On 17 February 2010 07:28, Diego Caleiro <diegocale...@gmail.com> wrote:

> You guys should Read Chalmers: Philosophy of Mind, Classical and
> contemporary Readings
> and
>
> Philosophy and the mirror of nature.  Richard Rorty
>
> In particular "The Concepts of Counsciousness" By Ned Block and "Mental
> Causation" by stephen Yablo will get you nearer to where you are trying to
> get.

Thanks.  I've already read quite a bit of Chalmers, Rorty, Block, etc,
and before committing to a comprehensive re-perusal I would appreciate
your view on the specific nature of the corrective to be gained.  What
I guess I'm trying to suggest here is that I think we may have
retreated too hastily from an "interactionist" relation between 1-p
and 3-p because of its association with an apparently outmoded
dualism.  The problem is that current "identity" assumptions leave us
stuck with a causally-closed 3-p world in which the very nature of our
apparent access to 1-p phenomena is opaque, leave alone its (lack of)
causal relevance.  I'm hesitant to commit too strongly here to what a
deeper and genuinely illuminating resolution to the "identity" issue
might look like, partly because I have only a vague intuition, and
because it would probably jump-start one of the endless circular
debates on the topic.  Perhaps I'm trying to tempt others away from
current standard positions to re-consider what would have to be the
case for it to really make a difference in the world that we
*experience* (say) pain, rather than merely observing that its 3-p
correlates mediate our behaviour.

