(in)signficance of "Qualia"

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jeeprs
 
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 04:13 pm
@Reconstructo,
I never understand why the 'other possible universes' idea is regarded as signifying anything intelligible at all. As an argument it is the death of philosophy. It means nothing whatever.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 05:17 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;169239 wrote:
I never understand why the 'other possible universes' idea is regarded as signifying anything intelligible at all. As an argument it is the death of philosophy. It means nothing whatever.


That there is another possible universe in which Caesar killed Brutus only means that it is logically possible for Caesar to have killed Brutus. Which it is. It is not an argument. It is a proposition. Leibniz is the philosopher who introduced the idea of possible worlds. He used it to solve the problem of evil. That is why he claimed that this was the best of all possible worlds, because God created it. A claim attacked by Voltaire in Candide. A possible world is a world that does not contain a contradiction. There is nothing unintelligible about it. Some philosophers have taken a realistic view of the notion of possible worlds so that they take it as more than a way of speaking about logical possibilities. But I don't follow them in this, and neither has, for example, Quine.
 
qualia
 
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 05:52 pm
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper wrote:
We know that certain chemicals alter perception in fairly reliable ways. How is this not at least a partial connection between the functional role of chemicals and the subjectivity of qualia?


Thank you for the post Night Ripper. Personally, in answer to your question, I cannot see why there would be any significant objection in coming to comprehend meaning, qualia, intentionality (aboutness), or what have you, as being emergent properties of complex bio-chemical systems. Indeed, from what I have understood, many philosophers of the mind are materialists.

It seems, then, that one of the main disputes about this issue of qualia (rotted in the word 'quality'), is more to do with what thinkers have termed the explanatory gap.

I think the general problem is given more or less in these terms: I can tell you what it is like for me to fall in love and you may come to believe-think-etc that what it is like for you to fall in love is similar to what it is like for me to fall in love.

Obviously, we don't need a rocket scientist to tell us that neither of us have access to each other's subjective experience, so we can never really be certain if what it is like for you, is really what it is like for me. That much seems obvious, right?

So, a bio-chemico-neuronscientist type comes along and says, 'Ah, but I have found that when you both fall in love brain neuron type XP12ZR fires up on my screen.' But so what? All he has described is a given brain event-activity which strictly speaking is public, observable and isn't about anything, (how could a neuron firing be about anything?) but my qualia, or my intentionality is private, unobservable and always about something, in this case it is about falling in love. It seems, then, or so it is argued, that qualia or my intentionality, even if they arise from some emergent system of chemicals, cannot be reduced to these mere chemicals or neurons firing.

To put this another way, imagine there is Paco, and Paco is an amazing neuroscientist who just so happen to invent a machine that allows humans to fall in love. Paco is brilliant, so much so that he not only knows about every single physical fact, property, substance there is to know about his fall in love machine, but also knows of every single physical fact and property in any human-being that plugs into it.

Paco has never used the machine on himself, because first he wants to make some observable experiments, and to see what conclusions he can draw. So, one day, he decides to call Maria - she's a super-guapa-chica and she plugs into the fall in love machine and she falls in love. She experiences falling in love. There is something it is like for her to fall in love :a-thought:.

Paco, despite knowing every single physical fact about Maria and his machine, still doesn't know what it is like to fall in love because he has never used his machine.

So, for the time being, Paco realises that there are some facts about falling in love, besides the brute physical facts, and at the moment, he doesn't know them.

He concludes that until persuaded otherwise, there are non-physical facts to be known :deep-thought:.

I think that's the basic argument for the explanatory gap. I may be wrong about it :warn: but as always, as in most philosophical debates, there are plenty of defenders and a whole lot in terms of objections.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 06:13 pm
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;169052 wrote:
Funnily enough, we have a word for things that can't be expressed, "ineffable".


Yes, I know, Ripper. And you probably know that I know.But that word has certain associations.

1. I think that "ineffable" is often understood in a conceptual sense, as if there were thoughts that could not be said. Personally, I see language and thought to be almost identical, or indeed identical. (I can see certain arguments against a simple identity of the two.)

2. I don't think there is an ideal word for what I'm pointing at, even though what I'm pointing at is simple, and always there for all of us. Why not "sensation"? Because it leaves out emotion. And because it's so general that it doesn't refer away from itself very effectively. I would like a word that covers all human experience excluding its conceptual aspect.

