[ExI] Fwd: Chalmers

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Fri Dec 20 05:29:04 UTC 2019

On Fri, 20 Dec 2019 at 06:44, Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> John,
> Oh that’s our problem: you haven’t yet seen the descriptions of the “1.
> Week”, “2. Stronger”, and “3 Strongest” forms of effing the ineffable
> explained in this “Objectively, We are Blind to Physical Qualities
> <https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uWUm3LzWVlY0ao5D9BFg4EQXGSopVDGPi-lVtCoJzzM/edit?usp=sharing>”
> paper, referenced in “Representational Qualia Theory
> <https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Representational-Qualia/6>”.
> Our physical knowledge of our right field of vision exists in our left
> hemisphere, and visa versa for the left field of vision.  Steven Lehar
> <https://canonizer.com/topic/81-Steven-Lehar/4> recommends thinking of it
> as a “diorama” of knowledge, split between our brain hemispheres.  The
> corpus callosum can “computationally bind” these two hemispheres into one
> composite awareness of what we see.  Like “I think, therefor I am” we
> cannot doubt the reality and physical quality of both of these physical
> hemispheres of knowledge.  We don’t perceive them, they are the final
> result of perception, the physical knowledge we are directly aware of.  In
> other words, the corpus callosum is performing the “3. Strongest” form of
> effing the ineffable by enabling both your right and left hemisphere to be
> directly aware of the physical knowledge in the other in one unified
> conscious experience through computational binding.
> The “3. Strongest” form of effing the ineffable was portrayed as a neural
> ponytail in the Avatar movie
> <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0mAKz7eLRc&t=125s>.  With such a neural
> ponytail, you could experience all of the experience, not just half.  If
> your redness was like your partners greenness, you would be directly aware
> of such physical facts with such a neural ponytail.
> Also, I’m not the only one that has realized that such a neural ponytail
> could falsify solipsism by enabling us to be directly aware of physical
> knowledge someone else was experiencing.  (or that failing to achieve such
> a neural ponytail could verify it).  See this: “A Modest Proposal for
> Solving the Solipsism Problem
> <https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/a-modest-proposal-for-solving-the-solipsism-problem/>”
> in Scientific American.  Note: the reason it is only “modest” is because
> McGinn is only using the “2. Stronger” form of effing the ineffable, not
> the “3. Strongest” where you are directly aware of other’s physical
> knowledge.  V. S. Ramachandran was the first to propose this type of
> computational binding and effing of the ineffable in his “3 laws of qualia
> <https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/efca/ea27e85a89170f55c563623b25de5090f18a.pdf>”
> paper where he proposed connecting  2 brains with a similar “bundle of
> neurons,” in the 90s.  When I presented our paper to him he basically
> admitted he didn’t realize it’s significance way back then.

There is a problem if the idea that qualia are physical properties is true.

Consider three interacting components of a cognitive system A, B, C. These
components, their inputs and outputs, can be observed by a scientist. A
takes input x from the environment and operates on it producing an output
a: A(x) = a. Then B accepts the output from A, such that B(a) = b, and C
accepts the output from B, such that C(b) = c. A could be an eye, x could
be the light from a strawberry, B could be part of the visual apparatus, C
could be vocal cords, and c could be the speech output from the vocal
cords; while a and b could be chemical signals in the brain. The scientist
now substitutes B1 for B, with the criterion being that B1(a) = B(a) for
all a.

Here is the problem. If qualia are physical properties, B1 will have
different physical properties from B and therefore may have different
qualia. But C only responds to the output of B1, which is the same as that
of B (that was the criterion for substitution). So the speech from the
vocal cords will be the same as before, declaring that the strawberry is
red, even though it appears different to the subject.

Stathis Papaioannou
Stathis Papaioannou
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