David Nyman wrote:
> On 27/08/07, Brent Meeker <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
>> I think you're setting up an impossible standard of "explaining".
>> You're asking that it produce a certain feeling in you, and then
>> you're speculating that after being given all the physics of
>> conscious processes and even the ability to create a conscious
>> person that you still won't get that feeling. But in fact, a
>> little cocaine may very well give you that feeling, the feeling
>> that everything is clear and understood by you.
> I don't know why you've reached this conclusion based on what I
> actually said. On the assumption that I would accept some sort of
> identity theory of physics and consciousness, I'm prepared (for the
> sake of argument) to accept that the same physics will produce the
> same consciousness. I merely pointed out that, given the
> irremediably third person nature of all explanation, this still must
> beg the question of why *any* third person process whatsoever should
> evoke first person experience, the qualitative nature of which has no
> analogy in physics or any other third person discourse.
> This is, as you rightly point out an impossible standard of
> explaining - it simply can't be met, by me or by anyone. This was my
> point in offering it in refutation of Stathis's proposal of the
> standard analogy equating the 'emergence' of subjective experience
> with some third person process like 'circulation'. Whereas a third
> person model of 'mind' may (for all I know) indeed be capable of
> being mapped to physics (pace Bruno), the subjective experience of
> such a mind, by its very nature, must perforce elude any direct third
> person categorisation.
But my point is that you're insisting that explanation is something that you
find satisfying. It's not that explanation fails in general, it fails
subjectively for you. Every explanation can fail in that way on any subject.
Now, most people would accept Stathis description of circulation of the blood
as an explanation. But in the 1800's many people would have said, "That's just
a description. Why is it like that. You haven't really explained it." Newton
didn't explain gravity, and neither did Einstein. They showed it conformed to
a simple description and they showed how it acted. But they didn't give an
intuitive feeling of gravity. So that's why I think you are asking too much of
explanations; you have an intuititive double-standard.
"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves,"
--- William Shakespeare, in "Julius Ceasar"
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