raw_thought wrote:The long quote you gave shows how Dennett contradicts himself. Consciousness without subjective experience???????? What on earth is that? It is like a square circle. . . .
That could be the very stimulus for eliminating the terms, or giving up on even revising them for continued use. In that if the readers keep drifting back to the traditional meanings of the labels (such as qualia belonging to a self [subjective], resisting representative capture by language / description, other people not sharing a quale or lacking access [non-universal], etc).... Then -- at least from the perspective of Dennett, and the rest influenced by Witt, Sellars, Kuhn, Feyerabend, and early Rorty -- that old nomenclature might as well be chucked for good into the Phlogiston bin.
Extracted from "beetles in boxes" and "myth of Jones" metaphors is the idea that language and other conveyances of information are governed by public rules rather than regulated by "mine". This would make knowledge of _x_ "intersubjective" in outdated folk-psychology speak (equating to objective), no longer deemed an utterly personal or hidden / precious item. The latter's functional value can be transmitted to someone else ("Ah, yes, I know the role of this color blue or the foul skunk odor to which you refer") because for this group "the character in the play" is all science needs to be concerned with. Not a specific actor who happens to be realizing that part in the play on Saturday night (vague analogy elaborated on below).
The internal content of perceptions and thoughts is not so much denied as dismissed as irrelevant in comparison to useful functionalist accounts of behaviors and information processing (the supposed extrinsic framework / blueprint of macro- and micro- working relationships that can be abstracted from material situations). It is the dynamic organization of "stuff" which instantiates psychological, intellective, and communicative affairs; rather than the specific nature of the "stuff" itself. Whether the stuff is a species of physical substrate (neural tissue, electronic board, etc) or assorted modes of phenomenal manifestations (images, olfactory sensations, etc) filling the hollow shells of performing language units or cognitive components.
Ergo, multiple or variable realization falls out of functionalism: "By gosh, with proper arrangement that mountain of pipes and hydraulic valves and pumps could constitute what that pre-scientific "mind" word (of the primitive philosophical savage) hand-waves at. I don't need either biochemical gunk or computer hardware to form the active, complex structure which outputs the same results." [John Searle sighs with frustration and disagreement in the background: "Your GI tract can't digest the simulation of a pizza! The latter is not a real pizza, the original thing it is designed to resemble."]