philosophy of mind

James Teo james at teoth.fsnet.co.uk
Fri Jan 4 14:50:13 EST 2002


Previous stuff on free will and desires snipped out, because I totally
agree with it.

Guilfoylemr at cardiff.ac.uk (Mathew Guilfoyle) wrote:
>The same goes for qualia.  Imagine you were a philosophical zombie
>with no qualia.  However you visual system did give you all the
>information it had about the world for you to roam around frightening
>people in safety. So you would know that there is a tree in front of
>you and that its leaves are green and its bark has a texture, and
>there is a bird in the tree.  Take this as far as you can, and in the
>end you have qualia - knowing the world around you.  But nothing
>special or mystical.  No representation to a soul - just judgements
>and knowledege of the world.

I disagree here because I think you gloss over a step in your
argument: the link between information and knowledge. Your visual
system may relay and represent the information but how the brain
transforms the representation into knowledge of the visual world (ie.
qualia or the feeling of what happens) is not easily answered, and is
in fact the central philosophical issue of qualia. While I believe
that it is not an insurmountable obstacle, it remains a valid
criticism of existing neuroscience.

I don't think the mystical soul is implicit in word, qualia.




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