Pit Stop

Well, I’m back home in Wellfleet after a splendid three-day weekend on Star Island. (The high point of the weekend was a tribute performance we gave on Saturday night in honor of the late Walter Becker, consisting of a baker’s dozen of Steely Dan’s greatest hits. (It would have been impossible to get that together in such short order — Steely Dan is difficult music! — were it not for the presence of some really outstanding musical pros in our little circle of friends.)

I won’t be home for long — on Thursday the lovely Nina and I are off to Vienna for about ten days to visit with our daughter, her husband, and our little grandson Liam, now a toddler (as of about a week ago).

I’m afraid content may be sparse while we’re away. To be honest, it was so nice to get completely away from news and politics last weekend that I have little eagerness to dig back in. I did notice, however, that Bill Vallicella has again taken up the problem of consciousness — and, with the subject being an old hobby-horse of mine, and his comment-box being open, I joined the conversation. Bill and I have been on opposite sides of this for at least a decade now — I think that the physical brain probably, somehow, gives rise to consciousness, and he doesn’t — but I’m always glad to have another go at it. We’ll see.


  1. Jimmy says

    Stay safe in Europe Malcolm

    Posted September 13, 2017 at 2:22 am | Permalink
  2. Whitewall says

    Have a safe trip

    Posted September 13, 2017 at 7:30 am | Permalink
  3. Jason says

    Be sure to watch your wallet, purse, and similar items; there are alas quite a few good thieves in Prague and perhaps Vienna.

    Posted September 14, 2017 at 2:13 am | Permalink
  4. Malcolm,

    You misprepresented what we were discussing, namely whether qualia can be identified with brain states.

    Be that as it may. I mainly just wanted to see if your quirky spam bot will let me in.

    Posted September 20, 2017 at 10:55 pm | Permalink
  5. Strange! It let me in right off. Didn’t have to jump through even one hoop.

    Posted September 20, 2017 at 10:57 pm | Permalink
  6. Malcolm says

    Yes, Bill, I’ve changed the security plugin.

    As for our discussion, I don’t think I did misinterpret your argument. If by “identified with” you mean “identical to”, then I agree: qualia are not identical to a brain’s complete state, any more than lightning is, in a strict sense, identical to a thunderstorm.

    My point was more subtle than that, and I think you and Jacques misinterpreted it. I will try to make it clearer in a different post. (I’m on the road for a few days, so it may have to wait.)

    Posted September 21, 2017 at 3:59 am | Permalink

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