On Craig’s use of the term “Aesthetic”.
One of the hindrances preventing me from understanding Craig’s statements
is the pluralistic use of the term “aesthetics”. Sorry for not being able
to produce a proper account but the following conflicts will just be stream
of consciousness for 15 minutes:
Often you use aesthetics in a pre 19th century enlightenment way, as in
rigorous theory of sense, beauty, and harmony in nature and art. At the
same time you use the term as synonymous for qualifying taste, which is
reflected in everyday language use, but has little relation, if any, to
aesthetics as theory.
At other times you use it in Kantian way of transcendental, implying it to
be a source for knowledge (“Ästhetische Erkenntnis” in German) about
ourselves; but then at the same time you ditch distinguishing between form,
existing a priori as transcendental structure which theory studies, and the
impressions created for Kant a posteriori as experience, which is limited
by contexts of time, space, language, and perceptual apparatus in its
potential for us to grasp and study.
So you take the Kantian transcendental idea in part, but make experience by
perceptual apparatus primary to which Kant would reply: “without study and
evolution of timeless form, the arts and our ability to engage new forms of
transcendental experience with the sensory apparatus would stagnate.”
In other words, his objection would be: if we reduce sensory experience to
be the primary aesthetic mode, instead of the bonus and fruits of labors
and histories of theory, then we’d all be waiting for the next movie to be
projected in a theater, but nobody would produce new movies anymore. I’ve
never seen you address this quagmire convincingly. Where does novelty or
its appearance come from if everything makes sense? Why are some aesthetic
objects and presences more self-evident than others?
Then another use you make is aesthetics in semiotic interpretation, i.e.
that we can only sense what is pre-ordained by symbolic systems. This
however robs your use of aesthetics of the primary status you often assert
it to have via sense.
Further, it is not clear whether your use of the term corresponds to
mystical traditions of antique (Beauty as expression of universality,
divinity, or spirituality) or if it is the secular version including and
Then, if sense is universal with aesthetic experience in primary tow, how
do you explain the unique contributions of a Beethoven or Bach? Why can’t
anybody write/find such well crafted triple fuges if sense and aesthetic
experience are universal and give rise to the whole thing in the first
place: everybody should be at least as good as Bach because all engage the
world via sense. So you have to struggle with the 19th century genius
problem, if you reject the primacy of forms beyond sense.
It is also unclear where your model stands in more modern contexts, such as
psychological aesthetics or the route of Fiedler. Sometimes you oppose
aesthetics and rationality (maths and music) but when convenient this is
unified when talking “sense primary”, which produces further obscurity.
Would you agree with G. T. Fechner’s distinctions of “from above” and “from
below” in your approach? If sense and material world experience have
primary status, then you have to accept that we can hone in on the
beautiful via experiment and study beauty empirically. Your model suggests
sense is primary, but I have no way of studying and verifying your claims
other than believing you. Your model is full of explanations, but I find no
avenues for inquiry when I read you, other than that you have your
positions sorted and they are correct.
These are the kind of of conflicts that bar me from understanding your use
of aesthetics. The list isn’t exhaustive and I don’t demand you explain
these. They’re just illustrative of some difficulties I have with
understanding your use. So when you throw around sense, qualia, aesthetic
experience; I have difficulty following because of the jungle of possible
complex interpretations. Which ones Craig? - is what this boils down to
somewhere, I guess. PGC
On Mon, Oct 7, 2013 at 5:20 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:
> On Monday, October 7, 2013 3:56:55 AM UTC-4, Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> On 06 Oct 2013, at 22:00, Craig Weinberg wrote:
>> On Sunday, October 6, 2013 5:06:31 AM UTC-4, Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> On 06 Oct 2013, at 03:17, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
>>> > On 5 October 2013 00:40, Bruno Marchal <mar...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
>>> >>> The argument is simply summarised thus: it is impossible even for
>>> >>> God
>>> >>> to make a brain prosthesis that reproduces the I/O behaviour but has
>>> >>> different qualia. This is a proof of comp,
>>> >> Hmm... I can agree, but eventually no God can make such a
>>> >> prothesis, only
>>> >> because the qualia is an attribute of the "immaterial person", and
>>> >> not of
>>> >> the brain, body, or computer. Then the prosthesis will manifest
>>> >> the person
>>> >> if it emulates the correct level.
>>> > But if the qualia are attributed to the substance of the physical
>>> > brain then where is the problem making a prosthesis that replicates
>>> > the behaviour but not the qualia?
>>> > The problem is that it would allow
>>> > one to make a partial zombie, which I think is absurd. Therefore, the
>>> > qualia cannot be attributed to the substance of the physical brain.
>>> I agree.
>>> Note that in that case the qualia is no more attributed to an
>>> immaterial person, but to a piece of primary matter.
>>> In that case, both comp and functionalism (in your sense, not in
>>> Putnam's usual sense of functionalism which is a particular case of
>>> comp) are wrong.
>>> Then, it is almost obvious that an immaterial being cannot distinguish
>>> between a primarily material incarnation, and an immaterial one, as it
>>> would need some magic (non Turing emulable) ability to make the
>>> difference. People agreeing with this do no more need the UDA step 8
>>> (which is an attempt to make this more rigorous or clear).
