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Mustelafan t1_ja9m120 wrote

Your example still falls prey to the problem of inverted spectra. Hypothetically, two people could have phenomenal experiences of sight and color that are exactly opposite of each other, and if these experiences were otherwise isomorphic (the relationships between each color still proportionally the same) they could produce the exact same work of art but both percieve it differently.

Regarding bats, though blind humans are apparently capable of some form of echolocation, there's no way to know if their phenomenal experience of echolocation is the same as how bats experience echolocation. If their brains and brain activity are sufficiently similar we might reasonably infer that that's the case, but it's probably impossible to ever say for sure. Same with dogs; we can reasonably infer that dogs experience affection, but who can say whether the subjective feeling of affection is the same for dogs as it is for humans? This is where Mr. Berns has failed to properly address Nagel's question.

I might say affection is a sort of sweet feeling. You might say it's more red, to someone else it's gold or a feeling of levity. A dog might consider affection savory or warm. We all have experienced affection, but we may all experience it differently.


NotObviouslyARobot t1_jabe551 wrote

The inverted spectra problem isn't a problem for the example I gave.

The hypothetical humans in the problem do not exist.

Real, flesh and blood humans exist.

Even if two real humans have isomorphic relationships with color, and try to paint the same thing, they'll make choices in how they use color. When creating art, not making choices is not an option. Their subjective experiences mean they won't make the same choices.

They'll choose colors in different orders. They'll mix paints differently. There will be minute motor differences. They'll perceive something, translate it to their own inner world, and then transport it out again via fine motor skills & paint.

In the final product, they -won't- have produced the same work of art, because their subjective humanity ensured that their processes would not be isomorphic. At the same time, they will have communicated details of their inner subjective experience, in an objective fashion--using a known medium. Even if you train the artists, or the elephant artists, this process is going to happen.

We've defined objective reality via consensus--and the sheer body of evidence surrounding the average experience of what redness is, is well-established. It can -feel- different from person to person & this difference can be readily communicated.

Nagel's Bat is a hypothesis designed to be untestable & immune to evidence.