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Qualia as a function of being alive

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
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JamesOfSeattle
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Re: Qualia as a function of being alive

Post by JamesOfSeattle » January 16th, 2019, 5:12 pm

Consul wrote:
January 15th, 2019, 8:01 pm
There aren't any extracerebral qualia.
Seems to me that in order to make this statement you need to have an explanation of what qualia are and exactly how they arise.
Greta wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 11:30 pm
[...] I would argue that mindless reflexes are in themselves quales, raw sensations that we shape into what we think of as consciousness.
You're confusing mere sensory signals with subjective sense-qualities, and mere neural information with subjective sensations or emotions.
Reflex behavior isn't the same as and doesn't even entail (phenomenal) consciousness.
How do you know that “subjective sensations” are not mere neural information, just organized in a particular way? How has consciousness been defined/explained such that it rules out participation in reflex behavior?

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Greta
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Re: Qualia as a function of being alive

Post by Greta » January 16th, 2019, 9:16 pm

Consul wrote:
January 16th, 2019, 11:51 am
Greta wrote:
January 15th, 2019, 10:52 pm
Empirical neuroscience focuses largely on human consciousness, seldom never consciousness per se.
What's the difference between consciousness and consciousness per se?

Neuroscience is interested in nonhuman animal consciousness as well, but the big problem is that nonhuman animals cannot make introspective reports about their consciousness.
You answered your own question immediately. Yes, it's a problem that other species can't be as easily tested. I suspect that that has played a role in the abominable way many societies treat other sentient species.

However, as with the organisation of the systems of the human body (any body, really), solar systems or the Milky Way or the deterministic knock on effects that rule our lives from cradle to the grave, these difficult-to-test concepts are no less important aspects of the fabric of reality than more readily testable ones, only more controllable. This leads to a bias of priority and emphasis towards that where the research path is clear. It's practical, but a limit that philosophy ideally must grapple with.

Consul wrote:
January 16th, 2019, 11:51 am
Greta wrote:
January 15th, 2019, 10:52 pm
Neuroscience has nothing to say about qualia, and generally treats it as non-existent in much the same way as Skinner behaviouralists in psychology ignored the esoteric undercurrents for the sake of practicality, just recorded the cause and effects. So researchers no doubt will find brain structures causing all manner of events but not pertaining qualia as such. As things stand, it is generally framed as wakefulness or awareness, the practical side.
It is true that consciousness had been neglected by neuroscience and cognitive science (now unified as cognitive neuroscience) for a long time (due to the dominance of functionalism in the philosophy of mind), but this is no longer the case. Neuroscience is no longer only a science of cognition, intelligence, and behavior but also of consciousness; and as a science of consciousness it is a science of qualia, since "the problem of consciousness is identical with the problem of qualia, because conscious states are qualitative states right down to the ground. Take away the qualia and there is nothing there." (John Searle, Consciousness and Language, 2002. p. 26)
Very early days, equivalent to, say, Galileo's knowledge of the solar system.

Consul wrote:
January 16th, 2019, 11:51 am
Greta wrote:
January 15th, 2019, 10:52 pm
Trouble is, where do we find reliable information about the subjective? Buddhism does have a rich history of meditators recording their observations but I expect that parsing useful material from the vast amounts of guesswork and obvious superstition would not always be easy.
Of course, a science of consciousness needs both third-person data and first-person (introspective, phenomenological) data. The epistemic reliability of introspection and introspective reports is a central issue.
There's the rub and a constant problem for researchers. How to understand the subjective when subjective testimony is amongst the least reliable forms of evidence? Ideally one would learn of states generally not attainable in a laboratory setting too.

Consul wrote:
January 16th, 2019, 11:51 am
Greta wrote:
January 15th, 2019, 10:52 pm
The brain is like the board of a company, but the gut owns it. I do concede that a hostile takeover appears to be in train which already has us thinking about this in reverse, treating brains as the central aspect of an organism. Brains have long minimised the importance of the gut, and this is reflected in the ultimate dream of digitising minds to be independent of vulnerable wetware bodies.
The nervous system is larger than the central nervous system, also including the enteric nervous system. There is a "gut-brain axis", but the enteric nervous system is certainly not an organ of consciousness.
But it certainly plays a major role in generating qualia, which I see as the result of interaction of those body parts, and others. Metabolic functions and membranes were the first fundamentals of organisms, precursors to the gut and nervous systems, and neither could be viable without the other. The gut-brain axis would seem to be the indivisible entity that we separate for practicality's sake.

