Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> 
> Colin Hales writes:
> 
>>> I think it is logically possible to have functional equivalence but
>>> structural
>>> difference with consequently difference in conscious state even though
>>> external behaviour is the same.
>>>
>>> Stathis Papaioannou
>> Remember Dave Chalmers with his 'silicon replacement' zombie papers? (a)
>> Replace every neuron with a silicon "functional equivalent" and (b) hold
>> the external behaviour identical.
> 
> I would guess that such a 1-for-1 replacement brain would in fact have the 
> same 
> PC as the biological original, although this si not a logical certainty. But 
> what I was 
> thinking of was the equivalent of copying the "look and feel" of a piece of 
> software 
> without having access to the source code. Computers may one day be able to 
> copy 
> the "look and feel" of a human not by directly modelling neurons but by 
> completely 
> different mechanisms. Even if such computers were conscious, there seems no 
> good 
> reason to assume that their experiences would be similar to those of a 
> similarly 
> behaving human. 
>  
>> If the 'structural difference' (accounting for consciousness) has a
>> critical role in function then the assumption of identical external
>> behaviour is logically flawed. This is the 'philosophical zombie'. Holding
>> the behaviour to be the same is a meaninglesss impossibility in this
>> circumstance.
> 
> We can assume that the structural difference makes a difference to 
> consciousness but 
> not external behaviour. For example, it may cause spectrum reversal.
>  
>> In the case of Chalmers silicon replacement it assumes that everything
>> that was being done by the neuron is duplicated. What the silicon model
>> assumes is a) that we know everything there is to know and b) that silicon
>> replacement/modelling/representation is capable of delivering everything,
>> even if we did 'know  everything' and put it in the model. Bad, bad,
>> arrogant assumptions.
> 
> Well, it might just not work, and you end up with an idiot who slobbers and 
> stares into 
> space. Or you might end up with someone who can do calculations really well 
> but displays 
> no emotions. But it's a thought experiment: suppose you use whatever advanced 
> technology 
> it takes to create a being with *exactly* the same behaviours as a biological 
> human. Can 
> you be sure that this being would be conscious? Can you be sure that this 
> being would be 
> conscious in the same way you and I are conscious?

Consciousness would be supported by the behavioral evidence.  If it were 
functionally similar at a low level I don't see what evidence there would be 
against it. So the best conclusion would be that the being was conscious.

If we knew a lot about the function of the human brain and we created this 
behaviorally identical being but with different functional structure; then we 
would have some evidence against the being having human type consciousness - 
but I think we'd be able to assert that it was not conscious in some way.

Brent Meeker


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