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two problems with this camp
Thread Created at Nov 5th 2008, 12:27:05 am | Started by richwil
Number of Post in this thread: 4
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richwil replied 15 years ago (Nov 22nd 2008, 10:29:40 pm)
If you freeze water you get ice, if you boil water you get steam: these are phase transitions whereby the water molecules have more motion as you increase the temperature. So it is correct to say that all three forms of water are H2O.
Stathis replied 15 years ago (Nov 5th 2008, 3:50:29 pm)
Perhaps an analogy could be made with a more straightforward physical example, such as "rolling". Rolling is something that happens when a ball interacts with a planar surface in a particular way, determined by the laws of physics. But rolling isn't *identical* to the combination of ball, plane and laws of physics; instead, rolling could be said to be a different kind of thing which supervenes on these physical properties. Similarly, mental properties are not identical to the physical properties of a brain that we can measure, but mental properties supervene on the physical properties. The task of finding the neural correlates of consciousness consists in elucidating this supervenience relationship. Stathis
Brent_Allsop replied 15 years ago (Nov 5th 2008, 4:45:45 am)
Hello John, Very exciting stuff. From my point of view you are making some critical mistakes and confusing some important differences here: <<<< Neurons (and their activities) have one set of properties (e.g. size, shape, colour, electrical, etc.) and phenomenal objects (events) have quite different properties within these categories. So they cannot be identical. >>>> There is no 'colour' of neurons that we know of. All we can know is what wavelength of light they reflect – which is a behavior – categorically different than an ineffable phenomenal colour. Whatever (or wherever if you must) it is in our brain that has a red phenomenal property that we are aware of – certainly we shouldn't expect it to behave in a way that it reflects 700 nm (red) light. Also to talk about the 'events' of phenomenal objects is to completely confuse and miss the importance of the difference between ineffable phenomenal properties and mere causal behavioral properties. The stuff in our brain obviously has behavioral properties that our cause and effect senses can 'detect'. There is no compelling reason to think that this same brain stuff, in addition to having behavioral properties, also has ineffable phenomenal properties blind to abstract causal observation? <<<< There seem to be three problems with the theory that all phenomenal events occur literally in the brain. 1. There is no evidence for this claim. >>>> In my opinion there is much more evidence that they occur literally in the brain than they are any other location or dimension or whatever. If not in the brain, where are they? And where is there any evidence for such? We know, behaviorally, what the stuff in our brain is like. We know, phenomenally, what the subjective is like. Now all we have to do is learn how to eff the ineffable so we can create the required bridge between these two types of properties that brain stuff easly could have. Brent Allsop
john locke replied 15 years ago (Nov 5th 2008, 12:27:05 am)
There seem to be three problems with the theory that all phenomenal events occur literally in the brain. 1. There is no evidence for this claim. All the evidence from neuroscience relates to the neural correlates of consciousness (NCCs). All the evidence from introspective studies refer to phenomenal events. The real problem is not the nature of the NCCs, nor the nature of the phenomenal events, but what is the relationship between NCCs and phenomenal events. As Ayer (1950) showed many years ago, information about how the brain works is not information relevant to the entirely different question of how these brain events are related to our conscious experiences. He pointed out that, if we claim that two sets of events A and B are identical, it is no use piling up a heap of facts about A, or about B: it is essential to demonstrate that A and B are (or are not) in fact identical. Since neurophysiology and neuroimaging only pile up facts about the brain, and introspectionist psychology only piles up facts about phenomenal consciousness, we need something more. In all brain imaging experiments we gain facts about the neural correlates of phenomenal consciousness (NCCs), not about phenomenal consciousness itself. As Ayer (1950) succinctly put it—if we are trying to build a bridge across a river it is not enough merely to raise one of its banks. We need a powerful theory that connects the two. 2. This account does not distinguish properly between phenomenology and knowledge in relation to consciousness. As Edmond Wright has repeatedly emphasized, sensations are phenomenal, but not epistemic, intermediates in perception. In associative agnosia the patient has intact phenomenology but defective epistemology about visual objects. In blindsight the opposite occurs—no phenomenology but functioning epistemology. Visual phenomenology and visual epistemology are processed by different brain mechanisms. 3. The theory contravenes Leibniz's Law of the Identity of Indiscernibles. This states that for two entities to be identical they must share the same properties. Neurons (and their activities) have one set of properties (e.g. size, shape, colour, electrical, etc.) and phenomenal objects (events) have quite different properties within these categories. So they cannot be identical. This is akin to Putnam's claim that "Water is identical to H20", which can be shown to be false by the following argument. If water is identical to H20, then so are steam and ice identical to H20. As 'identity' is a transitive relation, this entails that water, steam and ice are identical, which is clearly contrary to fact.