On 18 Mar 2010, at 23:04, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

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.

Me neither. On the contrary, it is what required magic.

Bruno Marchal


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