I comment on both Evgenii and Craig's comment:
On 28 May 2012, at 07:10, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On May 26, 11:57 am, Evgenii Rudnyi <use...@rudnyi.ru> wrote:
I have just finished reading Understanding Consciousness by Max
and below there are a couple of comments to the book.
The book is similar to Jeffrey Gray's Consciousness: Creeping up on
Hard Problem in a sense that it takes phenomenal consciousness
seriously. Let me give an example. Imagine that you watch yourself in
the mirror. Your image that you observe in the mirror is an example
The difference with Jeffrey Gray is in the question where the image
you see in the mirror is located. If we take a conventional way of
thinking, that is,
1) photons are reflected by the mirror
2) neurons in retina are excited
3) natural neural nets starts information processing
then the answer should be that this image is in your brain.
But the image is not in the brain. That can be said only in a
It seems to
be logical as, after all, we know that there is nothing after the
However, it immediately follows that not only your image in the
is in your brain but rather everything that your see is also in your
brain. This is exactly what one finds in Gray's book "The world is
inside the head".
I say that too, but it is only a metaphor. Your head is also in your
head. With comp, no problem: there are only number relation which are
interpreted by numbers, relatively to probable universal numbers. So
there are ontic third person computations, and first person views/
histories supervening on infinity of such computations.
Velmans takes a different position that he calls reflexive model of
perception. According to him, what we consciously experience is
exactly where we experience it. In other words, the image that you
in the mirror is located after the mirror and not in your brain. A
picture that explains Velmans' idea is at
Velmans introduces perceptual projection but this remains as the Hard
Problem in his book, how exactly perceptual projection happens.
It does not make sense. This is doing Aristotle mistake twice.
Velmans contrast his model with reductionism (physicalism) and
and interestingly enough he finds many common features between
reductionism and dualism. For example, the image in the mirror will
in the brain according to both reductionism and dualism.
That does not make sense either. There are no image in the brain. In
fact there is no brain.
This part could
be interesting for Stephen.
First I thought that perceptual projection could be interpreted
to Craig's senses but it is not the case. Velmans' reflexive monism
based on a statement that first- and third-person views cannot be
combined (this is what Bruno says). From a third-person view, one
observes neural correlates of consciousness but not the first-person
view. Now I understand such a position much better.
That's correct (with resopect to comp), but with comp "brains", or
what we call brain, are just local universal numbers, so many of the
confusions here are avoided at the start. This illustrates how far you
need to go to keep naturalism and mechanism.
I look at it the same way, that first and third person views cannot be
combined, but I go further to say that they are opposite.
Well, G and G* does combine them easily, but they are not
interdefinable, and obeys different logic. But G can be used as a
multi-modal logic (which I avoid for pedagogical reason, but it is
part of the future).
images are events in our lives. They are sense (feeling-image-meaning-
story) in time. Third person is an inside out fisheye-view of first
person stories that are not yours. The totality of their story thus
far (up to the corresponding moment in your own story) appears to you
collapsed as an object in space. Just as the entire unexpressed
potential of infinite apple orchards is essentialized as an apple
seed. The difference between an apple seed and seeds in general
recapitulates the phylogeny of gymnosperms and the species of apple in
The seed of the entire dream of the human species universe is
condensed as the brain when viewed from the outside. If you change
someone's brain, you change not just how they feel but potentially the
universe as they experience it, but likewise if you change the world
you change everyone's brain who is aware of the change you have made.
The brain is a character in our story, our story is all of the events
in the brain. They are the same thing only involuted - time and sense
on the inside, space and matter on the outside.
In third person, space is literal and time is figurative. We
understand that an object sits literally in a position relative to
other objects. The phone is on the couch. Time, however is figurative.
We turn the clock back in the Fall and say that it is now an earlier
time. We understand that calendars and clocks are not literally
changing the universe, only our interpretation of it.
In first person, space is figurative and time is literal.
understand that a person can figuratively travel to other places in
their minds but their body does not move. We use idioms like 'coming
from a darker place in her soul' as a metaphor to describe a semantic
quality of emotional tone, mood, themes. We talk about 'position' and
'placement' in relation to social status and political power, not
literal position in 3-D space. Time, however is literal. We understand
that we cannot turn the clock back on our lives. Our every thought or
feeling is a literal event that happens to us 'here' and now. Now is
always literally real, even in a dream or deep psychosis, the
narrative of our experience continues. Here is a figurative location -
somewhere behind our eyes or between our ears, or just near your body.
'Come over here' means what? near my body? near where my voice seems
to be coming from? It's less specific than that, it just means 'Come
to where I am. Join me'.
The image in the mirror then, like any image, is not anywhere in third
person. There is a silvered glass surface and that is all. To have an
image through the mirror, you need a first person receiver of images.
The image is a phenomenal sense experience in time, not in space. It
is inside of the matter that we are, which imitates the matter of the
mirror, which imitates the matter of the illuminated surfaces of the
room. They are all synchronized events that overlap on the same range
of inertial frames. They are all stories which occur within a
particular range of frequencies and scales. The shadow of that
staggeringly complex intersection of histories and rhythms is
presented outside of us in a static slice, like a 3-D Flatland of
objects. External realism. The inside is presented as subjects -
characters, stories, settings, themes. None of these are
representations, they are genuine presentations, however presentations
can recapitulate other presentations and associations. They can
conflict and confuse different levels.
Think of consciousness as a book that you read and write at the same
time but you can't see the pages and words, only hear them being read
and feel them coming to pass. The universe is a vast library which you
can only see the outside spines of the books, but which change your
own story when you get close to them.
I can relate, but it would be hard to explain relying on all comp's
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to email@example.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at