Are there any SIMPLE books refuting what Bernardo calls "The materialism of qualities"?

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donsalmon
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Are there any SIMPLE books refuting what Bernardo calls "The materialism of qualities"?

Post by donsalmon »

If you know of any books or videos, I'd love to know about them. I'd love to see something a teenager of average intelligence could understand!

Here's Bernardo's essay: https://www.bernardokastrup.com/2020/01 ... mment-form

Meanwhile, here's something I wrote on another discussion thread last month. It's relevant to this question, so here it is:


1. Before an alternative ontology is proposed, it is necessary to establish as clearly as possible that empirical (as defined by present day science) data does not provide ANY evidence that establishes one ontology as superior to another.

2. Empirical evidence, as accepted among the majority of contemporary scientists, consists solely of the following:

(a) Registration of perception

(a1) By "perception," I mean cognitive/affective interpretation of the sensory images produced by stimulation of the brain (via the sense organs) by an unknown "X")

(b) reduction of perception to abstract mathematical values.

(c) Development of a theory to account for the quantified patterns that have been perceived.

3. In summary, scientific research as widely understood today, involves two things: (1) perception, and (2) abstracted, quantified concepts based on perception

4. At no point in this investigation is there any direct contact with the unknown "X" which is stimulating the sense organs.


****

I should hasten to add I don't agree with most of this. I'm attempting to write entirely from within a universally accepted understanding of what empirical research involves. There are a host of unsupported physicalist assumptions, as well as the assertion that "X" can't be known directly, with which I strongly disagree. Most important, gnostic intuition (what Sri Aurobindo calls "Knowledge by identity," or nondual knowledge) is not seen as having any role in this.

However, for the sake of THIS post, none of that matters, because I"m attempting to write from WITHIN the physicalist understanding of science.

I'm going to rephrase it, in case perhaps another wording of it might make it more accessible:

According to the widely accepted understanding of empirical research, science involves two things:

(a) perceiving (the result of cognitive/affective stimulation of the senses by an unknown X")

and

(b) abstract, quantified analysis of patterns of perceiving, following by theorizing and hypothesizing, leading to the identification of patterns (the so-called "laws of nature")


***

Notice that in this view, the unknown "X" could just as easily by consciousness as mind-independent "stuff" of some kind. But for talking to skeptics, I don't think anything needs to be said about "X" UNTIl these 2 simple points are established and understood. I think that Bernardo's philosophy would have many many more interested in it if they understood these points. I think Bernardo DOES make these points in places, but I've never seen it worked out in sufficient detail. At least, I've never seen it worked out in a way that I would not hesitate to refer skeptics to it.
ParadoxZone
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Re: Are there any SIMPLE books refuting what Bernardo calls "The materialism of qualities"?

Post by ParadoxZone »

Don,

To answer your question, no I haven't come across any such book. I'm also responding to let you know you're not speaking into a void here. If I do come across something, I'll let you know via this forum.

As for engaging sceptics, I don't know what to say. You have a lot more experience (and hopefully success) than me. As far as I'm concerned, your post above is the book you're looking for. While being of average intelligence, I'm not a teenager anymore. A tiktok video expressing your post maybe?
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Martin_
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Re: Are there any SIMPLE books refuting what Bernardo calls "The materialism of qualities"?

Post by Martin_ »

Science is larger than that. Some parts of science is qualitative, not quantitative, and some sciences (Math as an example) do not deal with Perceptions.

Maybe you mean Physics specifically?

Empirial research is heavily dependent on Instruments. You might call it Perception by Proxy.

Anyway, i feel that people throw around the term "science" a little bit too loosely nowadays. Its easy to accuse someone if being unscientific. But if you equate Science with best-curve-fitting some miscellanous quantitative obervations in some arbitrary space, then you are missing a lot of what Science really is.
"I don't understand." /Unknown
Jim Cross
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Re: Are there any SIMPLE books refuting what Bernardo calls "The materialism of qualities"?

Post by Jim Cross »

Bernardo seems embarrassingly uninformed about how neuroscience understands vision and other senses work.

In the article, he seems to believe that materialism somehow requires that the brain be a passive recorder of the external world like a camera.
pandaproducts
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Re: Are there any SIMPLE books refuting what Bernardo calls "The materialism of qualities"?

Post by pandaproducts »

Jim Cross wrote: Sat Sep 25, 2021 1:13 pm Bernardo seems embarrassingly uninformed about how neuroscience understands vision and other senses work.

In the article, he seems to believe that materialism somehow requires that the brain be a passive recorder of the external world like a camera.
No.. he's talking about a TYPE of materialism that asserts that. He makes the opposite case for mainstream physicalism, pointing out how it entails that your entire reality of qualities is hallucinated in your head by an abstract quantitative world out there.
Jim Cross
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Re: Are there any SIMPLE books refuting what Bernardo calls "The materialism of qualities"?

Post by Jim Cross »

pandaproducts wrote: Sun Sep 26, 2021 7:15 am
Jim Cross wrote: Sat Sep 25, 2021 1:13 pm Bernardo seems embarrassingly uninformed about how neuroscience understands vision and other senses work.

In the article, he seems to believe that materialism somehow requires that the brain be a passive recorder of the external world like a camera.
No.. he's talking about a TYPE of materialism that assbelerts that. He makes the opposite case for mainstream physicalism, pointing out how it entails that your entire reality of qualities is hallucinated in your head by an abstract quantitative world out there.
All of his arguments about dreams and optical illusions are easily explained by materialism as products of the nervous system and its interactions with the world. In fact, they are argument in favor of materialism. They are only arguments against naive realism.

