2011-04-18
role of memory in the dancing qualia scenario
What is the role of memory in the dancing qualia scenario?

It strikes me that i cannot perform direct comparisons between my conscious experiences at different points in time - no more than i can directly compare my experiences to those of others.

In claiming that my experience of a red apple has remained the same "redness" over time, i must be comparing a perceptual experience *now* against the experience *now* of a memory of a previous experience.

The reductio asks us to imagine there being a difference in experience just due to differences in the material substrate of cognition. It seems plausible to me that when an experience is serialized while running on one substrate and deserialized while on another, the difference should go unnoticed. For example, the red experience of a neural system could be remembered as a blue experience when invoked on a silicon circuit, so that the comparison always succeeds.

Put differently, i wonder in what way the following scenario is not analogous to dancing qualia:

Consider two silicon circuits, one using binary representations of numbers, and the other using ternary. Merging the circuits in the way Chalmers describes must involve the circuit switching mechanism transforming between representations.

If these circuits were carrying out a process which repeatedly performed a computation (say pi to the nth place) and then compared against previous results, i wouldn't expect dancing between bases to perturb the result.

How does the role of qualia in a red color experience differ from the role of base-representation in a pi-to-the-nth numerical result?

View thread | View forum