Back    All discussions

2012-07-28
Currently leading “qualia” camp attacking Dennett’s “mistake”

Open letter to Dr.s Daniel Dennett and Keith Frankish,

There is a new emerging camp, at Canonizer.com, very supportive of Daniel Dennett’s ideas about consciousness currently being called Representational Functionalism.  Despite rapid achievement of some significant consensus for this new camp, at that level, it still lags behind the leading expert consensus Property Dualism camp.

In response to the theoretically revolutionary success of this new emerging camp, the experts supporting the currently leading “classic qualia” property dualism camp are working to canonize a new version of their camp statement containing a significant attack against this upstart.  This attack is against the ‘mistake’ most often attributed to Daniel Dennett, when people claim we don’t have qualia "it just seems like we do." [Consciousness Explained P. 375].

The experts in this upstart camp, in response to this pending attack, have proposed that Daniel Dennett doesn’t mean that we don't have some subjective experiences.  It would be tautologically false to say,  "We don't have the experiences that we seem to have, we just seem to have them."  Instead, they suggest that Dennett is saying something like "we don't have experiences that have any magical properties beyond the causal structure and dynamics of physics, it just seems like we do."

Is this response being taken by this upstart camp the best consensus thinking by the most experts?  How many other experts are there that think this is a completely inadequate response, for the reasons being given in the newly proposed Property Dualism statement containing this attack?  Is this really a mistake?  Are there any other better ways to think about this issue out there, and how much consensus might there be for such?  Both camps would like to know, what Dr. Dennett, and other's in this camp thinks, so we can avoid this kind of speculation in any statements that end up making it through the canonization process.

This is an open letter in that we are seeking to survey for what everyone thinks on this issue.  How many people will be in the camp Dennett will ultimately end up in, before he ends up there, after all the arguments and science are said and done?

The new version of Property Dualism camp, and related sub camp statements, containing this attack are being collaboratively developed by everyone in a wiki way on Google docs, to eventually be 'canonized' once finalized by everyone in their respective camps.  We invite any and everyone to help improve this process, whatever your current working hypothesis is regarding consciousness.  Here are the links to the new Goggle doc statements containing this attack:

As always, the goal of this open survey process is to collaboratively develop concise and quantitative descriptions of the best theories of consciousness, and to rigorously measure and track such as we approach what could turn out to be the greatest and most consensus building scientific discovery of all time.

Upwards,

  Brent Allsop

  Volunteer Consciousness Survey Project


2012-10-04
Currently leading “qualia” camp attacking Dennett’s “mistake”
Reply to Brent Allsop


Dr. Daniel Dennett responded to the above open letter which resulted in a new sub camp supporting the emerging Representational Functionalism camp.  This new camp has been named "Dennett's Predictive Bayesian Coding Theory" and documents a significant update to his now primitive "Multiple Drafts" theory.

Such new support for Representational Functionalism is enabling it to remain the fastest growing consensus camp in the survey, and is gaining on the two leading general camps Functional Property Dualism and Material Property dualism.  Of particular surprising note is how all Representational Functionalists, now including Daniell Dennett, unanimously agree on the significant doctrines contained in the Representational Qualia Theory camp.  It's just that Representational Functionalists define 'quale' in more of a 'light' way, where as 'Dualists' define it in a more 'classic' or 'ineffable' way.  Specifically, Dennett admits there is something there, and understands the arguments for such, he simply asserts the best take is to ignore or 'quine qualia'.

Unfortunately, Dr Dennett hasn't yet addressed the issue raised in the letter, so the consensus response is still as is now canonized in the relative camp statements.

Our goal with the consciousness survey project is to track and rigorously measure this process as it continues, so that we might know, concisely and quantitatively what the newly emerging and leading camps are.  We want to know, definitively who are the first best experts leading the rest of the experts and the general population to the one theory which will eventually be validated by science, forcing all experts into the one true camp.

Currently, many theoretical experts in this field spend an inordinate amount of time addressing mistaken ideas or arguments that only a few minority people continue to support, while the majority have long since abandoned such mistaken ideas as falsified.  The fact that such mistaken and primitive ideas still get so much time in the peer reviewed literature  significantly destroys the reputation of this field and it's experts in the eyes of others, particularly in the eyes of those in such fields as experimental neural science.  Since, at Canonizer.com, you can tell which theories are the best emerging, most well accepted theories, one need not spend time addressing primitive and mistaken arguments most think are falsified in infinitely yes / no / yes / no ways.

That which you can measure, that which you can concisely and quantitatively communicate, improves in a way that amplifies everyone's wisdom.  But like all survey's, it's only as good and comprehensive as the people who have participated.

Upwards,

Brent Allsop
Volunteer Consciousness Survey Project