What Is It Like To Be A Human Brain Attached To Bat’s Senses?
Posted by Tanas Gjorgoski on September 14, 2006
If I haven’t seen red, and somebody tells me that there is color I haven’t seen, and that it is called red – I don’t imagine red color as something which is there in me. It is for me empirical matter… to see red is to become aware of something new. Not merely to become aware of something that already belongs to me. As I can’t know how Bach’ fugues sound like until I have listened to them, and as I can’t know how Monet’s Sunrise looks like until I have seen it, I feel exactly the same way about the color I have never seen.
If I reflect on possibilities to imagine or remember it, I find it a pointless work – What am I trying to imagine, what am I trying to remember? I don’t know!
But why is it the same case with the colors and with those “complicated” things? For sure there is no reason for Bach’s fugues and Monet’s paintings to be there in my awareness until I have seen them – there is infinity of possible paintings and infinity of musical pieces. But if my brain is hardwired to be able to “receive” this specific number of colors, and there is specific experience “connected” to each of those, why do I see them as empirical? How come I am not aware of them and their possibility from the very start?
Can it be that our mind is universal “experience machine”? If we see simple colors and sounds as empirical, maybe it is because they are really not belonging to the limits of our mind? Can it be that the limits of our eyes, ears, skin etc… are not the limits of our phenomenal experiences – can there be other phenomenal experiences open to our mind?
Maybe those mice will tell us.