[Serious Phil] Rejecting the Hypothesis of Phenomenal Information
justintruth at hotmail.com
Tue Jun 26 05:18:10 CDT 2012
> As in what is consciousness? Oh yes, it's an information processing system of a certain type (see brains). If that's all it is, you don't need to go any further in the search for an answer. No need to posit "extra ingredients", souls, co-existing non-physical realities, etc. That is, there's no need, in such a case to posit dualism.
I think you have to be careful SWM. For a long time, based on your writing things like this, I did not realize that you are in fact a self-described dualist and that you have no problem with certain forms of dualism. You stated explicitly that you do not deny dualism and posit two kinds of properties, those "that are physically observable" and those others that are not.
Most information processing systems are conceived of as having only the first kind of property - those that are physically observable. Your idea is that the brain requires an additional type of property to describe experience, and that limiting the word "physical" only to what is "physically observable" is to unduly constrain the term "physical". You also have stated that it is not just the motion of the components of the brain but the consciousness is a "higher level" function.
So when you say that you "don't need to go any further" it is only because you have already gone all, or nearly all the way. The problem with writing a paragraph like that is that it can mislead your reader into believing that you haven't. Then only when asked to clarify over several posts will you will say you don't mean what can easily be thought by reading such a paragraph.
Specifically you can seem to mean that experience is explained only by physically observable properties and that there is no need to posit properties that are not physically observable. Or you can be seen to mean that the "physics of a brain" refers only to "physically observable properties" of a brain - its components and the motion of them. But you have stated that there are physical properties of a brain that are not physically observable and that you do not "deny experience" which you agree is not "physically observable".
You have to avoid being like the sideshow barker that promises that inside the tent is this wonderful thing (a complete non-dual explanation) and then you go inside and study it and find that, yes, technically he can make an argument that that was what he meant but, but its just not what he seemed to mean outside.
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