Justintruth wrote: ↑
Tue May 07, 2019 2:24 pm
Conscious experiencing would then just need to be split into its possible types.
So far so good.
They would form a set and an operator could be construction just like the energy operator in quantum mechanics that operates on the physical state to yield the probability of a certain kind of experiencing.
That's a proposal for an analogy, but not a precise analysis. We don't have reason yet to know how far the analogy holds, if at all.
...what kinds of devices see the color red. Can you create a device that is only red experiencing?
Now we've slipped over into a new analogy, the analogy of a "device." What reason have we to believe an "experiencer" is a "device" instead of a "person"? I'm not seeing that.
And we might make artificial devices that red see.
Wait. You've now said we might have a "device" that "sees." That implicates a mere mechanical entity in a process requiring consciousness.
To raise an objection: I have a sensor on my garage door. When it's interrupted, it activates a safety and stops the door. But it does not "see" anything. There isn't even an information-storing or information-processing unit hooked up to it...just a switch. So just because a sensor "responds" (is tripped) in case of an event does not mean it actually
responds (or has an experience, or makes a decision), or that any intelligence whatsoever is involved in the operation.
Your step there is premised on an unwarranted assumption, I would suggest. Or can you provide some warrant for it?
So we can refine our notion of what physics is by incorporating the right operators once we know what it is about the physics that is causing the specific type of experiencing under consideration.
But unless we have a better argument than I have yet seen, the "causing" you mean here is merely the presence of a stimulus. On the receptor side, we only have an "experience" if an intelligence receives, interprets and internalizes the stimulus. Otherwise, like my garage door sensor, it's not an experience
at all, but merely a mechanical event tripping another.
requires more than a mechanical chain: it requires a receiver in the form of a conscious, volitional entity known as a "person."
Physics can have operators that predict ontologically subjective experiencing as properties of ontologically objective brains.
This only conduces to the truism that brain-events and consciousness-events are coordinated
: not to the conclusion that one IS the other, nor even for certain that one causes
We must watch the causal fallacy there. It might be winsome, but it's not necessarily warranted by the facts.
Moreover, the receiving of a stimulus is necessary-but-not-sufficient for the having of an "experience." Remember my garage sensor.
There then is not substance dualism.
No, that's not so. I think we've jumped to a conclusion not yet warranted by the argument.
But "occurrence occurs" is simply redundant and nonsensical; so we've got to keep "experience" involved in our explanation, and that requires a non-material thing to be genuinely real...that non-material but real thing would be a consciousness capable of turning the mere occurrence into an actual experience.
It is not just that occurrence occurs. Occurrence, if by it we refer to experiencing, occurs in specific ways. Red experiencing is not sound experiencing, for example. Also, the occurrences are individuated. This occurrence is not that occurrence.
Not enough. We need to say more. It's not just that occurrences are individuated
, but that they don't even constitute
"experiences" unless they are received and processed by a genuinely conscious entity. "Red experiencing" and "sound experiencing" (and, we might add, red-type-1 experiences are not red-type-2 experiences, given different percipients, 1 and 2: they are at best "similar," but not "same") are different; but neither constitutes an "experience" so long as there is not a conscious recipient in play.
I guess the question you have to answer is whether you are positing some substance and what properties it can have.
Both "substance" and "properties" are terms that relate to Materialist assumptions only. If "consciousness" is a real thing (and we're both using it at this moment, so it must be), then it's not a "substance." As Locke pointed out, an identity or a consciousness is not a divisible thing: one cannot section off and give away a piece of it, or find a way to dissect it into component elements. It's a unity, and a non-physical reality.
This is why Philosophy of Mind folks speak of "supervienience" in regard to the mind. It seems to "sit on" the materials of the brain somehow, but we can't quite say how. The two are coordinated, at least to a large degree...but we can't find out anything about how they interact, because unlike "brain," "mind" is a metaphysical but real thing.
I am not sure we need a separate substance.
No, not a "substance." But a recognition of its reality nonetheless, and a taking-into-account of the limitations of the appropriateness of our methodology when we try to "get at" it by relying on methods that are designed for and work only on physical
We just need separate non-physical properties for the current physical substances when properly configured.
But to locate "properties," we need to have a thing that has physicality. It has to have aspects we can break down and separate from others. At best, what we can get with a metaphysical reality is to speak of "attributes," which is to say "non-separable characteristics that are integrated in the totality."
Do you thing that there is a "non-material but real thing" call it "consciousness", that is capable of experiencing or not?
If there is not, we could not do what we do here.
Or do you think that all there is only the experiencing and if it stops then what ever was the conscious experiencing is gone.
I'm not sure of your wording here: did you miss an "is"?
I do think that that model can be modified to include experiencing.
What makes you think that? Or are you saying you just would prefer
to think that? What's the basis of your confidence there, I'm asking.
Had a great philosophy teacher say "You know what the problem with death is....How do you know when you are dead?!"
How did your philosophy teacher know you couldn't know? There's no stipulation that says "eternal life" (let's just assume it exists, for argument's sake) has to be the same in quality as "temporal life." You might very well "know" you've died...if there's a beyond.
Things "occur"; but only people "experience," if you can see my point.
I see the difference that I think you are pointing to. The terminology is not standard in the way you are using it but we might adopt something like that.
I think we kind of have to. We're reaching into a concept with great precision and finesse than most people bother to do. For their purposes, a blunt instrument that merely describes a cluster of related phenomena will do; but for us, we need a scalpel here. So I admit I'm being a bit stipulative when I say "experiencing requires an experiencer": but I don't think we can avoid being precise here.
Some people in my youth used to call it essence and existence. Essence occurs but only people exist. That kind of thing.
In a way, yes. The Existentialists were onto something in this regard. There's a world of difference between saying a thing is "there," and saying that the thing is "conscious."
The difference is not just how we talk about it. The difference is real.
I think the failure of the distinctions Essence/Existence or occur/experience are not quite right.
The experience of something does not necessarily mean that it exists but it does exactly mean that the experiencing exists.
No, I think the problem is in the use of the word "exists." "Exists" is an ontological term. It fails to nuance the issue of whether or not what "exists" is "experiencing," and is a conscious entity. The Existentialists, then, were also being stipulative: but I don't like their coinage. I think it's ambiguous.
Our imaginations don't seem to be quie divorced from our visual experiencing yet they are not the same thing.
I would propose that the therm "dualistic" be reserved for the case where there is some other "substance"
Well, I've already suggested that looking for a "mind substance
" is the wrong way to go. In truth, if mind turns out to be any kid of "substance," we don't have dualism at all -- just another kind of Materialism.
What we need is something more like the physics-metaphysics distinction. We need to stop presuming that substance-based inquiry is supposed to yield us traction in regard to things like "souls," "minds," "identities," "consciousness"...
And why should that surprise us? We have plenty of conceptually real things that are relevant to the material, but which have no material existence of their own. Take a concept like "2": there is no "2-substance," because "2" is an adjectival descriptor, an enumerator, not a thing-in-itself. It can apply to practically everything, and be very real
, in that sense: if it were not, all engineers would be out of a job. But, at the same time, it cannot be found as a substance of its own. You can't show me "2-ness" AS
a substance, but it's possible to give me the realization of "2-ness" by means of its application
to a substance.
That's admittedly only an analogy, and I don't take it to be entirely comparable. But it points us powerfully away from the confidence that substances are all that comprise "the Real."
But for sure only a fool would believe that experiencing reduces to the current physical model.
Strongly worded, but I'd agree.