On Aug 11, 10:22 am, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Aug 11, 2011 at 10:26 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> 
> wrote:
> >> 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?
> > What do you mean by function? Is yellow a function? Is irony or comedy
> > a function?
> On the one hand there is the third person observable behaviour of the
> neurons: they fire in a certain sequence and ultimately they cause
> muscle contraction.?

I would say that technically they don't cause muscle contraction,
because muscles can and do contract by themselves under the right
biochemical conditions (potassium imbalance, etc). It's not just the
sequence, it's the physical presence of something that is 'firing'
that the proteins of the muscle imitates in it's own language. As we
know, frog legs can be contracted from a wire 'firing', so it's not
just an abstract sequence, it's a concrete physical event.

>On the other hand there is that which can only be
> experienced by the first person. Can these be separated, so that
> neurons can be made which cause the muscles to contract in the same
> sequence when substituted into the brain but lack the subjective
> qualities of normal neurons

Sure, muscles will contract for any old material that can conduct an
electric current. A muscle doesn't require a high level conversation
with the brain's cells to react. We can move in our sleep when we
aren't subjectively conscious of it.


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