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I think I understand qualia!

000ike
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7/23/2013 1:29:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
***I tried my best to verbalize the concept but it isn't perfect. It also goes without saying that I could be utterly wrong, but please read the whole thing.

There is existence, and then there are properties. The latter informs our understanding of the former - thus it constitutes what we call information. It should then follow that where existence is fundamental and irreducible, so too are the corresponding properties, and therefore so too is the information it bears.

The problem is that human beings are accustomed to being bombarded with complex information describing the external world. This information is satisfactorily accounted for and "understood" when we reduce it to more fundamental concepts. So, I submit that when information is impressed upon our senses in already irreducible, fundamental form, this is what we call qualia. The quale appears ineffable because this deconstructive mechanism of understanding has reached its limit, not because it is a property somehow removed from physical reality. In other words, when we look at the sky, our eyes don't exactly receive waves of a predominantly smaller frequency and choose to "color" them blue - those waves are blue; the blue is the reception of a property that is irreducible and fundamental. And I suspect that color is a fundamental property because it extends from the particulate fundamentality of the photon. As per the logical sequence in the first paragraph, it is the irreducibility of the existent photon that informs the irreducibility of its resultant property.

Understanding hinges on a system of reception and verification. Where information is verifiable (as in consistent between 2 or more independent perceptual inlets), we understand it to be true of reality. Shape, for instance, confers on the faculties of vision and touch. Not that visually perceiving a shape is not persuasive as to the true existence of that shape, but our minds are hardwired to definitively hold that truth once our touch confirms the same impression. Thus it is this synchrony of senses that affords the concept of shape a reality independent of our consciousness (when we conceive of it). This means that EVEN IF we do NOT go ahead and touch something to confirm its shape, the recognition of shape by 2 inlets makes shape seem intrinsically real whether we see it and don"t touch it, or simply conceive of it. Moreover, it is this dual source of information that further affords the concept of shape reducible properties because it can be conceived of in more than one way, described to us by nature in more than one manner, yet a fundamental property can only be described on 1 way and the lack of confirmation of senses or codependency of different inputs makes the property descriptively ambiguous. Hence shape is not a quale! So when we perceive color, we are receiving unverifiable information from only 1 inlet - from this ambiguity comes the sense of ineffability.

Conclusion: So, our neural programming notwithstanding, color is a real property of light, not a phenomenal invention. It is real for 2 reasons:

1. Because photons are fundamental (irreducible) particles in existence and therefore must be fundamental (irreducible) in perceived property.

2. Because the specificity of photonic properties confines it to engagement with only 1 perceptual inlet, and the unverified information of only 1 perceptual inlet is just not conceived of as intrinsic to reality, even though it is.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Sargon
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7/23/2013 2:14:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
What's the evidence? I suppose it's impossible to challenge the axiom that being is composed of existence and properties, but why think that everything we see is in its most reduced form? I agree with Dennet when he says that, in order for us to take qualia seriously, it must be demonstrated that:

a) it is possible to know that a change in qualia has occurred, as opposed to a change in something else; or that
b) there is a difference between having a change in qualia and not having one.

His thought experiments tear this down pretty well.
000ike
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7/23/2013 2:22:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/23/2013 2:14:32 PM, Sargon wrote:
What's the evidence? I suppose it's impossible to challenge the axiom that being is composed of existence and properties, but why think that everything we see is in its most reduced form? I agree with Dennet when he says that, in order for us to take qualia seriously, it must be demonstrated that:


a) it is possible to know that a change in qualia has occurred, as opposed to a change in something else; or that
b) there is a difference between having a change in qualia and not having one.

His thought experiments tear this down pretty well.

You're misunderstanding my point. The OP overthrows the concept of mystical qualia entirely! I first of all argued that what we perceive as qualia is a type of physical property of something that is irreducible, and it is irreducible 1) because its existence is irreducible (as per QM) and 2) because it is perceived in an unverifiable sense that makes its objectivity ambiguous. This is in line with Dennett's argument - when he denies the existence of qualia, he's referring to the that phenomenal invention we think is unique to consciousness and not reality.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Df0512
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7/23/2013 2:26:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/23/2013 1:29:18 PM, 000ike wrote:
***I tried my best to verbalize the concept but it isn't perfect. It also goes without saying that I could be utterly wrong, but please read the whole thing.

