On Tue, Aug 9, 2011 at 12:21 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Aug 8, 8:53 pm, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> The only way to guarantee identical consciousness would be to
>> replicate behaviour perfectly. Two entities that produce the same
>> outputs for all inputs would have the same consciousness.
> What is an entity and an output? If one entity is made of wood, then
> it can output flames when I set it on fire. If it's made of solid
> rock, it cannot. Both could be sculpted into some kind of machine that
> sorts clothespins by size. If there is any consciousness going on, to
> me, it clearly takes place at the chemical level, where the material
> itself has to spontaneously reveal it's nature in it's native response
> to an energetic change. It takes place in the aesthetic difference
> between wood and stone - the texture and weight, the sound and
> durability against wind and rain. That is the awareness that the
> machine shares with us and with animals and plants, heat and light.

There are differences between people that do not make a difference to
their intelligence or (by assumption) their consciousness. An amputee
does not behave in the same way as an intact person under all
circumstances but he can participate in a conversation and solve
problems, so the fact that he is an amputee does not affect his

> There is no consciousness of the clothespins though. Even though
> that's what the machine's 'outputs' means to us. That's not a machine
> making sense, being intelligent, consciousness, or understanding.
> You've got to be kidding. All it is is human intelligence riding on
> the back of an unsuspecting pile of minerals or cellulose. To say that
> there might be some kind of understanding of clothespins going on
> there that is in some way comparable to a human understanding of
> clothespins is flat out sophistry.

If the clothespins could have a normal conversation with you on any
subject then they would ipso facto be intelligent and, after careful
philosophical consideration, they would also be understood to be
conscious. But the only clothespins I know have been pretty stupid.

Stathis Papaioannou

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