> Colin Hales wrote:
>> There is no dualism here. The simplest solution is a monism of a
>> structural primitive, say, S(.). The universe is a structure of
>> S(.). One type and one type only. The structure itself is simply and
necessarily a hierarchically organised massive collection of S(.). In this
>> hierarchy the behaviour that generates appearances and that which does
>> are indistinguishable. The whole question changes to one of visibility.
>> Make sense? I'll keep saying this until it sinks in. Somebody other
>> has to see this!
> Yes, it makes a lot of sense, and reminds me of long hours over the
decades struggling to visualise how various 'observer perspectives' would
map in detail to my 1st-person experience (a career in software
engineering also presents many opportunities for meditative waiting!)
'Saving the appearances' was my point of departure, because it seemed to
be mostly ignored in standard theoretical treatments, apparently in
pursuit of some mirage of methodological 'rigour' - myopia, it seemed to
me. Also, all those 'quantum collapse' notions involving 'the observer'
seemed to be blind to the fact that this seemingly
> influential chap was simply a non-isolatable element of the network of
interacting information under 'observation'.
> My question about observing from the perspective of the 'gestalt' (maybe
this isn't the best word) was posed in this spirit. That is, each one of
my list of 'observables' makes sense to me from this perspective, but not
from that of a classical 'nameable' 1st person. QM/MW is just one way to
conceptualise the structural/ behavioural aspects of this, but my starting
point is: given these experiences, 'from what experiential perspective
would the situation look, feel, sound, taste, smell, like this?' And the
answer always seems to be 'from the point of view of the universe,
delimited by these information horizons.' This for me is the fundamental
How about this:
When you have a hierarchical structure of a single posited primitive there
is a fundamental property that is inherent in the structure as a whole.
This is as follows:
>From the perspective of any one instance of S(.) within the structure, no
matter how huge and complex it is, there is a 'perspective' view of any
other point in the structure. That 'view' is the view that is 'as-if' you
walked all the way down to the bottom of the hierarchy to a common
ancestor (parent) S(.) element and then walked all the way up the
structure to the S(.) that you are viewing from wherever you were. This is
a direct causal chain. Connected/organised S(.) literally are
This property is inherent or intrinsic or innate to any structure of S(.),
regardless of the details of S(.). I posit that this 'visibility', or at
least the potential for it, is fundamental to the generation of qualia.
If one S(.) has some sort of proto-experience, then cohorts of S(.) acting
coherently will combine their proto-experiences in the manner of the
collective behaviour of the cohort.
Having arrived at this point we have said nothing about the nature of
"what it is like" i.e. that the visibility thus conferred has any
particular quality to it..light, sound, taste and so on. You can imagine
this is being cohorts of S(.) behaving in different ways for different
Here we have at least the basics of the production of a quale. There are a
raft of other issues before you can locate these things in brain material.
But at least the hierarchical structures have these innate possibilities.
Now consider this:
A) The structure expresses an atom (a subset of collaborating S(.) behaves
atom-ly). The structure is not 'about' an atom. It 'is' an atom.
Contrast this with:
B) The structure expresses a quale. The structure behaves quale-ly. From
the perspective of being the structure that does this behaviour quale-ness
is experienced. In the direction of the quale is perceived a 'perspective
view' of character 'qualeness'. (tough language, this!) This is 'matter'
but has intentionality. It is intrinsically 'about' something elsewhere.
We easily recognise A as being matter.
Q1. What would we recognise as B?
A1. It is not matter in the sense we know it. I'd call it 'virtual
matter'. From the point of view of being the structure behaving quale-ly,
it is acting 'as-if' some other part of the structure interacted with it.
More than that the interaction is transient. The structure has to
repeatedly behave as if interacting with the selected other part of the
structure. This suggests repetitious behaviour of matter will be
associated with the arrival of virtual matter.
So you can see that with simple about the nature of hierarchical
structures we have made some headway as to how qualia may be possible.
Have a think about it, anyway...
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