On Thursday, September 13, 2012 1:15:56 PM UTC-4, John Clark wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 13, 2012 at 12:11 PM, Craig Weinberg
> > wrote:
> > I reject comp, because it cannot access feelings or qualities
> And you have deduced this by using the "nothing but" fallacy: even the
> largest computer is "nothing but" a collection of on and off switches.
> Never mind that your brain is "nothing but" a collection of molecules
> rigorously obeying the laws of physics.
Not at all. From my perspective, it's obviously you who assumes that the
brain is "nothing but" a collection of molecules. I don't assume at all
that computers are limited by our description of them, just as stuffed
animals I'm sure contain microcosmic worlds of styrofoam and dust mites,
thermodynamic interiorities of God-know-what sorts of qualitative
experiences. What I don't assume is that a Beanie Baby of a dragon is
actually having the experience that we imagine a dragon should have.
This is the symbol grounding problem pointed out by Searle's Chinese Room,
the China Brain, and Leibniz Mill Argument, and which I demonstrate easily
by saying "These words do not refer to themselves." or "This sentence does
not speak English".
It's hard for me to understand why this seems obscure to anyone who is
familiar with these issues, but at this point I suspect it is like color
blindness or gender orientation.
To review: My understanding is that the word computer does not refer to any
real system, but rather it is a concept about how real systems can be
controlled. It's like saying 'storyteller'. There is nothing that it is
made of or experiences that it has. Experience depends on real interactions
of matter, energy, space, and time, which are experienced as perception and
participation. You can't park a real car (human experience) in a map of a
parking lot (computer simulation). I understand completely that it is
thrilling to imagine that the map is actually the reality, and the car is
only a figment of the statistical model of 'parkingness', and I agree that
this way of looking at things gives us useful insights and control, but it
is ultimately a catastrophic failure when taken literally and applied to
living beings - as bad as religious ideology.
> John K Clark
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