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Berkeley's got E.D.

Joe wrote:

Khuno wrote:
I clearly don't define consciousness as psychological consciousness. Thermostats are psychologically conscious...primitive low level intentionality, but they have representational states.
psychological consciousness
"an advanced form of self-consciousness, which consists of: 1. spatialization - having an internal mental "space" in which hypothetical events can "happen". 2. analog I - being able to see "in" one's spatialized mind what one would "see" if one were in a certain situation. 3. analog Me - the "I" is the subject performing actions, through whose eyes we "see". The "Me" is an object "seen" in its entirety. 4. excerption - the taking of a small aspect of something to stand for that whole thing. 5. conciliation - something similar to assimilation of knowledge to fit a schema but done "in" a conscious mind. 6. narratization - the constant unnoticed activity of thinking of one's life in terms of stories, in which one is the star character."
Joe wrote:
Since Aristotle, an advanced, conscious mind is required to represent. Thermostats lack that which is necessary to represent, viz. consciousness. A representation is "a mental object with semantic properties (content, reference, truth-conditions, truth-value, etc.)" and "a hypothetical internal cognitive symbol that represents external reality." How can a god-damned thermostat evaluate "mental objects with semantic properties" or have "internal cognitive symbols that represents external reality"? Do thermostats consciously experience thoughts, beliefs, desires, perceptions, etc.?

Point to yourself and say this: "I am Julius Ceasar, and since Ceasar is dead, I do not exist!". A self-referential contradiction is produced. You exist despite trying to POOF yourself away by shifting a reference from the proper name of a dead, Roman to the first-person pronoun via a cheap word-stunt. Words depend on reality - not reality on your tinkering-around with word-meanings. "primitive low level intentionality" ain't the advanced cognitive trait of psychological consciousness, and thermostats - in no way, shape or form - have representational states, no matter how the word-meanings of these phrases are wrenched-about.

A few centuries ago, Bishop Berkeley belched-forth quite a howler - to wit: "houses, mountains, rivers, and in a word all sensible objects" exist - because they are perceived by sentient creatures. His words are: "esse est percipi" - "to be is to be perceived". Or, E=P. From what I've witnessed, this caustically foul cult has plunged itself collectively, step-by-step, into a muck far deeper than a cockamamie Berkeleyan idealism.

I pronounce it: "esse est terminare" - "to be is to be defined". Or, E=D. All conditions in reality depend on how the cultists (re)define words. Above - by Khuno's redefining "psychological consciousness" (an advanced form of self-consciousness) into non-consciousness and "representational states" into what they are not, as if by magic - ipso facto/presto chango - thermostats(!) become "psychologically conscious" and "have representational states".

However, we can test the esse est terminare thesis that conditions in reality depend on the definitions of words. If the cultists were thrown into a sealed crypt and all of the oxygen was sucked out of it, no amount of their defining that "the lack of oxygen supply means the sufficiency of oxygen supply" would save them from suffocating to death. The cultists ability to redefine words depends on the conditions in the world - not the conditions in the world on their redefinitions.

Below, David Stove's criticism of Berkeley's E=P (i.e. his GEM) was a logical refutation of Berkeley's botched epistemology.

"It is impossible to think a thought without the thought being thought of -> It is impossible for a thing to exist without the thing being thought of."

Similarly, we might adapt Stove's criticism to the cult's E=D (their GEM).

It is impossible for a word to have meaning without the word being defined -> It is impossible for a thing to exist without the thing being defined (or re-defined).

The cult's E=D is futher off-the-wall than Berkeley's E=P, and there's no viagra around potent enough to treat this strain of E.D.


"It is indeed an opinion strangely prevailing amongst men, that houses, mountains, rivers, and in a word all sensible objects have an existence natural or real, distinct from their being perceived by the understanding. But with how great an assurance and acquiescence soever this principle may be entertained in the world; yet whoever shall find in his heart to call it in question, may, if I mistake not, perceive it to involve a manifest contradiction. For what are the forementioned objects but the things we perceive by sense, and what do we perceive besides our own ideas or sensations; and is it not plainly repugnant that any one of these or any combination of them should exist unperceived?" -- Berkeley from A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge