On Thu, Aug 11, 2011 at 4:55 PM, Stephen P. King <stephe...@charter.net> wrote:

>>>    Exactly how would we know that that component was unconscious? What is
>>> the test?
>> There is no test, it is just assumed for the purpose of the thought
>> experiment that the component lacks the special sauce required for
>> consciousness. We could even say that the component works by magic to
>> avoid discussions about technical difficulties, and the thought
>> experiment is unaffected. The conclusion is that such a device is
>> impossible because it leads to conceptual difficulties.
>    What special sauce? Why is it ok to assume that consciousness is
> something special that can only occur is special circumstances? Why not
> consider that possibility that it is just as primitive as mass, charge and
> spin? Why do we need to work so hard to dismiss the direct evidence of our
> 1st person experience? Why not just accept that it is real and then wonder
> why materialist theories have no room whatsoever in them for it?

The specific question I'm asking is whether it is possible to separate
consciousness from behaviour. Is it possible to make a brain component
that from the engineering point of view functions perfectly when
installed but does not contribute the same consciousness to the brain?
You will note that there is no claim here about any theory of
consciousness: it could be intrinsic to matter, it could come from
tiny black holes inside cells, it could be generated on the fly by
God. Whatever it is, can it be separated from function?

Stathis Papaioannou

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