On Feb 18, 5:46 pm, "Stathis Papaioannou" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> On 2/18/07, Mark Peaty <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> My main problem with Comp is that it needs several unprovable assumptions to
> > be accepted. For example the Yes Doctor hypothesis, wherein it is assumed
> > that it must be possible to digitally emulate some or all of a person's
> > body/brain function and the person will not notice any difference. The Yes
> > Doctor hypothesis is a particular case of the digital emulation hypothesis
> > in which it is asserted that, basically, ANYTHING can be digitally emulated
> > if one had enough computational resources available. As this seems to me to
> > be almost a version of Comp [at least as far as I have got with reading
> > Bruno's exposition] then from my simple minded perspective it looks rather
> > like assuming the very thing that needs to be demonstrated.
> You can't prove that a machine will be conscious in the same way you are.
> There is good reason to believe that the third person observable behaviour
> of the brain can be emulated, because the brain is just chemical reactions
> and chemistry is a well-understood field. (Roger Penrose believes that
> something fundamentally non-computable may be happening in the brain but he
> is almost on his own in this view.) However, it is possible that the actual
> chemical reactions are needed for consciousness, and a computer emulation
> would be a philosophical zombie. I think it is very unlikely that something
> as elaborate as consciousness could have developed with no evolutionary
> purpose (evolution cannot distinguish between me and my zombie twin if
> zombies are possible), but it is a logical possibility.
> Stathis Papaioannou

I believe that to say that some special substrate is needed for
consciousness, be it chemical reactions or anything else, is
subscribing to an epiphenominal view.  For example, there should be no
difference in behavior between a brain that operates chemically and
one which has its chemical reactions simulated on a computer; however
if it is the chemicals themselves that are responsible for
consciousness, this consciousness can have no effect on the brain
because the net result will be identical whether the brain is
simulated or not.  To me, epiphenominalism is a logical contradiction,
because if consciousness has no effect on the mind, we wouldn't wonder
about the mind-body problem because the mystery of consciousness would
have no way of communicating itself to the brain.  Therefore, I don't
see how anything external to the functioning of the brain could be
responsible for consciousness.


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