[ExI] Fwd: Mental Phenomena

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at gmail.com
Wed Jan 22 20:58:40 UTC 2020

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Jan 22, 2020 at 1:55 PM
Subject: Re: [ExI] Mental Phenomena
To: Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com>

Thank you for making a testable hypothetical prediction.

When I got to the end of all this email, I finally realized this is all as
simple as the last 3 sections of this e-mail.
So if you want, you can just skip to those last 3 sections.

This substitution argument is dependent on the initial assumption you are
trying to prove, that qualia are substrate independent.
We can use this falsifiable example you provide to reveal the problems that
result when starting with this assumption.

So now that you have proven that LM740 doesn't have a redness quality, one
at a time, replace this LM740 with every other possible internal difference
(including all of the following: different gates, different matter,
different internal functionality, different networks of gates, some with
silicone, some with neurons....)
You will notice that no matter what you include in all these different
internal physics, we can make the same claim, for the same reason.
That red qualia cannot be a specific property of the LM741 op amp, nor can
it be a property of anything else, including whatever higher up levels
there are, at which point redness finally does emerge.
This is the definition of qualia blindness, Making this assumption that
redness always only arises at some higher level than where you are doing
the substitution, makes it impossible for there to be redness at every
level, by definition.

Therefor, you must rule out the initial assumption that qualia are
substrate independent (always at some higher level, independent of whatever
level you are doing the substitution.) because if you make this assumption,
qualia are not possible at any level.  And we know, more than we know
anything, that we are directly aware of our qualia.  So making the
assumption that we can't be directly aware of qualia, in a substrate
dependent way is just contradictory to what we know qualia to be.

Oh, and there must be a binding system that enables us to experience both
redness and grenness at the same time.
So, replace glutamate with LM740 and assume that redness arises from the
particular configuration of transistors being used in the LM740.
Since the set of configuration of transistors in the LM741 is different,
the different grenness could arise from this different configuration.

You must also be able to bind these two systems together, so you can be
aware of the LM740ness and the LM741ness, at the same time.
Then you can say my 740ness is like your 741ness, both of which we say
implements the substrate independent function we call op amp.

In other words, qualia are physical qualities, on which our knowledge is
represented.  So having a thought experiment for which that isn't possible,
isn't relevant to a consciousness which is implemented on qualia.

You must agree that consciousness is qualia dependent, right?  In other
words, my redness could be like yoru grenness, both of which we call red.
It's just an absurdity to assume, from the get go, that consciousness is
qualia independent as this argument requires.
And that is the reason you get all these so called impossibly hard problems
and contradictions, when you make this assumption about consciousness.

So does that work?, every time you ask "Is the behavior the same?"
I'll just fire back with: "Is consciousness not qualia independent"?

And since qualia must be something, whatever that substrate is, qualia are
dependent on that substrate.

On Tue, Jan 21, 2020 at 2:02 PM Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com>

> On Wed, 22 Jan 2020 at 05:26, Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at gmail.com> wrote:
> >> With your robot example, you are proposing that we consider what qualia
> are, then change the system so that the qualia are inverted or disappear or
> are represented by a different, abstract method. The qualia would change,
> and the behaviour of the system would also change if it had a memory of
> what it was like before.
> >Exactly.  The consensus Representational Qualia Theory says that
> consciousness is computationally bound elemental physical qualities, in the
> brain, like redness and grenness.  You can play all you want with thought
> experiments.  But if they do not include the minimum requirements to not be
> qualia blind thought experiments, you aren't really talking about the
> qualitative nature of consciousness or what it is like.  You are just
> talking about what computers can do and just quine or ignore qualia.
> >>What I am proposing with the neural substitution is that you only
> attempt to reproduce the low level behaviour. So in a robot, if there is a
> LM741 op amp you can replace it with a TL071 op amp, which has a completely
> different internal circuit design but identical pins and similar
> performance.
> >Yes, and all this is completely qualia blind.  You start with the
> assumption that whatever it is that has the redness quality we can directly
> experience can somehow "arise" in a disconnected or separate from reality
> "magic happens here" way.  If you could include anything in your thought
> experiment of things you are substituting that includes redness, and the
> ability to bind this with something physically different like grenness,
> this substitution thought experiment would be something more than absurd
> (i.e. only revealing of your ignorance of how consciousness is
> "computationally bound qualia.")  And also, I predict that no matter what
> you come up with as a prediction of what could be redness (whether
> functional, behavioral, physical, quantum, the right set of logic gates,
> the rite string of ones and zeros... or anything else, even including
> "magic happens here") you will find that this will be impossible, for the
> same reasons you don't think glutamate can be redness.  The way this
> thought experiment is designed qualia simply aren't possible, even
> magically.  It's just not logically possible in any way, without having the
> same problem you have with glutamate being redness.  To say nothing about
> the required neural ponytail binding system which can connect to brains so
> you can verify whether it has changed, or not, after the substitution.
> You don’t think it’s possible the robot’s red qualia could be a property
> specific to the LM741 op amp? Neither do I. Here is why.
> 1. Suppose the red qualia are a specific property of the LM741 op amp, a
> component in the robot’s visual processing system.
> 2. The TL071 op amp has completely different internal circuitry to the
> LM741, but an identical pin configuration, and identical performance in the
> robot.
> 3. Therefore, if you replace the LM741 with TL071, the robot will behave
> the same in every way. You can observe it, test it, talk to it, connect it
> with a neural ponytail to your own brain: there can be no difference.
> 4. The conclusion is that red qualia cannot be a specific property of the
> LM741 op amp.
> --
> Stathis Papaioannou
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