Brent_Allsop replied 15 years ago (Mar 16th 2009, 2:59:27 am)
Last month, Jonathan Edwards, the author of [http://www.imprint.co.uk/books/edwards.html How Many People Are There In My Head] and many published articles on this topic replied to a post at [http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/jcs-online/message/6622 JCS-ONLINE] with topic: 'Tests for consciousness'. In this post he challenges one of the core doctrines of this camp, namely the prediction that the ineffable will soon be effable.
This resulted in some continued dialogue and me researching a bunch of his work. He very graciously expended a significant amount of time to help me better understand his thinking about this issue, and on consciousness in general.
I agree with his idea that "all the first hemisphere can do is send action potentials down axons" which is what I believe occurs over our optic nerve. However, I believe the corpus callosum must be doing something more than this. This is proven by the fact that there can be a green leaf in our left visual field (represented in our right hemisphere) and a red strawberry in our right field of vision (represented in our left hemisphere). Somehow all this is bound together in a way that we are consciously and phenomenally aware of all of it at once, together. We know definitively what the red is like, what the green is like, and how they are not anything like each other.
Ultimately, he was still of the opinion that despite this argument, he still believes that the ineffable will not be effable in this way. I tried to understand his reasoning but from my point of view, I could not see any rational to what he was saying. So I remain in the camp that effing the ineffable will soon be possible. And I still believe that this will be the scientific proof that enables us to finally pierce this 'veil of perception' and demonstrate, in an objective way, the most important properties of consciousness and what they are phenomenally like. And also that such an achievement will be the greatest scientific world changing achievement, by far, of all time.
I'm going to reply to this post in JCS ONLINE, and in other locations, and refer people to this reply here, hoping to get more people to weigh in on this issue, and get a more comprehensive measure of the scientific consensus.
In other words, I"m making the scientific claim: 'nya nya, we have more experts in our camp than you do in yours!' ;)
Does anyone not think this is a very powerful thing?