[ExI] Symbol Grounding

Jason Resch jasonresch at gmail.com
Mon Apr 24 21:05:58 UTC 2023

On Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 4:11 PM Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> Hi Jason,
> On Mon, Apr 24, 2023 at 12:37 PM Jason Resch via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> "To summarize: We have established that if absent qualia are possible,
>> then fading qualia are possible; if inverted qualia are possible, then
>> dancing qualia are possible; and if absent qualia are possible, then
>> dancing qualia are possible. But it is impossible that fading qualia are
>> possible, and it is extremely implausible that dancing qualia are possible.
>> It is therefore extremely implausible that absent qualia and inverted
>> qualia are possible. It follows that we have good reason to believe that
>> the principle of organizational invariance is true, and that functional
>> organization fully determines conscious experience."
>> -- David Chalmers in "The Conscious Mind" (1996)
> I thought I already pointed out that in order to establish any of this,
> the substitution must succeed.

Right, and I said that in my email.

  But we are predicting that, when they get to the first one or more
> neurons, which is responsible for the first pixel of redness subjective
> experience, one will not be able to substitute anything different than
> redness, and get the subjective to experience redness, for that pixel.  I
> know functionalists think this is logically impossible, since the output of
> the neuron being replaced, will be the same.  But there are logical
> problems with this assumption that neurons only work like small discrete
> logic gates, and the way the neuro substitution sleight of hand (directing
> people away form what matters), is done.

> But before we head down that rabbit hole, let me ask you this, to be we
> are at least on the same page at this level.  Would you agree that
> consciousness is dependent on the quality of redness and greenness.

I don't know what you mean by this.

But I would say if you change the subjective quality of an experience of
say green then you would necessarily also alter that subject's conscious

  And that if you inverted redness and greenness (and all the associated
> dictionaries and memories of the same), it could still function the same,

To an extent. You could change memories, word associations and qualia, you
could end up with someone that uses the word red to refer to a different
color experience.

as in say the strawberry is red, but it would answer the question: "What is
> redness like for you." differently.

I don't see why they would answer this question differently if everything
got inverted, including all emotional associations. If you changed only the
word, but left the emotional associations as they were, then you could
perhaps get different descriptions.

  In other words, would you agree that phenomenal consciousness is
> substrate dependent on the particular qualities, on which the composite
> experience is composed?

For me substrate refers to the low level foundation on which higher level
abstractions are built. To me qualities of phenomenal consciousness are
such high level abstractions. Therefore I cannot make sense of the above

I would say that one could understand a complete state of consciousness as
the composition of various subsets of knowledge states (some of these
knowledge states representing positions in a qualia space).

See figure 13.2 on page 164 of "A universe of consciousness" for an idea of
what I mean:


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