I knew I was still missing something. But I was blind to it and you helped me see it.
My reading of Chalmers is that working out exactly what the physical basis of a particular phenomenal quality is well enough to transfer or reproduce it at will would still leave the hard problem of why there should be any phenomenal property at all associated with that particular, or any, physical system. But as I have said, this is just a technical quibble turning on one person's use of a term, not a substantive scientific issue.
I've missed this in what Chalmers is saying. And I agree with it. See the tail end of the new version of my camp below where I quote what you say here and respond.
I've reworded the places where I say "solving the hard problem." Also, I've been saying that Chalmers' take would be impossible to be true, which you've helped me realize, again, is not the case. So I tried to remove anything close to this language in these versions.
To say "physical process gives rise to the subjective" is to fail to clearly distinguish between what is really important and the fact that it is all included in the "physical".
couldn't it just be like saying that heating water gives rise to steam?
Of course you realize that neither the behavior of water, nor the behavior of steam is what we are talking about right? Phenomenal properties are categorically different than all this. All I am saying is that something, perhaps water, perhaps steam, or perhaps all the synapses at the end of all the dendrite tree branches of a neuron releasing a particular neural transmitter in a consistent patter to all of its downstream neurons?
I don't YET know what matter, in what state, has these phenomenal properties. All this theory states is that something, consistently or non arbitrarily, does have them. While I believe your camp is completely dualistic and that the only thing that is central is the brains abstract causal organization that might be realized in any different physical substrate at any arbitrary distant level of simulation above any basement reality?
This is why we believe Chalmers is critically mistaken when he claims anything with a fundamental nature like "red" can "arise" from anything as diverse as a properly configured set of water pipes.
But this just isn't obvious to me, and many others, even before any arguments for or against the idea are put up. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree, as we already knew.
Evidently, unfortunately, we are still in disagreement on this? But again, Chalmers confesses the arbitrary nature of his camp making it completely isolated from reality with:
"If this argument succeeds, then even if the appropriate functional organization suffices for the existence of conscious experiences, it does not determine their specific nature. Instead, the specific nature of experiences must be dependent on non-organization properties, such as specific neurophysiologic properties."
If it turns out that it is possible to eff "red" from one side of a brains hemisphere made of red, to an indistinguishable red in a hemisphere made entirely of abstracted behavior running on silicone, then this theory will be proved wrong. But we believe that this will turn out to be impossible. There will be some type of vanishing, fading, or dancing qualia, and the system will be unable to honestly answer the simple question: what is red like for you, how is it different than green, and it will not be able to give an honest answer that is functionally equivalent on a sufficiently fine grained level.
Hence, your argument against Chalmers' position is that it will not be possible to make a functionally identical isomorph using computer chips in place of neurons. If this is the case *even in theory* (i.e. no matter how far computer science advances), then it is a valid counterargument, and it has in fact been used by eg. Roger Penrose. However, you then have to suggest which aspect of the neuron it is whose behavior cannot be duplicated by a computer even in theory.
Roger Penrose, et all, never talk about anything like simply the ineffable difference between red and green do they? They all only talk about various kinds of super complex non computable something or other, or some Godel's incompleteness theorem, and such. What all of them are talking about would not be possible in my theory where I argue any behavior can be set up to be functionally "like" any other behavior, if you lie enough (i.e. map the fundamental behavior from one fundamental likeness to another), wither it be sufficiently complex, sufficiently non computable, or sufficiently incomplete, or whatever right? All they are talking about has nothing to do with being fundamentally aware of a simple ineffable phenomenal property. But I guess you are forcing me to realize there are some similarities to what we claim? But they claim it is non computable while I claim these phenomenal properties can do computation. I simply claim the phenomenal natures they do it with are categorically different from any type of computation.
Thank you so much for all of this help with this! I think it is really coming together!
So is this "Consciousness is Real" camp sufficient for your support as it is here? If so I'll submit it without yet removing the few remaining things Michael might still be objecting to.
Name: Consciousness is Real
Title: Consciousness is real, representative, and a part of our brain
Parent: Depends on Brain
We believe consciousness to be real, representational, and composed of phenomenal properties which are categorically different than behavioral properties.
In his book: "Consciousness explained" Daniel Dennett claims we don't experience qualia "It just seems like we do." (P 375) But the very meaning of to seem is to have knowledge that doesn't accurately represent its referent making this an obvious thinking error; for we are only talking about the actual phenomenal qualities of this knowledge which really has nothing to do with whether such phenomenal qualities are misrepresenting something or not.
We believe the perception process to be based on a chain of cause and effect physical events. There is what we are looking at, beyond our eyes, which is the initial cause of the perception process. There is also our knowledge of what we are looking at which is the final result of the perception process entirely in our brain. We believe this conscious knowledge to be composed of phenomenal properties. "Red" is a phenomenal property in our brain that is only related to the surface of something that reflects 700nm light, only because our brain happens to use that phenomenal quality to represent it.
