On 29 Sep 2011, at 14:36, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On Sep 29, 3:21 am, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
On 28 Sep 2011, at 17:48, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On Sep 28, 10:26 am, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
On 27 Sep 2011, at 22:35, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On Sep 27, 9:20 am, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com>
Noooo. Millions of neurons fire simultaneously in separate regions
the brain. Your assumptions about chain reactions being the only
that neurons fire is not correct. You owe the brain an apology.
Digital machines can emulate parallelism.
In all you answer to Stathis you elude the question by confusing
levels of explanation.
So either you postulate an infinitely low level (and thus
in the brain), or you are introducing the magic mentioned by
Yes, this is just a tangent, I'm trying to show that the model of
brain as a chain reaction is factually incorrect. I agree,
says nothing about whether it's computational or not, it's just that
Stathis is trying to actually claim that psychological processes
cannot drive lower level neurology.
In a sense I can follow you. If I feel in pain I can take a drug, and
in this case a high level psychological process can change a lower
level neuro process. But I am sure Stathis agree with this. That
cycle can still be driven by still lower computable laws. A universal
machine can emulate another self-transforming universal machine.
That's the point.
I would still say that at some point 'I' participates directly and
deterministically in the process. Even if only to arbitrate between
many conflicting subordinate senses and motives, all of which I
suspect have more deterministic but still 'not-as-deterministic-as'
processes such as those within inorganic molecules or atoms. The I
herself may not be completely non-computational and indeterministic,
but that doesn't mean that she has no control of her thoughts,
opinions, and actions either.
What my hypothesis offers though, is to make concrete the abstraction
of 'lower computable laws' so that they are not metaphysical, but
intraphysical. They are actual sensorimotive experiences localized in
and through matter. Like the laws we follow as citizens, we are
compelled to do so by the senses of social identification and motives
of avoiding negative consequences. It's a subjective experience which
can be abstracted into a formula with reasonable success, but the
experience is not the same thing as the formula, the map is not the
If we recognize that the example of how we as individuals follow
'laws', not because those laws are metaphysical programs which are
deterministically executed on unwitting helpless voyeurs, but because
the customs, practices, and expectations of our niche are
recapitulated locally in the individual as sensorimotive dynamics. The
actual literal process by which laws and customs are upheld is not
though explicit codes, it's because we don't like the feeling of going
against our conditioning. It makes us nervous and ashamed; fearful,
I'm not saying that atoms bond together because they are lonely or the
Krebs cycle propagates because citric acid was raised to believe that
it has a job to do, but that in each case there is likely a
corresponding nano-sensorimotive experience going on. When you realize
that the senses and motives which have grown great enough to catch the
attention of the 'I', that they are trillions of times more saturated
and nuanced than those sensorimotives arising from the individual
cells and molecules, we can see that the proto-experience of an
individual neuron-eukaryote need not be anthropomorphized to a large
It can be calculated as a history of action potentials, but that
doesn't explain what the action potentials actually are. They are
voluntary (some more voluntary than others) participatory spasms. We
are used to imagining these impulses like electric sparks or flashes
of light inside the brain, but they only look like sparks when viewed
through a device which records them that way. To the naked eye you
won't see any sparks, and to the subject whose brain it is, there are
only thoughts, images, and feelings.
I don't feel this very compelling.
You have to assume some primitive matter, and notion of localization.
This is the kind of strong metaphysical and aristotleian assumption
which I am not sure to see the need for, beyond extrapolating from our
You have to assume mind, and a form of panpsychism, which seems to me
as much problematic than what it is supposed to explain or at least
The link between both remains as unexplainable as before.
You attribute to me a metaphysical assumption, where I assume only
what is taught in high school to everyone, + the idea that at some
level matter (not primitive matter, but the matter we can observe when
we look at our bodies) obeys deterministic laws, where you make three
metaphysical assumptions: matter, mind and a link which refer to
notion that you don't succeed to define (like sensorimotive).
Then you derive from this that the third person "I" is not Turing
emulable, but this appears to be non justified too, even if we are
willing to accept some meaning in those nanosensorimotive actions
(which I am not, for I don't have a clue about what they can be).
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