Re: Dreaming On

From: Flammarion <>
Date: Mon, 31 Aug 2009 08:05:53 -0700 (PDT)

On 30 Aug, 22:21, David Nyman <> wrote:
> 2009/8/28 Brent Meeker <>:
> > Ok, so you want to solve the "hard problem" right at the beginning by
> > taking conscious thoughts as the basic elements of your ontology.
> No I don't - that's why I said I'd rather not use the word
> consciousness. What I have in mind at this point in the argument is a
> primitive, not an elaborated, notion - like PM vis-a-vis materialism,
> or AR vis-a-vis comp.

Then it is going to meet similar objections: we do not introspect a
featureless Primary Consciousness, we introspect a kaleidoscope of
thoughts sensations and moods.

> It's more an attempt to characterise our
> metaphysical *situation*: i.e. the intuition that it is enduring,
> immediate, self-referential and self-relative. Actually, reflecting
> on exchanges with Bruno, I wonder if one might well say that this
> position is globally solipsistic.

That reads like a contradiction in terms to me

>Just as we intuit the first person
> as a stubbornly solipsistic,

does that include the 99.99% of people who intuit that
solipsism is crazy?

>self-referential, self-reflecting
> attractor in an otherwise unconscious flux, we can intuit the
> integration of all such perspectives as a truly global solipsism.

> The attribution of 'conscious' and 'unconscious' can then be seen
> relative to perspective.

But if everything is conscious, then a lot of the attributions
are false

> The solipsism is justified in each
> perspectives' assessment of itself as uniquely conscious, simply
> because this is true relative to its own self-reflection; what lies
> behind the mirror's surface is no longer self but 'other' (or IOW
> one's generalised 'unconscious').


Look, if there is more than one consciousness then solipsism
is false, and it is therefore unjustified.

>But the saving grace is that this
> can be intuited as equally true for all other perspectives.

> from this though, there is more to be said on the subject of
> instantiation, which is what I think Chalmers is really driving at -
> see below.
> > But you could suppose that all
> > possible (logically consistent) monads exist and then try to solve the
> > white rabbit problem, why do some things happen and others don't (at
> > least apparently).
> I don't of course have any special insight here, other than the
> obvious comment that there appear to be two approaches: contingent and
> everythingist, each with its characteristic problems. We can only
> hope that there may in the end be an empirical resolution to this.
> >> "Once a fundamental link between information and experience is on the
> >> table,
> > I don't know what that means.
> I'm afraid I must refer you to the original:
> > ?? Is momentum an intrinsic or extrinsic property of an electron? What
> > about spin? I'm not sure this 'extrinsic'/'intrinsic' distinction means
> > anything.
> Well, you must be the judge. Either it doesn't mean anything, or it
> means everything. Of course words are not in themselves realities.
> Whatever exists presumably does not "possess properties" whether
> extrinsic or intrinsic.

Why on earth not?

> But we may take 'intrinsic' as a bare
> solipsistic self-reference,

That isn't even remotely what chalmers means.

>and 'extrinsic' to refer to any further
> conceptual attribution whatsoever. Under this characterisation, any
> description or formulation of spin is an extrinsic reference, but the
> implied solipsistic self-reference is intrinsic. In the philosophic
> tradition, I suppose intrinsic could also be seen - more or less - as
> referring to Kant's "ding an sich selbst", as long as this is
> understood as encompassing appearance within its ambit.

It just mean non-relational.

> When Chalmers characterises 'experiential properties' as intrinsic, I
> would translate this as a claim about instantiation, and indirectly
> about substitution level. What he's saying essentially is that the
> fundamental 'entities' of physics, characterised purely extrinsically,
> are content-less placeholders for algebraic relationships. For such
> extrinsically-defined relata to be instantiated solipsistically


> necessitates translation through the filter of an appropriate theory
> into intrinsic differentiables (e.g. hypothesised as 'number' in the
> case of AR). The intrinsicality points to the fact that we lack the
> means to characterise such differentiables inter-subjectively, except
> ostensively.


No, he's just talking about properties of individuals that
are in fact entirely "proper" to those individuals and
not a realtion to something else.

> They are the domain of the "true but not provable"
> precisely in that they *constitute* a level of instantiation. What
> can be abstracted from that level is restricted to its extrinsic
> relationships, but these can be re-instantiated, and consequently
> facsimiles of the original can subsequently be referred to by
> ostension.
> The notion of substitution level itself stands in need of more complex
> elaboration. For example the emergence of persons and their
> distinctive appearances can be seen as supervening indirectly on a
> primitively differentiable solipsistic substrate only through many
> layers - i.e. substitution levels - of complexity (e.g. via the UD
> mechanism in the case of comp).
> David don't half like interjecting the word "solipsistic" into
other people's ideas.
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Received on Mon Aug 31 2009 - 08:05:53 PDT

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