On 7/9/2011 9:44 AM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
Why?  Biological tissue is made out of protons, neutrons, and electrons
>  just like computer chips.  Why should anything other than their
>  input/output function matter?
A cadaver is made out of the same thing too. You could pump food into
it and fit it with an artificial gut, even give it a synthesized voice
to make pre-recorded announcements and string it up like a marionette.
That doesn't mean it's a person. Life does not occur on the atomic
level, it occurs on the molecular level.


Exactly. So it doesn't depend on the components. Then what does it depend on? It depends on their arrangement and interaction. The components at some low level, in this case atoms, are *not* alive. How can cognition be any different?

There may be a way of making
inorganic molecules reproduce themselves, but there's no reason to
believe that their sensation or cognition would be any more similar
than petroleum is to plutonium. The i/o function is only half of the
story.

So what's the other half? Do brains have to be made of special conscious atoms?

>  Just assertions.  The question is whether something other than you can
>  have them?
Why couldn't it? As you say, I am made of the same protons, neutrons,
and electrons as everything else. You can't have it both ways. Either
consciousness is a natural potential of all material phenomena or it's
a unique special case. In the former you have to explain why more
things aren't conscious, and the latter you have to explain why
consciousness could exist. My alternative is to see that everything
has a private side, which behaves in a sensorimotor way rather than
electromagnetic, so that our experience is a massive sensorimotor
aggregate of nested organic patterns.

What does it mean "sensorimotor way" mean. It sounds like the cognitive analog of elan vital.

Brent


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