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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Conrad Johnson: on 3/24/17 at 14:47pm UTC, wrote Christopher, I appreciate your reply, thanks. And there are some things...

Yehuda Atai: on 3/24/17 at 7:45am UTC, wrote Hi Christopher I enjoyed reading you essay and I agree with your...

Christopher Fiorillo: on 3/24/17 at 5:16am UTC, wrote Dear Conrad, Thank you for your thoughtful and well written comments on my...

James Arnold: on 3/23/17 at 11:43am UTC, wrote Christopher, Yours is a fine essay. My favorite line: The “ability to...

Conrad Johnson: on 3/19/17 at 14:09pm UTC, wrote Dear Christopher, This is an extraordinarily intelligent and well-written...

Satyavarapu Gupta: on 3/14/17 at 9:11am UTC, wrote Nice essay Prof Fiorillo, Your ideas and thinking are excellent like, 1....

Joe Fisher: on 3/12/17 at 15:30pm UTC, wrote Dear Professor Christopher D. Fiorillo, Please excuse me for I have no...

Dizhechko Semyonovich: on 3/11/17 at 17:42pm UTC, wrote Dear Christopher D. Fiorillo, you wrote a wonderful essay that I greatly...


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FQXi FORUM
March 28, 2017

CATEGORY: Wandering Towards a Goal Essay Contest (2016-2017) [back]
TOPIC: The Making of the Mind: What is Intrinsic to Matter and What Emerges with Complexity? by Christopher D. Fiorillo [refresh]
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This essay's rating: Community = 4.8; Public = 5.4


Author Christopher D. Fiorillo wrote on Mar. 6, 2017 @ 17:31 GMT
Essay Abstract

Does a particle have a mind? Does it have knowledge? Predict? Prefer some trajectories over others? Have a goal? Does it have any mental properties at all? Or do all aspects of ‘mind’ emerge from complex interactions among many particles? The conventional view within science is that particles are mindless, and that mental properties only emerge with complexity. However, something cannot emerge from nothing. Minds are subjective, but the science of matter has neglected subjectivity. Here I incorporate subjectivity into the physical science we already have, introducing a unified framework in which physical and mental are inseparable. Information is subjective because it is local in space and time. I propose that a particle is information, and that all of the mental phenomena listed above are inherent to information and therefore to matter. What emerges with the complexity of chemistry and biology, and the human brain, is diversity of information content, information about ‘this’ versus ‘that.’

Author Bio

Christopher D. Fiorillo is a professor at KAIST in South Korea. He has studied neurophysiology, performing experiments on single neurons in vitro and in behaving primates. His current focus is the development and testing of a general theory of the brain, and the foundations of knowledge and probability theory.

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Andrew Ivanchenko wrote on Mar. 6, 2017 @ 23:42 GMT
Dear Christopher, congratulations on your great essay.

It is clear, powerful, brainstorming. I have some ideas right during the reading that I would like to share. You said:

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” simply because geometry is more than summation."

AI (Andrew Ivanchenko): Not only the geometry. The whole has greater number of connections. Greater number of connections create the possibility of greter number of pattern. Thus, informational complexity of the new structure will be greater than a mere sum of the first level connections.

This growing informational value is the "surplus value" that explains why the physiological is not supervened on physical, psychological - on physiological, and mental-rational - on psychological.

If you would like to share your thoughts, please, use my direct email aivantch@gmail.com.

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Branko L Zivlak wrote on Mar. 7, 2017 @ 13:56 GMT
Dear Mr. Fiorillo

Nice written essay.

You say: The gap between the physics of particles and biology of animals is vast. I suggest you consult Ruder Boskovic (1711-1787) curve forces, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Joseph_Boscovich. Then the gap will be less for you.

I agree: Biology does not need anything that is completely absent in physics.

About: What Does a Particle Know? Particles are overestimated. In my essay, you can see the results of Boscovichs words:"The primary elements of matter are in my opinion perfectly indivisible & non-extended points, ... "

Best regards,

Branko

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William B Goodwin wrote on Mar. 8, 2017 @ 18:08 GMT
Christopher Fiorillo,

Your essay is very interesting and thought provoking. Although I don’t get down to the particle level, we share thoughts about information. My essay suggests an information dimension exists which may or may not be part of the brain. Obviously a particle has no brain, but as you write, it does have information. There is much raw data in the world and it is relationship between the bits of data that creates information.

William Goodwin

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Dizhechko Boris Semyonovich wrote on Mar. 11, 2017 @ 17:42 GMT
Dear Christopher D. Fiorillo, you wrote a wonderful essay that I greatly appreciated. I am delighted with the question: "Does a particle have a mind? Does it have knowledge? Predict? Prefer some trajectories over others? Have a goal? Does it have any mental properties at all? Or do all aspects of 'mind' emerge from complex interactions among many particles?" and you answer it.

