I hate to interrupt the discussion on qualia solely. It's interesting.
Nico wrote:I think you need to define what you mean with 'feeling' and 'pain' first.
In that other thread that was mixed up in very confusing ways, sometimes meaning 'physical reaction to damage', sometimes 'emotional stress', and mostly something that that kept changing meaning. So, could you define as exactly as possible what you mean by those terms first?
I started this thread with the intent of giving Nico some starting point for something he wouldn't want to say in the other thread. Nico, somehow, disappeared and the suspension literally pulled my feet away. Because of that, I forgot to post the answer to Nico's question. Perhaps, we can get him back in here, when the idea of trees is being touched, again.
Nico, in the face of what I think about the existence, reality or whatever of qualia,
"pain" is the fact that "it hurts",
"feeling" is the fact that someone is feeling something somehow. And that's the question, isn't it? What is meant by "feeling"? To ask for a definition of it is, imho, to divert a question into a labyrinth of useless definitions. Like "define define
", for example.
I made a connection between the question, whether trees feel pain and qualia, because the question of qualia itself shows that to talk about "feeling pain" for other beings is to transpose private concepts of "feeling pain" to other beings, per se. Which seems to be as fair as denying it for others. Imho.
The fact that I made that connection was not intended, though, to keep You, Nico, away from the topic. I'm still very interested in what You think. That's why I started this thread for. If my choice of connection did indeed keep You away because it was made impossible to share Your thoughts in this thread, feel free to voice Your thoughts in here, may they be off-topic or not.
I'm not quite sure, whether it can be right to say (I'm going backwards a bit - not to disturb the discussion at this point, but to give voice to my thoughts to a comment from earlier on) that plants can't feel pain because it is of no need to them. If that was so, I wouldn't be able to feel headache, toothache or stomach-ache, as I cannot avoid what is causing this pain. But I've not thought it fully through, yet.
To be honest, I was a bit disappointed by Nicholaas's statement, that ""Mind", consciousness, whatever, is an extension - or process of - the brain itself." Because it is the starting point of the mind-body-discussion. Not the conclusion. To state it as the conclusion, to state it as unfallible fact, would be to call hundreds of philosophers fools, would be to dismiss half of the debate as useless with no argument, at all. That's disappointing.