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2012-05-07
Space Kaspar Hauser or “What is it like to be a bat” reloaded...

A space Kaspar Hauser who spends his whole life isolated in a dark, empty space capsule far away from the next solar system knew everything about particle physics and cosmology a human being could possibly know (to know everything about every elementary particle in the universe...). 

Obviously he has no knowledge about a bat although a bat has spatial location, spatial dimensions and can be broken down into spatial parts. But he has knowledge of every elementary particle in the universe.Particle physics and cosmology do not generate knowledge about the spatial bat, nor do they generate knowledge"What it's like to be a bat". The question arises how do we know about the levels which supervene upon the elementary particles of a bat?



2012-05-15
Space Kaspar Hauser or “What is it like to be a bat” reloaded...
Reply to Kai Welp
If the Space Kaspar Hauser dropped down on earth or another planet his knowledge about himself and the world would explode as in the case of the historical Kaspar Hauser. He would add knowledge about levels that supervene upon elementary particles.The ontological status of elementary particles and the levels that supervene upon them seems unclear.

2012-05-21
Space Kaspar Hauser or “What is it like to be a bat” reloaded...
Reply to Kai Welp
David Chalmers posits that Laplace's demon could not know about consciousness - the hard problem...If the demon spent his life in a dark empty space capsule he could not know anything about the levels supervening the particles...he could not know "What it's like to be a bat he could not know about the spatial bat. 

2012-05-21
Space Kaspar Hauser or “What is it like to be a bat” reloaded...
Reply to Kai Welp
The levels supervening upon elementary particles are not at all emergent or comlex levels of particles.There is no ontological emergence or complexity. Particles remain particles remain particles. Therefore the Space Kaspar Hauser knows everything about every particle but he doesn't know anything else. Dropping down on a planet he realizes there is an (alien) spatial bat and a "What it's like to be a bat" and elementary particles. The particles, the spatial bat, the"What it's like to be a bat" seem to transcend ontologically the cognitive capacities of the Space Kaspar Hauser. 
This guy got the matter-mind supervening upon elementary particles problem...
The levels supervening upon fundamental physics are Kaspar Hauser levels which develop by leaving the dark, empty space capsule far away from the next solar system.

2012-07-08
Space Kaspar Hauser or “What is it like to be a bat” reloaded...
Reply to Kai Welp

You need more to have more

What is the Space Kaspar Hauser living in a dark, empty space capsule but knowing everything about every elementary particle in the universe be deprived of ? To know everything about particle aggregates doesn’t mean to know about the levels supervening upon the particles. Dropping down on a planet he encounters something in space which can’t be explained in terms of the particle substance, the only substance he is familiar with. What is it, what is there? There are three substances: elementary particles, a spatial bat substance, a something which supervenes upon particles, a nonspatial What it is like to be a bat substance - very mysterious.


2012-07-08
Space Kaspar Hauser or “What is it like to be a bat” reloaded...
Reply to Kai Welp
Identity Theory
The theory that the spatial patterns of the world are identical with particle aggregates faces the same problem as the identity theory of the mind. A Space Kaspar Hauser who knew everything about every elementary particle in the universe could not know about a spatial bat, nor about "What it is like to be a bat". Perhaps there are smart aliens in the universe who are able to discern the spatial nonparticle substance which supervenes upon the particles of a bat and the nonspatial substance which is roughly where the bat is located in space. We know about the wetness of water because we are in contact with a something of which the Space Kaspar Hauser is deprived.

2012-07-08
Space Kaspar Hauser or “What is it like to be a bat” reloaded...
Reply to Kai Welp
Kai,
You don't have to be Kaspar Hauser (a notorious fraud, BTW) to encounter the problem you pose in your thought experiment. "Knowing what it is like to be a bat", or anything else, if it is possible at all, would be possible for only one kind of of being: a bat. Thomas Nagel never suggests that we or anyone could "know" what it is like to be a bat. On the contrary, he selects a bat for his example just because it's echo-location-based means of perception is so vastly different than our own. His main point is that, in spite of the fact that we can never "know what it is like to be a bat", it must be like something to be one. Even the bat does not "know" what it is like to be a bat. Yet it still must be "like something" to be one. As it must be like something to be a flying squirrel, a bird, a horse, a chimp or a homo sapiens sapiens. 
It is possible that consciousness is simply "what it is like to be" a particular species of animal. Thus, it would not be a kind of knowledge at all. Consciousness, on this theory, is a condition of being that is caused to be what it is by the specific kind of electro-magnetic activity generated by the brains of animals of that species. The various qualities ("qualia" or "phenomena") we experience in perception are the ontological effects of being an animal with a brain. That is why these qualitative appearances seem to us to be objects of knowledge that are the causes of our behavior.

