piątek, 7 września 2012

Reading Thomas Metzinger -- metaphysics

Metzinger's metaphysical argument against the existence of mental
notions such as the self is weak. It is mostly a proof by assumption
of the thesis, as Metzinger starts on materialistic
grounds. Metzinger's position is roughly that of eliminativist
materialism, as in Richard Rorty's "Philosophy and the Mirror of
Nature" (chapter 2) I'm just reading. Metzinger seems to employ the
developed theory to provide what Rorty calls "criteria for the
identity of reference". Rorty moves past eliminativist materialism:
"But since I think that the reductive and eliminative versions of
the identity theory are both merely awkward attempts to throw into
current philosophical jargon our natural reaction to an encounter
with the Antipodeans, I do not think that the difference between the
two should be pressed. Rather, they should both be abandoned, and with
them the notion of "mind-body identity." The proper reaction to the
Antipodean story is to adopt a materialism which is not an identity
theory in any sense, and which thus avoids the artificial notion that
we must wait upon "an adequate theory of meaning (or reference)"
before deciding issues in the philosophy of mind."

To see why Metzinger's eliminativist argument is weak, it is helpful
to consider the effect of Metzinger's "identity criteria" on the
Antipodeans scenario. Antipodeans are people just like humans, only
they do not use mental terms at all. At the point of cultural
development when they started to feel the need to talk about their
thoughts and perceptions rather than directly about things in the
world, their biological sciences were already developed well enough
that they could employ terms referring to brain states. Having
appropriate medical instruments, they taught themselves to name their
states such as "pain" by what they are, e.g. "activations of
C-fibers". For Rorty, the scenario is fully plausible, and in the
scenario there is really no difference between Antipodeans and humans
outside of their "folk psychology". For Metzinger, the scenario is
implausible, for the Antipodean terminology is indicative that their
phenomenal life is much different than in the human case, Antipodeans
probably are system-conscious. So large shift in their phenomenal
experience would project on the rest of their culture.

The point of eliminativism in Richar Rorty's words is: "Some
statements of the form "I just had a sensation of pain" are as
properly taken as true as "The sky is overcast" and "The sun is
rising," but none of them is true." The identity of reference criteria
that Metzinger sets out to provide are like the theory explaining how
"The sky is a blue dome" is false, by explaining what the sentece
speaks about, and how the facts of the matter differ from facts the
sentence postulates. But once Metzinger is done building the referents
of "pain", instead of saying "and here is how the talk about
sensations and selves gets things wrong", he claims "and since we can
now see that sensations and selves are complex processes rather than
simple substances, they do not exist" -- wait, what?

Reading Thomas Metzinger -- intentionality

Based on Thomas Metzinger "Being No One", starting from section
6.4.3. What is intentionality anyway?

"[T]he content of a perceptual state really is not a part of the
environment, but a relation holding to this part [...] Full-blown,
phenomenal self-consciousness always involves a relation between the
self and an object component."

"Some stages [of attentional agency] are conscious, some are
unconscious.  As a whole, this process displays an extremely high
degree of flexibility and short-term adaptability, involving the
explicit internal simulation of alternative objects for attentional
processing. We like to call this “selectivity,” [...] What there
is, in the sort of phenomenal agency involved in focal attention, is a
globally available representation of the process in which different
alternatives are matched against each other and the system settles on
a single solution."

"If a system integrates its own operations with opaque mental
representations, that is, with mental simulations of propositional
structures that could be true or false, into its already existing
transparent self-model while simultaneously attributing the causal
role of generating these representational states to itself," wait, how
does one do that?

"Opaque mental representations" are simply those that are not perceived as standing for reality. There is conscious meta-representation, but it doesn't have dedicated channels. It is just the knowledge that some experiences are not veridical -- for example the doubling of the world when one presses the sides of the eyeballs. And it is also the knowledge of how to use mental faculties to manipulate higher, more abstract layers of "modality stacks". Opaque are the representations that arise by top-down modulation instead of being driven by the inputs (the senses, the motor feedback). "[In volitional thought] the object component is opaque. We know that we take a certain attitude toward a self-generated representation of a goal."

