On 24 Oct 2012, at 20:51, meekerdb wrote:

On 10/24/2012 7:56 AM, Craig Weinberg wrote:

On Wednesday, October 24, 2012 12:21:23 AM UTC-4, Brent wrote:
On 10/23/2012 6:33 PM, Max Gron wrote:

On Sunday, November 28, 2010 5:19:08 AM UTC+10:30, Rex Allen wrote:
On Thu, Nov 25, 2010 at 7:40 PM, Jason Resch <jason...@gmail.com> wrote: > On Thu, Nov 25, 2010 at 3:38 PM, Rex Allen <rexall...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> But I also deny that mechanism can account for consciousness (except
>> by fiat declaration that it does).
> Rex,
> I am interested in your reasoning against mechanism. Assume there is were > an] mechanical brain composed of mechanical neurons, that contained the same
> information as a human brain, and processed it in the same way.
I started out as a functionalist/computationalist/mechanist but
abandoned it - mainly because I don't think that "representation" will
do all that you're asking it to do.

For example, with mechanical or biological brains - while it seems
entirely reasonable to me that the contents of my conscious experience
can be represented by quarks and electrons arranged in particular
ways, and that by changing the structure of this arrangement over time
in the right way one could also represent how the contents of my
experience changes over time.

However, there is nothing in my conception of quarks or electrons (in
particle or wave form) nor in my conception of arrangements and
representation that would lead me to predict beforehand that such
arrangements would give rise to anything like experiences of pain or
anger or what it's like to see red.

I think that's a failure of imagination. From what I know about quarks and electrons I can infer that they will form atoms and in certain circumstances on the surface of the Earth they will form molecules and some of these can be molecules that replicate and evolution will produce complex reproducing organisms these will evolve ways of interacting

It's not a failure of imagination, it's recognition of magical thinking.

with the environment which we will call 'seeing red' and 'feeling pain' and some of them will be social and evolve language and symbolism and will experience emotions like anger.

Not even remotely possible. How does a way of interacting with the environment come to have an experience of any kind, let alone something totally unprecedented and explainable like 'red' or 'pain'. It is like saying that if you begin counting to infinity at some point the number is bound to turn purple.

That's Bruno's theory. :-)

?  (not it is just comp, put in a non precise way).

Precisely: the counting algorithm is not Turing universal. You need addition and multiplication. Then this is just comp, unless you take the intelligent behavior in arithmetic as zombies, and invent a notion of primitive substance just for that purpose.

Wasn't it you who, in a different post, hypothesized that everything is definable in terms of it's relations to other things. So purple is definable in terms of being seen and on a continuum with blue and violet and a certain angle and spacing on an optical grating and so on.

This is a failure of skeptical imagination. I can see exactly the assumption you are making, and understand exactly why you are making it, but can you see that it does not automatically follow that a machine which functions without experience should develop experiential dimensions as magical emergent properties?

I'm with John Clark on that - if a machine functions intelligently it's intelligent and it's probably conscious. Nothing magical about it.

I am with you, but then why would it stops to be true when the machine functions intelligently in arithmetic, especially if the measure gives the physical laws (as it needs to do if we are machine).

You need to reify a notion of matter, than nobody has ever seem just to select a dream among all dreams, but this matter can have any role in consciousness (by the movie graph, or Maudlin, notably).

You don't want a magic consciousness, but still want a magic matter, it looks to me.



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