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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.
Belindi
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Re: Qualia as a function of being alive

Post by Belindi » January 19th, 2019, 7:19 am

Are responses to phenomena a matter of degree or a matter of kind?

If the former then an intelligent robot is more like an uncreative ant and less like a fully cognitive man.

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Re: Qualia as a function of being alive

Post by Greta » January 20th, 2019, 4:10 am

Belindi wrote:
January 19th, 2019, 7:19 am
Are responses to phenomena a matter of degree or a matter of kind?

If the former then an intelligent robot is more like an uncreative ant and less like a fully cognitive man.
Responsiveness may be greater or less, faster or slower, more or less complex (flexible, adaptive). First, though, must be sensing.

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Re: Qualia as a function of being alive

Post by meaningful_products » January 26th, 2019, 5:39 am

Intellectual_Savnot wrote:
January 5th, 2019, 6:11 pm
This will probably be my last comment on this discussion: The conscious that experiences qualia has no proven location in our physical location. The mind is the only place where the qualia experienced by the conscious entity seems to be observed and directly accessed, evidenced through brain waves. Whether the mind came first or not (which I do believe it did not), it is the only known receptor of this experience and the data it provides. There can be scientific proof that qualia is invented through metabolism because food can be read by the tongue where a signal is sent to the mind, and somewhere in that chain we experience qualia as taste. This is similar to photonic readings in the retina. It is possible that qualia is produced in
its respective locations, the retina, tongue, nerves. But if qualia is indeed only produced and simultaneously experienced as it is read by the mind then this is all void.
Have a happy un-birthday!
A lot of people here point out the paradox relating to the original post that consciousness does not exist physically in a sense but at the same time we recognize it and talk about it. I am not sure if a question is posed or what direction the original post was meant to take.

To say that consciousness is not a physical, tangible thing and more similar to the digestive tract is an interesting idea but I do not think it would define "consciousness" in it's broadest scope. Consciousness might change in the afterlife or before birth, which means that we are only considering the time span between our first impressions at birth and the present. Sure, on can say that you cant prove that a physical consciousness could exist before birth or after death, but at the same time its very hard to prove the contrary.

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Re: Qualia as a function of being alive

Post by Intellectual_Savnot » February 1st, 2019, 2:55 pm

As it turns out I must make two more comments to this thread, both to Greta. Now, first I would like to comment unrelated that we seem to have never agreed on a single topic yet. Relating to this thread, you seem to be in the understanding that I am convinced that the mind is responsible for experience of qualia as we consciously experience it, this is not true. I have not read all the recent posts, I have an assignment to work on, but I can state either way that we cannot certainly reach the conclusion that qualia is metabolised without direct evidence. This would be a sublogical decision. However, it is quite possible. I must further proclaim that whether or not qualia is physical or some non-scientifically accessible metaphysical essence is all important to your argument's form but not its validity. Further than my two points it may be concluded that if qualia is indeed an essence whose nature is of the physical body, or metabolized, that the brain is left with the function not to experience but rather to systematically remember, decide, act, and improve upon sensory index. This would make the brain the ultimate intelligence, for intellect may grow by itself. A computer such as the here described brain would be that capable of formulations that systematically self improve based on the input received, whether that be from the qualia that is metabolized or from sensory inputs. This would be the AI that is not self conscious, but fully aware minus the conscious understanding. If the brain as described here could be summed up in lines of code, this code would make itself longer as it is introduced to new environments, until it is the ultimately compatible and self-situated entity that it could possibly be. This is much like our brain, improving by an evolutionarily tuned or consciously active methods and sub-consciously self improving and re-indexing during sleep. This makes your theory highly possible but still is not provable by any means. I do however, to be perfectly blunt, find the theory completely stupid and not worth considering. But you got me. I considered it. Have a good day!
p.s. I just got a "hol' up" moment, thinking about the title. I might be taking this the wrong way. I am going to give it a minute more of thought and I might type some more or I will come to conclusive logical satisfaction.
Okay, okee okay. It seems to me that you consider the body a moving, considering entity of its own being, with all strata of our existence as differing entities being described completely in our human physical realm. In this interpretation the very movement of our body is felt by and influences the different strata of our existence, and in some cases vice versa.
I like to, but cannot prove such, consider the body as a chemical compilation, connected loosely through the mind to a consciousness and mind, which are connected to a will and a soul and such. I do not prefer this interpretation, but I find it that which I usually consider the probable basis for our best-case scenario as existing beings. Skeet ya later....

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Re: Qualia as a function of being alive

Post by Greta » February 1st, 2019, 5:03 pm

Intellectual_Savnot wrote:
February 1st, 2019, 2:55 pm
As it turns out I must make two more comments to this thread, both to Greta. Now, first I would like to comment unrelated that we seem to have never agreed on a single topic yet.
I assume that you have been lurking ad quietly thinking, "Nah, she's full of it" as I don't remember debating you about anything.

