On 9/13/2011 12:00 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
It's easy to assume that it helps, just as it's easy for me to assume
that we have free will. If we don't need our conscious mind to make
decisions, then we certainly don't need the fantasyland associated
with our conscious minds to help with that process. Think of building
a robot that walks around and looks for food and avoids danger. Why
would it help to construct some kind of Cartesian theater inside of
it? Functionally, there is no reasonable explanation for perception or
experience, especially if you believe in determinism.

It would help, even be essential, to the robot learning for it to remember things. But not just everything. It needs to remember important things, like what it was doing just before it fell down the stairs. So you design it to continually construct a narrative history and if something important happens you tuck that piece of narrative history into a database for future reference by associative memory ('near stairs'? don't back up). This memory consists of connected words learned by the speech/hearing module and images. For efficiency you use these same modules for associative construction of the narrative memory and for recall. Hence part of the same processing is used for recall and cogitation as well as perception and learning. That's why thinking has similarity to perception, i.e. sitting in a Cartesian theater.


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