---------- Post added 05-26-2010 at 07:21 PM ----------

Night Ripper;169062 wrote:


I have a feeling that the only reason why that is dismissed is because most people have a misconception of scientific explanations. They seem to think that scientific explanations show why things that happen must happen. So, for qualia to be explained it must be explained why some bit of qualia feels that way instead of another way. But science never explains things like that. Science doesn't explain why and can never explain why things have to be the way they are. There is no explanation for why water has to boil at a certain temperature. We only explain things contingently, in the terms of something else. Water boils at a certain temperature because temperature is the internal kinetic motion of molecules and when there is enough motion certain phase changes can happen, etc, etc. Yet, when you get down to it, these are all things that just happen. Water could behave completely differently. Qualia could be completely different. But it's not and there cannot be an explanation for that.

I like this, and I generally agree. As you say, we "explain" things contingently, by integrating things in a conceptual network, heavy on the causality. Strangely, we can pseudo-imagine different qualia. Voltaire can introduce fictional beings with nine sense organs. But we can't truly imagine the sensation of such creatures any more than we can imagine a round square. We can imagine other worlds, other beings, only be negating or rearranging aspects of this one. As far as qualia being ultimate unexplainable, I completely agree. Because qualia are themselves not conceptual, and explanation is integration within a system of concepts. IMO. Smile

---------- Post added 05-26-2010 at 07:27 PM ----------

Night Ripper;169082 wrote:

There is no reason why a lump of meat should give rise to consciousness anymore than water should boil at a certain temperature. It's just a contingent fact of the universe we find ourselves in.

I will not in the least deny that qualia/consciousness/emotion is connected to these lumps of meat we call bodies. But the flip side is that all our abstractions about the matter are themselves derived from the same the qualia they intend to explain. We have something like a Moebius strip on our hands.

"Mind" and "matter" are both abstractions. Sensation. which an abstraction must be used to refer to, is not itself conceptual, even if experienced in terms of concept. Or so it seems. It's a tricky issue. Add to this trickiness something like a Kantian logic, a brain/mind/tendency to break perception into pieces, into unities. And our concepts are not exempt. Essences are unities. Numbers are unities. So we have at least, I contend, a minimal automatic structure to our conception and perception of objects as objects, as bounded sensations integrated within a system of concepts. And this includes the higher abstractions like "mind" "matter" "consciousness" "self" and so on.

What's your take?

---------- Post added 05-26-2010 at 07:37 PM ----------

Night Ripper;169101 wrote:
Though, we can point out that, in the universe without conscious experience, we couldn't even raise the question.

Excellent point, and all other universes plus or minus consciousness only exist as abstractions within this one. Or so it seems.

As practical and reasonable as it seems to consider the world-minus-"self", is it not always the abstraction of a particular "self"?

We see others die, and the world(or experience) continues to exist for us. And yet we expect own deaths to close the "peephole." This is obvious, but what does it all mean logically? Here's an interesting tidbit:
Quote:

5.621 The world and life are one.
5.63 I am my world. (The microcosm.)
5.631 The thinking, presenting subject; there is no such thing.
If I wrote a book "The world as I found it", I should also have therein to report on my body and say which members obey my will and which do not, etc. This then would be a method of isolating the subject or rather of showing that in an important sense there is no subject: that is to say, of it alone in this book mention could not be made.
5.632 The subject does not belong to the world but it is a limit of the world
5.633 Where in the world is a metaphysical subject to be noted.
You say that this case is altogether like that of the eye and the field of sight. But you do not really see the eye.
And from nothing in the field of sight can it be concluded that it is seen from an eye.
5.6331 For the field of sight has not a form like this: http://home.umail.ucsb.edu/%7Eluke_manning/tractatus/f56331.gif
5.634 This is connected with the fact that no part of our experience is also a priori.
Everything we see could also be otherwise.
Everything we describe at all could also be otherwise.
There is no order of things a priori.
5.64 Here we see that solipsism strictly carried out coincides with pure realism. The I in solipsism shrinks to an extensionless point and there remains the reality co-ordinated with it.
5.641 There is therefore really a sense in which the philosophy we can talk of a non-psychological I.
The I occurs in philosophy through the fact that the "world is my world".
The philosophical I is not the man, not the human body or the human soul of which psychology treats, but the metaphysical subject, the limit-​not a part of the world.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 11:31 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;169051 wrote:
What does, "species independent objectivity" mean? What does "ultimate object" mean? How can anyone tell whether what you say is true or false unless he can tell what you mean? Third class!


That reference was from an earlier post, and was given as follows:

qualia;168071 wrote:
Premise 1: Modern science uses method which seeks to discount the point of view of any particular type of mind, notably the human mind. Science seeks a species independent objectivity.