There is existence, and then there are properties. The latter informs our understanding of the former - thus it constitutes what we call information. It should then follow that where existence is fundamental and irreducible, so too are the corresponding properties, and therefore so too is the information it bears.

The problem is that human beings are accustomed to being bombarded with complex information describing the external world. This information is satisfactorily accounted for and "understood" when we reduce it to more fundamental concepts. So, I submit that when information is impressed upon our senses in already irreducible, fundamental form, this is what we call qualia. The quale appears ineffable because this deconstructive mechanism of understanding has reached its limit, not because it is a property somehow removed from physical reality. In other words, when we look at the sky, our eyes don't exactly receive waves of a predominantly smaller frequency and choose to "color" them blue - those waves are blue; the blue is the reception of a property that is irreducible and fundamental. And I suspect that color is a fundamental property because it extends from the particulate fundamentality of the photon. As per the logical sequence in the first paragraph, it is the irreducibility of the existent photon that informs the irreducibility of its resultant property.

Understanding hinges on a system of reception and verification. Where information is verifiable (as in consistent between 2 or more independent perceptual inlets), we understand it to be true of reality. Shape, for instance, confers on the faculties of vision and touch. Not that visually perceiving a shape is not persuasive as to the true existence of that shape, but our minds are hardwired to definitively hold that truth once our touch confirms the same impression. Thus it is this synchrony of senses that affords the concept of shape a reality independent of our consciousness (when we conceive of it). This means that EVEN IF we do NOT go ahead and touch something to confirm its shape, the recognition of shape by 2 inlets makes shape seem intrinsically real whether we see it and don"t touch it, or simply conceive of it. Moreover, it is this dual source of information that further affords the concept of shape reducible properties because it can be conceived of in more than one way, described to us by nature in more than one manner, yet a fundamental property can only be described on 1 way and the lack of confirmation of senses or codependency of different inputs makes the property descriptively ambiguous. Hence shape is not a quale! So when we perceive color, we are receiving unverifiable information from only 1 inlet - from this ambiguity comes the sense of ineffability.

Conclusion: So, our neural programming notwithstanding, color is a real property of light, not a phenomenal invention. It is real for 2 reasons:

1. Because photons are fundamental (irreducible) particles in existence and therefore must be fundamental (irreducible) in perceived property.

2. Because the specificity of photonic properties confines it to engagement with only 1 perceptual inlet, and the unverified information of only 1 perceptual inlet is just not conceived of as intrinsic to reality, even though it is.

Great read. I always had a hard time understanding qualia. I think I actually have a firm grasp of what it actually means. Even tho I dont have any formal education in physics or philosophy Good job.
000ike
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7/23/2013 3:27:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/23/2013 2:26:06 PM, Df0512 wrote:

Great read. I always had a hard time understanding qualia. I think I actually have a firm grasp of what it actually means. Even tho I dont have any formal education in physics or philosophy Good job.

Thanks, that means a lot. I don't have formal education in physics or philosophy either though, so this is all only my opinion (just as a caveat)
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Wnope
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7/23/2013 3:38:33 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/23/2013 1:29:18 PM, 000ike wrote:
***I tried my best to verbalize the concept but it isn't perfect. It also goes without saying that I could be utterly wrong, but please read the whole thing.

There is existence, and then there are properties. The latter informs our understanding of the former - thus it constitutes what we call information. It should then follow that where existence is fundamental and irreducible, so too are the corresponding properties, and therefore so too is the information it bears.

