KARL JASPERS FORUM
TA 103-103 (Vimal)
( ON THE DE & PAL PROPOSAL )
by Ram Lakhan
17 January 2008, posted 26 January 2008
Thanks for asking to compare our PE-SE framework with the framework of De & Pal (TAs 81 and 82).
My comments on TAs 81 and 82 vs. 102 and 103 are as follows:
Both articles TAs 81 and 82 are very interesting to me. There are many views; their article very nicely discusses a few of them, mostly idealism. However, as you know, all views have their own problems.
Various terms (such as ‘thought’, ‘consciousness’, ‘mind’, and so on) should be defined before using them because these terms may mean differently to different people, and hence readers might not grasp precisely what authors wanted to convey.
In general, the term ‘consciousness’ may includes self (subjective or first person experience of subject), subjective experience (SE) of object, processing of SE, thought processing, memory, attention, access and phenomenal awareness, free will, qualia, initiation of activities, and/or other cognitive processing. However, in the PE-SE framework (Bruzzo & Vimal, 2007; MacGregor & Vimal, 2008; Vimal, 2007, 2008a, 2008b, 2008c; Vimal & Davia, 2008), consciousness and SE are interchangeably used. Therefore, the term NCC (neural correlates of consciousness) initiated by (Crick & Clark, 1994; Crick & Koch, 2003) may differ from the use of term ‘consciousness’ in this framework. NCC may also differ from the term ‘self-referential processing’ used by (Northoff et al., 2006); however, our use of the term ‘Self’ for SE of subject may be somewhat closer to (Northoff et al., 2006).
Their (De & Pal) framework is mostly Hindu-Buddhist idealism: matter (such as their TCP or bosons and TRP or fermions) emerges from Universal Mind (UM) where ‘thoughts’ already exist); [TCP=thought carrying particle, TRP=thought retaining particle]. This approach is concisely discussed in my new manuscript (I would like to submit it as TA to KJF. It has successive never ending explanatory gaps: from where and how Universal Mind arose/existed, how non-experiential matter can emerge from experiential mind, and so on. Speculating that UM always exists does not deflate these gaps. They need to precisely show how the material entity such as ‘V4/V8-redness-related neural-net’ emerges from its associated mental entity/subjective experience (SE) 'redness' in their TCP/TRP framework (in analogy to what we have done for our dual-aspect PE-SE framework). This could be an interesting topic of their future articles. Materialism has to do just reverse.
Thus, both (idealism and materialism) have serious problems. These problems should have been addressed in their current/future articles.
Please note that various views were hotly debated over 6000 years in India as well, similar to that in western world. Various views were: idealism= matter (Prakriti, Brahma) from mind (Purusha, Vishnu), materialism= mind from matter, dualism=mind and matter on equal footing and can exist independently but can interact somehow as in Eccles’ mind-brain liaison (Beck & Eccles, 1992), dual-aspect=mind and matter being two aspects of the same primal entity (Adi-Shiva), and so on.
Quantum mechanics has interesting (but mysterious) premises that can accommodate various views such as, idealism, materialism, dualism, dual-aspect and other views depending on how one interprets them. They have done great job in this respect.
They should clearly differentiate eastern term ‘manas’ [they did not use it, they used the term ‘mind’ instead but see (Rao, 1998, 2005) in JCS] from western term ‘mind’. They are not equal. ‘Manas’ is a finer matter and is liaison between brain (‘Prakriti’) and Universal Mind (‘Purusha’), whereas western term ‘mind’ is mental entity and is almost equivalent to term ‘consciousness’ (see above).
It would be better argument for their article if they use the term ‘consciousness’ (that includes also irreducible/ fundamental subjective experiences and thoughts, see above) in place of ‘thought’ in TCP and TRP. This is because it would be hard to produce SEs ‘redness’, ‘happiness’, ‘painfulness’, ‘saltiness’ and so on out of thoughts. Please note that this approach has serious problem of the above explanatory gaps.
Our PE-SE framework is dual-aspect model (material and mind are two aspects of same primal entity, and matter is carrier of fundamental SEs/PEs), where PE is proto-experience. This framework addresses two major explanatory gaps:
(i) Type-1 explanatory gap (how SEs can emerge from non-experiential matter) and
(ii) Type-2 explanatory gap (how it is possible that our SEs ¾ such as happiness, sadness, painfulness, and similar SEs¾ were already present, a priori, in primal entities. This is discussed in a new manuscript for JIN (Proto-Experiences and Subjective Experiences: Integration of Classical, Quantum, and Subquantum Concepts) that I intend to submit to KJF for discussion; my initial draft of its abstract is as follows:
“In TA 102 and 103, I hypothesized that elementary particles (strings, or fermions and bosons) have two aspects: (i) material aspect such as mass, charge, and spin and (ii) mental aspect such as elemental proto-experiences (PEs). PEs were conceptualized to be the properties of elementary particles and their interactions, which are composed of all types of irreducible fundamental subjective experiences (SEs)/PEs that are in superimposed form in elementary particles and in their interactions. That is, the classical view of ‘emergence’ of SEs in neural-nets was unpacked in terms of quantum view of superposition of fundamental SEs/PEs in elementary particles.
This current article further unpacks the quantum view of superposition in terms of subquantum dual-aspect primal entities (bhutatmas). Bhutatmas are based RigVedic dual-aspect Adi-shiva primal entities, Bohm’s Implicate Order, and fractional quantum Hall effect. This subquantum concept appears to integrate eastern and western perspectives related to reductive and non-reductive metaphysical views, physics, psychophysics and neuroscience related to consciousness. However, this view leads to another type of subquantum explanatory gap: how it is possible that our SEs (such as happiness, sadness, painfulness, and similar SEs) were already present (a priori) in primal entities, whereas there is no shred of evidence that such SEs were conceived at the onset of universe. To address this gap, we used the concept of fundamental and derived SEs/PEs. SEs/PEs that can be derived from the irreducible fundamental SEs/PEs are called ‘derived’ or ‘secondary’ SEs/PEs; they appear leading to subquantum Type-2 explanatory gap. Type-1 explanatory gap is how SEs can emerge from non-experiential matter.
To address these gaps, two working hypotheses are proposed: (1) elementary particles and inert matter are the carriers of superimposed fundamental (not derived) SEs/PEs, and the resonance process generates a specific SE in a neural-net; in addition, a mechanism of creation-maintenance-annihilation cycle of universe might have preserved irreducible fundamental SEs/PEs (a priori) in primal entities, or (2) elementary particles and inert matter are the carriers of superimposed fundamental PEs (not SEs); there is a PE attached to every level of evolution (such as atomic-PE, molecular-PE, genetic-PE, neural-PE and so on); and a specific SE emerges in a neural-net from interaction of its constituent neural-PEs, in analogy to the physical property of salt (NaCl) emerges from the interaction of its constituents Na+ and Cl- ions. Further research is needed to find reasons to reject one of them.”
Since it is hard to prove scientifically any view, we need to investigate which view has the least problems. Our PE-SE framework passes this litmus test. Critical comments are most welcome.
Ram Lakhan Pandey Vimal
e-mails: <rlpvimal (at) yahoo.co.in>,