David Nyman wrote:
> On 27/08/07, Stathis Papaioannou <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> 
>> What if someone simply claimed that they couldn't see how circulation
>> was the same as cardiovascular activity: they could understand that
>> the heart was a pump, the blood a fluid, the blood vessels conduits,
>> but the circulatory system as a whole was something emergent and not
>> at all obvious, in the same way that mind was emergent. Alternatively,
>> a superintelligent being could claim that the mind was as obviously
>> the result of brain activity as circulation was the result of
>> cardiovascular activity.
> 
> Isn't the obvious (and AFAICS unanswerable) argument against this that
> 'circulation' is merely a convenient shorthand for the specific set of
> underlying structures and processes, once these have been identified,
> even when this is not obvious a priori. One adds nothing
> *explanatorily* by applying the term to these processes, which stand
> by themselves for what is to be explained from the third-person
> perspective which fully suffices in this case.  But I don't see how
> even a superintelligent being could convince us that first person
> subjective experience is by any direct analogy *explained* merely by
> being equated to certain third person activities of the brain, with
> nothing further remaining to be accounted for.  IOW, even if we are
> inclined to accept on other grounds some sort of functional identity
> theory, we have made no further progress towards *explaining* the
> categorical uniqueness of the first person.
> 
> David

I think you're setting up an impossible standard of "explaining".  You're 
asking that it produce a certain feeling in you, and then you're speculating 
that after being given all the physics of conscious processes and even the 
ability to create a conscious person that you still won't get that feeling.  
But in fact, a little cocaine may very well give you that feeling, the feeling 
that everything is clear and understood by you.

Brent Meeker

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