Questions for the friends of qualia.

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Wyman
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Re: Questions for the friends of qualia.

Post by Wyman » Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:55 pm

raw_thought wrote:“I still would be interested in responses as to whether there is one quale here or two qualia.”
Lawrence Crocker
See Tractatus (Wittgenstein) 5.5423
Two different facts are experienced differently. Therefore there are 2 different quales. As I said previously, the Necker cube is an argument for qualia.
….
“"Qualia" is an unfamiliar term for something that could not be more familiar to each of us: the ways things seem to us. As is so often the case with philosophical jargon, it is easier to give examples than to give a definition of the term. Look at a glass of milk at sunset; the way it looks to you--the particular, personal, subjective visual quality of the glass of milk is the quale of your visual experience at the moment. The way the milk tastes to you then is another, gustatory quale, and how it sounds to you as you swallow is an auditory quale; These various "properties of conscious experience" are prime examples of qualia….At first blush it would be hard to imagine a more quixotic quest than trying to convince people that there are no such properties as qualia; hence the ironic title of this chapter. But I am not kidding.
FROM
http://cogprints.org/254/1/quinqual.htm

“… and the pleasure, of saying things that shock’
Lawrence Crocker
Are you saying that Dennett didn’t really mean what he said? If he meant what he said, how does his definition of “qualia’ differ from the definition of “experience”?
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“Again , you seem to equate knowledge with experience.”
Wyman
I am saying that knowledge is an experience http://web.calstatela.edu/faculty/dpitt/whatsit.pdf .
Similarly, I might say that all dogs are mammals. That does not imply that all mammals are dogs.
….

"As for the Mozart CD , when a master musician reads a written score, cant he or she be said to know what the symphony sounds like as well as if he heard it?”
Wyman
Similarly, if one put the CD in a CD player one would hear Mozart’s music. However, the knowledge would be different.
Dennett makes a category error. (He likes doing that!) He combines the signifier with the signified. http://changingminds.org/explanations/c ... nified.htm The pattern of neurons are the signifier ( There is nothing abstract about neurons firing) and the concept “blue” is the signified. Of course Dennett can claim that there are no such things as concepts and that signifiers are signifieds. But then his whole position is absurd because it relies on concepts.
I understand Dennett’s objection to the Mary’s room argument. I have explained above why his objection is absurd. However, lets for the moment pretend that his argument is valid. Ironically, unless he wants to say that I cannot identify blue without a MRI he must admit that quales are real!
I think that it is fairly obvious that knowing which neurons are firing when I love my wife is different than knowing that I love my wife. My neurons firing are the signifiers and my love is the signified. *
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qM-gZintWDc
Dennett is like the Mat Damon character above. He understands the signifiers but not the meaning (signified).

* I am using the term signifier because the neurons facilitate meaning.
Frankly, I left your qualia thread because I think you argue in circles - 'Obviously A is true as any nitwit can see. So, If A then B and if B then A. See how I've proven A!'

But I'll give it another shot. You clearly in the above post distinguish at least two kinds of knowledge and claim that all knowledge is an experience (but not all experience is knowledge). You say knowledge of hearing Mozart's music is different from knowledge of reading the score and imagining the music. What is the difference? I agree that the experiences could be said to differ, but what makes both of these instances of knowledge and what makes them different types of knowledge?

Seems to me that simply hearing Mozart's music is something that anyone can do - even a dog. What makes it knowledge?

The ability to read a score and thereby reconstruct the symphony in imagination is something much different - such ability does not seem to me to be an experience. It seems more like a state or disposition or capacity.

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hammock
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Re: Questions for the friends of qualia.

Post by hammock » Thu Jun 11, 2015 7:12 pm

Regarding this particular interest sported by the thread:

"In other words, Jackson's Mary is a scientist who knows everything there is to know about the science of color, but has never experienced color. The question that Jackson raises is: once she experiences color, does she learn anything new?"

