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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    Evolution, of course, doesn't care about (and our survival does not depend on) whether there are colours 'out there' or not. All that matters (for survival etc) is that it's useful to tell the difference between stuff (one radiated wavelength or amplitude from another for instance). We don't yet know why we have any conscious experiences, why anything feels like anything at all. But it does seem fairly clear that some phenomena are very likely purely mental (private, subjective, conscious, inner).
    Light is about photic energy and perception as I noted before depends on distinguishing between levels of photic energy. The article to which I referred above shows that colors also depend on such distinctions independent of cultural differences as do and the descriptions of color standards to which steve bank referred.

    Now you can claim you don't have proof - there is proof that satisfies the scientific community - defended by adherents of rational philosophy and rationalist psychology bent of preserving concepts of mind, intuition, instinct as being 'mental' facilities out of the functionalist tradition (think Woodworth and Boring). The only proof you have is your lack of it. I won't go further down this path since it surely goes counter to your preferred beliefs ruby sparks.


    Instead I'll just speak a bit about what I'm impressed by about the brain and how we perceive. We now have a brain that takes advantage one region for another to preserve a perceptual capacity, that replaces lost abilities by employing areas of brain used by the blind or deaf to see or hear or deal with language. We don't know how the 100 to 1000 to one neural connectivities carry out what we call thinking, remembering or even representing but we do know that both are done and that because of some protocols employed we often encounter illusions.

    Hell I even found in 1979 that ascending and descending process interactions contributed to something akin to a holographic representation of percept (Sutherland 1965) at sites along these pathways- representations of minute variations along these pathways from site to site in what becomes cognition - when I was actually looking for the locus of learning in ascending descending process activity.

    Just recently while reconsidering my dissertation work on moving auditory stimuli I came to understand a role outer hair cells play beyond correcting for delay of percept of signal from high to low frequency. I found that these cells probably contribute to making doppler signal integration as a primary cue to localization of auditory moving events.

    The whole impetus of my current tirade is that we know the physical world drives percept and quality of percept iac fitness drives evolution. Consequently we know that what we perceive is material.

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    Super Moderator ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post
    Now you can claim you don't have proof - there is proof that satisfies the scientific community - defended by adherents of rational philosophy and rationalist psychology bent of preserving concepts of mind, intuition, instinct as being 'mental' facilities out of the functionalist tradition (think Woodworth and Boring). The only proof you have is your lack of it. I won't go further down this path since it surely goes counter to your preferred beliefs ruby sparks.
    Yes, I remember you saying we can analyse and explain human stuff without bringing beliefs and attitudes into the discussion, and yet you yourself know that you do have them. Which is sort of like being hoist by your own paradigm petard.

    So what is your particular, preferred paradigm then? What concepts are you bent on preserving? Some form of mechanical behaviouralism? Something else? Paradigms are like arseholes, everybody has one.

    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post
    The whole impetus of my current tirade is that we know the physical world drives percept and quality of percept iac fitness drives evolution.
    There you go again with the physical schmysical material shmaterial.

    No one is saying otherwise than that light is physical and material.

    But take the analogy with sound for example, the media disturbances were always there (when media existed) we presume, but for the vast majority of the eons of time that media (such as air for example) existed, the media disturbances just went about their business (winds blew, things were carried about in the lifeless universe, etc, and much later, even plants and other brainless organisms on a certain planet responded to vibrations) and didn't 'feel like something', because they didn't need to. There was no point. 'Sound' would have been a wasted, useless and pointless additional property for something to have or produce. Similarly, whatever physical, biological or chemical processes involving light are part of photosynthesis, the plants involved (which no one had to build and calibrate) go through them automatically and efficiently and without it feeling like anything, as far as we can reasonably tell.

    All of a sudden, in existence-of-the-universe terms, unusual lifeforms emerge for which things feel like something (colour, sound, pain, anger, love, hate....). Now this may help those particular new kids on the block to get through what life throws at them, but it says nothing about whether those properties of experience were always there beforehand. You can have a complete physicalist, materialist account of everything and not need anything to feel like something, and as far as we can reasonably tell, things didn't, for the vast majority of the time the universe existed. And most of the time they still don't, even for humans, given that consciousness may only be the tip of the brain processes iceberg, and possibly a late arriver at every event into the bargain (hence confabulations, among other things).

