Comments

  • Sellars' Empiricism & The Philosophy of Mind
    I'd also go further and add that not only does the object look a particular colour in a particular light, but that that object IS that particular colour in that particular light (from a particular perspective, of course). The object's properties are being directly affected by the properties of the light source, which is affecting the properties of our perception of the object. So the object is "blue" in one kind of light, and "green" in another kind of light, and so on.numberjohnny5

    I don't think this works, because the physics will not agree with that (it's the same wavelength in all cases, and nothing has changed on the object's surface), and you have optical illusions where we see color that isn't there at all.

    It's clear that we're seeing the object as different colors in different lighting conditions, because that's how our color vision works, not because the object has different colorings.

    If anyone wants to reject the above on idealistic grounds, you still have to account for optics and illusions. In idealist terminology, our experiences are in disagreement with one another as to whether the object's color changes.
  • Is pencil and paper enough?
    What is it about computation, or translations from some sets of symbols to other sets of symbols, that could produce a state of conscious awareness?jkop

    I don't know, but quite a few people think the mind is computable, and don't like the idea of some important mental aspect being unique to human physiology.
  • Idealism and "group solipsism" (why solipsim could still be the case even if there are other minds)
    Think about it though, if you had control over what one persons actions effected other peoples realities like that you could have quite a lot of control over the entire population while at the same time being completely non-existent to every human being alive.intrapersona

    I like to blame some of my poorer choices on aliens, at any rate.
  • Idealism and "group solipsism" (why solipsim could still be the case even if there are other minds)
    I never saw a good answer to that, only that idealism is not solipsism, and so has other minds built into it somehow.
  • Idealism and "group solipsism" (why solipsim could still be the case even if there are other minds)
    If each 'phenomenal world' is entirely dependent on its 'experiencer' then this kind of causal interaction is impossible.csalisbury

    Seemed to me that some of the idealists back on the old board did defend this, and that the Cyrenaics defended that position in ancient Greece.
  • Is pencil and paper enough?
    An experience is a biological phenomena: the identification of something, not an expression of it (eg with pen and paper).jkop

    If we consider some of the claims by transhumanists or AI enthusiasts, then the right sort of computation will result in experience.

    Consider the idea of mind uploading. If you could emulate your brain in software, would it have experiences? If so, then would the paper equivalent?
  • How do physicalists explain 'intentional content'?
    When physics predicts results that have not been empirically verified it is because these predictions exist as a result of the formal logic.
    This was what lead to the acceptance of GR in particular, the formal logic predicted things that were eventually empirically verified.
    It more like a two way street.
    We make formal logic models, and then verify them from observation and vice versa.
    m-theory

    Right, but observation can also disconfirm. If GR had been contradicted, then the math wouldn't have mattered. So unless there is some deep reason for math and observation to always be in agreement, provided the physicists do the right math, then it's not formal.
  • How do physicalists explain 'intentional content'?
    will be honest, I have no interest in why you believe that what you said is valid.m-theory

    Physics isn't formal in that physics is derived from (or driven by) experimental results. The wave equation exists because of the double slit and other such experiments. So does GR and every other scientific equation.
  • Is pencil and paper enough?
    You think the brain has some non-physical aspect to it?tom

    I don't know whether non-reductionism is the case or not. Some physicalists ascribe to emergentism at different levels. I'm also not sure whether physicalism is the case. Maybe someone will figure out how to give a physical explanation for consciousness, but maybe not.

    In addition to that, I'm skeptical that functionalism is entirely substrate independent. I kind of think that the sort of bodies we have determines the kind of minds we have.
  • How do physicalists explain 'intentional content'?
    If red is undecidable then Chalmers should not know if he is or is not experiencing it.m-theory

    You're arguing that our self-awareness is necessarily decidable, otherwise, we wouldn't be able to know. So knowledge is decidable.
  • Is pencil and paper enough?
    Denial of known physics is always an option, particularly when there are no consequences that matter.tom

    I'm not aware that physics requires universal computation to be the case, only that some have asserted that all physical processes can be computed. Sounds like an ontological claim to me, but maybe there is a mathematical proof for this?

