1Z wrote:
> 
> Brent Meeker wrote:
> 
> 
>>In other words it is not justified, based on our limited understanding of 
>>brains, to say we'll never
>>be able to know how another feels based on observation of their brain.
> 
> 
> 
> We don't know how insects or amoebae feel, either.
> It is not just an issue of complexity.
> We don't knw where to *start* with qualia.

We know where to start when it comes to knowing how other people feel, i.e. we 
empathize.  If we 
knew how our brain worked and how the brain of our friend worked, then we could 
correlate the 
empathized feeling with the brain events.  This doesn't mean we would 
experience our friends 
feeling, but we could produce a mapping between his brain processes and his 
(inferred) feelings.  Of 
course we wouldn't *know* this was right - but scientific knowledge is always 
uncertain, so I don't 
see that as a objection to calling it knowledge.  Then there are homologous 
structures in our 
friends brain to those in a chimpanzee's brain and there are similar behavoirs 
- so I think we could 
extend our map to the feelings of a chimpanzee.  Of course with some really 
alien life form, say an 
octopus, this would be difficult to test empirically - but not, I think, 
impossible.

Brent Meeker



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