Note that, being high functioning autistic, I cannot properly read posts that lack paragraph breaks. For me, trying to read your post is like trying to pick out words in a lingual version of Where's Wally. it's not worth the pain. So I will just address the start and end, which are more approachable for overclocked minds than amorphous blocks of blurred greyness posing as text :)

Intellectual_Savnot wrote:
February 1st, 2019, 2:55 pm
I like to, but cannot prove such, consider the body as a chemical compilation, connected loosely through the mind to a consciousness and mind, which are connected to a will and a soul and such. I do not prefer this interpretation, but I find it that which I usually consider the probable basis for our best-case scenario as existing beings. Skeet ya later....
I see the qualia (which is actually not the mind as such, rather pre-mind or sub-mind - raw processing that the brain shapes into mentality) as more as an emanation of the body. The idea of qualia being a separate thing "connected loosely" to the body is not naturalistic.

So far, qualia-from-the-metabolism still looks to me more promising than other ideas, much more in accordance with how nature works than "brain first" notions. If qualia was only created by tightly integrated processing (as in the brain) then surely the incredible degree of processing done by now would have thrown up anomalous, unexplained qualia-affected results in technology, suggestive of a mind in action.

Yet, as far as I know, there has been no such thing. After trillions of experiments and connections being made in technology there has not been even a single anomalous instance suggestive that we have been creating qualia. Not once, not ever. We may have done and don't realise it, but it doesn't appear to be that way.

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Re: Qualia as a function of being alive

Post by Belindi » February 2nd, 2019, 9:53 am

Greta wrote:
Note that, being high functioning autistic, I cannot properly read posts that lack paragraph breaks. For me, trying to read your post is like trying to pick out words in a lingual version of Where's Wally. it's not worth the pain. So I will just address the start and end, which are more approachable for overclocked minds than amorphous blocks of blurred greyness posing as text :)
Same here :) As for the last sentence, You have more patience than I, Greta.

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Re: Qualia as a function of being alive

Post by JamesOfSeattle » February 6th, 2019, 12:06 am

Greta wrote:
February 1st, 2019, 5:03 pm
If qualia was only created by tightly integrated processing (as in the brain) then surely the incredible degree of processing done by now would have thrown up anomalous, unexplained qualia-affected results in technology, suggestive of a mind in action.

Yet, as far as I know, there has been no such thing. After trillions of experiments and connections being made in technology there has not been even a single anomalous instance suggestive that we have been creating qualia. Not once, not ever. We may have done and don't realise it, but it doesn't appear to be that way.
This is an interesting idea. What would you look for if you wanted to see a “qualia-affected result”? What would you look for in a human? The only evidence we currently have of “qualia” are verbal reports.

Just wondering.

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Re: Qualia as a function of being alive

Post by Greta » February 6th, 2019, 1:09 am

JamesOfSeattle wrote:
February 6th, 2019, 12:06 am
Greta wrote:
February 1st, 2019, 5:03 pm
If qualia was only created by tightly integrated processing (as in the brain) then surely the incredible degree of processing done by now would have thrown up anomalous, unexplained qualia-affected results in technology, suggestive of a mind in action.

Yet, as far as I know, there has been no such thing. After trillions of experiments and connections being made in technology there has not been even a single anomalous instance suggestive that we have been creating qualia. Not once, not ever. We may have done and don't realise it, but it doesn't appear to be that way.
This is an interesting idea. What would you look for if you wanted to see a “qualia-affected result”? What would you look for in a human? The only evidence we currently have of “qualia” are verbal reports.

Just wondering.
It's the old bugaboo - how would you know if a Turing machine is sentient or just an accurate mimic? Some would say that the reliability of Murphy's photocopier is inversely proportional to operator anxiety, but that's user bumbling, not machine vindictiveness :)

Basically, I guess we'd have to look for anomalies - hard-to-explain oddities.

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Re: Qualia as a function of being alive

Post by JamesOfSeattle » February 6th, 2019, 1:29 am

Greta wrote:
February 6th, 2019, 1:09 am
Basically, I guess we'd have to look for anomalies - hard-to-explain oddities.
Alternatively, you could hypothesize a situation that would lead to reports of qualia, and then look for those sorts of situations in other places, including places where a report would be impossible. To test the hypothesis you would want to manipulate the hypothesized situation and observe the effect on the reports, but that would be difficult and usually unethical in humans. An alternative test would be to create the same situation artificially, but include the same ability to report as in humans, and then do the manipulations and observe the results. Easier said ...