The problem is that human beings are accustomed to being bombarded with complex information describing the external world. This information is satisfactorily accounted for and "understood" when we reduce it to more fundamental concepts. So, I submit that when information is impressed upon our senses in already irreducible, fundamental form, this is what we call qualia. The quale appears ineffable because this deconstructive mechanism of understanding has reached its limit, not because it is a property somehow removed from physical reality. In other words, when we look at the sky, our eyes don't exactly receive waves of a predominantly smaller frequency and choose to "color" them blue - those waves are blue; the blue is the reception of a property that is irreducible and fundamental. And I suspect that color is a fundamental property because it extends from the particulate fundamentality of the photon. As per the logical sequence in the first paragraph, it is the irreducibility of the existent photon that informs the irreducibility of its resultant property.

Understanding hinges on a system of reception and verification. Where information is verifiable (as in consistent between 2 or more independent perceptual inlets), we understand it to be true of reality. Shape, for instance, confers on the faculties of vision and touch. Not that visually perceiving a shape is not persuasive as to the true existence of that shape, but our minds are hardwired to definitively hold that truth once our touch confirms the same impression. Thus it is this synchrony of senses that affords the concept of shape a reality independent of our consciousness (when we conceive of it). This means that EVEN IF we do NOT go ahead and touch something to confirm its shape, the recognition of shape by 2 inlets makes shape seem intrinsically real whether we see it and don"t touch it, or simply conceive of it. Moreover, it is this dual source of information that further affords the concept of shape reducible properties because it can be conceived of in more than one way, described to us by nature in more than one manner, yet a fundamental property can only be described on 1 way and the lack of confirmation of senses or codependency of different inputs makes the property descriptively ambiguous. Hence shape is not a quale! So when we perceive color, we are receiving unverifiable information from only 1 inlet - from this ambiguity comes the sense of ineffability.

Conclusion: So, our neural programming notwithstanding, color is a real property of light, not a phenomenal invention. It is real for 2 reasons:

1. Because photons are fundamental (irreducible) particles in existence and therefore must be fundamental (irreducible) in perceived property.

2. Because the specificity of photonic properties confines it to engagement with only 1 perceptual inlet, and the unverified information of only 1 perceptual inlet is just not conceived of as intrinsic to reality, even though it is.

Hate to throw a Kantian wrench into things, but you're assuming that your phenomenal state (the aggregate of all qualia at the present moment) was generated passively (Locke was a big believer of this).

Passive reception of stimuli suggests a 1:1 correspondence between particular stimuli and something existing outside your own mind.

Basically, your eyes are like a somewhat faulty camera (verification is what tries to find the "faults").

But all evidence suggests this CANNOT be the case.

Why?

Because our brains simply don't have access to enough information to possibly construct the phenomenal world we see from a blank slate.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Instead, we create running mental representations of the world composed of what we EXPECT to see. Information taken in via eyes and such are used to correct our EXPECTATIONS.

For instance, ever look at a word, think it says one thing, but when you look closer you realize you "read it wrong?" Or when you think you see a bug in the corner but you then realize it is a piece of lint. This is your brain EDITING a running phenomenal representation of the world by incorporating new information. It's not your brain processing a stream of "verified film" which then becomes the phenomenal representation.
000ike
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7/23/2013 3:47:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/23/2013 3:38:33 PM, Wnope wrote:

Hate to throw a Kantian wrench into things, but you're assuming that your phenomenal state (the aggregate of all qualia at the present moment) was generated passively (Locke was a big believer of this).

Passive reception of stimuli suggests a 1:1 correspondence between particular stimuli and something existing outside your own mind.

Basically, your eyes are like a somewhat faulty camera (verification is what tries to find the "faults").

But all evidence suggests this CANNOT be the case.

Why?

Because our brains simply don't have access to enough information to possibly construct the phenomenal world we see from a blank slate.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Instead, we create running mental representations of the world composed of what we EXPECT to see. Information taken in via eyes and such are used to correct our EXPECTATIONS.

For instance, ever look at a word, think it says one thing, but when you look closer you realize you "read it wrong?" Or when you think you see a bug in the corner but you then realize it is a piece of lint. This is your brain EDITING a running phenomenal representation of the world by incorporating new information. It's not your brain processing a stream of "verified film" which then becomes the phenomenal representation.

