>> > 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 -
>> 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.
> So what? There is nothing in them that was
> not first in "sensing", unless magic is taking place.
No magic. Definitely something. The difference between "something not yet
described" and "magic" is?
A) Nothing = we know everything already
B) Something = we don't know everything there is to know.
Where do you fit? I am B)
>> Not the sensory feeds. This seems to be a recurring misunderstanding or
>> something people seem to be struggling with. It feels like its coming
>> your senses but it's all generated inside your head.
> Only in dreaming and hallucination.
No. This is empirically proven fact in physiology across all sensory
modalities. Read the literature for the last several decades.
>> > 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
>> belief (learning), not the holding of static belief. Scientific
>> is all about changing belief.
> But it does not follow without consciousness, there is no
> change of belief. Any more than "without legs there is no
> You probably have some adaptive software on your PC...
Belief exists without phenomenal consciousness (survives a dreamless
sleep). Phenomenal consciousness dissappears during a dreamless sleep.
>> 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.
> It doesn't follow that it can't
> be perceived without phenomenality.
> (Or that there is any special certainty to human perceptions).
It can be sensed. But not contextualised without a-priori knowledge.
>> 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
>> to characterise how it will appear to us in our phenomenality.
> We do it via our phenomenality. That doesn't mean
> that entities devoid of phenomenality can't do it.
They can do it with a-priori rules but they won't handle NOVELTY well
without it. Phenomenality is not about current belief. It is about
learning and CHANGE of belief.
>> > 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.
> None of that shows that phenomenal fields are essential
> to the process. legs and locomotion again.
>> 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.
> Disjoint sense data are ambiguous. They need to be
> contextualised with other sense data, memories, innate
> reflexes and so on. The $64,000 dollar question is
> whether you can have all that without phenomenality.
>> > 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 -
>> That is does so does not mean it is conscious.
> If it can find regularities without consciousness, Zombies *can* do
>> It does not mean it has
>> access to the external matural world.
> Despite having sensory feeds? What kind of sense doesn't
> give you access to the external world?
>> ..and that is not what WE do....we find regularity in the perceptual
>> 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.
> They don't fundamentally contain information that was
> not already present in the sensory feeds
Nope. Vast reams of information is added through contextualising it with
resect to the external world. That the mechanism must exist is proven. The
fact that we don't understand how is moot to the point; our problem, not
the natural world's problem.
>> No matter how weird it sounds our brains
>> can map sensory fields to the world outside...
> That doesn't sound weird at all. In fact, AFAICT, machines can
> do the same thing.
>> The sensory data is
>> intrinsically ambiguous and not about the external world, but the world
>> the location of the transduction that created the sensory measurent.
> That may be true of individual data, but there is no reason
> to think the process of reconstructing the external sources of data
> involves anything more than the comparison, synthesising,
> and filtering of data -- all of which is on the Easy Problem side if
> the fence.
comparison, synthesising, and filtering of data based on what expectation?
You assume a-priori knowledge - again.
>> an indirect transduction at that (a retinal cone protein isomerisation
>> a red photon is not a 'red photon experience' it is a
>> protein-isomerisation experience - ie no experience at all!)
> Uh-huh. The hard problem is understanding how the physical
> process gets mapped to any kind of experience at all. But
> that is equally true where there is no external cause of the
> neural event. The issue of reconstructing, or projecting,
> an external-world cause of a (genuine) perceptual
> event is another question.
Now you're getting there. You realise it's OK not to know something!
Woohoo! Knowing that you don;t know is most of the problem...of any problem!
>> I had no idea people were so confused about the distinction between
>> sensing and perception. I hope I am helping.
>> now...to the paramecium!
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