On Tue, Aug 2, 2011 at 11:37 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote: > On Aug 1, 8:07 pm, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote: > >> 1. You agree that is possible to make something that behaves as if >> it's conscious but isn't conscious. > > Noooo. I've been trying to tell you that there is no such thing as > behaving as if something is conscious. It doesn't mean anything > because consciousness isn't a behavior, it's a sensorimotive > experience which sometimes drives behaviors.
Behaviour is what can be observed. Consciousness cannot be observed. The question is, can something behave like a human without being conscious? > If you accept that, then it follows that whether or not someone is > convinced as to the consciousness of something outside of themselves > is based entirely upon them. Some people may not even be able to > accept that certain people are conscious... they used to think that > infants weren't conscious. In my theory I get into this area a lot and > have terms such as Perceptual Relativity Inertial Frame (PRIF) to help > illustrate how perception might be better understood (http:// > s33light.org/post/8357833908). > > How consciousness is inferred is a special case of PR Inertia which I > think is based on isomorphism. In the most primitive case, the more > something resembles what you are, in physical scale, material > composition, appearance, etc, the more likely you are to identify > something as being conscious. The more time you have to observe and > relate to the object, the more your PRIF accumulates sensory details > which augment your sense-making of the thing, and context, > familiarity, interaction, and expectations grow to overshadow the > primitive detection criteria. You learn that a video Skype of someone > is a way of seeing and talking to a person and not a hallucination or > talking demon in your monitor. > > So if we build something that behaves like Joe Lunchbox, we might be > able to fool strangers who don't interact with him, and an improved > version might be able to fool strangers with limited interaction but > not acquaintances, the next version might fool everyone for hours of > casual conversation except Mrs. Lunchbox cannot be fooled at all, etc. > There is not necessarily a possible substitution level which will > satisfy all possible observers and interactors, pets, doctors, etc and > there is not necessarily a substitution level which will satisfy any > particular observer indefinitely. Some observers may just think that > Joe is not feeling well. If the observers were told that one person in > a lineup was an android, they might be more likely to identify Joe as > the one. The field of computational neuroscience involves modelling the behaviour of neurons. Even philosophers such as John Searle, who doesn't believe that a computer model of a brain can be conscious, at least allow that a computer model can accurately predict the behaviour of a brain. Searle points out that a model of a storm may predict its behaviour accurately, but it won't actually be wet: that would require a real storm. By analogy, a computer inside someone's head may model the behaviour of his brain sufficiently well so as to cause his muscles to move in a perfectly human way, but according to Searle that does not mean that the ensuing being would be conscious. If you disagree that even the behaviour can be modelled by a computer then you are claiming that there is something in the physics of the brain which is non-computable. But there is no evidence for such non-computable physics in the brain; it's just ordinary chemistry. > In any case, it all has nothing to do with whether or not the thing is > actually conscious, which is the only important aspect of this line of > thinking. We have simulations of people already - movies, TV, blow up > dolls, sculptures, etc. Computer sims add another layer of realism to > these without adding any reality of awareness. So you *are* conceding the first point, that it is possible to make something that behaves as if it's conscious without actually being conscious? We don't even need to talk about brain physics: for the purposes of the philosophical discussion it can be a magical device created by God. If you don't concede this then you are essentially agreeing with functionalism: that if something behaves as if it's conscious then it is necessarily conscious. >> 2. Therefore it would be possible to make a brain component that >> behaves just like normal brain tissue but lacks consciousness. > > Probably not. Brain tissue may not be any less conscious than the > brain as a whole. What looks like normal behavior to us might make the > difference between cricket chirps and a symphony and we wouldn't > know. If you concede point 1, you must concede point 2. >> 3. And since such a brain component behaves normally the rest of the >> brain should be have normally when it is installed. > > The community of neurons may graciously integrate the chirping > sculpture into their community, but it doesn't mean that they are > fooled and it doesn't mean that the rest of the orchestra can be > replaced with sculptures. If you concede point 2 you must concede point 3. >> 4. So it is possible to have, say, half of your brain replaced with >> unconscious components and you would both behave normally and feel >> that you were completely normal. > > It's possible to have half of your cortex disappear and still behave > and feel relatively normally. > > http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17489-girl-with-half-a-brain-retains-full-vision.html > http://www.pnas.org/content/106/31/13034 People with brain damage can have other parts of their brain take over the function of the damaged part. But this is not the point I am making: if a part of the brain is removed and replaced with artificial components that function normally, then the rest of the brain also continues functioning normally. >> If you accept the first point, then points 2 to 4 necessarily follow. >> If you see an error in the reasoning can you point out exactly where >> it is? > > If you see an error in my reasoning, please do the same. You contradict yourself in saying that it is not possible for a non-conscious being to behave as if it's conscious, then claiming that there are examples of non-conscious beings behaving as if they are conscious (although your examples of videos and computer sims are not good ones: we don't actually have anything today that comes near to replicating the full range of human intelligence). You don't seem to appreciate the difference between a technical problem and a philosophical argument which considers only what is theoretically possible. You don't explain where a computer model of neural tissue would fail, how you know there is non-computable physics in a neuron and where it is. You seem to think that even if the behaviour of a neuron could be replicated by an artificial neuron, or for example by a normal neuron missing its nucleus, the other neurons would somehow know that something was wrong and not behave normally; or even worse, that they would behave normally but the person would still experience an alteration in consciousness. -- Stathis Papaioannou -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.