[ExI] Fwd: Paper on "Detecting Qualia" presentation at 2015 MTA conference

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at canonizer.com
Mon Feb 2 12:56:48 UTC 2015

On 2/1/2015 10:22 PM, Rafal Smigrodzki wrote:
> On Sun, Feb 1, 2015 at 11:18 PM, Brent Allsop 
> <brent.allsop at canonizer.com <mailto:brent.allsop at canonizer.com>> wrote:
>   If you ever discover any detectable property that produces redness, 
> that you didn't know had a redness quality, before, your previous 
> theory will have been falsified and you must then simply alter your 
> sets of necessary and sufficient detectable properties, to include the 
> new property.
> ### So you say the quality of redness is possessed by any physical 
> object (whether glutamate or not glutamate) that produces the 
> perception of redness.
> How is that not a circular argument?

The prediction is that there is some set of detectable properties 
responsible for us geing aware of a greness quality, and that there is 
another set that can be distinguished from this, that is responsible for 
greness.  Which one of these sciences proves is and isn't redness 
defines it, and makes it not circular.  If you are a functionalist, as 
Stathis is, it does seem circular.  But if you can define any 
theoretically possible way to reliably detect what is "functionally" 
responsible (even if that is a falsifiable way, which can just be 
altered, till you get it right) then you will have the grounding real 
definition, which makes it no longer circular.

> -----------------------
>     No, the prediction is that as long as you have not replaced the
>     binding neuron, nothing you present to it, will ever say and know
>     something has a redness quality, without real redness.  In other
>     words, without real glutamate, you will not be able to throw the
>     switch, between the simluated glutamate, and the real thing, and
>     reproduce the behavior saying the simulated glutamate is the same
>     as the real thing. 
> ### Almost all neurons are binding neurons. The neurons that construct 
> the perception of redness are in the V4 area, and respond the same 
> both to physiological (reflectance) and certain non-physiological 
> (monochromator) stimuli. Redness does not exist as a property below 
> the V4 area. Most cortical neurons have glutamatergic synapses but 
> only V4 neurons use glutamatergic transmission to construct the quale 
> of redness.
> Glutamate is a transparent, easily crystallizable substance, and 
> produces a pleasant taste when applied to umami receptors in the 
> mouth. It has no "redness" quality.

This is great that you know so much about glutamate, neurons, and all 
this stuff.  It's fun to talk to smart people like this.  But you need 
to read the paper, and understand the "quale interpretation problem" 
which explains exactly this.  In it's crystal form, glutamate reflects 
white light.  But if we represent this with something that is not 
glutamate, and has a whiteness quality, this will simply be miss 
interpreting the qualitative nature of redness. If you interperet 
glutamate, as not having any quale, as our knowledge of transparent 
glutamate might make it seem, again, thinking there is not qualitative 
property there, simply because of the qualitative nature (or lack there 
of) of our knowledge, is exactly the quale interpretation problem.

Here is the link to the working draft of the paper for anyone that does 
not have it yet:


Brent Allsop

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