"Please note how a phenomenal first-person perspective now reveals itself as the ongoing conscious representation of dynamic subject-object relations: to see an object, to feel a pain, to selectively “make a thought your own,” to chose a potential action goal, or, to be certain of oneself, as currently existing." Metzinger leads me to the conclusion that we have a self-perception modality, as I mentioned at the end of foregoing comment. The subject-object relation character of experience comes from cross-modal binding with this modality. But... "Cognitive self-reference, therefore, on the phenomenal level is necessarily experienced as direct and immediate, because it is not mediated through any sensory channel (it takes place in a supramodal format) and because of the fact that it is a second-order process of phenomenal representation, is not introspectively available (naive realism)." So is that a wrong conclusion, is self-perception supramodal? Although he speaks here about the cognitive layer, the "channel" refers to the earlier (phenomenal) layer of what I might call "modality stack". The supramodal aspect is just the more abstract entities arising from cross-modality binding in higher layers. Modalities correspond to senses, so perhaps we need a different term because we also need to cover "effector stacks", the layers of the "motor cortex".

"In short, phenomenal models of the intentionality relation consist of a transparent subject component and varying object components, which can be transparent as well as opaque, transiently being integrated into an overarching, comprehensive representation of the system as standing in a specific relation to a certain part of the world. [...] Episodic memory is a process of reconstructing what was here termed a PMIR, because one necessary constituent of memory retrieval is not simply the simulation of a past event, but an association of this simulation with a self-representation. [...] Reactivating a PMIR inevitably means reactivating a PSM." Patients without the PMIR are zombie-like. "Akinetic mutism is a state of wakefulness, combined with the absence of speech, emotional expression, and movement. Obviously, for such patients there is an integrated functional self-model, because they are able to briefly track objects, pull a bedcover, or, if forced, say their own name. [...] What the outside observer experiences as a vacuous stare or emotional neutrality is the complete absence of any willed action or communicative intention, the absence of a globally available model of subject-object relations (and, as can be seen in lacking the desire to talk, of subject-subject relations as well)." 

"The experience of agency seems to be the ongoing representational dynamics collapsing a phenomenal model of the practical intentionality relationship into a new transparent self-model. [...] It is important to note that at least two different kinds of ownership will be involved in any accurate description of the phenomenology: ownership for the resulting body movements [PSM], and ownership for the corresponding volitional act [PMIR], for example, the conscious representation of the selection process preceding the actual behavior." The PMIR is an integrative capacity.

I haven't read chapter 7 but PMIR seems to me to just describe various binding processes where one of the components is the transparent part of the PSM. I don't think these binding processes form a very distinctive separate module. If you describe the structure of the PSM, with transparent lower layer and more abstract higher layers etc., and describe the binding processes in general, there doesn't seem much to add specific to the PMIR. ETA: binding is not the right term since I meant processes that integrate across objects, binding refers to integrating experiences into objects. This large class of integrative processes, complementary to binding processes, deserve a name. Might it be PMIR? But these processes are all over the place, by themselves they don't model anything. And the integrative processes were already covered in the first part of the book. Perhaps Metzinger's thesis is that there is something special about this subclass of them.

piątek, 17 sierpnia 2012

Reading Thomas Metzinger -- the self

What is the role of the self? Based on chapter 5, (mostly)
subchapters 6.1--6.3, and section 6.4.2 of "Being No One". Note that I
only cover stuff where I want to add (or question) something, many
interesting things get omitted.

Phenomenal Self Model

It seems that the Phenomenal Model of the Intentionality Relation is a
structure and process for managing attention. When an object is
integrated into PMIR, the directing of attention towards that object
is available phenomenally (i.e. available for action control, concept
formation and "higher order" attention). PMIR will be basis of next post.

Integrating the Phenomenal Self Model into the world model provides
for relations between the PSM concept and the concepts of "outside"
objects. Such relations are basis of goal-directed behavior (when a
simulated relation is different than an actual relation).

