LECTURE 5 Blindsight continued;
-Patient given letter to post in a slot they can see but they can in fact
correctly post the letter into the slot.
-Patient can catch a ball that is thrown into their blind area
- This is due to having an old and new visual system so when the
new system breaks down the old one kicks back into working.
Imagine a possible world that contains blindsighted creatures but they
can still function visually as we do. They can go to the bus stop, read a
book, ect. No conscious awareness of the world but can function like us.
They are called “Zombies”.
Find more info at; http://consc.net/zombies.html
If a tree falls down but there is no-one there to hear it, does it still make
- Does a tree make a sound when it hits the ground?
Yes, vibrations = sound produced, they occur whether an observer is
present or not.
No, sound = experience and if there is no observer = no experience =
experience doesn’t exist.
IF YOU ARE ON DRUGS IT DOESN’T COUNT.
When vibrations are made you have private inner sensations, 2
elements to theory of hearing; outer = vibrations in air (physical)
inner = internal experiences (conscious)
Case 1a; Auditory Perceptions
Vibrations in air striking ear drum and consequent electrical activity in
your auditory nerves, it’s your experience of the sound
Case 1b; Nauseous Feelings
Rotting fish - molecules of fish reach your sensory apparatus through
your nose, this causes neural activity, and that in turn causes the feeling
Case 1c; Taste of Rotting Fish
Similar to case 2 except it hits your tongue sensors and causes the taste
of rotting fish which can induce the sensation of nausea
Sweet taste is a conscious experience caused by the sugar, it is an inner
experience, it’s caused by us.
Case 2a; Visual Perceptions Story about waves of light reflected from the object (in this case an
apple) into your eye and consequent neural activity which causes the
conscious experience of redness for yourself internally
Various things listed in the second half of the sentence are called
QUALIA (look up meaning), [singular = Quale]
CORE QUESTION: WHAT ARE QUALIA?
1) Are fish conscious?
- i.e. do fish have Qualia?
- do bats have Qualia?
2) Can you imagine a different species Qualia?
3) How do you know others peoples Qualia are the same as yours?
Suppose there is you, a yellow daffodil and your mother. Waves of light
are being refracted of the daffodil into your retina. Neural activity relays
the information from your eye to your brain causing you can experience
yellow. This doesn’t prove that your mother’s experience is the same as
your or not.
The sweetness is IN the sugar.
The redness is located on the surface of the shirt.
The sound is in the forest. (e.c.t.)
- Is the real _____ there (conscious experience) or there (physical
Author: Anais Nin
- Split her life between 2 families, neither family were aware of the
- Arguments against Naive Realism
1) The phenyl-thio-urea argument
75% tastes bitter
25% completely tasteless
X- Change Y- Doesn’t Change X is not the same thing as Y
Basis: Everyone agrees that pain is in the perceiver, not the outside
world. LECTURE 6;
What are QUALIA?
Theory 1: Qualia
- e.g. The red we experience are “out there in the world”
- e.g. The red is part of the cardigan
The ‘Time Lag’ argument against this theory;
Light can take millions of years to travel so on earth we may see no
existent galaxies because the light is still travelling
red cardigan ------> eye (visual contact) ------> neural activity
-------> sees red
If the cardigan was to go out of existence you would continue to
experience the red for a fraction of a second.
- Argument shows red experience is in us not outside world.
Theory 2: Physicalism (P)
Qualia are Physico-chemical states of the brain and