Picture: ghost. I suppose the zombies couldn’t have the film industry all to themselves for ever, and here it is: Qualia, the movie (via). I wondered at first whether this was something to do with Sony and their Qualia man Ken Mogi, but in fact it seems it is a small independent venture. I said ‘here it is’, but actually all we have for the moment is a trailer: it seems that the funds required (amounts which I expect wouldn’t cover one day’s catering budget on a Hollywood blockbuster) have been difficult to get together.

How do you make a film about qualia? (Ken Mogi would probably ask how you could make one without them.) I can’t quite decide whether getting ineffable qualities into a film is an amusingly quixotic endeavour or an admirable ambition. It seems all too likely that you would end up with either the talkiest, chin-strokingest film ever made; or an exciting dramatisation of the life of Mary the Colour Scientist. (Susan Blackmore suggested that students should act out this famous gedankenexperiment, after all, though how that would help still rather eludes me.) Actually there’s no reason why a film can’t at least raise genuine philosophical issues. I’ll always remember the Captain’s advice on how to deal with the malfunctioning bomb in Dark Star (“Teach it phenomenology”), and The Matrix is often credited with asking interesting questions – though sadly the red and blue pills were soon put aside so that the film could become a kung fu movie performed by people dressed as a Eurythmics tribute band (The Revenge Tourists?).

I haven’t found much information about the actual plot of Qualia, but it seems it has something to do with research which triggers or examines ghostly occurrences and disturbs someone’s complacent monist materialism. Nothing wrong with disturbing our dogmatic slumbers, of course. I like to think that at some stage a grave scientist will say “Sir! We’re detecting… phenomena.”

But the association with ghosts is not particularly welcome. I wonder whether this is another sign, like the use of qualia to buttress the theist case, that the hard problem potentially appeals to those who would like the world to be less scientific and more magical.  I hope not: I’d hate to see New Age shops selling qualia-enhancing crystals. Perhaps that’s just snobbery?  After all It’s legitimate to claim qualia as evidence for some kind of dualism, and some kind of dualism is what you might well be looking for if you wanted to provide ghosts with some respectable ontological underpinnings. Still, I can only look forward to the film with qualified enthusiasm .

34 Comments

  1. 1. Mike Spenard says:

    Isn’t this the sequel to: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107009/

  2. 2. Vicente says:

    How do you make a film about qualia?

    or how do you make a film without qualia? Dennett must know.

  3. 3. Mike Spenard says:

    Same way you make one without élan vital.

  4. 4. Vicente says:

    What is élan vital? french cosmetics brand or facial make up for the main actress?

  5. 6. Vicente says:

    Thank you Mike, I know, it is just that the name sounds like cosmetics brand, be young forever with elancè vitalisse, 2340$-20gr.

    But mind you, biology is the second step in the cascade of mysterys…

    1) OH! The Universe !?

    2) What is this matter doing, aggregating and behaving in such a way !?? this living beings are incredible !

    3) Who is this “me” experiencing all these qualia…. ah!

    So with or without elan vital, how living stuff happen to appear and evolve is not clear at all. As I always say, I prefer to say I don’t know that to come out with nonsense…. althoug to speculate a bit is always fun.

  6. 7. Vicente says:

    It seems that consciousness cinematographic genre is getting big this summer. Now inception on your screens.

    http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/culturelab/2010/07/inception-peering-into-the-science-of-dreams.html

  7. 8. Kar Lee says:

    Ah…now that I am aware of this movie (Inception), my free will tells me that I have no choice but to see it in IMAX, so that I can give myself a healthy dose of doubt about this reality…just in case I am actually dreaming…

  8. 9. Burt says:

    After Peter introduced me to Deepak Chopra’s Higg’s Boson article and finding similarities in his and my philosophy of consciousness – I checked out his latest post at his website. It is an interview with Dr. Alva Noe done a couple of days ago and may be of interest to the denizens of this blog. They discuss the brain, qualia, and consciousness. I was pleased see that others (with credentials) are starting to come around to some of the conclusions vis-à-vis consciousness that I have posted here, Dr. Noe is moving slowly so as not to ruffle his compatriot’s feathers and get him consigned further toward the fringe but a few more conversations with Deepak and he may just come around. Deepak is fairly close to my position, I may have done him a disservice in my last post. The link is here.

    You Are Not Your Brain

  9. 10. Mike Spenard says:

    @Burt
    Is the audio content available someplace?

