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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Re: Qualia

Post by raw_thought » Wed May 20, 2015 3:47 am

You like to anthropomorphize. If a rock falls down a hill, it shows intentionality. It wants to get to the bottom of a hill.
A plant wants water. It does not want anything!!! It is a purely physical process. Perhaps, you will then say that humans dont want anything, that it is and only is a physical process to want something. That is silly.
I keep offering arguments ( backed up by Searle, Chalmers etc) and you call that youthful exuberance. Nice try, Making an insult sound like a compliment.
Last edited by raw_thought on Wed May 20, 2015 4:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Qualia

Post by raw_thought » Wed May 20, 2015 4:04 am

Qualia (feelings) is redundant??? So pain does not hurt. It is and only is c fibers firing???

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Re: Qualia

Post by raw_thought » Wed May 20, 2015 6:10 am

You keep saying the same nonsense, that to believe in qualia (private experiences ) is to invoke goblins and ghosts. In other words, if I say that my knowing that you smashed your fingers with a hammer is different then your experience of pain, you will say that I believe in goblins and ghosts!

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Re: Qualia

Post by raw_thought » Wed May 20, 2015 12:29 pm

Ginkgo wrote:
raw_thought wrote:Dennett disingenuously takes an eliminative materialist stance and then an Epiphenomonolist stance.
I would say he takes a functionalist stance. This is the point I have been trying to get across.

Epiphenomenalism is the view that says our thoughts and feelings are not merely physical states in the brain. Instead they non-physical by-products of mental processing. This is the main reason why Dennett is not an epiphenomenalist.
Dennett in his heterophenomonology accepts the reality of first person (private * ) narratives. He says that all he is looking for is confirmation of a first person narrative (behaviour that can be seen)..
* He therefore accepts private experiences. A property of qualia that he rejects. In other words he says that he rejects qualia but then affirms them in his heterophenomonology.
I made that point a few posts back.
Functionalism? My Republican and Democrat analogy was meant to convey that sure we can talk about functionalism, but that should be another thread. We are debating the proposition that qualia exist here.
Sure, Dennett takes many functionalist positions. Similarly, (lets provisionally assume that he is a Democrat) we can debate the merits of the Democratic party in another thread.
I in that sense ignored your reference to functionalism. However, I thought you brought up functionalism like I did about Dennetts "argument " for compatibilism. I wanted to merely show another example of Dennett's absurd reasoning and then move on. I thought that you were doing the same thing with functionalism. Both are interesting subjects but should be for another thread. There is nothing wrong with bringing up peripheral topics briefly. I did not mean to offend you as Spheres implied.

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Re: Qualia

Post by raw_thought » Wed May 20, 2015 1:06 pm

A private experience implies ineffability and directness.
You may hear me say that I am in pain. However, you cannot know for sure that I am in pain. It would only be a speculation regardless of how probable.
It would be absurd for me to say that I know that I am in pain but could be mistaken.

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Re: Qualia

Post by hammock » Wed May 20, 2015 11:45 pm

raw_thought wrote:A private experience implies ineffability and directness. You may hear me say that I am in pain. However, you cannot know for sure that I am in pain. It would only be a speculation regardless of how probable. . . .

Well, there are items like this: "A method of analyzing brain structure using advanced computer algorithms accurately predicted 76 percent of the time whether a patient had lower back pain in a new study by researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine." LINK

But I think this emphasizes, again, that what needs to be explained is how _X_ comes about having two different appearances (private / public or introspective / extrospective). Or possibly even a plurality of appearances for _X_, though they may still be judged as belonging to either of those two categories. In addition to how -- in the context of either a conservative materialism or the current stage of the physical sciences -- an object, organization, or dynamic circumstance can have ANY kind of appearance or showing of itself at all. In the sense of such eventually falling out as a consequence of the fundamentals which those schemes espouse / reject, rather than left a brute addon to a late stage of biochemical (brain) or electronic (computer) activity. Kant commented upon the dichotomy of experience into inner and outer appearances in this manner:
Immanuel Kant wrote:No doubt I, as represented by the internal sense . . . and objects in space outside me, are two specifically different [types of] phenomena, but they are not therefore conceived as different things [mind / matter substances]. The transcendent object, which forms the foundation of external phenomena [extrospective manifestations], and the other, which forms the foundation of our internal intuition [introspective manifestations], is therefore neither matter, nor a thinking being by itself, but simply an unknown cause of phenomena which supply to us the empirical concept of both. [CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON]

