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3 added quote from Chalmers, tried to clarify and focus my question
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How do people like Searle and Chalmers If qualia are "something extra" to explain why, isn't it weird that the human brain produces speech about qualia?

This question is mainly directed at people who are firm physicalists (as opposed to dualists) but still think qualia are "something extra to be explained". According to my understanding,I believe Searle and Chalmers both fall into this category. For them, although qualia are somehow (somewhat mysteriously) explained by physical processes, qualia are also "something extra": writing down all the equations of physics would not immediately reveal what redness is like, for instance.

My question is thisChalmers writes: how do people like Searle and Chalmers explain why the human brain produces speech about qualia?

The easy problems of consciousness include those of explaining the following phenomena: the ability to discriminate, categorize, and react to environmental stimuli; the integration of information by a cognitive system; the reportability of mental states; the ability of a system to access its own internal states; the focus of attention; the deliberate control of behavior; the difference between wakefulness and sleep.

...

There is no real issue about whether these phenomena can be explained scientifically. All of them are straightforwardly vulnerable to explanation in terms of computational or neural mechanisms. To explain access and reportability, for example, we need only specify the mechanism by which information about internal states is retrieved and made available for verbal report.

...

The really hard problem of consciousness is the problem of experience. When we think and perceive, there is a whir of information-processing, but there is also a subjective aspect. As Nagel (1974) has put it, there is something it is like to be a conscious organism.

...

It is undeniable that some organisms are subjects of experience. But the question of how it is that these systems are subjects of experience is perplexing. Why is it that when our cognitive systems engage in visual and auditory information-processing, we have visual or auditory experience: the quality of deep blue, the sensation of middle C? How can we explain why there is something it is like to entertain a mental image, or to experience an emotion? It is widely agreed that experience arises from a physical basis, but we have no good explanation of why and how it so arises. Why should physical processing give rise to a rich inner life at all? It seems objectively unreasonable that it should, and yet it does.

Most people (including Searle and Chalmers, I think) would agree thatUnderstanding how the brain reports internal states is, a physical objectaccording to Chalmers, can be described by the equationsone of physicsthe "easy problems". Once neuroscience matures

In particular, weone day science will be able to observeoffer a series ofdetailed physical processes indescription of the activity of Chalmers' brain culminating in speech about qualiawhile he was writing this very essay about qualia. Won't this make it very hard to argue that qualia need extra explaining?

To rephrase this slightly:My observation is that our puzzlement over qualia is a neurobiological process - one that culminates in speech acts, and one that will eventually be possible to examinethat's very weird. Once

Think of the situation we understandwould find ourselves in: we would have scientific theory that explained in detail what neurons are firing that lead to Chalmers' fingers clacking away on a keyboard and typing an essay on qualia. We would see inside Chalmers' brain and see areas that represent an understanding of the physical basislaws of our ownphysics, areas that represent visual stimuli, areas that conduct logic and reasoning, and finally areas that represent confusion and puzzlement. All these areas would act in concert to cause him to write: "Why should physical processing give rise to a rich inner life at all? It seems objectively unreasonable that it should, and yet it does."

This is a really bizarre state of affairs! Chalmers is claiming that the "rich inner life" is somehow "something extra" in addition to or arising out of the whole philosophical discussionlaws of qualiaphysics. But the laws of physics can perfectly well explain the physical processes that cause him to physically utter that claim. To me, what's leftthis severely undercuts how seriously we should take Chalmers claim that there really is "something extra" to explain?.

I'm assuming this objectionobservation has been raised (perhaps it falls under the category of epiphenomenalism?)before. I'm mainly interested in how thinkers like Searle or Chalmers have addressed this typeIt has a similar flavor to epiphenomenalist claims that theories of argumentconsciousness play no explanatory role because pure physical accounts can explain all observables already.

EDIT: My question is slightly different from run-of-the-mill epiphenomenalist arguments, which apply to any acts, not just speech acts about qualia. The reason I think this case is interesting is that with other acts,How have thinkers like moving your hand, Searle and Chalmers can retort, "Even though neuroscience shows why my hand moves, I still feel as though I experience qualia." With a neuroscientific understanding of speech acts about qualia, we could basically discount that particular retort (by peeking at the neurological explanation foror Searle have addressed it)., or how do you think they would?

How do people like Searle and Chalmers explain why the human brain produces speech about qualia?

This question is mainly directed at people who are firm physicalists (as opposed to dualists) but still think qualia are "something extra to be explained". According to my understanding, Searle and Chalmers fall into this category. For them, although qualia are somehow (somewhat mysteriously) explained by physical processes, qualia are also "something extra": writing down all the equations of physics would not immediately reveal what redness is like, for instance.

