On Friday, April 19, 2013 9:30:16 AM UTC-4, stathisp wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 19, 2013 at 9:56 PM, Craig Weinberg 
> <whats...@gmail.com<javascript:>> 
> wrote: 
> > Qualia are generated, but only by other qualia. By pointing out that 
> qualia 
> > can have no possible function, I am clarifying that in a universe 
> defined 
> > purely by function, that qualia cannot be possible. What this means is 
> that 
> > the universe cannot be defined purely by function. It cannot be a motor, 
> > machine, computer, zombie, or set of all arithmetic truths. 
> Qualia are not possible in a world defined purely by function unless 
> qualia supervene on function. 

It can only seem plausible for qualia to supervene on function because you 
are smuggling in qualia from your own experience and attaching it to 
function-without-qualia which is a hypothesis within your experience. If 
you try to justify qualia in a universe which already functions without 
qualia, then you can only get circular arguments since there is no possible 
function for qualia which does not take functional properties qualia itself 
for granted.

> A motor, machine or computer could have 
> qualia, 

I disagree. Motors, machines, or computers are anesthetic executors of 
sense, but they have no sense themselves. This is part of their ontological 

> since humans qualia and humans are made of the same stuff as 
> motors, machines and computers.

That's your mistake. We are made of both cells and feelings, both of which 
express motives. Cells express motives publicly, which means spatially, 
which means 'motor'. Feelings inspire motives privately, which means 
experience. What a machine does is to impose the public motor non-sense 
conditions on private sense, reversing the natural direction where outer 
behaviors reflect inner nature. What a computer does is to multiply and 
miniaturize the machine to attain a higher resolution imposition of public 
non-sense on private sense.

What we are looks like a machine only if we are using the machine-like 
extremities of our awareness to see it. When we look for consciousness from 
its own extremity, we can only find the minimal residue of it - which is 
public forms and functions.

> If humans are not defined purely by 
> function (whatever that means) then motors, machines and computers may 
> also not be defined purely by function. 

REAL machines, REAL motors, and REAL computers are not defined that way, 
no. They are actual devices made of matter and all matter is a 
representation of some experience. I have no problem with inanimate (to us) 
matter having experience. My problem is getting you to see that not all 
experiences are created equal. No amount of silicon crystal experiences can 
contain the *aesthetic* bandwidth of an animal's experience. Why? Because 
there I think there is a second, perpendicular axis to 
anesthetic-unintentional form-function in space-time, and that is 
aesthetic-intentional sensory-motive in significance-entropy. Silicon never 
levels up to living cells because biological experiences can't reach down 
to that sterile of a vehicle. It is an inappropriate container, just as 
four letter Anglo-Saxon curses are not an appropriate language with which 
to express theoretical physics. Maybe you could make a silicon biology, 
just as maybe you could make a physics theory out of only profanity, but 
it's by no means certain. Even in that case, since experience I am saying 
is based on time rather than space, it could take millions or billions of 
years of maturation to achieve anything like the aesthetic tones we get out 
of a primate brain. I'm saying that may not be condensable, because the 
qualia *is* the condensed experience. It cannot be imported into a lower 
inertial frame, or leapfrogged, only passed around among peers.

> If humans contain an 
> undetectable ingredient that confers on them the possibility of qualia 

Never said they do. There is no ingredient, and undetectable by definition 
has nothing to do with qualia. What humans have that nothing else can ever 
have is the particular qualia which is specific to human lives. Animals 
share some of that qualia; plants, minerals share some too, and they 
presumably have qualia which we will never directly experience (unless we 
merge our nervous system with them). All that I say is that a stone shaped 
like a person's body is not a person, even if it is shaped like every fiber 
and molecule of a person's body.

> then motors, machines and computers may also have this undetectable 
> ingredient. 

The real substrate of mmc's do indeed have qualia, it's just not human 
qualia, it is the qualia common to all matter only. The intellectual 
definition of motors, machines, and computers, however are abstract 
concepts - substrate independent designs which supervene on matter for 
execution, but not on any particular set of material objects. MMC's exploit 
the lowest common denominator Lingua Franca of public spatial interaction, 
which is what affords them, appropriately, freedom from local restrictions. 
This lack of local identification is what Bruno believes is identical to 
consciousness, but I see it as actually the tail end of consciousness as it 
fades into entropy. I am more interested in the head end of consciousness 
as it radiates significance from eternity. 

