Saturday, July 26, 2008

KL vs RC

Have a look at
This exchange (scroll to the bottom) between KLdickinson was interesting - I think maybe I can add some understanding to the argument (which has obviously become personal)

Seems to me what KL is saying** is that neuroscience provides evidence from which one could infer the nature of 'qualia'. The primary but not only conclusion one would take from this is physicalism.

For example the arguments I have put forward in previous posts regarding how qualia seem to work is we assume dualism is correct. For example we might answer "what is the fundamental indivisable unit of experience". We could infer things from how our qualia behave in regard to "triggers" and what forms they take. Richard seems to treat the sum of all human experience as a single bite of data from which you can infer nothing except that qualia exist.

Examples like the god helmet experiment raised here are not proof qualia don't exist as much as proof that those that believe they exist must have an ever increasingly gerrymandered concept of them. Epiphenominalaism denies Richard the ability to have a reason why qualia have any sort of understandable relationship to anything - i.e. we could feel happy (or nothing) when we get hurt for all epiphenominalism can tell. that it makes any sense is chance - but evo-psychology and neuro-science tells us it makes quite a lot of sense.

Epiphenominal qualia philosophers almost never take any position on their bridging laws because they realize it would immediately commit them to all sorts of hard to defend positions. I presume KL is just taking that to be a victory while Richard is intentionally keeping that sort of convoluted defense up his sleeve (in the same way that qualia philosophers like to keep all the options on their plate).

In very simple terms "a prior" RC has no reason to think qualia will be like they are (i.e. that the bridging law will not make anything odd happen*), KL on the other hand doesn't expect that variable to have any odd effects because it doesn't exist. If we don't find any odd effects that seems like evidence supporting KL.

anyway apologies to KL if she disagrees with my interpretation of her!

* note that there are many more ways to have an odd result than to have a normal one.
** aside from the obvious occam's razor attack on epiphenominal dualism


Blogger kldickson said...

Man, people are blogging about me. I feel famous. :)

Unfortunately, I am not as versed in philosophy as Richard Chappell, so it was exceedingly difficult to wade through what he said, but I know a few things about logic and I think I tried to provide a pretty good defense of it in the past before I just lost my temper with him, which was unfortunate, but at that time, in my defense, he got pretty fucking aggravating with his denial of well-established empirical facts. (It was a bit akin to PZ's 'fuck you' to Matthew Nisbet.)

I think you managed to interpret my argument quite well.

11:08 AM  

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