[ExI] Semiotics and Computability

Stefano Vaj stefano.vaj at gmail.com
Mon Feb 8 11:51:51 UTC 2010

On 8 February 2010 12:29, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
> You do know that first you withdraw your hand, through reflex, and
> then experience the pain? No doubt the purpose of the pain is so that
> you will remember not to do it again.

Yes. Or no. It might even be a byproduct, what is Gould's word for
that? But I do not see how it would change my original remark.

> But why pain; why not disgust,
> or horror, or just reluctance?

By definition. Because "pain" is simply the name we give to our
reactions to the fact of being burnt, which may well be different (in
its causes, perhaps as well in its consequences or intensity) from
that generated by "horrorful" rather than "painful" experiences.

All the paradox of qualia is of course that in such perspective you
may well "feel" horror, or for that matter pleasure, when I feel pain.
You would obviously call it "pain" anyway, as long as you speak
English, and as long as your reaction thereto would be identical,
there would be no way ever to know it.

As a consequence, it would seem obvious that since "feelings
abstracted from reactions" are not part of the phenomenical reality,
their concept is only a philosophical Fata Morgana dictated by a few
centuries of dualism.

Stefano Vaj

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