>>> I might criticize, as a devil's advocate, a little bit the partial-
>>> zombie argument. Very often some people pretend that they feel less
>>> conscious after some drink of vodka, but that they are still able to
>>> behave normally. Of course those people are notoriously wrong. It is
>>> just that alcohol augments a fake self-confidence feeling, which
>>> typically is not verified (in the laboratory, or more sadly on the
>>> roads). Also, they confuse "less conscious" with "blurred
>> Why wouldn't less consciousness have the effect of seeming blurred? If
>> your battery is dying in a device, the device might begin to fail in
>> numerous ways, but those are all symptoms of the battery dying - of the
>> device becoming less reliable as different parts are unavailable at
>> different times.
>> Think of qualia as a character in a long story, which is divided into
>> episodes. If, for instance, someone starts watching a show like Breaking
>> Bad only in the last season, they have no explicit understanding of who
>> Walter White is or why he behaves like he does, where Jesse came from, etc.
>> They can only pick up what is presented directly in that episode, so his
>> character is relatively flat. The difference between the appreciation of
>> the last episode by someone who has seen the entire series on HDTV and
>> someone who has only read the closed captioning of the last episode on
>> Twitter is like the difference between a human being's qualia and the
>> qualia which is available through a logical imitation of a human bring.
>> Qualia is experience which contains the felt relation to all other
>> experiences; specific experiences which directly relate, and extended
>> experiential contexts which extent to eternity (totality of manifested
>> events so far relative to the participant plus semi-potential events which
>> relate to higher octaves of their participation...the bigger picture with
>> the larger now.)
>> Then qualia are infinite. This contradict some of your previous
> It's not qualia that is finite or infinite, it is finity-infinity itself
> that is an intellectual quale. Quanta is derived from qualia, so
> quantitative characteristics have ambiguous application outside of quanta.
>> Human psychology is not a monolith. Blindsight already *proves* that 'we
>> can be a partial zombie' from our 1p perspective. I have tried to make my
>> solution to the combination problem here: http://multisenserealism.com/**
>> What it means is that it is a mistake to say "we can be a partial zombie"
>> - rather the evidence of brain injuries and surgeries demonstrate that the
>> extent to which we are who we expect ourselves to be, or that others expect
>> a person to be, can be changed in many quantitative and qualitative ways.
>> We may not be less conscious after a massive debilitating stroke, but what
>> is conscious after that is less of us.
>> As Chardin said, we are not human beings having from time to time some
>> divine experiences, but we are divine beings having from time to time human
>> experiences ...
> Right, although I would go further to say that 'here' are experiences
> which take on qualities of seeming we-ness, seeming human-ness, seeming
> divinity, etc. What allows the separation of these experiences into
> qualities is form-ness and function-ness, from which we can derive metric
> abstractions of space, time, and artithmetic truth.
>> This is because consciousness is not a function or a process,
>> it is the sole source of presence.
>> Qualia is what we are made of. As human beings at this stage of human
>> civilization, our direct qualia is primarily cognitive-logical-verbal. We
>> identify with our ability to describe with words - to qualify other qualia
>> as verbal qualia. We name our perceptions and name our naming power 'mind',
>> but that is not consciousness. Logic and intellect can only name
>> public-facing reductions of certain qualia (visible and tangible qualia -
>> the stuff of public bodies). The name for those public-facing reductions is
>> quanta, or numbers, and the totality of the playing field which can be used
>> for the quanta game is called arithmetic truth.
>> Arithmetical truth is full of non nameable things. Qualia refer to non
>> verbally describable first person truth.
> Can arithmetical truth really name anything? It seems to me that we can
> use arithmetic truth to locate a number within the infinity of computable
> realtions, but any 'naming' is only our own attempt to attach a proprietary
> first person sense to that which is irreducibly generic and nameless. The
> thing about qualia is not that it is non-nameable, it is the specific
> aesthetic presence that is manifested. Names are just qualia of mental
> association - a rose by any other name, etc.
>>> I think.
>>> So I think we are in agreement.
>> Yes, you are both making the same mistake. Conflating the unity of
>> trivial self-identification with the aesthetic reality of experiential
>>> (I usually use "functionalism" in Putnam's sense, but your's or
>>> Chalmers' use is more logical, yet more rarely used in the community
>>> of philosopher of mind, but that's a vocabulary issue).
>>> >> If not, even me, can do a brain prothesis that reproduce the
>>> >> consciousness
>>> >> of a sleeping dreaming person, ...
>>> >> OK, I guess you mean the full I/O behavior, but for this, I am not
>>> >> even sure
>>> >> that my actual current brain can be enough, ... if only because "I"
>>> >> from the
>>> >> first person point of view is distributed in infinities of
>>> >> computations, and
>>> >> I cannot exclude that the qualia (certainly stable lasting qualia)
>>> >> might
>>> >> rely on that.
>>> >>> provided that brain physics
>>> >>> is computable, or functionalism if brain physics is not computable.
>>> >>> Non-comp functionalism may entail, for example, that the replacement
>>> >>> brain contain a hypercomputer.
>>> >> OK.
>>> >> Bruno
>>> > --
>>> > Stathis Papaioannou
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