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The "intension" of a concept is its meaning, whereas the "extension" of the concept is the set of the things that fall under that concept. The most helpful way to see the distinction is with a pair of concepts that have the same extension, but different intensions. For instance "renate" (="having kidneys") and "cordate" (="having a heart"). Everything that ...


6

Many cultural structures use phrasings which appear paradoxical. Zen Buddhism, for instance, is famous for the use of such phrasings. I have developed a suspicion that much of the point of these sayings is that the listener must draw their own conclusions, so I will steadfastly refuse to claim my conclusions are "the right ones." However, I have found one ...


4

The metaphor of Indra's Pearls describing the mutual constitution and reflection of universe and individual consciousness goes back to Huayan school of Buddhism in 7th century AD:"And every dew drop contains the reflection of all the other dew drops. And, in each reflected dew drop, the reflections of all the other dew drops in that reflection. And so ad ...


4

To offer a footnote to these excellent answers, the paradox can also be seen to arise from what Bergson calls "spatializing" time. By treating the "self" as if it were an "object" in time we can only observe a "past self" from the position of a "new self" that now contains the past self, and so the two "selves" cannot be identical. Even the computer or ...


4

No, there is no contradiction inherent to the concept of self-observation. Self-observation in the sense of your question means to convert as many unconscious processes as possible into conscious processes. That’s what Sigmund Freud tried to achieve by the means of psychoanalysis, e.g., by the interpretation of dreams. Self-observation is part of self-...


4

How can I observe myself when the self I'm trying to observe is this pure observer? Strictly speaking, no, there's no paradox in an entity observing itself. Such an ability can be embodied in all sorts of ways. One example is a video recording device, where the camera lens can be extended using some sort of fiber optic tube and turned back to look at ...


3

On those matters, I know of Augustine of Hippo: Edmund Husserl writes: "The analysis of time-consciousness is an age-old crux of descriptive psychology and theory of knowledge. The first thinker to be deeply sensitive to the immense difficulties to be found here was Augustine, who laboured almost to despair over this problem." You can see more references,...


3

With regard to the video: I think it goes to much in to practical detail at first. I would like to come at this from a more abstract level. What is the purpose of being able to always serve a higher purpose? You are conscious. Consciousness is ALL there is. Consciousness creates purpose. Become more consciousness and you find (create) more purpose in ...


3

The halting problem says nothing directly about minds. It says something about recursive sets and recursively enumerable sets. A recursively enumerable set is a set of integers that can be generated (enumerated) by a Turing machine. (We can create a Turing machine that will print each member of the set on its tape.) Turing's theorem is: given any ...


3

This is an interesting topic. And there are some controversial theories about cognition. There is the Computational Theory of Mind. This was proposed by Hilary Putnam in the middle 20th century. In this theory the mind/brain is a computer, more exactly you can see the brain as the computer and and the mind as a program in execution on the brain. So ...


2

"Given the fact that we could potentially be the directors of our own mini-universe, in video games like the Sims how do we know if its inhabitants are self aware? If they aren't currently self aware, at which point would we be able theoretically to say that they could wonder about their own existence?" You first need to define "self aware", and the ...


2

As far as I can tell, you're asserting something like: (1) when I think, I am doing something; (2) any time I do something, I strengthen my ego since it is I who am doing something; (3) strengthening my ego is bad, since ego is the ultimate source of all evil; (4) therefore, I shouldn't think. The problem is that (2) and (3) are obviously false. There's ...


2

This sort of question assumes that a human's consciousness is an emergent property of the brain. We have no idea if this is true. If consciousness is immaterial, then it is incapable of being copied by a computer. So, the prior question that must be answered is whether consciousness is material in origin. Common sense would say no.


2

The conclusion that the mind is better known than the body is a consequence of Meditations 1 and 2 from the Meditations on First Philosophy. Descartes explicitly states the claim in a couple different ways. Notice that it is the subtitle of the Second Meditation: "The nature of the human mind, and how it is better known than the body." From this fact we can ...