David



> You guys should Read Chalmers: Philosophy of Mind, Classical and
> contemporary Readings
> and
>
> Philosophy and the mirror of nature.  Richard Rorty
>
> In particular "The Concepts of Counsciousness" By Ned Block and "Mental
> Causation" by stephen Yablo will get you nearer to where you are trying to
> get.
>
> Best wish for all
>
> Diego Caleiro
>
> Philosopher of Mind
> University of São Paulo.
>
>
>
> On Wed, Feb 17, 2010 at 12:39 AM, Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com>
> wrote:
>>
>> David Nyman wrote:
>>>
>>> On 17 February 2010 00:16, Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>>
>>>> But suppose we had a really good theory and understanding of the brain
>>>> so
>>>> that we could watch yours in operation on some kind of scope (like an
>>>> fMRI,
>>>> except in great detail) and from our theory we could infer that "David's
>>>> now
>>>> thinking X.  And it's going to lead him to next think Y.  And then he'll
>>>> remember Z and strenghten this synapse over here.  And..."   Then
>>>> wouldn't
>>>> you start to regard the 1-p account as just another level of
>>>> description, as
>>>> when you start you car on a cold day it "wants" a richer fuel mixture
>>>> and
>>>> the ECU "remembers" to keep the idle speed up until it's warm.
>>>>
>>>
>>> In short, yes.  But that doesn't make the problem as I've defined it
>>> go away.  At the level of reconciliation you want to invoke, you would
>>> have to stop putting scare quotes round the experiential vocabulary,
>>> unless your intention - like Dennett's AFAICS - is to deny the
>>> existence, and causal relevance, of genuinely experiential qualities
>>> (as opposed to "seemings", whatever they might be).  At bottom, 1-p is
>>> not a "level of description" - i.e. something accessed *within*
>>> consciousness - it *is* the very mode of access itself.
>>
>> I think "accessed" creates the wrong image - as though there is some "you"
>> outside of this process that is "accessing" it.  But I'm not sure that
>> vitiates your point.
>>
>>
>>> The trouble
>>> comes because in the version you cite the default assumption is that
>>> the synapse-strengthening stuff - the 3-p narrative - is sufficient to
>>> account for all the observed phenomena - including of course all the
>>> 3-p references to experiential qualities and their consequences.
>>>
>>> But such qualities are entirely non-computable from the 3-p level,
>>
>> How can you know that?
>>
>>> so
>>> how can such a narrative refer to them?  And indeed, looked at the
>>> other way round, given the assumed causal closure of the 3-p level,
>>> what further function would be served by such 1-p references?
>>
>> "Function" in the sense of purpose?  Why should it have one?
>>>
>>> Now, if
>>> we indeed had the robust state of affairs that you describe above,
>>> this would be a stunning puzzle, because 1-p and 3-p are manifestly
>>> not "identical", nor are they equivalently "levels of description" in
>>> any relevant sense. Consequently, we would be faced with a brute
>>> reality without any adequate explanation.
>>>
>>> However, in practice, the theory and observations you characterise are
>>> very far from the current state of the art. This leaves scope for some
>>> actual future theory and observation to elucidate "interaction"
>>> between 1-p and 3-p with real consequences that would be inexplicable
>>> in terms of facile "identity" assertions.  For example, that I
>>> withdraw my hand from the fire *because* I feel the pain, and this
>>> turns out to both in theory and observation to be inexplicable in
>>> terms of any purely 3-p level of description.  Prima facie, this might
>>> seem to lead to an even more problematic interactive dualism, but my
>>> suspicion is that there is scope for some genuinely revelatory
>>> reconciliation at a more fundamental level - i.e. a truly explanatory
>>> identity theory.  But we won't get to that by ignoring the problem.
>>>
>>
>> My intuition is that once we have a really good 3-p theory, 1-p will seem
>> like a kind of shorthand way of speaking about brain processes.  That
>> doesn't mean you questions will be answered.  It will be like Bertrand
>> Russell's neutral monoids.  There are events and they can be arranged in 3-p
>> relations or in 1-p relations.  Explanations will ultimately be circular -
>> but not viciously so.
>>
>> Brent
>>
>>> David
>>>
>>>
>>>>
>>>> David Nyman wrote:
>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> On 16 February 2010 22:21, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Consciousness could be computable in the sense that if you are the
>>>>>> computation, you have the experience.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Yes, but that's precisely not the sense I was referring to.  Rather
>>>>> the sense I'm picking out is that neither the existence, nor the
>>>>> specifically experiential characteristics, of any 1-p component over
>>>>> and above the 3-p level of description is accessible (computable) in
>>>>> terms of any such 3-p narrative.  Consequently any reference to such a
>>>>> component at the 3-p level seems inexplicable.  This leads some (e.g.
>>>>> Dennett, if I've understood him) to try to finesse this by claiming
>>>>> that 1-p experience only "seems" to exist - IOW that when 3-me refers
>>>>> to 3-my "conscious experience" this is merely a 3-p reference to some
>>>>> equivalent computational aspect which is fully sufficient to account
>>>>> for all the resultant 3-p phenomena.  The 1-p "seeming" is then
>>>>> supposed to be, in some under-defined sense, "identical" to this
>>>>> computation.
>>>>>
>>>>> But for two manifestly distinct levels of description to have any
>>>>> prospect of being seen as "identical", they must  be capable of being
>>>>> discarded individually, in order to be jointly reconciled in terms of
>>>>> a single more fundamental level clearly compatible with both - this is
>>>>> the only manoeuvre that could validate any non-question-begging
>>>>> ascription of "identity".
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>> But suppose we had a really good theory and understanding of the brain
>>>> so
>>>> that we could watch yours in operation on some kind of scope (like an
>>>> fMRI,
>>>> except in great detail) and from our theory we could infer that "David's
>>>> now
>>>> thinking X.  And it's going to lead him to next think Y.  And then he'll
>>>> remember Z and strenghten this synapse over here.  And..."   Then
>>>> wouldn't
>>>> you start to regard the 1-p account as just another level of
>>>> description, as
>>>> when you start you car on a cold day it "wants" a richer fuel mixture
>>>> and
>>>> the ECU "remembers" to keep the idle speed up until it's warm.
>>>>
>>>> Brent
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> ISTM that the Dennettian approach is merely
>>>>> to *assert* - given the undeniable "seeming" of conscious experience -
>>>>> that this *must* be the case, whilst offering no glimmer of what the
>>>>> nature of such a transcendent level of reconciliation could possibly
>>>>> be.
>>>>>
>>>>> David
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On 17 February 2010 05:07, David Nyman <david.ny...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> This is old hat, but I've been thinking about it on awakening every
>>>>>>> morning for the last week.  Is consciousness - i.e. the actual first-
>>>>>>> person experience itself - literally uncomputable from any third-
>>>>>>> person perspective?  The only rationale for adducing the additional
>>>>>>> existence of any 1-p experience in a 3-p world is the raw fact that
>>>>>>> we
>>>>>>> possess it (or "seem" to, according to some).  We can't "compute" the
>>>>>>> existence of any 1-p experiential component of a 3-p process on
>>>>>>> purely
>>>>>>> 3-p grounds.  Further, if we believe that 3-p process is a closed and
>>>>>>> sufficient explanation for all events, this of course leads to the
>>>>>>> uncomfortable conclusion (referred to, for example, by Chalmers in
>>>>>>> TCM) that 1-p conscious phenomena (the "raw feels" of sight, sound,
>>>>>>> pain, fear and all the rest) are totally irrelevant to what's
>>>>>>> happening, including our every thought and action.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> But doesn't this lead to paradox?  For example, how are we able to
>>>>>>> refer to these phenomena if they are causally disconnected from our
>>>>>>> behaviour - i.e. they are uncomputable (i.e. inaccessible) from the
>>>>>>> 3-
>>>>>>> p perspective?  Citing "identity" doesn't seem to help here - the
>>>>>>> issue is how 1-p phenomena could ever emerge as features of our
>>>>>>> shared
>>>>>>> behavioural world (including, of course, talking about them) if they
>>>>>>> are forever inaccessible from a causally closed and sufficient 3-p
>>>>>>> perspective.  Does this in fact lead to the conclusion that the 3-p
>>>>>>> world can't be causally closed to 1-p experience, and that I really
>>>>>>> do
>>>>>>> withdraw my finger from the fire because it hurts, and not just
>>>>>>> because C-fibres are firing?  But how?
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Consciousness could be computable in the sense that if you are the
>>>>>> computation, you have the experience.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> --
>>>>>> Stathis Papaioannou
>>>>>>
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>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>
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