Re: Bruno's argument

From: Brent Meeker <>
Date: Sat, 22 Jul 2006 21:02:01 -0700

1Z wrote:
> Brent Meeker wrote:
>>In other words it is not justified, based on our limited understanding of brains, to say we'll never
>>be able to know how another feels based on observation of their brain.
> We don't know how insects or amoebae feel, either.
> It is not just an issue of complexity.
> We don't knw where to *start* with qualia.

We know where to start when it comes to knowing how other people feel, i.e. we empathize. If we
knew how our brain worked and how the brain of our friend worked, then we could correlate the
empathized feeling with the brain events. This doesn't mean we would experience our friends
feeling, but we could produce a mapping between his brain processes and his (inferred) feelings. Of
course we wouldn't *know* this was right - but scientific knowledge is always uncertain, so I don't
see that as a objection to calling it knowledge. Then there are homologous structures in our
friends brain to those in a chimpanzee's brain and there are similar behavoirs - so I think we could
extend our map to the feelings of a chimpanzee. Of course with some really alien life form, say an
octopus, this would be difficult to test empirically - but not, I think, impossible.

Brent Meeker

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at
Received on Sun Jul 23 2006 - 00:04:04 PDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:11 PST