On Dec 2, 6:29 pm, Rex Allen <rexallen31...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sat, Nov 27, 2010 at 5:02 PM, Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com> wrote:
> > On 11/27/2010 1:06 PM, Jason Resch wrote:
> > On Sat, Nov 27, 2010 at 12:49 PM, Rex Allen <rexallen31...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >>> Even if you have used some physical system (like a computer) that can
> >>> be interpreted as executing an algorithm that manipulates bits that
> >>> can be interpreted as representing me reacting to seeing a pink
> >>> elephant ("Boy does he look surprised!"), this interpretation all
> >>> happens within your conscious experience and has nothing to do with my
> >>> conscious experience.
> >> Isn't this just idealism?
> > If it were consistent it would be solipism.
> By inconsistency I assume that you are referring to my use of "you"
> and "your" while claiming that, ultimately, Jason's conscious
> experience has nothing to do with my conscious experience?
> If there are no causal connections between our experiences then...why
> am I addressing him in my emails as though there were?
> There are three answers to this question:
> 1)  To be consistent, I have to conclude that ultimately there is no
> reason for this.  It's just the way things are.  That I do this is
> just a fact, and not causally connected to any other facts.
> 2)  The related fact that, lacking free will, I have no real choice
> but to do this.
> 3)  My "experienced" justification is that these emails are mostly an
> opportunity to articulate, clarify, and develop my own thoughts on
> these topics.  I take an instrumentalist view of the process...it
> doesn't matter what Jason's metaphysical status is.
> As to solipsism, meh.  In what sense do you mean?
> Methodological solipsism, yes.  Metaphysical solipsism, no.
> 1.  My mental states are the only things I have access to.  Yes.

How do you know that?

> 2.  From my mental states I cannot conclude the existence of anything
> outside of my mental states.  Yess

You perhaps can't conclusively conclude, but then you are left with
a best guess.

> 3.  Therefore I conclude that only my mental states exist.  No.
> So, I only score two out three on the metaphysical solipsism checklist.
> Why do I reject #3?  This comes back to taking a deflationary view of
> "personage".  It isn't "mental states belonging to Rex" so much as
> "mental states whose contents include a Rex-like-point-of-view".
> I have recollections of mental states which did not include a Rex-like
> point of view (Salvia!).  Based on those recollections I find it
> entirely plausible (though not certain) that non-Rex-flavored mental
> states exist.
> But beyond that I can't say anything further about what kinds of
> mental states do or don't exist.  Maybe Jason's mental states exist,
> maybe they don't.  It's not really important.
> > It's when your conscious
> > experience infers that you are communicating with another conscious
> > experience that the need for an explanation of the similarity of the
> > experiences is needed.  Objective = intersubjective agreement.
> And I would say that trying to explain intersubjective experience is
> getting a little ahead of things until one has a plausible explanation
> of subjective experience.

One only needs to  go as far as the idea that mental states
supervene on physical states. That is not a full explanation
of consc. but is enough to explain how there are multiple
subjects who experience a common world.

> What can you reliably infer from your conscious experience without
> knowing what conscious experience "is"?  It's building a foundation on
> top of something which has no foundation.

So do it coherentisitcally then. Don;t take consciousness
or the world to be epistemologically prior, but do find
the best way of fitting them together.

> From conscious experience, I'd think that you can only reliably infer
> things about conscious experience, not about what exists outside of or
> behind conscious experience.

But the idea that CE is a "place" and everything is either
inside it or outside it, is just a metaphor. It is certainly
no better than the scientific metaphor.

> As Hans Moravec says:
> "A simulated world hosting a simulated person can be a closed
> self-contained entity. It might exist as a program on a computer
> processing data quietly in some dark corner, giving no external hint
> of the joys and pains, successes and frustrations of the person
> inside. Inside the simulation events unfold according to the strict
> logic of the program, which defines the 'laws of physics' of the
> simulation. The inhabitant might, by patient experimentation and
> inference, deduce some representation of the simulation laws, but not
> the nature or even existence of the simulating computer. The
> simulation's internal relationships would be the same if the program
> were running correctly on any of an endless variety of possible
> computers, slowly, quickly, intermittently, or even backwards and
> forwards in time, with the data stored as charges on chips, marks on a
> tape, or pulses in a delay line, with the simulation's numbers
> represented in binary, decimal, or Roman numerals, compactly or spread
> widely across the machine. There is no limit, in principle, on how
> indirect the relationship between simulation and simulated can be."
> Without a limit on how indirect the relationship can be, then there's
> no conclusions that can be drawn.
> And, as always, if the simulation of conscious experience can "just
> exist", then why can't conscious experience itself just exist?

Why can;t  *your* conscious experience just exist?

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