This is a different issue though. The argument in the OP is not dependent on how we represent the world, whether that's steady flow of information or anticipation and correction. The argument doesn't even deal with consciousness; it refers to what's probably a real property of physical things that we seem to believe is a phenomenal interpretation that's dependent on a consciousness. My argument is that color is a real physical property of light that still exists whether or not we observe it.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
000ike
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7/23/2013 3:48:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/23/2013 3:47:36 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/23/2013 3:38:33 PM, Wnope wrote:

Hate to throw a Kantian wrench into things, but you're assuming that your phenomenal state (the aggregate of all qualia at the present moment) was generated passively (Locke was a big believer of this).

Passive reception of stimuli suggests a 1:1 correspondence between particular stimuli and something existing outside your own mind.

Basically, your eyes are like a somewhat faulty camera (verification is what tries to find the "faults").

But all evidence suggests this CANNOT be the case.

Why?

Because our brains simply don't have access to enough information to possibly construct the phenomenal world we see from a blank slate.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Instead, we create running mental representations of the world composed of what we EXPECT to see. Information taken in via eyes and such are used to correct our EXPECTATIONS.

For instance, ever look at a word, think it says one thing, but when you look closer you realize you "read it wrong?" Or when you think you see a bug in the corner but you then realize it is a piece of lint. This is your brain EDITING a running phenomenal representation of the world by incorporating new information. It's not your brain processing a stream of "verified film" which then becomes the phenomenal representation.

This is a different issue though. The argument in the OP is not dependent on how we represent the world, whether that's steady flow of information or anticipation and correction. The argument doesn't even deal with consciousness; it refers to what's probably a real property of physical things that we seem to believe is a phenomenal interpretation that's dependent on a consciousness. My argument is that color is a real physical property of light that still exists whether or not we observe it.

and that the same probably extends to the fundamental counterparts of our other senses.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
000ike
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7/23/2013 3:53:42 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Wnope, if your objection is that there's no way qualia can be physical and non-phenomenal because the anticipatory nature of consciousness implies that we invent it before actually seeing the object, then I'd add that by that logic, there's no way the whole objects we see are physically real because we invent them before experiencing them. Qualia and the physical reality are still on equal footing.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Wnope
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7/23/2013 4:02:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/23/2013 3:47:36 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/23/2013 3:38:33 PM, Wnope wrote:

Hate to throw a Kantian wrench into things, but you're assuming that your phenomenal state (the aggregate of all qualia at the present moment) was generated passively (Locke was a big believer of this).

Passive reception of stimuli suggests a 1:1 correspondence between particular stimuli and something existing outside your own mind.

Basically, your eyes are like a somewhat faulty camera (verification is what tries to find the "faults").

But all evidence suggests this CANNOT be the case.

Why?

Because our brains simply don't have access to enough information to possibly construct the phenomenal world we see from a blank slate.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Instead, we create running mental representations of the world composed of what we EXPECT to see. Information taken in via eyes and such are used to correct our EXPECTATIONS.

For instance, ever look at a word, think it says one thing, but when you look closer you realize you "read it wrong?" Or when you think you see a bug in the corner but you then realize it is a piece of lint. This is your brain EDITING a running phenomenal representation of the world by incorporating new information. It's not your brain processing a stream of "verified film" which then becomes the phenomenal representation.

This is a different issue though. The argument in the OP is not dependent on how we represent the world, whether that's steady flow of information or anticipation and correction. The argument doesn't even deal with consciousness; it refers to what's probably a real property of physical things that we seem to believe is a phenomenal interpretation that's dependent on a consciousness. My argument is that color is a real physical property of light that still exists whether or not we observe it.

I'm not sure your grasp on qualia is as good as you think.

Qualia is your phenomenal perception of reality. You're right now advocating Locke's position of "secondary qualities" which exist inherent in objects but can be perceived.

