On 19 March 2010 04:01, Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com> wrote:
> On 3/17/2010 11:01 PM, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> On 18 March 2010 16:36, Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com> wrote:
> Is it coherent to say a black box "accidentally" reproduces the I/O?  It is
> over some relatively small number to of I/Os, but over a large enough number
> and range to sustain human behavior - that seems very doubtful.  One would
> be tempted to say the black box was obeying a "natural law".  It would be
> the same as the problem of induction.  How do we know natural laws are
> consistent - because we define them to be so.
> Jack considers the case where the black box is empty and the remaining
> neurological tissue just happens to continue responding as if it were
> receiving normal input. That, of course, would be extremely unlikely
> to happen, to the point where it could be called magic if it did
> happen. But if there were such a magical black box, it would
> contribute to consciousness.
> Suppose there were a man with no brain at all but who just happened act
> exactly like a normal person.  Suppose there are no people and your whole
> idea that you have a body and you are reading an email is an illusion.
> But I don't believe in magic.

I don't believe it is possible but in the spirit of functionalism, the
empty-headed man would still be conscious, just as a car would still
function normally if it had no engine but the wheels turned magically
as if driven by an engine. Jack's point was that fading or absent
qualia in a functionally normal brain was logically possible because
"obviously" some qualia would be absent if a part of the brain were
missing and the rest of the brain carried on normally. But I don't see
that that is obvious.

Stathis Papaioannou

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