Topic: Qualia Topic Appropriate

Camp: Agreement / Qualia Most Important

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Statement :

Qualia are the Most Important Part of Consciousness Research


We believe that the pursuit of a scientific explanation for the existence of mind and consciousness in the physical universe, is by far the most important endeavor of today. We believe that such has a good probability of leading to the greatest scientific discovery of all time - what and how consciousness is. We believe more scientific funding should be applied to this field of study than any other field of science.
In addition to the above, we believe there are 3 critical questions that any scientist or anyone interested in such must be cognizant of, or at least well educated about, when doing any kind of real science of the mind.
First, they must understand how important the issue of qualia is, when it comes to consciousness. Even if a scientific researcher holds no value for the idea of quale in their work, they should be at least educated about qualia, and be aware of how much scientific consensus there is for some of the theories surrounding qualia. They should understand what kinds of things could prove or falsify such theories.
Second, they must know where to look for qualia. When we are looking at a red strawberry, the red quale is not a property of the surface of the strawberry, nor is it a properly of the 700nm light being reflected. A red quale is a property of our knowledge of such - the final result of the cause and effect based perception process.
Finally, everyone must know how to look for qualia. By definition, that which is ineffable, is blind to traditional cause and effect based observation. Whatever it is that is the neural correlate of, or has a phenomenal red property in our brain, we shouldn't expect it to reflect 700 nm light, though it will likely reflect light of some kind. One way of finding a quale is finding some type of neural correlate that reliably predicts when someone is experiencing a red sensation. But one must be aware that some people's phenomenal red, may be someone else's phenomenal green, or something else entirely different.
Ultimately, as V.S. Ramachandran proposed in the seminal "3 Laws of Qualia" paper, we must find some way to unify such qualia across brains, as the corpus callosum must do when we are aware of red and green at the same time - something that will allow someone to say something like: 'oh THAT is what red is like for you, that is different than what I experience.' We must find some way to do this by connecting brains with a 'bundle of neurons', or some such as is predicted will be possible by the theories most well accepted by the theoretical experts.
In summary, everyone should realize the most important thing to look for (qualia or phenomenal properties). Where we should be looking for them (not on the surface of the strawberry), and how (by effing the ineffable.)


Edit summary : Improvements including as suggested by Steven Lehar.
Submitted on :
Submitter Nick Name : Brent_Allsop
Go live Time :
Statement :

Qualia are the Most Important Part of Neural Research


We believe neural research to be by far the most important of all scientific endeavors of today. We believe that such has a good probability of leading to the greatest scientific discovery of all time - what and how consciousness is. We believe more scientific funding should be applied to this field of study than any other field of science.
In addition to the above, we believe there are 3 critical questions that any scientist must be cognizant of, or at least well educated about, when doing any kind of real science of the mind.
First, they must understand how important the issue of qualia is, when it comes to consciousness. Even if a scientific researcher holds no value for the idea of qualia in their work, they should be at least educated about qualia, and be aware of how much scientific consensus there is for some of the theories surrounding qualia. They should understand what kinds of things could prove or falsify such theories.
Second, they must know where to look for qualia. When we are looking at a red strawberry, phenomenal red is not a property of the surface of the strawberry, nor is it a properly of the 700nm light being reflected. Phenomenal red is a property of our knowledge of such - at the other end of the cause and effect chain of events.
Finally, everyone must know how to look for qualia. By definition, that which is ineffable, is blind to traditional cause and effect based observation. Whatever it is that is the neural correlate of, or has a phenomenal red property in our brain, we shouldn't expect it to reflect 700 nm light, though it will likely reflect light of some kind. One way of finding qualia is finding some type of neural correlate that reliably predicts when someone is experiencing a red sensation. But one must be aware that some people's phenomenal red, may be someone else's phenomenal green, or something else entirely different.
Ultimately, as V.S. Ramachandran proposed in the seminal "3 Laws of Qualia" paper, we must find some way to unify such qualia across brains, as the corpus callosum must do when we are aware of red and green at the same time - something that will allow someone to say something like: 'oh THAT is what red is like for you, that is different than what I experience.' We must find some way to do this by connecting brains with a 'bundle of neurons', or some such as is predicted will be possible by the theories most well accepted by the theoretical experts.
In summary, everyone should realize the most important thing to look for (qualia or phenomenal properties). Where we should be looking for them (not on the surface of the strawberry), and how (by effing the ineffable.)


