Kelly Harmon wrote:
> On Sun, May 17, 2009 at 2:03 AM, Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com> wrote:
>> Do you suppose that something could behave just as humans do yet not be
>> conscious, i.e. could there be a philosophical zombie?
> I think that somewhere there would have to be a conscious experience
> associated with the production of the behavior, THOUGH the conscious
> experience might not supervene onto the system producing the behavior
> in an obvious way.
> Generally I don't think that what we experience is necessarily caused
> by physical systems. I think that sometimes physical systems assume
> configurations that "shadow", or represent, our conscious experience.
> But they don't CAUSE our conscious experience.
So if we could track the functions of the brain at a fine enough scale,
we'd see physical events that didn't have physical causes (ones that
were caused by mental events?).
> So a computer simulation of a human brain that thinks it's at the
> beach would be an example. The computer running the simulation
> assumes a sequence of configurations that could be interpreted as
> representing the mental processes of a person enjoying a day at the
> beach. But I can't see any reason why a bunch of electrons moving
> through copper and silicon in a particular way would "cause" that
> subjective experience of surf and sand.
> And for similar reasons I don't see why a human brain would either,
> even if it was actually at the beach, given that it is also just
> electrons and protons and neutrons.moving in specific ways.
You're aware of course that the same things were said about the
physio/chemical bases of life.
> It doesn't seem plausible to me that it is the act of being
> represented in some way by a physical system that produces conscious
> Though it DOES seem plausible/obvious to me that a physical system
> going through a sequence of these representations is what produces
> human behavior.
So you're saying that a sequence of physical representations is enough
to produce behavior. And there must be conscious experience associated
with behavior. That seems to me to imply that physical representations
are enough to produce consciousness. But then you say that doesn't seem
plausible to you.
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