On 9/1/2011 1:23 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On Sep 1, 3:18 pm, meekerdb<meeke...@verizon.net>  wrote:
On 9/1/2011 9:21 AM, Craig Weinberg wrote:

Whether or not afferent and efferent nerves are fundamentally
different kinds of cells or just playing different roles in the
nervous system isn't important. If they are the same that only makes a
stronger case for me, since there would then be no biochemical
determination of that role.
But there would be a structural determination their role; one depending on what 
cells they were connected with.  On the neural network computer model of the 
brain it is
these connections and their strength that are analogous to the hardware and the 
To explain why a neural network would arise organically though, you
would have to cite some way for the larger network structure (which it
sounds like you are saying is an abstract, metaphysical construct made
of 'connections') to arise independently of the component cells and
determine their roles for them.

Why would have to do that? Evolution works by random variation. There doesn't have to be an abstract, metaphysical elephant to determine the evolution of elephants. I'm not saying the neural network is abstract. It's concrete. It's what evolved.

The abstraction of 'calculation' is
the active agent, while the cells are interchangeable passive
variables which would execute the calculation just as well whether it
were made of bowling balls or ice cream sandwiches.

I didn't say any of that.  You're making stuff up.

When the brain is active, it is processing information
But that's not all it's doing, It's also experiencing life as a human
being, which is not found in any 'information' being computed.

Sure. The question is whether the neural network model of the brain which is instantiating the same behavior in an android is also experiencing life as a human being or something similar.

and at the abstract level of
computation the neural network computer performs the same computation and is 
equivalent at it's input/output.
I'm saying that computation can only emulate 50% of the input/output.
The other 50% arises from private sensorimotive perception and is not
computable, but rather it chooses how to interpret some of the input
and decides what to output.

That's the interior qualia; which is neither input nor output.

Input/Output supervenes on this middle
layer of private interpretation, which, I think is what is enhanced
through qualitative morphological synergies

"Qualitative morphological synergies"??  Doubletalk.

A molecule has a relatively
narrow middle layer, a cell has more degrees of freedom (more qualia
to feel and more 'time' to feel it in, more time and teleological
depth of field to project 'will') than a molecule, an organism has
more than a cell, a brain has more than an organism with no brain,

Fine. I'm not addressing that. Maybe it's true. But it's also true that the artificial brain can cause the android to behave as a human.

  Whether it instantiates the same qualia (or any at all)
is a different question.  Since we know that whatever functions can be computed 
by finite
things (including brains and computers) can be computed in this way, we infer 
that it is
possible to make an artificial brain that will produce the exact same responses 
as a real
brain and in a suitable robot/android will produce human like behavior.  Of 
course the
question of its qualia (if any) remains open.
I understand why it's compelling to assume that it is possible to make
an artificial brain that would emulate a natural brain, but it's based
on a critically flawed model of what the brain is. Consider the brain
to be the physical shadow of the self. Duplicating the shadow of a
palm tree, is not going to suddenly cause a palm tree to be conjured
into existence. Yes, the shadow is the same exact shape but it doesn't
behave the same way, even though it seems like it should since we've
meticulously modeled the way the shadow sways with elaborate
algorithms. You assure me that we have studied every possible change
to the shadow and it should therefore produce the exact same responses
as the real shadow.

You keep saying that you assume nothing contrary to physics and chemistry; but your examples and analogies are contrary. A shadow is a dependent phenomena. If you want to predict what a shadow will do you have to predict at the level of the objects making the shadow and the light sources. In your analogy the brain is a mere shadow and though you avoid the word you assume that there is a soul of which it is the shadow. The brain is a physical object and if it's time evolution is determined by the laws of physics and chemistry, without reference to a soul, then your analogy is wrong - it is not like a shadow. If it is like a shadow then it's behavior must differ from that predicted by physics and chemistry and in spite of your denials are you assuming a violation of know physics by an immaterial mind or soul.

