On 08/10/2011, at 12:02 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> 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.
> No because if the wind is also pushing other inanimate objects in the
> same direction and the leaf never resists that, then we can assume
> that it has no ability to choose it's direction.

The leaf has the ability to choose its direction to the same extent that a 
motile cell such as an amoeba does. The amoeba follows chemotactic gradients, 
the leaf follows the wind. The amoeba does not move in a direction contrary to 
physics and neither does the leaf. The amoeba may feel that it is choosing 
where to go and so might the leaf. 

>> 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.
> You aren't hearing me, so I am going to start counting how many times
> I answer your false assertion - even though it's probably been at
> least 5 or 6 times, I'll start the countdown at ten, and at 0, I'm not
> going to answer this question again from you.
> 10: There is no such thing as a physical state which suggests whether
> a neuron that can fire (ie, has repolarized, replenished, or otherwise
> recovered from it's last firing) actually will fire. You can induce it
> to fire manually, but left to it's own devices, you can't say that a
> neuron which triggers a voluntary movement is going to fire without
> knowing when the person whose arm it is decides to move it. You can
> look at every nerve in my body right now and not know whether I will
> be standing or sitting in one hour's time. There is no physical law
> whatsoever that has an opinion one way or the other either way.

If a motor neuron involved in voluntary activity fires where you would not 
predict it would fire given its internal state and the inputs then it is *by 
definition* acting contrary to physical law.

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