[ExI] Semiotics and Computability

Aware aware at awareresearch.com
Sat Feb 6 21:05:58 UTC 2010

On Sat, Feb 6, 2010 at 12:11 PM, Gordon Swobe <gts_2000 at yahoo.com> wrote:

> 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.

Gordon, you presented the ostensible puzzle of Searle's Chinese Room,
in which YOU are left facing a paradox.

I contributed a very simple, clear and coherent (but perhaps jarringly
non-intuitive) resolution to your paradox.

A resolution that you're unable to accept due to your discomfort with
the notion that there is no ESSENTIAL Gordon Swobe to experience
ESSENTIAL qualia, despite my reassurances that this in no way denies
the very real Gordon Swobe and his experiences as we AND YOU know

A resolution that I've lived with for nearly thirty years now; one
that flipped my world-view inside-out, leaving everything the same but
simpler (no singularity of Self) and that costs nothing, while
providing a more coherent basis for reasoning and extrapolation.

Fine, enjoy your faith in the illusion, and live with the paradox.  In
everyday life, as long as you're not, for example, trying in vain to
find a way to physically implement the qualia you imagine to exist,
you should have little trouble.  Your limited view does get in the way
of more advanced thinking on the topic of agency and its role in
metaethics, which I consider crucial to the ongoing growth of what
matters to us as a society, but hey, you've got lots of company.

This is a very old argument, and all the necessary pieces of the
puzzle are strewn about you.  If you use all the pieces, they fit
together only one way.

- Jef

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