The PSM integrates also the representation of any process that
preattentively integrates a set of features as an object. Only then
the object becomes attentionally available, so this is even more basic
than PMIR, it enables all "higher order" relations. I'm not sure
whether Metzinger thinks the object is available for concept formation
prior to this integration into PSM, it is unlikely given the lack of
attention. But for sure, what is here integrated is the distinct
concept of perceiving the object. Now it becomes possible to have the
goal of "taking a better look" at an object. This is a considerable
limitation over how I imagined attentional availability, but since a
global availability means integration into world model, it shouldn't
be much harder to also integrate it subjectively, i.e. into the
PSM. The very object formation already happens in the world-model and
the PSM, and in this process the object-encoding processes become
mental representations, i.e. potentially globally available.

PSM is distinguished in the representational space by high
invariability. Attention (for PSM and generally) might be driven to
"places" where the output of the model and the input of the senses
differs the most. But the background self-awareness is always present.

All properties of the system are represented in one integrated data
format, i.e. the PSM is "holistic".

"The nervous system, and this will be true for the particular case
of self-representation as well, is not so much a top-down controller,
but more a system whose task consists in generating adequate patterns
within [the body - nervous system - environment] overall
dynamics. [...] [I]f an internal self-model is to be a successful
instrument in predicting the future behavioral dynamics of an
individual system, it must in some way mirror or reflect important
functional characteristics of precisely that part of its internal
dynamics, which in the end will cause the overt actions in question."

"A fully grounded self-model would simply disappear. In principle,
phenomenal selfhood emerges as long as there is a conflict or
incoherence between bottom-up and top-down processes, between
expectancy and actual perception." The discrepancy draws attention to
the respective emulators in general, making them conscious,
i.e. globally available for flexible reaction. "A certain level of
autonomous, residual self-modeling is preserved."  Note that dynamics
(including goal-directedness) is part of the self-model.

Revisiting Transparency

Metzinger makes a general comment that I might have missed in my
discussion of transparency (don't remember). Content is phenomenally
opaque when it is presented as representational, i.e. as correlated
with a different presented content (for example, an imaginated
rehearsing self is correlated with the actual self integrated into the
"Now"). But later in the section he goes on with the old confusion :-(
First, by having a "fully opaque" self experience being an experience
of a ghost or spirit (disembodied entity). Later, he seems to say that
opaqueness is the "presentation" of misrepresentation in
presentational content. But then he writes "There is always
self-presentational content, there are always emotions and gut
feelings, for instance, and presentational content is always fully
transparent." Yet this is specifically about the self, so that's
OK. It looks like "presented as misrepresentational" is achieved by
having the relation, but missing the target process with which the
opaque content is supposed to correlate.

This transparency confusion makes it difficult to decipher notions
such as "nemocentric reality model (centered on a globally available,
but fully opaque self-model embedded in the current virtual window of
presence)", because here it certainly is not about presenting
misrepresentation (in neither the simulation nor the
pseudo-hallucination form). It is also not (or is only to a degree)
about representing an independently presented content (neither in the
simulation sense nor in the "constitutionally earlier stages of
processing" sense). Although I have an intuition what "fully opaque"
is supposed to mean here, where is the meat? "For any phenomenal
representation, its degree of phenomenal opacity is given by the
degree of attentional availability of earlier processing stages."
Yeah, you've already told that... OK, I uderstand "fully opaque"
as that the dependency of every processing stage on an earlier stage
(or generally -- bidirectionally, on other stages) is represented.

"My hypothesis is that the phenomenon of transparent self-modeling
developed as an evolutionary viable strategy because it constituted a
reliable way of making system-related information available without
entangling the system in endless internal loops of higher-order
self-modeling." No, the solution was already flourishing before the
problem developed :-)

Transparency finale: "A transparent representation is characterized by
the fact that the only properties accessible to introspective
attention are their content properties. It does not allow for the
representation of a vehicle-content distinction using on-board
resources. [...] If I engage in typical cognitive activities like
reasoning, and if I then direct my introspective attention to this
process as it unfolds, I experience myself as operating with internal
representations that I am deliberately constructing myself. They do
not imply the existence of their simulanda, and they might be
coreferential with other mental representations of myself without me
knowing this very fact. [...] [T]he phenomenology of transparent
experience is the phenomenology of not only knowing but of also
knowing that you know while you know; opaque experience is the
experience of knowing while also (nonconceptually, attentionally)
knowing that you may be wrong."

