On Thursday, March 21, 2013 10:42:02 AM UTC-4, John Clark 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?
Yes. What causes cause? ends that regress. What causes cause is nested
sensory-motor participation - which means that sensory-motor participation
is not itself subject to causality.
> 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.
The ability to read and write causes A through Z. Sense is always outside
of any frame, as all frames are a sense of perceptual or conceptual inertia.
> Most members of this list insist that consciousness is fundamental
Really? It seems like most people here are functionalists.
> 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.
But we know that data doesn't feel like anything. Bugs Bunny is data. He
doesn't feel like Bugs Bunny, right? The assumption of naked representation
is tempting, but ultimately can only be an extension of the pathetic
fallacy as far as I can tell.
> 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.
This has nothing to do with satisfaction. It's about overlooking the
fundamental context. Your metaphor takes letters of the alphabet for
granted, it take the whole sense of identity and sequence, causality,
coherence, relation, etc as givens. You are explaining the restaurant by
pointing to the items on the menu - completely ignoring all of the tables
and chairs, the waiters, the plates and silverware, etc. You are saying
that we have to just accept that if we order something on the menu, that
food always appears, so therefore the menu causes food...which I can
understand, but the disturbing part is that when this is pointed out, you
don't seem to mind this appearance of food, as long is it keeps us from
looking away from the menu.
> John K Clark
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