On Oct 13, 12:52 am, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Oct 12, 2011, at 9:44 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>  
> wrote:
> >http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1676
> > "As stated above, blindsight is seen clinically as a contrast between
> > a lack of declarative knowledge about a stimulus and a high rate of
> > correct answers to questions about the stimulus (1). People suffering
> > from blindsight claim to see nothing, and are therefore unable to
> > reach spontaneously for stimuli, cannot decide whether or not stimuli
> > are present, and do not know what objects look like. In this sense,
> > they are blind. However, they are able to give correct answers when
> > asked to decide between given alternatives (1). Studies done with
> > subjects that exhibit blindsight have shown that they are able to
> > guess reliably only about certain features of stimuli having to do
> > with motion, location and direction of stimuli. They are also able to
> > discriminate simple forms, and can shape their hands in a way
> > appropriate to grasping the object when asked to try. Some may show
> > color discrimination as well (2). Subjects also show visual
> > capacities, including reflexes (e.g. the pupil reacts to changes in
> > light), implicit reactions and voluntary responses (3). "
> > Sounds like absent qualia to me.
> > "people suffering from blindsight claim to see nothing"
> > So Stathis, Jason, Bruno... how do you know that your computer brain
> > doesn't have blindsight if it's eyes seem to work? Is it lying when it
> > says it can't see, or is it seeing without being able to look at what
> > it is seeing?
> It seems blindsight is the result of some modules receiving visual  
> information but not all the modules which would normally receive it.
> In any event, one with blind sight is not functionally equivalent to a  
> normally sighted person.

It doesn't matter whether they are functionally equivalent. The point
is that the function of sight is in some ways independent from the
qulaia of visual perception. This is the big deal about absent qualia,
that it would be too crazy if we could somehow see without seeing, yet
this is evidence of just that. It is not necessary for any of the
qualia of vision to be present to achieve some of the functional
benefit of sight. Qualia may or may not assist us functionally at all.
Blindsight shows the potential from an unconscious form of vision to
develop in the same way that our digestion or immune system operates
within a complex, survival intensive environment without conjuring up
a world of top-level qualia with voluntary control.

> If a robot does things that only something that can see can do, then  
> there must be something within it that sees.

Not at all. I can make a ventriloquist dummy respond to things that
only something can see can do but there is nothing within it that

> That some person maintains they cannot see is not proof that nothing  
> in their head is seeing.  

I agree. That's why my idea is that all cells potentially 'see' to
some extent, it's just our top level brain-scale sight which sees in a
human visual experience which is relevant to the world in which our
body functions as a single entity.

>Consider split brain patients, when you hold  
> a conversation with a split brain patient, which hemisphere are you  
> talking to? What might the other hemisphere be aware of that the other  
> is not?

Sure, there are probably many interior subjects and proto subjects
within the psyche. That's who we experience in our dreams. If the top
dog gets whacked on the head, then next dream they have may feature
their former self as a supporting character while the primary identity
is promoted from the undamaged ranks. It may not be discretely
modular, the overall personality can just shift, and this happens
naturally as we mature. We pay attention to different voices and it
shapes our identity and expression more.


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