Joe Carlsmith

Comments

The impact merge

Glad to hear you found it useful.

The impact merge

Thanks :) Re blog name: it isn't: "Hands" comes from a Martin Buber quote, and "Cities" from a phrase I believe I heard from A.J. Julius. I chose them partly as a personal reminder about the blog's aims.

Grokking illusionism

I do remember that conversation, though I'm a bit hazy on the details of the argument you presented. Let me know if there's a write-up/summary somewhere, or if you create one in future. 

Grokking illusionism

Thanks for explaining where you're coming from. 

Yet I experience that computation as the qualia of "blueness." How can that be? How can any computation of any kind create, or lead to qualia of any kind? You can say that it is just a story my brain is telling me that "I am seeing blue." I must not understand what is being claimed, because I agree with it and yet it doesn't remove the problem at all. Why does that story have any phenomenology to it? I can make no sense of the claim that it is an illusion.

As I understand it, the idea would be that, as weird as it may sound, there isn't any phenomenology to it. Rather: according to the story that your brain is telling, there is some phenomenology to it. But there isn't. That is, your brain's story doesn't create, lead to, or correlate with phenomenal blueness; rather, phenomenal blueness is something that the story describes, but which doesn't exist, in the same way that a story can describe unicorns without bringing them to life. 

Grokking illusionism

I’m hopeful that if we actually had a worked out reductionist account of all the problematic intuitions, which we knew was right and which made illusionism true, then this would be at least somewhat helpful in making illusionism less mysterious. In particular, I’m hopeful that thoroughly and dutifully reconceptualizing our introspection and intuitions according to that theory — “when it seems to me like X, what’s going on is [insert actual gears level explanation, not just ‘neurons are firing’ or ‘my brain is representing its internal processing in a simplified and false way’]” — would make a difference.

Grokking illusionism

Glad you found it helpful (or at least, as helpful as other work on the topic). So far in my engagement with Graziano (specifically, non-careful reads of his 2013 book and his 2019 “Toward a standard model of consciousness”), I don’t feel like I’ve taken away much more than the summary I gave above of Frankish’s view: namely, “introspective mechanisms ... track the processes involved in access consciousness and represent them using a simplified model” — something pretty similar to what Chalmers also says here on p. 34. I know Graziano focuses on attention in particular, and he talks more about e.g. sociality and cites some empirical work, but at a shallow glance I’m not sure I yet see really substantive and empirically grounded increases in specificity, beyond what seems like the general line amongst a variety of folks that “there’s some kind of global workspace-y thing, there’s some kind of modeling of that, this modeling involves simplifications/distortions/opacity of various kinds, these somehow explain whatever problem intuitions/reports need explaining." But I haven’t tried to look at Graziano closely. The “naive” vs. “sophisticated” descriptions in your blog post seem like a helpful way to frame his project.