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 > wrote:

Please explain what would you think would happen if you replaced part of your brain with an unconscious component that interacted normally
with the surrounding neurons. Would you say "I feel different" or
would you say "I feel exactly the same as before"?


Hi Stathis,

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?

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 theories.



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 precisely.

Bruno


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/



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