Knowledge is not what it represents or what it guides to produce. Instructions for how to play Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" on a piano will not produce that music if such knowledge remains dormant or is not employed to manipulate the piano. Similarly, Mary's complete knowledge would include how neural structure and its electrochemical substrate are to be manipulated to produce colors (beyond the grayscale), but is useless if that information cannot be properly employed to affect the necessary operations of her brain. For producing green leaves in a dream or in her waking visual imagination, or whatever.

A physicist might know how to construct and activate an atomic bomb, and why it works. But he cannot produce such an explosion if he is banned from having access to the needed materials for the weapon and the means to trigger its nuclear fusion process. Correspondingly, it is not stated that Mary has the additional "meditating-guru" capacity to become aware of and finely manipulate the microphysical activity in her skull in accordance with the complete instructions / knowledge she has for generating color.

Thus, should she lack this capacity to utilize her knowledge beforehand... Then at least the non-conscious areas of Mary's brain do acquire something new when her retinal tissue is stimulated in unfamiliar ways (something other than the red, green, and blue receptors receiving the same intensities all the time, producing only white or its varying shades down to absence [black]). The brain stores the new mechanistic patterns of how to make "red cherries" and "green leaves", as opposed to just their monochrome versions. So that when Mary dreams or daydream imagines, stored tendencies other than her memorized linguistic knowledge are recruited, which CAN affect and regulate the once unreachable neural turf necessary for engendering color.

Jackson's argument is utilizing a thought-experiment, the latter which by nature can set-up overly idealized scenarios for outputting the middle-less yes/no, true/false, either this or that, conclusions that conventional reasoning favors (as opposed to the fuzzy messiness of the empirical realm). Any complaints of it being impossible, in the non-intellectual world, to secure a perfectly color-free room or restricted vision for Mary, would seem to rather naively miss what these "possible in theory if not in practicality" thought experiments desire to leap over so as to uncover any flaws or strengths in a view, system or belief, etc.

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Re: Questions for the friends of qualia.

Post by Wyman » Thu Jun 11, 2015 7:31 pm

hammock wrote:Regarding this particular interest sported by the thread:

"In other words, Jackson's Mary is a scientist who knows everything there is to know about the science of color, but has never experienced color. The question that Jackson raises is: once she experiences color, does she learn anything new?"

Knowledge is not what it represents or what it guides to produce. Instructions for how to play Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" on a piano will not produce that music if such knowledge remains dormant or is not employed to manipulate the piano. Similarly, Mary's complete knowledge would include how neural structure and its electrochemical substrate are to be manipulated to produce colors (beyond the grayscale), but is useless if that information cannot be properly employed to affect the necessary operations of her brain. For producing green leaves in a dream or in her waking visual imagination, or whatever.

A physicist might know how to construct and activate an atomic bomb, and why it works. But he cannot produce such an explosion if he is banned from having access to the needed materials for the weapon and the means to trigger its nuclear fusion process. Correspondingly, it is not stated that Mary has the additional "meditating-guru" capacity to become aware of and finely manipulate the microphysical activity in her skull in accordance with the complete instructions / knowledge she has for generating color.

Thus, should she lack this capacity to utilize her knowledge beforehand... Then at least the non-conscious areas of Mary's brain do acquire something new when her retinal tissue is stimulated in unfamiliar ways (something other than the red, green, and blue receptors receiving the same intensities all the time, producing only white or its varying shades down to absence [black]). The brain stores the new mechanistic patterns of how to make "red cherries" and "green leaves", as opposed to just their monochrome versions. So that when Mary dreams or daydream imagines, stored tendencies other than her memorized linguistic knowledge are recruited, which CAN affect and regulate the once unreachable neural turf necessary for engendering color.

