[ExI] Fwd: Mental Phenomena

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Sat Feb 15 23:25:10 UTC 2020

On Sat, Feb 15, 2020 at 3:23 PM Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

*Hi Dylan,*
> *This is so frustrating.  No matter how I try to say things so they won’t
> be misunderstood, people always map what I’m trying to say, onto their
> model, and it becomes something nothing like what I’m trying to say.*

Dylan asked 2 very good questions, so if you don't want to be misunderstood
then don't ignore them.
1) How can you be so sure your hypothesis is correct when there doesn't
seem to be any more experimental evidence for it than any other theory of
2) If we get to a point where a mouse connectome is fully elucidated and
simulated with enough fidelity in a computer, and the resulting entity
seems to act/react like a mouse, will this give you pause?

Even a good honest "I don't know" would be acceptable, that would certainly
be my answer to a vast number of questions, but silence is not a good

 *> **Representational Qualia Theory
> <https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Representational-Qualia/6> is not a real
> theory.  It is just a set of facts about consciousness that everyone else,
> and all their theories agree on (they are all supporting sub camps to
> RQT). *

I agree it's not a theory because all it says is "*Representational qualia
theory predicts that our conscious knowledge of things is represented by
qualia*",  it says nothing about behavior and thus makes no real
predictions and does nothing but introduce a new synonym for consciousness.

*All RQT is saying, is that we have qualia, and that we should distinguish
> between reality and knowledge of reality *

Yes, the sound of broken glass and the sight of broken glass and the feel
of broken glass is not broken glass, and so in that sense nobody knows what
broken glass is or will ever know, but I don't think that line of thought
will help you much in the study of consciousness, or in the study of
anything else for that matter.

> > * Even Dennett's unique "Predictive Bayesian Coding Theory
> <https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Dennett-s-PBC-Theory/21>" agrees with the
> facts which nobody can deny: we have qualia. *

In discussing consciousness in a serious way great care should be taken
with the use of personal pronouns like "I" and "we". The above should have
been "I can't doubt that I have qualia (aka I'm conscious) and everybody
I've ever heard makes noises with their mouth that sound like "I'm
conscious too".

*> **The current popular consensus, as a result of the substitution
> argument, is what Stathis espouses: "Functionalism
> <https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Qualia-Emerge-from-Function/18>".   *

No doubt one reason it's so popular is that there is a huge amount of
evidence that Darwinian Evolution is largely correct and it is the only one
of your "camp statements" that is compatible with it.

 *> Do you think your continued touting of this functionalism, and what
> Chalmers is doing, and all the rest of you functionalists, is moving the
> understanding of consciousness forwards or backwards?*

As far as consciousness is concerned it does neither, it does what all
consciousness theories do, absolutely precisely nothing. However it can
help us figure out which ideas are worth our time and which aren't worth
the wear and tear on our valuable neurons.

> *> RQT is just describing the experimental method required (not being
> qualia blind) to be able to start falsifying all but THE ONE.*

If it describes what you really want and need, an experimental method that
can distinguish between a process that produces intelligent behavior and
consciousness and a process that just produces intelligent behavior with no
consciousness then I most certainly have NOT seen even the hint of it.

  *The 3 robots that are functionally the same, but qualitatively very
> different
> <https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YnTMoU2LKER78bjVJsGkxMsSwvhpPBJZvp9e2oJX9GA/edit?usp=sharing>
> paper is meant to illustrate exactly the problem with what you are saying
> here. *

One of the 3 robots makes no sense and there is no way to know if the other
2 robots subjective experience is different or not, or even know if they
have a subjective experience at all.

John K Clark
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20200215/819eb005/attachment.htm>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list