> > This answers the Hard problem. The answer is that aesthetic qualia exist 
> > because existence itself is synonymous with qualia. Functions are 
> explained 
> > by qualia, but qualia are not explainable by functions. 
> It doesn't seem to me to answer anything. I could equally well say 
> that aesthetic qualia exist because they necessarily occur when 
> certain functions are implemented, and assert that this is just a 
> brute a brute fact as you assert ad hoc that "existence is synonymous 
> with qualia". 

I only assert that existence is synonymous with qualia because I understand 
that there can be no other possibility. The assertion that some function 
causes qualia to appear as a metaphysical magic from nowhere for no reason 
has an obvious alternative - that you have got it upside down. Function is 
easy to explain as qualia but qualia is impossible to explain as function 
unless you do the brute fact conjecture which you mention. If you are going 
to do that, why explain anything?

> >> The Hard Problem pertains to why qualia should exist at 
> >> all given that it is possible to conceive of a universe just the same, 
> >> except lacking qualia. 
> > 
> > 
> > It's not that it is possible to conceive of a universe lacking qualia, 
> it is 
> > that it is impossible to conceive of a function for qualia, and it is 
> > impossible to conceive of a non-circular justification for the 
> possibility 
> > of qualia in a universe driven purely by function. If we define pain as 
> that 
> > which motivates a certain set of behaviors, we must ask why that set of 
> > behaviors needs some magical aesthetic decoration to be initiated, 
> rather 
> > than the way that every other function in the universe would work - by 
> > simple Laws of Physics. 
> It is possible to conceive that qualia necessarily supervene on 
> certain functions. 

How, other than through the brute fiat?

> It is even possible that qualia supervene on every 
> function, or panpsychism. Why this should be so is the Hard Problem. 

Right, but I am showing that the Hard Problem is solved when you turn it 
upside down. Function supervenes on qualia. Not panpsychism, but 
psyche-pan-ism. Ontology is experiential.

> >> "Information lacks aesthetic presence by definition". So you say. I 
> >> could also say that matter lacks aesthetic presence by definition, or 
> >> anything in the universe lacks aesthetic presence by definition, and 
> >> consciousness must therefore come from the spiritual realm. 
> > 
> > 
> > Matter does not lack aesthetic presence. Matter always has a physical 
> form - 
> > solid, liquid, gas, or plasma. Information has no physical form as it is 
> > conceived. Whatever acts as a sign that can be controlled and read is 
> > "information". 
> So? Information is more like mind in that it is intangible, 
> supervenient on the physical but not identical to the physical. 

Except that unlike the mind, information doesn't think. It doesn't do 
anything or have any intentions. If you put a pattern in silicon, it will 
stay that way as long as the substrate is intact. Mind can't do that. Only 
objects in space can do that - which is why we count on fingers and abacus 
beads and hashmarks on a clay tablet. They don't go anywhere except where 
you put them. The mind is the opposite of that, always ephemeral, shifting, 
forgetting, fictionalizing, morphing into something new.

> > The 'spiritual realm' jab has nothing to do with anything except the 
> need to 
> > make my points seem associated with irrationality. I am talking about 
> > physics and ontology, not spirituality. 
> But you claim that it is impossible to conceive of consciousness 
> supervening on function. A religious person would claim that it 
> impossible to conceive of consciousness as residing anywhere other 
> than in the spiritual realm. Both your positions seem to essentially 
> be based on the argument from incredulity: see, this lump of coal is 
> inert and dead, how could anything derived from it possibly have 
> feelings? 

I'm not reasoning from incredulity, but rather from an understanding of the 
inescapable, ubiquitous, and absolute nature of awareness and its role in 
defining forms and functions and their interaction. You are projecting a 
'gee whiz, we should bow down to this amazeballs magicks of 
consciousness!'  approach onto me, but I am not seeing it that way at all. 
My model craps on everything - God, matter, mathematics, humanity, life, 
etc. It values nothing, it only put it in the proper order. Significance 
goes here, entropy goes here, awareness goes here, etc. I am putting 
together a very simplistic puzzle in a ruthlessly scientific way which, if 
properly understood, yields a finality - a universal GAME OVER which cannot 
be transcended except by plummeting headlong into the unknown.


> -- 
> Stathis Papaioannou 

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