Introducing the brain: different consciousness research (Introduction)

by dhw, Friday, September 13, 2019, 10:49 (9 days ago) @ David Turell

QUOTES: "I had the privilege of interning at the Qualia Research Institute (QRI), a San Francisco–based research nonprofit that is dedicated to discovering the science of consciousness (qualia are subjective experiences). Its approach rests on two core philosophical assumptions: The first is “qualia formalism,” which claims that our subjective experience has a mathematical structure. The second is “valence realism,” the view that we can objectively measure the so-called valence of conscious experience—that is, how pleasant an experience feels.

QRI is still in the very early stages of testing the symmetry theory of valence, and it needs funding to run scientific trials on human subjects.” (dhw's bold)

DAVID: They are certainly not going to solve the hard problem. I frankly don't know what they are really doing, but it may be worth the trouble to uncover something that helps. It is certainly clear that what the brain gives us is second-hand information compared to absolute reality.

I join you in having no idea what they are on about. We all know that our perception is subjective, but I don’t understand the concept or significance of this subjectivity having a “mathematical structure” or of “valence realism” as an objective measure of how pleasant an experience feels. It all sounds very grand and scientific, but my sceptical mind can’t help feeling that the most significant aspect of the whole thing is the clause I have bolded.


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