On Sun, May 26, 2013 at 05:05:28PM +0200, Bruno Marchal wrote:
> 
> On 26 May 2013, at 13:29, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:
> 
> >"The absence of a neocortex does not appear to preclude an
> >organism from experiencing affective states. Convergent evidence
> >indicates that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical,
> >neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious
> >states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors.
> >Consequently, the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not
> >unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate
> >consciousness. Non-human animals, including all mammals and birds,
> >and many other creatures, including octopuses, also possess these
> >neurological substrates."
> >
> >http://fcmconference.org/img/CambridgeDeclarationOnConsciousness.pdf
> 
> Always a pleasure, if not some relief, to hear that.
> 
> My opinion, for what is worth, is that all animals are conscious,
> and the one described above are already self-conscious, and
> "potentially Löbian" (meaning: like you, me, and Peano Arithmetic).
> 
> Are plants conscious? I don't know.
> 

The Cambridge Declaration strikes me as a political statement, rather
than a scientific one. Just because certain neurological states are
correlated with affective states (wants or desires of the animal) does
not entail that the animal is aware of that emotion, or genuinely
experiencing qualia of any sort.

I would not be suprised if some non-human species are genuinely
conscious - eg most of the apes, some cetaceans, pachyderms, corvids and
quite possibly cephalopods, but I'm not convinced by the above that we
really have the means of establishing that beyond reasonable doubt.

Cheers

-- 

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Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Principal, High Performance Coders
Visiting Professor of Mathematics      hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
University of New South Wales          http://www.hpcoders.com.au
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