Mind Matters News and Analysis on Natural and Artificial Intelligence

CategoryPhilosophy of Mind

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Science Points To An Immaterial Mind

If one did not start with a materialist bias, materialism would not be invoked as an explanation for a whole range of experiments in neuroscience

There may indeed be material explanations (at least from the perspective of neuroscience) but the simplest and most convincing explanation for the results of many experiments is that abstract thought is an immaterial power, not a material power, of the mind.

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A Really Long Time Is Not Forever

No matter how our lives are prolonged, there is a hard stop to our universe

If eternity is what we truly want, then we should not let ourselves become distracted by technolongevity, and instead, seek our true heart's desire, and find out for ourselves if it is a sham or a reality.

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There Is a Glitch in the Description of DNA as “Software”

In contemporary culture, we are asked to believe - in an impressive break with observed reality - that the code wrote itself

Mainstream studies are funded in order to find out why much of the public doubts a materialist account of our origins. Despite the immense implausibility of that account, in the light of evidence, studies are not funded in order to find out why anyone does believe it. Why is that?

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AI Is No Match for Ambiguity

Many simple sentences confuse AI but not humans

Because computers lack common sense, they cannot interpret statements that assume a background of general knowledge, as the Winograd Schema challenges show.

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Theologian, Battling Depression, Reaffirms the Existence of the Soul

J. P. Moreland reasons his way to the evidence and captures his discoveries in a book

It’s not often that a theologian admits to personal issues like anxiety and depression. But Biola University’s Moreland has written a book about how he coped by learning more about the nature of our immaterial minds.

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Review: The Why, Not the How, of the Origin of Consciousness

Ventureyra’s new book treats the origin of consciousness as a “first instantiation of a new law of nature”

Many “how” explanations can seem pretty off-topic. Imagine a situation where a book club is discussing the works of Stephen King where one commenter keeps on bringing up the fact that all of King's writing was done on a Mac.

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Does Vivid Imagination Help “Explain” Consciousness?

A popular science magazine struggles to make the case

Vivid imagination doesn’t explain human consciousness (or the ability to abstract); they are one of its characteristics. The second film in the Science Uprising series mocks the prejudice that is always looking for "explanations" of consciousness that really aim at explaining it away.

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The Mind Can’t Be Just a Computer

Gödel demonstrated that fact and Turing tried to live with it

Kurt Gödel (1906–1978) proved that there are truths in mathematical logic that lie outside mathematical logic, which means that the mind cannot be understood simply as a computer.

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Prominent Psychologist Offers Non-Reductive Approach to Consciousness in Journal Article

A new edition of Communications of the Blyth Institute highlights mind, consciousness, and machine learning

Rakover presents an initial sketch of a methodology that allows a better conceptualization of the method by which mental states get moved in and out of consciousness. The edition also features a review of Scott D. G. Ventureyra’s On the Origin of Consciousness.

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Science Uprising: Stop Ignoring Evidence for the Existence of the Human Mind!

Materialism enables irrational ideas about ourselves to compete with rational ones on an equal basis. It won’t work
If materialism were true, we would probably already have found the consciousness gene and the wobbly free will knob in the brain. Instead, we are left with the infamously Hard Problem of Consciousness and bizarre materialist attempts to make it Go Away. Read More ›
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Seven Minutes to Goosebumps: Confronting Materialism Head On

A new short film series takes on materialism in science, including that of AI’s pop prophets
At the Bradley Center, we are open to discussing and reporting any such discovery but are also open to evidence leading to alternative explanations. Read More ›
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Can health tracking apps make us sicker?

Yes, if information overload leads to more anxiety
In the Information Age, we face a problem our ancestors did not face: far too much information. Our challenge is learning how to know when we have all the information we need to calmly make decisions we can live with. Read More ›
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Can Animals “Reason”? My Challenge to Jeffrey Shallit

He believes that animals can engage in abstract thinking. What abstractions do they reason about?

Dr. Jeffrey Shallit is an atheist mathematician who holds to the odd belief that animals, like humans, are capable of reason. It would seem that a highly intelligent man who makes his living by doing mathematics would understand that animals don’t, and can’t, do mathematics. But Dr. Shallit remains confused on this point, as he makes clear in his response to my recent post on that inability of animals to think abstractly or to reason (“An atheist argues against reason”). I observed that reason is defined traditionally in a very straightforward manner as the capacity for abstract thought. Shallit comments, Whenever Egnor talks about something being “accepted” or “simple and straightforward”, you can be pretty sure that the opposite is Read More ›

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How the Injured Brain Heals Itself: Our Amazing Neuroplasticity

Jonathan Sackier is a pioneer in non-invasive techniques for speeding the healing of traumatic brain injuries

People who have come back from catastrophic injuries like Bill Zoller's intrigue neuroscientists because they offer a glimpse into the neuroplasticity that enables the brain to restore lost functions, which we can learn to augment.

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Philosopher Argues, Human Reason Is Inferior to Animal Reactions

Smith offers to resolve the problem of human exceptionality by dethroning reason

He hopes that artificial intelligence and extraterrestrial life (a “statistical near-certainty”) will help us “give up the idea of rationality as nature’s last remaining exception.”

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Younger Thinkers Now Argue That Free Will Is Real

The laws of physics do not rule it out, they say

Assuming this trend among younger thinkers persists, the philosophical discussions around AI are not making determinism seem necessary or inevitable. And that, when you think of it, is an odd fate for determinism.

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George Gilder: Why Entrepreneurship Can’t Just Be Automated

In business, an entrepreneur is the “oracle,” the one element that cannot be programmed or computed

Creativity always comes as a surprise to us. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t need it. We could program it on our machines. But because it’s always surprising, it can’t be planned.

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Can Physics Prove There Is No Free Will?

No, but it can make physicists incoherent when they write about free will

It’s hilarious. Sabine Hossenfelder misses the irony that she insists that people “change their minds” by accepting her assertion that they… can’t change their minds. 

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The Human Brain: Even Basic Facts Are Hotly Contested

Keep that in mind when AI boosters claim that their product will function like a human brain

When we read that “Scientists Are Closer to Making Artificial Brains That Operate Like Ours Do”, we might ask: If career researchers dispute the question of how the brain works at basic levels, how can non-experts be so sure they have replicated it?

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