On Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 1:55 AM, Stephen P. King <stephe...@charter.net> wrote:

>> If there is a top-down effect of the mind on the atoms then there we
>> would expect some scientific evidence of this. Evidence would
>> constitute, for example, neurons firing when measurements of
>> transmembrane potentials, ion concentrations etc. suggest that they
>> should not. You claim that such anomalous behaviour of neurons and
>> other cells due to consciousness is widespread, yet it has never been
>> experimentally observed. Why?
>
>
> Hi Stathis,
>
>     How would you set up the experiment? How do you control for an effect
> that may well be ubiquitous? Did you somehow miss the point that
> consciousness can only be observed in 1p? Why are you so insistent on a 3p
> of it?

A top-down effect of consciousness on matter could be inferred if
miraculous events were observed in neurophysiology research. The
consciousness itself cannot be directly observed.

>> I don't mean putting an extra module into the brain, I mean putting
>> the brain directly into the same configuration it is put into by
>> learning the language in the normal way.
>
>
>     How might we do that? Alter 1 neuron and you might not have the same
> mind.

When you learn something, your brain physically changes. After a year
studying Chinese it goes from configuration SPK-E to configuration
SPK-E+C. If your brain were put directly into configuration SPK-E+C
then you would know Chinese and have a false memory of the year of
learning it.

>> In a thought experiment we can say that the imitation stimulates the
>> surrounding neurons in the same way as the original. We can even say
>> that it does this miraculously. Would such a device *necessarily*
>> replicate the consciousness along with the neural impulses, or could
>> the two be separated?
>
>
>     Is the brain strictly a classical system?

No, although the consensus appears to be that quantum effects are not
significant in its functioning. In any case, this does not invalidate
functionalism.

>> As I said, technical problems with computers are not relevant to the
>> argument. The implant is just a device that has the correct timing of
>> neural impulses. Would it necessarily preserve consciousness?
>>
>>
>     Let's see. If I ingest psychoactive substances, there is a 1p observable
> effect.... Is this a circumstance that is different in kind from that
> device?

The psychoactive substances cause a physical change in your brain and
thereby also a psychological change.


-- 
Stathis Papaioannou

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