The problem is that the shadow is not what is determining the motion.
It's the palm tree in it's environment of wind, rain, birds, etc. Same
thing with the brain, although it's bi-directional. We are influenced
by our brain and vice versa, so we are each other's shadow side. Our
feelings and experiences alone determine how our brain will behave in
part, and that's the part that cannot be emulated by computation
without being able to live our life from our subjective point of view.
The other functions that the brain is doing could maybe be deduced
from the status of the rest of the body and emulated with greater
success, but that too may be a naive reduction of the brain's
relationship with the body.

That's not to say you can't make a recording of the brain activity of
someone and have some success playing it back on another - just as a
computer playing an mp3 of a Mozart symphony doesn't need to know how
to emulate the activity of a philharmonic orchestra, but they are two
very different things. The computer is not it's own user. The brain

You're not answering my questions though.
I know we have different feelings about different things, I'm asking
you why anything has any feelings at all, and is a feeling a physical
thing or not?
There are different ways of answering a "why?" question.  In this case, one 
answer is that
feeling is a physiological response to the environment.  We have such responses 
they are, or were, advantageous in survival and reproduction and hence selected 
in the
evolutionary process.  This explains why we have lots of tacticle sensors on 
our surface,
where we can react to things, and not so many in our digestive tract where our 
are limited.  Feelings are physical, but they are not things (i.e. objects) 
they are
changes in things, e.g. hormones released into the blood stream.
That doesn't explain anything. Again, our stomach digests things, our
immune system handles much more complex and important tasks related to
our survival and reproduction without our feeling anything. There is
no mechanical advantage, nor is there *any* possibility that feeling
can arise from physical evolution. As you say, they are not objects,
so they cannot evolve. 'Changes' in hormones in a blood stream don't
just decide that they are a 'feeling'. There is no 'they'. A change
isn't a thing that feels. It's only the cells themselves, or the
tissues they make up that could possibly feel these changes. The
appeal to 'changes' and 'responses' as sense agents is metaphysical.

The need for agents to sense feelings is metaphysical - it is spiritualism.

But you are presumably asking about feelings as emotions: thoughts of joy or 
sadness or
satisfaction or anxiety.
No, you had it right before. I'm asking about sensation and the
interpretation of sensation (which I call feeling). Interpretations of
what I call feelings are what I would call emotions, and the
interpretation of emotions are what I call thoughts.

These are the same physiological changes sensed at the level of
consciousness in humans and put into an inner narrative.  Evidence for this is 
the fact
that various drugs can produce these feelings independent of other changes in 
the environment.
There is a physiological side of emotion and an experiential side,
just like everything else. You can manipulate emotions
physiologically, and you can manipulate physiology emotionally. It's
bi-directional: bottom up AND top down.

Really?  Can you will yourself to be sad, happy, satisfied?  I don't think so.

What are the implications of this for the robot/android whose artificial neural 
brain produces human like behavior?  Well it's obvious that a silicon based 
brain won't
respond to LSD or oxycontin like a human one.  And similarly the silicon brain 
respond to an EMP that an real brain won't even notice.
Right, which is why we know from the start that a silicon brain can
never emulate ALL of the behaviors of a natural brain.

The question then is whether this
shows the artificial and human brains instantiate different qualia even when 
behavior is the same or only when there are these different responses to the 
It's not that the inability to respond in the same way as a natural
brain equals different qualia, but it certainly should be an indicator
that it very well could, especially if we think that qualia is related
to electrochemical processes. Mainly we have no reason to imagine that
a silicon brain has any other qualia beyond that inherent in it's
physical manufacture and operation.

We have an excellent reason to imagine that. Namely the same reason we imagine other do; as we did for millenia without knowing what was inside of them (or ourselves).

It doesn't learn to feel like a
person, just as your computer doesn't learn how to see you through the
monitor. It's not alive. It has as much qualia as a shoe.

Unsupported and unreasoned assertions.  Dogma of spiritualism.



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