Conclusion 1: Therefore, if there is anything in the world which is by nature essentially subjective it cannot be investigated by using the methods of physical science.


So, I am disputing that there is any such thing as 'species-independent objectivity'. I am saying, it is not possible, there is no such thing. It is like a horned rabbit or a square circle. No such thing. That is fairly unequivocal, isn't it?

The second reference was to the idea of 'complete objectivity'. I also reckon, for related reasons, that there is no such thing as complete objectivity, because something can only be objective relative to a subject. This seems self-evident to me.

Furthermore, you might have been able to argue at some point in the past, that objects themselves were reducible to point-particles, known as atoms, which we the 'fundamental basis of reality'. However this is no longer tenable as no such ultimate particle has been found. At the quantum level, the so-called 'ultimate constituents of nature' are very ambiguous and not particularly material in nature.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 11:42 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;169426 wrote:

Furthermore, you might have been able to argue at some point in the past, that objects themselves were reducible to point-particles, known as atoms, which we the 'fundamental basis of reality'. However this is no longer tenable as no such ultimate particle has been found. At the quantum level, the so-called 'ultimate constituents of nature' are very ambiguous and not particularly material in nature.


And such a particle, invisible to our sense, is bound to be an abstraction. It's somewhat absurd to say in human language that a mere piece of this language is the ultimate reality. Was it Thales who said that all was water? Was this thought then made of water?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 12:22 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;169428 wrote:
And such a particle, invisible to our sense, is bound to be an abstraction. It's somewhat absurd to say in human language that a mere piece of this language is the ultimate reality.


How else would it be said?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 12:23 am
@Reconstructo,
Let's take any fundamental particle you like. Now for this invisable particle to have meaning, it's got to be linked up via equations and probably explanatory concepts that help us apply these equations. But these equations only have meaning within the context of other equations. Physics is a system, and it's a system of equations AND the concepts that allow us to use these equations..right? F = ma means nothing unless we have a concept of force, a concept of objects and boundaries.

So the fundamental particle can only be meaningful within the system of physics concepts, and these are only meaningful within our system of concepts as a whole.

This is just the "real is rational." Being is ultimately concept here. But in our absorption we might call this concept the fundamental particle. Well, that's fine, because "concept" and "particle" are both part of the system. If the real is rational, or in other words to be found in abstractions, then OK sure.

But for any living being that speaks or writes or hears or reads of this same fundamental particle...is only knowing this fundamental particle as an abstraction communicated by means of the senses. And the system of science depends ultimately not only the sense for observation but also for consensus. Experiment must be verified, or repeatable.

To call a particle fundamental makes sense in a certain way, but to suggest that this mere piece of a conceptual system which again is a mere piece of human experience "that which things are made of" seems absurd to me. Sure, within a complex mental model, we have particles that we have not yet found a reason to conceive as capable of further subdivision.

Only living human beings can speak or hear of abstractions. We have no experience of sans-human reality. The whole idea is just that, a simple negation of one aspect of our world-concept. We just X ourselves out, and assume we haven't pulled the jaw out with the tooth. And yet only the living can hear my words about all this. Only the living know of a universe. That's an assumption, granted. But we all have our basic assumptions.

---------- Post added 05-27-2010 at 01:26 AM ----------

kennethamy;169430 wrote:
How else would it be said?


Well, if I tell you that all is just "matter" or "energy" or "water," am I not implying that this very sentence is also made of "matter" or "energy" or "water"? And isn't this just as wild or more wild than the assertion of an invisible creator?

Does this not call for some investigation?

---------- Post added 05-27-2010 at 01:29 AM ----------

We are hypnotized by our abstractions. Our particular-sensual lives are muted by the universal-conceptual. Science in its practical sphere is great. As philosophy, it's bunk.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 12:34 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;169432 wrote:


Well, if I tell you that all is just "matter" or "energy" or "water," am I not implying that this very sentence is also made of "matter" or "energy" or "water"? And isn't this just as wild or more wild than the assertion of an invisible creator?

Does this not call for some investigation?


1. Why would you tell me that all is just "matter", or "energy", or "water", rather than that all is just matter, or energy, or water.?
2. Yes, of course, it it were true that everything is matter, then the sentence, "everything is matter" would be matter. Now, that might be false, but what is "wild" about it? Materialists believe it is true. I don't see anything more outre' about it than I do more than any other metaphysical statement. Indeed, it seems to me more sensible than most I have seen on this forum.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 12:40 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;169437 wrote:

2. Yes, of course, it it were true that everything is matter, then the sentence, "everything is matter" would be matter. Now, that might be false, but what is "wild" about it? Materialists believe it is true. I don't see anything more outre' about it than I do more than any other metaphysical statement. Indeed, it seems to me more sensible than most I have seen on this forum.


