[ExI] consciousness and perception

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at comcast.net
Wed Jan 28 12:17:34 UTC 2009

Gordon, John, and everyone,

Yes, language, or its current inability to describe what we are talking 
about is the biggest problem.  We believe that is another important 
reason for canonization of such, or surveying what language works best 
for the most people.  We can't comunicate untill we agree on what our 
words mean, and we have non ambiguous terminology capable of describing 
what we must talk about.

So how about we back up a bit and start with the very obvious basics?  
Once that is clear, perhaps we can move on from there?

Consider looking at a strawberry patch of green leaves and red 
strawberries.  Everyone must agree that the perception process of this 
red vs green could be inverted in many different ways at any location in 
the chain of events that is the perception process.  You could use a TV 
camera / monitor system to invert the red/green.  You could kind of use 
colored glasses to invert the red/green.  Or you could theoretically add 
a neural inverting system spliced into the optic nerve.

Regardless of where the signal was inverted, our knowledge and ability 
to be aware of, to behave intelligently about, and pick the 
strawberries, and so on, would not change.  But, in one case, the 
strawberries would be red, and in the inverted case the strawberries 
would be green.  And of course, the nature of the strawberry itself, and 
the way it causally reflects 700 nm light will not have changed at all.

That much is quite simple, obvious and easy to understand right?  
Everyone must accept this simple fact as absolutely true?

Brent Allsop

Gordon Swobe wrote:
> --- On Tue, 1/27/09, John K Clark <jonkc at bellsouth.net> wrote:
>> Bullshit, Of course we do!...according to [Brent] that 
>> subjective salty taste comes from a molecule of sodium 
>> chloride not from my mind. According to [Brent] the molecule 
>> is shouting TASTE SALTY, TASTE SALTY.
>> A more idiotic idea is hard to imagine.
> Aside from the idea that molecules literally "shout" (of course they don't shout), the theory you attribute to Brent did not seem idiotic to the philosopher John Locke.
> I went 'round and 'round with Brent on this subject here a couple of years ago. It seemed to me that Brent had rediscovered Locke's theory. Brent did not agree, but I've yet to find a better explanation for whatever Brent has in mind. 
> On Locke's view there exist two kinds of properties of objects: primary and secondary. Primary properties of objects include solidity, extension, figure, motion and rest, and number. Secondary properties of objects include color, temperature, smell, taste and sound.
> It seemed to me that Brent's idea of "phenomenal qualities of objects" must   in some way correspond to Locke's idea of "secondary properties of objects". 
> Brent said no, that his idea of "phenomenal properties" does not correspond to Locke's idea of "secondary properties". 
> Shortly thereafter I dropped the subject with him.
> To Brent: 
> It seems obvious to me that you feel very excited about your theories concerning these so-called "phenomenal properties". I have no doubt that you have a clear idea in your mind of whatever want to say. I feel sorry that I, and others it seems, do not understand the language you use to convey your ideas.
> -gts
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