Colin Geoffrey Hales wrote:
>> Colin Hales writes:
>>> So, I have my zombie scientist and my human scientist and
>>> I ask them to do science on exquisite novelty. What happens?
>>> The novelty is invisible to the zombie, who has the internal
>>> life of a dreamless sleep. The reason it is invisible is
>>> because there is no phenomenal consciousness. The zombie
>>> has only sensory data to use to do science. There are an
>>> infinite number of ways that same sensory data could arrive
>>> from an infinity of external natural world situtations.
>>> The sensory data is ambiguous - it's all the same - action
>>> potential pulse trains traveling from sensors to brain.
> Stathis:
>> All I have to work on is sensory data also.
> No you don't! You have an entire separate set of perceptual/experiential
> fields constructed from sensory feeds. The fact of this is proven - think
> of hallucination. When the senory data gets overidden by the internal
> imagery (schizophrenia). Sensing is NOT our perceptions. It is these
> latter phenomenal fields that you consciously work from as a scientist.
> Not the sensory feeds. This seems to be a recurring misunderstanding or
> something people seem to be struggling with. It feels like its coming from
> your senses but it's all generated inside your head.
>> I can't be certain that there is a "real world" out there, and
>> even if there is, all I can possibly do is create a virtual
>> reality in my head which correlates with the patterns of sense
>> data I receive.
> Yes - the "virtual reality" is the collection of phenomenal scenes
> mentioned above .... is what you use to learn from, not the sense data.
> Put more accurately - you learn things that are consistent with the
> phenomenal scenes. There is a tendency in some circles to think of
> consciousness as an epiphenomenal irrelevance, devoid of causal
> efficacy... I would disagree in that it's causal efficacy is in CHANGE of
> belief (learning), not the holding of static belief. Scientific behaviour
> is all about changing belief.
> reality of the external world? It doesn't matter what you believe about
> the existence or otherwise of 'reality'. Whatever "it" is, we have an
> a-priori tool for perceiving it that is a phenomenon. i.e. Phenomenality
> is a real world phenomenon just as real as a rock. Leave the reality
> discussion to the campfire.
> Whatever 'reality' is, it is regular/persistent/repeatable/stable enough
> to do science on it via our phenomenality and come up with laws that seem
> to characterise how it will appear to us in our phenomenality.
>> Certainly, it is ambiguous, and that is why we have science: we
>> come up with a model or hypothesis consistent with the sense data,
>> then we look for more sense data to test it.
> You describe scientific behaviour...yes, but the verification is not
> through sense data but through phenomenal fields. The phenomenal fields
> are NOT the sense data. Phenomenal fields can be ambiguous, yes.
> Scientific procedure deals with that.
> ..but..
> The sense data is separate and exquisitely ambiguous and we do not look
> for sense data to verify scientific observations! We look for
> perceptual/phenomenal data. Experiences. Maybe this is yet another
> terminological issue. Sensing is not perception.
>> Any machine which looks for regularities in sensory feeds
>> does the same thing. Are you saying that such a machine could
>> not find the regularities or that if it did find the
>> regularities it would thereby be conscious?
>> Stathis Papaioannou
> I am saying the machine can find regularity in the sensory feeds - easily.
> That is does so does not mean it is conscious. It does not mean it has
> access to the external matural world.
> ..and that is not what WE do....we find regularity in the perceptual fields.
> Looking for regularity in sensory data is totally different process fro
> looking for regularity in a perceptual field. Multiple sensory feeds can
> lead to the same perceptual field. Multiple perceptual fields can arise
> out of the same sensory feeds. No matter how weird it sounds our brains
> can map sensory fields to the world outside...The sensory data is
> intrinsically ambiguous and not about the external world, but the world at
> the location of the transduction that created the sensory measurent. And
> an indirect transduction at that (a retinal cone protein isomerisation by
> a red photon is not a 'red photon experience' it is a
> protein-isomerisation experience  - ie no experience at all!)
> I had no idea people were so confused about the distinction between
> sensing and perception. I hope I am helping.
> the paramecium!

I understand that there is a difference between sensing and perception.  
Perception includes sensing and also interpreting the sensations in a model of 
the world.  Which is why unusual appearances can literally be difficult to 
perceive.  But you still have not said why a digital computer cannot have an 
internal model and modify that model based on sensory data.

Brent Meeker

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