Role of Objects

"Global availability of information always means availability for
transient, dynamical integration with the currently active
self-model." I don't know what's the added value of PMIR over just
integration into "the window of presence and global model of the
world", we'll see...

Does "Phenomenal self-presentation is anchored in mental
self-presentation" mean that what is experienced is always part of
what could be experienced? I.e. that there's always more to direct
attention to? It probably speaks about the world-model and self-model

"It is, of course, an interesting question, whether the abstract,
normally unconscious processing stages preceding volitional and
phenomenally self-modeled movement selection can already count as
egocentric representations, or whether this is precisely the step at
which those computations are integrated into a self-representation,
which also makes them conscious. In any case it now seems plausible to
assume that what gets integrated into the PSM of the organism as a now
deliberating subject is a determinate, single, and concrete
representation of a specific behavior."

The PMIR might be the key to intersubjectivity: its representation
can be its object.

Goal representations (via goal-encoded objects) are in nonegocentric
frames of reference, they can be integrated into the PSM for actual
behavior and for self-simulation, they can be integrated into
"allocentric frames", simulations of others integrated into PSM as
simulations, or just unconsciously activated by mirror neurons. And
mirror neurons first emulate low-level, non-goal movements. Low-level
and high-level resonance mechanisms do not coincide. Goal-encoded
objects are object representations with selection mechanisms for a
repertoire of actions like various grasping behaviors.

Linguistic concepts are much more than simple concepts (i.e. processes
that represent other processes non-homomorphically but by activation
links, and so gain recombinability), they are goal-encoded objects,
having qualia as all objects, here the words or other symbols.

piątek, 3 sierpnia 2012

Foundations of my systemic metaphysics

My inner anti-anti-realist: "Let's do some metaphysics!"
My inner positivist: "You must be kidding! Such frivolous activities will waste your mind."
My inner neopragmatist: "Come on, inner positivist. Some frivolity is not necessarily a bad thing. Would you rather have us watch 'Dark Knight Rises'?"
My inner positivist: "Well... I'm not taking part in this, anyway."
My inner neopragmatist: "I'd rather have us write some poetry, but I'm not gonna spend this evening alone. Bring out your toys, inner anti-anti-realist."

