A debate on qualia

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MODAX 2. Conciseness isn't "generated" by cells. Cells are conscious living individual beings.


I'm going to shoot this with the 'Homunculus argument' fallacy.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homunculus#Homunculus_argument
I think you -might- be using it here, but I could be misunderstanding what you mean.

Is there a miniature mind/brain within a cell? if so then is there an even smaller observer inside that, an infinite layer of observers?
At what point do you make a logical stand, and explain how matter has any link to experience/qualia?
When I provide a rebuttal I want it to be found on well reasoned argument and not just on a hunch.

I recommend you brush up on your material too, I will leave no stone unturned. This weekend I'll be able to post a through first salvo.


I will practice my marksmanship, oil my pistols, hire several thugs from the local village and give them instructions to finish you off, if you win sir.
Best of luck to you =)

"In his book Sensing the World,[28] Moreland Perkins argues that qualia need not be identified with their objective sources: a smell, for instance, bears no direct resemblance to the molecular shape that gives rise to it, nor is a toothache actually in the tooth. He is also like Hobbes in being able to view the process of sensing as being something complete in itself; as he puts it, it is not like "kicking a football" where an external object is required—it is more like "kicking a kick," an explanation which entirely avoids the familiar Homunculus Objection, as adhered to, for example, by Gilbert Ryle. Ryle was quite unable even to entertain this possibility, protesting that "in effect it explained the having of sensations as the not having of sensations."[29] However, A.J. Ayer in a rejoinder correctly identified this objection as "very weak" as it betrayed an inability to detach the notion of eyes, indeed any sensory organ, from the neural sensory experience."

This person seems to understand the important aspects of Qualia.
A distinction between signals sent to the brain, and the -experience- of those signals being processed.

"Drescher responds to the Mary thought experiment by noting that "knowing about red-related cognitive structures and the dispositions they engender — even if that knowledge were implausibly detailed and exhaustive — would not necessarily give someone who lacks prior color-experience the slightest clue whether the card now being shown is of the color called red." This does not, however, imply that our experience of red is non-mechanical; "on the contrary, gensyms are a routine feature of computer-programming languages."

If our experience of red was purely mechanical, I argue that it wouldn't be an experience at all. The difference between the experience of playing a computer game from the perspective of a human, and the perspective of the computer running the software. Both are processing similar information, but only one of them is likely to be -experiencing- it, and feeling. "how does it feel when I press ctrl+alt+del? computer?" if our experience was mechanical in origin, I think there's an explanatory gap between a complex machine existing, and that machine having an experience (able to appreciate the difference between suffering and pleasure).

"Michael Tye is perhaps the most outstanding example of those who hold to our directly confronting the objects of perception. In Tye's opinion, there are no qualia, no "veils of perception" between us and the referents of our thought. He describes our experience of an object in the world as "transparent." By this he means that no matter what private understandings and/or misunderstandings we may have of some public entity, it is still there before us in reality. The idea that qualia intervene between ourselves and their origins he regards as "a massive error"; as he says, "it is just not credible that visual experiences are systematically misleading in this way";[17]:p.46 "the only objects of which you are aware are the external ones making up the scene before your eyes";[17]:p.47 there are "no such things as the qualities of experiences" for "they are qualities of external surfaces (and volumes and films) if they are qualities of anything."

This person is is mistaking the map for the territory, fabric does not 'feel soft' without someone experiencing it, by touching and then having the information travel from the skin to the brain...*an unexplained event occurs* and I experience the sensation of 'soft' rather than processing the information as a computer/strong-AI might.
I think his viewpoint is irrelevant to our discussion, it doesn't matter if Qualia/Experience matches reality, when trying to solve the 'hard problem of consciousness'. The fact that experience exists is the issue, not how accurate our perception of reality is.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_problem_of_consciousness

"The veteran artificial intelligence researcher Marvin Minsky thinks the problems posed by qualia are essentially issues of complexity, or rather of mistaking complexity for simplicity.

Now, a philosophical dualist might then complain: "You've described how hurting affects your mind — but you still can't express how hurting feels." This, I maintain, is a huge mistake — that attempt to reify 'feeling' as an independent entity, with an essence that's indescribable. As I see it, feelings are not strange alien things. It is precisely those cognitive changes themselves that constitute what 'hurting' is — and this also includes all those clumsy attempts to represent and summarize those changes. The big mistake comes from looking for some single, simple, 'essence' of hurting, rather than recognizing that this is the word we use for complex rearrangement of our disposition of resources."

The existence of the sensation, or experience of it is what matters.
Knowing what conditions led to experience does not explain how it happens, correlation not being an adequate explanation.

His argument doesn't address the idea of the 'Philosophical Zombie' (an intelligent human that's indistinguishable in every way from one who experiences, except for them having no 'experience' of stimuli, vision, hearing etc they process information like a machine, and react to it as we do.), which unless disproved as a possibility, makes any scientific knowledge of the brain potentially irrelevant for understanding the exact cause of Experience/Qualia.


The hard problem of consciousness
is the problem of explaining how and why we have qualitative phenomenal experiences.[1] David Chalmers[2] contrasts this with the "easy problems" of explaining the ability to discriminate, integrate information, report mental states, focus attention, etc. Easy problems are easy because all that is required for their solution is to specify a mechanism that can perform the function. That is, their proposed solutions, regardless of how complex or poorly understood they may be, can be entirely consistent with the modern materialistic conception of natural phenomena. Chalmers claims that the problem of experience is distinct from this set, and he argues that the problem of experience will "persist even when the performance of all the relevant functions is explained".


