Friday, May 27, 2011

331: The Mind and some Qualia

Although a lot of scientists can be regarded as materialists in one way or another, dualism has still its defenders.

Their main point is that there is more when it comes to the mind or consciousness than just matter.This more is at least of a non-physical nature.

To proof this, we get the next argument. imagine a future scientist who was deaf from birth, but who has acquired a perfect scientific understanding of how hearing operates in others.

This scientist may have been born stone deaf, but becomes the world's greatest expert on the machinery of hearing:

he knows everything that there is to know within the range of the physical and behavioral sciences about hearing.

Now suppose that they succeed to restore his ability to hear. The man knows every detail of the process of hearing and yet he learns something new:

It is suggested that he will then learn something he did not know before, which can be expressed as what it is like to hear, or the qualitative or phenomenal nature of sound.

Nowhere in the physical or material process of hearing you find that private experience of what it is like to hear.

Thence it is claimed that conscious experience involves non-physical properties.

It rests on the idea that someone who has complete physical knowledge about another conscious being might yet lack knowledge about how it feels to have the experiences of that being.

This qualitative nature of our experiences from a subjective perspective is called the quale, most of the time discussed in plural: qualia.

If two brains perform exactly the same process: we both see something red, for instance, then the extra, which can not be deduced from the physical process, is the fact that it is MY experience and YOUR experience.

Although the processes may be identical there yet is something in the mind added, namely, the qualitative features of "what it is like" FOR ME to experience the color red.

It may sound to you as highly technical philosophical bickering, but the basic idea is that a 100% materialistic explanation of our consciousness is not possible. There is more.

Thus we must conclude that there are in our world at least two different properties: physical and non-physical.

The qualia issue has led to complex debates and argumentations since the famous article by Thomas Nagel "What is it like to be a bat?" from 1974.

The debate rages still on, but is till now controversial and inconclusive. Therefore it is not yet a refutation of our attempt to come to a materialistic interpretation of the mind.

We have to find an explanation of the subjectivity of the mind in a physicalistic sense. And there is something else…..

Our mind, our thoughts are always ABOUT" something. Mental states seem to have causal powers, but they also possess the mysterious property of intentionality

— being about other things — including things like Zeus and the square root of minus one, which do not exist.

Physical objects and processes lack this intentionality - this aboutness - How are we going to explain that…..perhaps in the next lecture.

