• SteveKlinko
    199
    We Do Not See Objects We Detect Objects

    The Big Bang happens and a new Universe is created. This Universe consists of Matter, Energy, and Space. After billions of years of complicated interactions and processes the Matter, Energy, and Space produce a planet with Conscious Life Forms (CLFs). In the course of their evolution the CLFs will need to See each other in order to live and interact with each other. But what does it really mean to See? A CLF is first of all a Physical Thing. There is no magic power that just lets a CLF See another CLF. A CLF can only Detect another CLF through some sensing mechanism which must be made out of Physical material and which uses Physical processes. There never is any kind of Seeing in the sense that we think we understand it. There is always only Detection.

    So a CLF might understand that it does not ever really See another CLF, but it will still insist that it Sees the reflected Light. The CLF would be mistaken if it thinks it Sees even the reflected Light. All it can do is Detect the reflected Light. Its sensing mechanism can only produce Physical reactions, like Neural Activity, that are correlated with the reflected Light. If the reflected Light is Red the sensing mechanism will fire Neurons that only fire for Red inputs. The CLF might be able to sense that the Red Neurons are firing. So every time these Neurons fire it can report that it is seeing Red. This CLF is only sensing particular Neurons firing and is not experiencing Red like we do.

    A CLF like us Sees Red as a Conscious experience and is not aware of any Neural Activity. This Conscious Red Experience is how we Detect Red Light from the external Physical World. The Red that we see is a Surrogate for the 680nm Wavelength Light that is impinging on our Retinas. The two things we know are:

    1) Neural Activity for Red happens
    2) A Conscious experience of Red happens

    The question we should all be considering is, how does 1 happening result in 2 happening? This is the Hard Problem of Consciousness and the answer to the question would explain the Explanatory Gap of Consciousness.

    The people that are still talking about Wavelengths of Light don't understand the basic Hard Problem of Consciousness or the Explanatory Gap.
  • jkg20
    216
    There never is any kind of Seeing in the sense that we think we understand it. There is always only Detection.
    But this is precisely the claim that needs arguing for, not assuming. You are telling a story about vision that may or may not lead to a hard problem, but you have provided no argument that your account of vision that leads to that problem is correct - including, by the way, the pretty brute realism that underlies it.
    So it seems clear that the process that produces the Red in the two different cases must be the same.
    Again, just assumptions. What if I insist that in the one case what is produced is the seeing of something red and in the other the mere representation of something red? In that case the processes are different.
  • jkg20
    216
    "Red" is perhaps giving too much leeway to veer off the metaphysical point that Klinko is trying to hammer home. Let's go with "cadmium orange" instead.
  • SteveKlinko
    199
    ↪SteveKlinko

    There never is any kind of Seeing in the sense that we think we understand it. There is always only Detection.
    But this is precisely the claim that needs arguing for, not assuming. You are telling a story about vision that may or may not lead to a hard problem, but you have provided no argument that your account of vision that leads to that problem is correct - including, by the way, the pretty brute realism that underlies it.


    So it seems clear that the process that produces the Red in the two different cases must be the same.
    Again, just assumptions. What if I insist that in the one case what is produced is the seeing of something red and in the other the mere representation of something red? In that case the processes are different.
    jkg20

    Here is an argument for the general perception of Light of any Wavelength. This argument is based on an engineering analysis approach where we trace the path of the perception of Light. The first thing that happens is that Physical Light enters the Eye and is focused onto the Retina. The instant the Physical Light hits the Retina it activates the Rods and Cones. Various wavelengths of Physical Light will preferentially activate various different Rods and Cones. The Physical Light is absorbed by the Rods and Cones and the Physical Light is no longer Physical Light. What is left is an avalanche of chemical reactions that eventually fires a Neuron that sends a signal away from the Retina and to the Visual Areas (VAs) of the Cerebral Cortex, and this happens for millions of Neurons at the same time and these signals are all bundled into the Optic Nerve. It’s a long journey from the Retina through the Lateral Geniculate Nucleus (LGN) of the Thalamus and to the Visual Areas which are located in the back of the head. One of the known functions of the LGN is to block Visual information from the Eye during sleep. During this whole trip from Eye to the VAs we are not dealing with Physical Light anymore but rather this is of course Neural Activity. The Neural Activity eventually progresses to the first Visual Area (V1) to get processed and is then sent to the second Visual Area (V2) and on to other Visual Areas V3, V4, V5, and more. All the areas also send signals back to previous Areas to create a giant mish mash of parallel processing that is difficult to completely quantify. All the processing and feedback is also Neural Activity since it is correlated with the Physical Light. But the Physical Light is long gone, all you have is Neural Activity. So all we can really say is that we experience Neural Activity not Physical Light. But the Neural Activity as described is not Conscious Light (the Conscious experience od Light) yet. It’s just Neural Activity. Where is the experience of Conscious Light? We know when this Neural Activity happens that Conscious Light happens. But the Conscious Light cannot be found in the Brain. Ok, it’s not found YET, and maybe someday it will be found in the Brain. One thing for sure is that we don't experience the actual Physical Light but rather we experience the Neural Activity that was correlated with the Physical Light.

