On 2/21/2012 2:45 PM, Terren Suydam wrote:
On Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 4:01 PM, meekerdb<meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
On 2/21/2012 12:34 PM, Terren Suydam wrote:
The idea that consciousness depends on the program a UM executes is
the point of this thought experiment. The idea that consciousness
itself depends on a multiplicity of computational paths going through
the current computational state is what I'm questioning.
Yes, I think that's a dubious proposition. Although brains no doubt have
some degree of inherent quantum randomness it's clear that intelligent
behavior need not depend on that.
But I'm not sure your thought experiment proves its point. It's about
simulated Mary. Suppose consciousness depended on quantum entanglements of
brain structures with the environment (and they must in order for the brain
to quasi-classical). Then in your simulation Mary would be a zombie
(because your computation is purely classical and you're not simulating the
quantum entanglements). But an actual macroscopic device substituted for
part of real Mary's brain would be quantum entangled with the environment
even if were at the neuron level. So consciousness would, ex hypothesi,
still occur - although it might be different in some way.
Why must consciousness depend on quantum entanglements for the brain
to be quasi-classical?
The best theory of how the (quasi) classical world arises from the underlying quantum
world depends on decoherence, i.e. macroscopic things appear classical because they are
entangled with the environment which makes a few variables, like position and momentum,
quasi-classical (c.f. Zurek or Schlosshauer). If a thing is isolated from the environment
it may be able to exist in a superposition of states, i.e. be non-classical; although
internal degrees of freedom might also produce quasi-classical dynamics.
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to email@example.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at