We think the red strawberry amongst the green leaves we are aware of is out beyond our eyes, and that we are directly aware of it. But this is an illusion. In reality, this knowledge is entirely in our head, in a conscious spirit world model of the reality we perceive. At the center of this phenomenal 3D world in our brain is the knowledge of our body. When we stub our toe, the pain is produced by the brain. It only seems like it is in our toe, because the pain is in our knowledge of the toe in our brain, not the real toe it represents that is part of our foot. Phantom limb pain, produced by amputees, results because our knowledge of the appendages in our brain is not amputated with the limb.
Inside our knowledge of our head (a spiritual head, if you will, representing and entirely contained within our real head) is a knowledge of our "self" or "spirit" or "I". This "I" is represented as looking out of our knowledge of our eyes. But of course, this knowledge that is our spirit, unlike most everything else in this conscious spirit world, has no referent in reality. However, though it has no referent in reality, this in no way means it does not exist. This phenomenal "spirit" is what we really and literally spiritually are. During "out of body experiences" this knowledge of our spirit leaves our knowledge of our body, all in the "spirit world" of our conscious awareness, all in and dependent on our brain.
All this conscious knowledge is composed of ineffable phenomenal properties. We know the difference between the green leaf and the red strawberry, precisely because of the phenomenal difference between red and green. We believe it is absurd to think the only way to determine the nature of another intelligence or consciousness is through a "Turing Test". To know such, you simply must ask a question like: "What is Red like?" And in order to know the other mind isn't lying, you must be able to "eff" this phenomenal quality to the other mind by reproducing whatever it is in the original mind that has this same quality. This effing would be similar to the way we can know the difference between red represented in the left hemisphere of our brain and green represented in the right hemisphere of our brain. Once the taste of salt is effed to another mind, whether this mind be natural or artificial, the response will be something like: "Oh THAT is what salt tastes like."
We believe science is on the verge of getting an objective handle on these phenomenal properties finally resolving how they work and many other conundrums of self and epistemology philosophy has been struggling with for so long. We believe such a discovery will be the most significant, profound and world changing of scientific achievements to date. For such a discovery will be the literal piercing of this ineffable spiritual veil, that can be thought of as our skull, spiritually freeing us from this isolated, lonely, mortal prison, out into a shared subjective physical world that surely must be much more than just "behavior".
This theory makes profound predictions about what things like uploading and "escaping from our mortal spirit prison" will be like, should it turn out to be true. A detailed description of such predictions is contained in chapters 5 and 6 of the short story by Brent Allsop entitled "1229 years after Titanic" available here: http://home.comcast.net/~brent.allsop
Name: Arises from Anything
Title: Consciousness arises from equivalent abstract physical behavior
Parent: Consciousness is Real
In 1995, David Chalmers authored another popular paper describing a "Principle of organizational invariance" http://consc.net/papers/qualia.html. In it he argues that the implausibility of fading or dancing qualia make a convincing argument that it is more likely that these phenomenal properties will some how "arise" from whatever physical mater is abstractly behaving like the neurons that are responsible for the same. He admits that it is difficult to imagine how such diverse things as a set of water pipes or set of wind machines could possibly result in such phenomenal properties, but concludes with:
"I conclude that by far the most plausible hypothesis is that replacement of neurons while preserving functional organization will preserve qualia, and that experience is wholly determined by functional organization."
This camp will be a rewrite of the existing camp with the same name.
The parent will be changed to be the new "Consciousness is Real" camp and thereby be a competitor to Chalmer's "Arises from Anything or "Principle of organizational invariance" camp.
Name: Phenomenal Properties
Title: Nature Has Ineffable Phenomenal Properties
Parent: Depends on Brain
We believe David Chalmers is pushing in the wrong direction in his effort to get a handle on this "hard problem", and that the "Principle of organizational invariance" will turn out to be wrong.
David Chalmers, and others that talk about this hard problem often use the term "physical process" to refer to what physical science tells us about the stuff our brain is made of, and its causes and effects. They contrast this with the subjective nature of our ideas. More often than not, terms like the following are used to relate the two: "arise from", "neural correlate", "results in", "causes", "supervenes on" and so on. We believe all such to be a mistaken terminology leading us away from reality.
We believe the fundamental critical difference, should instead be only focused on the cause and effect behavior, on the scientifically observable side, and the phenomenal qualities on the subjective side. Certainly whatever these are must both be included as physical properties of the universe since the universe, by definition includes all that can be observed and experienced. To say "physical process gives rise to the subjective" is to fail to clearly distinguish between what is really important and the fact that it is all included in the "physical".
We believe that evolution has managed to use something that has a red phenomenal property to represent knowledge of something that reflects 700 nm light, while using something different that has the phenomenal different property, green, to distinguish between and be aware of a different item that reflects 500 nm light. But when we use cause and effect observation techniques to observe whatever it is our brain is using the phenomenal properties of to represent knowledge, certainly we shouldn't expect them to reflect 700 and 500 nm light and so on right?
Any causally downstream effect can represent its upstream referent. We might say it can be behaviorally or abstractly "like" it. While at the same time the more important and more primal phenomenal quality is lost, and the downstream effect is nothing phenomenally "like" it. This is precisely the meaning of "ineffable" and why traditional cause and effect observation can't see them, or rather can only see their behavioral effects.
