From: Ben Goertzel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Jul 20 2005 - 17:36:00 MDT
But I want to add: even though the allegation that that essay of mine from
early 2004 contains no scientific content is false -- nevertheless, I am not
very happy with that essay these days. Not that I think it's *wrong*, but I
think it doesn't get deep enough, it doesn't address the heart of the
issue... I have more recent thoughts on the topic but haven't written them
> > > I addressed this in an essay a while back
> > >
> > > http://www.goertzel.org/dynapsyc/2004/HardProblem.htm
> > Wow, I thought I was reading Marc Geddes there. :) But seriously,
> > you've presented a lot of ideas without any method of verification.
> Hey, that is not really true...
> It's true that I don't describe specific experiments in that
> essay -- but that essay contains a combination of purely
> philosophical content (unverifiable like all pure philosophy is)
> and philosophy-guided scientific hypothesis.
> For instance, that essay contains the hypothesis
> that the brain processes associated with consciousness will be
> the brain processes associated with representing newly perceived
> or conceived patterns, enacting new patterns, or taking
> pattern-codes out of memory and reassembling them into patterns
> once again.
> If you want to make this into a scientific hypothesis that will
> please the Dennett-oid hypermaterialist consciousness-deniers of
> the world, just rephrase it as:
> that the brain processes associated with [verbal reports of]
> consciousness will be the brain processes associated with
> representing newly perceived or conceived patterns, enacting new
> patterns, or taking pattern-codes out of memory and reassembling
> them into patterns once again.
> Then you can think of this as a scientific hypothesis about
> *verbal reports of consciousness* among humans, and you can dodge
> the question of whether "verbal reports of consciousness" relate
> to any kind of "real qualia."
> Of course, if the hypothesis of qualia is found to consistently
> suggest scientific hypotheses that wind up to be validated by
> experiment [and I know this hasn't happened yet, but the science
> of consciousness is still very young], then this would seem to be
> some sort of justification for the hypothesis, no?
> This latter sentence is in fact an argument that qualia may be
> roughly as "real" as electrons, or trees, are. The electron is a
> fictitious entity -- it's a way of organizing data from various
> instruments, and assuming it exists helps us to generate a lot of
> valid hypotheses. So we talk as if electrons are real when in
> fact all there are, are patterns. The same argument in fact
> applies to trees. Electrons, trees and qualia are all concepts
> that we create in order to organize the patterns we experience.
> -- Ben
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