On 10/12/2012 3:40 AM, Alberto G. Corona wrote:
life, consciousness, free will, intelligence
I try to give a phsical definition of each one:
Life: whathever that maintain its internal entropy in a non trivial way (A diamant is
not alive). That is, to make use of hardwired and adquired information to maintain the
internal entropy by making use of low entropic matter in the environment.
Consciousness: To avoid dangers he has to identify chemical agents, for example, but
also (predators that may consider him as a prey. While non teleológical dangers, like
chemicals, can be avoided with simple reactions, teleológical dangers, like the
predators are different. He has to go a step further than automatic responses, because
he has to deliberate between fight of flight, depending on its perceived internal state:
healt, size, wether he has breeding descendence to protect etc. He needs to know the
state of himself, as well as the boundary of his body. He has to calibrate the menace
by looking at the reactions of the predator when he see its own reactions. there is a
processing of "I do this- he is responding with that", at some level.
So a primitive consciouness probably started with predation. that is not self
consciousness in the human sense. Self consciousness manages an history of the self that
consciousness do not.
Free will: There are many dylemmas that living beings must confront, like fight of
flight: For example, to abandon an wounded cub or not, to pass the river infested of
crocodriles in orde to reach the green pastures in the other side etc. many of these
reactions are automatic, like fight and fligh. because speed of response is very
important (Even most humans report this automatism of behaviour when had a traumatic
experience). But other dilemmas are not. A primitive perception of an internal conflict
(that is free will) may appear in animals who had the luxury of having time for
considerating either one course of action or the other, in order to get enough data.
This is not very common in the animal kingdom, where life is short and decission have to
be fast. Probably only animals with a long life span with a social protection can evolve
such internal conflict. When there is no time to spend, even humans act automatically.
If you want to know how an animal feel, go to a conflict zone.
I generally agree with your analysis. And I think you are right that what is called 'free
will' is a feeling about conflicting internal values. This comports with the legal idea
of coerced (not-free) choice. Coercion externally imposes a cost on your decision so that
values are shifted and what would have had a negative value has a positive value competing
with normally dominant alternatives.
Intelligence: The impulse of curiosity and the hability to elaborate activities with the
exclusive goal of learning and adquiring experience, rather than direct survivival. of
course that curiositiy is not arbitrary but focused in promising activities that learn
something valuable for survival. A cat would inspect a new furniture. Because its
impulse for curiosity is towards the search of locations for hiding, watch and shelter
and for the knowledge of the surroundings. That is intelligence, but a focused
intelligence. It is not general intelligence.
But if you define 'general intelligence' as not having any goal, you are defining it out
of existence. Our own goals may not be consciously present, but I don't think they are
any less motivated than the cats.
We have also a focused curiosity but it is not so narrow.
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