Reality is indexical

My inner anti-anti-realist claims that the following is roughly right, although it might require corrections.
  1. Objects of mathematical nontrivial theories are some of the processes: their processuality is the way in which they are constructed from the corresponding theories. Constructivists are invited to consider only constructive mathematics. Other processes are similar in that they are not "standalone", but are parts of systems.
    1. Finitists are encouraged to share their mathematics with constructivists and read below about what mathematical objects are real.
  2. We divide processes into two disjoint groups: platonic processes and physical processes. Platonic processes are mostly mathematical objects, but also qualia are platonic processes too; if the reader does not wish to think that qualia are real, then mathematical objects might suffice; if the reader has a bent towards humanities, then even literary characters can qualify as platonic processes. Platonic processes are "not fully individuated". Physical processes are "fully individuated". They are mostly the processes which could in principle have the reader as a necessary cause, and other processes like that. Even if the reader participates in a creative process, the platonic deed is "discovered", is a cause of the physical creative process.
    1. It is allowed for physical processes to in some sense be mathematical objects.
  3. A metaphysical system consists of a triple: a separation of processes into platonic and physical ones, a distinguished process (the index), and a ternary relation among processes, called causation.
    1. A metaphysical system serves as a formalization of the philosophical concept of reality.
  4. We call a direct cause the antecedent, first term of a causation relation, we call direct effect the consequent, second term of a causation relation, and we call the third term of a causation relation the individuation.
    1. A single process cannot have two direct effects with the same individuation.
    2. You can think of individuation as fixing of parameters or fixing of the reference frame.
    3. We are speaking in terms of necessary causes, not of sufficient causes.
    4. A process can have many direct causes and effects.
  5. We call a cause and an effect the antecedent and consequent of the transitive closure of the causality relation, ignoring the individuation term.
    1. When we talk about cause and effect but require the existence of individuation, it is a shorthand for talking about direct cause and direct effect.
  6. We define past reality as all causes of the distinguished process:
    1. The distinguished process is past-real.
    2. A cause of a past-real process is past-real.
    3. No other processes are past-real.
  7. If a process correlates with an object of mathematical theory, that object is one its causes.
    1. I have not yet established, how causation among mathematical objects, i.e. platonic processes, looks like.
  8. A platonic process cannot have a physical cause. But see the following point.
  9. If a physical process A has platonic cause B with individuation X, process B has platonic effect C, and physical process D has platonic cause C with the same individuation X, then A has effect D.
  10. Arbitrary one of the physical processes that correspond to the unity of the consciousness of the reader is the distinguished process (the index).
    1. Here the use of physicality forbids the "leakage" of reality, where only an abstraction of the reader is taken as an index.
  11. Every information flow is a causal flow.
  12. New information cannot appear from nothing: a  non-decomposable process adds information by combining causes. There has to be sufficient number of processes to account for all information.
  13. We define necessity inductively:
    1. The distinguished process is necessary.
    2. A cause of a necessary process is necessary.
    3. For a process P that has at least one direct cause that is necessary and is not an effect of P, take S to be the set of all processes that are both a cause and an effect of P (possibly indirect). If all causes of all processes in S are either necessary or in S, then P is necessary (and therefore S are necessary).
      1. No other processes are necessary.
    4. We call real all necessary physical processes and their causes.
    5. A possible universe is a set of processes U that is closed under necessity, i.e.:
      1. A cause of a process in U is in U.
      2. For a process P that has at least one direct cause that is in U and is not an effect of P, take S to be the set of all processes that are both a cause and an effect of P (possibly indirect). If all causes of all processes in S are either in U or in S, then P is in U (and therefore S is contained in U).
    6. A set S is a sufficient set of causes for a process C, if all causes of C can be traced back to S, i.e. if every possible universe that contains S also contains C.
    7. A possible universe whose all processes are platonic is called a platonic universe.
    8. simulation of a platonic universe U is a set of physical processes S, such that there is an individuation X, that for every platonic process B in U there is a process A in S such that B is a cause of A with individuation X.
      1. A synonym for "simulation" is "a physical correlate".
    9. When two simulations simulate the same platonic universe, we call one an emulation of the other.
    10. All necessary physical processes and their causes are real.
    11. An embedded metaphysics differs from a metaphysical system only in that point 11 does not hold for it.
    12. An embedded metaphysics A is valid with respect to a metaphysical system B via a homomorphism of causality h, if for every process P that is real in A, process h(P) is real in B.
    13. An embedded metaphysics A is possible with respect to a metaphysical system B via a homomorphism of causality h, if for every process P that is real in A, process h(P) is necessary in B.
    14. Materialism: were a real platonic process to differ, the physical processes over which it supervenes would differ as well.
      1. More generally: if only a subprocess of a process is essential for its effect, only the subprocess is a necessary cause of the effect.


    Would the platonic "Permutation City" be real according to the physical characters of the book, if they used the presented metaphysics?

    czwartek, 2 sierpnia 2012

    Reading Thomas Metzinger -- vehicle vs. content

    On page 294 (5.4, "From Mental to Phenomenal Self-Presentation:
    Embodiment and Immediacy"), the author writes "There will be a level
    of elementary bioregulation, arguably a level of molecular-level,
    biochemical self- organization, at which it simply is forced—from a
    conceptual third-person perspective— to maintain the distinction
    between content and vehicle." and later writes "As soon as more
    empirical data are available, it will be a task for philosophy to
    demarcate a more fine-grained level of description on which it is
    plausible to assume a full match between content and causal role, that
    is, the identity of vehicle and content." This is very unclear to me.

    (BTW: Later, the author writes about the brain being insensitive to itself,
    but does not discuss headache.)

