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Constant2 comments on Reductive Reference - Less Wrong

20 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 03 April 2008 01:37AM

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Comment author: Constant2 03 April 2008 11:39:56PM 1 point [-]

we DO take our sense data as a starting point

It may be useful to distinguish between sense data (which can only be observed introspectively) and sensory data (neural activity at the periphery of the nervous system). Our brains do indeed take our sensory data as a starting point of sorts (though not the only starting point - we are not blank slates). However, sense data is a philosophical notion that has been under attack for a long time. Deservedly so, I think. See, for example, J. L. Austin's Sense and Sensibilia, one of the more entertaining and well-written philosophical works IMO.