[ExI] Qualia are not in the matrix (was Re: The Matrix: Resurrections trailer)

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Sun Sep 12 03:48:20 UTC 2021

On Sun, 12 Sept 2021 at 13:37, Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On Sat, Sep 11, 2021 at 7:23 PM Stathis Papaioannou via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> Can you explain how it would be less "magic" if qualia arose from a
>> substance than from a function?
> Of course, what you say is equally problematic in both cases, but only IF
> you accept the "arose" assumption to start with.  That is the assumption
> causing all these contradictory 'hard problems".  All these
> contradiction and so called 'hard problems' are proving absolutely, that
> there is a problem with your assumptions.  Once you lose that assumption,
> all the contradictions and problems go away.  Everything becomes
> simple every day demonstrable intrinsic physical qualities of stuff.
> It is not magic, to think of a strawberry as being intrinsically red.  The
> intrinsic colors of things is just every day demonstrable elementary school
> physics, not magic.  It is those intrinsic qualities of physics which
> represent the 1s and 0s you so love.  But only if you have a dictionary to
> tell you which intrinsic qualities represent a 1.  We just need to realize,
> that our description of the behavior of something the reflects red light,
> tells us nothing of what the behavior is qualitatively like.  It is our
> description of glutamate, reacting in a synapse, that is the description of
> an intrinsic redness quality we can directly apprehend representing our
> knowledge of red things with that intrinsic quality.

But the hard problem is not solved by saying "glutamate has a redness
quality", since one can always ask WHY glutamate has a redness quality
rather than a greenness quality, or no quality at all.

> Also, I haven't understood how you would falsify the idea that qualia are
>> specific to a substance.
> I've tried many times to explain this.  But you must keep mapping my
> explanations, into your qualia blind world, and into your 'arises'
> assumptions, making it impossible for you to understand the trivially
> simple stuff  I'm trying to describe.
> We are predicting that it is glutamate, and only glutamate, which has the
> intrinsic redness quality.  We predict that nobody, especially
> functionalists, will ever be able to produce a redness experience, without
> that glutamate, and that absolutely every time someone directly apprehends
> glutamate, that behavior will always only ever have that same redness
> quality behavior.  Never failing, never falsifiable, never changing.  (oh,
> and if you don't like glutamate, pick another description of something in
> the brain, because it's got to be one of our descriptions of all that
> different stuff in the brain.)  That is not magic, intrinsic colors of
> physical stuff is just every day demonstrable elementary school physics.
> Once you lose the 'rises' assumption, all the hard problems disappear, and
> everything becomes everyday commonly demonstrable intrinsic physical
> qualities anyone and everyone can directly apprehend with a neural ponytail
> that can do computational binding (something impossible in your world of
> only discrete logic, as proven by the neural substitution).
> If we replaced a part of a person's brain with a functionally equivalent
>> component they would (by definition) say that they were experiencing
>> exactly the same qualia, and then what would you conclude?
> That is exactly what I meant by my claim is falsifiable.  IF someone is
> able to produce redness, from any function, that will obviously falsify my
> claim.  I will jump to the functionalist camp in that case.
> In fact, I'll even jump to the functionalist camp, IF you can give me an
> equally believable "function" that you would predict has a redness quality,
> which I could falsify, similar to my prediction that it is glutamate that
> has an intrinsic redness quality is falsifiable.  For example saying it is
> the Square Root function, just doesn't even pass the laugh test.  That is
> my point, there is no function, from which a redness quality can arise,
> it's just absurd, proving, to me at least, that someplace, you are making
> incorrect assumptions.
> Intrinsic qualities, like redness and greenness, are simply physical
> qualities of something in our brain.  That is just elementary school all
> day every day demonstrable physical reality, not magic.

Well, then you are a functionalist! Praise be! The functionalist position
is just the above: that IF we replaced part of a person's brain and they
said they were experiencing exactly the same qualia (and whatever other
test you want to throw at them), then they would be experiencing exactly
the same qualia. There is no assumption that this is possible, just that IF
it were possible, the only reasonable conclusion would be that the qualia
have in fact been reproduced.

Stathis Papaioannou
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