TA111 (Beamish)

Commentary 4  (to C1 by Herbert Müller)

by Serge Patlavskiy
9 November 2008, posted 15 November 2008

[Herbert Müller] wrote:
"1. THE MIND CANNOT BE MIND-INDEPENDENT  This is obvious;...".

I don't think so !  Let us be methodical.  Such entity as consciousness (mind, and the like) has one important distinguisher -- it should serve simultaneously as a tool of cognition and an object of cognition.  At that, the problem of consciousness is in the necessity to transform it into the object of cognition (or phenomenon).  But, while consciousness is not transformed into the object of cognition yet (for such or other reason; for example, because of the absence of an appropriate method of study), it, as any other entity, stays mind-independent, or "not amenable to the process of cognition yet", or noumenon.  Our knowledge of Reality is gained through studying the phenomena of Reality.  At that we postulate that there is much of Reality which still stays beyond of the process of cognition, or is still mind-independent, or noumenal. "To be mind-independent" means "to be not cognizable yet", and I don't think there may be other (useful for theory-building) interpretations of the concept of mind-independency.

[Herbert Müller] wrote:
"2. THINKING CAN ONLY START FROM ONGOING EXPERIENCE   This is also obvious, but when reality is seen as mind-independent, one tends to want (after an ontological  leap of  faith) to start from a fictitious primary external, mind-independent reality. That leads to a neglect or denial of subjective experience in theory-building. ".

The irony is that Reality cannot "be seen as mind-independent".  Here, the term "to be seen" means "to be amenable to the process of cognition", or "to be transformable into the object of cognition".  It is only Phenomenal (mind-dependent) Reality that can "be seen", but not Noumenal (mind-independent) Reality.  We can only postulate the existence of Noumenal Reality.  Nothing can be the noumenon and the phenomenon at the same time; therefore nothing can "be seen as mind-independent".  To the point, "thinking" means "conducting the process of cognition", either starting from the already available elements of knowledge (or subjective experience), or from the processing of the physical sensory signal and transforming it into the new element of knowledge.

[Herbert Müller] wrote:
"3. MENTAL STRUCTURES ARE IN THE MIND, NOT VICE VERSA  Mental structures (concerning everything, including self and world) occur upon the background of encompassing experience, which encompasses them, and not vice versa. For instance the mind cannot be found in nature, because nature is a mental structure.".

What is meant here by the term "nature"?  Whatever this term may mean, it can mean nothing but Noumenal and/or Phenomenal Reality.  Noumenal Reality cannot be some mental structure by definition ("noumenal" means "not amenable to the process of cognition yet") -- it is mind-independent.  Phenomenal Reality is mind-dependent by definition ("phenomenal" means "given in perception, and existent in the form of some mental structures, or the elements of knowledge, or subjective experience, etc.").  The more the quality of the process of cognition (including observation, experimentation, and theorization), the more Phenomenal Reality corresponds with Noumenal Reality.  To the point, "to find the mind in nature" means "to transform the mind (consciousness, awareness, etc.) into the object of cognition", or "to solve the problem of consciousness" (see {2} above).

Serge Patlavskiy
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