On Nov 9, 11:36 pm, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
> On 11/9/2011 8:00 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
> > On Oct 28, 10:59 am, Quentin Anciaux<allco...@gmail.com>  wrote:
> >> 2011/10/28 Craig Weinberg<whatsons...@gmail.com>
> >>> On Oct 28, 8:10 am, Stathis Papaioannou<stath...@gmail.com>  wrote:
> >>>> On Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 6:13 AM, Craig Weinberg<whatsons...@gmail.com>
> >>> wrote:
> >>>>> Let's say that I watch a football game on TV and describe what I see.
> >>>>> Is there now a direct connection between my larynx and a football
> >>>>> field somewhere?
> Strawman: He didn't say *direct* connection.

Since there is nothing that is not indirectly connected to everything
else, it is meaningless to talk about such distinctions. Numerous
times Stathis has asserted a neurological connection between the
larynx and the optic nerve and that the fact we can describe what we
see is evidence of such a connection. My position is that this is an
obvious logical fallacy, since A connecting to B and B connecting to C
does not mean that A connects to C. There is no such connection
between larynx and optic nerve, and the fact that they both connect to
the brain explains our ability to verbally express whatever we like,
including what we may have seen or thought we saw or whatever. By
Stathis logic, the oven is connected to the refrigerator since we can
eat a hot meal with a cold salad.

> >>>>> What is this connection made of? Is this the kind of
> >>>>> purely semantic-philosophical 'connection' you are talking about being
> >>>>> what connects the retina and larynx?
> >>>> There is a causal connection between your larynx and the football field,
> >>> since what happens on the football field affects your larynx.
> >>> Any such connection is one that is only inferred.
> Strawman: No one suggested it was other than inferred.  What else would it 
> be?  a
> mathematical theorem? Almost everything we know about the world is inferred.

What was suggested is a direct neurological connection which literally
allows the larynx to output signals from the optic nerve. That would
not be inferred, it would be a physiological fact.

> >>> What happens on the
> >>> football field only affects your larynx if you decide to talk about
> >>> it.
> Strawman: The hypothetical was that you watch and football game and describe 
> it.  That
> there are other possibilities, like not describing it, is a red herring.

The hypothetical was a strawman. I am correcting it. The implication
is that the mouth is a machine that can only describe what the eyes
see, which is of course, ludicrous.

> >>>   If it did not, you could not describe what happened on the football
> >>> field. You cannot describe a football game if the light from it has
> >>> not reached you, for example, since information cannot get to you
> >>> faster than light.
> >>> You could listen to it on the radio or read about it in the newspaper.
> >>> You could invent an imaginary game and describe it in intricate
> >>> detail.
> >>>>>> How does "the necessity of neurons to respond to their environment" go
> >>>>>> against determinism?
> >>>>> Because living cells must confront unanticipated and novel
> >>>>> circumstances in their environment which cannot be determined, nor can
> >>>>> the responses be determined in advance. Inorganic molecules don't care
> >>>>> if they survive or not so their interactions are more deterministic
> >>>>> and passive.
> >>>> The environment can provide a rich variety of inputs to an entity but
> >>> that does not mean that the entity must be programmed to respond 
> >>> differently
> >>> to every input.
> >>> Then that means that it isn't deterministic.
> >> It is. Every part of it is determined exactly from input + rules,
> > You are assuming that input exists independently of the subject. I
> > don't. A black and white TV has no capacity to ever show color
> > broadcasts, so that the all of it's inputs can only be rendered in
> > monochrome. A living organism, unlike a TV, can learn and adapt by
> > itself. It can choose what to foster and what to avoid. It is not just
> > input + rules against a dumb lookup table, it is volition and
> > affinity. It is determined by the organism itself as well as the
> > environment.
> Strawman: He is not assuming that the possible inputs are not constrained by 
> the subject.
> Only that the input can vary independently of the subject.  It is not true 
> that an
> organism can change from black and white to color vision.  A computer or 
> robot can also
> learn and adapt.

I didn't say 'not constrained by the subject', I said 'exists
independently of the subject'. There is no input without a subject to
input into. I didn't say that organisms could change it's vision,
although over time, species evolve to do just that. We also shift into
black and white vision when there is insufficient light. My point
though is that organisms develop new capabilities through their
interactions with their environment, which actually redefines both
inputs and rules. Computers or robots can only learn or adapt if they
are programmed explicitly to do so, and even so, have a comparatively
limited range of discovery and freedom of action. They can explore
variations on arithmetic themes, but they have no true rule-breaking

> Strawman: No one suggested a "dumb lookup table".

To say that consciousness is nothing but input + rules is precisely a
dumb lookup table. What else would it be?

> >> what isn't
> >> (from the point of view of the model) is the environment, that has been 
> >> said
> >> *from the beginning of the discussion*. We don't model the environment, and
> >> we don't have to, since what we want is connect the model to the
> >> environment, we don't want to model the universe *but a brain* (in the
> >> though experiment)
> > One of the main purposes of the brain is to model the environment,
> > just as the purpose of a TV set is to provide TV programs. Without
> > factoring that in, any model of the brain is a waste of time. You
> > cannot separate the brain from the universe which is created through
> > that brain.
> Strawman: No one has suggested modeling the brain in some universe other than 
> this one.

I'm not either. I am saying the 'universe which is created through
that brain', not the universe which the brain is created in.

> And it nonsense to talk of separating a brain from a universe created through 
> that brain.

That's my point. All we have is the universe as interpreted by our
brain. To mistake that universe for one which exists independently of
the brain is a catastrophic mistake, if we are trying to look at


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