  10. 11. Mike Spenard says:

    I read Noe’s book this winter and he seems to be advocating for a form of logical behaviorism (not the Skinner-ian kind) at times. E.g. p.xii,7,24-26,42,90. He even has a section called “Consciousness Is Like Money” which is strikingly almost verbatim what Ryle and Dennett have written (see Dennett’s intro to Ryle’s CoM); it’s odd that he rips off this analogy and doesn’t give a citation–probably because he wants to distance himself from that camp yet ironically use their analogy. And on page 15 he says “smiling is part of happiness” and on page 24 “consciousness is something that we DO”. Ryleian statements if there ever were! And considering that line of thought is an explicit attack on the ghost in the machine Noe makes for a funny bedfellow with Chopra.

    As Chapora certainly wants to do away with both behaviorism and physicalism entirely. And he’s even willing to say neurology has little to nothing to do with consciousness, “is that consciousness is not located nor localized nor originates in our brains”. Yet Noe seems to not be advocating for this at all, only for an expansion of what contributes: to allow for non-CNS processes to be part of the mix (this is the part of Noe I can agree with), “Now there’s no question whatsoever that the brain is necessary. But the idea that has begun to come into focus for many researchers is it’s necessary but maybe it’s not sufficient.” (but who ever really disagreed with that in any strict sense? Certainly not the person he pits himself against as his prime rival, Marr). Which by no way excludes physicalism, at least not with that statement, which is what Chopra is after.

  11. 12. Lloyd Rice says:

    First of all, my apologies to Burt for the following. In order to have a conversation with you, Burt, I must suspend my scientific point of view. You may or may not have realized I was doing that, but by doing so, we have had a fruitful interchange and I feel I more or less understand your point of view.

    However, when I listen to Chopra, I cannot make such a fundamental shift. Therefore, I “offer” these comments in the light by which I must evaluate the materials at hand.

    I started from the link provided in Burt[9]. From there, I went to Chopra’s video library. The first video is the interview with Stuart Hameroff. Hameroff’s argument for microtubules has no reasonable basis. He states that a paramecium is able to “find food, a mate, have sex, etc., all without neurons or synapses”. Food, I agree. But that requires only sensitivity to chemical gradients in the medium, for which the cell does have sensors. A paramecium does not have sex with a mate. Nor does any other single-celled organism.

    The next link was a discussion “What is Consciousness”, posted 27Apr10. My comment is simply that the overall tone is dismissive from the start of a scientific point of view. He quotes Sir Arthur Eddington as saying that perception is “something unknown doing we-don’t-know-what”. I find here no incentive to look for deeper meaning in any of his subsequent comments.

  12. 13. Mike Spenard says:

    @Lloyd
    Turning off the scientific point of view is pretty much a requirement with Chopra… all the way up until he finds its terminology convenient. E.g.: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-y5D7q1O1Uk

  13. 14. Lloyd Rice says:

    Again I let my fingers pound without engaging the brain. What I must suspend in order to talk to Burt is not the scientific point of view. Indeed, many questions about information flow, etc. depend heavily on the sci POV.

    No, what I suspend is no more than the conviction that the universe is fundamentally physical in nature. Once I agree that a “field” of some sort carries “consciousness, in some form” and that everything in the physical universe is based in some way upon activities in that “consciousness” field, the rest is natural.

  14. 15. Mike Spenard says:

    Chopra also unfairly characterizes neuroscience: “I have questioned this idea that just like our stomach secretes hydrochloric acid or the pancreas secretes pancreatic juice or the gallbladder makes bile, our brain secretes consciousness. It seemed a kind of ridiculous thing but yet that’s where our science was going.” Seriously Chopra?

    Then Noe tries to play both fields:

    “The simple proposal that I make in this book is that we can make surprising progress on these questions that seem so mysterious if we give up the idea that consciousness is sort of like digestion.”

    And Chopra sure has a short memory, in his intro he states: “So when scientists begin to look at stomach cells for example, stomach cells also make the same peptides the brain makes. In fact if you say “I have a gut feeling about such and such,” you’re not only speaking metaphorically but you might be speaking literally because your gut makes the same chemicals that your brain makes when it’s thinking”

    And Searle, who Noe should be siding with on anti-computationalism: “Consciousness is thus an ordinary feature of certain biological systems, in the same way that photosynthesis, digestion, and lactation are ordinary features of biological systems.”

    These guys are a total train wreck.

  15. 16. Mike Spenard says:

    Some of it is just down right laughable: Chopra, “I trained as a physician and unfortunately the first lesson you learn in medical school is anatomy.”