Edit summary : Some minor typo edits.
Submitted on :
Submitter Nick Name : Brent_Allsop
Go live Time :
Statement :

Qualia are the Most Important Part of Neural Research


We believe neural research to be by far the most important of all scientific endeavors of today. We believe that such has a good probability of leading to the greatest scientific discovery of all time - what and how consciousness is. We believe more scientific funding should be applied to this field of study than any other field of science.
In addition to the above, we believe there are 3 critical questions that any scientist must be cognizant of, or at least well educated about, when doing any kind of real science of the mind and neurons.
First, they must understand how important the issue of qualia is, when it comes to consciousness. Even if a scientific researcher holds no value for the idea of qualia in their work, they should be at least educated about qualia, and be aware of how much scientific consensus there is for some of the theories surrounding qualia. They should understand what kinds of things could prove or falsify such theories.
Second, they must know where to look for qualia. When we are looking at a red strawberry, phenomenal red is not a property of the surface of the strawberry, nor is it a properly of the 700nm light being reflected. Phenomenal red is a property of our knowledge of such - at the other end of the cause and effect chain of events.
Finally, everyone must know how to look for qualia. By definition, that which is ineffable, is blind to traditional cause and effect based observation. Whatever it is that is the neural correlate of, or has a phenomenal red property in our brain, we shouldn't expect it to reflect 700 nm light, though it will likely reflect light of some kind. One way of finding qualia is finding some type of neural correlate that reliably predicts when someone is experiencing a red sensation. But one must be aware that some people's phenomenal red, may be someone else's phenomenal green, or something else entirely different.
Ultimately, as V.S. Ramachandran proposed in the seminal "3 Laws of Qualia" paper, we must find some way to unify such qualia across brains, as the corpus callosum must do when we are aware of red and green at the same time - something that will allow someone to say something like: 'oh THAT is what red is like for you, that is different than what I experience.') We must find some way to do this by connecting brains with a 'bundle of neurons', or some such as is predicted will be possible by the theories most well accepted by the theoretical experts.
In summary, everyone should realize the most important thing to look for (qualia or phenomenal properties). Where we should be looking for them (not on the surface of the strawberry), and how (by effing the ineffable.)


Edit summary : changes as proposed in toipc forum
Submitted on :
Submitter Nick Name : Brent_Allsop
Go live Time :
Statement :

Qualia are a Critical Part of Consciousness


Traditional physical sciences are all about cause and effect or behavioral properties of nature. An example being, the surface of the strawberry has a property in that it reflects 700nm (red) light. Science already knows plenty about such behavioral properties.
We could call such a causal property, "traditional red", and such properties are the initial cause of the perception process. The final result of the perception process is our knowledge of such. It is critically important that we clearly distinguish between these two very different things and talk of them unambiguously. Our mind uses qualia to consciously represent such information. This phenomenal knowledge could be called 'phenomenal red'. There is 'traditional red', which initiates the perception process, and there is also 'phenomenal red' which is the final result of or our knowledge of such.
There is an important categorical difference between the natures of these two types of properties and what we know about them. With one, all we know is causally downstream abstracted representations of its behavior, while with the other, we know firsthand what it is fundamentally and phenomenally like.
Traditional cause and effect scientific observation is, by design, abstracting. Though the pattern of 700nm light reflected off of the strawberry abstractly represents the properties of the surface of the strawberry, the light is not fundamentally or phenomenally like it. The 700nm light is merely abstractly representing its referent. What such abstracted information is represented by, is, by design, unimportant. The only important thing is how do we abstractly interpret such representations.
Such abstracted 'red' information can, by design, transition through any number of intermediate drastically different fundamental representations. All such downstream abstract representations are similar in this way. It doesn't matter what the red information is represented by, as long as we correctly interpret it, or map it back to the original. All of our abstracting cause and effect based observation senses, scientific tools, and computational devices work in this same abstracting detecting way. By design, it doesn't matter what the information is represented by - only the interpretation of such is all that is important.
Our phenomenal knowledge of red is categorically different than all such abstracted information in a critically important way. What it is fundamentally represented by, and what it is phenomenally like, is all important. Though most anything can easily detect, observe, or abstractly represent such, in order to know the true meanings of such abstracted representations, you must map the representations back to the original.
One theoretically possible way of doing this mapping back to the original is sometimes referred to as 'effing the ineffable' (as in "Oh THAT is what salt tastes like!") and is described in the Consciousness is Representational and Real camp on the best theories of consciousness topic.
Because of this 'blind' nature of abstracted representations and any cause and effect based observation, it is entirely possible that nuts and bolts researchers could continue the fantastic success they are having telling us how all stuff in our brain behaves. They could continue to come up with complete abstracted models that perfectly describe just how we behave. Though such would surely be very valuable information, it would still be completely missing the true and fundamental meaning of what it is like to be conscious. And of course, once you ask such abstract models, what phenomenal red is like for them, the best they will be able to do is to lie, since by design, abstract models don't care what their knowledge is represented with.
We believe that as long as the nuts and bolts neural investigators only consider abstract representations of the stuff in the brain, they will remain blind to, and continue to miss what we believe could become the greatest scientific discovery of all time.
Until the nuts and bolts researchers investigating how the brain works fully realize there is something more than the abstract they need to look for (qualia); until they know where to look for it (in the brain, not on the surface of the strawberry), and how (effing the ineffable) they will continue to miss what we believe could be the greatest scientific discovery of all time. We believe there is a good chance someone already has enough scientific knowledge to make this discovery, or is at least very close to it, if they could just fully realize what it is we should be looking for, where to look for it, and how. All that might be required is for some nuts and bolts researcher that already understand enough about how neurons work, to realize what they should be looking for, where and how to finally see and say something like: 'There it is, it was there all along, I just didn't realize what, where, and how to look for it.'
You certainly can't find something you are not looking for - even if it happens to be sitting right in front of you. So we believe it is critically important that the what, where, and how of qualia be included as a critical part of what is being discussed at any scientific conference, discussion, or consideration of what it means, and most importantly, what it is fundamentally and phenomenally like to be conscious.