It [a metaphysical cognition that transcends the phenomenal representations of consciousness] can therefore have for its basis neither external experience, which is the source of physics proper, nor internal, which is the basis of empirical psychology. [PROLEGOMENA TO ANY FUTURE METAPHYSICS]
The above could easily mutate into generic neutral monism. An ontological provenance [currently unknown] for both the private (mental) and public (material) classes of appearance, from which the quaint substances of mind and matter were originally abstracted. In which the neutral agency is neither of those itself, but can give rise to one / the other / both classes under applicable conditions. Or as an alternative, converting the "stuff" of materialism to neutral status, in which the latter elementally and universally always has these double-aspects (which seems to just be an obscured form of panexperientialism):
Charles Peirce wrote:Viewing a thing from the outside, considering its relations of action and reaction with other things, it appears as matter. Viewing it from the inside, looking at its immediate character as feeling, it appears as consciousness. [Man's Glassy Essence]

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Re: Qualia

Post by Ginkgo » Thu May 21, 2015 12:43 pm

raw_thought wrote:
Ginkgo wrote:
raw_thought wrote:Dennett disingenuously takes an eliminative materialist stance and then an Epiphenomonolist stance.
I would say he takes a functionalist stance. This is the point I have been trying to get across.

Epiphenomenalism is the view that says our thoughts and feelings are not merely physical states in the brain. Instead they non-physical by-products of mental processing. This is the main reason why Dennett is not an epiphenomenalist.
Dennett in his heterophenomonology accepts the reality of first person (private * ) narratives. He says that all he is looking for is confirmation of a first person narrative (behaviour that can be seen)..
* He therefore accepts private experiences. A property of qualia that he rejects. In other words he says that he rejects qualia but then affirms them in his heterophenomonology.
I made that point a few posts back.
Yes. but this has nothing to do with epiphenomenalism. Dennnet is not advocating an epiphenomenalist position. It is actually the case no matter how you look at it.
raw_thought wrote: Functionalism? My Republican and Democrat analogy was meant to convey that sure we can talk about functionalism, but that should be another thread. We are debating the proposition that qualia exist here.
True, but I wasn't the one who introduced political analogies into this discussion. We can never prove anything by way of analogy, so it's pretty much a waste of time. So long as I have been a member of this particular site I have noticed that some people will eventually introduce politics as a justification for this position.
raw_thought wrote: Sure, Dennett takes many functionalist positions. Similarly, (lets provisionally assume that he is a Democrat) we can debate the merits of the Democratic party in another thread.
Well again, a few people here resort to politics as justification. We are discussing qualia, not politics.

In the main I have been trying to pointing out that in "Quining Qualia", Dennett is providing us with a a type of functionalist explanation. Something you have not acknowledge until now.
raw _thought wrote: I in that sense ignored your reference to functionalism. However, I thought you brought up functionalism like I did about Dennetts "argument " for compatibilism. I wanted to merely show another example of Dennett's absurd reasoning and then move on. I thought that you were doing the same thing with functionalism. Both are interesting subjects but should be for another thread. There is nothing wrong with bringing up peripheral topics briefly. I did not mean to offend you as Spheres implied.
Well, I would suggest that functionalism is very applicable to this thread and very applicable to "Quining Qualia".

