Qualia Blindness

Known unknowns and unknown unknowns!

Moderators: AMod, iMod

Post Reply
Brent.Allsop
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:06 pm

Qualia Blindness

Post by Brent.Allsop »

Everyone thinks there is a “hard” mind body problem.
But isn’t it just sloppy epistemology of color, that is the only problem?

I would love to hear if everyone does or does not agree with the “correct” answers to this Socratic method test to help people understand the epistemology of intrinsic qualities, asking: “Are you Qualia Blind”?
Atla
Posts: 2960
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:27 am

Re: Qualia Blindness

Post by Atla »

Brent.Allsop wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 3:54 pm Everyone thinks there is a “hard” mind body problem.
But isn’t it just sloppy epistemology of color, that is the only problem?

I would love to hear if everyone does or does not agree with the “correct” answers to this Socratic method test to help people understand the epistemology of intrinsic qualities, asking: “Are you Qualia Blind”?
I got 11/12 on your quiz do I win something? :)

For the 1. question, the correct answer would be C) while it's important to distinguish between reality and knowledge of reality, we must also remember that the knowledge of reality is also part of that reality (the knowledge of reality is also reality).

As for the 9. question, qualia almost certainly aren't separated from "physical" reality in some way, it's not possible for experimentalists to directly observe the redness quale. All we can do is "objectively" observe the neural correlates.
Brent.Allsop
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:06 pm

Re: Qualia Blindness

Post by Brent.Allsop »

Atla wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 7:08 pm I got 11/12 on your quiz do I win something? :)
Yes, you were already almost not qualia blind. Thanks for taking the test, and for these comments.
Atla wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 7:08 pm For the 1. question, the correct answer would be C) while it's important to distinguish between reality and knowledge of reality, we must also remember that the knowledge of reality is also part of that reality (the knowledge of reality is also reality).
Your assertion that qualia are "part of reality” is a falsifiable prediction. While “Mind Brain Identity” is certainly the leading consensus, there are some smart people still supporting some type of "Dualism". As it points out in question 10, it is a theoretical possibility that glutamate = redness. But if someone experiences redness, while no glutamate present, glutamate = redness is falsified. And if we end up falsifying all known physics in this way, it must be some new physics, or some kind of dualistic stuff. Experimentalists just need to stop being qualia blind, so they can isolate what it is that has an intrinsic redness quality, which will falsify all the 'crap in the gap' theories predicting otherwise.
Atla wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 7:08 pm As for the 9. question, qualia almost certainly aren't separated from "physical" reality in some way, it's not possible for experimentalists to directly observe the redness quale. All we can do is "objectively" observe the neural correlates.
I agree that effing the ineffable by reliably knowing what it is that has an intrinsic quality (as described in question 7) is still the weakest of 3 different forms of effing the ineffable as described in this paper.

But if one hemisphere of your brain had red/green qualia inversion from the other, you would know this, absolutely, since half of your visual knowledge would be inverted from the other half, thanks the the computational binding achieved by the corpus callosum. V. S. Ramachandran was the first to propose connecting two brains with a "bundle of neurons" like this, back in the 90s. This was portrayed as a neural ponytail in the movie Avatar. With something like that, you could feel all the sensations, not just half.

Such a neural ponytail would finally falsify skeptical theories like solipsism. But we must also remember that failing to achieve such, could prove solipsism. The theoreticians have done their work. It's now up to the experimentalists to stop being qualia blind.
Last edited by Brent.Allsop on Thu May 07, 2020 9:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Atla
Posts: 2960
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:27 am

Re: Qualia Blindness

Post by Atla »

Brent.Allsop wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 8:51 pm
Atla wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 7:08 pm I got 11/12 on your quiz do I win something? :)
Yes, you were already almost not qualia blind. Thanks for taking the test, and for these comments.
Atla wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 7:08 pm For the 1. question, the correct answer would be C) while it's important to distinguish between reality and knowledge of reality, we must also remember that the knowledge of reality is also part of that reality (the knowledge of reality is also reality).
Your assertion that qualia are "part of reality” is a falsifiable prediction. While “Mind Brain Identity” is certainly the leading consensus, there are some smart people still supporting some type of "Dualism". As it points out in question 10, it is a theoretical possibility that glutamate = redness. But if someone experiences redness, while no glutamate present, glutamate = redness is falsified. And if we end up falsifying all known physics in this way, it must be some new physics, or some kind of dualistic stuff. Experimentalists just need to stop being qualia blind, so they can isolate what it is that has an intrinsic redness quality, which will falsify all the 'crap in the gap' theories predicting otherwise.
Atla wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 7:08 pm As for the 9. question, qualia almost certainly aren't separated from "physical" reality in some way, it's not possible for experimentalists to directly observe the redness quale. All we can do is "objectively" observe the neural correlates.
I agree that effing the ineffable by reliably knowing what it is that has an intrinsic quality (as described in question 7) is still the weakest of 3 different forms of effing the ineffable as described in this paper.

