[ExI] How not to make a thought experiment

John Clark jonkc at bellsouth.net
Thu Feb 4 18:32:10 UTC 2010

On Feb 4, 2010, Gordon Swobe wrote:
> he [Searle] would remind you of the obvious truth there exist facts in the world that have subjective first-person ontologies. We can know those facts[...]

What's with this "we" business? You can know certain subjective facts about the universe from direct experience, and that outranks everything else even logic. But you have no reason to think that I or anybody else or a computer could do that too, and yet you do think that at least for the first two, you think other people are conscious when they are able to act intelligently; you do this because like me you couldn't function it you thought you were the only conscious being in the universe. But every one of the arguments you have used against the existence of consciousness in computers could just as easily be used to argue against the existence of consciousness in your fellow human beings, but you have never done so. 

You could also use your arguments to try to show that even you are not conscious, but as I say direct experience outranks everything else; but you have no reason to believe that other people who act intelligently are fundamentally different from anything else that acts intelligently.  

 John K Clark

> only in the first-person but they have no less reality than those objective third-person facts that as you say "would be the same without it".
> Real subjective first-person facts of the world include one's own conscious understanding of words.
> Stefano wrote:
>> Which sounds pretty equivalent to saying that it does not
>> exist,
> I think you want to deny the reality of the subjective. I don't know why. 
> -gts
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