[ExI] Why stop at glutamate?

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at gmail.com
Fri Apr 14 02:50:56 UTC 2023

On Thu, Apr 13, 2023 at 8:20 PM Jason Resch via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On Thu, Apr 13, 2023, 10:04 PM Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> Hi Jason,
>> On Thu, Apr 13, 2023 at 5:56 PM Jason Resch via extropy-chat <
>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>> On Thu, Apr 13, 2023 at 4:17 PM Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
>>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>>> Hi Gadersd,
>>>> On Thu, Apr 13, 2023 at 2:35 PM Gadersd via extropy-chat <
>>>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>>>> Brent, where is the glutamate quality of electrons, neutrons, and
>>>>> protons? Which electron has the redness quality?
>>>>> Electrons behave the way they do, because they have a quality you have
>>>> never experienced before. (Note:  I'm a pan qualityist. a panpsychist minus
>>>> the pan computational binding ;)
>>>> There exists higher order structure that doesn’t exist in the component
>>>>> parts, hence the phrase “more than the sum of the parts."
>>>> I guess that would be a hypothetical possibility.  I try to
>>>> always point out  that some day, someone will experience redness without
>>>> glutamate, falsifying the prediction that it is glutamate that behaves the
>>>> way it does, because of its redness quality.  Once glutamate is falsified,
>>>> they will try something else, possibly including something that is the sum
>>>> of some configuration of parts, or ANYTHING.  The reason we use glutamate
>>>> is because it is so easily falsifiable.  Falsifiability is what we are
>>>> missing with the qualitative nature of consciousness, and ease of
>>>> falsifiability is the reason we are using glutamate as an easy stand-in for
>>>> whatever redness turns out to be.
>>>> I just wish people with these kinds of "qualities arise from
>>>> <whatever>"  theories would explicitly acknowledge (instead of ignoring),
>>>> what everyone knows absolutely, that color qualities are real, and then
>>>> provide some example of some kind of "function" or some configuration of
>>>> parts, the sum total of which could be pointed to and say: "THAT  is
>>>> redness."  at least in a way that would pass the laugh test?
>>> You ask of functionalism more than you have achieved for your own
>>> theory: you have yet to name what molecule is responsible for redness which
>>> won't be falsified.
>>> The function for redness is a function that is found in the neural
>>> network of a normally sighted person's brain (likely within but perhaps not
>>> limited to the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colour_centre). It is
>>> likely not anything rudimentary like a square root function, it will be a
>>> function able to (at a minimum) discriminate among millions of possible
>>> color values.
>> Not sure what you mean by "won't be falsified", as I have tried to say I
>> fully expect the prediction that it is glutamate that has the
>> redness quality to be falsified.
>> But that something else, will be reliably demonstrated to always have the
>> same  redness quality, and when it does,  just substitute glutamate for
>> whatever that is.
> Yes, that thing, whatever it is, is still undefined/unknown to your
> theory. Why then do you require functionalists to give an answer when your
> theory, at present, doesn't have one?

Oh OK.  Yes.  I agree with this.  I'm just trying to say that physical
stuff has color qualities.  For example, it is intuitive to us to think of
the strawberry as having a red quality, and because of that quality, it
reflects 700 nm light.  I'm saying that is the right way to think about it,
it is just a different set of objectively observable properties, which is
the redness quality.  Whereas, if someone is making the same claim about
some function, then give me any example of any function which would result
in someone having a redness experience, that isn't laphable.

> And are you saying that physical stuff doesn't have color properties?  And
>> that functions do?
> I believe the property of color is a mathematical property, not a physical
> one. Math subsumes all of physics. For any physical property you can think
> of, there is a mathematical object with that property. Functions, like
> mathematics, are sufficiently general that they can define any describable
> relation between any set of mathematical objects. And as I said before,
> properties are nothing other than relations. A function then, is a near
> universal tool to realize any imaginable/definable property: be they
> physical properties, mathematical properties, and yes, even color
> properties.
> If a function can discriminate among millions of possible color values, it
>> would achieve that by representing them with millions of distinguishable
>> physical properties, right?
> It hardly matters what they are, so long as they're distinguishable, and
> related to each other in the same ways colors are to each other.
> i.e. the function would arise from, or be implemented on, the physical
>> properties, you seem to be saying that the physical properties would arise
>> from the function?
> Functional properties exist on a level that's separate from and
> independent of physical properties. Think of the properties or some code
> written in Python. The properties of that function are not physical
> properties. Nor do the properties of that function depend on physical
> properties. So long as you had a python interpreter there, you could run
> that python code in any universe, even ones with an alien physics. Physical
> properties never enter the picture.

OK, yea.  You're talking about logical (non physical) platonic facts, right?
What I'm talking about is, you are doing a neuro substitution, and you get
to that first pixel of subjective knowledge that has a redness property.
Let's even assume it is a particular complex neural pattern (call it P1),
not glutamate, which you can point to, and say: "THAT" is the subjective
redness quality of that pixel.
You seem to be arguing that consciousness would not be substrate dependent
on that P1 quality, and that you could substitute that with glutamate, P29,
or anything else, and it would still result in a redness experience?

How could any platonic, or mathematical fact, produce an experience with a
redness quality, in a way that you could replace it with P1, and the person
would still say it was the same quality as P1, even though it wasn't P1?

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