Colin Geoffrey Hales wrote:
>>Colin Hales wrote:
>>No, I said I didn't understand what you meant - and now I don't think you
>>either.  You have apparently come to the recent realization that science
>>creates models and you never know whether they are really real (and most
>>they aren't) but for some reason you have seized upon qualia as being the
>>problem.  You don't know whether electrons or tables or the Sun is really
>>If science explains qualia - and I think it will - the explanation will be
>>terms of a model in which this or that variable produces this or that
>>qualia -
>>like 700nm photons hitting your retina causes red qualia.  I understand
>>that's not what you want.  So maybe you could give an example of what a
>>in the "science of qualia" might be like.
> No recent realisation. This has been drving me nuts for years. I'm just
> trying to wake everyone up. There is 1 problem with what you say
> above...what you outline is not an explanation at all. It's a description.
> This is only an explanation in a metaphoric or folk-psychological sense
> that assumes that the 'rule' is causal. The rule is not causal.
> ( minor point btw qualia are not generated at the retina. Their generation
> is causally connected to an experienceless event in the retina...).
> An example: dynamic hierarchies of structured fluctuations.

That's a possible theory in the science of qualia??  What does it predict?  You 
criticise me for providing a mere description, not an explanation; yet when I 
ask for an example of what you want I get a noun phrase!?

>>>It's the single biggest problem
>>>there is: we don't have one! Science cannot make any justified,
>>>authoritative prediction as to the phenomenal life of a rock, a
>>>the internet or the plumbing in Beijing or, especially, a scientist.
>>That's because you don't want to use an opertional definition of
>>life" and science can't work on just words defined in terms of other
> This is _not_ just words. Let's do an antroplogical study of you right
> now. Say I am a biologist...normally I study the mating behaviour of
> penguins. But today I am studying the scientific behaviour of humans.
> My research question?
> This 'thing' phenomenality/qualia/phenomenal consciosness, what its its
> relationship to scientific behaviour? I devise an expermient. I put a
> coffee cup in front of you and my experiment is as follows:
> Q1. How much science can you do on this coffee cup?
> A1. ....You give a list.
> Now I ask you to close your eyes.
> Q2. How much science can you do on coffee cups now? More or less.
> A2. Less.
> My research question is answered: "Phenomenal consciousness is a necessary
> causal precursor to scientific behaviour". This is not some glib
> philosophical nuance. This is in_your_face empirical proof. Right there.

I think you've only shown that interacting with photons is useful in science. 
But suppose I agree that phenomenal cosciousness is necessary for scientific 
behavoir (which I might on some defintion of "phenomenal consciousness" and 
"scientific behavoir"); so what?

  >>>Take a
>>>look at Science magazine's July 2005 issue where 125 questions were
>>>that face scientific inquiry over the next quarter century. The top two
>>>1. What is the universe made of?
>>Stuff that kicks back when you kick it.
>>>2. What is the biological basis of consciousness?
> WRONG! There's a whole description missing. 

You just asked for "the biological basis"; not a description, much less a 
complete description.  And above you seemed to reject description too: " There 
is 1 problem with what you say above...what you outline is not an explanation 
all. It's a description."

>The one you use to do science.
> The mind! It is the only thing that told you there is a brain! Without the
> mind (qualia) you wouldn't have any notion of anything whatever.
> I'm sorry. Pehaps read up on the issue. You've managed to miss the entire
> discourse. The guys who wrote the science mag article have...Science
> magazine also thinks your answer is wrong too.. otherwise they wouldn;t
> think it a valid question.

I'm not much chastened by having Science Magazine disagree with me.

Brent Meeker
The sciences do not try to explain, they hardly even try to  interpret, they 
mainly make models. By a model is meant a  mathematical construct which, with 
the addition of certain verbal  interpretations, describes observed phenomena. 
The justification of  such a mathematical construct is solely and precisely 
it is  expected to work.
        --—John von Neumann

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