On 15/06/07, David Nyman <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> On Jun 14, 4:46 am, "Stathis Papaioannou" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> > Of course all that is true, but it doesn't explain why neurons in the
> cortex
> > are the ones giving rise to qualia rather than other neurons or indeed
> > peripheral sense organs.
> Well, you might as well ask why the engine drives the car and not the
> brakes.  Presumably (insert research programme here) the different
> neural (or other relevant) organisation of the cortex is the
> difference that makes the difference.  My account would run like this:
> the various emergent organs of the brain and sensory apparatus (like
> everything else) supervene on an infrastructure capable of 'sense-
> action'.  I'm (somewhat) agnostic about the nature of this
> infrastructure: conceive it as strings, particles, or even Bruno's
> numbers.  But however we conceptualise it, it must (logically) be
> capable of 'sense-action' in order for activity and cognition to
> supervene on it.  Then what makes the difference in the cortex must be
> a supremely complex 'mirroring' mode of organisation (a 'remembered
> present') lacked by other organs.  To demonstrate this will be a
> supremely difficult empirical programme, but IMO it presents no
> invincible philosophical problems if conceived in this way.

What you're suggesting is that matter is intrinsically capable of
sense-action, but it takes substantial amounts of matter of the right kind
organised in the right way in order to give rise to what we experience as
consciousness. What do we lose if we say that it is organisation which is
intrinsically capable of sense-action, but it takes a substantial amount of
organisation of the right sort to in order to give rise to consciousness?
This drops the extra assumption that the substrate is important and is
consistentr with functionalism.

Stathis Papaioannou

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