Edit summary : Rewrite with goal of unifying YES camp.
Submitted on :
Submitter Nick Name : Brent_Allsop
Go live Time :
Statement :
Many 'nuts and bolts' neural researchers are accustomed to working with hard numbers and scientifically demonstrable results. In such hard science fields, incorrect theories are typically easily quickly falsified and cleaned out of the academic literature. The demonstrable scientific proof forces everyone into a few, or even one set of theories everyone must accept as true.
In the theoretical field of the subjective mind, things are very different. The very personal nature of things subjective, enables lots of trash theories to survive far longer than they should be tolerated. The result is a huge trashy mess and apparently no agreement, whatsoever, on much of anything. Chalmers' Mind Papers bibliography with now more than 18000 publications illustrates the problem. It is very difficult to find anything in that body of publications that anyone agrees on, or for which there is any consensus whatsoever. Should any neural scientist be expected to survey this much literature? For obvious reasons, many 'nuts and bolts' researchers prefer to stay in the world of real objective, demonstrable, and sharable results and not have to deal with all this mess.
On the other hand, there is at least one set of theories in this field, for which there is some very rational and clear consensus developing. An example of such is stated in this Consciousness is real and representational camp on the topic of theories of consciousness. The goal of such topics, is to develop comprehensive surveys of the field, resulting in concise statements of the most well accepted theories, and quantitative measures of scientific consensus for each. Such comprehensive surveys of consensus should allow the good theories to stand above all this trashy noise in the field.
We believe this concisely stated representational theory to be consistent with all we know, and that it makes some very powerful predictions about what the subjective mind is, and how it works. This theory is initially demonstrating that, indeed, there is something in this field that a growing group of intelligent people agree on. We believe that no other theory of the subjective mind will ever be able to match the level of consensus this theory is already achieving.
These representational ideas about qualia and phenomenal properties are objectively demonstrable via such techniques as 'effing' the ineffable as described in the camp statement. We believe such techniques and ideas can be used to clean up the mess that currently exists in the field of the subjective and disprove or falsify many of the trash theories of the subjective that are out there.
If this representational theory turns out to be true, then the reason we aren't discovering what the subjective could be is simply that we either aren't looking for it at all, or aren't looking for it in the right place (thinking the phenomenal is a property of the surface of the strawberry rather than a property of our knowledge of such). There is a possibility that we already have the knowledge and the tools, or are very close to having such, that are required to discover and reliably demonstrate just what the subjective could be.
We believe that if more 'nuts and bolts' neural researchers could fully understand the validity of these representational and phenomenal theories, if we could just look for the right qualities in the right place, that we would finally do just that - objectively demonstrate this theory to be the one true theory of the subjective. Such would finally enable 'effing' of the ineffable, even if initially only very tentatively in a very few experimental subjects. And if we ever did demonstrate such, would such not be the most significant and word changing scientific discovery ever?
We, accordingly, think 'qualia' to be a very appropriate topic whenever anyone is discussing anything to do with the mind, and even anything to do with the study of 'nuts and bolts' properties of neurons.

Edit summary : We can discover the subjective if we just look in the right place
Submitted on :
Submitter Nick Name : Brent_Allsop
Go live Time :
Statement :
We believe the subjective mind is made of phenomenal properties, or qualia. We therefore believe that having an interest in the 'mind', while having no interest in qualia to be a contradiction.
We believe the idea that 'qualia' are 'subjective' and therefore not aproachable by science to be mistaken. We are in the "Consciousness is Real, Representational, and Brain-linked camp. We believe science will soon discover what 'qualia' are and be able to do things like 'eff' the ineffable as predicted therein.


Edit summary : First Version
Submitted on :
Submitter Nick Name : Brent_Allsop
Go live Time :