On Saturday, September 22, 2012 1:54:11 PM UTC-4, John Clark wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 13, 2012 at 3:03 PM, Craig Weinberg 
> <whats...@gmail.com<javascript:>
> > wrote:
> > If anyone is not familiar with David Chalmers "Absent Qualia, Fading 
>> Qualia, Dancing Qualia" You should have a look at 
>> it<http://consc.net/papers/qualia.html>first.
> I confess I have not read it because I have little confidence it's any 
> better than the Chinese Room. Well OK I exaggerate, it's probably better 
> than that (what isn't) but there is something about all these anti AI 
> thought experiments that has always confused me. Let's suppose I'm dead 
> wrong and Chambers really has found something new and strange and maybe 
> even paradoxical about consciousness, what I want to know is why am I 
> required to explain it if I want to continue to believe that a intelligent 
> computers would be conscious? Whatever argument Chambers has it could just 
> as easily be turned against the idea that the intelligent behavior of other 
> people indicates consciousness, and yet not one person on this list 
> believes in Solipsism, not even the most vocal AI critics. Why? Why is it 
> that I must find the flaws in all these thought experiments but the anti AI 
> people feel no need to do so?
> In the extraordinarily unlikely event that Chambers has shown that 
> consciousness is paradoxical (and its probably just as childish as all the 
> others) I would conclude that he just made an error someplace that nobody 
> has found yet. When Zeno showed that  motion was paradoxical nobody thought 
> that motion did not exist but that Zeno just made a mistake, and he did, 
> although the error wasn't found till the invention of the Calculus 
> thousands of years later.
>   John K Clark           

No, you are being prejudiced against the wrong thought experiment. This is 
the paper  where Chalmers argues that it wouldn't make sense for 
functionalism not to be true, because gradually replacing a person's mind 
with functional equivalents that didn't provide qualia would create 
absurdity (someone who acts like they can taste strawberries but has no 
idea what they are doing). It's the only instance I can think of where I 
actually disagree with Chalmers, although I understand why he (and everyone 
else) assumes that consciousness would have to work that way..

What I see that he has not considered is that consciousness is a the 
function of uniqueness itself, and propagates through time as experience, 
not as as a product of mechanism. It's qualities are accessed and focused 
through the accumulated history of experience, seen to us as matter and 
mechanism. Instead of fading or absent qualia, I see only coma and death as 
the replacement neurons encroach on the brain stem irreversible damage 
would occur just as it would with dementia or a malignant brain tumor. The 
only difference is that the tumor will be trying to run parts of the body 
and mind which are no longer relevant to whats left of the person.



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