    Unfortunately?!?! Speak for yourself! I for one don’t need to have some Chopra Jr. suturing my rectum shut, after I complain of a limb with a laceration, because he doesn’t know his ass from his elbow.

  16. 17. Mike Spenard says:

    Noe: “Redness I think of as an environmental property. It’s something very complicated that arises from the interactions that go on in the world around us.”

    This would seem to put him into the Realist camp, but not necessarily as he could advocate for panpsychism I suppose. Yet, he seems to detract from that as well “As part of the argument of my book and as part of dialogue with the scientific community, I’m not prepared to say that we need to think of the entire universe as a single process because that overwhelms the question and then we lose our grip on how that applies to the specific matter at hand. So that’s my sort of, that’s my retreat from what you’ve just said [Chopra's comments leaning towards panpsychism]”

    But more damningly, he’s just plain wrong about redness being attributable to environmental properties. Hardin 1988 and my http://tinyurl.com/32ga2ct I think make that quite clear.

    Sorry for the multi-posts ;) …reading the interview in my spare moments.

  17. 18. Lloyd Rice says:

    More re Lloyd[14]: How hard is it to suspend belief in the physical? Well, maybe not as hard as one might first think. After all, if I am to take current cosmology at its word, I am to suppose that all matter, including dark matter, consists of tiny vibrating loops of energy (I’m not very conversant with the latest M theories). And then what is dark energy? It is all about as mind-boggling as the idea that the universe is all consciousness at the root. The big difference is that this idea of little loops of energy, rests to some degree upon those wild ideas which are more or less consistent with other ideas of physicality which are more strongly rooted in observable relationships.

    To believe that all physicality is based on something akin to an idea floating in space requires that you abandon this faint thread of observable basis. Whether or not the result is itself internally consistent is another matter to be explored before such a leap can be taken.

    However, … to the extent that I can argue that there is a way to explain consciousness without giving up the physical, as I have tried hard to do in these pages, I will continue top believe the universe is physically based.

  18. 19. Kar Lee says:

    Check this out:
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=gut-second-brain

    Just the title of Noe’s book “Out of Our Heads” is highly consistent with what people found in our guts.

    Noe’s thesis that consciousness is like dancing, a process instead of a state, is also something that we can discuss about. If one can stop the flow of time, consciousness has to disappear (you cannot be conscious without the time flowing, just think about the time it takes you to be conscious of something). In this sense, it is more like a dance than a state. A state exists whether time is flowing or not, just like a piece of rock, just like a pattern in the memory chip.

    Therefore the statement from Noe: “consciousness is what we do.”

    There are elements in Noe’s book that I like.

    Incidentally, David Chalmers and Andy Clark also have this “Extended Mind hypothesis” questioning whether we should limit ourselves to look for our mind inside our skull. Chalmers came to Boston University to give a talk on that last year, one day after Noe came to deliver his “Our of Our Heads” seminar and I was able to attend both talks as a member from the public. It was exciting to hear both intelligent beings talk.

    Chalmers took out his iPhone and showed how it should be considered as part of his mind because information he needed was stored in the iPhone and he can access those information just as easy as he can from his internal memory inside his biological brain. The iPhone should therefore be considered as an extension to his brain, and thus his mind. In their original paper, Clark and Chamlers used a paper notebook instead as an example. External objects that stored information for us can all be considered as part of our mind. The boundary of our mind is therefore surprisingly unclear and ill-defined.

    The concept that “you are not what is inside your skull” is an interesting one.

    At the end of the talk, I got to ask the final question/comment. I said to Chalmers that I was going to give him a counter-thesis: A diminished mind hypothesis. I just reverse his extended mind process, and consider replacing part of the brain by artificial/electronic drop-in replacements, frontal loop, visual cortex, etc, one by one. If you insist that your mind or your identity is in your physical brain, then once you replace those parts with artificial ones, your mind is no longer in those parts (if one of yours arms is damaged and you replace it with an artificial limb, you would not consider that detachable limb as part of the real you, or would you? I am sure Mike is going to bring up Alaska again).

    So, if you replace the brain section by section with artificial drop-in replacements, you are going to end up finally with an atom that is still un-replaced. If you insist that you are your brain (the biological brain), you are now locked up in this final single atom.

    I forgot what Chalmers said in response because I fell back into my deep thought on whether I had expressed myself clear enough. He said something about supervenience.

