On Aug 20, 3:05 pm, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
> On 8/20/2011 4:04 AM, Craig Weinberg wrote:

> No they don't.  The thermostat that's connected to the furnace can
> modify it's world, who's only attribute is temperature.  If it's not
> connected to a furnace then it can sense temperature, but it can't act
> on it.

No it does act on it. It contracts or expands. That's the trigger that
makes the rest of the circuit of the thermostat close and the furnace
ignite. Same exact principle as what a rod cell does - it contracts or
expands it's membrane potential or whatever and allows the optic nerve
to complete a circuit with the brain.

> > Whether or not a retina is connected to a furnace or
> > a metal strip is attached to the optic nerve is irrelevant as to their
> > ability to sense electromagnetic changes within a certain range of
> > frequencies. A furnace or a visual cortex is an interpreter of retina
> > interpreting light or an interpreter of metal strips interpreting
> > heat.
> > Your response is interesting though because you are defining sensation
> > as nonexistent without being tied to a tangible impact on 'the world'.
> > This means that already you are compelled to disqualify all passive
> > experience as less than an action which can be seen from the outside
> > and 'not just internally'. You assume that an HVAC is what makes
> > something a thermostat - function = existence.
> Right.  I don't require that it act on the world at the same moment you
> consider passive, but that it be able to act on the world after
> "passive" consideration.  I think that consciousness depends on both
> perception and on action.

But you seem to be saying that action is primary. Things act and then
they have a reason for doing so. I'm saying it goes both ways.

> >>> I can't believe that you want me to
> >>> accept that eyes can't see but metal can. What about our skin, surely
> >>> you must give that the same consideration when it contracts into
> >>> goosebumps as when a strip of metal contracts in size?
> >> Sure it's acting in the world - not just internally.
> > To me that's a rather religious or patriarchal approach - which is
> > fine, I just think that it probably precludes any impartial
> > examination of consciousness on it's own merits. From that
> > perspective, there is no significant difference between a
> > philosophical zombie and a person, as long as the zombie fulfills the
> > same actions on 'the world' (meaning the external physical processes
> > outside of our Selves) it *must* be conscious.
> > > From that perspective, imagination, dreams, and fiction have no value
> > except when they happen to lead to an improvement in the manufacture
> > of Whiffle balls or hand grenades. I'm glad that the universe doesn't
> > believe that also, or we'd all be some form of insect.
> What makes you think you aren't?

Because human beings, under typical conditions of waking consciousness
can easily distinguish between an insect and another human being. What
makes you think that question isn't just sophistry?


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