• SteveKlinko
    258
    Yes. What is Red? Where is Red? When we know Red and find Red we will have solved the Hard Problem of Consciousness, not just for Red but for all Conscious Experience.
  • Arne
    295
    Yes. What is Red? Where is Red? When we know Red and find Red we will have solved the Hard Problem of Consciousness, not just for Red but for all Conscious Experience.SteveKlinko

    I do not know.

    Perhaps the great mystery of the location of red will some day be resolved and we can stop losing sleep over it.

    It is simply not an issue I find intriguing at this point in time.

    Good luck finding the location of red and if you do find it, could you take a look around for blue? Blue is my favorite color.

    :smile:
  • SteveKlinko
    258
    Ok, Look for Blue. It's on my punch list.
  • jkg20
    220
    1) I see the redness of the snooker ball.
    2) I consciously see the redness of the snooker ball.
    In what kind of circumstances could the truth of these two statements come apart?
    If they are always true or false in the same circumstances, then what is added by talk of consciously seeing anything.
    In both cases, it looks like what is being seen is an instances of a visible property and that instance, wherever it is, is no more inside my skull than the snooker ball itself is.
  • tom
    1.5k
    1) I see the redness of the snooker ball.
    2) I consciously see the redness of the snooker ball.
    In what kind of circumstances could the truth of these two statements come apart?
    If they are always true or false in the same circumstances, then what is added by talk of consciously seeing anything.
    In both cases, it looks like what is being seen is an instances of a visible property and that instance, wherever it is, is no more inside my skull than the snooker ball itself is.
    jkg20

    Robots and animals can do 1).

    Only humans can do 2).

    Robots will also do 2) when we figure out how to build a General Purpose AI.
  • MetaphysicsNow
    315
    I think you are missing @jkg20's point. Note the use of the personal pronoun in both the statements.
  • SteveKlinko
    258
    1) I see the redness of the snooker ball.
    2) I consciously see the redness of the snooker ball.
    In what kind of circumstances could the truth of these two statements come apart?
    If they are always true or false in the same circumstances, then what is added by talk of consciously seeing anything.
    In both cases, it looks like what is being seen is an instances of a visible property and that instance, wherever it is, is no more inside my skull than the snooker ball itself is.
    jkg20
    I think 1 can imply the sense that the Visual Image of the snooker ball is Out There in the external world and you are really Seeing it as it is. But 2 more precisely specifies that the Visual Image is an Internal Conscious phenomenon where you are not Directly Seeing the snooker ball but are actually Seeing a Surrogate, created by your Mind, of the snooker ball. There are still many people (including the Direct Realists) that believe 1 is true. To understand 2 you have to understand that you have never Seen a snooker ball but you have only Seen your Internal Conscious Visual experience of the snooker ball. Item 2 might be redundant to you but it is important to always emphasize the Consciousness aspect when talking about these things to a more general audience. You never know who is viewing these forums. Lot's of people view but never post.
  • MetaphysicsNow
    315
    Hmm - I'm not going to speak for jkg20, but neither statement (1) nor (2) has any "on the surface" implications about visual images or internal conscious phenomena, whatever they might be. The explicit quantification is over instances of visible properties ("the redness of the snooker ball") and psychological subjects ("I"), the difference between 1 and 2 (if there is one) comes down to a difference of connection between these two things. Sure, if you already come at the two statements with a pre-existing philosophy of perception, you might reinterpret the statements as talking about visual images and so on, but then what's to recommend that kind of philosophy of perception? The traditional arguments for indirect realism (and you seem to be hinting at some kind of indirect realism) - i.e. the arguments from illusion and hallucination - tend to be given shortish shrift these days, mostly on the grounds that they try to arrive at metaphysical conclusions on the bases of epistemological premises.
  • jkg20
    220
    Yep, tom missed the point - but I cannot say I'm surprised. To be explicit, the issue is this: if I cannot distinguish between my seeing the redness of the snooker ball and my consciously seeing the redness of the snooker ball, what is there to my consciously seeing the redness of the snooker ball over and above my seeing the redness of the snooker ball?
  • SteveKlinko
    258
    I suppose I am a Dualist and an Indirect Realist. But I don't like to put myself in one of these boxes because there is usually other baggage that comes with these kinds of labels that I will ultimately reject.

