On 11 Aug 2011, at 08:55, Stephen P. King wrote:
On 8/11/2011 1:14 AM, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
On Thu, Aug 11, 2011 at 1:20 PM, Stephen P. King<stephe...@charter.net
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?
Please explain what would you think would happen if you replaced
of your brain with an unconscious component that interacted
with the surrounding neurons. Would you say "I feel different" or
would you say "I feel exactly the same as before"?
Exactly how would we know that that component was unconscious?
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.
That would be a category mistake. Mass, charge and spin refer to
measurable observable, even apparently related by laws. Consciousness
is an attribute of person, which are higher order entity, in most
Why do we need to work so hard to dismiss the direct evidence of our
1st person experience?
Nobody needs to do that. It has been a tradition to avoid it in
science, perhaps related to the Vienna Circle and positivism, and
going back to the Aristotle substancialism, but today genuine
scientist recognize there is a problem there.
Why not just accept that it is real and then wonder why materialist
theories have no room whatsoever in them for it?
The materialist have a theory, which is the Mechanist theory. The
problem is that they take the theory of mind part of mechanism, and
few seems to see that the the mechanist theory has also its necessary
theory of matter, making the mechanist theory of mind and matter
testable. Physicalist use a naive form of mechanism to hide the mind-
body problem, when mechanism just provide a tool to formulate it more
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