On Friday, September 28, 2012 2:44:32 PM UTC-4, Stephen Paul King wrote:
>
>  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?
>>
>> Craig
>>  
>> Hi Craig,
>>
>>     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 functional equivalence. 
>>
>>     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).
>  
>
> Hi Craig,
>
>     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.
>

That's what I think too. The entire universe can be considered language 
really. Texts.
 

>
>  
>   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 
> human exceptionalism.
>
>
>     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!
>

I agree. I mean exceptional in the sense of that some people consider 
humans as being not really animals but special beings that happen to have 
an animal body. I see human beings as a clear product of the animal kingdom.
 

>
>  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.
>
>
If you had the technology to augment your acting skills in the way I 
described, then that is exactly what it would be. You would have a zombie 
mask that functions entirely by comparing detected brain data.

Craig
 

>
>
> -- 
> Onward!
>
> Stephen
> http://webpages.charter.net/stephenk1/Outlaw/Outlaw.html
>
>  

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