On Thu, Aug 11, 2011 at 12:48 AM, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> 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.

It's not the same outputs for the same inputs, since the mathematician
has far more elaborate mental states even if he just answers "21" and
"12". For example, he may be thinking about how boring the questions
are and about what he is going to have for lunch. So if part of the
mathematician's brain were replaced with a calculator it isn't the
case that neither his behaviour would change nor would he notice that
anything had changed.

> 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.

Suppose your left hemisphere is replaced with a superintelligent AI
that easily models the behaviour of your bilogical brain and interacts
appropriately with your right hemisphere, but in addition has various
lofty thoughts of its own. The result would then be that you, Jason
Resch, would continue to behave normally and not notice any change in
your consciousness. However, there will also be this separate
intelligence which happens to reside in your head, and will choose
whether or not to communicate with you.

Stathis Papaioannou

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