On Fri, Nov 21, 2008 at 7:54 PM, Kory Heath <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

> On Nov 21, 2008, at 9:01 AM, Jason Resch wrote:
> > What you described sounds very similar to a split brain patient I
> > saw on a documentary.
> It might seem similar on the surface, but it's actually very
> different. The observers of the split-brain patient and the patient
> himself know that something is amiss. There is a real difference in
> his consciousness and his behavior. If cosmic rays randomly severed
> your corpus callosum right now, you would definitely notice a
> difference. (It's an empirical question whether or not you'd know it
> almost immediately, or if it would take a while for you to figure it
> out. I'm sure the neurologists and cognitive scientists already know
> the answer to that one.)
> At no point during the replacement of Alice's fully-functioning
> neurons with cosmic-ray stimulated neurons (or during the replacement
> of cosmic-ray neurons with no neurons at all) will Alice notice any
> difference in her consciousness. In principle, she cannot notice it,
> since every one of her full-functionally neurons always continues to
> do exactly what it would have done. This is a serious problem for the
> mechanistic view of consciousness.

What about a case when only some of Alice's neurons have ceased normal
function and became dependent on the lucky rays?  Lets say the neurons in
her visual center stopped working but her speech center was unaffected.  In
this manner could she talk about what she saw without having any conscious
experience of sight?  I'm beginning to see how truly frustrating the MGA
argument is: If all her neurons break and are luckily fixed I believe she is
a zombie, if only one of her neurons fails but we correct it, I don't think
this would effect her consciousness in any perceptible way, but cases where
some part of her brain needs to be corrected are quite strange, and almost
maddeningly so.

I think you are right in that the split brain cases are very different, but
I think the similarity is that part of Alice's consciousness would
disappear, though the lucky effects ensure she acts as if no change had
occurred.  If all of a sudden all her neurons started working properly
again, I don't think she would have any recollection of having lost any part
of her consciousess, the lucky effects should have fixed her memories as
well, and the parts of her brain which remained functional would also not
have detected any inconsitencies, yet the parts of her brain that depended
on lucky cosmic rays generated no subjective experience for whatever set of
information they were processing.  (So I would think)


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