My question is this: how do people like Searle and Chalmers explain why the human brain produces speech about qualia?

Most people (including Searle and Chalmers, I think) would agree that the brain, a physical object, can be described by the equations of physics. Once neuroscience matures, we will be able to observe a series of physical processes in the brain culminating in speech about qualia. Won't this make it very hard to argue that qualia need extra explaining?

To rephrase this slightly: our puzzlement over qualia is a neurobiological process - one that culminates in speech acts, and one that will eventually be possible to examine. Once we understand the physical basis of our own puzzlement and of the whole philosophical discussion of qualia, what's left to explain?

I'm assuming this objection has been raised (perhaps it falls under the category of epiphenomenalism?). I'm mainly interested in how thinkers like Searle or Chalmers have addressed this type of argument.

EDIT: My question is slightly different from run-of-the-mill epiphenomenalist arguments, which apply to any acts, not just speech acts about qualia. The reason I think this case is interesting is that with other acts, like moving your hand, Searle and Chalmers can retort, "Even though neuroscience shows why my hand moves, I still feel as though I experience qualia." With a neuroscientific understanding of speech acts about qualia, we could basically discount that particular retort (by peeking at the neurological explanation for it).

If qualia are "something extra" to explain, isn't it weird that the brain produces speech about qualia?

This question is mainly directed at people who are firm physicalists (as opposed to dualists) but still think qualia are "something extra to be explained". I believe Searle and Chalmers both fall into this category.

Chalmers writes:

The easy problems of consciousness include those of explaining the following phenomena: the ability to discriminate, categorize, and react to environmental stimuli; the integration of information by a cognitive system; the reportability of mental states; the ability of a system to access its own internal states; the focus of attention; the deliberate control of behavior; the difference between wakefulness and sleep.

...

There is no real issue about whether these phenomena can be explained scientifically. All of them are straightforwardly vulnerable to explanation in terms of computational or neural mechanisms. To explain access and reportability, for example, we need only specify the mechanism by which information about internal states is retrieved and made available for verbal report.

...

The really hard problem of consciousness is the problem of experience. When we think and perceive, there is a whir of information-processing, but there is also a subjective aspect. As Nagel (1974) has put it, there is something it is like to be a conscious organism.

...

It is undeniable that some organisms are subjects of experience. But the question of how it is that these systems are subjects of experience is perplexing. Why is it that when our cognitive systems engage in visual and auditory information-processing, we have visual or auditory experience: the quality of deep blue, the sensation of middle C? How can we explain why there is something it is like to entertain a mental image, or to experience an emotion? It is widely agreed that experience arises from a physical basis, but we have no good explanation of why and how it so arises. Why should physical processing give rise to a rich inner life at all? It seems objectively unreasonable that it should, and yet it does.

Understanding how the brain reports internal states is, according to Chalmers, one of the "easy problems".

In particular, one day science will offer a detailed physical description of the activity of Chalmers' brain while he was writing this very essay about qualia.

My observation is that that's very weird.

Think of the situation we would find ourselves in: we would have scientific theory that explained in detail what neurons are firing that lead to Chalmers' fingers clacking away on a keyboard and typing an essay on qualia. We would see inside Chalmers' brain and see areas that represent an understanding of the laws of physics, areas that represent visual stimuli, areas that conduct logic and reasoning, and finally areas that represent confusion and puzzlement. All these areas would act in concert to cause him to write: "Why should physical processing give rise to a rich inner life at all? It seems objectively unreasonable that it should, and yet it does."

This is a really bizarre state of affairs! Chalmers is claiming that the "rich inner life" is somehow "something extra" in addition to or arising out of the laws of physics. But the laws of physics can perfectly well explain the physical processes that cause him to physically utter that claim. To me, this severely undercuts how seriously we should take Chalmers claim that there really is "something extra" to explain.

I'm assuming this observation has been raised before. It has a similar flavor to epiphenomenalist claims that theories of consciousness play no explanatory role because pure physical accounts can explain all observables already.

How have thinkers like Chalmers or Searle have addressed it, or how do you think they would?

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This question is mainly directed at people who are firm physicalists (as opposed to dualists) but still think qualia are "something extra to be explained". According to my understanding, Searle and Chalmers fall into this category. For them, although qualia are somehow (somewhat mysteriously) explained by physical processes, qualia are also "something extra": writing down all the equations of physics would not immediately reveal what redness is like, for instance.

My question is this: how do people like Searle and Chalmers explain why the human brain produces speech about qualia?

Most people (including Searle and Chalmers, I think) would agree that the brain, a physical object, can be described by the equations of physics. Once neuroscience matures, we will be able to observe a series of physical processes in the brain culminating in speech about qualia. Won't this make it very hard to argue that qualia need extra explaining?

