The Fan

August 6, 2007

It’s pretty hot and stuffy lately so I’ve got one of those big stand up fans blowing on me at night. It’s pretty loud but I’m a deep sleeper so it doesn’t really bother me that much. Lately I’ve been waking upĀ up two or three times during the night for a minute or so. Somehow, I have it in my mind to attend to the noise of that fan as soon as I wake. I wake up, and for the space of some undetermined amount of time I hear nothing but I know there is a fan there making noise and I know that I’m awake. And then after this small amount of time, I’ll hear the fan. I swear if fades in, but I need to pay closer attention to be sure about that.

Qualia: A rip off Post

August 2, 2007

I just barely got a password going again to access my account. That’s how lazy I can be. Pete’s blog, Brain Hammer led me to this post on splintered mind:


I could just comment over there, but since I can’t think of anything to say and I feel I need to write a post, I’ll just respond here. I liked this post a lot. If I’m unpacking it right, here’s the issue:

You’ve got qualia, full-blown non-physical perceptions that can be inverted and so on independent of the physical world.

You’ve got zero-qualia, the Dennett kind which are psychological judgements we make about ‘experience’ which leads us to believe there is full-blown qualia.

Then you’ve got this weird critter, diet qualia. This, he argues, is the physicalist compromise. The “what-it’s-like” qualia. Now, as I understand Nagel, this “what-it’s like” stuff, difficult as it may be for us to comprehend, could one day become tractable via bridge laws.

But just what are diet qualia, anyway? How are they different from zero qualia?

One (non) answer is that it’s a placeholder. Dualism seems too rash and elimitivism seems to harsh, so there’s got to be a physical explanation. Diet qualia: it don’t put on pounds (multiply entities) yet keeps all the great taste you’ve grown to love drinking classic!

We won’t know how diet qualia can be something other that subjective raw feels, because we don’t have that first bridge law yet.