[ExI] Mental Phenomena

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at gmail.com
Mon Feb 10 03:16:26 UTC 2020

Hi Stathis,

On Thu, Feb 6, 2020 at 2:36 PM Stathis Papaioannou via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On Fri, 7 Feb 2020 at 05:06, Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> Hi Stathis,
>> This is all meaningless slight of hand, misdirecting people away from
>> what is important.  There is no objectively observable "redness behavior"
>> in what you are describing.  There must be some objectively observable
>> redness behavior which cannot be substituted for anything sufficiently
>> objectively observably different, without it changing from redness behavior.
>> What is that objectively observable redness behavior and how could God
>> objectively observe when it changed to grenness behavior?
> We could observe redness behaviour (behaviour associated with red qualia)
> by giving the subject tests, such as asking him to distinguish between red
> objects and objects of a different colour, and by asking him to describe
> what he sees. He will say “I see red objects”. In addition, we could
> observe the neural correlates of this behaviour, by doing an fMRI, by
> observing the effects of brain damage, by taking out the contribution of
> specific receptors with drugs, and so on. We might find a drug that blocks
> a particular receptor subtype and results in spectrum inversion, which we
> will know because the subject says “things that were red now look green”.
> The spectrum inversion may or may not result in changes in the ability to
> sort or correctly identify coloured objects. If we find the neural
> correlates, we can say that they are sufficient for the qualia but we
> cannot say they are necessary, because they could be replaced with a
> different system that performs the same function (ignoring qualia) and the
> qualia must remain the same.

I'm having a hard time seeing all this as anything more than lots of hand
waving, with an embedded "A miracle happens here".

> With all this information, however, we could not, as observers, know with
> certainty that the subject has qualia or that his qualia are similar to our
> own. But this is in principle no different to other skeptical philosophical
> positions, such as solipsism.

One of the things I continually try to point out is that one of the
necessary parts of consciousness is the ability to do "computational
binding".  We have composite qualitative experiences composed of elemental
subjective qualities like redness and greenness.  Half of our visual
knowledge is in one hemisphere, computationally bound to the other half of
the physical information in the other, to make one composite qualitative
diorama that is all of our visual knowledge.  So when everyone repeatedly
says things like: " we could not know with certainty that the subject has
qualia or that his qualia are similar to our own."  Did you just not ready
any of the many times I have said this?  Are you purposefully ignoring it?
Am I not sufficiently communicating this?  Do you think I am mistaken?...
Our left hemisphere knows absolutely, that it isn't the only conscious
hemisphere in existence, because it is computationally bound to the other.
If we achieved a neural ponytail
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0mAKz7eLRc&t=125s>, not only would this
would allow us to directly experience whether someone was red/green
inverted from us, or not, this would, in the same way our left hemisphere
knows it isn't the only conscious hemesfer, it would falsify solipsism and
prove the existence of other conscious minds.  (Or failure to achieve such
could verify solipsism, right?)
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