To rephrase this slightly: our puzzlement over qualia is a neurobiological process - one that culminates in speech acts, and one that will eventually be possible to examine. Once we understand the physical basis of our own puzzlement and of the whole philosophical discussion of qualia, what's left to explain?

I'm assuming this objection has been raised (perhaps it falls under the category of epiphenomenalism?). I'm mainly interested in how thinkers like Searle or Chalmers have addressed this type of argument.

EDIT: My question is slightly different from run-of-the-mill epiphenomenalist arguments, which apply to any acts, not just speech acts about qualia. The reason I think this case is interesting is that with other acts, like moving your hand, Searle and Chalmers can retort, "Even though neuroscience shows why my hand moves, I still feel as though I experience qualia." With a neuroscientific understanding of speech acts about qualia, we could basically discount that particular retort (by peeking at the neurological explanation for it).

This question is mainly directed at people who are firm physicalists (as opposed to dualists) but still think qualia are "something extra to be explained". According to my understanding, Searle and Chalmers fall into this category. For them, although qualia are somehow (somewhat mysteriously) explained by physical processes, qualia are also "something extra": writing down all the equations of physics would not immediately reveal what redness is like, for instance.

My question is this: how do people like Searle and Chalmers explain why the human brain produces speech about qualia?

Most people (including Searle and Chalmers, I think) would agree that the brain, a physical object, can be described by the equations of physics. Once neuroscience matures, we will be able to observe a series of physical processes in the brain culminating in speech about qualia. Won't this make it very hard to argue that qualia need extra explaining?

To rephrase this slightly: our puzzlement over qualia is a neurobiological process - one that culminates in speech acts, and one that will eventually be possible to examine. Once we understand the physical basis of our own puzzlement and of the whole philosophical discussion of qualia, what's left to explain?

I'm assuming this objection has been raised (perhaps it falls under the category of epiphenomenalism?). I'm mainly interested in how thinkers like Searle or Chalmers have addressed this type of argument.

This question is mainly directed at people who are firm physicalists (as opposed to dualists) but still think qualia are "something extra to be explained". According to my understanding, Searle and Chalmers fall into this category. For them, although qualia are somehow (somewhat mysteriously) explained by physical processes, qualia are also "something extra": writing down all the equations of physics would not immediately reveal what redness is like, for instance.

My question is this: how do people like Searle and Chalmers explain why the human brain produces speech about qualia?

Most people (including Searle and Chalmers, I think) would agree that the brain, a physical object, can be described by the equations of physics. Once neuroscience matures, we will be able to observe a series of physical processes in the brain culminating in speech about qualia. Won't this make it very hard to argue that qualia need extra explaining?

To rephrase this slightly: our puzzlement over qualia is a neurobiological process - one that culminates in speech acts, and one that will eventually be possible to examine. Once we understand the physical basis of our own puzzlement and of the whole philosophical discussion of qualia, what's left to explain?

I'm assuming this objection has been raised (perhaps it falls under the category of epiphenomenalism?). I'm mainly interested in how thinkers like Searle or Chalmers have addressed this type of argument.

EDIT: My question is slightly different from run-of-the-mill epiphenomenalist arguments, which apply to any acts, not just speech acts about qualia. The reason I think this case is interesting is that with other acts, like moving your hand, Searle and Chalmers can retort, "Even though neuroscience shows why my hand moves, I still feel as though I experience qualia." With a neuroscientific understanding of speech acts about qualia, we could basically discount that particular retort (by peeking at the neurological explanation for it).

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source | link

How do people like Searle and Chalmers explain why the human brain produces speech about qualia?

This question is mainly directed at people who are firm physicalists (as opposed to dualists) but still think qualia are "something extra to be explained". According to my understanding, Searle and Chalmers fall into this category. For them, although qualia are somehow (somewhat mysteriously) explained by physical processes, qualia are also "something extra": writing down all the equations of physics would not immediately reveal what redness is like, for instance.

My question is this: how do people like Searle and Chalmers explain why the human brain produces speech about qualia?

Most people (including Searle and Chalmers, I think) would agree that the brain, a physical object, can be described by the equations of physics. Once neuroscience matures, we will be able to observe a series of physical processes in the brain culminating in speech about qualia. Won't this make it very hard to argue that qualia need extra explaining?

To rephrase this slightly: our puzzlement over qualia is a neurobiological process - one that culminates in speech acts, and one that will eventually be possible to examine. Once we understand the physical basis of our own puzzlement and of the whole philosophical discussion of qualia, what's left to explain?

I'm assuming this objection has been raised (perhaps it falls under the category of epiphenomenalism?). I'm mainly interested in how thinkers like Searle or Chalmers have addressed this type of argument.