Jackson's argument is utilizing a thought-experiment, the latter which by nature can set-up overly idealized scenarios for outputting the middle-less yes/no, true/false, either this or that, conclusions that conventional reasoning favors (as opposed to the fuzzy messiness of the empirical realm). Any complaints of it being impossible, in the non-intellectual world, to secure a perfectly color-free room or restricted vision for Mary, would seem to rather naively miss what these "possible in theory if not in practicality" thought experiments desire to leap over so as to uncover any flaws or strengths in a view, system or belief, etc.
I agree with your take, but is what she gains knowledge? Is every experience, every bit of information knowledge? Do dogs have knowledge because they recognize red? No one would say that she does not have a new experience when she sees something red for the first time. If knowledge is justified true belief (usually expressed as a proposition), then what true proposition does she now know to be true and have a justification for? Remember, she can arguably 'know' that the apple is red by studying the physical properties (if she is allowed some instruments) and she can justify that the apple is red by explaining how she studied the physical properties (e.g.,light wavelengths emitted by the object).

So what does the experience do to make the proposition 'that a apple is red' true or justified? What they are really saying, I think, is not that the experience adds something to the proposition 'that apple is red' but rather, justifies and validates the proposition 'this is what it feels like to see a red apple.' We need Gingko to come back to tell me if I am right about this.

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Re: Questions for the friends of qualia.

Post by hammock » Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:27 pm

Wyman wrote:I agree with your take, but is what she gains knowledge? Is every experience, every bit of information knowledge? Do dogs have knowledge because they recognize red? No one would say that she does not have a new experience when she sees something red for the first time. If knowledge is justified true belief (usually expressed as a proposition), then what true proposition does she now know to be true and have a justification for? Remember, she can arguably 'know' that the apple is red by studying the physical properties (if she is allowed some instruments) and she can justify that the apple is red by explaining how she studied the physical properties (e.g.,light wavelengths emitted by the object).

So what does the experience do to make the proposition 'that a apple is red' true or justified? What they are really saying, I think, is not that the experience adds something to the proposition 'that apple is red' but rather, justifies and validates the proposition 'this is what it feels like to see a red apple.' We need Gingko to come back to tell me if I am right about this.
We encountered color as a property of visual experiences long before we arrived at what color means in scientific circles. The former was the stimulus for even pursuing and developing the latter ("Hey, there are these colors -- what would they be in a mind independent version of the world?"). So originally, "___ is red" was established by the immediate evidence of perception that "___ is red", bolstered by the majority of a population agreeing it was likewise the case in their perceptions. In fact, "___ is red" is only valid with the original phenomenal object as represented in consciousness, since later science has the mind-independent version of the object re-emitting the corresponding wavelength rather than permanently absorbing it. (In essence, there's the difficulty of keeping two worlds from being conflated: The everyday world presented by perception and the inferred one cranked-out by experiment and reason).

In the traditional context it might be said that Mary finally acquired what her advanced "color science" knowledge was about, or what the original source was which triggered a "color science" enterprise. It's a strangely reverse situation, like a shut-in learning about how the sun produces its energy from fusion before the shut-in even experiences the sun. At any rate, in that context "green" might be contended to not be knowledge, since it would be one of the items which a so-called scheme or body of knowledge about color is actually about (what its descriptions and understandings represent).

Imagine some kind of living, picture-less dictionary possessing thousands of linguistic objects for which knowledge about them consists only of their definitions. The definitions in turn garner their meanings by referencing other words and their definitions. It's a closed, self-referencing linguistic realm for the living dictionary, where its symbols lack relations to the experienced objects and events which humans have knowledge of. The dictionary never knows what it is like to see, hear, touch, smell, and taste items like maple syrup and pancakes. Even though it can provide internal semantic structure for those terms, and synthesize them together contingently ("maple syrup on pancakes"). Its knowledge is confined to a representational system of language, lacking what the placeholders represent or what they were originally about. This is really the problem of a pre-programmed, disembodied AI that lacks sensory apparatus and an environment to perceive and understand via interactions with it.

Mary has a descriptive future understanding of what "Martian colors" are as well as instructions for how a brain could produce objects with them in her imagination (or perhaps even hallucinating them upon the things in the monochromatic room). But somewhat like the living dictionary, she's trapped within that linguistic symbolism, she can't leap out of it to experience the original inspiration. Unless, again, she's a meditating guru who can become aware of the microphysical processes in her brain and precisely manipulate them in accordance with those instructions for generating Martian colors (those beyond her white-->gray-->black confinement).

