[ExI] Semiotics and Computability

Gordon Swobe gts_2000 at yahoo.com
Sat Feb 6 22:01:52 UTC 2010

--- On Sat, 2/6/10, Aware <aware at awareresearch.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 camp 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 them.
> 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.

I'll ask again: have you ever had a tooth-ache? 



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