On Wednesday, March 20, 2013 5:44:23 PM UTC, John Clark wrote:
> >>> We can write books and other people can read them, so that must prove
>>>> that consciousness is not caused by neurochemistry.
>>> >> What the hell???
>> > Books aren't neurological, right?
> Right, but they are certainly material.
> > There is no direct link between the author's brain and the reader's
> There is never a "direct link" between one mind and another, there is
> always a material middle man, usually many, such as photons reflected off
> paper in a book, or air vibrations from vocal cords, or in chemical changes
> in the nerves of fingers, or whatever.
> > Just like the light switch
> There is not a "direct link" between the light switch and the light going
> on either, the closing of the light switch just caused a current to flow in
> the wire, the current flow didn't cause the light either it just caused the
> filament in the light bulb to get hot, it was the hot electrons in the
> filament that caused the electromagnetic waves to be produced.
I think explanations are important to prove causation ;-) and it's
interesting that you can break this example down. Each explanatory step is
materially plausible (it has a satisfactory public explanation), right up
to the perception of the light. But the qualia (qualium?) itself doesn't
have a public description, and there isn't any sense of satisfaction that
it has been explained. It's tempting to believe that's because it's a
complicated step, but there seems no obvious way to reduce it. So as far as
I can see it is still only an assumption, with the hope/faith that some
plausible explanation will one day be found. I'm not sure there are many
other widely-held scientific explanations like this one?
> > you remove any connection between neurons, yet the words of one brain
>> (or brain activity ostensibly associated with the words) are still
>> transmitted from one to the other.
> When you write books I don't always read them AND if I don't read your
> book your book still exists, so I can say with great confidence that my
> reading of your books does not cause your books to exist.
> John K Clark
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