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Re: Questions for the friends of qualia.

Post by raw_thought » Sat Jun 13, 2015 8:49 pm

“Frankly, I left your qualia thread because I think you argue in circles - 'Obviously A is true as any nitwit can see. So, If A then B and if B then A. See how I've proven A!'”
Wyman
???
My argument in the qualia thread was not circular.
1. There is not a physical triangle in one’s brain when one visualizes a triangle.
Now, you may claim that that is not obvious. However, there has NEVER been shown a triangle in a person’s brain when they visualize a triangle. Similarly, when one says something in their mind ( we all have a voice in our heads) ,one cannot hear that sound with even a very sensitive sound amplifier.
And yes, one would have to be a nit wit to think one can.
2. One can visualize a triangle.
3. Since that information is not physical and the triangle is subjective, it meets the criteria of qualia.
Here is the actual argument from the qualia thread. As ANYONE can see the argument is not circular.
1. It is self evident that one can visualize a triangle.
2. The visualized triangle has no physicality. The neurons are not firing in a triangular shape etc. There is not a physical triangle in a person's brain when he/she visualizes one.
Note that saying that the brain has no physical triangle but facilitates it misses the point. It is similar to saying that holding a CD of Mozart's music is equivalent to hearing his music. While holding the CD there is no music. While visualizing the triangle there is no physical triangle.
3. Materialists believe that only the physical exists.
4. The triangle has no physicality.
5. Therefore, for the materialist there is no visualized triangle.
6. Therefore, for the materialist it was impossible to visualize a triangle.
7. I know that I can visualize a triangle. I am visualizing one right now.
8. Therefore, I know that materialism cannot be true in all cases.
9. Since materialism believes that only the physical exists in all cases,I know that materialism is false.
Show me what numbered point you believe is false or how my argument is invalid
There is a difference between truth and validity.
Here is an argument that is true and valid.
1. Socrates was a man.
2. All men are mortal.
3. Therefore Socrates was mortal.
Here is an argument that is valid but not true.
1. All Martains eat snakes.
2. Bob is a Martain.
3. Therefore, Bob eats snakes.
Here is an argument that is true but invalid.
1. Nixon was president of the US.
2. Carter was president of the US.
3. Therefore Reagan was president.
If one cannot show how 1-8 (at the top of this post) are not all true, or cannot show how the argument is invalid,then the conclusion (9) must be true.
Instead of simply accusing an argument of being circular, why don't you demonstrate that it is circular? Because you can’t.

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Re: Questions for the friends of qualia.

Post by Wyman » Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:08 pm

raw_thought wrote:“Frankly, I left your qualia thread because I think you argue in circles - 'Obviously A is true as any nitwit can see. So, If A then B and if B then A. See how I've proven A!'”
Wyman
???
My argument in the qualia thread was not circular.
1. There is not a physical triangle in one’s brain when one visualizes a triangle.
Now, you may claim that that is not obvious. However, there has NEVER been shown a triangle in a person’s brain when they visualize a triangle. Similarly, when one says something in their mind ( we all have a voice in our heads) ,one cannot hear that sound with even a very sensitive sound amplifier.
And yes, one would have to be a nit wit to think one can.
2. One can visualize a triangle.
3. Since that information is not physical and the triangle is subjective, it meets the criteria of qualia.
Here is the actual argument from the qualia thread. As ANYONE can see the argument is not circular.
1. It is self evident that one can visualize a triangle.
2. The visualized triangle has no physicality. The neurons are not firing in a triangular shape etc. There is not a physical triangle in a person's brain when he/she visualizes one.
Note that saying that the brain has no physical triangle but facilitates it misses the point. It is similar to saying that holding a CD of Mozart's music is equivalent to hearing his music. While holding the CD there is no music. While visualizing the triangle there is no physical triangle.
3. Materialists believe that only the physical exists.
4. The triangle has no physicality.
5. Therefore, for the materialist there is no visualized triangle.
6. Therefore, for the materialist it was impossible to visualize a triangle.
7. I know that I can visualize a triangle. I am visualizing one right now.
8. Therefore, I know that materialism cannot be true in all cases.
9. Since materialism believes that only the physical exists in all cases,I know that materialism is false.
Show me what numbered point you believe is false or how my argument is invalid
There is a difference between truth and validity.
Here is an argument that is true and valid.
1. Socrates was a man.
2. All men are mortal.
3. Therefore Socrates was mortal.
Here is an argument that is valid but not true.
1. All Martains eat snakes.
2. Bob is a Martain.
3. Therefore, Bob eats snakes.
Here is an argument that is true but invalid.
1. Nixon was president of the US.
2. Carter was president of the US.
3. Therefore Reagan was president.
If one cannot show how 1-8 (at the top of this post) are not all true, or cannot show how the argument is invalid,then the conclusion (9) must be true.
Instead of simply accusing an argument of being circular, why don't you demonstrate that it is circular? Because you can’t.
But everyone on the other thread disagreed with your premise and all you could ever do was say things like 'really?' 'So you think visualized triangles are physical?' times 10; 'obviously they are not' 'everyone knows they are not physical'. And no one could get you to explore your premise. And since it went on for 20 pages or so, I don't see a need to revisit it.

