You Are Not What You Think But How You Think
A disputatious correspondent quotes a Space Cadet*:
"[T]here is a deep logical gap between neurons and experiences, between our mental nature and our physical nature. The materialist tries to cross this gap by brute force, but the gap stubbornly remains. The reason, then, that introspection does not reveal the mind to be the brain is just that the mind is not in fact the brain. It is not that introspection is blind to the true nature of mental states. Rather, mental states are not reducible to neural states, and introspection reveals this fact." (McGinn, Colin. The Mysterious Flame: Conscious Minds in a Material World. New York: Basic Books, 1999. p. 25)
Here, despite his issues elsewhere McGinn echoes the party line of anti-reductionist philosophers against materialism. That introspection does not reveal the mechanisms of consciousness.
There is an additional subtext that consciousness or phenomenality is asserted to be an identity with its seeming. The claim forwards that our conscious perception cannot be illusory or misrepresented because it is the perception thus is in instance of being not other than its perception. The materialist, by contrast points out both the logical absence of an identified agency of perception in this description as well as an overwhelming wealth of now very well established empirical data demonstrating the many and consistent mis- and mal- perceptions our conscious awareness unavoidably contains. That even in trivial "instant" observations our perceptions are demonstrably and massively proven to be other than transparent transductions of external realities.
Need I add the obvious, that the philosophers circularly defines "phenomenality" as a vacuous tautology?
To resolve this conundrum requires only a measure of analytic scope.
From the materialist stance there are several other implicit problems with the (crypto-dualist) philosophers' interpretation of our unquestionably real perceptions.
The two main ones are homeomorphic identity versus isomorphic identity. Materialists assert the former. Philosophers conflate all statements of identity with the latter. The second most serious is that the unchallengable reality of our perceptions being our perceptions as they are in no way lends lends credence to the material validity to the relational representations about the determinable referents in their content.
(to be continued...)