[ExI] Semiotics and Computability

Gordon Swobe gts_2000 at yahoo.com
Sat Feb 6 20:11:56 UTC 2010

--- On Fri, 2/5/10, Aware <aware at awareresearch.com> wrote:

> Ironically, nearly EVERYONE in this discussion is defending
> the "obvious, indisputable, common-sense position" that this
> [qualia | consciousness | meaning | intentionality...(name your
> 1st-person essence)] actually exists as an ontological attribute of
> certain systems. 

Spencer mentioned a head-ache as an example of something I would call a fact of reality that exists with a first-person ontology. 

> It's strongly reminiscent of belief in phlogiston...

Have you ever had a head-ache, Jef? How about a tooth-ache? It seems to me that these kinds of phenomena really do exist in the world. 

I actually had a tooth extracted two weeks ago, and I can tell you that few things had more reality to me then than the experience of the tooth-ache that precipitated my desire to see the dentist. Subjective experiences such as these differ from such phenomena as mountains and planets only in so much they have first-person rather than third-person ontologies. My dentist agrees that tooth-aches really do exist, and so does the Bayer company.

I consider myself a materialist, but in the reaction against mind/matter dualism some of my fellow materialists (e.g., Dennett) go overboard and irrationally deny the plain facts of subjective experience. They try to explain it away in third-person terms, fearing that any recognition of the mental will place them in the same came with Descartes. They don't understand that in so doing they embrace and acknowledge Descartes' dualistic vocabulary. 



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