Presentation on theme: "Avshalom C. Elitzur Outline 1.From Philosophy to Science 2.The Heart of the First Problem: Qualia 3.The Resolution that Failed: Consciousness is Not Causally."— Presentation transcript:
Avshalom C. Elitzur Outline 1.From Philosophy to Science 2.The Heart of the First Problem: Qualia 3.The Resolution that Failed: Consciousness is Not Causally Ineffective 4.The Second Problem: Time Cannot Pass 5.Opposing Clues: Perhaps it Does, after all 6.Possible Affinities Time’s Passage and Conscious Experience: Two Riddles – or One? Copyleft – All Rights Reversed Permission is granted to everyone to copy and/or use this work or any part of it.
Plato Berkeley Kant Schopenhauer A metaphysical question gets a physical twist: Do objects (or their properties) exist prior to being observed? Einstein Bohr Schrödinger Heisenberg
1.Is there something to conscious experience which is left unexplained in the dynamics of the associated neuronal process? 2.Is there something to the nature of time which is left unexplained in physics’ dynamical laws? Next, hopefully…
Historical Caveats: Analogies and disanalogies Penrose Hameroff
First Riddle: What’s your Mind-Body Problem Anyway?
“In science, the qualitative is only a poor form of the quantitative” (Rutherford) Red is different from blue Sweet is different from salty Love is different from hate qualitativelyquantitatively qualitatively quantitatively Same type of waves, different wavelength Same type of electrons, different numbers Same type of neurons, different configurations
Leibniz (1646-1716) The Heart of the Mystery: Qualia No essential difference between a windmill and a brain. Observing the brain’s operation tell us nothing about the associated experience!
The Heart of the Mystery: Qualia All progress in color vision research concerns only the process of seeing a certain color, saying nothing about the subjective experience associated with it.
1. The Problem of Inverted Qualia BLUERED The Heart of the Mystery: Qualia
BLUERED 1. The Problem of Inverted Qualia The Heart of the Mystery: Qualia
BLUERED 2. The Problem of Absent Qualia The Heart of the Mystery: Qualia
The Argument for Inessentialism: The Closure of the Physical World Balls “repel” one another Plant cell “drinks” water Muscle “responds” to stimulus Romeo adores Juliet (no quotes?!) IF the laws of mechanics completely explain the motions of billiard balls, plants’ water absorption, and reflex movements (no subjective experience needed), THEN the same holds for Romeo and Juliet’s behavior!
"phototropic animals" Machina speculatrix Machina docilis When does Consciousness Emerge? William Grey Walter (1910-1977), inventor of the “electronic turtle” At what level of the turtle’s complexity would you file a lawsuit against Gray-Walter on animal abuse?
Where, along the Evolutionary Ladder, does Consciousness Emerge? “Hydrophobic” molecule “Photophobic” bacterium Frightened human Crab under threat
‘isms Physicalism: Only matter-energy is real, mind is secondary Non-Interactionist Dualism: “Mind does not interact with matter” Epiphenomenalism: “Matter affects mind, never vice versa” Parallelism: “Matter and mind run parallel without ever affecting one another” Identity Theory: “Matter, somehow, is mind.” Pan-Psychism: “Mind potentially exists within matter.” Dualism: “Mind differs from matter” Interactionist Dualism: “Mind interacts with matter”
‘isms } Non-Interactionist Dualism: “Mind does not interact with matter” Epiphenomenalism: “Matter affects mind, never vice versa” Parallelism: “Matter and mind run parallel without ever affecting one another” Identity Theory: “Matter, somehow, is mind.” Pan-Psychism: “Mind potentially exists within matter.” The Consciousness Inessentialism Postulate: “For every action which looks like a consequence of a Quale there is a neurophysiological explanation which ignores qualia altogether.”
Can Dualism be Avoided? René Descartes (1596-1650) "Non, je ne regrette rien!" The penalty: Energy & momentum conservation laws violated!
Indeed, Elitzur (1989) argues directly from the existence of claims about consciousness to the conclusion that the laws of physics cannot be complete, and that consciousness plays an active role in directing physical processes (he suggests that the second law of thermodynamics might be false). But I have already argued that interactionist dualism is of little help in avoiding the problem of explanatory irrelevance (p. 183).