    There is an intentional vehicle-content distinction, and a phenomenal
    one. The intentional, i.e. referential, content is obvious, it is the
    referents (the representanda). The phenomenal content is "the way
    certain representational states feel from the first-person
    perspective." In 8.2 "Preliminary Answers" answer to "What is the
    “phenomenal content” of mental states, as opposed to their
    representational or “intentional content?”", "It is a special form of
    intentional content, namely, in satisfying the constraints developed
    in chapters 3 and 6." It cannot be right, since the constraints can be
    only satisfied by intentional vehicle, not content. Is it supposed to
    mean, that "phenomenal content" is the semantical aspect of
    (phenomenal) experience? That would be an interesting thesis: how
    conscious processes "feel" is what they mean. Continuing the question,
    "Are there examples of mentality exhibiting one without the other? Do
    double dissociations exist?", Metzinger says:

    "Double dissociations do not exist. There certainly is unconscious
    intentional content. A lot of it. But in ecologically valid standard
    situations there is no conscious state that is not a representational
    state in some way (for a nonstandard situation, cf. the abstract
    geometrical hallucinations [...] [which are] purely Phenomenal
    content). [...] there is no example of phenomenal content that is not
    also directed at some target object, property, or relation. Please
    note that this does not mean that the experiential subject has to have
    the slightest clue about what the intentional object of his or her
    experiences actually is. In many cases, for example, in living through
    diffuse feelings and emotions (like jealousy), the original
    intentional object may be millions of years away. It may not exist
    anymore. The original representandum may be something that was only
    present in the world of our distant ancestors."

    poniedziałek, 30 lipca 2012


    Evolution by natural selection brought for the first time into the
    natural world the teleofunctional quality. "Teleofunctional" roughly
    means "purposeful", "teleo" is the "forward-looking" aspect and
    "functional" is the "operational" aspect. Initially every "meaning"
    (that is, having a function) would from our perspective be endowed
    with value, the survival value. But then humans started to gain
    stronger and stronger consciousness, for the benefit of behavioral
    flexibility. That flexibility has meant farther and farther
    forward-looking, adding more and more space between "teleo" and
    "functional". First, the flexibility enabled superstitions, which are
    confused purposes quite removed from the initial "teleo" (survival)
    aspect; but still, everything functional was teleofunctional, there
    was no "problem of the meaning of life". Finally humans discovered the
    scientific method which allowed to create functionality (understanding
    the mechanism) without intrinsic "teleo" aspect, and (earlier, but an
    enabling factor "in the same vein") the philosophical concept of
    truth, which detached meaning (the third-person perspective) and value
    (the first-person perspective).

    Evolution did not create value, consciousness did.

    Reading Thomas Metzinger -- transparency


    Reading "Being No One", the biggest problem I've found so far is the
    "Transparency" constraint (3.2.7, of 3.2 "Multilevel Constraints: What
    Makes a Neural Representation a Phenomenal Representation?", of 3 "The
    Representational Deep Structure of Phenomenal Experience"), and the
    related "Homogeneity" constraint (3.2.10 "“Ultrasmoothness”: The
    Homogeneity of Simple Content"). Perhaps I'll grasp it making this

    Warning: the notion of attention I use below is the technical one
    defined in the book.

    Although the author appears to define "transparency" precisely, I'm
    not sure the bundle of accompanying examples fits into a single
    concept. It is spanned between two aspects.

    The first is phenomenal simplicity: experience is transparent, when we
    cannot direct attention to any more of the details of the process over
    which the experience supervenes.  I.e. there is a strict unpenetrable
    border of attention, the aspects of the preception process which (at
    least potentially) are part of the experience, are the "portions" of
    this process to which we can direct attention. And there are large
    portions of the perception process to which we just cannot direct
    attention at all, at least in normal conditions (e.g. not under
    psychedelic drugs, some drug-induced artifacts might be transgressions
    of this attentional border). This view of transparency makes the
    experience "substantial": things (and I'll add thoughts as well)
    appear to us as they appear to us to fundamentally be, we have no
    experiential clue that the appearance could be, for example, an
    abstraction or a statistical inference.