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Re: Questions for the friends of qualia.

Post by raw_thought » Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:10 pm

“The ability to read a score and thereby reconstruct the symphony in imagination is something much different - such ability does not seem to me to be an experience. It seems more like a state or disposition or capacity.”
Wyman
So you are saying that if one is totally unaware of something one can still understand it??? In other words knowledge requires an experience ( an awareness).


“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. The symbols in an autonomous hybrid symbolic+sensorimotor system—a Turing-scale robot consisting of both a symbol system and a sensorimotor system that reliably connects its internal symbols to the external objects they refer to, so it can interact with them Turing-indistinguishably from the way a person does—would be grounded. But whether its symbols would have meaning rather than just grounding is something that even the robotic Turing test—hence cognitive science itself—cannot determine, or explain.”
FROM
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbol_grounding_problem

Dennett makes a category error. (He likes doing that!) He combines the signifier with the signified.”
ME from the post you quoted.
So knowing what neurons are firing when Einstein thinks about Relativity is the exact same knowledge as understanding Relativity? So, if someone did not speak English and read a book in English (pronounced the sounds without knowing the meaning of the words) that is the same thing as understanding the book?
You missed my point. The neurons firing are in no way abstract. They have no meaning. They are signifiers that facilitate meaning, but they lack any meaning. Similarly, knowing what neurons are firing ( which is problematic as Dennett would say that there is no knowledge, only neurons firing) and one’s ability to reach conclusions from them is merely formal symbol manipulation, based on their shapes ( see definition of signifier that I gave in that post at a site) and not their meaning. See bold type and the surrounding area in the quote I gave.

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Re: Questions for the friends of qualia.

Post by raw_thought » Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:13 pm

What did they disagree with?
1. That one can visualize a triangle.
2. That there is no physical triangular shape in one's brain when one visualizes a triangle.
3. Does anyone think that when I think to myself, if you had a sound amplifier, one could hear my thoughts?

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Re: Questions for the friends of qualia.

Post by raw_thought » Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:14 pm

What do they disagree with?
I think no one thinks that when I think, someone else can hear my thoughts with a sound amplifier. Am I wrong???

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Re: Questions for the friends of qualia.

Post by raw_thought » Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:17 pm

So now i have to prove that when I visualize green, my brain does not turn green??????????????

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Re: Questions for the friends of qualia.

Post by raw_thought » Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:26 pm


But everyone on the other thread disagreed with your premise and all you could ever do was say things like 'really?' 'So you think visualized triangles are physical?' times 10; 'obviously they are not' 'everyone knows they are not physical”
Wyman
Actually, my response was more detailed.
“2. The visualized triangle has no physicality. The neurons are not firing in a triangular shape etc. There is not a physical triangle in a person's brain when he/she visualizes one. “
Are you claiming that the neurons fire in a triangular shape when one visualizes a triangle? That is obviously absurd. If that were true we would have mind reading machines now.

