On Aug 19, 2:04 am, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote:

> What about the idea that a thermostat is conscious and feels hot and
> cold in its simple way? How would you devise an experiment to prove or
> disprove that?

If everything can feel everything in the same way, then the nervous
system would be redundant. The existence of mammalian thermoreceptors
suggests that the feeling of skin and muscle alone is not adequate to
be perceived as what we know as hot and cold. The fact that a narcotic
can mask pain subjectively without anesthetizing the local
nocireceptors suggests that there is an interpretive sense required
for 'us' to feel pain. Both the nocireceptors and thermoreceptors
likely feel something IMO, but my hunch is, that since there is
nothing they can do about it (ie, no motive power to alter or remove
themselves from the stimulation as they might if they were
freefloating microorganisms)

I suspect their qualia is different at least in magnitude if not in
significance. A piece of metal used to run a thermostat however, I
would be comfortable in assuming it's qualia is quite considerably
different from living tissue, nervous tissue, and entire systemic
coordination of a nervous system organs of perception. Irrespective of
quantitative volume or magnitude of the stimulus, it seems ludicrous
to imagine that there would not be an extreme qualitative difference
in the qualia. The function is different. A metal strip doesn't know
it's part of a larger machine, it did not evolve out of a symbiotic
relationship to that machine where it contributes survival-related
messages to a greater body.

The way to prove it is to build an apparatus which can directly add
substances to the brain in a neuro-friendly solution, or indirectly
through some kind of transcranial induction. Once you establish that
your method works, by restoring sight to the blind for instance, then
you can how other kinds of cells and substances feel to us within our
brain. That would be the only proof. We would have to become the


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