I can understand why it seems that my use of 'aesthetic' (and sense) is all 
over the place, and part of that is because I am trying to prompt others to 
make a connection between all of the different uses of the word. What I 
like about aesthetic is:

Anesthetic is used to refer to both general unconsciousness and local 
numbness. This hints at a natural link between sensitivity and 
consciousness. The loss of consciousness is a general an-aesthesia.

Aesthetic also has a connotation of patterns which are intended to be 
appreciated artistically or decoratively rather than for function. For 
example, there is a specific difference between red and green that is not 
reflected in the difference between wavelength measurements. We might 
explain the fact *that* there seem to be X number of functional breakpoints 
within the E-M continuum because of the function of our optical system, but 
there is no functional accounting for the the aesthetic presence of red or 
green. The aesthetic of red or green is far more than a recognition that 
there is a functional difference between E-M wavelengths associated with 
one part of the continuum or another.

Aesthetic then is a synonym for qualia, but without the nebulous baggage of 
that term. It just means something that is experienced directly as a 
presentation of sight, sound, touch, taste, etc - whether as a dream or 
imagined shape or a public object. When we hook up a video monitor to a 
computer, we are giving ourselves an aesthetic interface with which to 
display the anesthetic functions of software. Of course, I think that the 
entire cosmos is aesthetic, so that the functions of software are not 
absolutely anesthetic, but whatever aesthetic dimensions they have arise at 
the level of physics, not on the logical level that we have abstracted on 
top of it. A computer made of gears and pumps has no common aesthetic with 
an electronic computer, even though they may be running what we think is 
the same program, the program itself is an expectation, not a presence. 

There are common aesthetic themes within physics which give computation a 
ready medium in any group of rigid bodies that can be controlled reliably, 
but they cannot be made to scale up qualitatively from the outside in. If 
they could, we might expect the pixels of a video screen to realize that 
they are all contributing to a coherent image and merge into a more 
intelligent unified pixel-less screen. The fact that we can take a set of 
data in a computer and make it play as music or an image or text output is 
evidence that computation is blind to of higher aesthetic qualities.

On Monday, October 7, 2013 1:24:58 PM UTC-4, Platonist Guitar Cowboy wrote:
> 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 
> post Baumgarten.
> 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.

That's a huge leap to get from the elementary meaning of the term 
aesthetic, to the role of human genius plays in the shaping of the history 
of art. Bach does to the music of Englightenment era instruments what 
Shakespeare does to the language of England previously. We not only have 
access to collective sense in different ways, but we embody sense in a 
proprietary way as well. We are inventing the spectrum of sense as we go 
along to some extent. Before we can entertain the idea of 'forms beyond 
sense', we have to check whether that would be a valid expectation in the 
case that PIP is true and there can never be anything other than sense. 
Abstraction is a sense too, it's just not a first order sense. Cognition 
seems to much more developed in human beings than in anything else we 
encounter - we may be the Mozart of cognitive abstraction...and that causes 
us to view the universe through a distorted lens that over-signifies 
cognitive type mechanisms.

> 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. 

I don't oppose aesthetics or rationality, I only say that music is not 
driven my math, it is math which can be extracted from the lowest level 
aesthetic properties of the physics of music. Math can be extracted from 
all of the lowest level aesthetic properties of physics, but math is not 
particularly relevant to understanding the specific and proprietary 
aesthetics which make up the part of the universe we care about the most 
(our own lives, in particular).

> 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,

I don't give material world primary status from the Absolute perspective. 
Material would be second order displacement of sense capacities - a masking 
or attenuation of sense which appears locally as a public obstacle. Not 
sure about Fechner but from a brief look I don't disagree as far as the 
intensity of sensations of public conditions are directly proportional to 
other kinds of public measurements of magnitude, but again, those are very 
primitive connections through the most common (and least aesthetic) sense. 
You can't build green just by modulating a wave at the frequency we 
associate with a wave - there is nothing green about that frequency.


> then you have to accept that we can hone in on the beautiful via 
> experiment and study beauty empirically. 

Only because you are taking your own word for what is beautiful to begin 
with. It's not reversible. You cannot develop an empirical theory of beauty 
and assume that it radiates universal beauty independently of any local 
experience of it. Whatever beauty we attribute through experimental 
conclusions is only a validation of the utter inaccessibility of beauty to 
anything other than our own sensibilities - consistent though they may be 
among some demographic segments.

> 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.

 I don't seem myself as making claims so much as I'm proposing a general 
schema which reconciles all of the elusive problems of physics and 
philosophy. There might be some ways of verifying what I'm talking about 
experimentally, but I'm not going to be the person to do that. I don't know 
enough about any one specialized area to really try. My intent is to report 
that there seems to be a way to put all of the pieces of the frame to the 
puzzle together, but that it only works if you start from sense rather than 
physical dynamics or theoretical truths. All dynamics and all truth should 
be subsumed within sense from the start - even 'start' must be diffracted 
from sense.

> 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

I hear you. I think it's why I never was drawn to reading philosophy - 
there's too much work that has been done, and too much of it is missing the 
insights of later thinkers and scientists. I'm generally trying for a view 
that begins from a more extreme philosophical vacuum than has been possible 
before. I'm looking at human awareness as just one type of experience in a 
universe that is composed of nothing but experience experiencing itself 
from infinite (or pseudo-infinite) perspectives.


> On Mon, Oct 7, 2013 at 5:20 PM, Craig Weinberg 
> <whats...@gmail.com<javascript:>
> > 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   
>>>> consciousness",
>>> 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 
>>> statement. 
>> 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/*
>>> *thesis/6-panpsychism/**eigenmorphism/<http://multisenserealism.com/thesis/6-panpsychism/eigenmorphism/>
>>> 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. 
>>> OK.
>>> 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, 
>>> OK
>>> 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. 
>> Craig
>>> Bruno
>>> Craig
>>>> 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 
>>> presence.
>>> Craig
>>>> (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). 
>>>> Bruno 
>>>> > 
>>>> >> 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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