Consciousness (i.e., having qualia) is not the same thing as rationality (i.e., using language). Both are caused by the brain, but in different ways. Rationality and perception are functions of the brain, selected in evolution because of the kind of work they enable. Together they can explain all of human thought and behavior. What they cannot explain, though, are the phenomenal appearances of qualitative states of consciousness as non-public, immediately present, objects of knowledge that are, somehow, reliable representational images of objects in the world. But this is an illusion caused by the fact that it is like something to be an animal with a brain. Another way to say this is to say that qualia are intrinsic (or subjective) rather than extrinsic (or objective) properties of brains. But these intrinsic properties do not supervene on the elementary particles that constitute the animal body. They are identical to those particles, as they have been shaped by 100's of millions of years of biological evolution and a few thousand years of cultural evolution. Thus, consciousness is seen here not as a supervenient property but as an intrinsic one. By taking this ontological approach we avoid the illusion that qualia are special objects of knowledge. Insodoing we also avoid the conundrum, inherent in your analysis, that "knowing what it is like to be a bat" raises the question about how we know about the levels which supervene upon the elementary particles of a bat. Knowledge of particle physics doesn't explain consciousness any better for a normal human being that it would for your hypothetical Space Kaspar. 


Finally, I don't believe particles physics explains the 2nd law of thermodynamics (entropy), either. That is another topic. But it is related to this one in that it points out that the postulation of supervenient properties is always problematic in that these properties are not physical, yet they are taken to explain changes in physical bodies and processes. How can a non-physical property possibly be a functional property that causes things to happen in a world that is constructed entirely out of elementary particles? Indeed, the Standard Model of elementary particles lacks anything to explain why particles or the composite objects they constitute, have mass. The omnipresent Higgs boson is postulated for this job but still has not been found anywhere. Confidence at Cern is reported high for an answer as soon as this year. But, to date, a thing that is supposed to be everywhere has been found nowhere. 

Your thoughts in reply are welcomed.

dcd   




2012-07-08
Space Kaspar Hauser or “What is it like to be a bat” reloaded...
Reply to Kai Welp
...atoms, molecules, cells=elementary particles. The unknown nonspatial substance and spatial substance supervenes upon the levels which can be build up from fundamental physics. You can' t build up "What it is like to be a bat" nor a spatial bat from fundamental physics.

2012-07-08
Space Kaspar Hauser or “What is it like to be a bat” reloaded...
Reply to Kai Welp
We would know if we could switch these substances on and off in the universe separately.

2012-07-16
Space Kaspar Hauser or “What is it like to be a bat” reloaded...
Reply to Kai Welp
Atoms, molecules, cells, organisms, societies and cultures certainly ARE all built up from elementary particles. Brains are organs that evolved as the control centers of certain species of organisms, including our own species. They are vast complexes of neurons that generate electromagnetic fields. The are no "unknown nonspatial substances" in my analysis and substances do not supervene on anything. Functional or phenomenal properties, for example, are said to supervene on organisms or brains. But I don't think anyone holds that a substance could be a supervenient property. 
I introduced a substance theory as an ontological solution to the hard problem of consciousness. Elementary particles (leptons, quarks and bosons) are basic substances and the composite objects (atoms, molecules, cells...) they comprise have both intrinsic and extrinsic properties. The extrinsic properties of the neurons in the brain generate specific patterns of firings of these cells that are structurally isomorphic with recognizable sensory inputs from the environment (or memory) that are sufficiently reliable representations of the world in which we "brainy" animals live. Consciousness is identical to these patterns of representational electro-chemical magnetic field activity. It appears to the brainy animal, who can also use language to reflect upon its own conscious experience, memories and imaginings, that these experiences (i.e., "qualia") are not physical things, composed of elementary particles. The solution to the hard problem of mind is that the intrinsic nature of the representational electromagnetic activity is "like something"... in just the sense that it is like something to be a bat. Bat's are brainy animals too, so the electromagnetic fields on which the representational acoustical information is propagated in their bat brains is "like something to be". Something very, well, ... "batty". Just like the complex array of brain processes generated when you or I might enjoy a beer, marvel at a rainbow or recount a dream are typically human experiences. All substances, elementary and composite, have intrinsic natures. In the cases of composite objects that are brainy animals, it's like something to be certain parts and processes of their brains. The scientific or third-person descriptions of these neurological properties are of the extrinsic properties of brains. The first-person or phenomenal properties are explained as the intrinsic properties of theses same composite objects.