Consul wrote:
January 16th, 2019, 11:51 am
Greta wrote:
January 15th, 2019, 10:52 pm
Yes, an amplifier but mostly a shaper. There would be no one organ that produces qualia just as no one organ produces life.
But there is one organ which produces qualia, viz. the brain. There can no longer be any reasonable scientific doubt that subjective experiences or appearances are realized by and in the brain, and by nothing else and nowhere else in the universe. The cerebral transformation of objective neural signals into subjective "impressions and ideas" is unlike a mere shaping of a lump of clay by a potter.
Just wait and see. My suspicion is that failure to create AI that experiences will be attributed to synthetics or the need to create more complex brains. I suspect that you rather need the equivalent of a gut to help make qualia happen. Until then it's just processing electricity and information like any other appliance.

The trouble with the the potter analogy is that the potter him or herself is a major part of the artwork - but not all!

Consul wrote:
January 16th, 2019, 11:51 am
Greta wrote:
January 15th, 2019, 10:52 pm
So you keep saying. However, our overarching consciousness did not come from nowhere. No, this kind of complex brainpower evolved from simpler kinds, and simpler ones before that, and so on.
Of course, there is an evolutionary prehistory of consciousness which is associated with the evolutionary development of nervous systems, which finally resulted in the development of central nervous systems (brains).

Of course, the psychological/phenomenological sentience of organisms is evolutionarily preceded by their electro- and then neurophysiological sensitivity (reactivity); but there is an essential difference: The former is constituted by ontologically subjective phenomena (sense-qualia), whereas the latter is constituted by ontologically objective phenomena. For there is nothing it is like for an organism to have nothing more than electro-/neurophysiological sensitivity.
Yet where do you draw the line and deem that X organism experiences and Y organism just processes? After all, if we attribute qualia to C. elegans and its hundred of neurons, what of the human gut and its millions or neurons? We might figure that it's a matter of configuration, that it's not just numbers but the nature of the wiring. Still, there is a case for each to benefit from simple sensing, which of course is why these entities ended up with neurons.

I think there is a terribly fuzzy line here between phenomenal and functional consciousnesses, sensing and reflexes. I think it feels like something to have a reflex action.

Consul wrote:
January 16th, 2019, 11:51 am
Greta wrote:
January 15th, 2019, 10:52 pm
The way I see it, the basic unit of consciousness is the reflex. Using the water analogy, reflexes are pools and consciousness are rivers, which could be thought of as a complex series of pools and, when there's enough of them then larger, riverlike dynamics come into play.

Emotions, for example, are huge evolved suites of reflexes that work in concert when a sufficiently-brained organism is presented with stimuli. They are, in essence, naturally selected subroutines, called under certain circumstances. Basic emotions like fear (fight or flight/startle) and pleasure/satiation are very common in nature, generally pertaining to equilibrium. More complex emotions will, of course, pertain to social living.

Emotions are just very complex reflex responses that intelligent machines, with their much faster processing speeds, will not need. A human faced with an attacker will go through useful reflex responses - adrenaline, life in breathing, heart rate and blood pressure to force feed organs and muscles for quick response, plus tendency to fight or flee. In much less than the time needed for human bodies to prepare for such a problem, an intelligent machine would simply calculate the optimal moment and mode of attack or defence needed and execute it.
Reflexes have nothing to do with (phenomenal) consciousness as long as they don't involve any subjective experiences. No matter how complex and sophisticated its reactive behavior is, an organism is nothing but a zombie agent as long as it doesn't subjectively feel or sense anything.

"The irreducible minimum involved in mentality would seem to be the fact which we express by the phrase 'feeling somehow'[.]"
On what basis do we determine 'feeling somehow'? Brains and nervous systems might not be enough, perhaps dedicated to only complex "zombie agent" reflexes. Given the indeterminacy of the situation, plus the human history of dismissing that which it deems insignificant as nothing, I suspect that any consciousness or feeling that we attribute to another entities is still significantly underestimated.

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Re: Qualia as a function of being alive

Post by Karpel Tunnel » January 17th, 2019, 12:59 pm

Consul wrote:Neuroscience is interested in nonhuman animal consciousness as well, but the big problem is that nonhuman animals cannot make introspective reports about their consciousness.
It harder even than that. Even humans, generally, can only report on what they are conscious of, not on their consciousness.

