I agree with Lee's and Jonathan's comments, except that I think there is something unusual about first person experience/ qualia/ consciousness in that there is an aspect that cannot be communicated unless you experience it (a blind man cannot know what it is like to see, no matter how much he learns about the process of vision). Let me use the analogy of billiard balls and Newtonian mechanics. Everything that billiard balls do by themselves and with each other can be fully explained by the laws of physics. Moreover, it can all be modelled by a computer program. But in addition, there is the state of being-a-billiard-ball, which is something very strange and cannot be communicated to non-billiard balls, because it makes absolutely no difference to what is observed about them. It is not clear if this aspect of billiard ball "experience" is duplicated by the computer program, precisely because it makes no observable difference: you have to be the simulated billiard ball to know.

Before someone says that billiard balls are not complex enough to have an internal life, I would point out that neither is there any way to deduce a priori that humans have conscious experiences. You have to actually be a human to know this.

You don't need to postulate a special mechanism whereby mind interacts with matter. The laws of physics explain the workings of the brain, and conscious experience is just the strange, irreducible effect of this as seen from the inside.

--Stathis Papaioannou

> >Lee corbin wrote: Pratt's disdain follows from the obvious failures of
> other models.
> > It does not take a logician or mathematician or philosopher of
> > unbelievable IQ to see that the models of monism that have
> been advanced have a fatal flaw:
> > the inability to prove the necessity of epiphenomena. Maybe Bruno's
> > theory will solve this, I hold out hope that it does; but
> meanwhile,
> > why can't we consider and debate alternatives that offer a view
> > ranging explanations and unifying threads, such as Pratt's
> Chu space idea?
>
> I just have to say that I have utterly no sense that anything
> here needs explanation.

I have to agree. Perhaps it is because I'm a Denett devotee, brainwashed
into a full denial of qualia/dualism, but I've yet to see any coherent
argument as to what there is anything about consciousness that needs
explaining. The only importance I see for consciousness is its role in
self-selection per Bostrom.

Jonathan Colvin


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