On 3/7/2011 1:11 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
On 06 Mar 2011, at 20:21, Brent Meeker wrote:
On 3/6/2011 5:07 AM, 1Z wrote:
The way I see it the MG consciousness would not be conscious of any
> world except the virtual world of the MG, which is to say not conscious
> at all in our terms. It could, provided enough environment and Bruno
> emphasizes the UD will provide an arbitrarily large environment, be
> conscious*in this other universe*. But I think that's Stathis's
> example of the conscious rock. It's conscious modulo some
> interpretation, but that's a reductio against saying it's conscious at all.
I am not a fan of the MG specifically, but I don't see why
you need a world to have consciousness "as if" of a world.
The BIV argument indicates that you only need to simulate
incoming data on peripheral nerves
But how much of the world do you need to simulate to produce
consistent incoming data? and to allow the MG to act? I think a
lot. And in any case it is within and relative to this simulated
world that consciousness exists (if it does). The MGA tends to
obscure this because it helps itself to our intuition about this
world and that we are simulating it and so we "know" what the
simulation means, i.e. we have an interpretation. That's why I
referred to the rock that computes everything paradox; it's the same
situation except we *don't* have a ready made intuitive
interpretation. Stathis, as I recall, defended the idea that the
rock could, by instantiating consciousness, provide it's own
interpretation. I agreed with the inference, but I regard it as a
reductio against the rock that computes everything.
The brain-in-a-vat is somewhat different in that it is usually
supposed it is connected to our world for perception and action. So
it can have "real" (our kind of) consciousness.
What about a disconnected dreaming 'brain-in-a-vat'?
If you actually took a human brain and put it "in-a-vat" I think it
would quickly go into a loop and no longer be conscious in any
meaningful sense. But even that case what ever it was conscious of
would be derivative from interaction with this world. If you "grew" a
brain in a vat, one that never had perceptual experience, you would no
more be able to discern consciousness in it than in a rock.
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