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Re: Qualia

Post by SpheresOfBalance » Thu May 21, 2015 4:05 pm

raw_thought wrote:Sure, you can distract people away from the issue (that matter cannot refer, or be about something) with semantics. You are wrong there also (even tho even if I concede that point it has nothing to do with the issue we are debating). They are not the same thing. To have an intention (to move this rock,lets say) is not the same as saying that the ink pattern "this rock" refers to the rock in my hand.
Exactly the same thing. The intention to move the rock, was to get it out of his way. The intention in the representation in ink, was to show his friend the rock that he moved, (bragging rights, it was a big one), when he arrived home, many miles away from the rock.

One can purposely move a rock without knowing the word for it.
Whether one knows the word for something or not, has nothing to do with it. Though a representation of anything has a purpose, thus an associated intention.

Besides "purpose" makes no sense if only matter exists.
There you go again with your not understanding the difference between simple and complex matter.

It is not a plant's purpose to grow.
Oh but it's need is survival, the very first and most basic need/intention/purpose.

It is not the purpose of the earth to revolve around the sun.
No you totally skipped over my inference to "SURVIVAL," as the motivator, in the case of all life, the crux of my point. And try to cloud the waters of our communication by mixing in simpler matter, inanimate objects.

Like most materialists you anthropomorphize inanimate objects.
No you just did. Seemingly out of confusion, but you could just be, being obstinate, for it's own sake.

Computers are conscious and seek data on purpose just like people seeking knowledge.
That is silly.
And these last three comments of yours is why I end up making fun of your dialog, because I really can't believe you're that stupid, REALLY? Non-sequitur!!! Why? Because these last two conclusions of yours, not you calling yourself silly, as I agree that you are in fact being silly, do not follow my previous statements. For one to think so, IMHO, they'd have to have a screw loose. So it has nothing to do with you, as I've known this for most of my life, that you happen to fit that pattern of insanity, that I'm well aware of, I'm sure, is coincidence. Or at least your words seem to indicate as much, that is that you have a screw loose, because your logic seems to be quite flawed.
If man just now popped into existence, what's the first thing he needs? AIR, so he gasps? It's the physicalness of his body that he does. It seems to be automatic, yet it is indeed intentional as all the animals cells need it to exist. What's the second thing he needs? Water, then of course food. Along his intentional quests to obtain the latter two, 'because for all "intents and purposes,"' air is automatic, he's taking pictures/making recordings of the processes required in such endeavors, he's "feeling" his way through them, learning (recording) with the aid of his five senses, and all of the data his five senses collect, is recorded in his memory banks, for recall later, and all that is physical in nature. Everything he sees, hears, smells, tastes, and feels is physical, the recording process is physical, and it's recall (playback) is physical. That you want to insert some mystical thing you call qualia in the mix, points to your want of a god!

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Re: Qualia

Post by SpheresOfBalance » Thu May 21, 2015 4:16 pm

raw_thought wrote:You like to anthropomorphize. If a rock falls down a hill, it shows intentionality. It wants to get to the bottom of a hill.
You see, you're quite confused to believe this as true.

A plant wants water. It does not want anything!!! It is a purely physical process.
My point exactly! Intentionality is based upon physical need.


Perhaps, you will then say that humans dont want anything, that it is and only is a physical process to want something. That is silly.
That you can't see the difference between need and want is your problem not mine.

I keep offering arguments ( backed up by Searle, Chalmers etc) and you call that youthful exuberance. Nice try, Making an insult sound like a compliment.
No I was being serious, you sound young relative to me.

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Re: Qualia

Post by SpheresOfBalance » Thu May 21, 2015 4:20 pm

raw_thought wrote:Qualia (feelings) is redundant??? So pain does not hurt. It is and only is c fibers firing???
It's this kind of repetitive ridiculousness that you receive crap from some people.

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Re: Qualia

Post by SpheresOfBalance » Thu May 21, 2015 4:53 pm

raw_thought wrote:You keep saying the same nonsense, that to believe in qualia (private experiences )
is to invoke goblins and ghosts.
No, I'm saying that to believe in anything other than the physical nature of the universe is to believe in goblins and ghosts.