BigBango
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Re: Qualia as a function of being alive

Post by BigBango » January 17th, 2019, 9:21 pm

This discussion illustrates the lack of a good scientific paradigm to explain the clear efficacy of "Folk Psychology". The fact, as asserted by Searle, is that "Folk Psychology", the common language that describes what it is like to feel something, qualia, has no corresponding scientific correlate that encompasses the usual nervous system suspects.

Because of that fact, we should keep an open mind about new paradigms that could explain how loose folk psychological talk could ring so true. We may not be able to verify the truth of any new revolutionary theories given the little we currently understand about our physical world. However, as I see it, progress in science must come from an exchange of ideas between hard physical science and soft cognitive science. Let's face it we rely to heavily on physical science to lead the way when, in fact, the way should and could be led by philosophy and cognitive science, from time to time. We are partners in discovery.

The new paradigm that I see explaining qualia is what happens in our experience at lower fractal levels of "consciousness". We need to ask ourselves if there might be "atoms" of consciousness and, if so, what are those atoms like. We suffered through a period of theorists supposing that "electrons" might be conscious and those ideas never succeeded in explaining anything. This was a failed attempt to map the constructs of cognitive science onto the existing constructs of physical science. We have also suffered through Whiteheads "panpsychism" Which had "actual entities" as the final facts for everything from rocks to animate beings. That attempt was a gross overkill, however, if we apply some of Whitehead's ideas to animate life it starts to make some sense.

What does make sense is to map Whitehead's actual entities onto galactic civilizations that existed before the Big Bang. Unlike the "atoms" of physics these atoms are collections of physical structures that are bound together in interdependent ecosystems that define valued cultural systems.

We can then define "qualia" as the lower level reaction that floods through connected ecosystems in response to its experience in our macro world. These lower fractal levels are necessarily always reacting to how their robotic macro selves are engaging with the macro world. Qualia can only be understood as the effect of our experience on our lower fractal levels of consciousness.

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Consul
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Re: Qualia as a function of being alive

Post by Consul » January 17th, 2019, 11:10 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
January 17th, 2019, 12:59 pm
Even humans, generally, can only report on what they are conscious of, not on their consciousness.
I am conscious of my consciousness.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Qualia as a function of being alive

Post by Greta » January 18th, 2019, 12:49 am

BB, would those then be atomic systems rather than ecosystems? There certainly would seem to be repeated dynamics of dominance, activity, reactivity and catalysing at all levels of nature. Survival of the persistent.
Consul wrote:
January 17th, 2019, 11:10 pm
Karpel Tunnel wrote:
January 17th, 2019, 12:59 pm
Even humans, generally, can only report on what they are conscious of, not on their consciousness.
I am conscious of my consciousness.
That's being human. Unlike other animals we have the capacity to direct our self improvement. So will AI, which is why some observers are worried. However, qualia would not seem seem essential to self reflection.

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Re: Qualia as a function of being alive

Post by BigBango » January 18th, 2019, 1:40 am

Greta wrote:
January 18th, 2019, 12:49 am
BB, would those then be atomic systems rather than ecosystems? There certainly would seem to be repeated dynamics of dominance, activity, reactivity and catalysing at all levels of nature. Survival of the persistent.
Greta, thanks for your interest. You have a unique grasp of these issues and I will try to answer your questions.

Ecosystems are the way the "subject" is embedded in reality. The hard problem is to realize that subjects at lower levels of reality are more evolved than us, yet impotent because their size is dwarfed by the physical reality they find themselves in. This size difference forces them to instantiate themselves in our world through genetic constructions. The cell we are familiar with was a masterpiece that evolved into creatures that could harvest energy from the fractured world that they formerly inhabited. We are bots with a soul from before the Big Bang.

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Re: Qualia as a function of being alive

Post by Karpel Tunnel » January 18th, 2019, 5:31 am

Consul wrote:
January 17th, 2019, 11:10 pm
Karpel Tunnel wrote:
January 17th, 2019, 12:59 pm
Even humans, generally, can only report on what they are conscious of, not on their consciousness.
I am conscious of my consciousness.
And that is the extent of the report.

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Re: Qualia as a function of being alive

Post by Greta » January 18th, 2019, 7:03 am

BigBango wrote:
January 18th, 2019, 1:40 am
Greta wrote:
January 18th, 2019, 12:49 am
BB, would those then be atomic systems rather than ecosystems? There certainly would seem to be repeated dynamics of dominance, activity, reactivity and catalysing at all levels of nature. Survival of the persistent.
Greta, thanks for your interest. You have a unique grasp of these issues and I will try to answer your questions.

