On Sat, Jan 30, 2010 at 8:10 PM, soulcatcher☠ <soulcatche...@gmail.com>wrote:
> I see a red rose. You see a red rose. Is your experience of redness
> the same as mine?
> 1. Yes, they are identical.
> 2. They are different as long as neural organization of our brains is
> slightly different, but you are potentially capable of experiencing my
> redness with some help from neurosurgeon who can shape your brain in
> the way as mine is.
> 3. They are different as long as some 'code' of our brains is slightly
> different but you (and every machine) is potentially capable of
> experiencing my redness if they somehow achieve the same 'code'.
> 5. They are different and absolutely private - you (and anybody else,
> be it a human or machine) don't and can't experience my redness.
> 6. The question doesn't have any sense because ... (please elaborate)
> 7. ...
> What is your opinion?
I think our brains are wired similarly enough that most people experience
colors similarly, excepting the tetrachromats and color blind. Consider the
following other sensations, and how similar you think they might be between
people: a needle prick, coldness, a high-pitched sound, hunger, complete
darkness. Is complete darkness between two people more or less the same,
what about the sound of an 8 KHz tone?
To answer this question, I would say somewhere between 1 and 2, they are
probably very close between any two random normal humans but perhaps not
identical. This is not to say that an alien with a differently evolved and
structured brain could not have a completely different experience when
looking at a rose; I just think our brains are wired similarly enough that
red to you could be as much red to me as coldness to you is coldness to me.
The higher the information content of the experience, however, the more
room there is for possible difference.
> My (naive) answer is (3). Our experiences are identical (would a
> correct term be 'ontologically identical'?) as long as they have the
> same symbolic representation and the symbols have the same grounding
> in the physical world. The part about grounding is just an un-educated
> guess, I don't understand the subject and have only an intuitive
> feeling that semantics (what computation is about) is important and
> somehow determined by the physical world out there.
> Let me explain with example. Suppose, that you:
> 1. simulate my brain in a computer program, so we can say that this
> program represents my brain in your symbols.
> 2. simulate a red rose
> 3. feed "rose data" into my simulated brain.
> I think (more believe than think) that this simulated brain won't see
> my redness - in fact, it won't see nothing at all cause it isn't
> But if you:
> 1. make a robot that simulates my brain in my symbols i.e. behaves
> (relative to the physical world) in the same ways as I do
> 2. show a rose to the robot
> I think that robot will experience the same redness as me.
> Would be glad if somebody suggests something to read about 'symbols
> grounding', semantics, etc., I have a lot of confusion here, I've
> always thought that logic is a formal language for a 'syntactic'
> manipulation with 'strings' that acquire meaning only in our minds.
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