People blind from birth don't see in their dreams. Squirrel monkeys who have had cones in their eyes altered to detect wavelengths associated with the color red can suddenly see the color. Where did the red exist before the nervous system became modified to see it? Answer: it didn't exist until the nervous system had the capability to create it. We are fooled by optical illusions precisely because our vision is a product of our nervous system which is the product of millions of years of evolution.

Bernardo should read up on how neuroscience understands vision to work.



pandaproducts
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Re: Are there any SIMPLE books refuting what Bernardo calls "The materialism of qualities"?

Post by pandaproducts »

Jim Cross wrote: Sun Sep 26, 2021 12:55 pm
pandaproducts wrote: Sun Sep 26, 2021 7:15 am
Jim Cross wrote: Sat Sep 25, 2021 1:13 pm Bernardo seems embarrassingly uninformed about how neuroscience understands vision and other senses work.

In the article, he seems to believe that materialism somehow requires that the brain be a passive recorder of the external world like a camera.
No.. he's talking about a TYPE of materialism that assbelerts that. He makes the opposite case for mainstream physicalism, pointing out how it entails that your entire reality of qualities is hallucinated in your head by an abstract quantitative world out there.
All of his arguments about dreams and optical illusions are easily explained by materialism as products of the nervous system and its interactions with the world. In fact, they are argument in favor of materialism. They are only arguments against naive realism.

People blind from birth don't see in their dreams. Squirrel monkeys who have had cones in their eyes altered to detect wavelengths associated with the color red can suddenly see the color. Where did the red exist before the nervous system became modified to see it? Answer: it didn't exist until the nervous system had the capability to create it. We are fooled by optical illusions precisely because our vision is a product of our nervous system which is the product of millions of years of evolution.

Bernardo should read up on how neuroscience understands vision to work.




Right. Again, he was making an argument against qualitative materialism, or what is commonly called naive realism.
Jim Cross
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Re: Are there any SIMPLE books refuting what Bernardo calls "The materialism of qualities"?

Post by Jim Cross »

pandaproducts wrote: Tue Sep 28, 2021 8:43 am Right. Again, he was making an argument against qualitative materialism, or what is commonly called naïve realism.
I guess we actually agree. But this is a straw man argument because few materialists are naïve realists.

Also, I am not sure calling this "qualitative materialism" is even correct. It might be one form of it. But materialists mostly would account for qualia as products/artifacts of the simulation that runs in the brain not as qualities that exist in the external world. Most materialism would agree to some extent with Hoffman's desktop analogy that qualia are part of the user interface for the brain dealing with the external world. This would also be "qualitative materialism" in that it accounts for qualia from neuronal activity in the brain.
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AshvinP
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Re: Are there any SIMPLE books refuting what Bernardo calls "The materialism of qualities"?

Post by AshvinP »

Jim Cross wrote: Tue Sep 28, 2021 12:27 pm
pandaproducts wrote: Tue Sep 28, 2021 8:43 am Right. Again, he was making an argument against qualitative materialism, or what is commonly called naïve realism.
I guess we actually agree. But this is a straw man argument because few materialists are naïve realists.

Also, I am not sure calling this "qualitative materialism" is even correct. It might be one form of it. But materialists mostly would account for qualia as products/artifacts of the simulation that runs in the brain not as qualities that exist in the external world. Most materialism would agree to some extent with Hoffman's desktop analogy that qualia are part of the user interface for the brain dealing with the external world. This would also be "qualitative materialism" in that it accounts for qualia from neuronal activity in the brain.

Lets be clear, that is not Hoffman's desktop analogy. It applies to what we normally call "quantitative properties" which he analogizes to the pixels on the computer screen. Qualities of experience are the one thing he assumes to exist for purposes of his "conscious realist" model. Naive realism comes in many forms. It can also apply to our actions of will, or inwardly sensed feelings and thoughts. One can naively assume their simple concept about what is "undeniably true" is the real "thing-in-itself". Actually, materialists are by definition naïve realists. The abstract concepts created to deal with the ever-receding horizon of what is real are always assumed to be real. That includes the claim, "we can never know what is real". That is an abstract concept held naively to be real (and is also immediately self-defeating). Idealists do this as well - Schop did it with perceptions of reflections of his willed activity. So we cannot underestimate how thoroughly naïve realism permeates modern thought of all varieties.
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Jim Cross
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Re: Are there any SIMPLE books refuting what Bernardo calls "The materialism of qualities"?

Post by Jim Cross »

Actually, materialists are by definition naïve realists.
Actually you don't know what you are talking about.

You may be confusing scientific realism with naïve realism.
Many philosophers claim that it is incompatible to accept naïve realism in the philosophy of perception and scientific realism in the philosophy of science.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Na%C3%AFv ... al_realism

When you get down to it, idealists are probably the most naïve of realists since what they are perceiving is consciousness itself so it must definitionally be real. There is no reason in idealism for perceptions to ever be wrong or incorrect since they are consciousness perceiving itself. No optical illusions would be possible.

As for Hoffman, are you saying color, for example, has no role in the desktop or its icons?
To return to the metaphor of the desktop interface on a PC, even though visible characteristics of the file icons (their shape, color, etc.) do not reflect their objective properties (the computer files themselves are not inherently shaped or colored), the interface nevertheless allows us to interact successfully with the computer because of the coherence between the “perceptual” and “action” mappings.


https://link.springer.com/article/10.37 ... 015-0890-8
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