Ecosystems are the way the "subject" is embedded in reality. The hard problem is to realize that subjects at lower levels of reality are more evolved than us, yet impotent because their size is dwarfed by the physical reality they find themselves in. This size difference forces them to instantiate themselves in our world through genetic constructions. The cell we are familiar with was a masterpiece that evolved into creatures that could harvest energy from the fractured world that they formerly inhabited. We are bots with a soul from before the Big Bang.
You are pulling a few steps from orthodoxy here - even more so than me. I can agree that everything has its own system with certain expected dynamics within that particular realm, be it atomic, molecular, eco-, planetary, stellar and so forth. "More evolved" is a problematic term, though. Every living thing on Earth is actually just as evolved as the other, each with a lineage extending back to 3.8 billion years ago or so. I would also suggest that everything is dwarfed by its environment.

Thus, all small things will influence the larger systems of which they comprise through collective action, whether it's conscious or not. Is that qualia, a trillion little processes bubbling along?

I do think that cells are enormously underestimated. There's a tendency to think of bacterial colonies as living things and cells as "biological machines", yet cells lead vastly more complex and communicative lives than simple prokaryotes like bacteria. Captive life forms that are completely dependent and integrated like cells are, in a sense, akin to humans, which are also lead controlled, complex and communicative lives, also largely incapable of surviving if disconnected from their societies. As they say, as above so below.

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Re: Qualia as a function of being alive

Post by BigBango » January 18th, 2019, 9:36 am

Greta wrote:
January 18th, 2019, 7:03 am
BigBango wrote:
January 18th, 2019, 1:40 am


Greta, thanks for your interest. You have a unique grasp of these issues and I will try to answer your questions.

Ecosystems are the way the "subject" is embedded in reality. The hard problem is to realize that subjects at lower levels of reality are more evolved than us, yet impotent because their size is dwarfed by the physical reality they find themselves in. This size difference forces them to instantiate themselves in our world through genetic constructions. The cell we are familiar with was a masterpiece that evolved into creatures that could harvest energy from the fractured world that they formerly inhabited. We are bots with a soul from before the Big Bang.
You are pulling a few steps from orthodoxy here - even more so than me. I can agree that everything has its own system with certain expected dynamics within that particular realm, be it atomic, molecular, eco-, planetary, stellar and so forth. "More evolved" is a problematic term, though. Every living thing on Earth is actually just as evolved as the other, each with a lineage extending back to 3.8 billion years ago or so. I would also suggest that everything is dwarfed by its environment.

Thus, all small things will influence the larger systems of which they comprise through collective action, whether it's conscious or not. Is that qualia, a trillion little processes bubbling along?
No, consciousness does not evolve. Consciousness instantiates itself in the world of matter that it finds itself in because it needs to harvest energy from that world to preserve its own valued eco-systems.
Greta wrote: I do think that cells are enormously underestimated. There's a tendency to think of bacterial colonies as living things and cells as "biological machines", yet cells lead vastly more complex and communicative lives than simple prokaryotes like bacteria. Captive life forms that are completely dependent and integrated like cells are, in a sense, akin to humans, which are also lead controlled, complex and communicative lives, also largely incapable of surviving if disconnected from their societies. As they say, as above so below
Cells are conscious entities. Cells are "consciousness" embedded in a level of materiality. The atoms of consciousness are the lower fractal eco-systems that seek to survive in every material world they find themselves in. Qualia are like youtube playbacks of experience in their constructed world. The more "hits" the greater the feeling.

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Re: Qualia as a function of being alive

Post by BigBango » January 18th, 2019, 10:20 am

One word of advice to you, Greta. You have a very structured way of thinking about the universe and its material construction. I think that you cannot help but assume that an analysis of our world will yield simpler constructs the way material reality breaks down into atoms. In my analysis I see the simplicity of consciousness of the cell as breaking down into the complex conscious eco-systems that are only simpler because their small size renders them easier to dismiss.

