[ExI] Mental Phenomena
ben at zaiboc.net
Thu Jan 23 17:00:50 UTC 2020
On 21/01/2020 19:14, Brent Allsop wrote:
> So, Ben, Please. From here on out, whenever I say glutamate, please
> replace that word with a description of whatever physics you most
> likely think is a description of redness
You ask that we substitute whatever we think is responsible for
'elemental redness' for glutamate, but the whole point of my arguments
is that /there is no such thing as 'elemental' qualia at all/. It's a
nonsense concept. You talk of 'the physics' of perception, but the
physics is not the important thing. The informatics is. We know this for
a fact, from countless neurology studies and experiments (many of them
unintentional, the results of accidents). We know that even a slight
change in the wiring of the brain (not a change in its biochemistry,
note. Not a change in materials, but a change in structure) can deprive
someone of the ability to perceive or understand certain things, or add
perceptions they never had before. Changes in their qualia. This can't
be explained if these perceptions are somehow 'elemental', tied to
materials, because it's not that all the GABA, for instance, has been
removed from their brain. It's the /wiring/ that has been changed. The
patterns of information have changed, nothing else.
Qualia are not elemental properties of anything, they are patterns of
If you can't see that, or simply won't contemplate it, there's really no
point talking any further.
You're in the position of someone who, when presented with two brick
buildings, one circular and one square, and told that the circular one
is much better at withstanding battering rams, jumps to the conclusion
that the bricks in the circular building must be stronger, and when told
"no, the bricks are the same in both buildings", refuses to believe it.
After all, the 'elemental strength' must be greater in the round
buildings bricks, mustn't it?
>The problem is, everyone gets lost in the minor details everyone
disagrees on, and focuses on that
Not at all. It's the bigger picture that we are disagreeing on. Not the
precise identity of specific qualia, but the very nature of qualia in
And you still haven't said why you think my 'availability argument' is
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