On Tue, Oct 18, 2011 at 11:31 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Oct 17, 7:45 pm, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Sun, Oct 16, 2011 at 11:44 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> 
>> wrote:
>> >> As an engineering problem as well as for the purpose of the thought
>> >> experiment, we replace a part at a time and, as with the mechanic and
>> >> the car, see whether it works the same. If the subject says they have
>> >> gone blind or feel weird or something then the replacement part is not
>> >> working properly. If they say they feel normal and they seem to you to
>> >> behave normally then the replacement part is working properly.
>> > I agree that would be a decent way of finding out. I'm saying that
>> > they will not feel normal though, and they will most likely not behave
>> > normally over time.
>> But they have to say they feel normal since the speech centres of
>> their brain receives the same electrical input and the neurons there
>> fire in the same sequence as they normally would. Only if the neurons
>> are affected by non-physical inputs (which would by assumption be
>> missing if the artificial neurons are installed) would the subject be
>> able to say that something was awry.
> They wouldn't have to say that they feel normal, because the 'speech
> centers' are not controlled by the artificial neurons. The speech
> centers are used by the conscious areas of the brain so they can
> vocalize anything that the subject cares to vocalize. If you were
> colorblind and you replaced part of a computer monitor with an area of
> pixels which looked like a perfect physical match to you, the user
> would still be able to see the difference if they were the wrong
> colors or monochrome.

The speech centres must, through a relay of neurons, receive
information from the visual centres if the subject is to make any
statement about what he sees. If the visual centres are artificial,
but producing the same neural outputs to the rest of the brain, then
the rest of the brain will respond as if vision is normal: the subject
will say everything looks normal, he will grasp things normally with
his hands, he will paint or write poetry about what he sees normally.
His motor cortex cannot be aware that the visual cortex has changed,
since the only awareness of the outside world the motor cortex can
have must come through the surrounding tissue.

> Since we know absolutely that we have experiences which cannot be
> observed directly in the tissue of the brain, there is no sense in
> imagining that replicating what we observe in the brain will not be
> missing crucial capacities which we can't anticipate. Even replacing
> simpler organs with actual human organs have a risk of rejection. Why
> would the brain, which is presumably infinitely more sensitive than a
> kidney, have no problem with a completely theoretical and unrealizably
> futuristic artificial device?

We assume that the artificial device reproduces the pattern of neural
firing and nothing else. Do you think that is *impossible*? Why?

Stathis Papaioannou

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