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Proof of Animal Consciousness Thread


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Birds do have a brain cortex—and think  

That animals have a consciousness would maybe have been news in 1920 or so but who the fuck needs more evidence for that in the year of 2020 (or 2015 when the thread was started)? It's apparent enough

That is...amazing

 

(There's definitely some grand Richard Bach-esque lesson there, not quite sure what)

 

 

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"With that line of logic, you won't be able to prove much of anything. I'd rather skip some of the basic philosophical elements here since most of us are older than 15."

 

You make fun of my philosophical rants, but then you demonstrate that you are oblivious to the state of the debate within philosophy and neuroscience

 

since you seemed to have solved the 'p-zombie' problem (as well as a few other persistent problems that have plagued the philosophy of mind for centuries) you should publish and collect your Nobel prize

 

"You can observe and identify whether something has a consciousness by noting when they do things that aren't essential."

 

You can't, though

 

Did you know slime molds can reliably solve rat mazes? does that mean they're conscious? Also, you are (unfoundedly) assuming that intelligence and consciousness go hand in hand

 

If you want to demonstrate this, you have to use more than simply your gut feeling on the matter

 

 

As I said before: as a probabilistic matter, of course all the people around me are conscious, as well as some large portion of animals

 

But this is 'synthetic' knowledge, not 'empirical' knowledge...you will never directly be able to prove that I'm conscious

 

 

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Did I do something to piss you off personally? I'm not sure why you're attacking me like that.

 

At any rate, since the "p-zombie" idea is clearly hypothetical (ie. doesn't exist) there is no problem there. Empirical data will get you a lot farther in this matter than imagining what's going on in the mind of other animals. Watch their behavior and measure intention. You know, science 'n shit.

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"With that line of logic, you won't be able to prove much of anything. I'd rather skip some of the basic philosophical elements here since most of us are older than 15."

 

You make fun of my philosophical rants, but then you demonstrate that you are oblivious to the state of the debate within philosophy and neuroscience

 

since you seemed to have solved the 'p-zombie' problem (as well as a few other persistent problems that have plagued the philosophy of mind for centuries) you should publish and collect your Nobel prize

 

"You can observe and identify whether something has a consciousness by noting when they do things that aren't essential."

 

You can't, though

 

Did you know slime molds can reliably solve rat mazes? does that mean they're conscious? Also, you are (unfoundedly) assuming that intelligence and consciousness go hand in hand

 

If you want to demonstrate this, you have to use more than simply your gut feeling on the matter

 

 

As I said before: as a probabilistic matter, of course all the people around me are conscious, as well as some large portion of animals

 

But this is 'synthetic' knowledge, not 'empirical' knowledge...you will never directly be able to prove that I'm conscious

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

 

Did I do something to piss you off personally? I'm not sure why you're attacking me like that.

 

At any rate, since the "p-zombie" idea is clearly hypothetical (ie. doesn't exist) there is no problem there. Empirical data will get you a lot farther in this matter than imagining what's going on in the mind of other animals. Watch their behavior and measure intention. You know, science 'n shit.

 

 

1) no no i think you're awesome

 

sorry if my post is snarky...it's not meant to be mean-spirited at all

perhaps a gentle nudge to the ol' rib, but definitely not malicious

(see me post from last night about my being autistic regarding the tone of my posts)

 

2) there is no empirical data, that's what i've been saying

it's like we're trying to figure out if someone has a disease, but we don't know the disease's symptoms

you can try to deduce/infer that I am conscious (Kant's 'synthetic knowledge')

but you can't directly observe that I am ('empirical knowledge')

if you assume that intelligence or emotion are 'symptoms' of consciousness

well then you need to support those assumptions (they are not self-supporting)

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edit:

 

3) the basic tenets of logic and philosophy are:

 

-define the terms being used (to avoid misunderstanding)

-avoid logical 'leaps' and assumptions (e.g. intelligence and emotion, therefor consciousness)

 

again, we agree on the ultimate conclusion

but we have to be careful and rigorous about how we reach that conclusion

(lest we believe false things)

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intelligence is found without consciousness

 

e.g. "swarm intelligence," whereby swarms of ants or bees or whatever exhibit intelligence that no single ant or bee possesses alone

the way all the neurons in your brain produce your intelligence, though that intelligence is not found in individual neurons

far in excess of what you or I could do

(are swarms conscious?)

