[ExI] Frank Jackson's brilliant color scientist Mary

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at gmail.com
Sun Dec 22 22:33:33 UTC 2019

Yes, physics can explain everything about qualia, the problem is, all these
abstract labels for and descriptions of physics that come to our senses
tell us nothing about the physical quality they are describing.  The only
thing qualitative is subjective experience.  Everything we get from
objective observation is abstract.  The physics that interacts with our
senses isn’t anything like whatever is the target of perception.  So, in
order to know the qualitative color of something, you need to experience it
directly.  For example, it is a theoretical possibility that the causal
properties of redness are the causal properties of glutamate as it reacts
in a synapse.  In other words, both the abstract words redness and
glutamate are labels for the same thing.  We don’t perceive redness,
redness is the final result of perception, the quality of the physical
knowledge we are directly aware of.

The word red isn’t physically red.  In order to know what red means, you
need to point to something physical (or in Stathis’ case, maybe point to
something functional or magic) and say THAT is red.  Because physicists and
neuroscientists never do this, they are qualia blind.  They can’t tell us
what THAT is, as a definition of red.

Frank Jackson started to far one way (physics can’t explain qualia) and was
wrong.  Then he swung the other way, and is still wrong (has no idea how to
bridge the explanatory gap) And as usual, the answer is somewhere in the

Once experimentalists stop being qualia blind (use two words color and
colorness as in glutamate’s color is white, since it reflects white light
but it’s colorness is redness.) they will soon discover what the definition
of red is.  They will be able to finally tell us which of all their
descriptions of physics is the description of redness.

Discovering this will obviously falsify all but *THE ONE* true theory of
qualia, from amongst all the yet to be falsified diverse sets of theories
predicting the extreme diversity of possible physical natures of qualia.
You can see all the competing theories in the sub camps of Representational
Qualia Theory <https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Representational-Qualia/6>.

Hopefully it is obvious to everyone that I am in the Molecular Materialism
camp <https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Molecular-Materialism/36>.

Or here is the entire parent chain of my camps:

<https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Theories-of-Consciousness/1> / Approachable
Via Science
<https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Approachable-Via-Science/2> / Representational
<https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Representational-Qualia/6> / Mind-Brain
Identity <https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Mind-Brain-Identity/17> / Monism
<https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Monism/65> / Qualia are Material Qualities
<https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Qualia-are-Material-Qualities/7> / Molecular
Materialism <https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Molecular-Materialism/36>*

Stathis, you are still a functionalist, right?  But which type of
functionalist are you?  A Monist functionalist
<https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Qualia-Emerge-from-Function/18> or a property
dualist functionalist
<https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Functional-Prprty-Dualism/8>?  Or some
other camp?  Or have I falsified functionalism for you yet?

How would each of you rank the best of these theories?  John, William,
anyone else?  Does anyone know of a theory that hasn’t yet been canonized?

And even more, would anyone care to make any kind of bet as to which camp
will be the first to achieve a 90% or better consensus, using the peer
ranked mind expert canonizer algorithm

Also, how long do people think this will take to get to a 90% scientific
consensus?  I predict it will happen within 5 years of achieving a
total participation of 1000 verified people participating in the Theories
of Consciousness
<https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Theories-of-Consciousness/1> topic.  There
are currently less than 100 total participants.  So it is all up to you to
help with the amplification of the wisdom of the crowd process and
basically sign the petition that you believe scientists need to stop being
qualia blind so they will get the message sooner.

On Sun, Dec 22, 2019 at 2:55 PM Adrian Tymes via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> In this case, one can note that Mary can not possibly acquire "all the
> physical information" even in a lifetime of work.
> That doesn't mean the information isn't there, just that the method
> proposed would obviously fail to provide enough resources to acquire it.
> On Sun, Dec 22, 2019 at 11:52 AM Will Steinberg via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> Existing physics can't explain qualia (as well as many other, actually
>> more tractable problems) but yes Mary the Color Scientist is a bad thought
>> experiment.  As are many thought experiments, because they don't exist in
>> reality.
>> _______________________________________________
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