• Relativist
    341
    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
    461
    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
    221
    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
    289
    ↪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,
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