    We know that the Redness of the snooker ball will ultimately produce particular Neural Activity in the Brain. The Neural Activity is what leads to the Conscious Red experience. We know this because, if these particular Neurons are stimulated in the right way by probing, then the same Conscious Red experience can be attained. Maybe not of a snooker ball but the experience will be of Redness. So it would seem that the experience of Redness is a Neural Activity based phenomenon. But yet the experience of Redness cannot be found in the Neurons. The Conscious Red experience is only in the Mind. Physical Red Light has a particular Wavelength but does not have any Property of Redness. Conscious Red Light has Redness as a Property but has no Property of Wavelength. Redness does not even exist in the Physical World. It is purely a Conscious Property of a Conscious thing. So naturally the question arises ... Given:

    A) Neural Activity for Red happens
    B) A Conscious experience of Red happens

    How does A lead to or produce B? This is just the Hard Problem of Consciousness stated as a question. It is the Explanatory Gap. Finding the link between A and B is what I'm looking for. See http://TheInterMind.com for more information on this.
  • Pattern-chaser
    371
    1) I see the redness of the snooker ball.
    2) I consciously see the redness of the snooker ball.
    In what kind of circumstances could the truth of these two statements come apart?
    If they are always true or false in the same circumstances, then what is added by talk of consciously seeing anything.
    In both cases, it looks like what is being seen is an instances of a visible property and that instance, wherever it is, is no more inside my skull than the snooker ball itself is. — jkg20


    Robots and animals can do 1).

    Only humans can do 2).
    tom

    Robots and (some) animals can detect electromagnetic radiation whose wavelength is around 700 nm; only humans can see the redness of the snooker ball.
  • SteveKlinko
    258
    Robots and (some) animals can detect electromagnetic radiation whose wavelength is around 700 nm; only humans can see the redness of the snooker ball.Pattern-chaser
    The snooker ball does not have Redness as a Property. The snooker ball reflects Light at a Wavelength of 680 nm. But the Red Light has no Redness Property. The Red Light actually does not Look like anything. The Brain converts the Red Light into the Conscious experience of Redness. Redness is a Property of a Conscious Phenomenon. Redness does not exist in the Physical Universe. Redness only exists in the Conscious Universe. It's a subtle distinction but it has vast consequences for the ultimate understanding of Consciousness. I'm not saying that you don't, but many people do not understand this.
  • Pattern-chaser
    371
    As I reread my text, I wonder why you can't see we're in almost exact agreement over this. :wink:
  • SteveKlinko
    258
    As I reread my text, I wonder why you can't see we're in almost exact agreement over this. :wink:Pattern-chaser

    I think it was the last sentence that got me off on the track I went on. It seemed like you were saying that the snooker ball actually had the Redness property itself.
  • jkg20
    220
    @SteveKlinko
    We know that the Redness of the snooker ball will ultimately produce particular Neural Activity in the Brain. The Neural Activity is what leads to the Conscious Red experience. We know this because, if these particular Neurons are stimulated in the right way by probing, then the same Conscious Red experience can be attained. Maybe not of a snooker ball but the experience will be of Redness.

    First, the research on visual cortical stimulation that I am aware of doesn't warrant such a claim to knowledge. For ethical reasons, the evidence base is exceedingly small, for one thing. Also, the reports of the actual subjects at most show that stimulation of the visual cortex is statistically correlated with reports of phosphenes, but even some of those reports involve the curious idea that these phosphenes - whatever they are - are colourless. If you have more recent and definitive research to back up your claim, I'd be interested if you could provide a link to it.
    Secondly, you mention yourself the redness of the snooker ball as the start of a supposedly causal story in vision - the end of that causal story is that I see the redness of the snooker ball. Nothing so far said requires the existence of any other instance of redness to enter the picture. The supposed neural activity you are talking about could simply be part of what goes on in opening us up to an actual feature of the environment.
  • tom
    1.5k
    I think it was the last sentence that got me off on the track I went on. It seemed like you were saying that the snooker ball actually had the Redness property itself.SteveKlinko

    The ball is red. The redness of the ball begins a causal chain by which certain neurones fire in a human or certain circuits fire in a robot.

    The Brain converts the Red Light into the Conscious experience of Redness.SteveKlinko

    So, your claim is that a physical object can convert light into conscious experience.

