"Pete Carlton" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

> Earlier there were posts about
> whether SAS-like patterns in a cellular automaton would really be
> conscious or not.  It seems like this question is asking, "I can see
> how the thing behaves, but what I want to know is, are the lights
> 'turned on inside' or not?".  But we already know that there are no
> lights -- so what is the question really asking?

You take the "box/brain" analogy to literally. If I rephrase the question as "I can see how the thing behaves, but what I want to know is 'is there consciousness there?' . Would you "still" say "But we already know that there are no consciousness -- so what the question is really asking?". Well my remark adds nothing in the sense that Eric Cavalcanti succeeds apparently to pinpoint the contradiction in Pete's post (through the use of Frank Jackson's colorblind Mary experiment). Nice piece of dialog. Actually I do think that the box/brain analogy is not so bad, once we agree to choose another "topology" for the information space, but for this I need the modal theory of knowledge S4 ... Well, the box/brain analogy *does* lead to wrong statements, and indeed it occurs again in Eric Cavalcanti and Stathis Papaioannou later reply in that thread! Look:

Stathis Papaioannou wrote (and Eric Cavalcanti did assess it)

Actually, you probably _could_ drive your brain into "seeing red" if you knew exactly what physical processes occur in the brain in response to a red stimulus, and if you had appropriate neural interface equipment. Such capabilities do not currently exist - not even close - but the idea is the basis of many SF stories (eg. William Gibson, Greg Egan). The same sort of thing frequently occurs naturally: the definition of a hallucination is a perception without the stimulus that would normally give rise to that perception. The point is, even if you knew in perfect detail what happens in your brain when you see red, you would not actually know/feel/experience the qualia unless you ran the software on your own hardware.

Of course I mainly agree with Stathis here, and with Eric's assessment, but Stathis formulates it in just the way which makes people abusing the box analogy. Indeed, the only way to actually know/feel/experience the qualia is to "run" the right software, which really *defines* the owner. The choice of hardware makes no difference. The owner of the hardware makes no difference. This is because the owner is really defined by the (running) software. To be even more exact, there is eventually no need for running the software, because eventually the box itself is a construction of the mind, and is defined by the (possible) software/owner. That illustrates also that you cannot see "blue" as someone else sees "blue" by running the [someone else's software] on "your hardware", because if you run [someone else's software] on your hardware, you will just duplicate that someone-else, and your hardware will become [someone else's hardware!] And *you* will just disappear (locally).


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