Your problem, like Locke's, is that "secondary qualities" are not received passively by the mind. So you can't just point to something you think is "blue" and say "that's inherently blue because I experience it as blue."
000ike
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7/23/2013 4:12:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/23/2013 4:02:10 PM, Wnope wrote:

I'm not sure your grasp on qualia is as good as you think.

Qualia is your phenomenal perception of reality. You're right now advocating Locke's position of "secondary qualities" which exist inherent in objects but can be perceived.

By "understanding qualia" I didn't mean that I was about to explain the description of it, but explain what the term refers to, probably actually is.

Your problem, like Locke's, is that "secondary qualities" are not received passively by the mind. So you can't just point to something you think is "blue" and say "that's inherently blue because I experience it as blue."

Like I said, the fact that the mind invents then corrects does not address the issue here. The goal is to place the concept of color on equal physical footing as, say, the concept of shape -- as in, something is inherently blue in the same sense that it might be inherently round.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
000ike
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7/23/2013 5:20:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/23/2013 4:12:24 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/23/2013 4:02:10 PM, Wnope wrote:

I'm not sure your grasp on qualia is as good as you think.

Qualia is your phenomenal perception of reality. You're right now advocating Locke's position of "secondary qualities" which exist inherent in objects but can be perceived.

By "understanding qualia" I didn't mean that I was about to explain the description of it, but explain what the term refers to, probably actually is.

Your problem, like Locke's, is that "secondary qualities" are not received passively by the mind. So you can't just point to something you think is "blue" and say "that's inherently blue because I experience it as blue."

Like I said, the fact that the mind invents then corrects does not address the issue here. The goal is to place the concept of color on equal physical footing as, say, the concept of shape -- as in, something is inherently blue in the same sense that it might be inherently round.

so if you're going to object to the logic, I would hope that this is what you're attacking, because anything else doesn't address the point in the OP.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
000ike
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7/23/2013 6:42:09 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/23/2013 6:18:42 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
Qualia inversion kinda throws a wrench into your whole operation here.

qualia inversion begs the question on the premise that it is possible for another person to conceive of a different red than we do and live under the assumption that we are referring to the same thing when we say "red". Such a possibility would suppose that color was a non-physical quale in the first place. If color is an inherent property on the same order as shape, then it wouldn't follow that such a thing is possible. So the accuracy of qualia inversion depends on how we define qualia, which was the issue in contention to begin with. Hence begging the question
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
popculturepooka
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7/23/2013 7:04:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/23/2013 6:42:09 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/23/2013 6:18:42 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
Qualia inversion kinda throws a wrench into your whole operation here.

qualia inversion begs the question on the premise that it is possible for another person to conceive of a different red than we do and live under the assumption that we are referring to the same thing when we say "red". Such a possibility would suppose that color was a non-physical quale in the first place. If color is an inherent property on the same order as shape, then it wouldn't follow that such a thing is possible. So the accuracy of qualia inversion depends on how we define qualia, which was the issue in contention to begin with. Hence begging the question

No, not really. But even conceding your point, your argument would be question begging as well since it assumes that qualia inversion is not possible and tries to rule it out tout court.
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the_croftmeister
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7/23/2013 7:08:33 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/23/2013 7:04:53 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 7/23/2013 6:42:09 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/23/2013 6:18:42 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
Qualia inversion kinda throws a wrench into your whole operation here.

qualia inversion begs the question on the premise that it is possible for another person to conceive of a different red than we do and live under the assumption that we are referring to the same thing when we say "red". Such a possibility would suppose that color was a non-physical quale in the first place. If color is an inherent property on the same order as shape, then it wouldn't follow that such a thing is possible. So the accuracy of qualia inversion depends on how we define qualia, which was the issue in contention to begin with. Hence begging the question

No, not really. But even conceding your point, your argument would be question begging as well since it assumes that qualia inversion is not possible and tries to rule it out tout court.

