[ExI] Mental Phenomena

Ben Zaiboc ben at zaiboc.net
Fri Jan 31 19:35:00 UTC 2020

Brent Allsop wrote:

 >One of the important fundamentals is that knowledge of reality is 
different than reality. Knowledge of reality is simplified and optimized 
so we can survive more efficiently. It only focuses on and models what 
is important to us.  Qualia blindness is simply having a model of 
reality that does not include qualia. If there is only one word being 
used for all things red, that is qualia blind language.

Ah, so you're just talking about the models of the world we create in 
our heads being a different thing to the 'real' world outside. I suppose 
there must be people who don't think about that, but they will be the 
people who aren't interested in such things. Surely everyone who has any 
interest in how our minds work realises this?

You're saying that it's important to use language that distinguishes 
between 'reality' (the world outside our heads) and our internal models 
of it. OK, fair enough, so I'm not qualia-blind after all, and never 
have been, since I started thinking about such things, a long time ago. 
I probably was before that.

 >All experimentalists, today, only use one word for all things red.  If 
they detect any physical differences in the brains of people percieving 
red, they "correct" for this only thinking of all of it as red.

Well, I can't speak for "all experimentalists, today", but I doubt if 
they fail to understand the difference between the red light entering 
the eye, and the internal representation of whatever red thing is seen, 
including the abstract mental category 'redness'. In fact, I can't see 
how they could fail to. Are you sure you understand /them/? I don't 
really see how anyone who studies the brain can really think of the 
representations of sensory information as being /the same thing/ as the 
external signals that drives them. That would imply they think there is 
red light inside the brain, everytime that brain thinks about red light. 
I'm certain nobody seriously thinks that.

 >And that is the only reason, today, nobody can tell is the colour of 

I don't follow that. What do you mean by "nobody can tell the colour of 

 >And that is the only reason people think there is a hard mind body problem

Personally, I never thought the 'hard problem of consciousness' made any 
sense, if that's what you're referring to. But what has it got to do 
with what you're talking about?

OK, tell you what, never mind.

I've just read your exchanges with Stathis, and you seem to be telling 
him different things to what you're telling me.
Does he understand, as you told me, that all this is a 
thought-experiment in a totally unrealistic, simplified made-up world?
Because, you know, that's important! I thought, all this time, you were 
talking about one aspect of the real world, and when you said it's not, 
it made more sense. A bit more sense.

But it seems clear that you still think there is such a 'thing in 
itself' as redness, even though you seem to accept that redness is a 
representation in the mind of something seen by the eyes. You seem 
incapable of understanding that this representation can be different in 
different minds and at different times, but still have the same meaning 
(e.g. 'redness').

I can experience redness, but there is no such 'thing' as redness.
In other words, redness is an experience, a process, not a thing in its 
own right, independent of the brain that creates it.

I think this is where we differ most. You think that 'redness' is a 
thing that has an existence independent of a mind. Am I right?

Ben Zaiboc

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