Brent_Allsop replied 15 years ago (Dec 1st 2008, 3:48:16 am)
I think we are in violent agreement. We are just saying things in different ways.
When you say: "Representationalism is a trivial truth", within this camp, or amongst this representational crowd, I would agree with you.
But when I first started coming to this community earlier this year I would ask 'experts', people that had many reputable publications, and / or were functioning as editors and 'peers' of reputable peer reviewed journals, and so on what their thoughts about representational theories of perception were. I was dumfounded how many reputable people were completely ignorant to anything about even the idea of representationalism.
And, evidently, there are many people that do know about representationalism, that are in a very different camp about whether it is a "trivial truth". Apparently Dr Wright is in this camp?
If you took a survey, I would bet 99% of the general population, and the majority of people heavily involved in this field of study, would say that the phenomenal quality of red is something on the surface of the strawberry, not something in our head. These are anecdotal numbers we definitely need to get some real hard data behind and monitor as things progress.
Sure, qualia are important, but until you can get a handle on where people think the important red is located, and properly educate them about what must be "a trivial truth", you can't even truly begin to have further discussions about qualia since you will never be able to talk about the same thing with anyone in any real meaningful way.
So I think it is first most important to show how much consensus there is on this representational idea, where our awareness is located, then the consensus on qualia can follow much sooner once this is clear to all the people still so clueless on this critical, should be obvious issue.
You said: "I would vote for having two parallel processes in the camp structure" and this is exactly what I am proposing - that we have a parallel structure initially rooted in representationalism - with the non representationalists in a completely different competing branches. This way we can show how much consensus there is on this first issue in a much more unified way and force the non representationalists to clearly declare their ignorance and stupidity (IMHO) which will of course effect their reputations.
Notice the much more dominant idea that the hard problem is or isn't based on something 'supernatural' in the structure here:
Notice how all the people that think it is something 'supernatural' are forced to declare such by being outside of the most well supported branch that says it has nothing to do with the 'supernatural'. Of course this effects their reputations as it rightly should. When talking with someone, or reading material from them, you need to know definitively their position on such. Today it is too easy to avoid the issue on to many things like this, causing so much of the confusion and noise everywhere.
If we put the qualia dimension at the root, this will fracture all representationalists into the qualophile or qualophobe branches of parallel structures rather than having them unified at the root. This will make it much more difficult and in my opinion will greatly confuse the issue and slow things down significantly in the long run.
Ultimately, what you or I want isn't as important as what everyone else wants. If we start with a camp rooted in representationalism (or visa versa), then as more people join, we can monitor how many total people are in the rooted representational camp, versus the total number of people in qualophile camps split between the representational and other competing camps. If there are clearly more total qualophiles than representationalists, then, absolutely, the structure should be inverted - based in the more well supported qualophile camp (and visa versa if we start the other way). The more well supported camps should always be higher and more unified in the structure - with the ultimate goal of getting the accepted truth migrated towards the agreement statement as more and more people begin to agree on particular issues.
Do you violently agree? ;) Or do you think there are more qualophiles than representationlists?
And much more importantly, what does everyone else think?