Can you explain how qualia inversion does not beg the question? Of course that doesn't mean that the alternative is correct, or even that qualia inversion is impossible, but it does mean it isn't justified.
000ike
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7/23/2013 7:11:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/23/2013 7:04:53 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 7/23/2013 6:42:09 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/23/2013 6:18:42 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
Qualia inversion kinda throws a wrench into your whole operation here.

qualia inversion begs the question on the premise that it is possible for another person to conceive of a different red than we do and live under the assumption that we are referring to the same thing when we say "red". Such a possibility would suppose that color was a non-physical quale in the first place. If color is an inherent property on the same order as shape, then it wouldn't follow that such a thing is possible. So the accuracy of qualia inversion depends on how we define qualia, which was the issue in contention to begin with. Hence begging the question

No, not really. But even conceding your point, your argument would be question begging as well since it assumes that qualia inversion is not possible and tries to rule it out tout court.

The premise of my argument does not assume that qualia inversion is not possible - the impossibility of such a thing is a consequence of my argument. That's different. Here I've forwarded a possibility for what qualia might be, and if qualia is this thing that means that qualia cannot be inverted (issues like color blindness and any fictional exaggeration thereof would be the result of the absence of pigments that make the discrimination of this already existing property difficult, not inventing a totally new property in its place). So the thought experiment is question begging but my argument is not.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
000ike
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7/23/2013 7:13:07 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/23/2013 7:10:52 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
What about color blindness?

The inability to discriminate an already existing property because of the absence or dysfunction of pigments in the retina.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
000ike
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7/23/2013 7:23:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/23/2013 7:13:07 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/23/2013 7:10:52 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
What about color blindness?

The inability to discriminate an already existing property because of the absence or dysfunction of pigments in the retina.

same way you wouldn't be able to tell the shape of something that everyone else could see, if you were blind. It's not that you're interpreting the same physical entity differently, it's that you're not even really receiving that physical entity.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
dylancatlow
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7/23/2013 7:29:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/23/2013 7:23:43 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/23/2013 7:13:07 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/23/2013 7:10:52 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
What about color blindness?

The inability to discriminate an already existing property because of the absence or dysfunction of pigments in the retina.

same way you wouldn't be able to tell the shape of something that everyone else could see, if you were blind. It's not that you're interpreting the same physical entity differently, it's that you're not even really receiving that physical entity.

Thanks for the clarification. Yeah, I'm going to need some time to process this lol
Poetaster
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7/23/2013 8:25:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/23/2013 7:13:07 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/23/2013 7:10:52 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
What about color blindness?

The inability to discriminate an already existing property because of the absence or dysfunction of pigments in the retina.

So would you say that color vision is the presence of function of pigments in the retina? Why? Is it impossible for pigment P to exist without the quale of color C existing?
"The book you are looking for hasn't been written yet. What you are looking for you are going to have to find yourself, it's not going to be in a book..." -Sidewalker
000ike
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7/23/2013 8:35:14 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/23/2013 8:25:55 PM, Poetaster wrote:
At 7/23/2013 7:13:07 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/23/2013 7:10:52 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
What about color blindness?

The inability to discriminate an already existing property because of the absence or dysfunction of pigments in the retina.

So would you say that color vision is the presence of function of pigments in the retina? Why? Is it impossible for pigment P to exist without the quale of color C existing?

color vision is the discrimination of the property of color. Pigments are evolutionary tools for discriminating color, so I'd imagine that if no color existed, there would be no reason for the pigments to exist, or at least be in use. Just as a side note, I think that x-rays and infrared waves also have color, but since the vast majority of photons reaching Earth from the sun are from the visible light spectrum, we probably had no selective need to develop pigments that would recognize those colors.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Poetaster
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7/23/2013 8:44:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/23/2013 8:35:14 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/23/2013 8:25:55 PM, Poetaster wrote:
At 7/23/2013 7:13:07 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/23/2013 7:10:52 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
What about color blindness?

The inability to discriminate an already existing property because of the absence or dysfunction of pigments in the retina.

