On Thu, Aug 18, 2011 at 3:53 AM, Evgenii Rudnyi <use...@rudnyi.ru> wrote:

>> I'm not saying we shouldn't do science, just that we can't be *sure*
>> that something which behaves as if it's conscious is actually
>> conscious. A thermostat may have a primitive consciousness or it
>> might not; I don't know.
> I do not get your point. For example please develop a theory that will
> ascribe a thermostat a primitive consciousness.
> I was talking about scientific experiments described in the book of Jeffrey
> Gray. I agree that each experiment is based on assumption. Yet, if we talk
> about science, the please make a scientific critique of these experiments.
> Then it would be easier to follow you.

It's simply a fact that we can't deduce consciousness from behaviour.
We can do experiments on consciousness assuming that when people say
"I experience this" they are telling the truth, but the essentially
private nature of consciousness means that it can't be proved. The
thermostat is a good example: if I hypothesise that it is conscious, I
can do experiments where it is observed to push the temperature up and
I claim "the thermostat feels cold". Can you think of any experiment
that will help me decide if the thermostat does or does not feel cold?
If you can, then you have a scientific test for consciousness. we can
apply it to computers, animals, thermostats and any alien beings we

Stathis Papaioannou

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