On 9/6/2011 1:30 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On Sep 6, 1:16 pm, Bruno Marchal<marc...@ulb.ac.be>  wrote:
On 06 Sep 2011, at 16:47, Craig Weinberg wrote:

On Sep 6, 3:13 am, Bruno Marchal<marc...@ulb.ac.be>  wrote:
On 06 Sep 2011, at 02:26, Craig Weinberg wrote:
When you say that mechanism explains qualia almost completely, are
talking about the 1-p (plural) sequestering of it, the non
computability of it, or is there something else? Does this mechanism
rely on the idea that meaning is transferred from something like a
person to a machine purely by a machine 'acting like' a person seems
to act?
No. You need to duplicate the behavior of the components of the
machine at some right level of substitution.
"acting like" might be enough, but is somehow hard to define.
What accounts for substitution level?
It is the level where your local constituants can be replaced by
digital device without changing your private experience.
That doesn't account for the phenomena, it just defines the meaning of
the term.

Of course
only God knows it.
What accounts for that? Why should this factor be completely
inscrutable if it's a natural function of arithmetic?

The account of the experiencer (of the
substitution) does not count, as he may suffer from anosognosia.
Accounts of non-experiencers equally do not count as they may suffer
from HADD/prognosia.

Is it a hard threshold whereby
Pinocchio becomes a real boy suddenly, or is it a gradient of
escalating qualia?
By definition, if the reconstituted person witness some new feelings,
like having lost something, or having a headache, or whatever, it
means that the level of substitution was not well chosen. People will
accept such substitution when their friends will account for only
slight secondary phenomena, like short nausea or something.
But what is the threshold at which a reconstituted person feels
anything at all? Is it a sudden instantiation of fully formed
awareness in a machine, or does the machine individually activate and
gradually integrate autonomous modules of quasi-awareness into a

Either way seems insufficient for the same reason
that vanishing or absent qualia seem unlikely.
Why? Chalmers makes clear that what would be astonishing, is fading
qualia with no change in the behavior.
Because qualia appearing without some self-generated behavioral
precursor would be just as astonishing.

Absent qualia, and vanishing
sensations already occurs in many consciousness pathologies, in
general due to brain troubles, like with Alzheimer.
Right, but the human sensations do not seem to spontaneously appear in
inorganic phenomena. There has never been a computer which suddenly
expressed fear of being turned off,

Actually, computers that are controlling complex industrial processes do issue warnings if you try to turn them off. This is their expression of fear. Just like your PC asks "Are you sure" when you try to delete a file and it may even refuse to delete it if it is a system file.

nor has there been any sign that a
computer will ever evolve by itself into something that could behave
that way.

Of course computers don't reproduce the way biological systems do. But they reproduce in a more complex way and they have been evolving very rapidly. I think you mistakenly imagine that humans evolved "by themselves". In fact they relied on the prior evolution of complex plant and animal life to make their reproduction possible.

If the copy of the
brain is to gross, the survivor might loss a lot. Now, a "prolife"
surgeon might well give a very gross digital brain to someone, without
its consent, by arguing that the life of his patient is sacred
(instead of the more computationalist *quality* of life notion).
Fading qualia does not apply here.

If Pinocchio
spontaneously opens his eyes one day as a fully realized human being,
that would have odd subjective problems (do they project a simulated
history in their memory or do they know that they came into existence
today but know everything about the world and their own lives?)
UDA illustrates the comp answer to all such questions. The memory of
the past is always a construction of the current brain. What counts
are all the logico-arithmetical relations encoded in the locally
genuine machinery.
So he would never know that he was just born.

He could infer it from, for example, reading old newspapers. How did you learn you were born? I doubt you remember it.

I suppose there's
precedent for that kind of thing in hypnotic suggestion, etc. I think
that sense has a way of differentiating tangible experience from
memory or hallucination, even though our conscious cognitive version
of that can be compromised. I think there is a fundamental difference
between simulation and genuine experience, and that it is neither
rooted in arithmetic nor physics but in the connection between the

or do
they gradually come online with morbid in-between states of tortured
semi-consciousness without means to express or relieve their
That can happen with brain disease too. I guess the pioneer of
immortality will not have an easy beginning in afterlife. This is not
even for after tomorrow.
How do you know that the arithmetic doesn't have to be run from the
beginning (conception or birth) in real time? If you grew a perfect
adult clone, it would still be a newborn infant psychologically. The
fact that the adult psyche is not passed on from mother to child in
the womb makes me think that genuine experience is required to
generate significance of a certain qualitative character.

You would agree though that a ventriloquist does not transfer
the ability to feel, see, and understand to his dummy, I assume, so
doesn't that mean that the difference between a wooden dummy and a
machine capable of human feeling is just a matter of degree of
No. The dummy should behave the same in presence and absence of the
ventriloquist. But even more, the "dummy" body should do the right
To me, the computations are the ventriloquist. They are just a way for
the ventriloquist to save his act on disk, so that they can be
executed at a later time through the dummy.
You confuse a particular program, with a universal one, having the
same self-referential ability than you and me.

I think that here Bruno is not following his own argument: We are not our bodies. We are computations that instantiate our selves as bodies. There is no reason that the vetriloquist cannot adopt the dummies body as well has his own and model himself as both alternately. I think ventriloquist often describe their dummy as "having a mind of his own."


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to 
For more options, visit this group at 

Reply via email to