    Also, I'm not necessarily buying the conspiracy theory that the views of some about such things are only expressed to give them something to earn money writing about, at least not any more than anybody earning money writing about anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post
    Consequently we know that what we perceive is material.
    Your self is a material entity? Would that be a homunculus of some sort? List me all the properties of the self-thing. I won't even mention the holy spirit, or secular ghosts. There are entire TV networks devoted to and libraries full of reports of people perceiving both sorts of them through various senses. In fact, everyone will tell you they have this one specific, quite noisy one inside their heads all the time they're awake (between the ears and behind the eyes is where it usually lives) and yours will probably be 'talking' (to you or itself or whatever) right now. They are all of them widely experienced phenomena and apparently have been throughout recorded human history. But there probably aren't any such things, at least not beyond the sensation that there are.

    You seem to think that illusions are merely occasional human system malfunctions (our mutual friend Angra might throw the word 'minuscule' in there somewhere) when they may be fully-fledged and frequent, possibly permanent and intrinsic, human system functions which support the primary one (continued existence).

    Useful ones, probably. They say religious beliefs are like that. I'm not sure, but they're darned persistent things, and often good for your blood pressure and stress levels I read, and for social functioning. All important stuff if you want to thrive and survive, especially in a social species.
    Last edited by ruby sparks; 03-12-2020 at 11:25 AM.
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    Super Moderator ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post
    The only proof you have is your lack of it.
    I don't think proofs are on the list of available items, for either colour realism or any of the alternatives. All we can do is chinwag, ruminate and experiment, and hope to establish (or cite) some good evidence or arguments for or against. I think the matter is unresolved, so in the end, I'm only putting my neck firmly on the chopping block of saying to colour realists, 'hang on now, you might be wrong'.

    Plus, for the sake of argument, I'm defending an alternative view, and not even an uncommonly expressed one, especially among those who have devoted time to it. While allowing that I might be wrong instead. I'd like to think that if I find out colours are probably real (or as real as rocks or wavelengths let's say) that I can cope with that.
    Last edited by ruby sparks; 03-12-2020 at 11:59 AM.
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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post

    Yes, I remember you saying we can analyse and explain human stuff without bringing beliefs and attitudes into the discussion, and yet you yourself know that you do have them. Which is sort of like being hoist by your own paradigm petard.

    So what is your particular, preferred paradigm then? What concepts are you bent on preserving? Some form of mechanical behaviouralism? Something else? Paradigms are like arseholes, everybody has one.
    My particular paradigm is that what thought is thought of is found to be material after evidence is gathered and analysed. Matter rationally thought to be four substances is now determined to be several dozen instances of energy forming 118 atoms arranged into molecules found composing all things which in turn are found to be animated by those forms of energy. Similarly, such as soul has moved from organ to organ to finally windup as an engine driving an enriched amount of oxygen and nutrition via a vascular system of a being with a brain via which thought and action are guided by information received and processed from nine or more senses.

    We have much ad hoc jargon like those of mind, tought, instinct, and intuition yet to be repositioned within an empirical frame. Soul, like religion and God will never become empirical things, will remain as hubris, since they are already seen as faeries gumming up the works.

    Yes rational thought was an improvement on superstitious thought and even common sense thought. It lead to those items above becoming gathering places for study when empiricism became a more complete paradigm driver. So I need no ghosts, no homunculi, no rational lumps of clay. We just need time and advancing methods to find proper material answers like red is material since it is an evolutionary consequence of the result of photic energy piecewise found to be relevant. It is a concsequence of study of perception, just as with sound, being used in an empirically defined parsing way make use of that energy. It replaces all that we handwave as 'known' and purely mentally subjective in rational discourse.


    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    There you go again with the physical schmysical material shmaterial.

    No one is saying otherwise than that light is physical and material.

    But take the analogy with sound for example, the media disturbances were always there (when media existed) we presume, but for the vast majority of the eons of time that media (such as air for example) existed, the media disturbances just went about their business (winds blew, things were carried about in the lifeless universe, etc, and much later, even plants and other brainless organisms on a certain planet responded to vibrations) and didn't 'feel like something', because they didn't need to. There was no point. 'Sound' would have been a wasted, useless and pointless additional property for something to have or produce. Similarly, whatever physical, biological or chemical processes involving light are part of photosynthesis, the plants involved (which no one had to build and calibrate) go through them automatically and efficiently and without it feeling like anything, as far as we can reasonably tell.

    All of a sudden, in existence-of-the-universe terms, unusual lifeforms emerge for which things feel like something (colour, sound, pain, anger, love, hate....). Now this may help those particular new kids on the block to get through what life throws at them, but it says nothing about whether those properties of experience were always there beforehand. You can have a complete physicalist, materialist account of everything and not need anything to feel like something, and as far as we can reasonably tell, things didn't, for the vast majority of the time the universe existed. And most of the time they still don't, even for humans, given that consciousness may only be the tip of the brain processes iceberg, and possibly a late arriver at every event into the bargain (hence confabulations, among other things).