The Discussion

[13:15] herman Bergson: Thank you :-)
[13:16] herman Bergson: If you have a question or remark....go ahead..
[13:16] Kyra Neutron: are those avatars real here?
[13:16] Kyra Neutron: do they feel ?
[13:16] Kyra Neutron: do they exist in the universe?
[13:17] Bejiita Imako: this s a thing O wonder about sometime
[13:17] Kyra Neutron: let me finish bejiita...
[13:17] Mick Nerido: The deaf scientist would not understand what he hears it has to be "learned"
[13:17] Bejiita Imako: if me and my riend both feel happy do we feel the same
[13:17] Bejiita Imako: do we have the same experience
[13:17] Bejiita Imako: the reaction however is the same
[13:17] Kyra Neutron: id care what you experience :)
[13:17] Kyra Neutron: simple que
[13:17] Kyra Neutron: simple answer
[13:17] Kyra Neutron: do the avatars exist here
[13:18] Kyra Neutron: ?
[13:18] Bejiita Imako: so that make me think that we also must feel in a similar way
[13:18] Kyra Neutron: yawns...and leaves the scene to the prima donna
[13:18] herman Bergson: If you mean an identical experience Bejiita...the answer is no...
[13:18] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): kyra avatars exist in our minds here and there
[13:18] Kyra Neutron: ty gemma!
[13:18] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): an avatar is like a mask
[13:18] Bejiita Imako: interesting question indeed
[13:18] Sousinne Ceriano: The avatars have no mind, no brain, no existence beyond their connection to the person behind them, and the image as an in-world interface.
[13:18] Kyra Neutron: so is that mean..somehow..those avatars are real in a way?
[13:19] Bejiita Imako: for example if we think something is fun we laugh but does it feel the same for all
[13:19] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): right
[13:19] Doodus Moose: Kyra - no, they're simply puppets
[13:19] Sousinne Ceriano: Yes, they are a form of communication, like someone talking.
[13:19] Bejiita Imako: that it feels good is for sure but similar
[13:19] Bejiita Imako: h
[13:19] Kyra Neutron: but yet..this is a cybernetic environment…
[13:19] Sousinne Ceriano: Communication exists,.
[13:19] herman Bergson: It is a bit odd to suppose that avatars have a life and a mind....
[13:19] Kyra Neutron: we are cybernetic...
[13:19] Kyra Neutron: just like the "square root of minus one".
[13:19] Alaya Kumaki: i am not sure the the physics laws exposed the matter as lacking of intentionality, there, if i think about permissivity and permeability phenomenons, , but i don't recall who brought that,,,
[13:19] Sousinne Ceriano: Not quite, eh?
[13:19] herman Bergson: Avatars…like a viewer are only tools
[13:19] Mick Nerido: The AV is a puppet yes
[13:20] Kyra Neutron: see the point herman...
[13:20] herman Bergson: created by and for us to communicate
[13:20] Bejiita Imako: the avatar is just a way to connect but since its a real person behind it the avatar will transfer our feelings rl
[13:20] Bejiita Imako: thats how I see it
[13:20] Sousinne Ceriano: Unless the person behind it is AFK.
[13:20] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:20] herman Bergson: In that sense they don't differ from a hammer or a vacuum cleaner
[13:20] Kyra Neutron: shakes head..
[13:20] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:20] Doodus Moose: Bejiita - communicate minus the body language and subtilities of human expression
[13:20] Alaya Kumaki: Permittivity is determined by the ability of a material to polarize in response to the field, and thereby reduce the total electric field inside the material. Thus, permittivity relates to a material's ability to transmit (or "permit") an electric field.
[13:21] Kyra Neutron: if you any of you stand up when i say i will fuck you little bejita...
[13:21] Alaya Kumaki: i saw that the first time as a door to realize that matter isn't inanimate from intentionality
[13:21] Kyra Neutron: nothing...just a vacuum cleaner right?
[13:21] Kyra Neutron: :)
[13:21] Kyra Neutron: gigles
[13:21] Bejiita Imako: hahaha
[13:21] Sousinne Ceriano: Yes, nothing.
[13:21] ShinKenDo: well in here we get something like a body language
[13:22] Doodus Moose: Shin- we're all in the same position :-)
[13:22] ShinKenDo: we somehow transform our ego int this puppet and make it feel
[13:22] ShinKenDo: so
[13:22] druth Vlodovic: alaya, I'm not sure the ability to affect things implies intentionality
[13:22] ShinKenDo: this here is a bridge
[13:22] Ciska Riverstone: other way round Shin?
