[ExI] consciousness and perception

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at comcast.net
Sun Jan 25 18:40:46 UTC 2009

Damien Broderick wrote:
> If the apple entirely lacked "phenomenal qualities" I wouldn't be able 
> to see it at all (or something).

John K Clark wrote:
> Let's see, when an atom of chlorine is with a sodium atom it has the
> phenomenal quality of being salty, but when it is alone it has the
> phenomenal qualities of stinky and pain. An atom of carbon in a 
> diamond has
> the phenomenal quality of hardness, but when it is in graphite it 
> changes to
> softness.
No, you guys obviously aren't fully understanding this theory yet.

This theory predicts that the apple, the sodium chloride, or anything 
like that has no phenomenal qualities that we know of.  They only have 
cause and effect behavioral properties.

The only thing we find  out about the strawberry from looking at it, is 
the fact that it reflects 700 nm light (a causal behavioral property).  
This is nothing like a fundamental phenomenal property.  If the surface 
of a strawbery, or sodium choloride do have phenomenal properties, we 
can't know such through an abstracting cause and effect observation.  
All we can know about them is how they behave causally, not what they 
are fundamentally and phenomenally like.  Our brain represents them with 
something that has these fundamental phenomenal qualities like red and 
the taste of salt.  Some people likely represent sodium chloride very 
differently than the norm, just as you'll represent the strawberry with 
green if you  have a red/green inverter some where in the perception 

Phenomenal red, is a property of something, our conscious knowledge, in 
our head that evolution has used to represent the fact that the 
strawberry behaves in such a way that it reflects 700 nm light.

That is why in the image used in the camp statement here:


the external world is represented with black and white stick figures.  
There are no phenomenal qualities, that we are aware of, outside of our 
brain.  The fact that phenomenal qualities exist in our brain 
scientifically proves something in nature has them, but the  nature our 
abstracting blind to phenomenal qualities senses detect may or may not 
have them - we just don't know till we discover what they are (or more 
accurately, what has them), and how to eff them.

Also it seems you guys don't yet fully understand the purpose of finding 
as much agreement or scientific consensus as possible in canonized POV 

John K Clark wrote:
> "Brent Allsop" <brent.allsop at comcast.net>
>> we do agree that perception is representational
> I certainly agree with that, but apparently you don't.
This camp here is for all representationalists:


Various competing theories about what qualia are, and so on, within 
representationalism, are represented in the supporting sub camps.  For 
example, currently the most scientific consensus is for this camp, 
argued by David Chalmers, and is about phenomenal properties arising 
from any functionally equivalent computational substrate:


The 'nature has phenomenal properties' camp is a very different 
competing representational sub theory:


that says rather than qualia rising from any functionally equivalent 
substrate, something in nature simply has them.  Obviously this theory 
has far less scientific consensus than the camp shared by Chalmers and 
Steve Lehar.

So, if you guys claim to be representationalists, then is there anything 
in this camp that you disagree with?:


If so, then we should get that info moved into a suporting sub camp so 
the representational camp can be inclusive of your representationalism.  
How do we do that?  Only you guys can tell us this, if we are to make 
this survey concisely and quantitatively include what it is you guys 

What is it, you guys do believe?  Do you guys really know?  I sure have 
a hard time figuring it out.  Are you representationalists or not?  If 
you do know, shouldn't you be able to concisely and definitively state such?

Brent Allsop

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