On Jul 23, 12:14 am, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
> On 7/22/2011 8:52 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
>
> Where does the badness come from?  The afferent neurons?

It comes from the diminishing number of real neurons participating in
the network, or, more likely, the unfavorable ration of neurons to
pegs.

> But that's the crux of the argument.  If behavior isn't everything then,
> according to you, a person whose brain has been replaced by artificial,
> but functionally identical elements, could be a philosophical zombie.  
> One who's every behavior is exactly like a person with a biological
> brain - including reporting the same feelings.  Yet that is contrary to
> your assertion that they would exhibit dementia.

The reason we won't get a philosophical zombie is that the premise
that an artificial simulation of a nervous system cell can be
functionally identical is faulty. Identical is identical. Artificial
is not. The degree to which the peg resembles the cell physically may
directly limit it's functional viability, because what we see of a
cell from the outside is only half of what the cell is. The other half
requires that we be the cell. We may not be able to be a non-cell at
all, even though from the outside it's function seems the same as
natural cells.

To set the equivalence between the natural and artificial neuron in
advance is to load the question. It assumes already that it is the
function of the brain to create consciousness through neurological
activity, whereas I think that the reality is neurological activity
and consciousness are both causes and symptoms of each other.
Imitating the neuron's behavior doesn't automatically invoke the
ability to imitate a neuron's awareness. It's the awareness of the
neurons themselves that is aggregated as our human consciousness, not
just the web of interactions between them.

> > Exactly what I've been saying. If you model only the superficial
> > behaviors, you can't expect the meaningful roots of those behaviors to
> > appear spontaneously.
>
> No you've been saying more than that.  You've been saying that even if
> the artificial elements emulate the biological ones at a very low level
> they won't work unless they *are* biological.  When I said that if you
> have to model at the quark level you might as well make up "real"
> neurons that was a recommendation of efficiency.  According to Bruno,
> and functionalist theory, it might be very inefficient to emulate the
> quarks with a Turing machine but it is in principle equally effective.

It's not that they have to *be* biological, it's that the simulation
has to use materials which can honor the biological level of
intelligence as well as the neurological. Silicon is already made of
something that behaves in a certain way. The strengths of that
material, it's reliable, semiconductive nature makes it ideally
transparent to project our own sensorimotive patterns through. That
quality is the very thing that prevents it from every being able to
host an unreliable, multivalent subjective entity. Posted about this
last night: The Glass Brain - http://s33light.org/post/7959078633

Craig

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