Are most people here epiphenomenalists? Physicalists?

  • BountifulEggnog [she/her]@hexbear.net
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    3 months ago

    I don’t understand the problem, the mind is emergant from the physical. The physical little wires in my brain make the “mind”. So of course it can influence my body, and my body can influence my mind, because the mind is part of the body.

  • jack [he/him, comrade/them]@hexbear.net
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    3 months ago

    The body is a big complex set of biological processes intertwined with many external processes; one of the emergent results of this is consciousness

    Free will is real because I am the cohesion of the processes and whatever that cohesion does is the expression of my/its will

    Also there’s no such thing as the self or the individual and all difference is illusory (but in a totally material sense)

    • nohaybanda [he/him]@hexbear.net
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      3 months ago

      I’ll go further and say free will as a concept is idealist nonsense. Historical materialism offers a much more grounded and meaningful perspective on freedom as a political-economic process.

      Slavery (chattel or wage), capitalist exploitation, cishet patriarchal oppression - there are so many real illiberties plaguing humanity right now. Free will is the liberal version of counting angels on a needle

      • SSJ2Marx@hexbear.net
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        3 months ago

        I don’t think that free will and historical materialism are necessarily at odds. An individual has free will, just like an individual can go against their class interests - but most of the time, most people will do what they think is the most rational thing to do, which is how you get large groups of people spontaneously working towards the same goals because they share economic interests.

        • nohaybanda [he/him]@hexbear.net
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          3 months ago

          I don’t see how introducing the concept of free will adds any clarity to the examples you gave. Worse, I maintain it serves as a way to smuggle in idealism in analysis which is clearer and more powerful without it.

          Is the righteous anger of the hungry masses rising up in revolution an expression of free will or a symptom of a lack of it? Does a bourgeois class traitor driven by empathy and visceral disgust at the injustice of it all have free will? Or one motivated by fear of the rising proletarians?

          How many free wills can dance on the edge of a guillotine?

        • QueerCommie [comrade/them, she/her]@hexbear.net
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          3 months ago

          That has nothing to do with free will. People don’t choose whether to follow their interests like they’re flipping a coin. They are influenced by many things including empathy and interests to make whatever decisions, but you could call is “free” will whatever decision they make even if it’s determined. I do think there is a need to fight economism, the thinking that simple things like class are purely responsible for certain decisions.

      • jack [he/him, comrade/them]@hexbear.net
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        3 months ago

        A materialist conception of free will is very compatible with all that - the potential expressions of will are bound by historical realities, but free will within those bounds is legitimate and real.

  • betelgeuse [comrade/them]@hexbear.net
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    3 months ago

    My consciousness depends on the physical processes of my body and my environment. Physical processes are selected and changed in my body and my environment due to my consciousness.

  • Dessa [she/her]@hexbear.net
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    3 months ago

    The mind is the definition of a subjective experience. Since science is the study of observable phenomenon, and it cannot be observed in others, it’s beyond science to study. All the resy is just speculation.

    In other words, the world may never know. Count me agnostic

  • SSJ2Marx@hexbear.net
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    3 months ago

    I wouldn’t call myself a physicalist, but I wouldn’t say that what happens in the mind is totally separate from the physical realm either. I’m not a philosophy guy so I assume there’s jargon that I just don’t know that explains what I believe already, but it’s something like this:

    The self is an emergent phenomenon of many different things - your brain and its structures, your hormones and how they interact with it, your interactions with others and your perceived place in society, etc. Free will may or may not be part of the phenomenon of the self, but if it does exist then it forms a base-superstructure relationship with the things that created it - so your free will is constrained by, but also has the capacity to change, those aspects.

    edit: after skimming wikipedia’s article on mind-body-dualism, maybe I do lean towards physicalism actually, because I don’t think that the mind is some extra special metaphysical thing.

    edit2: oh here’s my word of the day: Emergentism

    edit3: okay I’ve seen a dozen variants of this graphic and I wanted to draw my own

    I hope this clarifies things.

    M1 is your starting mental state, M2 is your ending mental state. P1, PA, and PI are your starting physical states, and P2, PB, and PII are your ending physical states. All mental states are emergent from their parallel physical states, and are effected by previous mental and physical states. All physical states must follow from previous physical states, but are effected by previous mental states. The degree to which the mental effects the physical varies depending upon which physical process you’re talking about, with some processes being purely deterministic.

  • CarbonScored [any]@hexbear.net
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    3 months ago

    Insofar as we’ve proved anything objectively, or anything in regards to our shared reality, I’m a physicalist. The laws of physics seem to determine, quite conclusively, everything, including mental states.

    Insofar as my own subjective, singular, personal experience of being alive goes, I don’t know. I’m sure I’m as susceptible to physical influence as anyone, but currently I struggle to imagine how we could physically measure what I currently experience as ‘being alive’, though I certainly couldn’t assert it as impossible. I suspect that “don’t know” is the definitively correct answer, but I’m not certain on that yet.