 

and as i said, slime mold can solve mazes

there are mentally disabled humans who couldn't solve such a maze (scaled to human-size, of course)

 

 

emotion is found without consciousness

 

our emotions pertain to our preferences

they are physiological responses to how the world treats our preferences

(I love my cat > my cat dies > i am sad;

I am indifference to the well-being of my sock > my sock gets destroyed > i feel nothing;

i hate Hitler > someone makes fun of Hitler > I laugh and enjoy the joke)

 

lots of (presumably) non-conscious beings exhibit this

for instance, plants feel pain and "scream" if you kill one of their buddies

is the plant having a conscious experience of pain and horror?

or is it simply a reflex?

 

(p.s. as a vegetarian-for-ethical-reasons, you can imagine how fucking horrified I am by these findings)

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our emotions pertain to our preferences

they are physiological responses to how the world treats our preferences

(I love my cat > my cat dies > i am sad;

I am indifference to the well-being of my sock > my sock gets destroyed > i feel nothing;

i hate Hitler > someone makes fun of Hitler > I laugh and enjoy the joke)

 

lots of (presumably) non-conscious beings exhibit this

for instance, plants feel pain and "scream" if you kill one of their buddies

is the plant having a conscious experience of pain and horror?

or is it simply a reflex?

 

(p.s. as a vegetarian-for-ethical-reasons, you can imagine how fucking horrified I am by these findings)

 

key word presumably. i cant see how something can have a feeling and not be conscious

 

2) there is no empirical data, that's what i've been saying

 

 

it's like we're trying to figure out if someone has a disease, but we don't know the disease's symptoms

you can try to deduce/infer that I am conscious (Kant's 'synthetic knowledge')

but you can't directly observe that I am ('empirical knowledge')

if you assume that intelligence or emotion are 'symptoms' of consciousness

well then you need to support those assumptions (they are not self-supporting)

 

 

what's not empirical about pet videos? if i can watch a video and say it is evidence supporting animal consciousness and someone else can too, that is empirical.

 

i found it interesting when i got jury duty and they taught us about this term "threshold of proof." in criminal cases the charge must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, but in civil cases it only needs to be more likely true than not true (shockingly). it seems like you are trying to bring an astronomical threshold of proof into this

Edited by very honest
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our emotions pertain to our preferences

they are physiological responses to how the world treats our preferences

(I love my cat > my cat dies > i am sad;

I am indifference to the well-being of my sock > my sock gets destroyed > i feel nothing;

i hate Hitler > someone makes fun of Hitler > I laugh and enjoy the joke)

 

lots of (presumably) non-conscious beings exhibit this

for instance, plants feel pain and "scream" if you kill one of their buddies

is the plant having a conscious experience of pain and horror?

or is it simply a reflex?

 

(p.s. as a vegetarian-for-ethical-reasons, you can imagine how fucking horrified I am by these findings)

key word presumably. i cant see how something can have a feeling and not be conscious

2) there is no empirical data, that's what i've been saying

 

 

it's like we're trying to figure out if someone has a disease, but we don't know the disease's symptoms

you can try to deduce/infer that I am conscious (Kant's 'synthetic knowledge')

but you can't directly observe that I am ('empirical knowledge')

if you assume that intelligence or emotion are 'symptoms' of consciousness

well then you need to support those assumptions (they are not self-supporting)

 

what's not empirical about pet videos? a hundred years ago courts of law decided whether or not hawaians were caucasian based on evidence such as "everyone knows that hawaians arent caucasian." if i can watch a video and say it is evidence supporting animal consciousness and someone else can too, that is empirical.

 

i found it interesting when i got jury duty and they taught us about this term "threshold of proof." in criminal cases the charge must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, but in civil cases it only needs to be more likely true than not true (shockingly). it seems like you are trying to bring an astronomical threshold of proof into this

 

1) this is all down to conceptual analysis (which is an annoying process):

I don't necessarily mean that plants "feel pain"

I mean that outwardly they have a response that mimics a pain response

Are plants actually having an experience?

I don't know, and neither does anyone else

 

 

2) There appears to be another misunderstanding:

I mean 'empirical' in the Kantian sense, not in the everyday science sense

(E.g. You have empirical knowledge of your own consciousness, but not mine)

I've tried twice already to delineate the distinction but I must just be a bad communicator or something

I'm talking about types of knowledge and information (I am not talking about quantity or quality of evidence):

You can deduce that I am conscious through observing my behavior (synthetic knowledge)

But you can't directly observe my consciousness itself, the way you can observe your own (empirical knowledge)

 

I feel like I must just be terrible with language or something as we can't seem to understand each other on this point

 

 

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Edited by LimpyLoo
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Limpy, I think you've painted yourself into a philosophical corner since you've defined consciousness as something that can't be observed. However, observation is paramount to understanding things. Especially for things where which we don't have the natural capacity to sense it, so we build tools to sense for us.

