[ExI] A paper that actually does solve the problem of consciousness

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at comcast.net
Sat Nov 15 11:14:55 UTC 2008


First, a few trivial problems I noticed:

page 4:
 > We cannot simply wave our hands and pick a
 > set of criteria to apply to these things, we ??? some convincing
 > reasons for choosing as we do.

 > We could never "prove" this statement the
 > way that we prove things about other concepts, but all of
 > the concepts related to consciousness are deemed to have a
 > special status-??the?? are real, but beyond analysis

Definitely, yet another falsifiable theory of consciousness.  But I like 
a different theory much better which falsifiably predicts you're making 
some key mistakes.  This theory - that nature simply has phenomenal 
properties - is here:


It appears to me your theory is very similar to the one Chalmers argues 
for represented by this slightly more well represented camp (i.e. two 
people so far, and possibly Chalmers himself) here:


Both of these competing camps agree on, and support the representational 
super camp here.


I"m wondering if you would consider yourself a representationalist?  If 
not then what?  I don't see anything you've said that disagrees with 
what is stated there, yet you fail to mention it at all.  And there are 
some leading theinkeers currently working together on joining and 
improving this representational camp such as: John Smythies, Richard 
Wilson, Edmond Wright, Mark Ancil Crooks, and Stephen Harrison.

It would definitely be great to get this "Loosemore Argument"? canonized 
with the rest of the theories, so it can be concisely and quantitatively 
represented along with all the other theories being added.

When you say:

 > This escaping-the-objective
 > feature is not just about explaining consciousness, it is also
 > about defining it: for every "objective" definition that has
 > ever been proposed, it seems, someone has countered that
 > the real mystery has been side-stepped by the definition.


 > We could never "prove" this statement the
 > way that we prove things about other concepts, but all of
 > the concepts related to consciousness are deemed to have a
 > special status-the are real, but beyond analysis

The nature has phenomenal properties theory predicts this is false or 
wrong.  The 'objective' definition and proof is to simply 'eff' what it 
is like - as in: 'oh THAT is what salt is like'.  Very different than 
saying what it behaves like in a cause and effect way.

And of course when you conclude:

 > Any computer designed in such a way that it had the same
 > problems as we do with the analysis mechanism (arguably,
 > any computer intelligent enough to be comparable to
 > ourselves) would experience consciousness.

Chalmers would probably agree with you, but the nature has phenomenal 
properties camp predicts this will be proven wrong.

Looking forward to hearing how your presentation of this goes this 
weekend at Convergence08.  I wish I could be there to experience it, and 
I hope everyone will let me know how this and everything else went.

Brent Allsop

Richard Loosemore wrote:
> I completed the first draft of a technical paper on consciousness the 
> other day.   It is intended for the AGI-09 conference, and it can be 
> found at:
> http://susaro.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/draft_consciousness_rpwl.pdf
> The title is "Consciousness in Human and Machine: A Theory and Some 
> Falsifiable Predictions", and it does solve the problem, believe it or 
> not.
> But I have no illusions:  it will be misunderstood, at the very least. 
> I expect there will be plenty of people who argue that it does not 
> solve the problem, but I don't really care, because I think history 
> will eventually show that this is indeed the right answer.  It gives a 
> satisfying answer to all the outstanding questions and it feels right.
> Oh, and it does make some testable predictions.  Alas, we do not yet 
> have the technology to perform the tests yet, but the predictions are 
> on the table, anyhow.
> In a longer version I would go into a lot more detail, introducing  
> the background material at more length, analyzing the other proposals 
> that have been made and fleshing out the technical aspects along 
> several dimensions.  But the size limit for the conference was 6 
> pages, so that was all I could cram in.
> Richard Loosemore
> P.S.  Yes, I know: everyone and their mother has a theory of 
> consciousness these days.  But, believe me, I wouldn't dare to join 
> that (mostly confused and disreputable) crowd unless I really thought 
> that this paper actually *did* solve the problem.
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