Re: Non-sensory experiences

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Wed Nov 07 2001 - 09:32:17 MST

From: "Lee Daniel Crocker" <>
> Haven't you ever had the experience of not being able to find the right
> words to describe an idea?

That particular cognitive incident is accompanied by feelings, which I
conjecture are generated by the ENS, and these feelings comprise the
experience. Without the sensory input of gut feelings, the frustration,
irritation, annoyance, etc., which comprise the emotional event, no experience

> Can't a blind physicist argue rationally about sight?

Yes, but only if the blind physicist had previously experienced sight (or an
analog of sight), so that rational thoughts can relate to it. With no
experience of sight whatsoever, blind physicists would literally not know what
they were talking about. Without the sensory input of eyes, visual experience
does not occur. The effect of sensory experience may linger after the form has
departed, but form always precedes effect.

> What do
> you suppose a mathematician does when he generalizes a formula? Does
> he necessarily visualize the formula in some way first, and then
> substitute the image of a variable for a constant? Of does he first
> think the concepts (not the words) "generalize that 3", and then perhaps
> later conjure up an image and a variable name to help him remember? What
> about the built-in concepts an infant has, like "animated", before he can
> ever experience them? Can we not conjecture about extraterrestrial
> life without visualizing any particular form or place?

Interesting questions... Calculation and computation evidently don't require
vision, despite that no blind mathematician ever invented any new mathematics.
If, however, a form of computation does require experience, it would also
necessarily entail a sensory phenomenon.

--- --- --- --- ---

Useless hypotheses, etc.:
 consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
analog computing, cultural relativism, GAC, Cyc, Eliza, cryonics, individual
uniqueness, ego, human values, scientific relinquishment, malevolent AI

We move into a better future in proportion as science displaces superstition.

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