Brent M wrote: >Consciousness requires interaction with an environment; consciousness >implicitly requires a distinction between "I" and "the world". < MJ: I find it an excellent addage to identify Ccnss, thank you. I was searching for 'self' and found a similar trait, adding "self reflective relation" to it. I would change "an" into "the" and call environment the totality - but this is a minor change in wording. In the 'self' I struggled with 'closer' and 'less closely' related ambience as pertaining to the 'strength of the relationship, which would vote for Brent's "an" rather than my "the". I was talking about "conscious", as frequently used not identically to the adjective of Ccness,(e.g. 'unconscious' in sleep retains some Ccness for an alarm clock.) Is the 'addage' all of Ccness? Like another Brent-post I have to recall: Brent's excellent proposition some time ago, about "why go further from a (timeless?) world we cannot really kidentified as 'originated', into a similarly uniodentified 'creator' (approximate paraphrasing), why can we not stop there and speak about 'the world' only? (Meaning: isn't one level of unknowable enough?) Of course that rang the bell of pantheism.
I skip the rest of the 'rock-physics'. Regards John M ----- Original Message ----- From: Brent Meeker To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sent: Saturday, January 13, 2007 12:24 AM Subject: Re: The Meaning of Life Stathis Papaioannou wrote: > > John Mikes writes: > >> Regarding consciousness being generated by physical activity, would it help if >> I said that if a conventional computer is conscious, then, to be consistent, a >> rock would also have to be conscious? >> JM: Bruno: >> A rock will not read an article in the Figaro, but that is not the rock's fault. It is our usage of the human terms transferred into non-human applications, what I sense all over. Did we properly identified 'conscious'? I feel (generalized DOWN the complexity-scale) it is some 'mental sensitivity' - maybe more. Human mentality of course. Even if animals are deemed conscious, it is in human measures. Like: animals are stupid: cannot talk. Washoe chimp 'talked' US sign language and how else should a creature articulate its sounds (for human talk) without proper equipment to do so? >> Sensitivity with the proper premises is 'conscious' in humans - as we call it. A rock has response to information it can acknowledge, it is semantics what word we use to mark it. A pine tree does not run, a human does not fly. (how stupid, says the chicken), > > I make the claim that a rock can be conscious assuming that computationalism > is true; it may not be true, in which case neither a rock nor a computer may be > conscious. There is no natural syntax or semantics for a computer telling us > what should count as a "1" or a "0", what should count as a red perception, and > so on. These things are determined by how the computer is designed to interact > with its environment, whether that mean outputting the sum of two numbers to > a screen or interacting with a human to convince him that it is conscious. But what > if the environment is made part of the computer? The constraint on meaning and > syntax would then go, and the vibration of atoms in a rock could be implementing > any computation, including any conscious computation, if such there are. > > John Searle, among others, believes this is absurd, and that therefore it disproves > computationalism. Another approach is that it shows that it is absurd that consciousness > supervenes on physical activity of any sort, but we can keep computationalism and > drop the physical supervenience criterion, as Bruno has. > > Stathis Papaioannou I have a view that seems to me to be slightly different. Consciousness requires interaction with an environment; consciousness implicitly requires a distinction between "I" and "the world". So when you attribute consciousness to a rock, incorporating "the world" as part of the rock, while the remainder of the rock is "conscious" that raises problems. We can say that this part of the rock is conscious of that part; making some arbitrary division of the rock. But then it's not conscious in/of our universe. When you say there is no canonical syntax, which is what allows anything to be a computation of anything else, I think that is overstates the case. Suppose a particular pair of iron atoms in the rock are magnetically aligned and the syntax counts that as "0" while anti-aligned counts as "1". Then what computation is implemented by "0000000..."? The arbitrariness of syntax supposedly allows this to be translated into "27" or some other number. But then the translation has to have all possible words in it and the relational meanings of those words; including the words for all the numbers in that world. This places a pretty strong restriction on the size of the rock-world - there are only some 10^25 atoms to do all this representing. Brent Meeker -- No virus found in this incoming message. Checked by AVG Free Edition. Version: 7.1.410 / Virus Database: 268.16.10/624 - Release Date: 1/12/2007 --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to email@example.com To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED] For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---