On Wed, Mar 20, 2013  Tom Bayley <tjp.bay...@gmail.com> wrote:

> > 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.

Does the chain of questions "what caused that?" ever come to a end? If
it doesn't then you can keep asking that question forever in infinite
regress; however if it does come to a end, if A caused B and B causes C and
C causes D and that's all there is then once we've said that C causes D
we've said all we can say and we know that D is a fundamental thing in the
universe; although it might not be the only fundamental thing, there might
be other sequences of "what caused that?" questions that come to a
different end.

Most members of this list insist that consciousness is fundamental but it's
clear they haven't thought it through because after saying that they demand
to know how D causes consciousness. I think that D is information
processing and once you say that consciousness is the way data feels like
when it is being processed you've said all you can say about the matter
because consciousness is fundamental.

If that leaves you with a sense of dissatisfaction that's just in the
nature of fundamental things, but I doubt you'd be any happier if the chain
of questions "what caused that?" never came to a end and it was like a
onion with a infinite number of layers with one mystery always inside
another. And after all, the sequence either comes to a end or it does not,
neither possibility is likely to leave you entirely satisfied.

   John K Clark

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