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Re: Qualia as a function of being alive

Post by Greta » February 6th, 2019, 5:42 am

JamesOfSeattle wrote:
February 6th, 2019, 1:29 am
Greta wrote:
February 6th, 2019, 1:09 am
Basically, I guess we'd have to look for anomalies - hard-to-explain oddities.
Alternatively, you could hypothesize a situation that would lead to reports of qualia ...
That has the same problem, doesn't it? Every time you will still end up wondering if the response was a quale or a reflex, or if they are indeed different.

Still, when it comes to humans, researchers can at least correlate processing with patterns of neural activity. We can also switch off conscious awareness via the claustrum. In that we way we can compare unconscious processing with conscious processing when presented with the same stimuli, such as temperature changes, sounds/music, breezes and touching. I'm clearly no expert in brain studies but you'd expect that such experiments had probably already been done.

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Re: Qualia as a function of being alive

Post by GaryLouisSmith » June 16th, 2019, 1:56 am

Greta wrote:
January 4th, 2019, 2:31 am
There are all manner of convoluted and esoteric ideas in this area,
Hello Greta, I want to vomit up some of my convoluted ideas on this matter, but could you first tell me what the hell you are talking about. I know what a qualia is, I think. For example it is the coolness of the water I am drinking. I don't think that's what you are talking about, though. Give me an example, so I can begin to argue with you.

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Re: Qualia as a function of being alive

Post by GaryLouisSmith » June 16th, 2019, 3:36 am

Greta wrote:
January 4th, 2019, 2:31 am
g the raw sensation of being (qualia) mainly generated by metabolic processes into various kinds of awareness.
As you know I am not a materialist. I am a realist in line with the New Realism that came from Cambridge a little over a hundred years ago.. Here is a piece I copied some time ago about that.

A reference in John Passmore’s A Hundred Years of Philosophy to this article in The Monist: T. P. Nunn, "Are Secondary Qualities Independent of Perception?," MS, Vol 10 (1909- J910), 191-218. It’s old. Here’s the passage:

The first, in England, to formulate the characteristic doctrines of the New Realism was T.P. Nunn. Best known as an educationalist, Nunn wrote little on philosophy, but that little had an influence out of all proportion to its modest dimensions. In particular, his contribution to a symposium on ‘Are Secondary Qualities Independent of Perception?” (Printed in The Monist: T. P. Nunn, "Are Secondary Qualities Independent of Perception?," MS, Vol 10 (1909- J910), 191-218. ) was widely studied both in England where, as we have already noted, it struck Bertrand Russell’s roving fancy, and in the United States. Nunn there sustained two theses: (1) that both primary and the secondary qualities of bodies are really in them, whether they are perceived or not: (2) that qualities exist as they are perceived.
Much of his argument is polemical in form, with Stout’s earlier articles as its chief target. Stout had thought he could begin by presuming that there are at least some elements in our experience which exist only in being perceived – he instanced pain. But Nunn objects that pain, precisely in the manner of a material object, presents difficulties to us, raises obstacles in our path, is, in short, something we must reckon with. ‘Pain,’ he therefore concludes, ‘is something outside my mind, with which my mind may come into various relations.’ A refusal to admit that anything we experience depends for its existence upon the fact that it is experienced was to be the most characteristic feature of the New Realism.
The secondary qualities, Stout had also said, exist only as objects of experience. If we look at a buttercup in a variety of lights we see different shades of colour, without having any reason to believe that the buttercup itself has altered; if a number of observers plunge their hands into a bowl of water, they will report very different degrees of warmth, even although nothing has happened which could affect the water’s temperature. Such facts demonstrate, Stout thought, that secondary qualities exist only as ‘sensa’ – objects of our perception; they are not actual properties of physical objects.
Nunn’s reply is uncompromising. The contrast between ‘sensa’ and ‘actual properties’ is, he argues, an untenable one. All the shades of colour which the buttercup presents to an observer are actual properties of the buttercup; and all the hotnesses of the water are properties of the water. The plain man and the scientist ascribe a standard temperature and a standard colour to a thing and limit it to a certain region of space, because its complexity would otherwise defeat them. The fact remains, Nunn argues, that a thing has not one hotness, for example, but many, and that these hotnesses are not in a limited region of space but in various places around about the standard object. A thing is hotter an inch away than a foot away and hotter on a cold hand than on a warm one, just as it is a paler yellow in one light than it is in another light. To imagine otherwise is to confuse between the arbitrary ‘thing’ of everyday life and the ‘thing’ as experience shows it of be.
In Nunn’s theory of perception, then, the ordinary conception of a material thing is revolutionized; that is the price he has to pay for his Realism. A ‘thing’, now, is a collection of appearances, even if every appearance is independent of the mind before which it appears.

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