    The Conscious experience of the Light that we are so familiar with is the result of Neural Activity. In fact anything that can stimulate Neural Activity will produce the Conscious Light effect. You can rub your eyes and See Lights. This is because rubbing your eyes stimulates Neural Activity. There is much Neural Activity while Dreaming at night and you can See Light while Dreaming. This is Conscious Light and is certainly not any kind of Physical Light. Dream Light is a perfect example showing that Conscious Light is something different than Physical Light. We have never Seen Physical Light but only our own internal Conscious Light. One final example is After Images. These are images of the scene you were looking at after you close your eyes. The Retina and Cortex Activity takes a while to shutdown after your eyes are closed. The Retina and Cortex activity quickly extinguishes but you still See Light for a number of seconds after you close your eyes where there is no longer Light hitting the Retina. This is again the Conscious Light. So it is the Neural Activity that we See as Light. The question is how does this Neural Activity get converted into the Conscious Light that we experience?
  • SteveKlinko
    199
    ↪Pattern-chaser "Red" is perhaps giving too much leeway to veer off the metaphysical point that Klinko is trying to hammer home. Let's go with "cadmium orange" instead.jkg20
    Choose any Color that you want to study. People with colorblindness can think about the shade of White. Pick a Sound to study. Take the Standard A Tone.

    What is the Redness of the Red?
    What is the Orange-ness of the Orange?
    What is the A-ness of the Standard A?

    These are all Conscious experiences.
  • Pattern-chaser
    199
    It seems to me you're the one who does most of the 'veering'. First it's red and redness, then it's that red is an external thing, and now ... what? And what about my observation that "red" is as ambiguous as most English words, and your approach ignores all but one of its possible meanings? :chin:
  • jkg20
    216
    And what about my observation that "red" is as ambiguous as most English words, and your approach ignores all but one of its possible meanings?

    My interest is in the fundamental metaphysics of the theory of vision that Klinko is outlining and whether it reveals any such thing as the "hard problem" that he is talking about, and indeed whether it is even a coherent theory. All the other uses of "red" that you are talking about are metaphorical/otherwise derived from the use of "red" to describe a visible property of the surface of objects (which is far from being an unusual use of the word) so I ignore those other uses on the grounds that for my concerns, they are irrelevant.
  • Pattern-chaser
    199
    so I ignore those other usesjkg20

    Then your constrained researches will return constrained results. :up:
  • jkg20
    216
    Why? For me, the research is constrained to the fundamental case - the results from the fundamental case will have consequences for all cases based on that foundation.
  • Pattern-chaser
    199
    But your constrained results have already ignored all other meanings and uses to which humans put the term "red". The results from your limited and constrained case cannot extend to cover the things you have intentionally excluded. You can have your cake, or you can eat it. Choose one.
  • Relativist
    218
    Humans are part of the physical universe, so this suggests redness (that thing we perceive and contemplate) is part of the physical world. — Relativist


    This is like saying that Harry Potter and Sherlock Holmes exist in the real world, because the books and films that represent their adventures exist in the real world. I don't think this argument holds water.
    Pattern-chaser
    Consider the fact that there's nothing unnatural about the fact that there exist fictional narratives with fictional characters - so yes, these DO exist in the real world (as fictions). Fictions exist in our minds, just as redness exists in our minds.

