[ExI] Fwd: Mental Phenomena

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at gmail.com
Fri Jan 31 21:58:11 UTC 2020

On Fri, Jan 31, 2020 at 1:34 PM Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com>

> On Sat, 1 Feb 2020 at 03:51, Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi Stathis,
>> You continue to use the word: "See redness".  The word "see" means using
>> eyes to detect light.  Seeing has a long chain of different physical causal
>> things between the target and the knowledge.  So, to me you are saying
>> something like there is a homunculus inside my brain "seeing" this redness
>> through some chain of different causal events.  Seeing is an
>> objective process, the final result of which is physical knowledge, which
>> is very different than, or only a representation of the target being
>> "seen".  We don't 'see' this knowledge, it is the result of seeing.
> A fair point: I should have used the word perceive or experience rather
> than “see”.

If you only say experience, and especially perceive, many people are going
assume you are talking about something like seeing.  In my opinion, you
need to say it in a way so people won't misunderstand what you are trying
to say.  So I say "Directly experience"

> "changing the shape of the receptor provides a complete causal
>> explanation for saying 'that is red'."  Again, though this is a
>> "complete causal" description, you can't know the quality it is describing.
> No, but you can know that whatever quality depends on this will be
> preserved if this causal relationship and only this causal relationship is
> preserved.
This sounds correct.  The necessary and sufficient set of physics, could
include multiple variants of glutamate, and possibly more....

"Because redness is not necessary to predict what the system will do,"
>> This is the part you erroneously continue to ignore.  What the subjective
>> experience is like is all important.  In a future world we will discover
>> which physics it is that has a redness quality (let's assume it is
>> glutamate) resulting in a dictionary mapping subjective redness to
>> conscious knowledge represented with glutamate.  So the most important
>> behavior is, what does it say when you ask the subject what it's redness is
>> like?  If the subject has this dictionary information, the subject will be
>> able to eff the ineffable nature of his subjective experience and report
>> it's knowledge has a glycine quality, which is what you represent greenness
>> with.  The behavior must include things like reporting on the quality of
>> their subjective knowledge.  No other behavior matters but this.
> But as I have explained numerous times “the physics that has the redness
> quality” is just the physics that allows the system to behave the same way,
> without any localisation to a special substrate.

I'm guessing we'll just need to leave it up to the experimentalist and
future historians.  My prediction is that in the next 10 years, a scientist
will discover which of all our descriptions of stuff in the brain is
describing what we directly experience as redness, and that it will be
substrate dependent. (i.e. nothing but that particular set of physics will
result in redness)  And future historians will look back on this "neural
substitution" argument as an obvious and absurd terrible mistake, that lead
a lot of philosophers and theoreticians in completely the wrong directly,
for what will be obvious reasons, in hindsight.  Had we not suffered this
terrible misdirection, experimentalist could have discovered what it is
that has a redness quality, far sooner.

> "At a higher level of description it is true that the subject reported
>> seeing red due to the redness, but not at the low level where the physical
>> interactions occur."  We must also think of things from a subjective
>> point of view.  Conscious visual knowledge includes thousands of individual
>> pixel elements, each of which has an elemental colorness quality.  So, for
>> each pixel, there must be something you can objectively observe that is
>> that particular subjectively elemental pixel of colorness.  When that one
>> pixel changes from redness to grenness, there will be an objective
>> description of the physics, that is that subjective redness changing to
>> greenness.  Again, you keep eliminating these necessary elemental parts of
>> consciousness from the neural substitution, resulting in all the problems.
> If there is a change of subjective redness to greenness, there must be a
> corresponding physical change. This is a requirement if qualia supervene on
> physical activity. However, this does not mean that the qualia must be
> specific to a certain substrate or a certain physical interaction.

Whatever it is "specific" to,  whatever redness can "supervene" on, must be
considered physics.  Even if some kind of "functionality" results in a
redness experience, this specific functionality must be considered the
specific interface controlling the physics of a redness experience.  I'm
just so looking forward to once people discover what it is that has a
redness quality, and in hindsight, they will see how laughable it is, to
think that some kind of "functionality" can cause us to experience
redness.  If you could provide even one example of such, even that would be
so obviously laughable.  What is it going to be, the square root of 64
results in redness and the square root of 128 results in grenness.  I mean
anything even remotely close to anything like that just seem so completely
absurd and laughable.  My prediction is, future generations will view this
kind of thinking the same way.

Ben Zaibok is saying something very similar, in that redness is a "process"
not a thing.  You guys could go a long way towards converting me to your
camp, if you could provide at least one example of such a 'process' or
'function' (Like I am offering glutamate as an example of a thing) from
which a redness could arize, even if it was easily falsifiable.

To me, all the above that you commented on is more or less fluff, compared
to the binding problem.  Yet you continue to assert that doesn't matter
because: "any function whatsoever of neurons can be substituted leaving
behaviour exactly the same".  To me this is obviously a false claim.  You
can't get anywhere close to reproduce the "function" of a redness
experience, and the "function" of a grenness experience, and the "function"
of these two being computationally bound into a composite qualitative
experience with only that kind of setup of discrete  neurons.  In such a
discrete neural system, as I've repeatedly shown, NOTHING, even magic, can
result in a redness experience, for the same reasons glutamate can't.  You
could easily falsify this claim of mine, by giving even one example (even
if it is magic) which is redness, which could be bound with grenness, to
make a composite qualitative experience.  But of course, if you did, I
could show you how, for the same reason that glutamate can't be redness
(your magic) can't be redness.
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