On Oct 13, 1:51 am, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 1:44 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?
>
> A person who has the visual cortex of his brain replaced with a
> functionally equivalent computer will behave as if he can see
> normally, claim that he can see normally and believe that he can see
> normally. It is therefore not like blindsight, where the patient has
> deficient vision and claims that he cannot see at all. It is also not
> like Anton's syndrome, the opposite of blindsight, where the patient
> is blind due to a cortical lesion but has the delusional belief that
> he can see and walks around stumbling into things.

It is also not like blindsight or Anton's syndrome in that those
things exist, while the idea of a 'functionally equivalent' computer
replacement for the visual cortex may well be an unrealizable dream
based upon a misguided approach which is almost right but ends up
being exactly wrong.  My idea of Multisense Realism suggests this idea
is a dead end, and that has always been my point. I have no opinion
about whether or not a functionally equivalent computer does this or
would not do that, my opinion is only that the qualia of vision is not
an objective function (although it informs on objective conditions in
a way that has functional benefits), it is a subjective sense.

> We can imagine a
> condition of perfect blindsight in combination with Anton's syndrome:
> the patient lacks visual qualia while responding normally to visual
> cues and has a delusional belief that he has normal vision. The
> problem with that is, there is no way to diagnose it: we could all be
> suffering from it and we wouldn't know, so it is just as good as
> normal vision.

So if you have a stroke and find yourself trapped in a body that is
going around killing people (sort of an Angel Heart scenario), since
there is no way to know the difference between your behavior and you
from, then you say it's just as good as you. We would have to treat
that behavior as if it were criminally intentional, but I don't think
that has to have anything at all to do with subjectivity. We have
involuntary behaviors that are different from voluntary behaviors.
Just because we can't tell which is which from the outside doesn't
mean that the subjective distinction on the inside isn't critically
important - much more important than outside appearances.

Craig

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