Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> Bruno Marchal writes:
>>> The cited article a rather emotional criticism of Chalmer's ideas.> > > Ah? 
>>> OK, surely you
>>> know a better resume?
> Perhaps this one:
> Quoting:
>>>> Then Chalmers proceeds to present his own theory of consciousness, that he 
>>>> calls
>>>> "naturalistic dualism" (but might as well have called "naturalistic 
>>>> monism"). It is a
>>>> variant of what is known as "property dualism": there are no two 
>>>> substances (mental and
>>>> physical), there is only one substance, but that substance has two 
>>>> separate sets of
>>>> properties, one physical and one mental. Conscious experience is due to 
>>>> the mental
>>>> properties. The physical sciences have studied only the physical 
>>>> properties. The physical
>>>> sciences study macroscopic properties like "temperature" that are due to 
>>>> microscopic
>>>> properties such as the physical properties of particles. Chalmers 
>>>> advocates a science that
>>>> studies the "protophenomenal properties" of microscopic matter that can 
>>>> yield the
>>>> macroscopic phenomenon of consciousness. His parallel with 
>>>> electromagnetism is powerful.
>>>> Electromagnetism could not be explained by "reducing" electromagnetic 
>>>> phenomena to the
>>>> known properties of matter: it was explained when scientists introduced a 
>>>> whole new set of
>>>> properties (and related laws), the properties of microscopic matter that 
>>>> yield the
>>>> macroscopic phenomenon of electromagnetism. Similarly, consciousness 
>>>> cannot be explained by
>>>> the physical laws of the known properties but requires a new set of 
>>>> "psychophysical" laws
>>>> that deal with "protophenomenal properties". Consciousness supervenes 
>>>> naturally on the
>>>> physical: the "psychophysical" laws will explain this supervenience, they 
>>>> will explain how
>>>> conscious experiences depend on physical processes. Chalmers emphasizes 
>>>> that this applies
>>>> only to consciousness. Cognition is governed by the known laws of the 
>>>> physical sciences.<<<
> A lot of the stuff criticising Chalmer's thesis is quite strident, at least 
> by the usual academic
> standards. It's not quite as severe as the reaction to Roger Penrose's 
> theories on the mind, but
> almost. Many cognitive scientists seem to take anything not clearly 
> straightforward materialism
> as automatically false or even nonsense. I sympathise with them to a degree: 
> I think we should
> push materialism and reductionism as far as we can. But the inescapable fact 
> remains, I could
> know every empirical fact about a conscious system, but still have no idea 
> what it is actually
> like to *be* that system, as it were from the inside.

That's commonly said, but is it really true?  Even without knowing anything 
about another person's 
brain you have a lot ideas about what it is like to be that person.  Suppose 
you really knew a lot 
about an aritificial brain, as in a planetary probe for example, and you also 
knew a lot about your 
own brain and to you could compare responses both at the behavoiral level and 
at the "brain" level. 
  I think you could infer a lot about what it was like to be that probe.  You 
just couldn't directly 
experience its experiences - but that's not suprising.

Brent Meeker

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