    But the point is, if you insist that you are your material body, then you either have to extend the concept of YOU to everything that “you” can utilize (e.g. your iPhone, your dishwasher, your TV set, your boss, your subordinates, your cat, your house, your doctors), that will eventually include the entire world of yours, or else you end up with one single atom, and then nothing once that last atom got replaced.

    So, what are you? Why and how does the world show up for us, to quote Noe? That is the question. An alternative form of the question is : Why do I exist?

  19. 20. Lloyd Rice says:

    Who am I? As you say, Kar Lee, it’s an interesting question. As far the prosthetic limb, I would say it’s pretty much up to you whether you want to count it as “you” or not, but Ramachandran has made it pretty clear that your internal “self” sense will indeed adopt it as “you”.

    As for the brain replacements, as long as they work properly, I see no reason to reject them as part of “me”. Interestingly, the internal “self” sense has no say in this department (even if that part is running in a Texas Inst chip).

  20. 21. Charles Wolverton says:

    Lloyd –

    “to the extent that I can argue that there is a way to explain consciousness without giving up the physical …”

    But why isn’t it sufficient to explain consciousness (however defined) in the vocabulary of some lower level of integration, eg, physiology? Ie, why worry up-front about whether the explanation can be taken explicitly to the level of physics (which I assume is meant by “the physical”)? As I have noted before, there is no question that a satellite system is physical at all levels of integration, but no one would consider – and couldn’t in practice even if they foolishly tried – explain its behavior in the vocabulary of physics. Why should it be any different for consciousness?

    The way Chalmers expresses this is that one set of properties A may be “reductively explainable” in terms of another set of properties B. And this is where “supervenience” comes in; according to my understanding of his discussion, B being reductively explainable in terms of A is equivalent to properties of B being “globally logically supervenient” on properties of A, where “globally” means “in all possible worlds” and “logically” means something like “conceivable, whether or not realizable”.

    As I interpret this view, it separates the practical idea of “explainable in terms of what is already known” from the metaphysical idea “of the same ontological space as the physical”. In these terms, my question becomes: Why worry about the latter until we have the former (or at least try for a while even though we may fail)?

  21. 22. Charles Wolverton says:

    Let’s pursue to concept raised (according to Kar Lee, by Chalmers) that an external memory store can be viewed as an extension of “mind”. As KL notes, if one isn’t careful, one can end up with the whole world as part of “extended mind”, at which point the usefulness of the concept seems questionable. So, we might start to narrow the concept by asking exactly what mental function is facilitated by such external stores (or for that matter, by internal memory stores).

    An obvious candidate is “knowing”, in particular “knowing-that” – which in turn requires that we adopt some concept of what it means to “know-that”. Since Sellars’ view has so far seemed to work for me – eg, vis-a-vis Mary-the-Color-Scientist – I’ll stick with it. I understand that view to be something along the lines of:

    To know-that proposition X is true is to be able to assert “X” and to justify that assertion to other members of a linguistic community, ie, to give reasons why it is true and for those reasons to be accepted.

    But with this two part definition, one doesn’t “know-that” X just because a source that would facilitate asserting X is readily available – one has to be able to assert X, ie, to have been exposed to X and internalized it as a proposition one is capable of asserting, and the source must be accepted as credible within the relevant linguistic community. The need for some conditions like this is consistent with common sense; otherwise, one who knows-how to use any source could be said to know-that every proposition X that could be found in that source.

    So what might be a better description of the role of the kinds of external memory stores in question? Perhaps that if adequately indexed and credible within the relevant community, they dramatically increase the volume of readily accessible sources of latent knowledge-that, needing only for their contents to be accessed and absorbed in order for those contents to become actual knowledge. But then the distinction is quantitative, not qualitative – less glamorous, but IMO more realistic.

  22. 23. Lloyd Rice says:

    Charles, You are certainly correct that it makes the most sense to use the highest available level of explanation, whether discussing brains or anything else. But that’s not what I was saying about the physical universe. The fact is that it’s extremely difficult to carry on two conversations at the same time. One conversation assumes the universe is basically physical and everything is ultimately explainable in physical terms. The other conversation assumes the universe is fundamentally consciousness and consciousness may sometimes choose to give rise to physicality and thus physical reality comes to exist.

    Both conversations are underway at this time (or the manifestation thereof that the great Consciousness has deemed to exist).