Various formulations of the "hard problem":

"Why should physical processing give rise to any inner life at all?"
"How is it that some organisms are subjects of experience?"
"Why does awareness of sensory information exist at all?"
"Why do qualia exist?"
"Why is there a subjective component to experience?"
"Why aren't we philosophical zombies?"

Chalmers stated the problem as "why does the feeling which accompanies awareness of sensory information exist at all?" in both The Conscious Mind (1996) and in the paper "Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness" (The Journal of Consciousness Studies, 1995).

James Trefil notes that "it is the only major question in the sciences that we don't even know how to ask."
Gottfried Leibniz wrote:

Moreover, it must be confessed that perception and that which depends upon it are inexplicable on mechanical grounds, that is to say, by means of figures and motions. And supposing there were a machine, so constructed as to think, feel, and have perception, it might be conceived as increased in size, while keeping the same proportions, so that one might go into it as into a mill. That being so, we should, on examining its interior, find only parts which work one upon another, and never anything by which to explain a perception.


Some philosophers, including David Chalmers, argue that consciousness is a fundamental constituent of the universe...

It is undeniable that some organisms are subjects of experience. But the question of how it is that these systems are subjects of experience is perplexing. Why is it that when our cognitive systems engage in visual and auditory information-processing, we have visual or auditory experience: the quality of deep blue, the sensation of middle C?... It is widely agreed that experience arises from a physical basis, but we have no good explanation of why and how it so arises. Why should physical processing give rise to a rich inner life at all?[11]

Chalmers argues that a ‘rich inner life’ is not logically reducible to the functional properties of physical processes. He states that consciousness must be described using nonphysical means. This description involves a fundamental ingredient capable of clarifying phenomena that have not been explained using physical means. Use of this fundamental property, Chalmers argues, is necessary to explain certain functions of the world, much like other fundamental features, such as mass and time, explain significant principles in nature.

Thomas Nagel has posited that we can, in principle, never have an objective account of consciousness.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_consciousness
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Explanatory_gap
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_other_minds
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentience
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eliminative_materialism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consciousness#Is_consciousness_a_valid_concept.3F
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homunculus#Homunculus_argument

I've expanded to my natural, going to scout your base (when you reply) to see what you're making, then I'll know what to respond to.
Edited by TheCulture on 3/29/2012 10:04 PM PDT
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Holy wall of text :)

One thing at a time there, skippy ;_)

Interesting reads !

I do see I will be needing to clarifying some of my assertions :/

I still think I'm right though...
Edited by MODAX on 3/30/2012 4:37 AM PDT
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I still think I'm right though...


demonstrated wrong
still thinks right
dogma.
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03/30/2012 04:46 PMPosted by Ponera
dogma.

ah Dogma, interesting film.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BEZaPN8gUY

Holy wall of text :)

One thing at a time there, skippy ;_)

Interesting reads !

I do see I will be needing to clarifying some of my assertions :/

I still think I'm right though...


I don't mind you thinking you're right, belief is like a bullet proof vest.
There's technically no such thing as bulletproof, and I will keep on increasing the caliber of my argument, until it pierces the Kevlar of your defense. Then we will have rugged jam&cream scones, with manly tea.

I will crush you under my walls of text! archaeologists will find the remains of your argument, and display it in a museum :D

Take your time preparing a counter argument, macroing up a big army, get those upgrades. I want an awesome battle.
Edited by TheCulture on 3/31/2012 4:20 AM PDT
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Take your time preparing a counter argument, macroing up a big army, get those upgrades. I want an awesome battle.


He's already lost, he just can't see it. It's like the terran bms that fly their OC's to the corners of the map, trying to make something happen against a maxed out late game protoss army.
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watched dogma, didn't like it, silent bob ". . ."

03/31/2012 12:31 PMPosted by Ponera
He's already lost, he just can't see it. It's like the terran bms that fly their OC's to the corners of the map, trying to make something happen against a maxed out late game protoss army.

its more like he paused the game, and hasn't come back yet. Its only BM if he doesn't come back.
Edited by Necromaster on 4/2/2012 9:27 AM PDT
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Sigh....

IRL + debates = do not mix :(

I have been swamped. No sleep for me T_T
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"sleep when your dead", that's one of my mottos. "Never say Die" ties that motto into my more important over arching motto "never give up, never back down, never surrender". When life gives you lemons . . . BURN LIFE'S HOUSE DOWN, WITH THE LEMONS.
Edited by Necromaster on 4/2/2012 11:30 PM PDT
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Disagree. If I don't get enough sleep I am pretty much a zombie. I have no ability to live life to any meaningful extent without adequate sleep. So, I say, "sleep when you're sleepy!".
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I don't know what timezone your in but for me its 4 am and if you posted 2 hours ago you posted at 2 am (assuming same time zone). If we live in the same timezone than i think you have proven me correct.
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*builds one voidray to check map corners* j/k


IRL + debates = do not mix :(


IRL? in real life? Innovative raccoon lawyer? :)

Take all the time you need, that's one great thing about forums.
I'll check back every 3-7 days. A good place to start is from the beginning, a time before you'd formed the belief/s and how you arrived at them, a specific event/thought or something gradual?
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Innovative raccoon lawyer?


I'm taking that one lol!Man it feels good to be back to the land of the living.

These work crush times are killer :(

Ahhh so where did we leave off,... a yes...
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04/09/2012 01:04 PMPosted by MODAX
I'm taking that one lol!Man it feels good to be back to the land of the living.


=)
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Checking in, how's the army coming? get them upgrades :)
I'm all mined out, just twiddling my thumbs here.
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