On Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 11:52 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> You're avoiding the question. What is your definitive test for
>> consciousness? If you don't have one, then you have to admit that your
>> friend (who talks to you and behaves like people do, not in a coma,
>> not on a video recording, not dead in the morgue) may not be conscious
>> and your computer may be conscious.
>
>
> No, you are avoiding my answer. What is your definitive test for your own
> consciousness?

The test for my own consciousness is that I feel I am conscious. That
is not at issue. At issue is the test for *other* entities'
consciousness. You are convinced that computers and other machines
don't have consciousness, but you can't say what test you will apply
to them and see them fail.

> My point is that sense is broader, deeper, and more primitive than our
> cognitive ability to examine it, since cognitive qualities are only the tip
> of the iceberg of sense. To test is to circumvent direct sense in favor of
> indirect sense - which is a good thing, but it is by definition not
> applicable to consciousness itself in any way. There is no test to tell if
> you are conscious, because none is required. If you need to ask if you are
> conscious, then you are probably having a lucid dream or in some phase of
> shock. In those cases, no test will help you as you can dream a test result
> as easily as you can experience one while awake.
>
> The only test for consciousness is the test of time. If you are fooled by
> some inanimate object, eventually you will probably see through it or
> outgrow the fantasy.

So if, in future, robots live among us for years and are accepted by
most people as conscious, does that mean they are conscious? This is
essentially a form of the Turing test.

>> You talk with authority on what
>> can and can't have consciousness but it seems you don't have even an
>> operational definition of the word.
>
>
> Consciousness is what defines, not what can be defined.
>
>> I am not asking for an explanation
>> or theory of consciousness, just for a test to indicate its presence,
>> which is a much weaker requirement.
>
>
> That is too much to ask, since all tests supervene upon the consciousness to
> evaluate results.

It's the case for any test that you will use your consciousness to
evaluate the results.


-- 
Stathis Papaioannou

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