On 9/27/2012 11:57 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
Are you saying that you expect replacing someone's brain would be
no more problematic than replacing any other body part?
I kinda have to side with Stathis a bit here. The problem that
you are hinging an argument on it merely technical, it is not
principled. My opinion is that a neuron is vastly more complex in
its structure than a transistor, heck its got its own power supply
and repair system and more built in! Nature, if anything, is
frugal, there would not be redundant stuff in a neuron such that
we only need to replace some aspect of it in order to achieve
The point is that the brain is a specialized biological computer
Yes and no. It is biological and one of the things that it does is
compute, but computation is not sufficient to describe the brain (or
any organic cell, tissue, or system).
I agree. It does not "just compute".
that has achieved computational universality because it learned
how to process language.
The role of language is controversial. It's important, no doubt, but
it isn't clear that human language is the killer app that enabled the
rise of Homo sapiens. We don't really know which organisms have
language, nor can we say for sure that any species has no language as
far as I can tell. Quorum sensing is bacterial language. Prairie dogs
have language, birds, crickets, trees. It depends how we define it.
Any representational and (at least potentially) sharable form of
interaction is language, in my thinking.
It is because it can figure with symbols and representations that
it can do what it does. This does not make it "special" in any
miraculous way, it just shows us how Nature and its evolutionary
ways is vastly more "intelligent" than we can possibly imagine
ourselves to be.
I agree it's not special in any miraculous way. I have never advocated
I do advocate it. Humans are exceptional if merely because we can
make the claim and make attempts to demonstrate the possibility! The
fact that we can question whether we are or not and seek answers to the
question of consciousness, is exceptional!
What does that have to do with acting being a perfectly appropriate
counterfactual for the zombie assumption?
My point about zombies is that if we are going to stipulate their
existence as being exactly like humans except that they have no qualia
(first person percepts and all that), then we have to be consistent to
the definition in our discussions of them.
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