HI,

2010/3/11 Jack Mallah <jackmal...@yahoo.com>

> --- On Mon, 3/8/10, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > In the original fading qualia thought experiment the artificial neurons
> could be considered black boxes, the consciousness status of which is
> unknown. The conclusion is that if the artificial neurons lack
> consciousness, then the brain would be partly zombified, which is absurd.
>
> That's not the argument Chalmers made, and indeed he couldn't have, since
> he believes zombies are possible; he instead talks about fading qualia.
>
> If you start out believing that computer zombies are NOT possible, the
> original thought experiment is moot; you already believe the conclusion.
> His argument is aimed at dualists, who are NOT computationalists to start
> out.
>
> Since partial consciousness is possible,


Well you say so... but what is it exactly ?



> which he didn't take into account, his argument _fails_; a dualist who does
> believe zombies are possible should have no problem believing that partial
> zombies are.  So dualists don't have to be computationalists after all.
>
> > I think this holds *whatever* is in the black boxes: computers,
> biological tissue, a demon pulling strings or nothing.
>
> Partial consciousness is possible


Saying it again doesn't render it true nor meaningful.


> and again ruins any such argument.  If you don't believe to start out that
> consciousness can be based on "whatever" (e.g. "nothing"), you don't have
> any reason to accept the conclusion.
>
> > whatever is going on inside the putative zombie's head, if it reproduces
> the I/O behaviour of a human, it will have the mind of a human.
>
> That is behaviorism, not computationalism, and I certainly don't believe
> it.  I wouldn't say that a computer that uses a huge lookup table algorithm
> would be conscious.
>
> > The requirement that a computer be able to handle the counterfactuals in
> order to be conscious seems to have been brought in to make
> computationalists feel better about computationalism.
>
> Not at all.  It was always part of the notion of computation.  Would you
> buy a PC that only plays a movie?  It must handle all possible inputs in a
> reliable manner.
>
> I wouldn't... but if it plays a movie, it does perform a computation, I
wouldn't buy a *general purpose* computer which does only one computation...
because it would obviously not be a "general purpose" computer.


> > Brains are all probabilistic in that disaster could at any point befall
> them causing them to deviate widely from normal behaviour
>
> It is not a problem, it just seems like one at first glance.  Such cases
> include input to the formal system; for some inputs, the device halts or
> acts differently.  Hence my talk of "derailable computations" in my MCI
> paper.
>
> > or else prevent them from deviating at all from a rigidly determined
> pathway
>
> If that were done, that would change what computation is being implemented.
>  Depending on how it was done, it might or might not affect consciousness.
>  We can't do such an experimemt.
>
> --- On Tue, 3/9/10, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Suppose box A contains a probabilistic mechanism that displays the right
> I/O behaviour 99% of the time. Would the consciousness of the system be
> perfectly normal until the box misbehaved ... ?
>
> I'd expect it to be.  As above, I'd treat it as a box with input.
>
> Now, as far as we know, there really is no such thing as true randomness.
>  It's all down to initial conditions (which are certainly to be treated as
> input) or to quantum splitting (which is again deterministic).  I don't
> believe in true randomness.
>
> However, if true randomness is possible, then you'd have the same problem
> with Platonia.  In addition to having all of the determininistic Turing
> machines, you'd have all of the probabilistic Turing machines.  It is not an
> issue that bears on physicalism.
>
>
>
>
>
>
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