    Also, I'm not necessarily buying the conspiracy theory that the views of some about such things are only expressed to give them something to earn money writing about, at least not any more than anybody earning money writing about anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post
    Consequently we know that what we perceive is material.
    Your self is a material entity? Would that be a homunculus of some sort? List me all the properties of the self-thing. I won't even mention the holy spirit, or secular ghosts. There are entire TV networks devoted to and libraries full of reports of people perceiving both sorts of them through various senses. In fact, everyone will tell you they have this one specific, quite noisy one inside their heads all the time they're awake (between the ears and behind the eyes is where it usually lives) and yours will probably be 'talking' (to you or itself or whatever) right now. They are all of them widely experienced phenomena and apparently have been throughout recorded human history. But there probably aren't any such things, at least not beyond the sensation that there are.

    You seem to think that illusions are merely occasional human system malfunctions (our mutual friend Angra might throw the word 'minuscule' in there somewhere) when they may be fully-fledged and frequent, possibly permanent and intrinsic, human system functions which support the primary one (continued existence).

    Useful ones, probably. They say religious beliefs are like that. I'm not sure, but they're darned persistent things, and often good for your blood pressure and stress levels I read, and for social functioning. All important stuff if you want to thrive and survive, especially in a social species.
    I think my above response answers all you asked. As a betting person I'm putting all my money of what you, as a rationalist, might call double zero bet on the future of empirical knowledge. There is no all of a sudden, dualisms such as homunculus, or self, in any of this. IOW bye bye Descartes, welcome back Hume.

    In philosophy I'm pretty much in P.W. Bridgman's Operationalism camp https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/operationalism/ - see last paragraph of article.
    Last edited by fromderinside; 03-12-2020 at 06:48 PM.

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    Super Moderator ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post
    My particular paradigm is that what thought is thought of is found to be material after evidence is gathered and analysed. Matter rationally thought to be four substances is now determined to be several dozen instances of energy forming 118 atoms arranged into molecules found composing all things which in turn are found to be animated by those forms of energy. Similarly, such as soul has moved from organ to organ to finally windup as an engine driving an enriched amount of oxygen and nutrition via a vascular system of a being with a brain via which thought and action are guided by information received and processed from nine or more senses.

    We have much ad hoc jargon like those of mind, tought, instinct, and intuition yet to be repositioned within an empirical frame. Soul, like religion and God will never become empirical things, will remain as hubris, since they are already seen as faeries gumming up the works.

    Yes rational thought was an improvement on superstitious thought and even common sense thought. It lead to those items above becoming gathering places for study when empiricism became a more complete paradigm driver. So I need no ghosts, no homunculi, no rational lumps of clay. We just need time and advancing methods to find proper material answers like red is material since it is an evolutionary consequence of the result of photic energy piecewise found to be relevant. It is a concsequence of study of perception, just as with sound, being used in an empirically defined parsing way make use of that energy. It replaces all that we handwave as 'known' and purely mentally subjective in rational discourse.


    .............I think my above response answers all you asked. As a betting person I'm putting all my money of what you, as a rationalist, might call double zero bet on the future of empirical knowledge. There is no all of a sudden, dualisms such as homunculus, or self, in any of this. IOW bye bye Descartes, welcome back Hume.

    In philosophy I'm pretty much in P.W. Bridgman's Operationalism camp https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/operationalism/ - see last paragraph of article.
    Ok, I rarely understand much of what you say, but you should know that I put that down to your talking about things above my pay grade.

    I googled that article (for some reason I often find the Stanford articles don't explain things very well, to me, but again, that may be because the authors are writing above my pay grade) but I often find that if I go somewhere else I find articles that do seem to explain stuff to me.

    I can't grasp operationalism, but then I'm not familiar with it, or indeed with a lot of what underlies psychology, but I do see recurring ideas (and names) in your posts that all seem to be connected. I guessed behaviouralism, but apparently that was a miss.

    The paragraph on anger in the wiki page for 'Operationalism" came closest to helping me:

    "For example, a researcher may wish to measure the concept "anger." Its presence, and the depth of the emotion, cannot be directly measured by an outside observer because anger is intangible. Rather, other measures are used by outside observers, such as facial expression, choice of vocabulary, loudness and tone of voice; after Damasio, Lesion studies."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operationalization

    So, let me ask you, do you generally eschew things being described in 'mentalist' or subjective terms, is that it? You seek certainty, clarity, objectivity, measurements, even if that means that the things you measure are proxies?

