Re: Dual-Aspect Science

From: Colin Geoffrey Hales <>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2006 07:17:27 +1000 (EST)

David Nyman:
> Colin Geoffrey Hales wrote:
>> Perspectival Ubiquity
>> From the perspective of any one instance of S(.) within the structure, no
>> matter how huge and complex it is, there is a 'perspective' view of any
other point in the structure. That 'view' is the view that is 'as-if'
>> walked all the way down to the bottom of the hierarchy to a common
ancestor (parent) S(.) element and then walked all the way up the
structure to the S(.) that you are viewing from wherever you were. This
>> a direct causal chain. Connected/organised S(.) literally are
>> causality/causal chains.
>> This property is inherent or intrinsic or innate to any structure of S(.),
>> regardless of the details of S(.). I posit that this 'visibility', or
>> least the potential for it, is fundamental to the generation of qualia.
> Yes, good language. 'This visibility, or at least the potential for it',
is the heart of my intuitions about the primacy of the 1st-person - i.e.
'I' am an indexical lens on a manifestly/ ubiqitously/
> unmediatedly/ relflexively/ revealingly behaving 1st-person gestalt
(badly needs abbreviating, but all the adverbs are required).

OK. Let's go with this explanation for the 'potential' for a view as
instrinsic to the structure.

Remember: in this model of reality one organisation of S(.) is space,
another and atom, another a scientist inclusive of yet another called
qualia. All the same.

>> If one S(.) has some sort of proto-experience, then cohorts of S(.) acting
>> coherently will combine their proto-experiences in the manner of the
collective behaviour of the cohort.
>> Having arrived at this point we have said nothing about the nature of
"what it is like" i.e. that the visibility thus conferred has any
particular quality to it..light, sound, taste and so on. You can
>> this is being cohorts of S(.) behaving in different ways for different
subjective qualities.
> Yes, this is in essence what I've been trying to express in my dialogue
with Peter, where I've used 'structure' as the static equivalent of
'behaviour'. He doesn't believe that qualia have this aspect of
> structure or behaviour, and I'm not sure how debatable this is
> indexically, but IMO it's strongly suggested by experiential
> correlation with physical processes.

I think Peter's blockage may be the usual...difficulty imagining how space
and matter can be differently organised collections of the same primitive.
When any 'matter' behaves at the top of the hierarchy it drages the entire
hierarchy with it. At some deep layer space and the matter become an
expression of a common parent. Imagine making a universe out of lots of
identical elastic bands. You'd have to make structure for a) space and
then structures called b) matter that can move around in it. The only way
you could do this is by inventing some sort of common parent structure
that enables a) to move around inside b) naturally.

What would elastic band qualia look like? Imagine how you would contrive
an elastic band qualia in an elastic band scientist.

> The fundamental
> 'what-it's-likeness' of cohorts (or modalities) of qualia is
> incommunicable, though not incommensurable, because they are the
instantiation of information, not information itself, which is
> abstracted from their structural/ behavioural relations. This primary
representation appears analogically (i.e. what it's *like*) with
digital-ness a second-order derivation (using analogic qualia as bits).

My simplified language for this would be that qualia are simply a
measurement spoken into your head by the structure. All qualia are 'about'
the rest of the structure. The measurement does not have to be accurate.
It merely has to be repeatable. Lets say we see an omnidirectional field
of redness when in the presence of an elephant. This is our perception of
elephantness. Have we correctly depicted an elephant in any way? Nope.
It's 100% innacurate in that regard. Are we able to know conclusively we
are in the presence of an elephant? Absolutely.

What is important is that in the above weird universe of perception we
would not call the experience redness. We'd call it 'elephantness'. This
experience is our entire and only reality. The production of
'elephantness' qualia is the only reality owned by the perceiver. The
issue of the intrinsic privacy of that measurement is irrelevant to this.
The issue of intentionality - the 'aboutness' of the experience - as to
whether it applies to 'self' or 'not-self', is merely one of organisation.
I could look at my hand and get a 'redness' field. It's up to me to
somehow discriminate my hand from an elephant. More/different qualia are
needed...and so on.

>> B) The structure expresses a quale. The structure behaves quale-ly.
>> the perspective of being the structure that does this behaviour quale-ness
>> is experienced. In the direction of the quale is perceived a
>> 'perspective
>> view' of character 'qualeness'. (tough language, this!) This is
>> but has intentionality. It is intrinsically 'about' something
> Yes, this reiterates the point about analogy or metaphor. Language is
rooted in metaphor, and the 'what-is-it-like?' regression has to
originate somewhere. This point of origin is the 'like this!'
> character of 'qualeness'.
> David

Bless Thomas Nagel for showing us the poet's cul-de-sac!

To me metaphor is far more. IMO you could literally replace the word
'metaphor' with the words 'associative memory'. You can literally replace
the word 'metaphor' for perception. The former has no intrinsic
experiential qualities (until recall) and the latter literally is
experiential quality.

This includes all scientific laws. Scientific laws correlate appearances
in a percptual slice across the structure that our brains deliver to us as
experience. That the law may usefully predict the behaviour within the
perceptual field is merely that. a useful property of the underlying
structure in the context of a human made of it, perceiving it. No more.

Which brings us back to 'dual aspect' science, of course. The science of
the structure aspect that describes the structure that then....delivers
appearances (experienced qualia as metaphors for the structure) and the
science of apearances that give us our usual empirical laws (as metaphors
for the contents of the appearances).

Notice we're making a whole bunch of progress here without talking about
quantum mechanics or computation, but by just looking at what is going on
in ourselves and around us and describing it simply? :-)


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Received on Tue Aug 15 2006 - 17:19:36 PDT

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