Qualia

Is the mind the same as the body? What is consciousness? Can machines have it?

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raw_thought
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Qualia

Post by raw_thought » Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:54 pm

1. If pain is only c fibers firing (there is nothing pain feels like) then there is nothing wrong with torture, if it doesnt result in physical damage. Why would anyone care if c fibers fire up?
2. Visualize a triangle. Anti- qualia people ( if they are consistent) must say that it is impossible to visualize a triangle. I know that I can visualize a triangle. I trust my empirical data.
There is no objective visualized triangle. My neurons do not fire in a triangular shape. If I visualize green, no part of my brain turns green.
Since no one can see my visualized triangle, an anti qualia person must say that it doesnt exist. In other words I cannot visualize a triangle.True, I cannot prove that I am visualizing a triangle. However, I am absolutely certain that I can visualize a triangle.
Visualize a triangle. If you can you have just proved to yourself that qualia exist!

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hammock
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Re: Qualia

Post by hammock » Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:06 pm

raw_thought wrote:. . . Visualize a triangle. If you can you have just proved to yourself that qualia exist!

Qualia usually reference more specific properties of experience (like colors) rather than the overall "showing" capacity itself or the broad presences of images, grouped sounds (music, conversation, noise, etc), general tactile feel of an object, etc. The term's obsession with particular qualities is actually an annoying distraction from the central "mystery" of how anything can be exhibited at all, as opposed to the usual "nothingness" characteristic of non-conscious matter (like after one is dead or before fetal development).

When a "quale" is defined as ineffable, private, and so forth... the concept seems incongruous with what we actually encounter. Since the consciousness of most humans shares similar properties. Which is to say, qualia are public in an intersubjective sense, and accordingly words can be used to symbolically represent them for communicating to another person what you mean.

Wyman
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Re: Qualia

Post by Wyman » Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:07 pm

raw_thought wrote:1. If pain is only c fibers firing (there is nothing pain feels like) then there is nothing wrong with torture, if it doesnt result in physical damage. Why would anyone care if c fibers fire up?
2. Visualize a triangle. Anti- qualia people ( if they are consistent) must say that it is impossible to visualize a triangle. I know that I can visualize a triangle. I trust my empirical data.
There is no objective visualized triangle. My neurons do not fire in a triangular shape. If I visualize green, no part of my brain turns green.
Since no one can see my visualized triangle, an anti qualia person must say that it doesnt exist. In other words I cannot visualize a triangle.True, I cannot prove that I am visualizing a triangle. However, I am absolutely certain that I can visualize a triangle.
Visualize a triangle. If you can you have just proved to yourself that qualia exist!
There is no objective visualized triangle. My neurons do not fire in a triangular shape.
When a computer program creates a triangle on the screen or printer, there is nothing triangular in the program or the circuits either.
Since no one can see my visualized triangle, an anti qualia person must say that it doesnt exist.
I can't see your brain, but I wouldn't say that it didn't exist.

raw_thought
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Re: Qualia

Post by raw_thought » Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:06 pm

Wyman wrote:
When a computer program creates a triangle on the screen or printer, there is nothing triangular in the program or the circuits either.
Since no one can see my visualized triangle, an anti qualia person must say that it doesnt exist.
I can't see your brain, but I wouldn't say that it didn't exist.
Agreed! There is no triangle in the computers program. Similarly, there is no triangle in your brain.
Or any physical representation. Since there is no physical triangle in your brain a materialist must say that it is impossible to visualize a triangle.
But you CAN see my brain. There are cat scans etc, and I am sure that if one visualized a triangle it woild not show up on a cat scan or any other scientific instrument, because there is no physical triangle in your brain when you visualize a triangle.

raw_thought
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Re: Qualia

Post by raw_thought » Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:11 pm

hammock wrote:
raw_thought wrote:. . . Visualize a triangle. If you can you have just proved to yourself that qualia exist!

Qualia usually reference more specific properties of experience (like colors) rather than the overall "showing" capacity itself or the broad presences of images, grouped sounds (music, conversation, noise, etc), general tactile feel of an object, etc. The term's obsession with particular qualities is actually an annoying distraction from the central "mystery" of how anything can be exhibited at all, as opposed to the usual "nothingness" characteristic of non-conscious matter (like after one is dead or before fetal development).

When a "quale" is defined as ineffable, private, and so forth... the concept seems incongruous with what we actually encounter. Since the consciousness of most humans shares similar properties. Which is to say, qualia are public in an intersubjective sense, and accordingly words can be used to symbolically represent them for communicating to another person what you mean.
The visualized triangle is private. No one can see it but me. I am not saying that people cannot see triangles ( just the opposite ). I am saying that no one can see the triangle I visualized. You can argue that my brain causes me to visualize a triangle ( and I am inclined to agree). However, that does not effect my argument in favor of qualia. It would be like saying that holding a CD of Mozart's music is the same as hearing it.

Wyman
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Re: Qualia

Post by Wyman » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:00 am

raw_thought wrote:
Wyman wrote:
When a computer program creates a triangle on the screen or printer, there is nothing triangular in the program or the circuits either.
Since no one can see my visualized triangle, an anti qualia person must say that it doesnt exist.
I can't see your brain, but I wouldn't say that it didn't exist.
Agreed! There is no triangle in the computers program. Similarly, there is no triangle in your brain.
Or any physical representation. Since there is no physical triangle in your brain a materialist must say that it is impossible to visualize a triangle.
But you CAN see my brain. There are cat scans etc, and I am sure that if one visualized a triangle it woild not show up on a cat scan or any other scientific instrument, because there is no physical triangle in your brain when you visualize a triangle.
Since there is no physical triangle in your brain a materialist must say that it is impossible to visualize a triangle.
There is no triangle 'in my brain' perhaps, but there is a triangle 'in my visual field' - an analog to the computer screen. If my visual field turns out to be 'in my brain' then so be it - there is then a triangle in my brain.

