Joseph Polanik wrote:
after all is said and done, if I am unable to say that I am the experiencer of the afterimages that I induce, I would have no basis for saying that I am experienced in the skill of inducing afterimages; or, that I am the experiencer of my experience in the skill of inducing afterimages.
When we talk about experience as something gained through the practising of a new skill, then this mutual relationship and interdependence hold up, but to use the word as Chalmers does in reference to what he calls the "hard problem" (i.e. conscious experience) is to engage in a very different language game. "Experience" in this latter game cannot be compared with deception (or any other attempt at analogy) since deception constitutes only a part of the "data of conscious experience", not the whole of it (i.e. "experience"). There can be only one "entirety of the data of conscious experience", and the idea of experience (said idea being merely a part of that data, additionally complicated by having variant conceptions) is at the root of much confused thinking and cross-purpose debate on this issue. In this latter (Chalmersian) language game, the word "experience" has been recruited to allude to something (or rather to "not a nothing") that is at the very limit of language, in contrast to those games in which the word is used to refer to some aspect of cognitive function. Being at the very limit of language, it makes no sense to misconceive it as an entity and then to pile misconceived entity upon misconceived entity by postulating the existence of some associated "experiencer" that is distinct from it but that stands in mutual relationship and interdependence with it. It is by just such a misconception (putting the entirety of the data of conscious experience on an equal footing with those entities, activities and relationships that appear within the data of conscious experience) that we arrive at the problem of accounting for the relationship between conscious experience and the experiencer. The "experience" of which Chalmers speaks appears nowhere within the data of conscious experience, not as entity, activity, nor relationship, and neither does this putative "experiencer". Chalmers' "hard problem" results from confusing the well grounded and useful idea of self as organism in its habitat with the ungrounded and useless metaphysical idea of self as experiencer. ========================================== Need Something? Check here: http://ludwig.squarespace.com/wittrslinks/