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Re: Qualia as a function of being alive

Post by Consul » January 18th, 2019, 4:51 pm

Greta wrote:
January 16th, 2019, 9:16 pm
Consul wrote:
January 16th, 2019, 11:51 am
Of course, the psychological/phenomenological sentience of organisms is evolutionarily preceded by their electro- and then neurophysiological sensitivity (reactivity); but there is an essential difference: The former is constituted by ontologically subjective phenomena (sense-qualia), whereas the latter is constituted by ontologically objective phenomena. For there is nothing it is like for an organism to have nothing more than electro-/neurophysiological sensitivity.
Yet where do you draw the line and deem that X organism experiences and Y organism just processes? After all, if we attribute qualia to C. elegans and its hundred of neurons, what of the human gut and its millions or neurons? We might figure that it's a matter of configuration, that it's not just numbers but the nature of the wiring. Still, there is a case for each to benefit from simple sensing, which of course is why these entities ended up with neurons.
I think there is a terribly fuzzy line here between phenomenal and functional consciousnesses, sensing and reflexes. I think it feels like something to have a reflex action.
A (phenomenally) nonconscious AI robot can be programmed to exhibit reflex action/behavior.

The state of (phenomenal) consciousness is an on-off, all-or-nothing affair, because there cannot be any intermediate states between being a subject of experience and not being one. That is, there cannot be borderline cases of (phenomenal) consciousness. The evolutionary transition from (phenomenally) nonconscious mental/neural states to (phenomenally) conscious ones must have taken place abruptly at some place and some time.

"Consciousness as a state is like a background light or power switch that needs to be 'ON' for any contents of consciousness to be enabled. If it is in the 'OFF' position, we are unconscious. But the switch between these states does not necessarily work like a light switch that only allows fully conscious or fully unconscious states (lights on and complete illumination or lights off and total darkness). The switch works more like a dimmer that can be gradually switched on and off. Between full illumination and full darkness there are several degrees of being more or less fully conscious. If you are suddenly woken up from the deepest stages of sleep, or if you are heavily drunk, your dimmer may not illuminate your phenomenal consciousness very brightly at all.

The conscious state as such is not any particular experience. The particular experiences going on when we are conscious are called contents of consciousness. They may be sensations, perceptions, emotions, thoughts, mental images, or dreams for example.

The distinction between the state and the contents of consciousness could be compared to the distinction between the power source and the channels in your television. The state of consciousness vs. unconsciousness is like having your television set either powered on or off, whereas the contents of consciousness are like the actual channels or programs you see on the screen. You cannot have any programs without first having the power switched on, but just having the power on (without any channels) does not include any programs as such. Further, if consciousness is like a dimmer, then the brightness setting of the screen can be compared to how dimly or vividly you are aware of the contents of consciousness."


(Revonsuo, Antti. Foundations of Consciousness. Abingdon: Routledge, 2017. pp. 20-21)
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Qualia as a function of being alive

Post by Greta » January 18th, 2019, 7:33 pm

Consul wrote:
January 18th, 2019, 4:51 pm
Greta wrote:
January 16th, 2019, 9:16 pm
Yet where do you draw the line and deem that X organism experiences and Y organism just processes? After all, if we attribute qualia to C. elegans and its hundred of neurons, what of the human gut and its millions or neurons? We might figure that it's a matter of configuration, that it's not just numbers but the nature of the wiring. Still, there is a case for each to benefit from simple sensing, which of course is why these entities ended up with neurons.

I think there is a terribly fuzzy line here between phenomenal and functional consciousnesses, sensing and reflexes. I think it feels like something to have a reflex action.
A (phenomenally) nonconscious AI robot can be programmed to exhibit reflex action/behavior.
Robotic responses are a long way from biological reflexes, though. The complexity of an intelligent machine's response might approach the atomic complexity in a single chemical reaction, but reactions occur within molecules and their far more complex interactions, and molecules make up tissue with even more complex interactions, and tissue makes up organs and their exceptionally complex interactions.

Consul wrote:
January 18th, 2019, 4:51 pm
The state of (phenomenal) consciousness is an on-off, all-or-nothing affair, because there cannot be any intermediate states between being a subject of experience and not being one. That is, there cannot be borderline cases of (phenomenal) consciousness. The evolutionary transition from (phenomenally) nonconscious mental/neural states to (phenomenally) conscious ones must have taken place abruptly at some place and some time.
That depends on where you draw the line. Logically, there would be states of consciousness so trivial and simple that they could just as easily be thought of as unconscious. Yet they would still feel like something to some negligible extent, ie. reflexes.