The triangle is private, but private does not mean immaterial. And reflections and rainbows are material, yet they cannot be touched. So, your imagined triangle is like a private rainbow either in your brain or very close to it.

raw_thought
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Re: Qualia

Post by raw_thought » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:13 am

There is no triangle in your visual field. That is why I said VISUALIZED triangle.
My wife and I are going out. Do not think that my lack of any response means that I want to terminate this debate. I'll be back! :D

raw_thought
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Re: Qualia

Post by raw_thought » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:23 am

The rainbow can be photographed. In that sense it is physical.

Wyman
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Re: Qualia

Post by Wyman » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:45 am

Maybe I'm not on the same page with you on terms. A perceived triangle is a visual representation of photons striking your retina. It appears in your 'visual field.' An imagined triangle is a representation of data originating in your brain, rather than from photons. It also appears in your visual field. If not, do you say that imagined images are qualia, but perceived images are not? Or is the visual field a type of immaterial 'qualia space'?

Instead of 'rainbow,' how about an analogy with a magnetic field or gravitational field? These can be measured and quantified. But can't changes in the brain (or eyes) caused by photons be measured and quantified?

Ginkgo
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Re: Qualia

Post by Ginkgo » Thu Mar 26, 2015 1:37 am

There might be two issues that probably deserve separate attention for the moment. Mental events taking place inside of the brain are like physical events. It is all just a combination of matter in motion. The physical movements (electrochemical events) as know as thoughts. Thoughts are produced from the stimuli we receive from the outside world. When we say we have the sensation of viewing something yellow this is explained in terms of a certain wavelength stimulating the optic nerve. Wyman has already explained this aspect.

The idea of a yellow triangle, or an actual yellow triangle can be explained in terms of stimulation occurring inside,and/or outside of the brain. This is basically the materialist explanation for consciousness. The important point when it comes to qualia is the so-called subjective aspect that accompanies this type of experience. Supporters of qualia would claim "there is something it is like" to experience yellow.

As we have seen in previous adventures into this topic there are a number of arguments in support of qualia. Naturally, to be matched by an equal number of arguments denying qualia. Some arguments also make an attempt to "bridge the gap".

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GreatandWiseTrixie
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Re: Qualia

Post by GreatandWiseTrixie » Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:56 am

Ginkgo wrote:The idea of a yellow triangle, or an actual yellow triangle can be explained in terms of stimulation occurring inside,and/or outside of the brain. This is basically the materialist explanation for consciousness. The important point when it comes to qualia is the so-called subjective aspect that accompanies this type of experience. Supporters of qualia would claim "there is something it is like" to experience yellow.
Still doesn't explain consciousness. If a green tree falls in a bunch of spaghetti, we aren't conscious of it. Consciousness is a localized entity, separate but spectating the brain.

Ginkgo
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Re: Qualia

Post by Ginkgo » Thu Mar 26, 2015 3:29 am

GreatandWiseTrixie wrote:
Ginkgo wrote:The idea of a yellow triangle, or an actual yellow triangle can be explained in terms of stimulation occurring inside,and/or outside of the brain. This is basically the materialist explanation for consciousness. The important point when it comes to qualia is the so-called subjective aspect that accompanies this type of experience. Supporters of qualia would claim "there is something it is like" to experience yellow.
Still doesn't explain consciousness. If a green tree falls in a bunch of spaghetti, we aren't conscious of it. Consciousness is a localized entity, separate but spectating the brain.
There are large number of things we are not conscious of in this world. For the majority of the time while I was typing this response I was not conscious of the air conditioner humming away in the background. It is only when I attend to that particular noise I become conscious of it.

I assume you last comment is in relation to a dualist explanation for consciousness. Or, is it in relation to a tree falling and no one hears it type of argument?

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GreatandWiseTrixie
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Re: Qualia

Post by GreatandWiseTrixie » Thu Mar 26, 2015 3:31 am

Ginkgo wrote:
GreatandWiseTrixie wrote:
Ginkgo wrote:The idea of a yellow triangle, or an actual yellow triangle can be explained in terms of stimulation occurring inside,and/or outside of the brain. This is basically the materialist explanation for consciousness. The important point when it comes to qualia is the so-called subjective aspect that accompanies this type of experience. Supporters of qualia would claim "there is something it is like" to experience yellow.
Still doesn't explain consciousness. If a green tree falls in a bunch of spaghetti, we aren't conscious of it. Consciousness is a localized entity, separate but spectating the brain.
There are large number of things we are not conscious of in this world. For the majority of the time while I was typing this response I was not conscious of the air conditioner humming away in the background. It is only when I attend to that particular noise I become conscious of it.

I assume you last comment is in relation to a dualist explanation for consciousness. Or, is it in relation to a tree falling and no one hears it type of argument?
if a yellow triangle appears in a bowl of spaghetti, doesnt explain how the spaghetti is conscious.

Ginkgo
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Re: Qualia

Post by Ginkgo » Thu Mar 26, 2015 3:33 am

Why would the spaghetti need to be conscious?

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GreatandWiseTrixie
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Re: Qualia

Post by GreatandWiseTrixie » Thu Mar 26, 2015 3:36 am

Ginkgo wrote:Why would the spaghetti need to be conscious?
spaghetti is brain, ya mom's spaghetti. Does she need to be conscious? Not a requirement of mine, I'm down either way.

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