-dcd 

2012-07-26
Space Kaspar Hauser or “What is it like to be a bat” reloaded...
Reply to Kai Welp
This just misses the point. Consciousness is "switched on" by virtue of the brain functioning. It switches off when the brain dies. It's only a problem of philosophy if you try in install a physical "switch" on a non-physical mind.
-dcd

2012-07-28
Space Kaspar Hauser or “What is it like to be a bat” reloaded...
Reply to Kai Welp
Daniel,
You are right, we do not know everything about "What it is like to be a bat or something else
which knows and explains probably not everything". This is the philosophical problem. We are
"What it is like to be a human being which knows and explains not everything" about "What it is like to be" and the spatial world. I assume that "What it is like to be a human being which knows and explains not everything" is as ignorant about the nonspatial "What it is it like to be" things as of spatial things.

2012-07-28
Space Kaspar Hauser or “What is it like to be a bat” reloaded...
Reply to Kai Welp
On what a bat and a human being is
"What it's like to be a human being which knows and explains not everything about the nonspatial What it's like to be a bat and a spatial bat" is mysterious and not scientific.
"What it' s like to be a bat which knows and explains not everything about the nonspatial What it' s like to be a human being and a spatial human being" is mysterious and not scientific.
Neither a human being nor a bat are scientists they are simply not able to be scientific.

2012-07-28
Space Kaspar Hauser or “What is it like to be a bat” reloaded...
Reply to Kai Welp
What it is like to be a human being which knows and explains about elementary particles is far to mysterious to write it down in a science book. A scientist has not the ghost of an idea "What it's like to be a scientist".

2012-07-28
Space Kaspar Hauser or “What is it like to be a bat” reloaded...
Reply to Kai Welp

The Space Kaspar Hauser knew everything about every elementary particle in the universe a human being could possibly know and therefore he could not know about anything else but particles. He could not know about his organs he could not know about societies, cultures, spatial bats, "What it is like to be a perfect extraterrestrial which knows and explains everything", he could not explain why "What it's like to be a Space Kaspar Hauser" supervenes on particles. 
He could not know because there is an additional nonspatial  "What it is like to be" substance and an additional spatial substance he could not know because he spend his life in a dark empty space capsule far away from the next solar system.


2012-07-28
Space Kaspar Hauser or “What is it like to be a bat” reloaded...
Reply to Kai Welp
Supervenience is a human concept like complexity or emergence. The ontological dispute about the intrinsic nature of "What it is like to be a bat" and about a spatial bat is crucial. The Space Kaspar Hauser argument reveals that knowledge about elementary particles is Kaspar Hauser knowledge that is to say is knowledge about particles and many particles and nothing else. Furthermore it claims that there is an "elementary particle, a particle aggregate Zeitgeist"  which posits that everything is elementary particles without being able to explain a nonspatial experience of red or a spatial parking ticket.


2012-07-28
Space Kaspar Hauser or “What is it like to be a bat” reloaded...
Reply to Kai Welp
To be about the spatial world is something completely unknown both in the case of a bat and in the case of a human being. It is something which is closely connected to "what it is like to be something". Therefore nobody insinuates that a bat disposes of a scientific concept of the physical world and there is no reason to assume that a trading predator ape disposes of a scientific concept of the physical world. There is something out there when we receive a parking ticket something we deeply do not understand...like brains, and bats and "what it's like to be something".

2012-07-28
Space Kaspar Hauser or “What is it like to be a bat” reloaded...
Reply to Kai Welp
Is it ontologically possible to identify and explain the spatial world, elementary particles, "what it's like to be something", everything ? The presupposition to know and to explain about anything is to know and to explain "what it's like to be something which knows and explains about something" The difficulties of humans and bats in solving that problem are obvious. For all I know this is exactly the reason why economics, natural sciences, buddhism, ... fail in knowing and explaining the world ... 
"What it is like to be a Space Kaspar Hauser" is a way to evaluate that an alleged "theory of everything" is human knowledge about nothing at all.

2012-07-28
Space Kaspar Hauser or “What is it like to be a bat” reloaded...
Reply to Kai Welp
To evade the question "What is it like to be a Space Kaspar Hauser, an all-knowing Extraterrestrial, a trading predator ape, a  sanguivorous Vampire bat, ... " means to evade the question "What is the world like for..."

