[ExI] are qualia communicable? Was Why stop at glutamate?

Jason Resch jasonresch at gmail.com
Fri Apr 14 13:52:48 UTC 2023

On Fri, Apr 14, 2023, 7:53 AM efc--- via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On Thu, 13 Apr 2023, Jason Resch via extropy-chat wrote:
> >
> > Communication is only possible where there exists common ground. We have
> common ground in the quanta/numbers/measurements of the
> > physical world, but we lack common ground between our own internal
> states of mind.
> >
> > Which part is it that you disagree with:
> > 1. That qualia are real
> > 2. That qualia cannot be communicated
> >
> Depending on the definition, I disagree with 2. I agree that we have
> experiences as proven by brain scans when we're exposed to various
> experiences. So if instead of qualia, we'd say experiences, I have no
> quarrel with experiences or states in the brain being real.

The reason I am led to the opinion that qualia are incommunicable is as

Let's say that a certain experience is the result of processing information
in a certain ways. Now assume Alice has a particular vivid experience of
some kind when she is given some input I to her senses. Let us represent
Alice's processing that sensory or conscious input and having her resulting
experience as:


Alice's task of communicating her qualia/experience is to output some O,
which when provided to anyone else who sees it, into the state Alice's is
in in A(I). But let's consider a group of her friends Bob B, Carols C, Dave
D, and Eve E.

If they are given the same input as Alice, each has their own unique

B(I), C(I), D(I), E(I)

None of these is exactly like A(I), since all their brains are slightly

Nor is there any guarantee that some description Alice might provide, of
her experience O, when interpreted by any of her friends will put them into
her state A(I), instead her friends, given her description each enter
different states:

B(O), C(O), D(O), E(O).

And since none of Alice's friends have a brain that is exactly like
Alice's, Alice finds the task of outputting some objective description that
causes other minds to reach her state of A(I), impossible.

Even if Alice outputs her whole brain state, A(I), at best her friends only
interpret it and reach states:

B(A(I)), C(A(I)), D(A((I)), E(A(I))

Do you see a way around this? Can Alice's output something that anyone upon
seeing it will have the same experience as Alice has?

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