[13:22] Alaya Kumaki: its not the affecting, it's the an intention
[13:22] herman Bergson: We just use this means to communicate with eachother
[13:22] Kyra Neutron: the thing is
[13:22] Alaya Kumaki: the permisivity is an intention,
[13:22] Sousinne Ceriano: I find this part of the dualist discourse rather tiring, merely an attempt to allow the theist faith to survive in an area where science has not yet set up its theories.
[13:22] Kyra Neutron: what you say VACUUM CLEANER
[13:23] Kyra Neutron: is your identity
[13:23] Kyra Neutron: yourself
[13:23] Alaya Kumaki: in my view and the myth that matter is without it, is for me promitive
[13:23] Kyra Neutron: your poor existance
[13:23] Kyra Neutron: :)
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: yes, and to get the avatar to transfer our feelings require that the operator pushes the right buttins sort of
[13:23] herman Bergson: yes...only vacuum cleaners dont communicate...they have another function:-)
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: or nothing wil happen
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: sl is a comunication tool that do what we tell it to do just like any machine
[13:23] Kyra Neutron: i am truly sorry bejita
[13:23] Sousinne Ceriano: And beside, vacuum cleaners are loud, disgusting things.
[13:23] Kyra Neutron: but a moderate
[13:23] Kyra Neutron: person
[13:23] herman Bergson: But I think we are drifing away from the actual subject of today :-)
[13:23] Kyra Neutron: is lack of controlling its avatar
[13:24] Kyra Neutron: as a robotic handle
[13:24] Alaya Kumaki: i am talking about the matter that isn't tranformed by human,,,,, and dead
[13:24] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): was waiting for that
[13:24] Kyra Neutron: you are just good as your poor ego
[13:24] Kyra Neutron: in that ava
[13:24] ShinKenDo: so 2 avas sits on a bench and wach a digital sunset.. dont we feel something in this scene?
[13:24] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): trying to recall the point of the lecture
[13:24] Sousinne Ceriano: You feel it. The avatar doesn't.
[13:24] druth Vlodovic: ok, what do you mean by permissivity? the ability of a thing to exist within a certain environment?
[13:24] herman Bergson: The issue of today is that experiences may seem identical in a material way in two different persons...
[13:25] Kyra Neutron: sous...maybe you shall breath air more..and look at walls less?
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: the operator behind the machi does
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: machine
[13:25] Kyra Neutron: we live here...
[13:25] herman Bergson: but each person adds his subjectivity to it....
[13:25] herman Bergson: His "what is it like for me to hear…"
[13:25] ShinKenDo: we even say .. we are home...
[13:25] Alaya Kumaki: if counsciousness merge from matter,,the exprience of the matter in term of counsciousness is,,, not something we can experiment,,,, as our
[13:25] herman Bergson: this means that in fact these mental states are NOT identical...
[13:25] Alaya Kumaki: yes , we do experiment it
[13:25] Kyra Neutron: :) yesh
[13:26] Kyra Neutron: experiment
[13:26] druth Vlodovic: the subjectivity is often the result of differences in their senses (material) or previous experience (the mind conditioned to react differently to stimuli)
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: speaking about vacuum cleaners i really need to clean up this place tomorrowu usually do that fridays
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: but had a lot of friends here before so place is a bit extra messy now
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: heheh
[13:26] herman Bergson: This is a problem we'll have to deal with in further lectures...
[13:26] Doodus Moose: Professor - in stress school we called it "Actions, Beliefs & Consequences"
[13:26] Alaya Kumaki: lol
[13:26] Kyra Neutron: like giving a drug to the monkey..and measure the body temperature?
[13:26] Mick Nerido: Is like lanquage if you don't understand it it is juat noise
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: sort of
[13:27] Kyra Neutron: weird..i never herad vacuum cleaners are capable of making friends :)
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: chinese for ex i cant make anything but strange sounds out from
[13:27] Doodus Moose: 2 people see the same action, they react from their individual life experience, then take separate consequences
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: no words
