Questions for the friends of qualia.

Known unknowns and unknown unknowns!

Moderators: AMod, iMod

raw_thought
Posts: 1775
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:16 pm
Location: trapped inside a hominid skull

Re: Questions for the friends of qualia.

Post by raw_thought »

Dennent denies that first person narratives (subjective experience ) refer to anything.
That is why I made the joke, posts ago.
Dennett wakes up and asks his wife," it was good for you. Was it good for me?"
All third person narratives rely on first person narratives. If you do not personally experience your wife's behaviour, you cannot make a statement about what she is experiencing.
raw_thought
Posts: 1775
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:16 pm
Location: trapped inside a hominid skull

Re: Questions for the friends of qualia.

Post by raw_thought »

I apologize for eesponding so late. I had to go to Michigan for my Dad's funeral.
1. To deny that qualia exist is to deny that subjective experience exists.
2. My visualized triangle is a subjective experience. No one can see that triangle except me. Look into my brain and you will not see a triangle.
3. Therefore, to deny that qualia exist implies that I cannot visualize a triangle.
4. I know that I can visualize a triangle. Therefore qualia exist.
Scott Mayers
Posts: 2074
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 1:53 am
Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Re: Questions for the friends of qualia.

Post by Scott Mayers »

raw_thought wrote:"I think the problem is resolved if we reduce the idea of qualia to how the brain stores its data."
Scott Mayers
Sure if you redefine "qualia" as a "brain state" you can have a physicalist understanding of qualia. However, that is disingenuous. Whether you believe in qualia or not, it is disingenuous to redefine it. Qualia is what something feels like. For example, pain hurts. That FEELING of pain is a quale.
Pain is a feeling. It hurts. To say that is and only is C fibers firing is silly because it follows that pain does not hurt.
Your argument is
1. Pain is (and only is) a brain state.
2. Therefore, it is a brain state.
Pain is just an assigned 'program' from the critical brain functions that are an imposed "illusion". It is a program that has subroutines that steal conscious control of the higher brain functions. It does things like steals ones attention away from what the conscious part of the brain that acts as a contradiction to that 'program' such that we interpret it as "uncomfortable".

But when the brain is in its early development, it seeks the environment (even in the womb, the 'environment' is anything external to the actual neurons being developed) to assign values to which will be interpreted as 'pain' or 'pleasure'. In these windows of development, sometimes the assigned value may actually be opposite to external survival, for instance. An example proof of this is to those who are born to not feel pain when they "should". This accidental occurrence makes them less 'fit' (= matching) to the environment because a lack of this assignment makes their body vulnerable to getting wounded often and enable infections which eventually can kill them.

What I'm getting at is that any qualia is an assignment from the environment but has no actual external referent that defines the feeling objectively. That is, things like "pain" do not exist as an external reality that the brain 'borrows' from. Rather, it is an evolved program that tells the body through the brain what to do when X occurs, where X is relatively arbitrary except that such arbitrary selections will only benefit those organisms that assign values that 'fit' to the environment. This is why some organisms actually accept some things from the environment that are favorable to it while poisonous to other organisms. Do you follow?
raw_thought
Posts: 1775
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:16 pm
Location: trapped inside a hominid skull

Re: Questions for the friends of qualia.

Post by raw_thought »

Scott,
You have proven that the brain can register that info (that something green is in front of you). I have no problem with that. However, you have not shown how that creates the subjective experience (quale) of green.
raw_thought
Posts: 1775
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:16 pm
Location: trapped inside a hominid skull

Re: Questions for the friends of qualia.

Post by raw_thought »

Again your point is that pain is and only is a brain state. I disagree. It hurts! There is a subjective feel to pain. Perhaps the feeling of pain supervenes on a brain state but the feeling is not equivalent to C fibers firing.
raw_thought
Posts: 1775
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:16 pm
Location: trapped inside a hominid skull

Re: Questions for the friends of qualia.

Post by raw_thought »

I ageee! Pain has no external referent! It is a subjective experience (a quale)!
As Searle pointed out, in the context of subjective experience, the appearance is the reality. To prove that a hallucination has no correspondence to objective physical reality is not the same thing as denying that one is experiencing a hallucination.
raw_thought
Posts: 1775
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:16 pm
Location: trapped inside a hominid skull

Re: Questions for the friends of qualia.

Post by raw_thought »

You are confusing computation with understanding. A calculator simply manipulates symbols. It does not understand math. Similarly, a light switch may be in the on position but it does not know that the light is on.
raw_thought
Posts: 1775
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:16 pm
Location: trapped inside a hominid skull

Re: Questions for the friends of qualia.

Post by raw_thought »

I have no problem with saying that evolution created our feelings.
Matter has many mind like properties (quantum mechanics ).
However, to say that the brain creates subjective experiences is not the same as saying that subjective experiences (qualia) do not exist.
Similarily, a domino may cause another domino to fall. However, the definition of "domino" is not "another domino hitting it".
Scott Mayers
Posts: 2074
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 1:53 am
Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Re: Questions for the friends of qualia.

Post by Scott Mayers »

raw_thought,
I don't know if we are agreeing or not. I agree that the internal sensations are 'real' even if they may be a product of hallucinations. I was merely explaining HOW we come to 'feeling' things as real phenomena as relatively arbitrary assignments that require 'fitting' within our environment. Your brain can interpret something as "green" but this particular experience as defined by the particular brain may actually 'see' this "green" as some other color. It is only where we convene to agree to the word, "green", when we are denoting colors among other people that maps the phenomena as the same only. But the structure of color is the generic form that our hardware DOES share in common. If and where these 'structures' are not the same is an indication of someone having a deficit in that structure compared to others, like color blindness which one may not make a clear distinction of two colors that others are able to, for instance.
raw_thought
Posts: 1775
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:16 pm
Location: trapped inside a hominid skull

Re: Questions for the friends of qualia.

Post by raw_thought »

So you believe in qualia?
raw_thought
Posts: 1775
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:16 pm
Location: trapped inside a hominid skull

Re: Questions for the friends of qualia.

Post by raw_thought »

You seem to have mentioned the inverted spectrum argument.
raw_thought
Posts: 1775
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:16 pm
Location: trapped inside a hominid skull

Re: Questions for the friends of qualia.

Post by raw_thought »

Are you saying that you are not explaining how we aquire subjective experiences? That you are only explaining how we know when they correspond to objective physical eeality?
User avatar
Hobbes' Choice
Posts: 8364
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:45 am

Re: Questions for the friends of qualia.

Post by Hobbes' Choice »

Does anyone care?
raw_thought
Posts: 1775
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:16 pm
Location: trapped inside a hominid skull

Re: Questions for the friends of qualia.

Post by raw_thought »

Philosophers do. Qualia has been at the center of philosophical debate for years now. Why are you at a philosophy site?
raw_thought
Posts: 1775
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:16 pm
Location: trapped inside a hominid skull

Re: Questions for the friends of qualia.

Post by raw_thought »

You really do not care what consciousness is????
Not a problem. But why hang out at a philosophy site???
Are you a troll???
Post Reply