But if one hemisphere of your brain had red/green qualia inversion from the other, you would know this, absolutely, since half of your visual knowledge would be inverted from the other half, thanks the the computational binding achieved by the corpus callosum. V. S. Ramachandran was the first to propose connecting two brains with a "bundle of neurons" like this, back in the 90s. This was portrayed as a neural ponytail in the movie Avatar. With something like that, you could feel all the sensations, not just half.

Such a neural ponytail would finally falsify skeptical theories like solipsism. But we must also remember that failing to achieve such, could prove solipsism.
As things stand, any type of dualism is the opposite of smart. Occam's razor favours the identity theory, and while it's falsifiable, there is no known counterexample. It's true though that most physicalists seem to be qualia blind.

Solipsism is a horror child of Western philosophy, not a plausible possibility.
Brent.Allsop
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:06 pm

Re: Qualia Blindness

Post by Brent.Allsop »

Atla wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 9:16 pm As things stand, any type of dualism is the opposite of smart. Occam's razor favours the identity theory, and while it's falsifiable, there is no known counterexample. It's true though that most physicalists seem to be qualia blind.

Solipsism is a horror child of Western philosophy, not a plausible possibility.
I completely agree, but remember how Einstein's famous last words: "God doesn't play dice", and other similar surprises, turned out? Wouldn't you be surprised if me and the experimentalists just turned out to prove we are just figments of your imagination?

Again, it's up to the experimentalists to finally falsify all the crap in the gap theories. As long as theories aren't falsified, you can believe qualia justify your crazy ideas, other than Occam's razor values simpler theories over complex, as you said.
Last edited by Brent.Allsop on Thu May 07, 2020 9:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Atla
Posts: 2960
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:27 am

Re: Qualia Blindness

Post by Atla »

Brent.Allsop wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 9:31 pm
Atla wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 9:16 pm As things stand, any type of dualism is the opposite of smart. Occam's razor favours the identity theory, and while it's falsifiable, there is no known counterexample. It's true though that most physicalists seem to be qualia blind.

Solipsism is a horror child of Western philosophy, not a plausible possibility.
I completely agree, but remember how Einstein's famous last words: "God doesn't play dice", and other similar surprises, turned out?
Again, it's up to the experimentalists to finally falsify all the crap in the gap theories. As long as theories aren't falsified, you can believe qualia justify your crazy ideas, other than Occam's razor values simpler theories over complex, as you said.
(Those weren't his last words, and there are determinist interpretations of QM where God doesn't play dice. We may never figure out that one.)

The physical-qualia gap is probably a philosophical problem, and can't be addressed by experiments. That would be like trying to bite your own teeth, or like trying to measure a ruler with that ruler.

Only additional, made-up crap put into the (probably) made-up gap between the physical and the qualia can be falsified. And even then, we can never really prove the nonexistence of something.
User avatar
Sculptor
Posts: 2196
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:32 pm

Re: Qualia Blindness

Post by Sculptor »

Brent.Allsop wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 3:54 pm Everyone thinks there is a “hard” mind body problem.
But isn’t it just sloppy epistemology of color, that is the only problem?

I would love to hear if everyone does or does not agree with the “correct” answers to this Socratic method test to help people understand the epistemology of intrinsic qualities, asking: “Are you Qualia Blind”?
Sadly the quiz seems written by someone to whom English is not a first language
Brent.Allsop
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:06 pm

Re: Qualia Blindness

Post by Brent.Allsop »

Atla wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 9:53 pm The physical-qualia gap is probably a philosophical problem, and can't be addressed by experiments. That would be like trying to bite your own teeth, or like trying to measure a ruler with that ruler.
You don't seem to be understanding the 3 different types of effing the ineffable, as it directly contradicts these "can't be addressed by experiments" assertions of yours.

It sounds like you are in the consciousness (or at least qualia) are not approachable via objective science camp? If so, you should give more support to your still minority camp. As you can see 50 or so of the 60 (The numbers by the camp indicate number of participants) or so total expert participants (including the likes of Steven Lehar, David Chalmers, Daniel Dennett, Stuart Hameroff and others) are in the Approachable Via Science camp, and 40 of those are supporting the emerging "Representational Qualia Theory" all predicting just how to prove what qualia are, by not being qualia blind, which if experimentally verified would falsify your qualia "can't be addressed by experiments" claim.
Skepdick
Posts: 5031
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Qualia Blindness

Post by Skepdick »

The fundamental problem with the question "Do qualia exist?" is deciding whether the notion of "existence" is qualitative or quantitative.

