[ExI] Mental Phenomena

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Fri Jan 24 18:06:03 UTC 2020

On Fri, Jan 24, 2020 at 9:18 AM Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> Take a case where a person suffered from achromatopsia from birth.  He
> would be undergoing a procedure, whose goal was to cure him.  The first
> thing this person experiences, early in the procedure, is a patch of
> color.  The first time he experienced it he won’t know its name.  He will
> have no memories of such, and every other piece of information that you and
> I could have bound to make compost versions of that color, didn’t exist for
> this person at first.  Just the elemental color, nothing else.  So, since
> the first time he experienced this color it was in isolation, would you say
> this first experience of that color, in isolation, didn’t exist, or are you
> saying it would exist, it just wouldn’t have any meaning, making that
> color, in isolation, nothing but a nonsense experience?

The latter.  It would exist, but would be nonsense until it was repeated.
Eventually a name would be attached, and the experience would retroactively
be given meaning.

Consider if your eye suddenly grew new photoreceptors for ultraviolet, with
no forewarning to you.  At first you wouldn't know what you were seeing.
Eventually you would likely figure it out or be told, and then you would
perceive "ultravioletness" (to adapt from terms you have used).
Technically it would be the same sensation as before, meaning that from the
first you would perceive ultravioletness, but you would not know that it is
ultravioletness until later.  Thus, the very first perception would be both
ultravioletness (as it would be known later) and nonsense (as it would be
known at the moment).
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