Qualia

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

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Arising_uk
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Re: Qualia

Post by Arising_uk » Sat May 23, 2015 1:14 am

raw_thought wrote:... Pain does not hurt ( it does not feel like anything). That is ridiculous!
What does it feel like?

How do you explain the Buddhist immolations?

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Arising_uk
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Re: Qualia

Post by Arising_uk » Sat May 23, 2015 1:16 am

raw_thought wrote: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.
The problem is tho' that you wish to have qualia as inexplicable and living in some mystical non-physical realm a la the dualists. So where do these quaia live? Where is their source?

Ginkgo
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Re: Qualia

Post by Ginkgo » Sat May 23, 2015 10:26 am

raw_thought wrote: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.
I find this response somewhat odd. You introduced "Quining Qualia" as the basis of your thread. Dennett spends a large amount of space justifying a functionalst explanation as to why qualia is absent. Yet, you are telling me it isn't relevant?

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Re: Qualia

Post by raw_thought » Sat May 23, 2015 5:01 pm

I am saying that my thread is about if qualia are real,not if someone is a functionalist.
Dennett denies that we experience feelings (qualia), I disagree with that.
Suppose, Dan believes in the right to vote (as do both Republicans and Democrats), and I wish to prove him wrong. It would be superfluous to prove that the Republican party is correct or to prove that the Democratic party is correct.
I suppose in a vastly broad definition of "functionalism " Dennett's "quining qualia" can be seen as a functionalist argument against qualia. But then any anti-qualia argument from a materialist would be a functionalist argument.
Dennett's "quining qualia" argument is that qualia is a meaningless concept because it is incoherent. According to him, one cannot know if one likes the taste of coffee or if one's experience of coffee is different then another person's experience of coffee that does not like coffee.
Last edited by raw_thought on Sat May 23, 2015 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Qualia

Post by raw_thought » Sat May 23, 2015 5:18 pm

Arising_uk wrote:
raw_thought wrote:... Pain does not hurt ( it does not feel like anything). That is ridiculous!
What does it feel like?

How do you explain the Buddhist immolations?
I am not saying that there might be people that can make themselves not feel pain. I am saying that it is ridiculous to say that the feeling of pain does not exist anywhere.

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Re: Qualia

Post by raw_thought » Sat May 23, 2015 5:30 pm

Arising_uk wrote:
raw_thought wrote: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.
The problem is tho' that you wish to have qualia as inexplicable and living in some mystical non-physical realm a la the dualists. So where do these quaia live? Where is their source?

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Re: Qualia

Post by raw_thought » Sat May 23, 2015 5:32 pm

Please address the argument. Since for a materialist there are no concepts how can he believe anything? He cannot even believe in materialism!!!
I already answered your question many times (scroll back).

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Arising_uk
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Re: Qualia

Post by Arising_uk » Sat May 23, 2015 10:33 pm

raw_thought wrote:Please address the argument. Since for a materialist there are no concepts how can he believe anything? He cannot even believe in materialism!!!
The materialist does believe in ideas and concepts, just not that they live in some non-physical existence unamenable to a physical explanation.

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Re: Qualia

Post by Ginkgo » Sun May 24, 2015 12:56 pm

raw_thought wrote:I am saying that my thread is about if qualia are real,not if someone is a functionalist.
Dennett denies that we experience feelings (qualia), I disagree with that.
Suppose, Dan believes in the right to vote (as do both Republicans and Democrats), and I wish to prove him wrong. It would be superfluous to prove that the Republican party is correct or to prove that the Democratic party is correct.
I suppose in a vastly broad definition of "functionalism " Dennett's "quining qualia" can be seen as a functionalist argument against qualia. But then any anti-qualia argument from a materialist would be a functionalist argument.
Dennett's "quining qualia" argument is that qualia is a meaningless concept because it is incoherent. According to him, one cannot know if one likes the taste of coffee or if one's experience of coffee is different then another person's experience of coffee that does not like coffee.
Is your thread about the existence of qualia or is it about Dennett's "Quining Qualia"? It seems to be both. If this is the case then it is reasonable to assume that qualia is meaningless because of functionalism.

