More qualia

Dan Fabulich (
Thu, 16 Dec 1999 01:30:32 -0500 (EST)

'What is your name?' 'John Clark.' 'Do you deny having written the following?':

> >Qualia aren't defined by their functional properties;
> They can be. What caused John Clark to go the movie?
> It made him happy. Why didn't John Clark hit his finger
> with a hammer? because that wouldn't make him happy.

They can be defined that way. But, if so, then they're deniable!

> >This excessive amount of technicality is pretty pointless for regular
> >discussion, but useful for philosophy.
> And do you know why that is? I think I do. Whatever point you're trying
> to make doesn't work worth a damn in the "regular" or real world and
> that is far, far, deeper than the toy world of philosophy. I conclude
> that it's pretty pointless period.

The technicality I was referring to was making explicit whether I was saying "experience" or Experience. Normally I just leave the quotes/capitals off, but I ALWAYS mean it in the functionalist sense when I do.

> Again you are using unfamiliar concepts. Normally I would interpret "
> better off" as being happier, or something close to that, but if
> happiness doesn't exist ...

Being better off, if you ask me, (and this is REALLY tangential), is comprised in desire satisfaction.

You'll notice there that I left off the quotes, and didn't capitalize desire. Perhaps you can guess whether I meant Desire or "desire?"

> I believe I'm conscious because I'm incapable of not believing it and
> I doubt anyone this side of a loony bin is any different, except as I
> said before, when they're arguing philosophy on the Extropian list.

Look, what am I supposed to say? I *really believe* what I'm telling you. (No quotes again... which do I mean?) There's no way that I can prove to you that I believe it all the time, on account of the way you've phrased the argument, but suffice it to say that I've got no reason to lie to you on this point, and that I'm the best judge of my own "beliefs."

> Direct sensation doesn't need logic to justify itself, if anything
> it's the other way round.

> "An Epistemological Nightmare" by Raymond Smullyan.

Ah, *I* get it. The problem here is that I'm trusting logic. Foolish me. I'll never make THAT mistake again.

I must admit, I'm pretty disappointed in the way I keep bumping up against <qualia are a first principle>. I'm now beginning to see why there was such disdain to bringing up the topic to begin with. Oh, well.

This whole experience reminds me of why I decided to major in biomedical engineering instead of philosophy, despite the fact that I usually enjoy philosophy far more.

-Dan, shouting in the dark

-unless you love someone-
-nothing else makes any sense-

e.e. cummings