Consul quoting Revonsuo wrote:
January 18th, 2019, 4:51 pm
The conscious state as such is not any particular experience. The particular experiences going on when we are conscious are called contents of consciousness. They may be sensations, perceptions, emotions, thoughts, mental images, or dreams for example.
For most of the above, consciousness is functionally an on/off affair. Sensations would seem a more primal content of consciousness than the others, the base on which all others are built (perception would be next most basic). For an entity that emotes, thinks, imagines in complex ways, would a state that only provided sensation without any concomitant emotions or thoughts be considered conscious at all? It would seem akin to Mount Everest acknowledging an ant mound has a peer, yet they are both protuberances of the planet's surface.

Consul quoting Revonsuo wrote:
January 18th, 2019, 4:51 pm
The distinction between the state and the contents of consciousness could be compared to the distinction between the power source and the channels in your television. The state of consciousness vs. unconsciousness is like having your television set either powered on or off, whereas the contents of consciousness are like the actual channels or programs you see on the screen. You cannot have any programs without first having the power switched on, but just having the power on (without any channels) does not include any programs as such. Further, if consciousness is like a dimmer, then the brightness setting of the screen can be compared to how dimly or vividly you are aware of the contents of consciousness.
I like it but you forgot something we spoke about earlier (easy to do in a chat of this length). That is, we agreed that the metabolism is more than the biological equivalent of the power source because of its complex interactions with the nervous system. Maybe it's that the metabolism provides the carrier wave for station's transmission frequency along with power?

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Re: Qualia as a function of being alive

Post by Greta » January 18th, 2019, 7:46 pm

BigBango wrote:
January 18th, 2019, 10:20 am
In my analysis I see the simplicity of consciousness of the cell as breaking down into the complex conscious eco-systems that are only simpler because their small size renders them easier to dismiss.
It is true that we tend to "black box" and take for granted that which is difficult to investigate. An excerpt from a short story I wrote last year questions the human capacity to be interested in the subtleties of small life, such as the subtle individuality of ants that must probabilistically must be present within a colony:
Some sisters in the colony were a little larger or faster. Some were more nimble. Some had a better or worse sense of smell or vibrationary senses. Some were more sensitive, hard, bold, soft, cautious, aggressive, passive, territorial or even demented (the last did not last long). Just as ostensibly identical cars from an assembly line will vary in quality, so will the various individuals in a family's lines, even lines of ant clones.

In short, #139,552 was a bit of a lemon. An inferior product. A factory reject. She was a little bit smaller, slower, clumsier and more timid than most of the others, with a weaker than average olfactory sense, smaller, blunter mandibles and shorter feelers than most of her siblings.

So she drifted through her tiny life in this bubble of mild incompetence, as some of us do. Not that exponentially larger hominid entomologists would notice the difference. They were not about to go into a detailed study of the natural diversity within a huge population of seemingly identical ant clones.

Who would fund such a study and for what purpose? One could imagine a pitch to the Jung Foundation—The Exploration of Archetypes Amongst Non-Human Species: Individuality as Observed in 139,554 Lasius Niger Identical Twins. One can also imagine such a study would attract almost enough funding to buy a test tube and a ring binder (without refills).

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Re: Qualia as a function of being alive

Post by Consul » January 18th, 2019, 8:43 pm

JamesOfSeattle wrote:
January 16th, 2019, 5:12 pm
Consul wrote:
January 15th, 2019, 8:01 pm
There aren't any extracerebral qualia.
Seems to me that in order to make this statement you need to have an explanation of what qualia are and exactly how they arise.
By "qualia" I don't mean qualities in general but a special kind of qualities, viz. "the subjective qualities of conscious experience" (Thomas Nagel) or the qualitative contents of subjective experiences. Of course, if qualia are simply qualities of some kind or other, then there are extracerebral qualia.

I don't know how exactly qualia are realized by and in the brain, but my lack of detailed knowledge is no good reason to deny that they are realized by and in the brain, because this assumption is highly plausible and even highly probable in the light of our scientific knowledge—much more plausible and much more probable than all the other theories of the origin and place of consciousness in the world.
JamesOfSeattle wrote:
January 16th, 2019, 5:12 pm
How do you know that “subjective sensations” are not mere neural information, just organized in a particular way?
My introspective analysis of my subjective sensations doesn't reveal any structural complexity which is similar to the structural complexity of neuroinformational processes (as observed from the third-person perspective).
JamesOfSeattle wrote:
January 16th, 2019, 5:12 pm
How has consciousness been defined/explained such that it rules out participation in reflex behavior?
Of course, reflex behavior can be accompanied by consciousness; but what I meant to say is that it needn't be accompanied by consciousness. You can have the former without the latter.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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