The problem is that people do not read posts. They only skim over them. That is why I had to keep repeating myself.I kept getting the same silly objections. Like, how do you know that your brain will not turn green etc.

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Re: Questions for the friends of qualia.

Post by Wyman » Sun Jun 14, 2015 1:51 am

raw_thought wrote:
But everyone on the other thread disagreed with your premise and all you could ever do was say things like 'really?' 'So you think visualized triangles are physical?' times 10; 'obviously they are not' 'everyone knows they are not physical”
Wyman
Actually, my response was more detailed.
“2. The visualized triangle has no physicality. The neurons are not firing in a triangular shape etc. There is not a physical triangle in a person's brain when he/she visualizes one. “
Are you claiming that the neurons fire in a triangular shape when one visualizes a triangle? That is obviously absurd. If that were true we would have mind reading machines now.

The problem is that people do not read posts. They only skim over them. That is why I had to keep repeating myself.I kept getting the same silly objections. Like, how do you know that your brain will not turn green etc.
What makes you think that the only way one could describe seeing green as physical is by claiming that your brain must turn green?
How do you define knowledge - as justified true belief? Because that does't seem to be the definition you are working with.
Much of twentieth century analytic philosophy dealt with theory of meaning. Your blurb on signifier/signified is simplistic and barely scratches the surface of the subject matter.
What are you trying to prove with your argument? That there exists at least one type of non-physical entity - i.e. visualizations/imaginings? If so, don't you see how it is not an argument but a statement? That is - 'I am trying to prove that something non-physical exists: imaginings are non-physical QED' That's not an argument, that's a statement.

Everyone on the other thread read and understood your posts - don't flatter yourself. You just couldn't find any way to meet their objections other than saying that to disagree with you is silly or 'obviously absurd.' Can you tie it in with any philosophers or philosophical traditions to give a clue as to how you are using your terms and/or why i t is so important to have a nonphysical film of 'awareness' or 'qualia' covering all experience?

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Re: Questions for the friends of qualia.

Post by raw_thought » Tue Jun 16, 2015 5:56 pm

.
1. Visualized triangles are not represented in the brain in the physical shape of a triangle.
2. Knowing what neurons are firing (when one visualizes a triangle) is not the same as knowing what a triangle is.
3. Therefore, there is knowledge that is not represented physically.
1 is pretty obvious. The neurons do not fire in the shape of a triangle. Similarly, when I visualize green my brain does not turn green. Nor when I think can anyone hear my thoughts with a sound amplifier.
To disagree with 2 is like saying that understanding a book only requires pronouncing the words. Obviously if you do not understand the language (the definitions/meanings of the words) you do not understand the book. If I know what neurons are firing when Einstein is thinking about Relativity, I do not necessarily understand Relativity.
Since the argument is valid and both premises (1 and 2) are true, the conclusion (3) follows.
Last edited by raw_thought on Tue Jul 07, 2015 1:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Questions for the friends of qualia.

Post by raw_thought » Tue Jun 16, 2015 5:58 pm

"
What makes you think that the only way one could describe seeing green as physical is by claiming that your brain must turn green?"
wyman
I am not claiming that. See above post. there are two options.
1. Visualized triangles are represented in the brain in the physical shape of a triangle.
2. Knowing what neurons are firing (when one visualizes a triangle) is the same as knowing what a triangle is.
I showed that both * options are false.
Therefore, it follows that some knowledge is not represented physically.
* There are only two options. Either the triangle takes the form of a triangle in a person's brain or it does not. Either my brain turns green or it does not.
Last edited by raw_thought on Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:30 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Questions for the friends of qualia.

Post by raw_thought » Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:01 pm

Actually, I did not a lot more then say , " you're stupid." If you had read my posts and not just skimmed over them you would have realized that.
So, do you disagree with premise 1, 2 or both? If you do not, then you must agree with me that the conclusion is true. There is knowledge that is not represented physically.

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