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: just sounds
[13:27] Kyra Neutron: lamp and fridge friends?
[13:27] Kyra Neutron: :)
[13:27] Mick Nerido: We all get the same sound waves but our minds interpit them differently
[13:27] Alaya Kumaki: its intresting that you brought that today herman, caus e yesterday i found a document on dennnets intentionality
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:27] Alaya Kumaki: didnt read it , only one chapter, yet
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: a useful tool simply
[13:28] herman Bergson: Yes Dennett is related to this subject too...
[13:28] herman Bergson: Chalmers even more....
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: the vaccum cleaner is my friend when it make cleanup easy and nice here around
[13:28] herman Bergson: If I am not mistaken...
[13:28] Sousinne Ceriano: And yet, there is little reason to assume that people feel, or see, different things when given identical stimuli.
[13:28] Kyra Neutron: wrong? the vacuum cleaner is "bejiita"
[13:28] herman Bergson: Chalmers even took it so far, that he suggested that our idea of reality isn't correct...
[13:28] Sousinne Ceriano: When someone is angry, they act the same way.
[13:28] Alaya Kumaki: the comparative was made between dennets and fodor
[13:28] Doodus Moose: Sou - a friend of mine got in a bad auto accident, and responds to auto brake lights _very_ differently than the most of us
[13:29] herman Bergson: Consciousness should be a real part of it too...
[13:29] Kyra Neutron: yes..primitive feelings..
[13:29] druth Vlodovic: if they react differently then we can assume the experience is different, for instance, one person smelling mature might cover his nose and another will ignore the smell
[13:29] Alaya Kumaki: yes the reality , concept is not correct, i also think that,,
[13:29] ShinKenDo: so now i know a avatar fairly well ... can determine if she is in a good or bad mood.... i learnd to read her usage of certain attachments.. which she choose un concourse… and i .. i behave in a way.. chose emoticons or as that fits my mood... so we "know each other" theoreticaly.. llike the deaf man who know all about hearing... so when i meat the person behind the ava ... will i sitt like this? or use a coat and a goggle on my neck? PERHAPS because ... its now a part of me.. yesterday i tried a new skin .. and shape... this was horrible i could not recognise my selfe
[13:29] herman Bergson: almost like a Cartesian substance
[13:29] Sousinne Ceriano: Different from what you would respond like if you had been through the same accident?
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: hmm that we react to different things is for sure
[13:30] druth Vlodovic: probably, any experience is largely determined by the experiencer
[13:30] Kyra Neutron: well..this is cause we identify "selves" via forms
[13:30] herman Bergson: To say that A and B are identical means according to Leibniz his principle
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: for ex i love olives but a friend of me hates them
[13:30] herman Bergson: that every true statement of A is a true statement of B
[13:30] Kyra Neutron: as another likes to identify via "vacuum cleaner"
[13:30] Kyra Neutron: :)
[13:30] Alaya Kumaki: the experience my hot be similar, they subjectivity might not be
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: haha
[13:31] herman Bergson: and when subjectivity is added to our concept of consciousness....this creates a problem....
[13:31] Kyra Neutron: this also define..hate and love..
[13:31] Kyra Neutron: aren't they same?
[13:31] Alaya Kumaki: well form the objectivation aspect and a subject object,,its a problem
[13:31] Sousinne Ceriano: That there is a filter of biology and previous experiences between us and the stimulus doesn't mean our responses aren't the same.
[13:31] herman Bergson: the material origine may look identical...we all have brains....
[13:31] druth Vlodovic: subjectivity might just be due to the complexity of the system
[13:32] herman Bergson: but we all have only OUR own brain
[13:32] Kyra Neutron: and where is it?
[13:32] Florencio Flores: hi qwark
[13:32] herman Bergson: In that sense no two brains are alike
[13:32] Mick Nerido: I like abstract expressionism you may hate it
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: hi Qwark
[13:32] Alaya Kumaki: since the subject brain,,is matter, where is the subjectivity if not in the matter itself