  23. 24. Kar Lee says:

    Here is the extended mind paper: http://consc.net/papers/extended.html

  24. 25. Kar Lee says:

    Charles,
    You said, “..To know-that proposition X is true is to be able to assert “X” and to justify that assertion to other members of a linguistic community, ie, to give reasons why it is true and for those reasons to be accepted…”

    In view of the “problem of other minds”, can you make an assertion and justify that assertion to other members of a linguistic community that you are conscious?

    Just wonder how this example reconciles with Sellars’ view?

  25. 26. Charles Wolverton says:

    Kar Lee: Thanks for the pointer to the paper.

    The MOMA thought experiment highlights several issues. To start, it isn’t clear (to me) what – if any – definition of “belief” the authors are assuming. I infer from context that they are using “believe” in somewhat the same sense that I have been using “know-that”. And since I’m committed to Sellars’ concept of “know-that”, I’ll assume that two questions must be answered in determining whether a person believes (ie, knows-that) “MOMA is located on 53rd St”:

    – Can the person assert that proposition (call it “M”) as being true?
    – If so, can the person justify that assertion within a relevant linguistic community?

    If both are answered “yes”, we’ll say that person believes M.

    With that backdrop, let’s consider some of the claims made by the authors.

    They describe Inga as deciding to go to MOMA, recalling from memory that M, and in fact going to MOMA. They then claim: “It seems clear that Inga believes that the museum is on 53rd Street, and that she believed this even before she consulted her memory.”

    This seems to be another [ossible case of confusing knowing-that and knowing-how. In the description, recalling M from memory suggests knowing-that, but the fact that she was able to go to MOMA may only demonstrate knowing-how. For example, she may not actually know the MOMA address but only the turns to make and blocks to traverse to get there from her home – ie, she may only know-how to get to MOMA from certain starting points. To demonstrate knowing-that M, she needs to be able to assert (even if only silently to herself) “M” and justify that assertion within a relevant linguistic community.

    The last part of that claim is puzzling. As I am interpreting “believe”, whether Inga believes M is independent of when – or if – she “consults memory”. Thus, the claim raises the question of what assumptions underlie the authors’ concept of “believe”. The subsequent statement “The belief was sitting somewhere in memory, waiting to be accessed.” suggests that one feature of their concept is that a belief is an object in the sense of being a piece of the contents of a memory store. This is a significant departure from Sellars’ concept of belief (ie, knowledge-that) as comprising capabilities for action.

    Nowhere in the discussion is the question of justification addressed. What justifies Inga’s assertion “M”? Does she have a glossy brochure from MOMA with the address and directions? A friend told her? She vaguely remembers passing it on the way to a jazz ckub she thinks may also be on 53rd St.? This seems a serious shortcoming for whatever concept of belief the authors are assuming.

    Furthermore, this ignores some necessary but missing beliefs: an address alone is inadequate information to get from where one is to that address. Inga apparently has the additional required beliefs – she got to MOMA. It is asserted that Otto did as well, so are we to conclude that his notebook includes a map of NYC? Or an explanation of the street-naming conventions used? Another aspect of Sellars’ concept of knowledge (“beliefs” here) is that they constitute an integrated and coherent package. Can we ascribe something analogous to Otto’s notebook?

    Otto uses his notebook essentially as a substitute for long-term memory. He jots down “M” and when he also decides to go to MOMA, he accesses this memory store. The authors claim that in this sense, Otto also believes M “[f]or in relevant respects the cases are entirely analogous”.

    But in the absence of any explicit criteria for “believing M”, this claim seems vacuous. Can Otto assert that M is true? He can, of course, look in his notebook and read “M” aloud. But that’s true of any written source to which he has access, which as noted in a previous comment leads to the dubious conclusion that he “believes” everything in every information source to which he has access. In any event, can he justify that assertion of M? The presumably parallel case of Twin-Otto suggests not, since apparently the notations made by Twin-Otto – and therefore presumably notations made by Otto – are not necessarily reliable, not having been justified by being accepted by a relevant linguistic community. The authors claim that “In both cases [Inga and Otto] the information is reliably there when needed”, which is true; but the issue isn”t reliable access to information, but instead access to reliable information.

    Finally, the authors triumphantly claim “a belief is simply not in the head”. Again, true; but in accordance with Sellars’ view, the extra-cranial component isn’t an alternative or extended memory store for assertions but a social practice – justification of assertions within a relevant linguistic community.

  26. 27. Kar Lee says:

    Charles,
    “…This seems to be another possible case of confusing knowing-that and knowing-how…. For example, she may not actually know the MOMA address but only the turns to make and blocks to traverse to get there from her home – …. To demonstrate knowing-that M, she needs to be able to assert (even if only silently to herself) “M” and justify that assertion within a relevant linguistic community….”

