[ExI] Fwd: Mental Phenomena

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Wed Jan 22 21:37:57 UTC 2020

On Thu, 23 Jan 2020 at 08:00, Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> ---------- 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.

The point of the exercise is to assume that qualia ARE substrate dependent,
and show the problem that this assumption creates.

So now that you have proven that LM740 [TL071] doesn't have a redness
> quality, one at a time, replace this LM740 [TL071] 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.

Why is this “qualia blindness”? We can clearly say that the op amp is
required for red qualia because if we remove it and leave an empty socket
the red qualia disappear. But many other devices, with different physical
properties, preserve the qualia.

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.

We can find out exactly what parts of the system are required for the
qualia by removing parts and seeing if the qualia are affected.

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 [TL071] and assume that redness arises
> from the particular configuration of transistors being used in the LM740
> [TL071].
> 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 LM740[TL071]ness and the LM741ness, at the same time.
> Then you can say my 740[TL071]ness is like your 741ness, both of which we
> say implements the substrate independent function we call op amp.

That can only be the case if the electrical signals coming out of the two
different op amps affect the rest of the robot differently.

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.

It is the electrical signals that cause the robot to move, not the qualia.
This is an important point. If the different op amps, in addition to the
electrical signals, secreted a substance, “red qualia” or “green qualia”,
that affected the robot’s motors differently, then obviously the functional
substitution would not work. But there is no such substance. Similarly with
glutamate and glycine: the ONLY way they can affect the body is through
their chemical interactions.

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.

I’m not sure of what you are trying to say here. I think of consciousness
as being the set of all qualia that one experiences. How can that be qualia

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.

Why could they not be dependent on a variety of substrates with similar

> --
Stathis Papaioannou
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20200123/adf7699f/attachment.htm>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list