On Oct 7, 1:15 pm, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 08/10/2011, at 12:02 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >> it is something-it-is-like to be a
> >> leaf, and the qualia may differ depending on whether the leaf goes
> >> left or right. As with a brain, the leaf does not break any physical
> >> laws and its behaviour can be completely described in terms of
> >> physical processes, but such a description would leave out an
> >> important part of the picture, the subjectivity. While it may be
> >> correct to say that the leaf moves to the right because it wants to
> >> move to the right, since moving to the right is associated with
> >> right-moving willfulness, this does not mean that the qualia have a
> >> causal effect on its behaviour.
> > No because if the wind is also pushing other inanimate objects in the
> > same direction and the leaf never resists that, then we can assume
> > that it has no ability to choose it's direction.
> The leaf has the ability to choose its direction to the same extent that a 
> motile cell such as an amoeba does.

I can't really take that seriously, I think at this point that you
have to be winding me up. On the off chance that there is an eight
year old reading this, I will respond to that as if it weren't

The leaf doesn't follow anything. It's dead. It just falls to the
ground while fluid dynamics push it around. The dead leaf as a single
entity is completely passive. A motile cell such as an amoeba is
categorized as motile because of it's motility:

"Motility is a biological term which refers to the ability to move
spontaneously and actively" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motility

>The amoeba follows chemotactic gradients, the leaf follows the wind. The 
>amoeba does not move in a direction contrary to physics and neither does the 
>leaf. The amoeba may feel that it is >choosing where to go and so might the 

The amoeba, like any other motile organism, follows it's subjective
senses, some of which can be described in 3-p as chemotactic, but
there are other models of cellular mobility too, as I'm sure you are
aware. A living amoeba is participating in it's environment actively.
When it dies, it's molecules still participate in the environment
actively, but the amoeba as a whole is passive. All the chemotactic
gradients in the world are not going to move a dead amoeba.

Do you believe that there is a difference between something that is
alive and something that is dead? If so, what?

> If a motor neuron involved in voluntary activity fires where you would not 
> predict it would fire given its internal state and the inputs then it is *by 
> definition* acting contrary to physical law.

Every firing of motor neurons involved in voluntarily activity fires
where you would not predict, given that the internal state provides no
prediction and that the inputs are determined by the subject and
therefore unknowable to anyone outside of the subject.


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