Seriously, man. "Matter" is just one piece of our conceptual system. I put it in quotes to emphasize that it is an abstraction. Do you grant that much? So to say that all is matter is to say that all of our abstractions and all of our sensations and emotions are "made of" or "reduce to" just one of our abstractions -- even though this one abstraction only has meaning in the context of other abstractions, which were invented in the first place as a way to explain sensations. At least "god" was an impressive concept that acknowledge man's thinking. I think strict materialism is absurd, utterly absurd. But I understand the reductive temptation. The desire to unify is strong in us. For abstraction is unification. And it's natural to want a master-unity.

Mind you, I don't need an abstraction like "god" either, but it does seem less absurd.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 12:50 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;169441 wrote:
Seriously, man. "Matter" is just one piece of our conceptual system. I put it in quotes to emphasize that it is an abstraction. Do you grant that much? So to say that all is matter is to say that all of our abstractions and all of our sensations and emotions are "made of" or "reduce to" just one of our abstractions -- even though this one abstraction only has meaning in the context of other abstractions, which were invented in the first place as a way to explain sensations. At least "god" was an impressive concept that acknowledge man's thinking. I think strict materialism is absurd, utterly absurd. But I understand the reductive temptation. The desire to unify is strong in us. For abstraction is unification. And it's natural to want a master-unity.


When a word is put into quote it means either that it is being used in a sense different from its ordinary sense, or, among philosophers, that it is the word that is being talked about, and not what the word refers to. This is what is called the use/mention distinction.

What is an abstraction? The word, "matter", or matter? You see the confusion between the mention of the word, "matter" and the use of the word, "matter"? I don't know what it is you are saying is an abstraction. If I say that "cat" contains three letters, then I am talking about the word, "cat". I am mentioning it . But if I say, that cat has whiskers, I am talking about a cat, an animal. I am using the word, "cat".

Use?mention distinction - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 12:57 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;169445 wrote:
When a word is put into quote it means either that it is being used in a sense different from its ordinary sense, or, among philosophers, that it is the word that is being talked about, and not what the word refers to. This is what is called the use/mention distinction.

What is an abstraction? The word, "matter", or matter? You see the confusion between the mention of the word, "matter" and the use of the word, "matter"? I don't know what it is you are saying is an abstraction. If I say that "cat" contains three letters, then I am talking about the word, "cat". I am mentioning it . But if I say, that cat has whiskers, I am talking about a cat, an animal. I am using the word, "cat".

Use?mention distinction - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


I respect that, and it's a pretty good rule for the most part. But it's just a man-made minority ideal. In my mind, it's also an indicator of tone. When one wants to speak of a word with a greater than usual distance, one will sometimes even put the fingers up as if quotation signs.

But this is utterly secondary to the thread. If you want to get back to that, we can. I will for you try not to use the quotation marks so much.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 01:07 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;169447 wrote:
I respect that, and it's a pretty good rule for the most part. But it's just a man-made minority ideal. In my mind, it's also an indicator of tone. When one wants to speak of a word with a greater than usual distance, one will sometimes even put the fingers up as if quotation signs.

But this is utterly secondary to the thread. If you want to get back to that, we can. I will for you try not to use the quotation marks so much.


It is not secondary if I don't know what you mean when you say that matter is an abstraction. Are you talking about the word, matter, or are you talking about matter? How can I comment when I don't know to what you are referring? Is the word "matter" an abstraction? Well to the extent that words are abstractions, it is, since it is a word. But, I am not at all clear how words are abstractions. If you mean that the word is not the thing it signifies, and that, is what it means to say that words are abstractions, then I cannot help but agree with you, since I certainly think that words and what they signify are different. But, if you mean the matter (not the word, but what the word, "matter" signifies) is an abstraction, then what you say seems to me to be clearly false. So, if you mean that the word "matter" is an abstraction because all words are abstractions, then sure, I agree. But that is pretty trivial. But if you mean that matter is an abstraction, then I don't agree. Matter is not a word.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 01:12 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;169451 wrote:
It is not secondary if I don't know what you mean when you say that matter is an abstraction. Are you talking about the word, matter, or are you talking about matter? How can I comment when I don't know to what you are referring? Is the word "matter" an abstraction? Well to the extent that words are abstractions, it is, since it is a word. But, I am not at all clear how words are abstractions. If you mean that the word is not the thing it signifies, and that, is what it means to say that words are abstractions, then I cannot help but agree with you, since I certainly think that words and what they signify are different. But, if you mean the matter (not the word, but what the word, "matter" signifies) is an abstraction, then what you say seems to me to be clearly false. So, if you mean that the word "matter" is an abstraction because all words are abstractions, then sure, I agree. But that is pretty trivial. But if you mean that matter is an abstraction, then I don't agree. Matter is not a word.