2012-07-28
Space Kaspar Hauser or “What is it like to be a bat” reloaded...
Reply to Kai Welp
A Space Kaspar Hauser who spent his whole life isolated in a dark empty space capsule far away from the next solar system could know rudimentarily about three things: "What it is like to be a Space Kaspar Hauser" in a way about his spatial body and about a dark empty space capsule.
In addition he knew everything about every elementary particle in the universe a human being could possibly know. He is Laplace's demon without any access to the universe.
 "What is the world like" for "What it is like to be a Space Kaspar Hauser" ? Although he disposed about perfect knowledge about every elementary particle in the universe he could only know about three things. We are as ignorant about "What it is like to be something" as about "What is the world like" for " What is it like to be something".  http://philpapers.org/post/7167 


2012-07-28
Space Kaspar Hauser or “What is it like to be a bat” reloaded...
Reply to Kai Welp
The Space Kaspar Hauser has never seen a colour like Mary - furthermore he has never seen the world...

2012-07-28
Space Kaspar Hauser or “What is it like to be a bat” reloaded...
Reply to Kai Welp
Daniel, "What is it like to be a scientist" "What is the world like" for "What it is it like to be a scientist" You are right..."unless man is to be a mystery in the universe and, consequently, so are all of his theories" "What it is like to be a bat" "What is the world for" "What it is like to be a bat" "unless a bat is to be a mystery in the universe and consequently, so are all of its theories" Neither a human being nor a bat know what they are about when they experience the world... http://philpapers.org/post/7174

2012-07-28
Space Kaspar Hauser or “What is it like to be a bat” reloaded...
Reply to Kai Welp
What it is like to be a terrestrial predator ape? - What is it like to be a extraterrestrial predator?There are two different entities which have no clear spatial location, which do not break down into spatial parts which have no spatial dimensions...which experience the world which know the world
which explain the world probably very different. To explain something means what is it like to be a bat or something else. http://philpapers.org/post/7076

2012-08-08
Space Kaspar Hauser or “What is it like to be a bat” reloaded...
Reply to Kai Welp
"What is it like to be something" "What is the world like for" "What it is like to be something" is not a question of materialism, physicalism, dualism or idealism. Neither a bat and a bat's world can be explainded in such terms nor a human being and a human being's world can be explained in such terms. To be about a nonspatial "What it is like to be" (substance?), to be about a spatial "There are spatial things" (substance?), to be about "elementary particles and particle aggregates" (substance?) is probably very different for a bat and a human being and something else. To be a materialist, a dualist, an idealist presupposes knowledge both a bat and a human being do not possess.






2012-08-08
Space Kaspar Hauser or “What is it like to be a bat” reloaded...
Reply to Kai Welp
Thank you Daniel
"
yesterdayReply to Kai Welp
Daniel Clay Davis

American University
University of Mary Washington


Kai,
My claim is NOT that we can know what it is like to be someone or something else other than the one being each of us has the condition of being. In fact I'm claiming that "what it is like to be Dan Davis" -- that is, MY consciousness -- is NOT an object of knowledge, even for me. Rather it is an ontological fact about my physical being, specifically the neural-processing parts of my body, that it is like something to be it. Consciousness is not a kind of knowing at all: it is a specific way of being. We can, of course, remember our past states of consciousness and imagine future or any possible state of consciousness. These ARE kinds of knowing. 

But the having of qualia makes it, upon reflectionappear to subjects like us that the qualia (which are just epiphenomenal effects of electromagnetic activity in the brain) are best described as private objects of knowledge, immediately known by us. But this ontological explanation of the appearance of phenomenal properties denies that consciousness is what explains knowledge. Instead, rationality explains knowledge. We are coming to understand quite well the science of perception and cognition, how the body and the brain work and how they have evolved in nature as adaptive machines that replicate only the best adaptive traits over thousands of generations. Our perfect adaptations, honed by millions of years of evolution, explains how animals come to know things, to have perceptions and develop beliefs that actually do "correspond" to the world by virtue of the representations of perception and cognition. 

Consciousness and rationality are fundamentally different aspects of subjectivity i beings like us. Both are caused by the brain but in different ways. It is an ontological argument to the best explanation to say that consciousness is an intrinsic property of brains. The explanation of rationality as the way that language-using subjects' brains control their behavior involves the extrinsic aspects of neurological functions.

I hope this makes my point clearer to you.

-dcd         

Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/7201Reply
"






I would like to elaborate on my total mysterian view with reference to the ability of humans to experience, to know, to explain the world. 
The assumption that Laplace's demon could know about the universe is fundamentally wrong.
A Space Kaspar Hauser who never had an experience of red who never had an experience of
the world who had the demon's knowledge at his diposal could not know about the world.
It is not about the hard problem of consciousness it is about the question why (human) perfect knowledge about elementary particles does not lead to knowledge of the world.