 

Elephants have funerals.

Apes can learn how to count.

Ravens make toys.

 

Just these few behaviors denote that something more than basic survival is going on in their minds.

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Limpy, I think you've painted yourself into a philosophical corner since you've defined consciousness as something that can't be observed. However, observation is paramount to understanding things. Especially for things where which we don't have the natural capacity to sense it, so we build tools to sense for us.

 

Elephants have funerals.

Apes can learn how to count.

Ravens make toys.

 

Just these few behaviors denote that something more than basic survival is going on in their minds.

 

you definitely do have a point

but also remember that i indeed think that elephants, apes and probably ravens are conscious

 

 

i used to take these sorts of questions for granted

until i started reading about the current state of AI research:

when will we know if/when machines are conscious?

(we already make machines that exhibit emotions and/or intelligence)

Edited by LimpyLoo
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radical skepticism and solipsism are also impossible to disprove, but they're just something we need to assume are false if we want to get on with our day to day life. assuming other conscious beings actually exist is another such assumption we must make for the same reason.

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Fair enough

But then how will we know if/when we create a machine that's conscious?

 

we won't, we'll just have to assume given other corroborating evidence.

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philosophy is to biology as to mathematics is to physics. Mathematics can underpin all sorts of seemingly watertight but wild theories about the nature of reality, but when faced with reality through experimentation all of it can fall away as bollocks, pure fantastical speculation. I posit that the same thing is going in limpy's rhetoric, it has a fatal flaw, and that is the actual, happening, observed reality.

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I have a prediction:

 

Philosophy will become massively important to society in 10-15 years

As we enter the age of automated cars, gene manipulation, solving aging and perhaps ultimately (natural) death

We will see the need to apply humanity's philosophical knowledge to more and more

 

How should we program automated cars to act, when (say) faced with the choice of smashing into a crowd of people OR driving off the road and probably killing the driver? In short: should your car kill you to save 20 people? Would you buy such a car? Would you want OTHER people to buy such a car, knowing that you could be among those 20?

 

When we are faced with these dilemmas, we will then see the importance of all these cheeky little thought experiments that philosophers like to putz around with, like the Trolly Problem. (And anyone wishing to weigh in will need be fluent in these thought experiments?

 

Another name proposed for thought experiments was "intuition pumps"

Which is much better name

People hear the term "thought experiment" and they immediately think of college stoners discussing the Matrix or whatever

Whereas in reality, thought experiments are literally the ONLY tool for learning about certain of our intuitions, our values, our cognitive shortcomings, our misperceptions, etc

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Edited by LimpyLoo
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that's all fine and dandy if the information inputted is accurate and salient to the problem, this is where both the maths and philos fall down when trying to formulate rules. What tends to happen is someone will quote a faulty proof which is based on a faulty proof and so on, until we have our whole deck in play as an house of cards rather than doing useful work.

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  • 4 weeks later...

 

 

Whatever the underlying mechanisms and associated benefits of the phenomenon and notwithstanding the complex relationship between emotion and consciousness, the fact that the fish used in this study are capable of SIH, or emotional fever, means that the absence of this ability cannot be used to argue for a lack of consciousness in this taxonomic group, as proposed by Cabanac et al. [22]. As discussed above, there is a growing body of information from other sources (reviewed by [57]) that at least some of the brain mechanisms involved with feeling and emotion in mammals are conserved vertebrate features, that the responses of fishes to noxious stimuli are complex and include a motivational/attentional component and that fishes have well-developed learning capacities and show complex behaviour. Our results add to the emerging picture of fishes as behaviourally complex animals that may well be sentient and conscious to an extent at least. They therefore have important implications both for how the welfare of fishes is conceptualized and protected and for our understanding of the evolution of emotions and consciousness in vertebrates.

 

http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/282/1819/20152266

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p.s. slime mold can not only solve mazes, but find the shortest path

i for one, welcome our slime mold overlords

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p.s. slime mold can not only solve mazes, but find the shortest path

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czk4xgdhdY4

i for one, welcome our slime mold overlords
Intelligent oil droplet navigates chemical maze
Since we can create intelligent oil droplets, I predict we will soon be able to conceive the true intelligent dance music. Edited by MIXL2
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