I assert that matter, what the word "matter" refers to, is an abstraction. The complicated thing is that this abstraction is a way of interpreting sensation. We point at the wall and say "that's matter" in most cases probably not aware that we are dealing with an abstraction. I suspect that scientists are aware of this, or hope so....

I like physics, even love physics, but physics is not philosophy. So my objection is the unconsidered wholesale adoption of physics as a metaphysics...because it's logically absurd. :sarcastic:
 
Night Ripper
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 01:17 am
@qualia,
qualia;169279 wrote:
Paco, despite knowing every single physical fact about Maria and his machine, still doesn't know what it is like to fall in love because he has never used his machine.


Yes, Mary the color scientist has a similar problem. I'll give you the same response I gave my professor.

It's possible, and I see no reason to disagree, that instead of this universe there could have existed an almost identical universe which contains an atom-for-atom exact duplicate of me but without qualia. The dubious claim that usually follows is that therefore qualia cannot be anything physical.

I can also imagine a universe, atom-for-atom exact in every way except that gravity follows an inverse-cube law instead of an inverse-square law. Yet, that doesn't show that gravity is something nonphysical. What it does show is that there's nothing certain or necessary about the way the world is arranged or how it functions. It's a matter of complete contingency which physical theories aren't expected to explain.

The explanatory gap is real but it exists for all phenomena, not just mind and matter.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 01:25 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;169454 wrote:
I assert that matter, what the word "matter" refers to, is an abstraction. The complicated thing is that this abstraction is a way of interpreting sensation. We point at the wall and say "that's matter" in most cases probably not aware that we are dealing with an abstraction. I suspect that scientists are aware of this, or hope so....

. :sarcastic:


Fine. Then I, at least, know what you are saying. That's progress. But what does matter (the thing, not the word) abstract from? Before we are aware that matter is an abstraction, we ought to try to be clear what that means. And I really don't know what that means. For matter to be an abstraction, it has to abstract from something or other. From what does it abstract? The trouble is that I am not sure enough of what it means to say that something is an abstraction (or even sure that it means anything clear) to say whether or not matter is an abstraction. May be it is, as you say it is. But since I don't have any kind of firm hold on that idea, I cannot say.

"Oh, you can't get to heaven on roller skates, 'cause you fly right past those pearly gates"! Old black spiritual.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 01:30 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;169459 wrote:
Fine. Then I, at least, know what you are saying. That's progress. But what does matter (the thing, not the word) abstract from? Before we are aware that matter is an abstraction, we ought to try to be clear what that means. And I really don't know what that means. For matter to be an abstraction, it has to abstract from something or other. From what does it abstract? The trouble is that I am not sure enough of what it means to say that something is an abstraction (or even sure that it means anything clear) to say whether or not matter is an abstraction. May be it is, as you say it is. But since I don't have any kind of firm hold on that idea, I cannot say.

"Oh, you can't get to heaven on roller skates, 'cause you fly right past those pearly gates"! Old black spiritual.


Abstractions are strange, and a central issue to philosophy. I have started more than one thread on the issue. Like I said, abstractions exist systematically. To understand matter, one has to understand all sorts of other concepts. And that's why it's absurd to call matter fundamental in a philosophical sense.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 01:41 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;169460 wrote:
Abstractions are strange, and a central issue to philosophy. I have started more than one thread on the issue. Like I said, abstractions exist systematically. To understand matter, one has to understand all sorts of other concepts. And that's why it's absurd to call matter fundamental in a philosophical sense.


I really don't see why something cannot be fundamental, although it cannot be understood unless much else is understood. Something can be fundamental but not simple. You may be confusing the two. But that really is no help in getting me to understand the notion of abstraction, and why you think that matter is an abstraction. I am as much in the dark about that as ever.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 01:57 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;169464 wrote:
I really don't see why something cannot be fundamental, although it cannot be understood unless much else is understood.