    The definition you use for "red" is unusual, and does not include many or most of the shades of meaning used by humans when they say "red"....My view is broader, and tries to embrace all of the meanings that humans conventionally use "red" for.Pattern-chaser
    OK, but this is because of the nature of "redness." I'll relate a philosophical thought-experiment.

    Mary is a woman who has lived her entire life in a single room, a room in which there is nothing in it that is colored red (any shade of it), so she's never actually seen anything red. However, she has devoted her life to learning everything there is to know about redness. She understands the physics of light reflection, and even understands the concept of color, by virtue of her perception of other colors. She becomes the world's foremost expert on redness, understanding all the many "shades of meaning" you reference. Can she truly understand red fully and completely, without ever actually seeing it? No - because she would never have had the experience of redness.

    The moral of the story is that we can talk around "redness" and no words will be able to convey the understanding of redness that is associated with the experience. I also suggest that the "shades of meaning" aren't essential to a complete understanding of what the quale "red" is - those shades of meaning are anologies, and cannot convey what red actually is.
  • Pattern-chaser
    199
    She becomes the world's foremost expert on redness...Relativist

    No, I don't think so. As you say, she has never experienced the seeing of something that is red.

    And as for Harry and Sherlock, I have many times (not on this forum) suggested that they are real, and even alive, in a way. But not quite the same way you and I are. And my point in using this example was to point out the weakness of your argument. Existing in the minds of humans is not really existing in the real physical world, although pedantically, of course, you are correct. And existing in the minds of humans is a correct and valid form of existence. But let's not confuse it with other things? :up: :smile:
  • jkg20
    216
    So all we can really say is that we experience Neural Activity not Physical Light.
    Why say that we experience either? The story you are telling (and incidently it is just a story, not an argument) is a familiar one to me, it's just a more detailed account of the story that the blog page I linked to in an earlier post claims is ultimately incoherent.
  • SteveKlinko
    199
    ↪SteveKlinko

    So all we can really say is that we experience Neural Activity not Physical Light.
    Why say that we experience either? The story you are telling (and incidently it is just a story, not an argument) is a familiar one to me, it's just a more detailed account of the story that the blog page I linked to in an earlier post claims is ultimately incoherent.
    jkg20
    There is Physical Red Light out there in the Physical World and there is Conscious Red Light that we actually experience in our Conscious Minds. The Conscious Red Light is a different thing than the Physical Red Light. The Conscious Red light is created by the Brain to be a Surrogate for the Physical Red Light. You have only ever Seen the Conscious Red Light. You have never Seen the Physical Red Light. The Redness that you have always known is not a Property of the Physical Red Light. The Physical Red Light has Wavelength as a Property. The Redness is only in the Conscious Red Light. We are so used to Seeing the Surrogate that we think the Physical Red Light looks like the Surrogate. The Physical Red Light does not and cannot look like anything. That's why the Brain creates the Surrogate. So you can move around in the Physical World and not crash into things.

    But digging deeper into this we understand that there is a chain of processing that happens. As we trace the chain from the Physical Red Light hitting the Retina it is understood that there is no longer any Physical Red Light. It has been converted into Neural Impulses that ultimately travel to the Visual Cortex. It is known that when certain Neurons fire in the Cortex that we can experience the Redness. It seems that it is the Neurons firing that somehow leads to the experience of Red. With open Brain surgery the Visual Neurons can be probed and stimulated into creating a Red Conscious experience as well as all kinds of other Visual effects.. It sure seems like you have to have Neural Stimulation before Red is experienced. I simply say that there must be a further Processing stage that is monitoring the Neurons that produces the ultimate experience of Red. I call the missing Processing stage The Inter Mind. The Inter Mind is an undiscovered part of the Mind that connects the Physical Mind (the Brain) to the Conscious Mind. But the key to all of this is first recognizing that the Redness is a more amazing thing than we have thought. It is a Conscious thing that exists only in our Conscious Minds. The Property of Redness is a Property that does not exist in the Physical World that we think we know. We can make statements that because we can See it that it must ultimately exist in the Physical World. But then what is it? If it exists in the Physical it must be made out of something. Is it made out of Matter? Is it made out of Energy? Is it some aspect of Space? If you think these questions are idiotic then you do not understand the problem. You will be a Dualist when you understand the problem,
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.