On 05 Apr 2012, at 22:53, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:
On 05.04.2012 21:44 meekerdb said the following:
On 4/5/2012 11:49 AM, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:
Display to whom? the homunculus?
No, he creates an interesting scheme to escape the homunculus:
p. 110. “(1) the unconscious brain constructs a display in a medium,
that of conscious perception, fundamentally different from its usual
medium of electrochemical activity in and between nerve cells;
Is it a physical medium, made of quarks and electrons? Is it an
immaterial soul stuff? Or is it just a placeholder name for a gap
It is just a placeholder. The modern science cannot explain the
nature of that medium.
(2) it inspects the conscious constructed display;
Is the display conscious or the 'it' that's doing the inspection.
It is the unconscious brain.
(3) it uses the results of the display to change the working of its
usual electrochemical medium.”
Sounds like a soul or homunculus to me.
Here it again the unconscious brain. As I have written,
'consciousness display' just gives new possibilities to the
unconscious brain to rule over all the servomechanisms.
Hence the unconscious brain does the job.
But the display is denoted 'conscious'? Is it not part of the brain?
It is an open question. For example Gray asks
“Might it be the case that, if one put a slice of V4 in a dish in
this way, it could continue to sustain colour qualia? Functionalists
have a clear answer to this question: no, because a slice of V4,
disconnected from its normal visual inputs and motor outputs, cannot
discharge the functions associated with the experience of colour.
But, if we had a theory that started, not from function, but from
brain tissue, maybe it would give a different answer. Alas, no such
theory is to hand. Worse, even one had been proposed, there is no
known way of detecting qualia in a brain slice!”.
No one knows. This is the state of the art.
I should say that this does not answer my personal inquiry on how I
perceive a three dimensional world, but this is another problem. In
his book, Jeffrey Gray offers quite a plausible scheme.
Doesn't sound anymore plausible than a conscious spirit.
When Gray considers would be explanations, he mentions dualism and
panpsychism (for example quantum consciousness). Yet, he does not
give an answer. His statement is that we do not have a theory of
However, the phenomenon is there and he has shown how to research it
in the lab.
But consciousness is a 100% first person "phenomenon", so it is
doubtful that we will ever found it in the lab, where we can find only
third person (or first person plural) describable phenomena.
So a theory of consciousness, or *about* consciousness can only be a
theory acknowledging some principle or axioms about the first person
view. This makes sense, if only because such axioms can be found for a
notion deeply related to consciousness, and which is knowledge. Most
research in the cognitive science , sufficiently theoretical, accept
the following axioms for knowledge, with Kp interpreted as "I know p":
Kp -> p
Kp -> KKp
K(p->q) -> (Kp -> Kq)
and with modus ponens and necessitation as inference rule (from p and
(p->q) you can derive q, and from p you can derive Kp).
This is the modal logic S4. Gödel already knew that in any "rich"
theory, provability cannot obey those S4 axioms, and later Kaplan and
Montague have shown that there is just no way we can define such
notion of knowledge, in any third person way, capable of playing that
role, confirming that S4 bears on a pure first person notion.
Yet, as seen by many philsopher (from Theatetus to the old
Wittgenstein), we can "simulate", at the meta-level such a knowledge
by taking any theory of belief, and defining knowledge by a belief
which happens to be true, so that we get the first axiom above. By a
result of Tarski, we know already that truth ---about a theory/
machine---cannot be defined---by the machine or in the theory.
Accepting the knowledge account of consciousness (as the knowldedge of
one truth, may be a tautology or just the constant boolean "t")
explains then completely why consciousness exist (like a true belief),
and why we will never find it in the lab. Now, if the belief notion
can be finitely defined in a third person way, this entails the comp
hypothesis, and this does not solve completely the mind-body problem.
Indeed we might say that such a theory does solve the hard
consciousness problem, but as the UDA shows, it introduces a new
problem: we have to justify the stability of the lab itself from that
theory of consciousness. That is nice because it leads to the first
explanation of why there is a physical universe, and it makes physics
a branch of psychology or theology. Then the constraints of computer
science gives sense to this, because provability obeys to
Put in another, perhaps provocative way, with comp, consciousness is
not that much difficult, it is a consequence of computer science and
mathematical logic, but we have yet to "find the lab in
consciousness". UDA shows why and how.
Gray is stuck by its aristotelian conception of reality.
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