On Nov 21, 2008, at 6:53 PM, Jason Resch wrote:
> What about a case when only some of Alice's neurons have ceased  
> normal function and became dependent on the lucky rays?

Yes, those are exactly the cases that are highlighting the problem.  
(For me. For Bruno, Lucky Alice is still conscious. But he has the  
analogous problem when we remove half of the neurons from Lucky  
Alice's head.)

> 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 agree.

> 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.

The tough part is that it's not just that she outwardly acts as if no  
change had occurred. It's that, if the mechanistic view of  
consciousness is correct, her subjective experience can't change,  
either - at least, not in any noticeable way. If it did, she would  
notice it and (probably) say something about it. And that can't  
happen, because the act of noticing something or saying something  
requires her neurons and her mouth to do something different.

The conclusion seems to be that, if mechanism is true, it's possible  
for any part of my brain, or all of it, to disappear without changing  
my conscious experience. That suggests a conceptual problem somewhere.

-- Kory


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