On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 1:02 AM, Stephen P. King <stephe...@charter.net> wrote:

> Hi Stathis,
>     The simulation of our 'self' that our brain generates *is* good enough
> to fool oneself! I speculate that schizophrenia and autism are caused by
> failures of the self-simulation system... The former is a failure where
> multiple self-simulations are generated and no stability on their convergent
> occurs and the latter is where the self-simulation fails altogether. Mind
> version of autism, such as Aspergers syndrome are where bad simulations
> occur and/or the self-simulation fails to update properly.

That's an interesting idea, but schizophrenia is where the the
connections between functional subsystems in the brain is disrupted,
so that you get perceptions, beliefs, emotions occurring without the
normal chain of causation, while autism is where the concept of other
minds is disrupted. I think the self-image is present but distorted.

>>> If we consider that the Libet experiments show that we are making
>>> decisions
>>> without knowing it, and Blindsight shows that we are able to see without
>>> being conscious of it, then there is no reason why we should suddenly
>>> trust
>>> our own reporting of what we think that we know about the sense of
>>> interacting with a living person. A true Turing test would require a
>>> face-to-face interaction, so that none of our natural sensory
>>> capabilities
>>> would be blocked as they would with just a text or video interaction.
>> That's the situation that is assumed in the idea of a philosophical
>> zombie: you interact with the being face to face. If at the end of
>> several days' interaction (or however long you think you need) you are
>> completely convinced that it is conscious, does that mean it is
>> conscious?
>     As I see things, the only coherent concept of a zombie is what we see in
> the autistic case. Such is 'conscious' with no self-image/self-awareness,
> thus it has no ability to report on its 1p content.

I think of autistic people as differently conscious, not unconscious.
Incidentally, there is a movement among higher functioning autistic
people whereby they resent being labelled as disabled, but assert that
their way of thinking is just as valid and intrinsically worthwhile as
that of the "neurotypicals".

>>> I think that it is important to remember that in theory, logically,
>>> consciousness cannot exist. It is only through our own undeniable
>>> experience
>>> of consciousness that we feel the need to justify it with logic - but so
>>> far
>>> we have only projected the religious miracles of the past into a science
>>> fiction future. If it was up to logic alone, there could not, and would
>>> not
>>> every be a such thing as experience.
>> You could as well say that logically there's no reason for anything to
>> exist, but it does.
>     How about that! Does this not tell us that we must start, in our musing
> about existence with the postulate that something exists?

Perhaps, but there are other ways to look at it. A primary
mathematical/Platonic universe necessarily rather than contingently

Stathis Papaioannou

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