[col]
I aologise in advance for my crap spelling. My fingers don;t type what I think. 
That's the relaity of it! :-) Warning... I am also adopting Lee-style bombast 
because I feel like venting. Don't be too precious about it! :-) 

[Lee]
You're right.  I must be more direct.  Okay, here it is:
Philosophy is too important to be left to the philosophers.
Academically, it has become an almost completely worthless
cult.  (I am *not* exaggerating one bit.)

[Col]
I'm not sure it's a cult, but I am sure that its goals ('asking questions 
only') is kind of a cosy refuge for never actually solving anything. The result 
is always an argument. They think that a useful outcome has ensured. I recently 
attended a local seminar. Here, deep in the bowels of wet neuroscience, a 
philosopher trotted out all the usual stuff re philosophy of science. No 
answers, only questions.... to a profession (scientists) in dire need of self 
analysis....unlikely to inspire them on to greater things..... I love it, but 
the reality of its impotence is frustrating.

[col]
> 'Reality', whatever that process is, must be responsible
> for generating our perception of it. In the same way it 
> generates all other behaviour in the universe.
> By definition: there is nothing left to claim as a causal precursor.

[Lee]
Completely correct, and well said. I have a hunch that for 
the rest of the discussion it would be well to keep in mind
a frog looking at the sky and water. It is a mechanism 
designed by natural selection for the purpose of propagating
its genes (just as we are). Its environment makes certain
impressions on its Central Nervous System (just like it does
on ours).

> I qualify this immediately by saying that the perception
> does not have to 'be' relaity. A good illusion representative 
> and repeatable enough to serve the perceiver will do.

Hmmmmm.  What is "relaity"?  I have not encountered the 
term.  Moreover, I observe that I am making a very
detailed analysis of your long piece. You didn't do 
that for my very short one.

> What does this mean? It means that perception is not
> ONE but TWO sources of evidence for creating models
> of the natural world.
> 
> ONE
> The 'contents' of perception. This is what we use to
> construct empirical models. We then say that the universe
> behaves 'as if' the models were enacted by the universe,
> even though we are not justified in the claim. Our
> behaviour, in behaving as if this were the case, is
> very useful: it can be extremely predictive.
> Description ensues devoid of explanation.
> 
> TWO
> The expression of perception itself, regardless of its
> contents. This is evidence of the workings of the underlying 
> nature of the universe. In that model is 'explanation'.

I suppose so. Ultimately, there is a *lot* of evidence from
various sources about how perceivers (us, or the frog) work
and what they believe about their environment and about
themselves.

But this is getting complicated. My point was really very,
very simple. What problem did you have with it?  Or did
you disagree?

About the frog: we can see how foolish and how limited its
understanding is. Ours may be as well. So let's keep it as
simple as we can.

[Col]
OK. My point is that despite the universe screaming this ONE/TWO thing at 
everybody we continue to confuse things and this confusion is depicted by 'your 
point'....Your depiction of the frog then takes you off into the weeds again. 
I'm only going to blab all this once, so listen up.

The frog likely has an _extremely_ good collection perceptual fields 
(experience, including its visual field). The limited sense it can make of the 
world compared to us is _not_ the point! The key is not the frog's knowledge 
model, but the frog's perceptual model.

The key to what? You ask.

I spoke of utterances. 
Universe utters X
as a result X true but UNPROVEN, but the fact of the utterence is PROVEN simply 
because the utterance has been made, otherwise we wouldn't know that possibly X 
is true.

Now relate this to phenomenal consciousness.
The universe makes an utterance (=perceptual fields)
As a result X = the _contents_ of it (eg some aspect within a visual field) may 
be true. Our knowledge models grind sense out of it.
BUT
Phenomenal consciousness (the mere existence of it) is PROVEN because we have 
come to the conclusion that X is possibley true.

Now look at science.

We do correlations of perceptual artefacts = _contents_ of phenomenal 
consiousness to the point of handing out _Nobel prizes_ for depictions of 
correlated artefacts of our phenomenal fields.

AND THEN

we deny phenomenal consciousness? Declare it unassailable by science? Delude 
ourselves that these descriptions actually contain causal necessity? 

ARE WE NUTS?
This is not rational. They key to _everything_ is not more exquisite 
descriptive models (including the most extravagent quantum mechanical Hilbert 
spaces^^100 ever devised or any thing else), but to get to the causal necessity.

We have phenomenal consciousness, the most obvious, egregious screaming 
evidence of the operation of that causal necessity - the same causal necessity 
that results in the desciption F = MA being found by Newton...

yet....

what do we do?

We delude ourselves into thinking that all our fancy models are somehow 
literally driving the universe? How do we maintain that delusion? By failing to 
take note of the most glaring obvious source of empirical evidence there is!

