Re: the explanatory gap
- From: R Morris <worker4sena@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 1 Nov 2011 02:22:42 -0700 (PDT)
How can you reflect on what the "experience of a physical functioning of
a brain" is? You say it's something different than experiencing color.
What is this different experience that you have in mind?
One way to see it is to imagine attending brain surgery and looking at
the brain. A more practical way is to imagine using imaging
instruments and medical telemetry, A third is to imagine cultivating
neurons in sufficient mass and arrangement that they can be called
brains and measuring their properties. Now reflect on those
experiences and you can see what I mean..
If the entity was not a brain but just a mere machine your conclusion
would be justified. However if it is a mere machine, which here means
you do not believe it is experiencing anything fine, but then you will
have the datum of your own first person experience
But here you've already assumed the conclusion.
Which conclusion? I assume only that the machine either is or is not
conscious. If it is there is a reduction. If it is not then you must
explain why it is different than you.
Because the theory on the opposite side says that it is nonsensical to
try to imagine a "mere machine" which can act in these sophisticated
ways to sensory input, but which also has "no experience". In the other
theory, every such machine also necessarily has experience. So you've
hypothesized a scenario which is a logical contradiction.
Actually it is difficult to tell. Sometimes they say that all
"sophisticated" machines are conscious and sometimes they say our own
consciousness is unreal - so in effect no machine is actually
conscious. Consciousness is then an illusion. But ok, have it your
way. All "sophisticated" machines "necessarily have experience". But
then what do you mean when you say "has experience". If I imagine one
of these machines - as "sophisticated" as is necessary - then what do
you mean by "having experience". I think if you talk that way you will
soon have people pointing out that there is no reason to assume it has
experience and even that the term is meaningless since the physics
predicts the behavior of the machine and all of its properties without
that assumption and there seems to be no property of it that can
actually be experienced. You will be accused of positing a property
not needed to explain the data. In other words, "having experience" -
what ever that term means, is in addition to the minimum assumptions
needed to describe the device. You will be seeing some kind of "ghost"
in the machine - being a dualist - and making an unnecessary
assumption. See Ocham's razor. Sooner or latter you will have to ask
your listener to reflect on their own first person experience to see
what is meant. But then you are back out of the physics.
- Re: the explanatory gap
- From: Don Geddis
- Re: the explanatory gap
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