    And if so (and I have very little confidence that I got the above right) does that inform a reluctance to even use the terms I've been using, such as 'mental experiences' and so on?
    "Let us hope that it is not so. Or if it is, let us pray that the fact does not become generally known."

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    I actually had a comment in there that I wasn't a Skinnerian operationalist, just a Bridgman operationalist holding sentiments he expressed in that concluding section and that authors of operationalism article suggested would make operationalism relevant again. However because of my limitations on embedding quoted material I wasn't able to get it done.

    As for the comment you quoted. It's incorrect. Anger can be calibrated using testosterone and adrenaline ratios along with blood pressure in many cases just as pilot workload can be calibrated against adrenaline and heart measures in landing and takeoff situations. It's just a matter of finding the right indices and situations along with proper understanding of human processes along with lots of moola. Look how far we're going to understand physical reality with programs like CERN hadron collider and newest space telescope to be launched in the near future.

    Let me suggest understanding and reducing mind to material descriptions will cost many times more than both of those programs. It will be worth it.

    Sometimes I go off the deep end into uncharted waters when I try to relate work with which I've been involved to these discussions. Almost no one has ever dealt with finding movment thresholds for continuously moving acoustic signals in an anechoic environment and performing detailed neuro-anatomical analysis via electron microscope of the cochlea and second order acoustic processing elements.

    To your comments I reject the idea of proxies, but, yes that's what I attempt to promote. Again. Yes I've tired of finding changing meaning of such as mental experience following the brain fart of someone purporting to bring new understanding with such rational statements in conversation of those thinking science got it all wrong. Look I've had to argue long and hard that both limits of intelligibility and determinacy are essentially the same materially.
    Last edited by fromderinside; 03-13-2020 at 05:40 AM.

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    Super Moderator ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post
    I actually had a comment in there that I wasn't a Skinnerian operationalist, just a Bridgman operationalist holding sentiments he expressed in that concluding section and that authors of operationalism article suggested would make operationalism relevant again. However because of my limitations on embedding quoted material I wasn't able to get it done.

    As for the comment you quoted. It's incorrect. Anger can be calibrated using testosterone and adrenaline ratios along with blood pressure in many cases just as pilot workload can be calibrated against adrenaline and heart measures in landing and takeoff situations. It's just a matter of finding the right indices and situations along with proper understanding of human processes along with lots of moola. Look how far we're going to understand physical reality with programs like CERN hadron collider and newest space telescope to be launched in the near future.

    Let me suggest understanding and reducing mind to material descriptions will cost many times more than both of those programs. It will be worth it.

    Sometimes I go off the deep end into uncharted waters when I try to relate work with which I've been involved to these discussions. Almost no one has ever dealt with finding movment thresholds for continuously moving acoustic signals in an anechoic environment and performing detailed neuro-anatomical analysis via electron microscope of the cochlea and second order acoustic processing elements.

    To your comments I reject the idea of proxies, but, yes that's what I attempt to promote. Again. Yes I've tired of finding changing meaning of such as mental experience following the brain fart of someone purporting to bring new understanding with such rational statements in conversation of those thinking science got it all wrong. Look I've had to argue long and hard that both limits of intelligibility and determinacy are essentially the same materially.
    Ok thanks. While again I don't understand all of that, I'm getting at least some idea of what you mean.

    Personally, I would feel confident that at least in principle, mind could be reduced to the material, and material descriptions. Mind-body dualism is off the menu, at least as regards supposed materiality and immateriality. When I say 'mental' I mean 'physical, material mental phenomena', or if you like, I only use the word 'mental' because I am talking about where they are (in the brain, or as you might say, in der inside).

    But getting back to the OP topic directly, let me explore something. I may not get it right as regards your operationalism.

    Suppose we seek to confirm that colour is a property of light. We measure all sorts of things and use lots of descriptors.

    Now suppose we seek to measure colour in the brain. Presumably, we are going to be measuring and describing completely different things.

    Would an operationalist not say that we are then dealing with two different concepts? Would that person not say something like,"well, whatever it is that we are measuring in the light, it is not the same thing that we are measuring in the brain". Which would be as much as to say that whatever the brain experience of red is, it is not the red that is out there. A lot of colour non-realists might be happy with that, albeit it's giving up any idea that brain red is not real. In the end, many colour non-realists, as I understand the claims, are perhaps really just saying that the red we experience is not out there. Some of them, I don't know, may have wooly ideas about the inside experience being in some way immaterial, but it isn't necessary and I wouldn't have those ideas.

