On 21 February 2010 23:25, Rex Allen <rexallen...@gmail.com> wrote: > So we know 1-p directly, while we only infer the existence of 3-p. > However, you seem to start from the assumption that 1-p is in the > weaker subordinate position of needing to be explained "in terms of" > 3-p, while 3-p is implicitly taken to be unproblematic, fundamental, > and needing no explanation.
You're right that I'm starting from this assumption, but only because it is indeed the default assumption in the sciences, and indeed in the general consciousness, and my intention was to illustrate some of the consequences of this assumption that are often waved away or simply not acknowledged. Principal amongst these is the fact that the existence of 1-p is not in any way computable - accessible, arrivable at - from the closed assumptions of 3-p. But worse than that, if we take this "default position" of assuming the 3-p mode to be both complete and closed, we are thereby also committed to the position that all our thoughts, beliefs and behaviours - not excluding those apparently relating to the experiential states themselves - must be solely a consequence of the 3-p account of things, and indeed would proceed identically even in the complete absence of any such states! This, ISTM, is a paradoxical, or at the very least an extremely puzzling, state of affairs, and it was to promote discussion of these specific problems that I started the thread. Whether one starts from the assumption of primacy of 1-p or 3-p (or neither) the principal difficulty is making any sense of their relation - i.e. the Hard Problem - and ISTM not only that it is Hard to solve, but even to state in a way that doesn't mask its truly paradoxical nature. For example, as I've mentioned, it's often waved away by some reference to "identity", in the face of the manifest objection that the states of affairs referred to could hardly, on the face of it, be less identical, and in the total absence of any approach to reconciling their radical differences, or their intelligible relations. Despite the difficulty of the subject, I do cherish the hope that progress can be made if we give up explaining-away from entrenched positions, accept the seriousness of the challenge to our preconceptions, and re-examine the real issues with an open mind. David > On Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 1:07 PM, David Nyman <david.ny...@gmail.com> wrote: >> 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. > > > It seems to me that what we know is our subjective conscious > experience. From this, we infer the existence of ourselves as > individuals who persist through time, as well as the independent > existence of an external world that in some way causes our conscious > experience. > > So we know 1-p directly, while we only infer the existence of 3-p. > However, you seem to start from the assumption that 1-p is in the > weaker subordinate position of needing to be explained "in terms of" > 3-p, while 3-p is implicitly taken to be unproblematic, fundamental, > and needing no explanation. But why is that? The physical world > doesn't explain it's own existence and nature, does it? So what > caused it? What explains it's initial state? Why does it have it's > current state? Why does it change in time the way that it does? > > If we're taking the existence and nature of things as a "given", why > can't we instead say that 1-p is fundamental? What is lost? What > makes this an unpalatable option? It seems to me that it should > certainly be the default position. > > I like Philip Goff's idea of "Ghosts" as an alternative to Chalmers' > Zombies: > http://consciousnessonline.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/philip-goff-paper.pdf > > First, from the introduction: > > "Zombies are bodies without minds: creatures that are physically > identical to actual human beings, but which have no conscious > experience. Much of the consciousness literature concerns how > threatening philosophical reflection on such creatures is to > physicalism. There is not much attention given to the converse > possibility, the possibility of minds without bodies, that is, > creatures who are conscious but whose nature is exhausted by their > being conscious. We can call such a ‘purely conscious’ creature a > ghost." > > Then on page 7: > > "The way into imagining your ghost twin is to go through the familiar > Cartesian process of doubting everything that it is possible to doubt. > For all you know for sure, the physical world around you might be a > delusion, placed in you by an incredibly powerful evil demon. The arms > and legs you seem to see in front of you, the heart you seem to feel > beating beneath your breast, your body that feels solid and warm to > the touch, all may be figments of a particularly powerful delusion. > You might not even have a brain. > > The only state of affairs you know for certain to obtain is that you > exist as a thing such that there is something that it is like to be > that thing. You know for certain that you are a thing that has an > experience as of having arms and legs, a beating heart, a warm, solid > body. You know that you are a subject of experience. But you may not > be a creature that exists in space, or has physical parts. It is by > engaging in the process of Cartesian doubting that one arrives at a > conception of one’s ghost twin. > > I am not suggesting that the process of Cartesian doubting > demonstrates the possibility of ghosts, but I am suggesting that it > goes a good way to demonstrating their conceivability. To entertain > the possibility that I am the only thing that exists, and that I exist > as a thing with no properties other than my conscious experience, just > is to conceive of my ghost twin. Any philosopher who agrees with > Descartes up to and including the Cogito has a strong prima facie > obligation to accept the conceivability of ghosts." > > -- > You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups > "Everything List" group. > To post to this group, send email to everything-l...@googlegroups.com. > To unsubscribe from this group, send email to > everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. > For more options, visit this group at > http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en. > > -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to everything-l...@googlegroups.com. To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.