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Re: Qualia

Post by hammock » Sun May 24, 2015 5:42 pm

raw_thought wrote:. . . Since for a materialist there are no concepts how can he believe anything? He cannot even believe in materialism!!!

Most materialists probably believe that "concept" is substantiated by something, in addition to "believe" or "belief". But in regard to the specific or more applicable camp which waves that flag.... The claim that eliminative materialism itself is dependent upon folk psychology and therefore conflicts with its own rejection of the latter has been addressed by Patricia Churchland. Essentially: At the current stage, the eliminativist is confined to criticizing FP using the language of the FP framework like everyone else, because the supposed alternative framework of the future has not been fully developed as yet. But this does not make FP true, merely because we are all (at this phase) reliant upon expressing ourselves with some of the nomenclature of FP.

Another asserted invalidation of eliminativism is that IF the work of Quine and Sellars was the original, fundamental justification for it, this means that eliminativism accepts Sellar's view that awareness is a linguistic affair. But contemporary science seems to imply that thinking is not linguistic at the primal level. But this is apparently only a torpedo applicable to early Richard Rorty's boat, as the Churchlands (Paul and Patricia) had already incorporated that possibility in the undergirding of their particular version of eliminativism.

Still, the continuing indispensability of these everyday communication elements (beliefs, desires, the concepts and generalizations abstracted from the "fictional" story of experience, etc) remains a lingering testament that at best the situation is one of pluralism. Rather than heralding the imminent realization of eliminativism's "belief" that another theoretical framework can be spawned which can utterly replace its traditional rival(s).
Teed Rockwell wrote:The fact that he [Paul Churchland] first had to compare scientific and folk theories by thinking of them in linguistic terms is really no more surprising than the fact that he has to say he believes there could be no such thing as beliefs. At the time Churchland wrote those words, the best description we had of folk psychology, or any other theory, was to call it a set of sentences from which logical inferences could be made. The fact that we are now groping towards a better description doesn't invalidate the general point that Churchland was trying to make: whatever we use to explain the workings of scientific knowledge is equally applicable to folk psychology.

As for the point that the network theory [of meaning] requires accepting a linguistic theory of knowledge, the holistic nature of neural networks makes them every bit as capable of supporting eliminativism as were linguistic networks. The characteristic of the network theory of meaning that made eliminativism unavoidable was not the fact that the networks were made of words. It was the fact that the network theory eliminated the idea of perception as an immediately given foundation for thought and science. However, this idea of perception as direct awareness of the given is still so deeply ingrained that many philosophers still attempt to use it as an argument against eliminativism, as if Quine's and Sellars' arguments against the given had never been written.

Accordingly, eliminativism has the potential to collapse into an extreme form of indirect realism or an outright discarding of all representationalism and types of realism (direct & indirect, etc), which in turn leaves radical skepticism. It was the consequences of his own early brand of eliminative materialism which helped propel Paul Feyerabend into the postmodern genre of philosophy of science (as well as Rorty outside PoS).

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Re: Qualia

Post by raw_thought » Tue May 26, 2015 3:32 pm

Arising_uk wrote:
raw_thought wrote:Please address the argument. Since for a materialist there are no concepts how can he believe anything? He cannot even believe in materialism!!!
The materialist does believe in ideas and concepts, just not that they live in some non-physical existence unamenable to a physical explanation.
Then show me a physical representation of a concept. Note, that neurons firing is not a representation of a concept. Similarly, the shape of a symbol is not a representation of a concept. See above symbol grounding.