    Even if so, the big challenge would be to show that everything about the living brain is reducible to physics.
  • How do physicalists explain 'intentional content'?
    I must admit I do not follow you here.
    I don't understand why how this is the case?
    m-theory

    I assumed you were making a Dennettian style argument, which is why you were asking how I knew for certain that I had experiences. Dennett has stated that we don't have any sort of subjective experience. We are the equivalent of p-zombies.

    But you might be arguing that subjectivity is reducible to objective, physical processes, which is different from eliminativism about qualia. Chalmers has argued that you can't make such reductions, because experience is not reducible to structure or function, which is similar to saying that the experience of red is not captured by number or shape.
  • How do physicalists explain 'intentional content'?
    Except that physicalism explains reality with formal logic.m-theory

    By that, you mean it appeals to physics, which is empirically driven?
  • How do physicalists explain 'intentional content'?
    And why would anyone decide that some of our experiences are not actually being experienced? Because it doesn't fit well with their ontology. So Dennett has to say that we are all p-zombies. There are only objective experiences.

    What about when we dream of seeing red? Well, we don't actually dream, we just seem to remember to have dreamed. Those are the contortions one has to make to consistently deny subjective experience.

    But the advantage is that it makes the hard problem go away for Dennett, and he gets to be on the side of science, while Chalmers, etc are mysterians and woo mongerers. And by Dennett, I mean anyone who argues along these lines.
  • How do physicalists explain 'intentional content'?
    No I am saying it is not possible to abstract anything from elusive subjective access.m-theory

    Interestingly enough, the idealists, at least some of them, might agree with this. Didn't Berkley argue against abstacta?

    But I don't agree, so I might agree that some of our experience is objective. So let's say that Locke was basically right and shape, number, extension, etc are objective features of physical objects.

    So that's great, we can do science and believe that it truly attempts to describe the world as it is. But what about when we want to explain the rest of our experiences?

    Do we draw a line in the sand and deny that color, sounds, smells, etc are really being experienced?

    If we can do that, then why stop there? What makes the objective world that we experience any more real? Why not deny that we experience shape, number, etc?

    It potentially undermines itself, or at the very least, is inconsistent. What is being done is deciding that certain experiences are real, and the rest are not even experienced.
  • How do physicalists explain 'intentional content'?
    If you are not then you have no well formed logical method to define self.m-theory

    My world is my self? Yeah, I identify my own self as this body amongst other bodies and objects, but it's not the only way to think about the self. I could identify self with the summation of my experiences.

    Isn't mysticism and Eastern religions about overcoming the illusion of self and seeing that all is one, and all that jazz?
  • How do physicalists explain 'intentional content'?
    Subjectivity is abstracted from a necessary objectively existent dichotomy.m-theory

    You're saying because of the other who has their own experiences, I know that mine are subjective, so it's the objective existence of other experiences which justifies my own subjective experience.

    I don't think idealists would agree with that, but not a bad attempt.
  • How do physicalists explain 'intentional content'?
    As sure as you are that there is self, you are necessarily just as sure that there is a not self.m-theory

    I'm not, because solipsism retains it's logical irrefutability under the right formulation, even if I don't find it compelling.
  • How do physicalists explain 'intentional content'?
    To doubt entails that something must that doubts.m-theory

    Alrighty then, to ask whether subjective experience exists entails that something which experiences subjectivity exists.

    It's not quite as straightforward, because you need to also show that objectivity is abstracted from subjective experience, such that arguing objectively for subjectivity is to assume subjectivity in the first place.

    IOW, doubting subjectivity undermines the objective. This is something that Dennett, etc seem to not realize, but probably they would not accept the premise that subjectivity is necessarily the starting point.

    So maybe more argument is needed here. For me, it's enough to note that you don't have my experiences, and I don't have yours, and the only way we know about the objective world is via our own experiences.
  • How do physicalists explain 'intentional content'?
    If I am certain that you exist, it is because there is an effective procedure such that it is not logically possible to doubt that you exist.m-theory

    I am not certain that you exist, I'm just confident beyond reasonable doubt. I am certain of my own existence, whatever that entails (brain in vat, Neo, demonic dream character).