Feelings, Nothing More than Feelings ... and Chemistry
A philosophy maven of one of my most frequent haunts defended "qualia" with amphigory about "raw feels". Another poster, much in the same vein as many of my comments claimed
This is somewhat derived from introspection and therefore very open to question on its face ... but a practiced and somewhat trained introspection consistent with what other practitioners of similar introspective disciplines report, and carries the dual weight of being physically reducible and physically testable.
I suspect much that "raw feels" are in fact the "feeling", the very finely tuned awareness of musculature tonality and relation. Sadness above the eyes, Anger, the pit of the somach and inner thighs, fascination behind the right eye moving out to the temple, and so on. Differing somewhat for everyone of course, but not really that much; more across cultures.
Of course others will "*rightly* say that that's just pushing the problem back a step ... which comes to *why* it happens. It's not the "feeling" of the tension and tonality, but the awareness of the brain that it is *creating* the muscular firing between it and its opposing muscles and that the "sense" of the tension in kinesthia is simply confirmation of it doing so. Sentitions, somewhat more fully elaborated than Humphrey painted them.
IOW the emotional component of phenomenality is an active correlated self generated "message" that the brain can read in real time as the correspondent of its emotive response to the cognitive physiological responses that it itself generates from the associative imperatives (as in chemistry!) of an otherwise purely informational memory (chemistry as structure and relation). The actual "binding" of emotional aka "motivational" (it isn't its really just the mechanism for the brain to tell itself what it's motivational intent is) with the representational structures of cognitive abstracta. (Pro or con Brexit, say).
Note however that that this mechanism is necessarily serialized. There can be only one active control of a muscle at one time! And it must persist the time for the signals to go full circle to the muscle, have it react, and read the correspondent kinesthetic afferent signals in response. (~ 1/2 second).
As said, on my part some awareness of this comes in part from meditative introspection, finding out what the "parts" of my feelings are, so it's questionable in spots, and completely open to empirical revision or refutation. It is bolstered by the trivial but backed psychological truisms (how silly they sound, but they do have material import I find) like "smile, you'll feel better". But as relating "feelings" to a mechanism that accounts for them, it works. I finally derived it trying to figure out an implementation logic in real processor through mechanism for Humphrey's "sentitions" and was floored by what it could explain.
Chalmers issued physicalists an infamous challenge of accounting for the dimensionality of the phenomenal visual field. Well there it is. The sentitions and controls of eye movement. 2D are simply the horizontal and vertical muscles and their intensity. 3D is the combo of the focus musculature and the eye position differential.
Additionally, why consciousness, why an "I". ... ?
... because the memorial correspondents *must* be serialized in real time, but the brain needs a mechanism to distinguish its self generated motivational recollections from its muscular interactions in the physical world otherwise. For example you can be walking down the street while angry. The brain is controlling and "reading" the musculature of you walking and coordinating that with vision and balance senses .... but at the same time firing the "anger" correspondents. OF course the brain is massively parallel ... it can do many things at once .... but the sentition anger response comes in by the same "channel" as some muscles used controlling your walking (note that we read "body language" to identify emotional state, and angry person has a "stiff" walk). Well the brain needs some means to "route" and containerize the associative emotive senses from the world-control senses. Meet YOU.
So - as speculation, but strongly suspecting some part of truth to it - I'd have to say that "raw feel" is not a memory so much as it is "real time" pattern recognition of the brain's own structured physical responses as *action* generated from informational (structured chemistry) memory.
(more to come) -- TWZ
- Typographic corrections