    You alluded to the possibility that “knowing-that” and “knowing-how” are exactly the same thing. I think you just provided a very good example demonstrating just that. Knowing how to get to a certain place is exactly equivalent to knowing the address. If I adopt your view, you can actually make the assertion within a “relevant linguistic community” by describing exactly where the location is by describing the twists and turns to get there.

    But I also like your response to my first question: How do you justify your claim of being conscious to a “relevant linguistic community”?

  27. 28. Charles Wolverton says:

    Lloyd:

    Understood, but since the objective of each group is presumably to construct the better argument, why not just get on with that until such time as one argument becomes manfestly superior. Notwithstanding that some of us currently see no good reason to doubt physicalism, it is certainly my impression that we are far from that time. In the meantime,I see unequivocal claims either way as religious cant.

  28. 29. Charles Wolverton says:

    “How do you justify your claim of being conscious to a relevant linguistic community?”

    I infer from the question that you may be interpreting “justify” as something like “prove”. In the context of Sellars’s book (as always, as I understand it) it only means to “offer reasons” in support of your assertion (whatever it is) and have them accepted.

    As for my being “conscious”, I don’t know a concise and coherent definition for the word and hence have no way to way to make, never mind justify, that claim.

  29. 30. Kar Lee says:

    Charles,
    Ah…you answering is very illuminating. That really clarifies the difficulties in discussing consciousness: We either don’t know what we are talking about, but behave in a way as if we do, or different people are simply talking about different things. You cannot find a better example than to say, “I cannot make the claim that I am conscious.” That is what I call the philosophy of mind!

  30. 31. Charles Wolverton says:

    Kar Lee:

    “You alluded to the possibility that “knowing-that” and “knowing-how” are exactly the same thing.”

    If you are referring to comment 116 in the Higgs Consciousness thread, that’s not what I said. If not, to what are you referring?

    “Knowing how to get to a certain place is exactly equivalent to knowing the address.”

    OK, Villa Marina East is a condo complex whose location (ie, “address”) is the corner of Mindanao Way and Alla Road in Marina del Rey, CA. You now know its location to finer resolution than Inga knows MOMA’s (on 53rd St. in NYC). Your claim is that you now also know how to get there. So, without consulting a map, GPS device, google maps, et al – ie, without obtaining ANY additional information – please tell us how to get to that condo complex from Comfort, TX.

    It’s actually easy – two freeway transitions and one right turn will do it. But then you already know that, so what are they?

  31. 32. Lloyd Rice says:

    Let’s see… I used to live in Santa Monica. I would probably take La Tijera. But then that would contradict the requirements. Hmmm.

  32. 33. Vicente says:

    Ok guys what a discussion !! I would just like to make a remark, in science what you call believe is called hypothesis, and then the scientific method enables a sieve that selects the best hypothesis available (sometimes none). So once we have all abandoned solipsism, science provides us the workplace and language to overcome all the problems raised in this thread. Keep in mind that at the end of the day all we do is to produce better beliefs.

    The issue is that consciousness problem is difficult to be tackled by physical methods, not to say impossible. I refer to the Introspection blog page. Too bad.

    “Knowing how to get to a certain place is exactly equivalent to knowing the address.”

    There is a misconception in this discussion. Addresses are part of a location system envisaged to allow people to get to places. So when an address is given, implicitly you are providing the path to the place. Otherwise the idea of address would be meaningless. So, the idea is that there is map, upon which addresses are referred.

    When looking at the whole geographical system, addresses plus maps plus transport means information etc, the discussion becomes unnecessary, doesn’t it. Talk about the address-map system. Coordinates are always refered to coordinate systems.

    It is common that focusing on a part of a system that only makes sense as a whole raises funny discussions. I believe that in the philosophy of mind we are somehow suffering this effect, we only have access to some part of the whole Universe and that is why we are engaged in this funny-dreadful centuries lasting discussion.

  33. 34. Charles Wolverton says:

    “Let’s see… I used to live in Santa Monica. I would probably take La Tijera. But then that would contradict the requirements.”

    And that’s what motivated my choice of Comfort, TX as a starting point. I made the very safe bet that no CE reader would both “know-that” Comfort, TX is on I-10 (notwithstanding being a native Texan, I didn’t!) and “know-how” to get around in West LA.

    So, you now “know-how” to get from Comfort to MdR (close enough), but I doubt that either KL or any other reader has a clue.

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