On Wed, Aug 10, 2011 at 8:55 AM, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com>wrote:

> On Wed, Aug 10, 2011 at 4:54 AM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
>
> > There's the rub.  What counts as "overall"?  Can I replace one hemisphere
> of
> > the brain that is functionally identical at its boundaries and guarantee
> > that there is no change in consciousness?
>
> Yes. Suppose your right hemisphere is replaced with a machine that is
> functionally identical at its boundaries but has a qualitatively
> different consciousness. The left half of your left visual field will
> then look different, by definition if the visual qualia are different.
> But your left hemisphere receives the usual signals through the corpus
> callosum, so you state via the speech centres in that hemisphere that
> everything looks exactly the same. In other words you can't notice any
> change in your consciousness due to the functionally identical
> replacement. I would say that if you continue to behave normally and
> you notice no change in your consciousness then there *is* no
> difference in your consciousness.
>

I am not certain of this.  Imagine two instances of the Chinese room.  In
one Searle uses a simple calculator, and in another he emulates the mind of
a mathematician.  The only questions permitted to be entered are simple
formulas like 7*3 or 8+4.  The qualia of the mathematicians mind should be
different than that of the calculator, despite the same outputs for the same
inputs.  Similarly, the left hemisphere might implement some
superintelligence which experiences much more, but is deciding to fool the
right hemisphere into thinking all is well.  I would say a better way to
determine if the same qualia are established is to make sure the same
computations are performed, but this is tricky to, as there may be different
substitution levels tht are equivalent from the perspective of the mind.
For example, a Turing machine implemented in the game of life implemented on
an Atari might be equivalent, despite that at the lowest level the computer
is only performing calculations of the game of life, but to the mind
executing on the Turing machine the information represented and the
relations are preserved.  Not understanding the idea of a equivalent
computations with respect to some level is what I think drove Putnam away
from functionalism.

Jason

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