On 12/14/2010 7:30 AM, Jason Resch wrote:
I think the path to seeing the mind as a program is easier in this way:
1. It's not what the parts of the brain are made of its how they
function which determines behavior
2. This leads to the idea of multiple realizability
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_realizability (Brains can be
made in different ways so long as the parts function the same)
3. Accordingly, one could replace each neuron, or each atom, (or
whatever) with a device that behaved like what it was replacing (A man
made out of antimatter and antiparticles would still be a man)
4. Philosophical zombies (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_zombie ) are not possible,
their brain/mind would have all the same beliefs, and all the same
information as the equivalently organized and behaving brain it
replaced, but in what sense could one say this one's beliefs are wrong
but this one's beliefs are right? There would be no way to ever prove
that one is conscious and one is not, it would be wrong for no reason
at all. This is what it takes for the idea of zombies to be
consistent. Further, the real brain and zombie brain could never even
report feeling any different, since both brains contain the same
information and same knowledge, how is it possible for one to report
differences in experience? This addresses your question of whether or
not there would be an impact to one's consciousness if their brain
were swapped by a device with equivalent processing of information.
I don't disagree with any of the above. But there is a complexity that
is passed over. Having information, and being able to equate "the same
information", implies that the processes in the brain are about
something, something that the differently realized brains can agree on.
I think this requires an external world with which they both can interact.
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