So would you say that color vision is the presence of function of pigments in the retina? Why? Is it impossible for pigment P to exist without the quale of color C existing?

color vision is the discrimination of the property of color. Pigments are evolutionary tools for discriminating color, so I'd imagine that if no color existed, there would be no reason for the pigments to exist, or at least be in use. Just as a side note, I think that x-rays and infrared waves also have color, but since the vast majority of photons reaching Earth from the sun are from the visible light spectrum, we probably had no selective need to develop pigments that would recognize those colors.

Well, my question is: if it is logically possible for pigment P to exist without the quale C existing, isn't logically possible for any physical property X to exist without qualia existing? How could any of our physical properties therefore entail qualia?

You seem to be committing yourself to the view that there exist some physical states which cannot exist without feeling like they exist.

A spectrometer can discriminate between light wavelengths without having qualia. Why am I different? Why do I not only discriminate, but also feel like I am? Why are functionally analogous processes "feeling-states" for some machines but not "feeling-states" for others?
"The book you are looking for hasn't been written yet. What you are looking for you are going to have to find yourself, it's not going to be in a book..." -Sidewalker
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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7/23/2013 8:55:35 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/23/2013 8:44:51 PM, Poetaster wrote:
At 7/23/2013 8:35:14 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/23/2013 8:25:55 PM, Poetaster wrote:
At 7/23/2013 7:13:07 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/23/2013 7:10:52 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
What about color blindness?

The inability to discriminate an already existing property because of the absence or dysfunction of pigments in the retina.

So would you say that color vision is the presence of function of pigments in the retina? Why? Is it impossible for pigment P to exist without the quale of color C existing?

color vision is the discrimination of the property of color. Pigments are evolutionary tools for discriminating color, so I'd imagine that if no color existed, there would be no reason for the pigments to exist, or at least be in use. Just as a side note, I think that x-rays and infrared waves also have color, but since the vast majority of photons reaching Earth from the sun are from the visible light spectrum, we probably had no selective need to develop pigments that would recognize those colors.

Well, my question is: if it is logically possible for pigment P to exist without the quale C existing, isn't logically possible for any physical property X to exist without qualia existing? How could any of our physical properties therefore entail qualia?

You seem to be committing yourself to the view that there exist some physical states which cannot exist without feeling like they exist.

A spectrometer can discriminate between light wavelengths without having qualia. Why am I different? Why do I not only discriminate, but also feel like I am? Why are functionally analogous processes "feeling-states" for some machines but not "feeling-states" for others?

Your questions are posed from the very conception of qualia I've been trying to dispose of. Physical properties don't entail qualia; what we call quale is a physical property. You're also treading in the different waters, as your questions involve the nature of consciousness. I'm not sure how consciousness occurs, but I have the conviction that it is a purely physical process. I'm merely providing a manner in which these ethereal-seeming concepts like color, touch etc. can be explained in a materialistic framework. So I can answer questions about the cogency of this possibility in itself, but not in relation to consciousness.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
the_croftmeister
Posts: 678
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7/23/2013 9:01:54 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/23/2013 8:44:51 PM, Poetaster wrote:
Well, my question is: if it is logically possible for pigment P to exist without the quale C existing, isn't logically possible for any physical property X to exist without qualia existing? How could any of our physical properties therefore entail qualia?
He's not asserting the first statement, he's asserting that what you call the distinction between the P and C is a false one. At least that's how I interpret it, and how I would present it myself.

You seem to be committing yourself to the view that there exist some physical states which cannot exist without feeling like they exist.

A spectrometer can discriminate between light wavelengths without having qualia. Why am I different? Why do I not only discriminate, but also feel like I am? Why are functionally analogous processes "feeling-states" for some machines but not "feeling-states" for others?
Could the existence of the quale not be in the observation of the instrument measuring the light and the interpretation of this by the human mind after the fact? In which case the accusation that you are committed to qualia only in certain circumstances disappears because the only way that we know that the machine observes the colour at all is by observing the machine, effectively forwarding the qualia until observation does occur?
000ike
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7/23/2013 9:04:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Actually I forgot something very important!