    Redness does not exist in the Physical Universe. Redness only exists in the Conscious UniverseSteveKlinko

    So, your claim is that a physical object can convert light into something that does not exist in the physical universe? That seems pretty outlandish, if not impossible.
  • Pattern-chaser
    371
    I think it was the last sentence that got me off on the track I went on. It seemed like you were saying that the snooker ball actually had the Redness property itself.SteveKlinko

    Oh yes. :yikes: I see now. No, IMO the redness is in the eye of the (human) beholder. :up: [I.e. in the mind, not the literal/physical eye. :) ]

    I like your Conscious Universe/Physical Universe split. It's just subject and object by other names, but that's OK. I have been looking at very similar things via the hive (all humans, taken together, but in a specifically socio-cultural context) and particularly the hive-mind. The hive-mind is both author and keeper of human culture (using "culture" in its broadest possible interpretation).

    The conscious experience of Redness is at the bottom of the abstract chain for the hive-mind. Higher up, we have art, science (the discipline, not its subject matter), religion, crafts, philosophy, politics; in short: all human creations and accomplishments. I think perhaps your Conscious Universe is a helpful perspective in this, so thanks for it! :wink:
  • Pattern-chaser
    371
    The ball is red. The redness of the ball begins a causal chain by which certain neurones fire in a human or certain circuits fire in a robot.tom

    This confuses two things. The ball is not red; the ball reflects electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength around 700 nm. "Red" is a label that humans give to that radiation when they see it. The human eye and the robot's circuits detect electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength around 700 nm. But, later in the chain, and only in the human, this simple act of detection becomes a perception, and that somehow leads to the conscious experience of Redness. The robot does not experience the latter.
  • jkg20
    220
    "Red" is a label that humans give to that radiation when they see it.
    Perhaps you need to rephrase this, as we do not see radiation, we see coloured snooker balls and the like. "Red" is a label we give to a visible features of the things we see. We were labelling things "red" long before we even had a theory that predicted electromagnetic radiation.
  • Pattern-chaser
    371
    Fair comment. :up:
  • tom
    1.5k
    This confuses two things. The ball is not red; the ball reflects electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength around 700 nm. "Red" is a label that humans give to that radiation when they see it. The human eye and the robot's circuits detect electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength around 700 nm. But, later in the chain, and only in the human, this simple act of detection becomes a perception, and that somehow leads to the conscious experience of Redness. The robot does not experience the latter.Pattern-chaser

    So, red objects reflect or emit photons of predominately red energy. Humans label photons of this energy (or the black-body spectrum centred on red) as "red".

    Robots can be programmed to do that too. They can even detect red, perceive it, and take action on that, including saying, "I perceive red" or driving off if it is a Tesla.

    What robots and even human brains (as bare physical objects) cannot do, is create "what-it-is-like" knowledge to see red - i.e. the red quale.

    If what we know about Reality is correct, robots could create the red quale, and humans do create the red quale. Both have sufficient hardware, so what is missing? Hint: it's not a soul.

    As a diversion, consider these remarkable facts about qualia: they cannot be predicted; they cannot be described.

    I happen to think the above observations are a profound hint as to their nature.
  • Pattern-chaser
    371
    So, red objects reflect or emit photons of predominately red energy. Humans label photons of this energy (or the black-body spectrum centred on red) as "red".tom

    Yes, and they go on to experience Redness, which I should've emphasised. :blush: Robots can't do that. Even if, one day, they become conscious - the robot version of consciousness - they won't experience Redness as humans do. Redness is a uniquely human experience.
  • tom
    1.5k
    Yes, and they go on to experience Redness, which I should've emphasised. :blush: Robots can't do that. Even if, one day, they become conscious - the robot version of consciousness - they won't experience Redness as humans do. Redness is a uniquely human experience.Pattern-chaser

    According to known physics, robots can experience everything a human can, and since their hardware is more flexible, they are quaranteed to possess the qualia of ultraviolet, and infrared.
  • Pattern-chaser
    371
    I suggest that physics is not a good yardstick in the consideration of qualia, and the like. Physics is about the Physical Universe, while qualia belong to the Conscious Universe. Physics cannot address qualia.
  • tom
    1.5k
    I suggest that physics is not a good yardstick in the consideration of qualia, and the like. Physics is about the Physical Universe, while qualia belong to the Conscious Universe. Physics cannot address qualia.Pattern-chaser

    But of course, you claim that certain objects in the physical universe, create the conscious universe, but have no clue how or why.

