On 4/2/2012 5:06 PM, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
On Tue, Apr 3, 2012 at 6:08 AM, Craig Weinberg<whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:
From blindsight, synesthesia, and anosognosia we know that particular
qualia are not inevitably associated with the conditions they usually
represent for us, so it seems impossible to justify qualia on a
functionalist basis. Just as a computer needs no speakers and video
screen inside itself, there is no purpose for such a presentation
layer within our own mechanism. Of course, even if there were a
purpose, there is no hint of such a possibility from mechanism alone.
If there was some reason that a bucket of rocks could benefit by some
kind of collective 'experience' occurring amongst them, that's a
million miles from suspecting that experience could be a conceivable
Rather than 'consciousness', human beings would benefit evolutionarily
much more by just being able to do something mechanically conceivable
things like teleport, time travel, or breathe fire. Awareness doesn't
even make sense as a possibility. Were we not experiencing it
ourselves we could never anticipate any such possibility in any
Since there is no evolutionary advantage to consciousness it must be a
side-effect of the sort of behaviour that conscious organisms display.
Otherwise, why did we not evolve as zombies?
I like Julian Jaynes idea that it is a side-effect of using the same parts of the brain
for cogitation as are used for perception. That would be the kind of thing that evolution
would do, jury rigged but efficient.
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