On Thursday, September 13, 2012 8:01:59 PM UTC-4, stathisp wrote:
> On Fri, Sep 14, 2012 at 5:03 AM, Craig Weinberg
> > If anyone is not familiar with David Chalmers "Absent Qualia, Fading
> > Dancing Qualia" You should have a look at it first.
> > This thought experiment is intended to generalize principles common to
> > computationalism and functionalism so that the often confusing
> > surrounding their assumptions can be revealed.
> > Say that we have the technology to scan the city of New York by means of
> > releasing 100,000 specially fitted cats into the streets, which will
> > to the laboratory in a week's time with a fantastically large amount of
> > about what the cats see and feel, smell and taste, hear, their positions
> > movements relative to each other, etc.
> > We now set about computing algorithms to simulate the functions of
> > such that we can tear down Brooklyn completely and replace it with a
> > simulation which causes cats released into the simulated environment to
> > behave in the same way as they would have according to the history of
> > initial release.
> > Indeed, cats in Manhattan travel to and from Brooklyn as usual. Perhaps
> > get this right, we had to take all of Brooklyn and grind it up in a
> > blender until it becomes a paste of liquified corpses, garbage,
> > wood, and glass, and then use this substrate to mold into objects that
> > be moved around remotely to suit the expectations of the cats.
> > Armed with the confidence of the feline thumbs-up, we go ahead and
> > Manhattan and the other boroughs in the same way, effectively turning a
> > of millions into a cat-friendly cemetery. While the experiment is not a
> > success (Luddites and Fundamentalists complain loudly about a genocide),
> > cats assure us that all is well and the experiment is a great success.
> Craig, this post of yours just shows me that you don't understand the
> paper at all. If I am wrong, perhaps you could summarise it. I suspect
> that the part you don't understand is what it means to make a
> functional replacement of a neuron, which means replicating just the
> third party observable behaviour. I'm not sure if you don't understand
> "third party observable behaviour" or if you do understand but think
> it's impossible to replicate it. Perhaps you could clarify by
> explaining what you think "third party observable behaviour" actually
> What you think third party observable behavior means is the set of all
properties which are externally discoverable. I am saying that is a
projection of naive realism, and that in reality, there is no such set, and
that in fact the process of discovery of any properties supervenes on the
properties of all participants and the methods of their interaction.
My point of using cats in this thought experiment is to specifically point
out our naivete in assuming that instruments which extend our perception in
only the most deterministic and easy to control ways are sufficient to
define a 'third person'. If we look at the brain with a microscope, we see
those parts of the brain that microscopes can see. If we look at New York
with a swarm of cats, then we see the parts of New York that cats can see.
This is the point of the thought experiment. The limitations of all forms
of measurement and perception preclude all possibility of there ever being
a such thing as an exhaustively complete set of third person behaviors of
What is it that you don't think I understand?
> Stathis Papaioannou
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Everything List" group.
To view this discussion on the web visit
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