[ExI] Mental Phenomena

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at gmail.com
Fri Jan 31 21:11:23 UTC 2020

Hi Ben,

On Fri, Jan 31, 2020 at 12:36 PM Ben Zaiboc via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> 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.

Right, much of our problems are just communication issues, I think.

>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.

I challenge you to find (I've been searching for some time) any peer
reviewed journal article on perception, which uses more than one word for
all things "red".  I haven't managed to find one, yet.

>And that is the only reason, today, nobody can tell is the colour of
> anything.
> I don't follow that. What do you mean by "nobody can tell the colour of
> anything"?

When we look out at the world, we see a very colorful world.  But as we've
been talking about, none of those colors are properties of the world out
there.  And my redness could be like your greeness, so whos red?  Those
colors are a property of something, maybe some kind of process as you say,
in our brain.  But nobody can tell us which of all our descriptions of
stuff in the brain, is a description of redness.  As it indicates in both
of the images in "Representational Qualia Theory
everything out side of the head is in black and white.  This is because all
objective information is abstract, devoid of any color information.  The
only thing of any color, is the color of our knowledge of the world.

>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').

Redness must be a quality of some set of physics.  We think it is a quality
of the strawberry, but it's not.  It's a quality of our knowledge of the
strawberry.  Of all our objective descriptions of stuff in the brain, one
of those is a description of redness.

> I can experience redness, but there is no such 'thing' as redness.

I would disagree with this. There must be something physical (even if some
kind of process) which is what we directly experience as a single pixel of
redness.  And all of our pixels of colorness must be able to be
computationally bound together into a composite qualitative experience of a
strawberry, and such.  Certainly you would agree that you could objectively
observe, and fully describe, whatever this "process" is, and be able to
objectively describe a change to this process, which we experienced as

In other words, redness is an experience, a process, not a thing in its own
> right, independent of the brain that creates it.

This sounds like the popular consensus, that redness "arises" from some
process.  The problem is, I bet you can't give any actual objective
falsifiable description of what kind of process would have a redness qulia,
for a single pixel, and how this process, for this single pixel would
change, when it changed to greenness.

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?

Objective descriptions of stuff in the brain provide no information about
the color they are describing.  Al I"m saying is one of those descriptions,
even if it is some kind of process, that is what we directly experience as
redness.  If you could provide a description of a kind of process, from
which a redness quality would arize, I'd be happy to substitute that for
'glutamate' as an easily falsifiable candidate for what we directly
experience as redness.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20200131/8d19c299/attachment.htm>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list