[ExI] are qualia communicable?

Ben Zaiboc ben at zaiboc.net
Sun Apr 16 10:52:31 UTC 2023

On 15/04/2023 23:01, Giovanni Santostasi wrote:
> Hi Ben,
> What you are saying is exactly what I would say if I was good with 
> words as you are.
> What strikes me is that is what everybody else that is scientifically 
> trained is saying the same things, even if in slightly different words.
> The explanations are coherent and based on what we know about how 
> reality works. But notwithstanding all this, the other side is 
> repeating more or less the same mantras about the redness of red, the 
> grounding problem, and stuff like that without really adding layers of 
> understanding to the discussion. Not sure if this impasse can be 
> resolved at all.
> Maybe in the future when we know more about brains and minds of all 
> types these misconceptions will disappear as they did with the concept 
> of "life spirit" that people were using to justify why life is magical 
> and a divine creation beyond the understanding of science.
> I'm not sure what is going on with Brent because I think he has 
> supposedly a more scientific motivation but what he says doesn't sound 
> scientific at all. But I know Gordon, for his own admission, thinks 
> there is something beyond science behind consciousness and that 
> science is not adequate to understand it. This is more of a religious 
> position than a scientific one so not sure there is much point in 
> discussing further.
> Giovanni

I think we have a conflict between two general types of world-view, 
faith-based and inquiry-based. The exemplars of these are of course, 
religion and science, but lots of people who wouldn't call themselves 
either religious or scientific still fall into one of these two 
categories. Perhaps everyone does.

I realise this is a generalisation, but then, that's our superpower, 
isn't it? Our ability to generalise and create abstractions is probably 
behind the development of technology, and the advantage we have over all 
the other animals.

I can't help but feel we should be able to learn something from all 
this, though. Quite what, I'm not sure.


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