030-simulation and matter - 1st person and 3rd person perspective - accepting the physical universe
We are faced with a conundrum. On the one hand we can demonstrate that the function of awareness AW:X = X and the function of representation X = X;Y or X -> X;Y are certainly true. Yet we live in an physical, external, objective world, it is our basic experience. Moreover, if we start to act like we do not live in an objective physical world, something comes along and kills us. We live in a world that does come at us, that interrupts our thinking, that surprises us, that can kill us.
Let's call the awareness and representation functions the first person perspective, and the experience of the objective world that is external to our awareness, a 3rd person perspective. Both perspectives are true. But I will go further and say these facts are not facts of perspective but are both true conditions of the nature of the universe. The universe is one where everything exists in a first person sort of way, and also an external and objective sort of way. However, the external world paradigm (or model) never gets us to a point where awareness is real, where representation happens, because awareness and representation are not external, but are, in ordinary terms, subjective. Yet awareness and representation are so fundamental that we gloss over how awareness and representation work. Awareness and representation though are demonstrable facts.
Think about what it means to have a third person viewpoint that we take to be reality, the external world. that third person viewpoint is just a representation too.
A true 3rd person perspective would reveal ALL of the functional occurrences in an environment. we don't see that hypothetical perspective (A God's eye view). we make a simulation of what it is going on. A 3rd person perspective is not a true 3rd person perspective. it's a first person's simulation of a hypothetical other 1st person perspective. For instance, we do not see how electrons are aligning in atomic orbits to construct molecules. We do not experience the electro-magnetic forces that form molecules in synapses. Nor the surrounding molecules which induce proteins in a neuron to fold, which produces a small difference in the action potential of a single synapse in a neuron which induces a cascading effect to cause subtle changes in the timing of muscle contraction and a split second action at a yellow light prevents or assures that an automobile collision occurs on a road built by people in a city also built by people who lived and died 37532 planetary rotations from that moment in time.
We do not see this level of detail in our third person objective universe. no, we simulate scenes. We project causes and effects as if there is some actual 3rd person perspective of reality, either a physical reality or a non-physical reality. We don't see reality at all. We don't speak about the 580 nanometer wavelength of photons hitting our retina, we speak of yellow light. But to speak nanometer wavelengths without speaking about yellow or vice versa is to exclude facts about the universe. What other facts are we excluding when talking about light?
We experience, and we classify some of our experiences as physical and non-physical. We call some of these experiences, objective, external, material because of the kinds of experiences we have. Yellow light is physical, even though yellow is not physical at all. Yellow is qualia; yellow is the quality of the perception of light.
We classify our non-physical experiences. We share non-physical experiences with each other. Meaning is shared. We can point to yellow lights and red lights but red and yellow are not physical things, any more than bitter is physical. But we share the experience of yellow and of red* [unless a person is color blind]
The "reality" of things is not the objectivity of the things, "reality" is a simulation of what we think is the mutuality of experience which includes objectivity and objective things.
A materialist argues that some material structure apprehends the physical world (a brain). But this word "apprehend" is just saying "and then something magic happens to the matter and poof - we have awareness!" A materialist never gets to what awareness is or how representation works. And there is a reason for this. Because the materialists argument that there is a material physical world is not itself material physical thing. The idea of an external physical universe is an idea. The materialist view point asserts that awareness, and experience, and ideas must arise from matter. All the while ignoring that matter itself is an idea.
I don't mean to say that there is no such thing as matter, any more than I mean to say there is no such thing as yellow, or bitter, or unicorns. What I mean is that the materialist bifurcates experiences and claims one kind of experience give rise to other kinds of experience: the materialist experiences produce the nonmaterial experiences. The bifurcation itself is the problem. There are just experiences.
Moreover, when the materialist bifurcates experiences between physical and non-physical experiences, the fact of awareness, the fact of representation get put into the non-physical side of things. And because of this, the materialist can never get to a point where awareness or representation occur in the materialist simulation he creates. The closest the materialist perspective can approach representation is the philosophical zombie or the algorithmic artificial intelligence. This notion of a third person perspective of an external physical world is simply not oriented to see HOW awareness and representation co-occur with physical matter.
More simply, the materialist perspective creates a duality because it is a bifurcation of experience. The bifurcation, the duality itself is the impediment to understand awareness, representation, and how they occur in matter. Awareness and representation are features of the universe, they are not emergent properties of matter.
If we start from the position that representations exist, that awareness exist in the first place, as a starting point,then we see that an external world, a physical universe is not the physical universe per se, but is a model, a simulation that refers to an external universe. But this doesn't sit well with us. This perspective seems like a weak model compared to treating the physical universe as an external objective material reality. But conclusively, our experience tells us both ways of looking at the universe are true. That there is an objective reality that we apprehend, and that we simulate that reality with our third person perspective.
So let's assume that both are true. Let's assume there is a kind of physical objective universe and accept the fact that awareness and representations are features of that universe.
Awareness is a fundamental feature of the universe, because it is the first demonstrable and necessary fact, and awareness is, explicitly, not physical and objective. The contents of awareness, the representations, may be shared. This means the same representations are mutually experienced (which is the basis of objectivity). So how is phenomena achieved when the universe is also objective and physical? When the physical universe is something beyond our simulations and representations of it? How does a physical universe give rise to experience? Because we know that it does.
This is how we start, by looking at the physical systems which manifest awareness and representation and to discern the functions of physical instantiation of representation. We know awareness and representation co-occurs in specific physical systems. How does that co-occurrence happen? What are the functional and structural features of physical phenomena which are perform representations. And what are the functional and structure features of physical phenomena, that can be reproduced to instantiate the function of awareness and representation in a machine?