X-Message-Number: 23882
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2004 09:42:44 -0700 (PDT)
From: Scott Badger <>
Subject: Re: homunculi

> From: 
> Date: Mon, 12 Apr 2004 10:03:47 EDT
> Subject: homunculi
"The core of the "identity" question is the
"homunculus" problem. If the experience and the
experiencer are different, how are they
differentiated, and who or what is the experiencer? 

My tentative answer is that ultimately the experience
and the experiencer are the same. There is no one who
"has" a quale; the quale IS (or the set of qualia are)
the person in that interval. The overlaps 
identify you (in part) with your predecessors and

Interesting. Could we explore this perspective a bit?
It sounds like you're thinking of an "experience" as a
physical or emotional interaction between an organism
(e.g. a human) and the environment. The very specific
and unique patterns of behavior employed by an
organism to react to the environment defines that
organism's "identity". The intersection, then, between
organism and environment is the "experience". But is
there still some sort of qualitative difference
between the experience and the experiencer?

When an organism sees the color blue, its brain, and
perhaps other parts of its body, react viscerally.
Neurons go about their business translating the light
frequencies and distributing signals which trigger
unconsious and consious actions such as memories,
comments, reflections, analyses, and other
mentations/cognitions. (Do you perceive cognitions as
being visceral?)

Are all of these actions simply varied elements of
"the experience"? Or are the higher-order cognitions
the organism produces 'about' the experience something
else? Are higher-order cognitions sufficiently
'different enough' in a qualitative sense to justify
the existence of an experiencer separate from the
experience? Perhaps I'm simply asking if the
differences between higher-order thinking and
lower-order thinking are sufficient evidence for the
presence of a self-entity which is the experiencer in
the common sense that we use the term. That is, do the
words "I" and "me" make any real sense?

If not, why not Dr Ettinger?


Scott Badger

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