[13:32] herman Bergson: yes Alaya...THAT is the quintessential question....
[13:33] Florencio Flores: that was deeper alaya
[13:33] Qwark Allen: hello, finally i arrive in +/- time
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: )
[13:33] Doodus Moose: Alaya steers the boat back on course :-)
[13:33] Sousinne Ceriano: It is exactly there, in the matter itself.
[13:33] herman Bergson: therefore qualia are discussed and some even still claim that the mind has non-physical qualities
[13:33] Mick Nerido: Matter is mind?
[13:33] Kyra Neutron: .....
[13:33] Sousinne Ceriano: Mind is matter. Everything is.
[13:33] Kyra Neutron: an easier question
[13:33] Kyra Neutron: what is non-physic
[13:33] Alaya Kumaki: i think that the mind has both quality
[13:34] herman Bergson: If it was that simple that matter generates the mind....
[13:34] Alaya Kumaki: not one or the other, in exclusion relation
[13:34] druth Vlodovic: people like to claim that there are non-material aspects of the brain because they like to believe in souls, and continuity after death
[13:34] Alaya Kumaki: as waves and particles
[13:34] herman Bergson: matter is deterministic in its causality
[13:34] Kyra Neutron: energy
[13:34] Kyra Neutron: matter or not?
[13:34] ShinKenDo: i like to get the word Brain in contact with the word membrane in quantum physics...... strings who vibrate .. and form the matter are like single notes in a opera .. and brains are melodys maid of those notes... somehow selfconscious..
[13:34] Sousinne Ceriano: No. it is not, professor.
[13:34] Kyra Neutron: ....
[13:34] Mick Nerido: matter=energy
[13:34] herman Bergson: and we believe that we are NOT deterministic in our mind.....that we have a free will for instance
[13:35] Kyra Neutron: pure energy
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: the higgs boson is supposed to be the difference between what is matter and what is energy
[13:35] ShinKenDo: its both at the same time
[13:35] Kyra Neutron: energy vibrates and the frequency defines the matter..
[13:35] ShinKenDo: yes
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: light have no mass but other particles have mass = matter
[13:35] herman Bergson: We'll gonna discuss all this kind of questions in coming lectures
[13:35] Alaya Kumaki: i believe in a certain freedom of the will but not a fukl one
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: interesting theory
[13:35] ShinKenDo: and matter defines the range of frequency
[13:35] Sousinne Ceriano: This is only a problem if you either only look at the macro scale or only the micro scale.
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: is very different indeed
[13:36] Sousinne Ceriano: But the brain is not only one or the other. The mid-level structure there MEANS something.
[13:36] druth Vlodovic: it comes from the idea that if we are deterministic then we are just machines, an un necessary connection to my mind
[13:36] Kyra Neutron: what a freak idea..
[13:36] Alaya Kumaki: the mecanical perspective is a made up anyways
[13:36] herman Bergson: Yes druth...
[13:36] Sousinne Ceriano: Certainly, there are limits to our free will.
[13:37] Kyra Neutron: if a human can be anything is only animal...
[13:37] herman Bergson: We'll discuss free will extensively ....
[13:37] Sousinne Ceriano: I can't spontaneously turn into a bottle of cola, for example, no matter how badly I want to.
[13:37] druth Vlodovic: we do not become less human just because all we are is in this world (however large it may be)
[13:37] druth Vlodovic: that is a religious fear
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: to be able to act we must have knowledge sort of analogous to programming for a computer but a computer can not really think
[13:38] Kyra Neutron: nvm
[13:38] Kyra Neutron: you simply deny what you made of
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: it just calculates numbers without knowing what it actually really does
[13:38] Sousinne Ceriano: And yet, with the right structure, we would have a computer that thought.
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: a computer just se lot of on and off
[13:38] herman Bergson: true bejiita....
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: 1 and 0
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: nothing more
[13:38] Mick Nerido: We are al on computers now
[13:38] Kyra Neutron: because
[13:38] Kyra Neutron: we cant calculate
[13:39] Kyra Neutron: and predict
[13:39] herman Bergson: Yes Mick and WE do the thinking, not the computer:-)
