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What theories of consciousness are falsifiable
#1
I don't remember exactly where I heard it, but I do know I've heard the accusation of dualistic theories of consciousness such as the filter model and the transmission model being unfalsifiable in nature. It seems pretty strange to me, because it seems pretty easy to prove either of these theories wrong. Find out that the brain produces consciousness, and you've got it figured out. 

So are these theories unfalsifiable? Or is it just an accusation of materialists who are struggling to counter the models with their own? 

Michael Prescott gives a good analysis of the argument: http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/micha...false.html
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#2
(02-05-2018, 09:46 AM)Desperado Wrote: I don't remember exactly where I heard it, but I do know I've heard the accusation of dualistic theories of consciousness such as the filter model and the transmission model being unfalsifiable in nature. It seems pretty strange to me, because it seems pretty easy to prove either of these theories wrong. Find out that the brain produces consciousness, and you've got it figured out. 

So are these theories unfalsifiable? Or is it just an accusation of materialists who are struggling to counter the models with their own?

Whether or not an idea is falsifiable does not depend upon whether or not a different idea is falsifiable. So the filter/transmission ideas are not falsifiable just because the brain idea is.

That being said, I'm not sure why the filter/transmission models are regarded as unfalsifiable. Any useful idea should be falsifiable (at least in theory). I think if we put our creativity into it, we could come up with falsifiable hypotheses for them.

Linda
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#3
(02-05-2018, 09:46 AM)Desperado Wrote: I don't remember exactly where I heard it, but I do know I've heard the accusation of dualistic theories of consciousness such as the filter model and the transmission model being unfalsifiable in nature. It seems pretty strange to me, because it seems pretty easy to prove either of these theories wrong. Find out that the brain produces consciousness, and you've got it figured out. 

So are these theories unfalsifiable? Or is it just an accusation of materialists who are struggling to counter the models with their own? 

Michael Prescott gives a good analysis of the argument: http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/micha...false.html
I'm no fan of MP but in this instance he's right. He makes one mistake though which is his presumption the collateral evidence demonstrates consciousness is separate from the brain. It could very well be the brain does produce consciousness and that once created by the brain can persist somehow after death.
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#4
(02-05-2018, 11:56 AM)fls Wrote: Whether or not an idea is falsifiable does not depend upon whether or not a different idea is falsifiable. So the filter/transmission ideas are not falsifiable just because the brain idea is.

That being said, I'm not sure why the filter/transmission models are regarded as unfalsifiable. Any useful idea should be falsifiable (at least in theory). I think if we put our creativity into it, we could come up with falsifiable hypotheses for them.

Linda

How would one go about falsifying the filter/transmission idea? Or, how would one go about finding direct evidence?
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#5
(02-05-2018, 02:16 PM)Steve001 Wrote: How would one go about falsifying the filter/transmission idea? Or, how would one go about finding direct evidence?

You could start by addressing the events/experiences which were used to propose the necessity of the ideas in the first place (are they even necessary?). And there's no reason to think that a source would not leave some kind of footprint as direct evidence, given that even virtual particles and untaken but possible histories (i.e. quantum electrodynamics and Feynman diagrams) do so.

Linda
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#6
Philosophers have the filter hypothesis (FH) pretty tight. There is no way to discern between ‘production’ and ‘filtration’ when the preposed stuff being filtered is outside of our investigatable domain.

Where the FH breaks down philosophically (for me) is that it simultaneously denies dumb matter the ability to develop awareness whilst crediting it with something just as miraculous - interacting with an immaterial realm.
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#7
(02-05-2018, 06:49 PM)fls Wrote: You could start by addressing the events/experiences which were used to propose the necessity of the ideas in the first place (are they even necessary?). And there's no reason to think that a source would not leave some kind of footprint as direct evidence, given that even virtual particles and untaken but possible histories (i.e. quantum electrodynamics and Feynman diagrams) do so.

Linda

It's obvious people are addressing such events and experiences and all they really do is not give any clues how or where consciousness originates. It's an assumption those things do provide evidence. What they seem to suggest is under certain circumstances consciousness appears to separate from the brain. 

Suppose a footprint is left would anyone recognize it a such? 
What is the Feynman diagram equivalent for the transmission theory?
Without a hypothesis I see little way to proceed; it amounts to looking for widgets.
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#8
(02-05-2018, 07:02 PM)malf Wrote: Philosophers have the filter hypothesis (FH) pretty tight. There is no way to discern between ‘production’ and ‘filtration’ when the preposed stuff being filtered is outside of our investigatable domain.

What does that mean? Does a philosophical position have relevance to scientific investigation? How is an investigatable domain determined if not empirically?

Quote:Where the FH breaks down philosophically (for me) is that it simultaneously denies dumb matter the ability to develop awareness whilst crediting it with something just as miraculous - interacting with an immaterial realm.
Oh, is this something like the naturalism thread, where philosophers define stuff in a way which does not reflect reality?

Linda
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#9
(02-05-2018, 08:05 PM)Steve001 Wrote: It's obvious people are addressing such events and experiences

I don't see them addressing whether the idea is necessary (i.e. what do you find in the absence of transmission/filter). It seems to be assumed that these events and experiences wouldn't be possible.

Quote:and all they really do is not give any clues how or where consciousness originates. It's an assumption those things do provide evidence.

Yes. Those assumptions can be falsified, though.

Quote:Suppose a footprint is left would anyone recognize it a such?

Perhaps, if the ideas become more developed. 

Quote:What is the Feynman diagram equivalent for the transmission theory?
Without a hypothesis I see little way to proceed; it amounts to looking for widgets.

Well, I'm not suggesting that the ideas have been developed enough to even begin to form falsifiable hypotheses. I just think the potential is there if that ever happens.

Linda
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#10
Quote:Linda:
I don't see them addressing whether the idea is necessary (i.e. what do you find in the absence of transmission/filter). It seems to be assumed that these events and experiences wouldn't be possible.
My read is they think they have an iron clad argument for non-local consciousness.


Quote:Yes. Those assumptions can be falsified, though.
Agreed. Yet there will always be those that will still insist NDE's,OBE's... = proof the brain does not create consciousness.







Quote:Perhaps, if the ideas become more developed.
Well, I'm not suggesting that the ideas have been developed enough to even begin to form falsifiable hypotheses. I just think the potential is there if that ever happens.

Linda
I'm not holding my breath.
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