    The second aspect is phenomenal givenness (veridicity?). In normal
    wakeful awareness (and in some nocturnal dreams, those that are
    "realistic" i.e. vivid and non-lucid), we are predisposed to be naive
    realists. We experience being immersed in a world as it independently
    of our act of perception is. Experience is transparent when it is
    experienced as exclusively about the actual world (or the actual
    us). Experience is transparent when its content is experienced as its
    only cause. Under this aspect, thoughts, imaginations and lucid dreams
    are phenomenally opaque (and therefore also plans, mental rehearsal,
    etc.) They (usually) are perceived as "representing", as standing
    for something (since only actual stuff can be present).

    Of course these two aspects are related, for example we can talk about
    ineffability and immediacy in both cases. But there might be
    experiences that are one but not the other. It's likely that in vivid
    dreams (and lucid dreams are vivid since a lot of the brain is waken
    up) we experience qualia. Is Thomas Metzinger taking the two aspects
    as two sides of a single coin, or just defining "transparency" as
    conjunction of "givenness" and "simplicity"?

    The author's definition of phenomenal transparency:

    "For any phenomenal state, the degree of phenomenal transparency is
    inversely proportional to the introspective degree of attentional
    availability of earlier processing stages."

    Earlier processing stages are "temporally earlier" in the aspect of
    phenomenal givenness, and are "constitutionally earlier" in the aspect
    of phenomenal simplicity. In both cases the "earlier processing
    stages" are the "internal causes" of the experience.

    I think from what Thomas Metzinger writes that he might think, if we
    could direct attention to, for example, edge detectors in visual
    processing, as long as we rest our attention at the edge detectors, we
    would have to "will the perception into existence" of objects that
    constitute the normal visual experience, for them to appear to us. By
    analogy to how we experience imagination, where we have to "will"
    imagined objects "into existence". The objects wouldn't just
    effortlessly appear besides the edges. In 3.2.10 paragraph
    "Homogeneity as an Informational-Computational Strategy" (he writes
    such paragraphs for each constraint) he states: "Without homogeneity
    we could introspectively penetrate into the processing stages
    underlying the activation of sensory content. One obvious consequence
    of this would be that the multimodal, high-dimensional surface of our
    phenomenal world would start to dissolve. We would then phenomenally
    experience the model as an ongoing global simulation permanently
    generated from scratch, as it were, and thereby it would inevitably
    lose the phenomenal character of being an untranscendable reality."
    What is normally perceived is always a persistent, "maximum a
    posteriori" object. Fixing too early processing stages, like edge
    detectors, might be disruptive to this inferential process.

    What are your thoughts? Do you think that phenomenal givenness implies
    phenomenal simplicity? What about vice-versa? Do you think that the
    objects of imagination are always given to us relationally, we always
    grasp the processuality of their coming about? Are there imaginary
    qualia? Do you think that attentional access to (constitutionally)
    earlier processing stages dissolves the experiential immediacy of
    later stages?

    Lucid dreams are interesting because we can affect the scene
    construction by directing our attention to toplevel fragments of the
    top-down information propagation in scene construction, while the
    bottom-up information propagation proceeds unaffected. I'd say that we
    have "givenness" when we do not clamp any fragment of the toplevel
    layers for the top-down information propagation of a given scene
    (either because we cannot since the bottom-level layers are clamped by
    sensory input, or because we don't realize that we can). (I'm sorry
    for the homunkulus-like way of speaking.) I'd say we have "simplicity"
    when the bottom-up information propagation starts below the lowest
    attentionally available layer, rather than in the middle, for the
    scene. I'm finishing 3.2.10, lucid dreams are covered somewhere in the
    next chapter.

    Chapter 4 "Case Studies I".

    Let me pick up more issues in "Being No One", perhaps the glitches are
    my own stubbornness.

