On Mon, Sep 24, 2012 at 10:45 PM, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com>wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 12:00 AM, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> > wrote: > > > Pain is anything but epiphenomenal. The fact that someone is able to > talk about it rules out it being an epiphenomenon. > > The behaviour - talking about the pain - could be explained entirely > as a sequence of physical events, without any hint of underlying > qualia. By analogy, we can explain the behaviour of a billiard ball > entirely in physical terms, without any idea if the ball has qualia or > some other ineffable non-quale property. In the ball's case this > property, like the experience of pain, would be epiphenomenal, without > causal efficacy of its own. > If it has no causal efficacy, what causes someone to talk about the pain they are experiencing? Is it all coincidental? I find the entire concept of epiphenominalism to be self-defeating: if it were true, there is no reason to expect anyone to ever have proposed it. If consciousness were truly an epiphenomenon then the experience of it and the resulting wonder about it would necessarily be private and non-shareable. In other words, whoever is experiencing the consciousness with all its intrigue can in no way effect changes in the physical world. So then who is it that proposes the theory of epiphenominalism to explain the mystery of conscious experience? It can't be the causally inefficacious experiencer. The only consistent answer epiphenominalism can offer is that the theory of epiphenominalism comes from a causally efficacious entity which in no way is effected by experiences. It might as well be a considered a non-experiencer, for it would behave the same regardless of whether it experienced something or if it were a zombie. Epiphenominalism is forced to defend the absurd notion that epiphenominalism (and all other theories of consciousness) are proposed by things that have never experienced consciousness. Perhaps instead, its core assumption is wrong. The reason for all these books and discussion threads about consciousness is that experiences and consciousness are causally efficacious. If they weren't then why is anyone talking about them? Jason -- 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 everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.