[ExI] Where is Consciousness located?

John K Clark jonkc at att.net
Fri Dec 21 17:04:19 UTC 2007

<citta437 at aol.com> Wrote:

> What is the goal of the experiment?

You would have to ask Mr. Searle about that not me. I'm sure he was trying
to prove something profound, but whatever it was he failed miserably.
Even the best of us can come up with a bad idea but even now, years later,
he still thinks the Chinese Room was clever; and that is exactly what makes
me so certain that Mr. Searle isn't.

I want to tell you about Clark's Chinese Room. You are a professor of
Chinese Literature and are in a room with me and the great Chinese
Philosopher and Poet Laotse. Laotse writes something in his native
language on a paper and hands it to me. I walk 10 feet and give it to you.
You read the paper and are impressed with the wisdom of the message
and the beauty of its language. Now I tell you that I don't know a word of
Chinese, can you find any deep implications from that fact?

I believe Clark's Chinese Room is just as profound as Searle's Chinese
Room. Not very.

> Are you expecting that it will show
> where consciousness is located in the brain?

That would be ridiculous. In the same way it would be ridiculous to
expect a mathematicians to tell me where eleven is or a race car driver
tell me where swift is, or a artist tell me where beautiful is.
Consciousness is not a brain; consciousness is what a brain does.
I am an adjective, I am not a noun.

> Emotions of fear, sadness and joy are concentrated in the lower part of
> the brain, the amygdala, by showing an increased or diminished blood
> flow in that area.

Searle wasn't talking about the amygdale or blood or any other structure
that through an evolutionary historical accident some life forms on this
small planet happen to possess. Searle wasn't even talking about brains,
he was trying to talk about general principles of mind. And it that he

 John K Clark

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