    The first problem is when the author claims (4.2 "Deviant phenomental
    models of reality", 4.2.1 "Agnosia" p. 220/221) that a patient who
    uses chromatic information for shape formation and motion detection,
    but has no experience of color (his visual experience is in shades of
    gray), has color cognitively but not attentionally avialable. The fact
    that chromatic distinctions feed into shape formation has obviously
    nothing to do with recognizing color conceptually, no? Chromatic
    vision feeds into formation of concepts here, but not of color

    4.2.2 "Neglect". Similarily, hemineglect no doubt is an attentional
    deficit (and a deficit of the "model of intentionality relation"), but
    likely the deficit is simply because of the lesion of processing
    stages leaving nothing to attend to and model. There's less of a
    problem because the author doesn't say otherwise. He sort-of analyzes
    the minimal conditions that could generate hemineglect.

    Anton's syndrome discussion focuses on the self-modeling deficit
    without mentioning whether the offline phenomenal experience
    (nocturnal dream like, but top-down modulated) is also absent. I guess
    it is.

    4.2.4 "Hallucinations", Charles-Bonnet syndrome; "percepts are missing
    characteristic features and are simply superimposed on, but not
    semantically embedded in, the phenomenal model of external reality" is
    contradicted by the following example. The patient reports pragmatic
    and (slight) phenomenal abnormalities as distinguishing hallucinated
    content, semantically it seems to be OK.

    Phenomenal transparency/opacity is again distincitly used in two
    senses, one is transparency as "phenomenally normal experience", and
    the other, inflated meaning is opacity as "believed to not correspond
    to reality".

    I don't think it's likely that "earlier processing stages" can become
    directly available for attention, because of architectural
    limitations. It's more likely that they become available indirectly by
    "polluting" the bottom-up signal with "vehicle properties" (the
    "maximum aposteriori distribution" puts too much weight on the
    consistency of the lower layers, so they fixate before propagating
    information upwards). It is still a form of attentional
    availability... Perhaps this could be not indirect, but an important
    (if not the primary) mechanism of attentional availability? For
    Metzinger, attentional availability is "subsymbolic
    re-representation", i.e. additional neurodynamical structure is formed
    that correlates with the original phenomenon and propagates
    information about it.

    You might be asking how this differs from cognitive availability,
    i.e. "symbolic re-representation". The attentional structure is
    (neurodynamically) homomorphic with the original phenomenon and so
    cannot be reassembled in arbitrary contexts, while the symbolic
    structure is only activationally linked with the original phenomenon.

    4.2.5 "Dreams", "phenomenal dream content is not attentionally
    available" -- obviously, "All there is is salience-driven, low-level
    attention." Again we have two concepts conflated, "attentional
    salience" and "volitional attention". Phenomena have to be
    attentionally available (in the attentional salience aspect) to be
    even minimally conscious. As later noted, this is related to the
    distinction from chapter 2 (p. 36) between four forms of

    1. external attention
    2. consciously experienced cognitive reference
    3. inward attention / inner perception
    4. consciously experienced cognitive self-reference

    Introspection 1 is attention (subsymbolic re-representation) toward a
    "world" experience. Introspection 3 is attention toward the
    self-model, it "is generated by processes of phenomenal
    representation, which direct attention toward certain aspects of an
    internal system state, the intentional content of which is being
    constituted by a part of the world depicted as internal".
    Introspection 2 and 4 are the symbolic variants. Metzinger says
    "introspection 3 is almost impossible in a dream state, because
    high-level attention is absent." Obviously, most dreams feature a
    phenomenal self, only it is not a volitional self because of the lack
    of deliberation. Metzinger seems to say that in dreams, attention
    cannot rest on the self-model, it only integrates features of the
    self-model selected by the generated world-model. But it's an
    attentional deficit (lack of high-level attention). "You cannot
    introspectively attend even to your most simple sensory perceptions in
    the dream state, because you are not an attentional subject."

    (Anecdotally, I think I've had dreams without a phenomenal self -- dreamt
    from the third person perspective, or, remembered as movies; I've certainly had
    dreams with a phenomenal self that was not my actual (waking)
    self-model, remembered as movies with a distinguished
    character. Normally I have dreams remembered in roughly the same
    format as normal memories.)


    Later the author makes it even more evident that he thinks of the presentational content, i.e. the processes that are only attentively but not cognitively available, as transparent, and of representational content, i.e. cognitively available processes, as opaque. As a tendency perhaps.