On Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 1:45 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:

> The neural processes and the thoughts are different views of the same
> thing. In the case of voluntarily imagining something, it is the
> subjective content of the experiences being imagined which makes sense
> and the neurological processes are the shadow. There is no strictly
> neurological reason for their behavior, let alone one that evokes
> 'tennis'. If it were something involuntary, like a fever coming on,
> then the neurological processes would be the active sensemaking agent
> and the experience of getting sick would be the shadow. It's bi-
> directional. I know that you won't admit that that could ever be the
> case, but I don't understand why.

There *is* a strictly neurological reason for the 3-P observable
behaviour. If we limit ourselves to talking about that, do you agree?

>> If a thought can
>> cause a movement in the absence of a physical event, for example if
>> ligand-dependent ion channels open and trigger an action potential in
>> the absence of the ligand, that would be observed as magical, like a
>> table levitating.
>
> The thought *is* a physical event, it's just the subjective view of
> it. It's many physical events, each with a subjective view, but
> together, rather than forming a machine of objects related in space,
> the experiential side is experiences over time which are shared as a
> single, deeper, richer experience stream over time.

But you can't see the thought. Restrict discussion for now to the 3-P
observable behaviour of a neuron being investigated by a cell
biologist. From the scientist's point of view, the neuron only fires
in response to stimuli such as neurotransmitters at the synapse
(depending on what sort of neuron it is). Do you see that if the
thought makes the neuron do anything other than what the scientist
expects it to do from consideration of its physical properties and the
physical properties of the environment then it would be observed to be
behaving magically?

> You are not answering my question. Why does there need to be
> 'understanding' at all? You are saying that neurology causes something
> to occur: understanding. What do you mean by that. What is it? Magic?
> Metaphysics?

It's something which cannot be reduced to something simpler.

>> Again I don't think you understand what would happen if you replaced
>> part of your brain with a qualia-less component that had the same
>> third person observable behaviour. Perhaps you could tell me in your
>> own words if you do.
>
> What would really happen is that it could not have the same third
> person observable behavior. If someone is deaf, you cannot observe
> their lack of hearing by observing them, unless you intentionally try
> to test them. If you replace someones eyes with eyes which only see in
> the x-ray spectrum, then the visual cortex would pick it up in the
> familiar colors of the visible spectrum. If you replaced the visual
> cortex with something that processes optical stimulation in the eyes
> invisibly, then the patient would see nothing but would develop
> perceptual compensation from their other senses very rapidly compared
> with someone who went blind suddenly. They would have to learn to read
> their new optical capacity and it would not be visual, but it would
> enable them eventually to behave as a sighted person in most relevant
> ways.

The replacement part reproduces the 3-P behaviour of the biological
part. This means the rest of the brain also has the same 3-P
behaviour, since it is subjected to the same 3-P environmental
influences from the replacement part (that is what was reproduced,
even if the qualia were not). So the subject behaves as if he has
normal vision and hearing and believes that he has normal vision and
hearing.

You may object that the rest of the subject's brain does not behave
normally since it lacks the input from the qualia. But if the qualia
affect neurons directly, over and above what you would expect from the
qualia-less physical activity, that would mean that magical events are
observed.


-- 
Stathis Papaioannou

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