Re: Are First Person prime?

From: 1Z <>
Date: Sat, 12 Aug 2006 15:40:55 -0000

David Nyman wrote:

> 1Z wrote:
> > Why shouldn't they denote that ? And what has that to do with
> > substances ?
> > The inside/outside distinction can be asserted is a single-substance
> > universe. The inside/outside distinction is enough to found the 1st/3rd
> > person divide, what
> > do you need a multiplicity of substances for.
> I agree. I was setting it up to knock it down.
> > It is not clear why they should be that fact. For one thing,
> > qualia seem not be structures in themselves. For another
> > the perceiver-perceptual-model is 3rd-personal comprehensible
> > and therefore part of the Easy problem. So you are simply
> > declaring that the HP rides on the back of the EP, for
> > reasons that canoot be undeerstood within the EP -- just as
> > Chalmers does.
> I don't see why you're resistant to the idea that qualia could have a
> structural aspect.

1) the don't seem to have, and they *are* what they seem
2) they are incommunicable in mathematical, and hence
sructrural terms.

> For one thing, they seem to be systematically
> correlated with physical phenomena (light, sound) which are structural/
> relational.

Correlation is not identity.

> Also, they seem experientially (at least to me) to display
> mutual distributive relations that are analogous to, say, the frequency
> distribution of the colour spectrum.

Mutual relations are not internal relations. Purple
lies between red and blue, but being told that
doens't tell you what purple looks like unless you
already know what red and blue look like. Realtional
information about colours does not convey the colours

> So I don't see the suggestion that
> different qualia are different structural modulations of a substrate as
> so counter-intuitive.

If that were the case, there would be no HP, and threfore no
need for any first-personness worth arguing about.

> As to HP 'riding on the back of' EP, I'd rather put it that they are
> correlated, but probably don't map in a simple, one-to-one, 'identity'
> relation.

That is still pure Chalmers -- natural supervenience is not identity,
after all.

> If this is simply 'neutral monism', so be it. Insofar that
> have been disagreeing over terminology, this is entirely fruitless, and
> we should try not to dispute any more over words. Perhaps I could
> replace the form of words 'global 1st person primitivity' with 'global
> neutral (0-person if you like) primitivity', as long as this is
> understood to be the backgound from which 1st-persons, under suitable
> conditions, emerge.

If you are going to continue being unable to specify what is
personal about your primordial 1st peson, then that would
be better, yes.

> > AFAIC that amounts to saying they supervene on the physical --
> > on the 0-personal.
> No, that's going too far, IMO. I'd rather have them both mapping onto a
> neutral substrate that is basic.

AFAICS, that *is* supervening. What do you think
supervening is ?

> As I concede above, we could call this
> 0-personal, but this is surely not baldly equivalent to 'physical'.
> Just as we schematise the physical into chemical, biological,
> physiological levels etc, there may be analogous but different
> 'experiential layering' supporting the emergence of the conscious
> modalities we in fact encounter.

If they are not all just structure, there must be, yes.

The claim of physicalism (as opposed to materialism, or
neutral monism) is that everything is just
structured matter, and that all the layers reduce to

> > >and
> > > different types of structure yield different types of qualia.
> >
> > How and why ?
> How - by relational modulation of the 0-personal substrate.

If you modulate a bunch of relations , you get another bunch
of relations. That is no departure from reductive physicalism.

> Why -
> because of the infinite (or at least Vast) possibilities of modalities,
> range, etc. inherent in this, on the analogy of the physical/
> relational correlates (light, sound, taste, etc).
> > That would be equally true of a 0-personal substance, ie matter.
> But a 'neutral (0-personal?) substrate' is not a rigidly 'physical'
> one, if that's what you intend by 'matter'.

It all depends on what you mean by physical. For me,
what physicalism means beyond materialism is that
all properties are quantitiative and relational. A consequence
is that there is no layering of any significant kind.

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 Sat Aug 12 2006 - 11:42:57 PDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:12 PST