
dookie On 51 minutes ago
Foolish Bombu





, United Kingdom
#21New Post! Sep 05, 2020 @ 21:12:26
For those interested, a positive review of the book from the TLS:-


Positive Review from the TLS
Electric_Banana On September 18, 2020




, New Zealand
#22New Post! Sep 05, 2020 @ 21:27:15
Sort of how Einstein made Quantum physics boring by distracting everyone with the small pixels which made up an otherwise interesting digital environment?
Electric_Banana On September 18, 2020




, New Zealand
#23New Post! Sep 05, 2020 @ 21:31:25
@dookie Said

The worry with dualism — the view that mind and matter are fundamentally different kinds of thing — is that it leaves us with a radically disunified picture of nature



Once you see it, it is near impossible to deny the strong possibility that this is all some sort of strange prison devised by Walt Disney.
Electric_Banana On September 18, 2020




, New Zealand
#24New Post! Sep 05, 2020 @ 21:45:24
@dookie Said



At the moment I'm quite interested in "consciousness" and how such relates to ultimate Reality.



I've had to go with my own pondering on that one

If our current existence a ruse then who or what we truly are would be the last information easily available to us.

Going by intuition I don't agree with the current situation; I don't believe that I am truly or naturally part of it but rather taken from somewhere else and subjected to this existence.

So my first partial answer to 'what am I?' is 'I am an alien here'

Second, but most importantly, would by my overall ethical principle arrived to by asking why I felt alien. My overall ethic stance is that no creature should exist where there is not enough reliable resource to see them comfortably through the entirety of their life.

One could argue that Earth has enough to sustain everyone but it's resources have been arrested, hoarded and redistributed through a popularity system masking as an effort vs reward mechanic.

Via my own principle this also confirms I am alien as in any world I would respect there are no hidden agendas nor mechanics, everyone there would have reached the point of intelligence to have outgrown desire for control and bureaucratic games.
Jennifer1984 On about 4 hours ago
Returner and proud





Penzance, United Kingdom
#25New Post! Sep 05, 2020 @ 23:09:07
Although it isn't in my nature to not follow up a point when I think I have a valid argument, I can see that my comments have provoked strong emotions in somebody I rather like, and I don't want to provoke any further.

Yes... I know.... "begone foul spirit and give us back our Jenny, the one we know and love and can usually rely on to scrap to the death for her point of view".....

On this occasion I don't want to get caught up in yet another circular argument that's all. This is not any sort of admission of defeat, rather a desire not to alienate a nice person with persistent bickering over a topic that isn't going anywhere.

I turned 36 last week. I feel like I'm getting too old for this.
dookie On 51 minutes ago
Foolish Bombu





, United Kingdom
#26New Post! Sep 06, 2020 @ 07:03:14
@Jennifer1984 Said

Although it isn't in my nature to not follow up a point when I think I have a valid argument, I can see that my comments have provoked strong emotions in somebody I rather like, and I don't want to provoke any further.


No, no particularly strong emotions. So please proceed if you have the time.

@Jennifer1984 Said

Yes... I know.... "begone foul spirit and give us back our Jenny, the one we know and love and can usually rely on to scrap to the death for her point of view".....


Give us whatever Jenny is currently available.....


@Jennifer1984 Said

On this occasion I don't want to get caught up in yet another circular argument that's all. This is not any sort of admission of defeat, rather a desire not to alienate a nice person with persistent bickering over a topic that isn't going anywhere.

I turned 36 last week. I feel like I'm getting too old for this.


Not alienated at all. As far as "nice", I don't really think in such categories.


I would add that this thread was opened as my two posts that concluded the "Willing" thread went unanswered. For me they led to "Lab or armchair?" as a good idea for a thread in itself.

Then, strangely, a hatchet job was initiated on a book I mentioned! Hatchet job? Yes. One review in a National Newspaper was quoted in part, missing out the positive portions, while a two star review on Amazon (where 86% were very positive and others neutral) was cut and pasted to put the book down further. I'm still unsure exactly what drew such a response.

Jenny, to be honest I have no idea what your "valid arguments" would actually be seeking to support, let alone what they are. Now I shall never know.


All the best
dookie On 51 minutes ago
Foolish Bombu





, United Kingdom
#27New Post! Sep 06, 2020 @ 08:34:43
@Electric_Banana Said

I've had to go with my own pondering on that one

If our current existence a ruse then who or what we truly are would be the last information easily available to us.


My own pondering simply relates to how consciousness relates to the (supposedly) "material world". I'm not looking for any "ruse". But you actually seem to come out with the same answer, so I might just be nit-picking. Yes, I would say what we "are" is pretty well hidden under all the opinions/assumptions/conditionings/prejudices that we identify as being "ourselves". Some would say that there is nothing - or no one - else. In which case, I would argue, goodbye free-will.

@Electric_Banana Said

Going by intuition I don't agree with the current situation; I don't believe that I am truly or naturally part of it but rather taken from somewhere else and subjected to this existence.

So my first partial answer to 'what am I?' is 'I am an alien here'


Yes, I feel alienated from what could be called the "world around me". I never used to feel this way, but Brexit, Trump and much else - and the support they seem to have, even from some close friends - has eventually taken its toll.

@Electric_Banana Said

Second, but most importantly, would by my overall ethical principle arrived to by asking why I felt alien. My overall ethic stance is that no creature should exist where there is not enough reliable resource to see them comfortably through the entirety of their life.

One could argue that Earth has enough to sustain everyone but it's resources have been arrested, hoarded and redistributed through a popularity system masking as an effort vs reward mechanic.

Via my own principle this also confirms I am alien as in any world I would respect there are no hidden agendas nor mechanics, everyone there would have reached the point of intelligence to have outgrown desire for control and bureaucratic games.



I remain convinced (faith) that Reality is infinite compassion, infinite wisdom, infinite potential (also, pure freedom.) The rest is b******t. Personally I find seeking to know my own "ethical principles" is a dead end.

All the best
Electric_Banana On September 18, 2020




, New Zealand
#28New Post! Sep 13, 2020 @ 02:41:57
@dookie Said

Some would say that there is nothing - or no one - else. In which case, I would argue, goodbye free-will.


We still have a will, it's just that it's been disabled and routed by a third party so that some of our autonomous actions/decisions are nothing but lighting off a dud firework. (similar to the demonstration in the film "
The Adjustment Bureau" )


@dookie Said

Yes, I feel alienated from what could be called the "world around me". I never used to feel this way, but Brexit, Trump and much else - and the support they seem to have, even from some close friends - has eventually taken its toll.


If the world an interactive story then to fall from reverence in witness of Trump would be the same as to give up hope to Darth Vader in an interactive Star Wars story: It's not non-playable-characters in this story that aggravates me, it's all of the other half-witted players who makes those cartoon villains appear sane in comparison.
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