The spectrometer discriminates frequencies, wavelengths etc. but it does not discriminate color, which is a property of the frequency. We could not create a machine that discriminates color because that would require us to have knowledge of the properties of color, which, considering its fundamentality, is possible, as those additional properties do not exist. We would not know how to go about telling the machine what to look for. But nature on the other hand, does not have to look for anything! Nature already understands that light has this property that allows unique identification and merely uses it to her advantage.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
the_croftmeister
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7/23/2013 9:04:54 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/23/2013 8:55:35 PM, 000ike wrote:
Your questions are posed from the very conception of qualia I've been trying to dispose of. Physical properties don't entail qualia; what we call quale is a physical property. You're also treading in the different waters, as your questions involve the nature of consciousness. I'm not sure how consciousness occurs, but I have the conviction that it is a purely physical process. I'm merely providing a manner in which these ethereal-seeming concepts like color, touch etc. can be explained in a materialistic framework. So I can answer questions about the cogency of this possibility in itself, but not in relation to consciousness.
I think you have a problem here in that the general (usual) conception of qualia can only be defined by making reference to consciousness, therefore at best you are proposing a theory which describes a different phenomenon with the additional supposition that qualia in the normal sense do not exist. I'm not convinced that you can expect to convince a dualist with this kind of argument. But I don't see your views as being internally inconsistent.
Sidewalker
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7/23/2013 10:18:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/23/2013 1:29:18 PM, 000ike wrote:
***I tried my best to verbalize the concept but it isn't perfect. It also goes without saying that I could be utterly wrong, but please read the whole thing.

There is existence, and then there are properties. The latter informs our understanding of the former - thus it constitutes what we call information. It should then follow that where existence is fundamental and irreducible, so too are the corresponding properties, and therefore so too is the information it bears.

The problem is that human beings are accustomed to being bombarded with complex information describing the external world. This information is satisfactorily accounted for and "understood" when we reduce it to more fundamental concepts. So, I submit that when information is impressed upon our senses in already irreducible, fundamental form, this is what we call qualia. The quale appears ineffable because this deconstructive mechanism of understanding has reached its limit, not because it is a property somehow removed from physical reality. In other words, when we look at the sky, our eyes don't exactly receive waves of a predominantly smaller frequency and choose to "color" them blue - those waves are blue; the blue is the reception of a property that is irreducible and fundamental. And I suspect that color is a fundamental property because it extends from the particulate fundamentality of the photon. As per the logical sequence in the first paragraph, it is the irreducibility of the existent photon that informs the irreducibility of its resultant property.

Understanding hinges on a system of reception and verification. Where information is verifiable (as in consistent between 2 or more independent perceptual inlets), we understand it to be true of reality. Shape, for instance, confers on the faculties of vision and touch. Not that visually perceiving a shape is not persuasive as to the true existence of that shape, but our minds are hardwired to definitively hold that truth once our touch confirms the same impression. Thus it is this synchrony of senses that affords the concept of shape a reality independent of our consciousness (when we conceive of it). This means that EVEN IF we do NOT go ahead and touch something to confirm its shape, the recognition of shape by 2 inlets makes shape seem intrinsically real whether we see it and don"t touch it, or simply conceive of it. Moreover, it is this dual source of information that further affords the concept of shape reducible properties because it can be conceived of in more than one way, described to us by nature in more than one manner, yet a fundamental property can only be described on 1 way and the lack of confirmation of senses or codependency of different inputs makes the property descriptively ambiguous. Hence shape is not a quale! So when we perceive color, we are receiving unverifiable information from only 1 inlet - from this ambiguity comes the sense of ineffability.

Conclusion: So, our neural programming notwithstanding, color is a real property of light, not a phenomenal invention. It is real for 2 reasons:

1. Because photons are fundamental (irreducible) particles in existence and therefore must be fundamental (irreducible) in perceived property.

2. Because the specificity of photonic properties confines it to engagement with only 1 perceptual inlet, and the unverified information of only 1 perceptual inlet is just not conceived of as intrinsic to reality, even though it is.

You are saying that the subjective qualities of experience are actually the inherent properties of quantum particles such that the photon itself possesses the property "blue"?
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater