Brent Meeker writes:

> I think we need to say what it means for a computation to be 
> self-interpreting.  Many 
> control programs are written with self-monitoring functions and logging 
> functions. 
> Why would we not attribute consciousness to them?

Well, why not? Some people don't even think higher mammals are conscious, and 
some there are true solipsists who could convince themselves that other people 
are not really 
conscious as rationalisation for antisocial behaviour. On the other hand, maybe 
flies experience 
pain and fear when confronted with insecticide that is orders of magnitude 
greater than that 
of any mere human experience of torture, and maybe when I press the letter "y" 
on my 
keyboard I am subjecting my computer to the torments of hell. I don't buy the 
argument that 
only complex brains or computations can experience pain either: when I was a 
child I wasn't 
as smart as I am now, but I recall that it hurt a lot more and I was much more 
likely to cry when 
I cut myself. 

Stathis Papaioannou
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