On 26 Aug, 21:49, Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com> wrote:
> David Nyman wrote:
> The question is whether PM is sufficient to describe the system.
> Language is almost certainly inadequate to describing what it is like
> to 'be' the system - you cannot even fully describe what it is like to
> be you. That's why I think the "hard problem" of consciouness will
> not be "solved" it will just wither away. Eventually we will
> understand brains sufficiently to create AI with specifically designed
> memories, emotions, and cogitation, as evidenced by their behavior and
> the similarity of their processes to human ones. We won't *know* that
> they are conscious, but we'll believe they are.
To some physicalists, it seems obvious that a physcial description of
brain state won't convey what theat state is like, because it doesn't
put you into that state. Of course, a description of a brain state
won't put you into a brain state, any more than a description of
photosynthesis will make you photosynthesise. But we do expect that
the description of photosynthesis is complete, and actually being able
to photosynthesise would not add anything to our knowledge. We don't
expect that about experience. We expect that to grasp what the
experience is like, you have to have it. If the 3rd-person description
told you what the experience was like, explained it experientially,
the question of instantiating the brain-state would be redundant. The
fact that these physicalists feel it would be in some way necessary
means they subscribe to some special, indescribable aspect of
experience even in contradiction to the version of physicalism that
states that everything can be explained in physicalese. Everything
means everything — include some process whereby things seem differnt
from the inside than they look from the outide.
Weaker forms of phsycialism are still posible, however. Physicalism
could just amount to the claim that, as a brute fact, everythign is
material, without any special claims of explicability.
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