>Stathis:  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.

But is this "state of being a billiard ball" any different than simple
existence? What in particular is unusual about first person qualia? We might
simply say that a *description* of a billiard ball is not the same as *a
billiard ball* (a description of a billiard ball can not bruise me like a
real one can); in the same way, a description of a mind is not the same as a
mind; but what is unusual about that? It is not strange to differentiate
between a real object and a description of such, so I don't see that there
is anything any more unusual about first person experience. Is it any
stranger that a blind man can not see, than that a description of a billiard
ball's properties (weight, diameter, colour etc) can not bruise me?

Jonathan Colvin

> 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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