On Oct 3, 8:29 pm, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 4:09 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> > I agree with Craig, although the way he presents it might seems a bit
> > uncomputationalist, (if I can say(*)).
>
> > Thoughts act on matter all the time. It is a selection of histories + a
> > sharing. Like when a sculptor isolates an art form from a rock, and then
> > send it in a museum. If mind did not act on matter, we would not have been
> > able to fly to the moon, and I am not sure even birds could fly. It asks for
> > relative works and time, and numerous deep computations.
>
> > When you prepare coffee, mind acts on matter. When you drink coffee, matter
> > acts on mind. No problem here (with comp).
>
> > And we can learn to control computer at a distance, but there is no reason
> > to suppose that computers can't do that.
>
> Mind acts on matter in a manner of speaking, but matter will not do
> anything that cannot be explained in terms of the underlying physics.

No matter how many times I say that you do not understand what I mean
if you still bring this up, you still bring it up again and again. The
only one talking about defying physics is you. The fact is, we have no
physical explanation of why neurons in the amygdala suddenly
depolarize their membranes when the subject thinks about gambling so
it breaks no physical law to make the obvious conclusion that this
subjective intention is itself the cause, rather than an arbitrary
cluster of neurons having some peculiar sensitivity to secondhand
associations of the shapes of playing cards, dice, horses (sometimes),
slot machines, racing cars, sports games (sometimes), etc.. It makes
no sense as an a-signifying neurochemical process. It only makes sense
as a signifying conscious narrative.

> An alien scientist could give a complete description of why humans
> behave as they do and make a computational model that accurately
> simulates human behaviour while remaining ignorant about human
> consciousness. But the alien could not do this if he were ignorant
> about protein chemistry, for example.

I say wrong and wrong.  An alien scientist simulating human behavior
without any understanding of human consciousness cannot give a
complete description of why humans behave at all. They would not have
the foggiest idea what to make of a movie or a joke or a baseball
game. It's an absurd suggestion. It is to say that there is no
difference between the pirates in Pirates of the Caribbean and actual
pirates.

Your counterexample fails even more completely. An alien who was
familiar with human consciousness would need only read a book or watch
a movie to be able to simulate human behavior in any mode -
biological, cinematic, verbal re-enactment, miniature sculpture, etc.
No chemical or neurological understanding would be required or even
relevant.

Craig

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