dharmagoat wrote:Acchantika wrote:As Dechen alluded to, in either case you have created a bigger problem than what you set out to solve and violated parsimony. The consequence of which is that the equation is meaningless. If you cannot show how something quantitative and non-conscious becomes something qualitative and conscious then by trying to solve a problem of neuroscience you have created one of ontology and metaphysics. If they are different, what is their relationship? If they are they same, why do they share no properties? If one emerges, is it causative or not? If not, why posit it? If it is, we now have a second mechanism of interaction to explain, before we have explained the first yada yada yada
Fair cop. My suggestion that mental function and brain activity are "one and the same" was an expedient I didn't expect to get away with. How about "two aspects of the same process?"
Then we have substance dualism and are still left with the same or similar problem of how two substances of a discreet ontological order interact. More never-ending conceptual bullshit, in my personal opinion.
The important distinction to make is that the two arise mutually, i.e. where there is one there is always the other. Conversely, no brain activity means no mental events, and no mental events means no brain activity.
Not a criticism, but you don't seem to value generalisations versus specifics. That's cool; but, just as neuroscientists, philosophers and Buddhists won't agree that the difference between "some" and "all" as qualifiers is "hair-splitting", they won't agree that the relationship between specific mental events and neural activity therefore means all mental events are equatable with neural activity. You can damage every section of the brain, incapacitating specific functions, but you can't ever remove consciousness, only consciousness of function x. In other words, we have only shown that the given precept, and cause thereof, is associated with brain function, not the reflexive self-awareness that apprehends it, which is independent of whatever area of the brain we remove. Hence why one of the most agreeable attributes of consciousness is intentionality; its ability to "about" things while being independent of that-which-it-is-about. It cannot be "about" what a nervous system cannot represent to itself due to brain damage and so on.
Causation does not occur because neither is causing the other, and any equation describing their relationship will be meaningless.
You are describing their relationship by saying they are co-emergent. So, you are saying your own argument is meaningless.
You seem to me to be advocating eliminativism: neural activity and a given conscious experience are exactly equivalent and thus there is no relationship to be described. In which case, the subjective experience of consciousness is a complete falsehood, and cannot derive meaningful conclusions. Therefore, since eliminativism is mediated via subjective consciousness and derived thereof, it cannot be trusted and is consequently a meaningless conclusion.
That said, if we accept that causation does not occur, in the Madhyamakan sense, then we have ruled out emergence in any capacity as a possibility. Novel attributes cannot arise from a cause that does not itself arise.