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Re: Qualia

Post by raw_thought » Tue May 26, 2015 3:40 pm

Ginkgo wrote:
raw_thought wrote:I am saying that my thread is about if qualia are real,not if someone is a functionalist.
Dennett denies that we experience feelings (qualia), I disagree with that.
Suppose, Dan believes in the right to vote (as do both Republicans and Democrats), and I wish to prove him wrong. It would be superfluous to prove that the Republican party is correct or to prove that the Democratic party is correct.
I suppose in a vastly broad definition of "functionalism " Dennett's "quining qualia" can be seen as a functionalist argument against qualia. But then any anti-qualia argument from a materialist would be a functionalist argument.
Dennett's "quining qualia" argument is that qualia is a meaningless concept because it is incoherent. According to him, one cannot know if one likes the taste of coffee or if one's experience of coffee is different then another person's experience of coffee that does not like coffee.
Is your thread about the existence of qualia or is it about Dennett's "Quining Qualia"? It seems to be both. If this is the case then it is reasonable to assume that qualia is meaningless because of functionalism.
It is about the existence of qualia. However, one step (among others is to disprove the eliminatavist's arguments). I have shown how Dennett's arguments are at best tautologies. Pure functionalism is bankrupt because it says that only behaviour exists and if we explain behaviour we have explained everything concerning the human experience. That is false because pain hurts and we do have feelings. Also, functionalism (see my quote about symbol grounding) can explain computations but not the mystery of meaning.

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Re: Qualia

Post by raw_thought » Tue May 26, 2015 3:49 pm

hammock wrote:
raw_thought wrote:. . . Since for a materialist there are no concepts how can he believe anything? He cannot even believe in materialism!!!

Most materialists probably believe that "concept" is substantiated by something, in addition to "believe" or "belief". But in regard to the specific or more applicable camp which waves that flag.... The claim that eliminative materialism itself is dependent upon folk psychology and therefore conflicts with its own rejection of the latter has been addressed by Patricia Churchland. Essentially: At the current stage, the eliminativist is confined to criticizing FP using the language of the FP framework like everyone else, because the supposed alternative framework of the future has not been fully developed as yet. But this does not make FP true, merely because we are all (at this phase) reliant upon expressing ourselves with some of the nomenclature of FP.
[ in other words the Churchlands are saying that in the future we will be able to dispense with the lie that concepts exist. Do you know what conveying knowledge is,without words ( words are intentional, they refer,something matter lacks) or concepts? I certainly dont and I am sure the Churchlands do not either.]


As for the point that the network theory [of meaning] requires accepting a linguistic theory of knowledge, the holistic nature of neural networks makes them every bit as capable of supporting eliminativism as were linguistic networks.The characteristic of the network theory of meaning that made eliminativism unavoidable was not the fact that the networks were made of words. It was the fact that the network theory eliminated the idea of perception as an immediately given foundation for thought and science. However, this idea of perception as direct awareness of the given is still so deeply ingrained that many philosophers still attempt to use it as an argument against eliminativism, as if Quine's and Sellars' arguments against the given had never been written.[/size][/color]

[The eliminative materialist is a computationalist, that does not explain meaning.]
Below from Hammock,
Accordingly, eliminativism has the potential to collapse into an extreme form of indirect realism or an outright discarding of all representationalism and types of realism (direct & indirect, etc), which in turn leaves radical skepticism. It was the consequences of his own early brand of eliminative materialism which helped propel Paul Feyerabend into the postmodern genre of philosophy of science (as well as Rorty outside PoS).[/quote]
Last edited by raw_thought on Tue May 26, 2015 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Qualia

Post by raw_thought » Tue May 26, 2015 3:57 pm

I am using a tablet. My comments are in brackets. [. ] One of my quotes is bracketed in yhe quote.
That last paragraph shows where eliminative materialism inevitably leads. The abandonment of science, as an explanatory tool! Feyerbrand etc.
Sorry about how unorganized my last post was. Think how crazy I must feel trying to quote and respond to quotes on a cheap tablet! :oops:
Last edited by raw_thought on Tue May 26, 2015 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Qualia

Post by raw_thought » Tue May 26, 2015 4:15 pm

As I said previously, I am on a tablet and cannot post links. I will give Hawking quotes that say that science is not about explaining anything. It is about making validated predictions.In other words "purpose" not "meaning ". Most scientists are logical positivists, a position that was proven to be self contradictory.
PS Michio Kaku has also said that he does not care about what reality is,he just wants to make practical predictions!!!

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