[13:39] Kyra Neutron: or generate
[13:39] Sousinne Ceriano: It is not a question of "consciousness magic". Structure equals function... and that does not invalidate free will.
[13:39] Kyra Neutron: as a 4 gb ramed computer can does
[13:39] ShinKenDo: so ... somehow in order to survive we had to separate us from others? well ... actually we cant 2 persons GROW as one... would bee a interesting experiment.. Twins.. 24/7 conectet via modern communication equipment... so each see and hear what the other is dooing... and if the one is kissing a girl ... would the other not feel something =?
[13:39] Mick Nerido: It is an extension of our minds
[13:39] druth Vlodovic: "nothing more" implies that what we are is insufficient, shameful in fact
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: the computer can do things very fast BUT it need a human to tell it EXACTLY what to do
[13:39] Kyra Neutron: no
[13:39] Florencio Flores: bye everyone
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: then it does that and nothing more
[13:39] Qwark Allen: ˜*•. ˜”*°•.˜”*°• Bye ! •°*”˜.•°*”˜ .•*˜ ㋡
[13:39] Florencio Flores: need to leave
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: cu fo
[13:39] Kyra Neutron: bye flore
[13:39] Florencio Flores: ☆*¨¨* ♥*''*BEJIITA!!! *''* ♥:*¨¨*☆
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: flo
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:40] herman Bergson: Well a lot of ideas and remarks....
[13:40] Florencio Flores: bye bejiita, kyra and qwark and all
[13:40] ShinKenDo: bye florencio
[13:40] Alaya Kumaki: we can say that the pc, experiment ourself using it
[13:40] druth Vlodovic: it's similar to the argument as to why life "must" have a purpose, because without meaning it is meaningless, as though this is negative in some way
[13:40] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): confusion
[13:40] Mick Nerido: No Shinkendo
[13:40] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): bye Florencio
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: computers are machines, they cant act on their own, unless a bug in the programming give the cpu wring instructions about what to do
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: can be really dangerous sometimes
[13:41] Alaya Kumaki: but we created that pseudo subjective pc
[13:41] Kyra Neutron: alaya traces good :)
[13:41] herman Bergson: I would suggest.....let's think it all over .....
[13:42] herman Bergson: My head is a a bit spinning now :-)
[13:42] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): I will reread the blog
[13:42] herman Bergson: So I would thank you all for your participation again....
[13:42] ShinKenDo: this is a rather un informed speaking Bejiita.. new sciences have discovered that CHAOS can happen if a cycle is repeated enough.. in a perfectly fine computer environment wich causes the program evolve on its self
[13:42] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): and try to make sense of the whole discussion
[13:42] druth Vlodovic: thank you herman
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:42] herman Bergson: Yes too :-)
[13:42] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ LOL ♥
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: really interesting this time
[13:42] Alaya Kumaki: lol
[13:42] herman Bergson: Class dismissed ^_^
[13:42] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): Bye, Bye ㋡
[13:42] ShinKenDo: we call it Gost in the shell
[13:42] Qwark Allen: i got here late no idea about the subject
[13:43] Doodus Moose: that's why i come here - to get my brain beat up.
[13:43] Kyra Neutron: bye gemma
[13:43] Qwark Allen: ehehhe
[13:43] Mick Nerido: Thanks everyone
[13:43] Alaya Kumaki: there is not a whole one,,,, just a partial one, me think
[13:43] Kyra Neutron: a few good spins
[13:43] herman Bergson: haha Doodus :-)
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: aa about malicious computers, here is a really good example of computers wreaking havoc with disastrous result
[13:43] Bejiita Imako:
[13:43] ShinKenDo: Thank you Herman
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: thanx hermann - bye all
[13:43] Qwark Allen: ˜*•. ˜”*°•.˜”*°• Bye ! •°*”˜.•°*”˜ .•*˜ ㋡
[13:43] Kyra Neutron: not malicious only...
[13:43] Qwark Allen: ¸¸.☆´ ¯¨☆.¸¸`☆** **☆´ ¸¸.☆¨¯`☆ H E R MA N ☆´ ¯¨☆.¸¸`☆** **☆´ ¸¸.☆¨¯`
[13:43] Alaya Kumaki: see yu next time herman
[13:44] herman Bergson: Bye Alaya :-)
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