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Secrets of the eliminati

There is no explanation of HOW mass generates or causes gravity, similarly for the lack of explanation of how matter causes or generates forces such as electromagnetism. (Yes I know that some sort of strings have been proposed to subserve gravity, and so far they seem to me to be another false "ether".) So in a shorthand of sorts, it is accepted that gravity and the various other forces exist as fundamentals ("axioms" of nature, if you will accept a metaphor), because their effects and interactions can be meaningfully applied in explanations. No one has seen gravity, no one can point to gravity--it is a fundamental force. Building on Chalmers in one of his earlier writings, I am willing to entertain the idea the qualia are a fundamental force-like dimension of consciousness. Finally every force is a function of something: gravity is a function of amount of mass, electromagnetism is a function of amount of charge. What might qualia and consciousness be a function of? Chalmers and others have suggested "bits of information", although that is an additional speculation.

Secrets of the eliminati

I apologize for being too brief. What I meant to say is that I posit that my subjective experience of qualia is real, and not explained by any form of reductionism or eliminativism. That experience of qualia is fundamental in the same way that gravitation and the electromagnetic force are fundamental. Whether the word ontological applies may be a semantic argument.

Basically, I am reprising Chalmers' definition of the Hard Problem, or Thomas Nagel's argument in the paper "What is it like to be a bat?"

Secrets of the eliminati

Without my dealing here with the other alternatives, do you Yvain, or does any other LW reader think that it is (logically) possible that mental states COULD be ontologically fundamental?

Further, why is that possibility tied to the word "soul", which carries all sorts of irrelevant baggage?

Full disclosure: I do (subjectively) know that I experience red, and other qualia, and try to build that in to my understanding of consciousness, which I also know I experience (:-) (Note that I purposely used the word "know" and not the word "believe".)

Epistemology and the Psychology of Human Judgment

This is a more general question than just about Strategic Reliabilism. Obviously, many decisions occur in a social context in which the majority of other people do not necessarily, or even usually, behave based on rational strategies. Given that any strategy a rationalist chooses to use interacts with, or even depends on the irrational behavior of those other people, how can such irrationality be factored into a rationalist-based decision? Perhaps this question is a restatement of: Nothing is Foolproof!

Rationality Quotes: March 2011

Is this too cryptic? :

Throw strikes. Home plate don't move. Satchel Paige

Rationality Quotes: March 2011

Pragmatic rationality, perhaps? :

In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is. Yogi Berra

Rationality Quotes: March 2011

Perhaps this precedes subsequent rationality:

Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of imagination. John Dewey

Rationality Quotes: March 2011

Knowing the risk, I quote this (given that I am a utilitarian pragmatist):

Truth is what works. William James

Rationality Quotes: March 2011

If you believe that feeling bad or worrying long enough will change a past or future event, then you are residing on another planet with a different reality system.

William James

Procedural Knowledge Gaps

There are a number of web sites that present such implicit and procedural knowledge. such as: http://www.ehow.com/ http://www.wikihow.com/Main-Page http://www.howcast.com/ http://www.howtodothings.com/

I might be useful to somehow select the most generally useful ones of these in one place.

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