2011/10/13 Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>

> On Oct 13, 11:04 am, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > On Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 9:39 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com
> >wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > > 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.
> >
> > I don't think you have established this.  See below.
> >
> > > 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.
> >
> > All we learn when we interview someone is what level of access their
> verbal
> > center of the brain has to other perceptual functions
>
> I think it's too simplistic to talk about a verbal center acting on
> it's own. There is no suggestion that a sightblind patient has been
> reduced to a talking parrot by their condition. We have no reason to
> doubt the authenticity of the condition that they describe. If there
> were no such condition, that would tend to support functionalism, so
> even the existence of reports of sightblindness are somewhat
> contrafactual for functionalism.
>
> > of the brain.
> > Therefore we cannot use the claim of blindness to assert that no
> processes
> > in the person's brain are receiving processed visual information.
>
> There is no question that parts of the brain are making sense of
> optical experiences through the eyes but there is no reason to assume
> that it is processed as visual qualia.
>
> For
> > instance, a person with blind sight might still be able to catch a thrown
> > ball, because the motor section of the brain is receiving visual
> > information.
>
> There is no such thing as information. It is only the subjective
> capacity to be informed. To talk about visual information without a
> subjective experience is like saying that your video card could be
> watching a movie.
>
>  Likewise, someone with Anton's syndrome may have the opposite
> > defect in wiring, where the verbal center of the brain does receive
> visual
> > information, but the parts of the brain that integrates it to control
> motion
> > and reflexes do not.
> >
> > > It is not necessary for any of the
> > > qualia of vision to be present to achieve some of the functional
> > > benefit of sight.
> >
> > This is somewhat of a leap.
>
> Why? If we believe the reports of blindsight, what other conclusion
> can we make?
>
> >
> > > Qualia may or may not assist us functionally at all.
> >
> > Replace qualia with "awareness of information", and you can see how
> > necessary it is for certain processes to be aware of some piece of
> > information in order to function properly.
>
> Qualia is not awareness of information. We are informed by qualia, but
> we can be informed more effectively through unconscious processes.
> Replace information with experiences instead.
>
> >
> > > 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.
> >
> > I think your conclusion from the phenomenon of blindsight is premature.
> > Imagine a coinjoined twin who just had one very big head and two brains.
> > One brain controlled walking and received input from the eyes, the other
> > brain received input from the ears and controlled talking.  What could
> you
> > conclude from this twin's insistence that it was unable to see?
>
> I conclude that the blind twin is telling the truth. It's no different
> than a passenger in a car asserting that they aren't driving.
>
> >
> >
> >
> > > > 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
> > > sees.
> >
> > You are not considering the whole system, which includes both the
> > ventriloquist dummy and the ventriloquist.  Obviously there is something
> in
> > that system which sees (the ventriloquist).  Take the ventrioliquist away
> > and the dummy can no longer behave as if it sees.  This example only
> > confirms my original statement.
>
> Your argument is that if something acts like it sees then that means
> that thing must see. If you acknowledge that a dummy can't see then
> why not extend the same logic to a computer? The programmer is the
> ventriloquist who has recorded his act in advance so that a switching
> system routes inputs with recorded outputs.
>
>
You insist to compare a computation with a record when it's absolutely not
the same thing, likewise you insist about the fact that a program can't show
unexpected novelty and you're proven wrong... so instead of parroting those
false facts could you just take that in account ?


> >
> > > > 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.
> >
> > What's the point of the brain if nerve cells can simply sense what all
> the
> > other cells want to do and respond appropriately?
>
> The point is to have a deeper cache of sensorimotive experiences to
> draw from and enjoy. Some species liked swimming fast, ours liked
> playing with memories. Lots of organisms survive as well as we do
> without having developed a brain..worms, plankton, etc.
>
> Craig
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > > >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.
> >
> > Interesting ideas.
> >
> > Jason
>
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