[ExI] putting the qual into qualia
anders at aleph.se
Wed May 8 15:05:02 UTC 2013
On 07/05/2013 22:49, Gordon wrote:
> Social pain is a quale, though we don't normally consider it when discussing qualia. I should probably take a Tylenol each time someone on ExI gives me grief.
> Acetaminophen Reduces Social Pain
It also seems to reduce existential and surreal anguish.
(One of the more amusing uses of David Lynch movies in science)
The nice thing about this is that it actually helps us track down the
NCC - watching surreal movies doesn't (I assume) activate somatosensory
cortex, but probably (guessing here, based on past neuroscience, but I
would be surprised if it didn't happen) activates parts of the anterior
cingulate cortex. Neuroimaging can only give us so much, so we still
have to figure out the finer structure, but it seems that the ACC is
among the key parts of the neural substrate of suffering itself,
regardless of whether the cause is pain, social exclusion or existential
dread. And we know people with certain ACC damage experience pain
(presumably the quale of pain sensation) but do not suffer (no quale of
suffering) - they report they have the pain but it does not bother them.
It would be interesting to see if this is true for other sources of
Future of Humanity Institute
Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University
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