On Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 12:02 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> The mind may not be understandable in terms of biochemical events but
>> the observable behaviour of the brain can be.
>
> Yes, the 3-p physical behaviors that can be observed with our
> contemporary instruments can be understood in terms of biochemical
> events, but that doesn't mean that they can be modeled accurately or
> that those models would be able to produce 1-p experience by
> themselves. We can understand the behaviors of an amoeba in terms of
> biochemical events but that doesn't mean we can tell which direction
> it's going to move in.

It's also difficult to tell exactly which way a leaf in the wind will
move. The leaf may have qualia: it is something-it-is-like to be a
leaf, and the qualia may differ depending on whether the leaf goes
left or right. As with a brain, the leaf does not break any physical
laws and its behaviour can be completely described in terms of
physical processes, but such a description would leave out an
important part of the picture, the subjectivity. While it may be
correct to say that the leaf moves to the right because it wants to
move to the right, since moving to the right is associated with
right-moving willfulness, this does not mean that the qualia have a
causal effect on its behaviour. A causal effect of the qualia on the
leaf's behaviour would mean that the leaf moves contrary to physical
laws, confounding scientists by moving to the right when the forces on
it suggest it should move to the left. It's similar with the brain: a
direct causal effect of qualia on behaviour would mean that neurons
fire when their physical state would suggest that they not fire. I'm
sorry that you don't like this, but it is what it would mean if the
relationship between qualia and physical activity were bidirectional
rather than the qualia being supervenient.


-- 
Stathis Papaioannou

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