In other words, if I say that my knowing that you smashed your fingers with a hammer is different then your experience of pain, you will say that I believe in goblins and ghosts!
No, you just said that.
When you see me hit my fingers, (all physical in nature), the data enters your brain via your eyes, (all physical in nature), you compare that to a similar experience of yours, (all physical in nature) then recall your recording, in the relating of your experience to me, (all physical in nature). At no time does your mystical qualia enter the picture. It's just a figment of your imagination, (all physical in nature). Based upon associations of probably both knowledge and belief, that is contained in your mind, (all physical in nature)! It's a physical process in your head that you believe in such nonsense. And I thank "GOD" that it's private. Because I don't want any of that illusory stuff in my head. And yes, that came from my brain and was ( all physical in nature).

Of course the differences between you and I, are attributed to our unique set of experiences, that we each recorded within our own computer (brain), that while in their experience, they weren't necessarily private, but surely what we took away from the experience was, which was largely based upon all our other experiences, their order of occurrence, intensity, as well as other variables, thus associations. And of course all the above was only ever physical in nature.

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Re: Qualia

Post by raw_thought » Fri May 22, 2015 12:47 am

Qualia = experiences. If you want to claim that the proposition that we feel stuff is a mystical ghosts and goblins theory....Anyway, you are being silly.

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Re: Qualia

Post by raw_thought » Fri May 22, 2015 12:52 am

Ginko,
I was not bringing politics into the conversation. My point was that if Dennett is a functionalist or not is as relevant * as asking if Dennett is a Democrat or Republican.
* To the topic, are qualia real.

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Re: Qualia

Post by raw_thought » Fri May 22, 2015 1:01 am

SpheresOfBalance wrote:
raw_thought wrote:Qualia (feelings) is redundant??? So pain does not hurt. It is and only is c fibers firing???
It's this kind of repetitive ridiculousness that you receive crap from some people.
So pain is and only is C fibers firing. Pain does not hurt ( it does not feel like anything). That is ridiculous!

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Re: Qualia

Post by raw_thought » Fri May 22, 2015 5:47 pm

http://cns-alumni.bu.edu/~slehar/epist/rep6.html
The neurophysiological objection to qualia is that there is no image in the brain. However, when I visualize a triangle, I know that there is an image of a triangle.
…………………….
“The symbol grounding problem is related to the problem of how words (symbols) get their meanings, and hence to the problem of what meaning itself really is. The problem of meaning is in turn related to the problem of consciousness, or how it is that mental states are meaningful. According to a widely held theory of cognition called "computationalism," cognition (i.e., thinking) is just a form of computation. But computation in turn is just formal symbol manipulation: symbols are manipulated according to rules that are based on the symbols' shapes, not their meanings. How are those symbols (e.g., the words in our heads) connected to the things they refer to? It cannot be through the mediation of an external interpreter's head, because that would lead to an infinite regress, just as looking up the meanings of words in a (unilingual) dictionary of a language that one does not understand would lead to an infinite regress.
FROM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbol_grounding_problem
What is a tooth pic? Wood. What is wood? Cellulose fibers. What are cellulose fibers? Carbon atoms....
Either the definitions form an infinite regress and therefore there is no foundation to matter.* Or there is a last definition and that one cannot have a definition, which means that we still have no understanding what matter is.
* Metaphor; Suppose one said that the earth is supported by a turtle which sits on (is supported by) another turtle....ad infinitum. One cannot explain why they are all turtles and not (lets say) rocks.
That is the problem with materialism. They only accept the physical symbol and not its corresponding concept and so therefore run into the symbol grounding problem.
I am not disputing that the brain performs computations (see above “symbol grounding” quote) . That is why I said that it does not matter if the brain facilitates my visualized triangle. The brain like a computer can facilitate answers. However, it takes qualia to give those computations meaning.
http://web.calstatela.edu/faculty/dpitt/whatsit.pdf
Phenomenology is the study of qualia. What does something feel like (a quale)?
“Phenomenology is the study of structures of consciousness as experienced from the first-person point of view.”
FROM
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/phenomenology/
All mental states are qualia. Qualia includes both the cognitive and the sensory.

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