Posted: Aug 10, 2017 4:29 pm
by DavidMcC
GrahamH wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
GrahamH wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
If your "inner mental world" is to be dismissed as "spooky", how do you think we evolved a sense of colour discrimination?


Simple, the functional aspects of colour discrimination are beneficial traits. The interesting question is why we also evolved a subjective experience of colour qualia to go along with it, which we could call consciousness of colour discrimination. That has some additional benefits.

Subjective experience is the only way we see colours, is it not? Also, I was the one who first mentioned the evolution of colour discrimantion as a beneficial trait (years ago), so you can't use that against me.


I should think discriminating colours is done by the networks of cells in CNS, not by a homunculus observing qualia.

Ha! Where to start?
A. You seem to ber taking terms like "homunculus" way too literally. In reality, it is part of the mind. I thought you understood that, but it seems not.
We can make instruments to discriminate colours and they don't need qualia. I think the idea that we can discriminate colours by having conscious experience of redness etc. is highly dubious.

Why do you think that? There is no evidence either way. All we know is that we are conscious of colours (unless we happen to be monochromats, of course, but they are very rare indeed). Also, "qualia" is anyhow just a word for "subjective experiences"!
I should think you have it backwards. You experience seeing red because your brain has discriminated a colour and made a conscious event to suit.

What does "making a conscious event to suit" even mean? Vision generally obviously impacts our conscious experience, becaue that is how mammals function. If we were like insects, we wouldn't have qualia, or consciousness of anything, because insects have to manage with almost no processing between sensing and action - just command instincts, which obviate the need to think about what their eyes detect.

LATE EDIT: The term "homunculus" is just an analogy for the conscious mind - it's AS IF there was a little man inside our head, watching a TV screen. That doesn't mean that there actually IS such a little man!