Will make as a Supplement to what you have said, based on the principle of identity of space and matter of Descartes. The particles it’s a matter, i.e. this space is therefore the space have a mind.

New Cartesian Physic has great potential in understanding the world. To show this potential in his essay I gave The way of the materialist explanation of the paranormal and the supernatural . Visit my essay and you will find something in it about New Cartesian Physic. Note my statement that our brain creates an image of the outside world no inside, and in external space. Hope you rate my essay as high as I am yours. I am waiting your post.

Sincerely, Dizhechko Boris

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Joe Fisher wrote on Mar. 12, 2017 @ 15:30 GMT
Dear Professor Christopher D. Fiorillo,

Please excuse me for I have no intention of disparaging in any way any part of your essay.

I merely wish to point out that “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) Physicist & Nobel Laureate.

Only nature could produce a reality so simple, a single cell amoeba could deal with it.

The real Universe must consist only of one unified visible infinite physical surface occurring in one infinite dimension, that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.

A more detailed explanation of natural reality can be found in my essay, SCORE ONE FOR SIMPLICITY. I do hope that you will read my essay and perhaps comment on its merit.

Joe Fisher, Realist

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Mar. 14, 2017 @ 09:11 GMT
Nice essay Prof Fiorillo,

Your ideas and thinking are excellent like,

1. Does a particle have a mind? Does it have knowledge? Predict? Prefer some trajectories over others? Have a goal? Does it have any mental properties at all? Or do all aspects of ‘mind’ emerge from complex interactions among many particles?

2. However, something cannot emerge from nothing

3. I...

view entire post


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Conrad Dale Johnson wrote on Mar. 19, 2017 @ 14:09 GMT
Dear Christopher,

This is an extraordinarily intelligent and well-written exposition of what I think is a basically bad idea, so I’m puzzled about how to rate your essay. Skipping that issue, I’ll try to say what’s wrong with the idea.

It’s true that science can explain biology on the basis of physics and chemistry – however it is certainly not true to say that biological...

view entire post


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James Arnold wrote on Mar. 23, 2017 @ 11:43 GMT
Christopher,

Yours is a fine essay.

My favorite line: The “ability to imagine the minds of others is essential for moral virtue and the creation of societies. It is lacking in autism, young children, and most animals. Remarkably, it is also lacking in most of modern science.”

You express an excellent principle of true Naturalism, as opposed to dogmatic materialism: “I am compelled by reason to generalize from myself to every other thing, until evidence says otherwise.” Hence, consciousness, in rudimentary form, is expected to be pervasive in nature.

Where we disagree is your identification of "knowledge" as “the foundation” of consciousness. Instead of knowledge I identify spontaneity as “the foundation”, which I think serves us better, because knowledge requires cognitive equipment. And I think you're over-broad where you say “If a particle has intention, so does everything else”; I say if a quantum has intentionality, so does everything else that is individual, excluding things like rocks and planets.

Other universal attributions of human faculties like happiness, perception, prediction, seek mates, invention, internal knowledge, growth strategy, etc, seem unnecessarily anthropomorphic.

Less importantly, I'm perplexed by your focus on survival as an obsessive motivation: “Every thought enters my mind because there is evidence that it is relevant to my survival.” The issue of survival is normally far from my mind. By your own standard, my intentions unrelated to survival suggests that it isn’t primary or exclusive unless it is threatened.

But overall, your clarity and openness make for a refreshing and enjoyable read.

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Author Christopher D. Fiorillo wrote on Mar. 24, 2017 @ 05:16 GMT
Dear Conrad,

Thank you for your thoughtful and well written comments on my essay. I am glad that you appreciated the style of my essay, if not so much the substance.

It is natural and appropriate for a critique to focus on differences rather than similarities in viewpoints. Nonetheless, after reading your essay, I am surprised by some of your criticisms. Both our essays covered...

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Conrad Dale Johnson replied on Mar. 24, 2017 @ 14:47 GMT
Christopher,

I appreciate your reply, thanks. And there are some things in your essay I should have appreciated more in my note above… for example, you’re careful to point out that you don’t “speculate about anything immaterial or supernatural” and “merely reformulate the science we already have within a conceptual framework that incorporates subjectivity.” This makes good...

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Yehuda Atai wrote on Mar. 24, 2017 @ 07:45 GMT
Hi Christopher

I enjoyed reading you essay and I agree with your observations.

I too think that the particle "know" and inherently has information. In my essay ("we are together, therefore I am") I explain how we ratify reality to each others (as you say:"Consciousness is the feeling of one thing observing another") and how the self-organization is maintaining its oneself while it continuously changing in the present continuous.

Thank you and hope to have a great exposure for us all

Yehuda Atai

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