What sort of "fundamental" is it, in that case? If it only makes sense within a system? The system could be called fundamental, but how can a symbolic system reduce/contain sensation/emotion?

---------- Post added 05-27-2010 at 03:00 PM ----------

kennethamy;169464 wrote:
But that really is no help in getting me to understand the notion of abstraction, and why you think that matter is an abstraction. I am as much in the dark about that as ever.

But there are all sorts of writers you won't read. And you really don't want to understand me. That's my honest opinion. I don't hold it against you.

What is concept? How are concepts made and what are the made of/from? I have argued that essence is the negation of accident, or a unity of such negations. Yes, that sounds abstruse. But what does one expect when one uses concepts to investigate concept? Concept is a keyword in discourse. Ye old problem of universals. And in math we have a foundation of unity, and iterations of this unity. But what is this unity? And how does it relate to the problem of universals? I say again that number is something like the word being, abstraction/negation taken to the limit.

The more abstract an essence is, the more indeterminate, the more negative in regards to accident. What is the Being of being? What is is? The reason this is hard to answer is because we just might be at the bedrock level of a fundamental intuition. An inborn sense of unity.
 
manored
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 03:49 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;168773 wrote:

I am sure you're aware of the Turing test. I have never been able to understand how zombies are conceivable if we can't build a computer that can pass the Turing test.
Some things cant realistically exist but it would be fun if they did, so we use magic or wicked science fiction to logically (somewhat, that is) include then in books, movies, games, etc.

It remembers me of the issue of whenever souls exist or not. Zoombies got their brains dead (magical ones, at least) so they must have some sort of soul controlling their body. But how does this "soul" thing controls the body? Thats where the magic comes in =)

Night Ripper;169052 wrote:
Funnily enough, we have a word for things that can't be expressed, "ineffable".
In portuguese there is a whole verb for the act of throwing something through a window. Its "defenestrar". Its mainly used then the thing is a person, and the intent is homicidal or suicidal =)

But nobody uses it nowadays.

Reconstructo;168906 wrote:
I agree. And those are great questions. I was watching two squirrels chasing one another through the branches of trees, at high speed. What agility. My friend and I were contemplating what it would be like to move like that.
I bet that if you were a squirell, that wouldnt be any special agility for you. But perhaps you would look at those giant, hairless bipedal things and contemplate with another squirell what it would be like to be so large =)

Being another animal would only be special if you retained the memories of your "past life".

Reconstructo;168906 wrote:

My question is what exists outside of "qualia," if anything? We know that when a human dies, we live on, still seeing reality. But reality is utterly for each of us individually associated with qualia, with "consciousness." And yet we talk so freely about the world independent of consciousness, and this is probably because we know other humans die, and we remain. But who has seen the world when not alive? The world survives them, but in what way will it survive us? What could the world be in the absence of qualia ("consciousness")?
This is a nice suming up of why I believe life is eternal =) I cant conceive the world without me, but I can conceive it with me on it, so I conclude that the world cannot exist without me. Even though other people can conceive the world without me, the fact that I cannot ever see it through the eyes ends up giving then no credibility in the matter, its like they were talking about ghosts without proof.

prothero;168905 wrote:
Certainly humans are not the only experiential and perceptive entities that have "qualia"? What is it like to be a bat? or a tiger? or anything for that matter?
Why not? Perhaps only I have qualia and everyone else are hyper complex biological robots.

Reconstructo;168890 wrote:
Well, that's not what I was saying, but that is another interesting issue. What I am saying is that we humans tend to identify strongly with our thoughts, to the degree that other humans, who think differently, aren't as interesting to us as perhaps they should be.
This is sort of what I was trying to ask, so... close enough, I guess =)

kennethamy;169065 wrote:
Why not? There is an explanation for why water does not boil at a temperature of 112 C. isn't there?
Indeed. But there is no reason for that, that is, water doesnt boils at 100 for any particular purpose. The laws of physics arent like they are for any particular reason, they just are. Thats what he meant.

Reconstructo;169288 wrote:
I don't think there is an ideal word for what I'm pointing at, even though what I'm pointing at is simple, and always there for all of us. Why not "sensation"? Because it leaves out emotion. And because it's so general that it doesn't refer away from itself very effectively. I would like a word that covers all human experience excluding its conceptual aspect.
Invent it. The meaning of a word may have any lenght you desire =)

Like the Ents of the Lord of the Rings, who did it reverse. their words had the lenght (and form) of songs, and their conversations outlasted the patience of any hobbit.
 
 

 
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