On 10/17/2011 7:45 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On Oct 17, 9:06 pm, meekerdb<meeke...@verizon.net>  wrote:

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.
Do you think we will be able to find miniature versions of every
episode of the Flintstones that I've ever seen inside my neurons? It's
not possible. What would they be made of? Atoms?

We could find everything you can remember about the Flintstones (much of which would be confabulation) encoded in the interconnection of your neurons.


I think that you are thinking of how we are able to now reverse
engineer some of the visual patterns by recording the measured
activities of the visual cortex and convert them into images we could
see on a screen. That, while awesome and amazing, has nothing to do
with observing experiences in the tissue of the brain. Because we are
only mapping what we know correlates to experience that we already
have subjectively. Without that Rosetta Stone, we would not be tempted
to think that these physiological patterns correlate to anything other
than what they are. There is no homunculus watching TV in a Cartesian
theater. We know that already with absolute certainty. We don't need
to wait until a new kind of microscope is invented.

No one on this list has ever suggested that (except you).


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 
fields,...
Sure, they are highly specialized to be sensitive to interior
sensorimotive experiences of the entire organism. It would make sense
that they would rely on the rest of the body to take care of their
physical maintenance and protection.

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:
Neuroplasticity is part of the reason why artificial appliances aren't
likely to replace the brain to a significant degree. Semiconductors
have very little chance of developing plasticity. Every condition
needs to be anticipated and programmed for in advance.

Not at all.  Artificial neural nets can exhibit plasticity, just as natural 
ones do.

If you are
talking about prosthetics, that's a different story. I'm very
optimistic that we will have useful appliances to augment or repair
neurological organs - as long as the ratio to healthy tissue is
sufficient. Again - a cane is a lot better than no cane for someone
who needs it, but we should not confuse a cane with a replacement for
an arm.

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/10.09/vision.html

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

Cool, yeah. Things like this are partly why I think that subjective
experience has to do with 'pulling wholes through holes', jumps to
conclusions, fills in the gaps. This is what fiction is. A leap of
suspended disbelief to get you from where you are to somewhere else.
It's true cognitively as it is perceptively, sensationally,
emotionally, etc. That's what sensorimotive phenomena is based on, and
that is also what electromagnetism is.

You (and most everyone else too) probably think of a magnet generating
a 'magnetic field' in space which picks up a piece of iron and moves
it around, but I think of a magnet as just a piece of metal which is
able to inspire similar pieces of metal to pick themselves up - or
more accurately, to flip it's motive orientation from the mass and
density of the Earth to the atomic affinity of the similar metal. This
affinity is a kind of sense experience - a feeling of physical
coherence which is amplified in an orderly, wavelike pattern the
closer the two objects are drawn together. There is no actual field.
The iron feels the magnet and moves toward it. It sounds insane, I
know, but I'm pretty sure that it's true.

It sounds exactly like Aristotle.

Brent

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