That is my point. So when you say there is a difference between "Reality vs. 
Perception of Reality" you bet I hear you, but in the end the discussion always 
misses the essential discrimination between the phenomenal presentation of the 
NOW - the source of all our knowledge models - and the post-hoc knowledge 
models we concoct. The latter is a very useful virtual construct derived from 
the only dose of reality we have: the virtual NOW of our perceptual fields. 
It's an illusion, but a real illusion generated by the deep causal necessities 
that we continue to ignore.

Epistemology has to have 2 sides. 
1) current scientific model (= empirical science, rationalist modesl) (from my 
original ONE)
PLUS
2) the missing half (= models inclusive of causal necessity) (from my original 
TWO)

BOTH of these have the same level of empirical support = phenomenal 
consciousness.  Half of science is missing!

Answer this:
"What is it like to be a coffee cup of mass M?"

We can't!

BUT we know that if you accelerate that coffee cup at rate A there will be a 
reaction force MA to overcome. What the hell is pushing back? The stuff of the 
universe that causally necessitates F= MA, not some bloody machine enforcing F 
= MA 'ness on us!

I am extremely frustrated that everyone continually dances tantalisingly around 
this fire and fails time and time again to see it.

I'll say it again: The same causal necessites that make the universe behave as 
if F = MA applies to the coffee cup are also determining _what it is like_ to 
be that coffee cup! The same ones that determine what it is like to be human or 
a frog (=phenomenal consciousness) or anything else.

If anyone here wants to say: you can prove it's like something to be a coffee 
cup without being a coffee cup: BOLLOCKS. You have no imagination. Think again. 
YOU can't _experience_ it (but maybe one day we can, through technology) but 
you sure as hell can say something about it: if you do the right science on 
brain matter _inclusive of causal necessity_. Whay can't you imagine an 
instrument calibrated, holding the experience on our behalf? Who says a human 
has to be the only 'scientific' observer - something with an industrially 
standardise phenomenal consciousness would do fine, yes?

I hasten to add: The descriptive half is not invalid! It's very useful and 
accurate. It's just only 0.5 of the reality and the other half is responsible 
for making the universe appear the way it does in order that we can create the 
descriptions we do. The _explanatory_ half has a whole other set of 
mathematical statistics to it. Equally valid: complementary, not _instead of_.

The two halves are intimately connected in the real evidence of phenomenal 
consciousness. Cutting open a brain, staring at the neurons and sayng "Oh my 
god! I can't see your observing system observations with my observing system, I 
only see cellualr correlates....I can't do science, WOE is me!!" is a lot of 
absolute CRAP.

The apparent invisibility and solipsistic presentation of phenomenality is not 
evidence that phenomenal consciosness does not exist, nor is it evidence that 
we can't be scientific about it. It is crucial evidence! "Hypothesis: We can't 
see observing system observations with our own observing system" is proven!  
Hypothesis: "SOLIPSISTIC presentation of phenomenal consciousness is a 
necessitated by the underlying mechanism of phenomenal consciousness". Now get 
on and work out what sorts of characteristics an observing system must have to 
make that the case!

So: be very careful that when you discriminated between 'reality' and 
'perception of reality'.

For I would posit this entire list, _all_ bar NONE have got it completely 
backwards:

1) Reality is the illusion we call phenomenal consciousness (a real illusion 
created by the causal necessity of universe) and NO this is bot Berkeleyesque 
idealist rubbish.  
2) 'Perception of reality', a misnomer in the terms originally supplied for 
this thread, is actually a descriptive 'virtual' instrumental versimilitude 
only! A model depicting its appearance. The appearance 'appears' to behave 'as 
if' mathematics was driving it. That's all. A frog dervies it's own 'laws of 
the universe' and lives/dies by its derivations. It just doesn't have to 
demonstrate or communicate the exactness of those 'rules' to anyone else except 
by existing! (via DNA).

This is subject matter of a couple of papers I have in for publication. I 
commend the arguments to you. They have real meat and in due course your 
current predilections and preoccupations with the descriptive side of physics 
will simply be absorbed into a more complete model and become merely part of a 
bigger picture.

We are inside the natural world, made of the natural world trying to describe 
the natural world. The deep structure of the universe has been used by the 
natural world to great effect to construct our phenomenal consciousness - a 
macro-scale effect - to present itself to us. Fous on that.

'Everything-list' means everything, right? Well take it from me - you are 
fiddling about with only 50% of everything and no amount of further fiddling 
will ever get you to the other 50%. Take a look at the explanatory side of 
physics, not the descriptive side..... wow... I sound more like Darth Vader! 
Come to the Dark side of the universe.... :-)

Is that enough?

cheers

Colin Hales


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