Brent_Allsop replied 14 years ago (Feb 22nd 2010, 11:06:18 am)
As I proposed, here is a descriptions of some of the changes I'm about to submit for this newly named '''Representational Qualia Theory''' camp. As many of you know, canonizer.com does not yet have a good system that shows the difference of proposed edits like wikipedia. So I'm hoping this description here will help everyone easily see the differences I will be submitting with this version.
I'm going to replace the title and first three paragraphs with:
= Representational Qualia Theory =
We believe that our conscious knowledge is represented with qualia. In computers, abstract ones and zeros represent knowledge. By design, what these ones and zeroes are represented with does not matter, as long as you properly interpret the representations. Qualia, (i.e. red vs green) like ones vs zeros, can also represent information, but unlike ones and zeros, what is doing the representation, what they are phenomenally like, and the fact that the system is aware of such, is all important.
The causal properties of the surface of the strawberry initiate the perception process, but the first causally downstream representation (i.e. 700nm light), though it can be interpreted to represent the causal properties of the strawberry, are not fundamentally or phenomenally anything like the original. This is why qualia are ineffable, and why we are blind to anything of the surface of the strawberry, other than it's causal properties.
The final result of this perception process is our conscious knowledge. This knowledge is represented by qualia which are unified into the conscious world that is our awareness. This unification process allows us to know all at the same time what the red is like, and how it is different from the green which we represent the leaves with.
I'll make a few other minor changes in other places to be consistent with this.
Also, notice that I completely removed the paragraph on approachable via the scientific method, since this doctrine has now been successfully moved up to the higher level camp.
I'm also going to add the following 3 paragraph near the end, to help distinguish this form of representational qualia from others that also claim to be representationalists.
A few people claim to be representationalists, while promoting the use of terribly confusing and ambiguous terms such as our representations are 'transparent' in a way that allows us to be aware of what we are looking at. Or they say things like "every qualia is a representation". As soon as you say something ambiguous like our representations are 'transparent' this allows people to quickly jump to the should be obviously erroneous conclusion that phenomenal red is really on the surface of the strawberry, and that our representations, because of their 'transparency' allow us to see through them to be aware of such. You can see terribly confused people struggling with these ideas all over the place because of terribly unclear terminology such as this. See the liberal use of the word transparent in the works of [https://webspace.utexas.edu/tyem/www/ Michel Tye], [http://www.philosophie.uni-mainz.de/metzinger/ Thomas Metziner] and others.
When you say something like 'every quale is a representation', again this confuses the issues and does not accurately mechanically portray what is the representation, and what is being represented. Such an idea is what allows philosophers to make terrible mistakes such as thinking: "We don't really have a red phenomenal property, it only seems like we do." We believe it is much more mechanically accurate to simply say qualia represent.
A few so called representationalists also name something they call the phenomenal principle - "That If there sensibly appears to a subject to be something which possesses a particular sensible quality then there is something of which the subject is aware which does possess that sensible quality." And they deny such a principle. We believe such a principle, but think it is much better to simply say our brains use qualia to represent things, and that what these qualia are like, how they are different, and how we are aware of such in a unified way, is critically important to the process.
That's about it.
Of course, if anyone sees a mistake I'm making, or they don't agree with any of these proposed changes, I hope you'll object to this submittal, and help us all resolve any such issues so we can represent what everyone agrees on in the best most concise possible way.