Chalmers’ schizoid epiphenomenalism 1.I have consciousness. 2.I wrote this book on consciousness. 3.I would have written exactly the same book have I lacked consciousness altogether.
1.A presumably conscious human (henceforth Chalmers) states there is a difference between his percept (P) and its corresponding quale (Q). 2.Chalmers further argues that a zombie duplicate of him (henceforth Charmless) is conceivable, which is similar to him in all aspects, save that he has only P without Q. 3.Chalmers asserts, however, that, by physical law, Charmless must notice a difference between what he knows about the physical process underlying his percept and the unmediated percept itself, which, within Charmless, presumably plays the role of Q. 4.Chalmers then argues that this difference must produce in Charmless the same behavioral consequences as the difference between P and Q. 5.Ask now Chalmers: Can you conceive of a Charmless who is identical to you but lacks Q? His answer, by (2), is “Yes.” 6.Next ask Charmless: Can you conceive of a duplicate of you (henceforth Harmless) who is identical to you but lacks Q? His answer, by (3), must be “No; unmediated percepts, regardless of what is known about them, must occur.” 7.As Chalmers can conceive of Charmless but Charmless cannot conceive of Harmless,  the two kinds of bafflement, associated with (1) and (3), are essentially different. Which is why we don’t need to worry about Armless and so on. 8.Hence, the physical explanation for (3) does not hold for (1).  which is why we don’t have to worry about Armless and so on. The Asymmetry Proof: Chalmers’ Epiphenomenalism leads to Contradiction ( Elitzur 2009 http://www.a-c-elitzur.co.il/site/siteArticle.asp?ar=67 )http://www.a-c-elitzur.co.il/site/siteArticle.asp?ar=67
In every physical state, given the relevant law and initial conditions, it is possible to predict other states at any time in the past or future. Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (1687) initial height Earth’s gravitational constant time
Time: The Common View Events Become and Go, One by One
Time: The Relativistic View All Events Coexist along Time
Relativistic Contraction is a Consequence of the “Coexistence” of Past and Future States
Relativistic Contraction is a Consequence of the “Coexistence” of Past and Future States “Now”
The Block Universe Account of Time All events – past, present and future – have the same degree of existence. There is no privileged “Now.”
“There is no irreversibility in the basic laws of physics. You have to accept the idea that subjective time with its emphasis on the now has no objective meaning.” (not irreversible, eh?) “Michele has preceded me a little in leaving this strange world. This is not important. For us who are convinced physicists, the distinction between past, present, and future is only an illusion, however persistent.”
Bibliography 1.(Elitzur, A.C., & Dolev, S. (2003) Is there more to T? Why time's description in modern physics is still incomplete. In Buccheri, R., Saniga, M., & Stuckey, W. M. [Eds.] The Nature of Time: Geometry, Physics & Perception. NATO Science Series, II: Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry, 95, 297-306. New York: Kluwer. 2.Elitzur, A.C., & Dolev, S. (2005) Quantum phenomena within a new theory of time. In Elitzur, A.C., Dolev, S., & Kolenda, N. [Eds.] Quo Vadis Quantum Mechanics?, 325-350. New York: Springer. 3.Elitzur, A.C., & Dolev, S. (2005) Becoming as a bridge between quantum mechanics and relativity. In Saniga, M., Buccheri, R., and Elitzur, A.C. [Eds.] Endophysics, Time, Quantum and the Subjective, 589-606. London: World Scientific. 4.Elitzur, A.C. (2009) Consciousness makes a difference: A reluctant dualist’s confession. In Batthyány, A., & Elitzur, A. C. [Eds.] Irreducibly Conscious: Selected Papers on Consciousness. pp. 43-72. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter.
Therefore, if Bergson could have studied the quantum theories in detail, he would have noted certainly with joy that, in the image that they offer us of the evolution of the physical world, they show us nature in all its occasions hesitating between several possibilities, and he would have undoubtedly repeated, as in La Pensée et le Mouvant [Thought and Motion], that “time is that very hesitation or it is nothing at all” (L. De Broglie, 1941, 252-253). Summary (well, kind of…)