On 10/17/2011 5:31 PM, Craig Weinberg 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.

Since we know absolutely that we have experiences which cannot be
observed directly in the tissue of the brain,

We don't know that. We only know that we don't have the resolution and instruments to observe them directly...yet.

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

But it is quiet insensitive in some respects, e.g. to touch, to light, to EM 

than a
kidney, have no problem with a completely theoretical and unrealizably
futuristic artificial device?

Because the brain is sensitive to afferent nerve impulses and it is relatively plastic. That's why people can learn to see via signals from nerves on their back and blind people "envision" their surroundings by ear. Read this all the way through:


In any case it is (for now) merely a thought experiment.



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