Whether you start with epistemology or ontology you end up with infinite regress - because recursion/self-reference is inevitable.
Brent.Allsop
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:06 pm

Re: Qualia Blindness

Post by Brent.Allsop »

Sculptor wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 10:06 pm Sadly the quiz seems written by someone to whom English is not a first language
Not quite. Even though I aced my science and philosophy courses, I flunked my english courses.
We would love to have some help. Please?
Brent.Allsop
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:06 pm

Re: Qualia Blindness

Post by Brent.Allsop »

Skepdick wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 10:34 pm The fundamental problem with the question "Do qualia exist?" is deciding whether the notion of "existence" is qualitative or quantitative.
Exactly, and Representational Qualia Theory is describing how to connect the subjective qualitative and abstract quantitative as two different descriptions of the same intrinsic physical facts. Redness is a qualitative description of intrinsic qualities we can be directly aware of, and glutamate could be an abstract and quantitative description of the same thing. As is pointed out in question 10.
Skepdick wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 10:34 pm Whether you start with epistemology or ontology you end up with infinite regress - because recursion/self-reference is inevitable.
"Representational Qualia Theory" is predicting how experimentalists will falsify this claim once they stop being qualia blind so they can finally connect the subjective to the objective. For example, if experimentalists prove glutamate and redness are abstract labels for the same thing, there is no infinite regress, just physical facts about intrinsic qualities we can both be subjectively directly aware of and objectively observe, abstractly, from afar.
Skepdick
Posts: 5031
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Qualia Blindness

Post by Skepdick »

Brent.Allsop wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 10:50 pm is describing how to connect the subjective qualitative and abstract quantitative as two different descriptions of the same intrinsic physical facts.
So you are necessarily starting with realism as your default assumption, without even giving anti-realism any credence despite its rising popularity amongst quantum physicists?
Brent.Allsop wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 10:50 pm Redness is a qualitative description of intrinsic qualities we can be directly aware of, and glutamate could be an abstract and quantitative description of the same thing. As is pointed out in question 10
Your question fails to address the fact that very many physicists believe that information is physical, not just abstract.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_information

And obviously glutamite is not "redness" because I can tell the difference between glutamite and red things. Redness may be glutamite interacting with other parts of the brain - sure, but that makes subjectivity emergent/holistic.
Brent.Allsop wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 10:50 pm For example, if experimentalists prove glutamate and redness are abstract labels for the same thing, there is no infinite regress, just physical facts about intrinsic qualities we can both be directly aware of and objectively observe from afar.
OK, but empiricism can't do that. "Proving" and "proof" are abstract/formal ideas relegated to the realm of logic and mathematics.

All empiricism does is statistical hypothesis testing. Null hypothesis vs alternative hypothesis. The results aren't so much proofs as theories that have withstood falsification. So far.
Brent.Allsop wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 10:50 pm "Representational Qualia Theory" is predicting how experimentalists will falsify this claim
I am a computer scientist. Recursion/self-reference is my religion and a my curse.
Either the universe is computational (recursive), and therefore our minds are computational/recursive by deduction, which means everybody is a monist.

Or our mind are computational, which makes the universe only appear computational via mind-projection which makes everybody a dualist.

I know the matter is undecidable. Even the people occupying the Monist and Dualist camps have gone too far...

The scientific epistemology never made it past metaphysics, never mind "objectivity".
Brent.Allsop
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:06 pm

Re: Qualia Blindness

Post by Brent.Allsop »

Skepdick wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 11:24 pm So you are necessarily starting with realism as your default assumption, without even giving anti-realism any credence despite its rising popularity amongst quantum physicists?
Do you have any actual evidence to back such claims of "rising popularity"?
Skepdick wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 11:24 pm Your question fails to address the fact that very many physicists believe that information is physical, not just abstract.
We do address exactly this by the real numbers showing "Functionalism" is currently still in the lead, though it is having troubles maintaining it's lead, as you can see via the "as of" setting on the side bar. The numbers by the camps indicate the numbers of supporters when the popular consensus (1 person = 1 vote) is selected. Admittedly this is only a concise and quantitative representation of the 60 or so people that have participated in the consensus building and tracking so far, and is by no means an indicator of any general population.
Skepdick
Posts: 5031
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Qualia Blindness

Post by Skepdick »

Brent.Allsop wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 11:48 pm Do you have any actual evidence to back such claims of "rising popularity"?
Sure. Follow the breadcrumbs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-realism
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Construct ... istemology

Anybody who subscribes to intuitionistic/constructive logic/mathematics is basically in that camp. So all of computer science and large swathes of Artificial Intelligence researchers.
Brent.Allsop wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 11:48 pm We do address exactly this by the real numbers showing "Functionalism" is currently still in the lead, though it is having troubles maintaining it's lead, as you can see via the "as of" setting on the side bar. The numbers by the camps indicate the numbers of supporters when the popular consensus (1 person = 1 vote) is selected.
It doesn't really matter who is in the lead, your decision procedure for choosing the "right theory" is a distributed consensus algorithm.

Even if functionalism "wins" it doesn't solve anything. it just re-words the question "Never mind qualia, do functions exist?"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church%E2 ... _principle
Skepdick
Posts: 5031
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Qualia Blindness

Post by Skepdick »

Also, there is a methodical error with the approach you are taking re: falsification.

If you remove glutamite - there's no redness. And the representationalists celebrate.
If you remove glutamite receptors - there's no redness. And the interactivists celebrate.
If you remove parts of the brain - there's no redness. And the functionalists celebrate.

But that's not really falsification and it certainly tells us nothing about qualia - that's just removing critical components from the causal chain necessary (but not sufficient) for subjective experience.
Post Reply