Can Science Illuminate Our Inner Dark Matter?

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Can Science Illuminate Our Inner Dark Matter?

Neither introspection nor brain scans can reveal our deepest thoughts

John Horgan


Quote:...my ongoing attempt to learn quantum mechanics has mystified my world, inner and outer. So, I’d like to offer a few thoughts (second thoughts? afterthoughts?) about thoughts, the most inescapable and maddeningly elusive features of our existence.



Quote:Is thoughtless consciousness possible? Yes, according to religious scholar Robert Forman, a veteran meditator. He claims that he and others have achieved “pure consciousness,” a mystical state devoid of any specific thoughts. You are conscious but not conscious of anything. Consciousness without content strikes me as a contradiction, an oxymoron, like a book without words or film without images. And how would you know you’re in a state of pure consciousness? How would you remember it? Even Forman admits that states of pure consciousness, if they exist, are rare.



Quote:...I see analogies between efforts to understand thoughts and the quantum realm. I alluded to one correlation above: observing particles alters them, as does observing thoughts. Here’s another: some physicists, dissatisfied with probabilistic quantum accounts of electrons and photons, seek to explain their behavior in terms of “hidden variables” that follow deterministic rules.

Mind scientists, similarly, have proposed hidden-variable paradigms of the mind...

Quote:Although each of these paradigms has appealing features, each finally falls short, as do all theories of the mind. Will science ever discover a final theory of the mind? One that solves the mind-body problem and makes us fully transparent to ourselves? That reveals the hidden variables underpinning and linking our meta-thoughts and thoughtless thoughts?
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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  • Brian
(2021-02-15, 07:22 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: Can Science Illuminate Our Inner Dark Matter?

Neither introspection nor brain scans can reveal our deepest thoughts

John Horgan

"Will science ever discover a final theory of the mind? One that solves the mind-body problem and makes us fully transparent to ourselves? That reveals the hidden variables underpinning and linking our meta-thoughts and thoughtless thoughts?"

I don't think so. The ultimate inner nature of mind and consciousness are probably in principle impenetrable by science, which was developed as a method for objectively learning about the workings of matter and energy. There probably is a fundamental limitation, where a being fundamentally can't comprehend it's own inner nature any more than one can look at one's own face (of course there are mirrors and video cameras, but these are physical contrivances designed to use physical electromagnetic waves in the light range - within the purview of science).  Th essence of consciousness is subjectivity, not the physical objectivity which is the domain of science.
(This post was last modified: 2021-02-17, 11:32 AM by nbtruthman.)
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