2

I asked a related question, are we becoming more hive-like? Even the best evidence of group selection is disputed. Although eusociality is quite well accepted. This seems to be the basis of hive behaviour. If you think about ants defending the nest, or wasps or bees, an individual experiences threat or harm, releases pheromones. As the amount of those ...


1

There seems to be a confusion here between self and consciousness, as if they are the same phenomenon. It may be noted that the self is explained thoroughly in the Wisdom literature and is not said to be a conundrum. It is definitely a conundrum in modern phil. of mind and in scientific consciousness studies but this is a local problem. Peters seems to ...


1

I suspect your question is a bit more broad than can be easily answered here. In the context of artificial intelligence, you'll probably want to distinguish between the "easy" problems of consciousness (how to model the behavior and cognition of conscious beings) from the "hard" problem of consciousness (about the nature and origin of subjective experience)....


1

Classifications are more likely to be conventional than descriptive. So they are also more or less useful. A desirable feature of classification is exhaustivity but is easily obtained by including a class "Other". Thus a most rudimentary form is a series of descriptions ('bullets'), with the last one labelled 'other'. Logic also achieves exhaustion if a ...


1

No. One counter-example disproves your theory that this is a complete list, and I don't believe that Utilitarianism falls into any of your categories. The meaning of my life can only be measured against whether or not I make other people happy. This is not about impacting my physical reality; It's about their mental reality. Nor is it hedonism; which is,...


1

If knowledge is possible, most of it would have to be contextual and defeasible. If so, we're open to correction, for we are not immune from error. A good heuristic to start out with is falsificationism; we can falsify at least some empirical propositions, and those that have been falsified we know we can rule out as being true, especially when they ...


1

If you want to remain skeptical of the world and your observations of it, there is nothing which will convince you otherwise, however, I suggest at the very least you distinguish intuition from projection. Also consider distinguishing illuminating appeals to skepticism from unilluminating appeals to skepticism(those which lead to knowledge or the means to ...


1

Self-observation is very important in the development of consciousness. Of course not mere self observation but self-observation inside a society with all the necessary parameters like language, freedom, will etc. Here I distinguish two types of "feedback". The linear-in-time feedback as for example in computer systems or any other known feedback scheme ...


1

You might want to look into Husserl's Crisis of the European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology. He explicitly states the problem in Sections 52-54, and calls it "the paradox of human subjectivity." However, you should be aware that his explication would make more sense if you have read the whole work. In general, his solution to this problem seems to ...


1

There is quite a tradition in philosophy concerning the setting aside of various beliefs about the world, with the aim of getting a better understanding. It stretches back at least as far as ancient Greece, and continues today. However, the idea of setting aside certain beliefs about the world is not in conflict with having knowledge. In fact, without ...


1

This approach is thinking free: it's certainly really good for human beings whose brain is enslaved by their impulses and pathological need for happiness and pleasure, but not for philosophers. Maybe it's time to ask yourself what's the difference between a meaningful purpose and a monkey-like purpose. A better question could be "why should I live?". Try ...


1

a replicated atom does not occupy the same space as the original atom. Every being has a set of experiences past, present and future. At the time of replication, we can understand that the two beings share a common past. Without assuming external agency, we can assume that an individual is individual as there is a degree of separation in space and ...


1

Basically, my take on this question is to apply the identity of indiscernibles. The OP sets up the thought experiment such that the "two" copies are idiscernable in every aspect; but having done this, then they must be identical. Only once you introduce some feature into the thought experiment that differentiates the two copies, does it make sense to ask ...


1

Your premises contain the answer to the question: yes, if there were two of you, there would be two of you. One of you would experience things in one location, and the other one would experience things in the other. If the surroundings (and stochastic noise) were not identical, the two would begin to diverge; if they were, there would be two yous having ...


1

At the end of the day, what is a human brain? It is a network of neurons that have been trained to trigger in certain ways, essentially simulating logical gates like NAND and NOR. One can construct a theoretical mapping from logical gates to neurons that shows that the logical gates are capable of simulating a human brain/nervous system. Therefore from a ...


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