    Physics, however, has good arguments how and why.
  • Pattern-chaser
    371
    But of course, you claim that certain objects in the physical universe, create the conscious universe, but have no clue how or why.

    Physics, however, has good arguments how and why.
    tom

    Please state the good arguments physics has to offer concerning the Conscious Universe?
  • tom
    1.5k
    Please state the good arguments physics has to offer concerning the Conscious Universe?Pattern-chaser

    That has got to be the dumbest non-sequitur I have seen on this forum for several days!

    Now, you claim physical objects can create a separate conscious universe. Back it up or retract it.
  • Pattern-chaser
    371
    I haven't claimed that, I don't think, but it is something I believe to be true. But first, your introduction:

    You stated that physics has good arguments to offer concerning these matters. It is not unreasonable to ask you to reveal them. It is a stupid question, but only because physics cannot address the Conscious Universe any more than carpentry can address gravity.

    As for the rest, I believe that physical objects (human beings) create the Conscious Universe. And I have no more idea how than I have how the mind emerges from the brain. This is the mind-brain discussion, in different clothes, after all. Or maybe it's subject/object? These things all interlock. :wink:

    Now please state those arguments from physics, or retract your claim that they exist, to use your (somewhat abrupt) phraseology.
  • SteveKlinko
    258
    We know that the Redness of the snooker ball will ultimately produce particular Neural Activity in the Brain. The Neural Activity is what leads to the Conscious Red experience. We know this because, if these particular Neurons are stimulated in the right way by probing, then the same Conscious Red experience can be attained. Maybe not of a snooker ball but the experience will be of Redness.

    First, the research on visual cortical stimulation that I am aware of doesn't warrant such a claim to knowledge. For ethical reasons, the evidence base is exceedingly small, for one thing. Also, the reports of the actual subjects at most show that stimulation of the visual cortex is statistically correlated with reports of phosphenes, but even some of those reports involve the curious idea that these phosphenes - whatever they are - are colourless. If you have more recent and definitive research to back up your claim, I'd be interested if you could provide a link to it.
    Secondly, you mention yourself the redness of the snooker ball as the start of a supposedly causal story in vision - the end of that causal story is that I see the redness of the snooker ball. Nothing so far said requires the existence of any other instance of redness to enter the picture. The supposed neural activity you are talking about could simply be part of what goes on in opening us up to an actual feature of the environment.
    jkg20
    All you have to do is rub your eyes and you can see Lights. So we know that even that very external mechanical stimulation of the Visual system can create a Visual effect. Stands to reason that more direct probing inside the Brain will produce all kinds of Auditory, Visual, and Memory experiences. I thought this was realized by Science decades ago and is pretty much common knowledge by now.

    The snooker ball reflects Physical Light at a Wavelength of 680nm. This Physical Light has no Redness as a Property. It only has Wavelength. This Physical Light doesn't Look like anything. The Physical Light hits the Retina and is processed by the Brain to produce the Conscious Red Light (Qualia) that we actually See. The Conscious Red Light is what has the Property of Redness. We don't see Physical Light we only See the Surrogate that the Brain creates. When we dream about Red things we are Seeing our internal Conscious Red Light. No Physical Light exists when we See Red in a Dream. This is because the Red has always only been inside your Mind
  • EnPassant
    59
    There has been tremendous bias against the mind, and this has led to the false rejection of dualism and an unwarranted acceptance of materialism. Some have claimed that brain and mind are really identical, but this is an ad hoc explanation unsupported by any real evidence.George Cobau

    I tend to agree.

    Scientific knowledge is primitive. It is concerned with how atoms are joined together, how energy flows through physical systems, how spacetime is shaped, how biological creatures function, etc. Consequently, the rationale that arises from science is primitive.

    The world of the person is concerned with consciousness, being, life, creativity, art, beauty and value. These higher things cannot be encompassed by the primitivism of science. To argue that they can is like arguing that literature should be understood in terms of the primitive logic of chess.
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