Yet when there is a juicy sweet strawberry in our left field of vision, represented by red in our right hemisphere, we are clearly aware of this because of its difference between whatever it is in our left hemisphere that has a green phenomenal property representing our knowledge of the leaves in our right field of vision. In this way our conscious world is unified, and we are able to "eff" the primal phenomenal difference between them
Physical sciences have classified natural elements into the periodic table. We know, abstractly, much about the behavior of these individual elements consistently across space, time, temperature, and so on. We believe we will also find phenomenal properties that equally consistently across space and time map into this table. This is why we believe Chalmers is critically mistaken when he claims anything with a fundamental nature like "red" can "arise" from anything as diverse as a properly configured set of water pipes.
Once we learn the process where these phenomenal properties can be unified together into a single world of conscious awareness across multiple hemispheres of our brain, and across time, we will also find ways to share or eff these phenomenal properties between multiple brains, and indeed be able to have our spiritual knowledge escape the ineffable spirit prison walls that are our skulls and discover much more than just the behavior of the elements in this table that make up the spiritual, if you will, universe.
Chalmers uses Hans Moravec's "Transmigration" http://www.leaderu.com/truth/2truth05.html thought experiment to make what many take as a powerful argument for the principle of organizational invariance. You start replacing all the relevant neurons with abstracted silicone counterparts. When you start you have David Chalmers. "The final system, Robot, is in the same situation, processing the same inputs and producing similar behavior, but by hypothesis is experiencing nothing at all."
which obviously could not be accurate at all.
There must be something in the robots functionally equivalent mind that is the robots knowledge of the strawberry that is distinguishable from something that is the leaves. One possibility could be a set of ones for red, and a set of zeros for green. So when we ask the robot what red is like, it says (if it is not programmed to lie) it must describe its awareness of red as 1, and its awareness of green to be 0, or whatever abstracted non phenomenal difference achieves the functionally equivalent behavior.
The hypothesis is that whatever it is that has this red property in the system of awareness, when replaced, will be unable to present the same red to the system of unified conscious awareness. Though the behavior could be modeled by using something like abstracted ones and zeros, and perhaps a slightly more complex system to use a lookup table to lie about it being aware of differing red and green phenomenal properties. But certainly any such lying system would in no way be a functionally isomorphic system. And since the primal and phenomenal nature of red and green, and their difference, could not be presented to such a system of unified awareness, when whatever is producing the spot of red is replaced by the silicone equivalent, there must be some kind of vanishing or dancing qualia on that spot of the strawberry in our conscious world of awareness.
If it turns out that it is possible to eff "red" from one side of a brain's hemisphere made of neurons, to an indistinguishable red in a hemisphere made entirely of abstracted behavior running on silicone, then this theory will be proved wrong. We admit such as a possibility. But we believe there will be some type of vanishing, fading, or dancing qualia, and the system will be unable to honestly answer the simple question: what is red like for you, how is it different than green, and it will not be able to give an honest answer that is functionally equivalent on a sufficiently fine grained level.
We believe this theory that nature has fundamental phenomenal properties to have significant implications for Nick Bostrom's Simulation Argument http://www.simulation-argument.com/. The idea that we, along with all of our conscious awareness, can some how arise from a "sufficiently fine grained functional isomorph" regardless of how many levels this functional isomorph is above the basement level is problematic. We believe to even think such is to indicate one's lack of understanding of the fundamental nature of phenomenal properties, and their categorical difference from mere cause and effect behavior. We believe such an idea removes these phenomenal properties so far from hard reality that it would make them completely irrelevant and arbitrary.
Stathis Papaioannou says:
"My reading of Chalmers is that working out exactly what the physical basis of a particular phenomenal quality is well enough to transfer or reproduce it at will would still leave the hard problem of why there should be any phenomenal property at all associated with that particular, or any, physical system."
We especially agree with this within any principle of organization invariance theory. Such does indeed seem like an impossible "hard problem". However, within this competing matter has phenomenal properties theory, we instead accept that it is consistently particular matter, in a particular state, that has particular phenomenal properties, and indeed that the cause and effect behaviors our senses are indirectly observing are likely more accurately portrayed as a cause of particular phenomenal properties rather than the other way around. Within this competing theory, not only are things less arbitrary, the why do these phenomenal properties exist is less of a problem than our lack of knowledge of why nature has particular cause and effect behavioral properties at all. We don't know why force more or less equals mass times acceleration. We just accept that it does, without asking why. And that knowledge alone, despite how incomplete it is, is all that is needed to take us to the stars.
Not only that, but phenomenal properties are much more fundamental and epistemologically absolute than all these mere cause and effect behaviors beyond our senses are. For after all, we could be just a brain in a vat where that brain is composed of nothing more than phenomenal properties, while all this mere cause and effect behavior our senses are allegedly reporting to us, might really just only exist in some artificial matrix somewhere, at some arbitrarily distant levels above any basement reality. At the very least, the most primal and absolute of all things is the phenomenal natures of at least part of that brain in that bucket. I think, and that thinking is phenomenal, therefore I am at least phenomenal.