Envelope wrote: ↑
Fri Aug 02, 2019 5:04 pm
Hi guys, I’m gonna have a go at clearing this confusion between neural correlates of consciousness and consciousness itself, and also explaining the term consciousness space as for what SteveKlinko originally meant it. You’ll tell me if it makes sense and I’m right.
First, let's be sure we agree on the definition of qualia: instances of direct experience. Look at your hand, the experience that you are having is a visual qualia (talking about the "pinkness" of the hand I think is just a way to describe the fact that we are having an experience of the color). Now touch it with the other hand, the experience you are having is a haptic qualia. Our subjective experience is sensorial. Qualia are just that, what we perceive with our senses (including proprioception and mental representations). Qualia are experience.
Now, I would focus on the comment about light wavelength and CNS functions. When we refer to experience we have to make sure we don't confuse the symbols we use to map this experience with the experience itself. We can define terms (i.e. map/match an experience to a corresponding symbol) in very rigorous ways, i.e. measuring (and we can measure using tools that are much less variable than our organic sensors so as to obtain a higher degree of shareability). To follow up with the example of red, we can define what we mean by red as being an electromagnetic wave of roughly 700nm wavelength. The way we do it is by establishing units of measure and using tools. We arbitrarily choose what we experience as a certain length and we call it meter; we observe the properties of materials that we experience and we call them electromagnetism and photosensors; and during all this process of measuring and development of technical jargon we have turned the symbol "red" from a term that described a quale that was only subjectively experienced, and therefore not very useful for communicating precisely, into a term that describes a set of very precise and repeatable qualia, hence making it too a technical term with a high degree of shareability/communicability. But as you see, in all this measuring effort we have not really been able to bypass even once the fact that ultimately anything we know has to be experienced in the realm of qualia. We selected the length of the meter by experiencing a visual qualia of some object with a certain length and declaring such object to be our reference point. The same goes for the materials that exhibit electromagnetic properties, we make an experience of a material behaving according to certain patterns and we call those patterns in which they present themselves in our subjective experience "electromagnetism". And still the same goes for the CNS, we can consistently experience seeing a PET scan lighting up in the same particular area, which we decided to match to the term 'visual cortex', when the scanned person is seeing the colour red. From this repeatability of experience that comes with taking a methodical approach and measuring things, we can be easily confused into starting to think that a quale and its matched symbol are the same thing. Confusing the neural correlates of consciousness for consciousness itself and giving primacy to the inductively theorized outside world. While, instead, experience is the most primary thing, the gate by which ultimately all information has to pass, so to speak. In other words, Anything we know at all always happens in the realm of qualia.
The realm of qualia is what we may call consciousness space.
Now, speculating on this virtual reality hypothesis I find it to be really interesting but also really confusing. There is a guy called Tom Campbell that wrote a 3-parts book about it and I’m reading it but, honestly, I’m struggling to understand it. Anyone else knows about him?
Connecting back to the OP I wouldn’t know if we would have to exist in some other dimension in which also the computing of the consciousness space in which our experience happens is done. And what do we mean by “we”? And also as Arising said, thinking in this way leaves us with the infinite regress problem.
Other terms in which might be cool to speculate are consensus reality and non consensus reality. I like to imagine something like there being one field of consciousness in which many non consensus realities exist and they are all converging back to oneness by this process of scientific inquiry which connect the non consensus realities together into one consensus reality. Obviously I'm just throwing some words down here, it's nowhere close to an accurate model, just a possible incipit to be developed further. bye