[FoRK] Why is there any experience of it, at all? (was: GEB, etc.)

Elias Sinderson <elias at soe.ucsc.edu> on Tue Jul 10 08:59:59 PDT 2007

Lion Kimbro wrote:
> On 7/10/07, Elias Sinderson <elias at soe.ucsc.edu> wrote:
>> > But we CAN conceive of neurons firing like when there is an associated
>> > experience, but we can ALSO conceive of there not being an experience
>> > on the other end of it. Ergo, there's an explanatory gap.
>> There s only an explanatory gap if you assume that neural activity
>> implies associated experience. This is clearly not the case, hence no
>> explanatory gap.
>
>  Uh;...  There's nothing clear about it, Elias..! 

Okay, let's break it down then:

Story A
Assume: all neural activity implies associated experience.
Conceive of not having an experience on the other end of the neurons firing.
--> Contradiction that cannot be explained -- your 'explanatory gap'.

Story B
Assume: NOT all neural activity implies associated experience.
Conceive of not having an experience on the other end of the neurons firing.
No contradiction, no explanatory gap.

So, as far as I can tell, my story (that is, story B) checks out and 
leaves no explanatory gap. If your inquiry is as to how some neural 
activity registers as conscious experience, while other neural activity 
doesn't, then I refer you to my earlier analogy with heat -- sometimes 
the neural activity simply doesn't register as 'active enough' to 
warrant 'attention' or cause the formation of memory of the event...


Regards,
Elias

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