Russell Standish writes:

> > > When talking about minds, the self/other boundary need not occur on
> > > the biological boundary (skin). I would say that when dreaming, or
> > > hallucinating, the random firing we perceive as coming from our input
> > > centres (visual cortex for instance) is coming from outside our minds
> > > (although still within our heads).
> > 
> > What if I'm not dreaming or hallucinating but just thinking abstract 
> > thoughts 
> > about number theory or philosophy. I'm conscious, but I don't necessarily 
> > have 
> > any sense of input from outside myself, whether real or imagined. I could 
> > live my 
> > whole life like this, and if I ever suspected that something other than my 
> > own mind 
> > existed it would be just another theory created by my mind on its own. 
> >  
> I find it hard to imagine this being possible without any form of
> input. Most philosophers would need books, or at least an internet
> connection to
> What you're suggesting is something like Tegmark's smart baby that
> figures out the grand unified theory of everything before it has
> learnt to talk. Is this possible? Not so sure....

As soon as you say "mind", "machine", or "program" you are assuming some 
knowledge, even if it is just some basic axioms and rules. Input from the 
just adds to these axioms and rules. The difference between a machine that can 
do binary arithmetic and a machine that incorporates a hardwired database of 
all knowledge 
is just one of degree. 

Stathis Papaioannou
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