On Monday, October 1, 2012 8:09:53 PM UTC-4, stathisp wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 2, 2012 at 5:21 AM, Craig Weinberg 
> <whats...@gmail.com<javascript:>> 
> wrote: 
> >> But if the implants worked as implants without experiences the person 
> >> would behave as if everything were fine while internally and 
> >> impotently noticing that his experiences were disappearing or 
> >> changing. Do you understand what this means? 
> > 
> > 
> > I understand exactly what you think it means, but you don't understand 
> why 
> > the theoretical assumption doesn't apply to reality. Where consciousness 
> is 
> > concerned, the whole is not merely the sum of its parts, or even greater 
> > than the sum of it's parts, it is *other than* the sum of it's parts. If 
> the 
> > parts are not genetically identical to the whole, then they cannot be 
> > expected to even create a sum, let alone produce an experience which is 
> > greater or other than that sum. You assume that personal experience is a 
> sum 
> > of impersonal mechanisms, whereas I understand that is not the case at 
> all. 
> > Impersonal mechanisms are the public back end of sub-personal 
> experiences. 
> And if that were the case you would get a person who would behave as 
> if everything were fine while internally and impotently noticing that 
> his experiences were disappearing or changing. Do you understand why 
> he would behave as if everything were fine? 

I understand why you think he would behave as if everything were fine, but 
you don't understand that I know why this view is reductionist fantasy. 
Everything that we do and are is an expression of every experience we have 
ever had. The way we reason is the result of the experiences which we have 
lived through. Although these experiences play a role in circumscribing the 
behavior of the neurology, you can't reverse engineer the experiences from 
the behavior. It's like assuming that you can excise a block out of New 
York City and replace it with something that you assume to be functionally 

There is nothing that is functionally identical to a specific block of New 
York City. You can replace a building here or there and in time the 
population will embrace it, but the more of the city is replaced, the less 
able the population is able to assimilate the loss and the whole thing 
fails. He would *not* behave as if everything were fine because he would 
not be able to integrate new experiences as a human being would. As with 
all computing devices, there would be glitches that would be dead 
giveaways, and they would only become more prominent over time.

> Do you understand why he 
> would internally and impotently notice that his experiences were 
> disappearing or changing? 

I understand why you might believe that, but it's again based on a 
reductionist fantasy of consciousness. Do you think that someone with 
dementia is fully aware of their condition at all times like some kind of 
detached voyeur? If someone is falling down drunk are they internally and 
impotently noticing that their experiences are disappearing or changing? 
Consciousness isn't like that. It is a vast library of intertwined 
modalities of apocatastatic-gestalt frames of awareness access. It's not 
like you can stand aloof from your own psyche being dismantled...there 
isn't going to be enough of 'you' left to do that. Every part of your brain 
being replaced has to be compensated for by a live part of your brain 
picking up the slack, using the devices as prosthetic limbs and antennae. 
There is only so much that can be amputated and beyond that is irrevocable 

> > If you try to build a person from mechanisms, you will *always fail*, 
> > because the sub-personal experiences are not accessible without the 
> personal 
> > experiences to begin with. A baby has to learn to think like an adult 
> > through years of personal experience. It is the actual subjective 
> > participation in the experiences which drives how the neurology 
> develops. We 
> > see this with how people blind from birth use their visual cortex for 
> > tactile experience. If you gave the blind person a drug with will make 
> their 
> > visual cortex function just like a sighted person's, they still won't 
> get 
> > any colors. The colors aren't in 'there', there in 'here'. 
> The problem with someone blind from birth who later has an optical 
> problem corrected in adulthood is that the visual cortex has not 
> developed properly, since this normally happens in infancy. 

Thus to make them see you would need not only to correct the optical 
> problem 
> but to rewire their brain. If you could do that then they would have 
> all the required apparatus for visual perception and they would be 
> able to see.

If you can't correct the optical problem though, they are not going to be 
able to see even if you rewire the visual cortex. This is what you are not 
understanding. Without the optical experience, there is no images in the 
brain. Nothing that you can do to the brain will generate a visual 

> This is trivially obvious to me and most people: you 
> can't see because your brain doesn't work, and if you fixed the brain 
> you would be able to see. 

It seems trivially obvious to you because you don't understand the reality 
of perception. The brain, the eye, and illuminated conditions in the 
environment are all absolute requirements for the experience of visual 
sense to occur. None of those things can be missing, even with a perfect 
replica of a sighted person's brain. You assume that the brain contains 
experiences, but I don't. The brain only gives us access for perception and 
participation experiences as a human being. It can't generate experiences 
that it hasn't had.

> But I'm guessing that you might say that 
> even if the blind person's eyes and brain were fixed, so that 
> everything seemed to work perfectly well, they would still be blind, 

If their eyes worked then the neuroplasticity of the brain would adapt and 
hopefully begin to see eventually, depending on how long they had lived 
without sight. If the brain were fixed too, then they would learn to see 
very quickly, but still it would take months to get used to I would 
imagine. Pure speculation of course. But you think that what, you can pop 
on the eyes and visual cortex of a 40 year old Chinese man onto a Hungarian 
baby and he will be able to read Chinese?

because the non-mechanistic non-reducible spirit of visual essence 
> would be missing. 

Whenever anyone accuses me of talking about spirit or magic I know that 
they don't understand anything that I am talking about. Here is my post 
yesterday which specifically asserts why terms like spirit and soul are 
inappropriate. http://s33light.org/post/32628731508 

Essence I do use but not in the way that you accuse me of. I use essence 
only in juxtaposition to existence, as a way of discerning between 
primordially direct experience (essence) and indirect representations of 
experience (existence). I would never say that there was a visual essence 
or any such vague allusion. I am about describing the ordinary conditions 
of experience as they really, even it it often requires pretentious words. 
I propose no supernatural or metaphysical properties, especially none that 
make mechanistic mathematical functions suddenly start feeling like they 
want to sing and dance.


> -- 
> Stathis Papaioannou 

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