    So, if I were to merely make the claim above, that the redness I experience does not exist in the outside world, operationalism would seem to support that claim. Or, with apologies for reiteration, I could say that if you are saying that redness is a property of light, you are talking about something else entirely.

    Whether the things that we would measure and describe as regards brain colours are in fact only proxies for what a brain colour is, I don't know. It would seem that in order to say that, we'd have to assert that there is 'something more' to brain colour than 'merely' all the things we measure or describe or understand about it. Sort of like the famous Mary's Room thought experiment.

    But we could say the same thing about external phenomena too, about light colour, or even gravity. maybe we never get to 'what something is' for anything.

    The thing about brain experiences is that they 'feel' so different, because we're having the experience of having them in the 1st person, of being inside the experienced phenomenon itself, as it were. Intuitively, we resist even the idea that anyone other than us could fully describe or measure the core experience in the 3rd person. That would involve the idea of there being 'private, VIP access only'. Whether that's a conceit or not I don't know.
    Last edited by ruby sparks; 03-13-2020 at 11:53 AM.
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    Super Moderator ruby sparks's Avatar
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    I have heard it said by some that people will generally accept that they know all they need to know about something when they have a good enough description, even if in truth, that isn't everything.

    The examples offered include biological life, and I would suggest gravity. There are probably others.

    It has been suggested that the supposed hard problem of consciousness (and by implication, brain colours) will at least not be seen as much of a problem when we have enough descriptors for it/them and the processes involved. In that sense, it could become a resolved issue (not because it actually has been resolved but because we feel we have no further significant conceptual uncertainties about it).

    And if we ever actually manufacture a robot or a computer program that has consciousness and conscious experiences (of, say, colour) the mystery will dissolve. There will be no room for either magik, or indeed philosophical chin-rubbing. So it is alleged.

    Personally, I'd tend to agree. If it gets to the point where we can buy conscious (colour-experiencing) robots made in Taiwan, from Amazon.com, and get them delivered to our house, most of us will probably move on to something that still seems more mysterious than that. I suspect that this would be because we tend to think there is 'something more' about us (what I sometimes call 'special sauce', or that we have a soul) than there would be about a robot we can mass-produce in a factory.

    Now, I would not rule out that such robots would eventually start their own religions. Lol.
    Last edited by ruby sparks; 03-13-2020 at 11:34 AM.
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    Super Moderator ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    Whether the things that we would measure and describe as regards brain colours are in fact only proxies for what a brain colour is, I don't know. It would seem that in order to say that, we'd have to assert that there is 'something more' to brain colour than 'merely' all the things we measure or describe or understand about it. Sort of like the famous Mary's Room thought experiment.
    Just on this. I have never been convinced by those who say that Mary would not have a brand new experience if she emerged from her monochrome world and saw red for the first time. People who were blind are astonished when they see (colours or shapes or anything). Saying that Mary knows everything there is to know about colour (without experiencing it) and so would not be surprised to see red does not seem to cut the mustard for me.

    So I am inclined to run with the idea that there is 'private VIP access', that there is a difference between knowledge about something that can be gained from descriptions and measurements, no matter how complete that is, and knowledge from brain experience. In other words that when it comes to (real, material) mental (brain) phenomena, we can only measure and describe proxies (or obtain and compare subjective reports)
    "Let us hope that it is not so. Or if it is, let us pray that the fact does not become generally known."

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    The main thing I get from the structure of material theory is that it serves as a toolkit for understanding the working of material things in a material world. It should, when properly applied, be capable of explaining one's "experience" in material terms. It matters not if one has had no experience in a colored world one would be able to understand and explain experience how color works when one is presented with the operations involved if one has the capacity to so experience it.

    Material law is about understanding the world in material terms regardless of individual experience. Mary just gains an experiential confirmation of material law when she finally is presented a color world with her color sensitive equipment. She had the capability all the time. If she didn't have the capability, she now has the capacity to construct sensing tools that let her perceive/experience it or at least understand why it works thus.

    If, by some incapacity of the species one does not sense, say, dark matter or energy then one is left with another problem in determining the material world, that of finding means to measure what needs to be measured to complete an understanding of the nature of the material world.

    I am confident we shall be able to get there just because we have already resolved the nature of empirical study which has lead us to the point where we know there is more out there to understand. Call me an operationalistic optimist.

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