Tuesday, February 14, 2006

a guide to qualia, functions and the physical

[Is it possible that A-twins differ w.r.t. thier B-properties? (A's vertical, B's horizontal)]

1. Is it possible that qualitative-twins differ w.r.t. thier qualitative properties?
2. Is it possible that qualitative-twins differ w.r.t thier funtional properties?
3. Is it possible that qualitative-twins differ w.r.t thier physical properties?

4. Is it possible that functional-twins differ w.r.t. thier qualitative properties?
5. Is it possible that functional-twins differ w.r.t. thier functional properties?
6. Is it possible that functional-twins differ w.r.t. thier physical properties?

7. Is it possible that physical-twins differ w.r.t. thier qualitative properties?
8. Is it possible that physical-twins differ w.r.t. thier functional properties?
9. Is it possible that physical-twins differ w.r.t. thier physical properties?

I lean towards the answers above. The interesting boxes are 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7.

2 is "inverted-function", (e.g. my red quale picks out red things, my twin's red quale picks out green things).

3 is "multiple-realizability of qualia", (e.g. I have a qualia-twin who is made of silicon, his pain feels like mine).

4 is "inverted-qualia", (e.g. I pick out red things with my red quale, my functional-twin does the same with his green quale).

6 is "multiple-realizability of functions", (e.g. my functional-twin and I have the same belief but he is made of silicon).

7 is "zombies", (e.g. my physical-twin has different qualia or no qualia).

8 might be interesting? Can there be physical-twins who differ functionally? Probably locally but not globally, because of externalism, twater etc. So I am thinking globally on all these but the differences might be interesting and important.

How do YOU fill in the matrix?

Certain combinations of answers are inconsistent. For example one cannot say NO to 3 while holding my answers fixed.

There is a conflict between denying the multiple realizabilty of qualia and accepting inverted-function (while answering NO to 8).

QQ -> PP by NO to 3
PP -> FF by NO to 8
QQ & ~FF by YES to 2

FF & ~FF by logic

This is a problem for those who want to identify qualia with the physical, while allowing for the inversion of qualia and functions. (I think Perry 2003 says something like this? maybe one could accept 8?).

1 comment:

douglys said...

...thinking about it a bit more, I think the local/global distinction will be very important. I think what I said is right but it may be that no one wants to say NO to 3 understood globally (or at least they need not make this strong claim to remain firmly physicalist). So they can agree that qualitativly identical worlds can differ w.r.t. thier physical properties, but insist that qualitativly identical twins cannot differ w.r.t. thier (say) brain-states...

Really there should be two matrices one for local and the other for global. I would fill in the local matrix the same as I did the global with the exception of 8 (Physical-twins locally who differ functionally). That seems possible so I think I would give it a YES.

But it is a bit tricky. Certainly two things can be identical physically but be serving different functions, e.g. a doornob used as a paperwieght. But it seems that they will still have the same dispositional properties or capacities. A doornob that is physically identical to the doornob on my front door, that is used as a paperwieght, could be put in a door and used as a doornob...

Anyway, by answering YES in the local case to 8 while answering NO in the local case to 3 will get around my objection. Fair enough. I just think that answering NO to 3 (locally or globally) is bizarre and answering YES to 8 while plausible in the local case is not straight-forward...