[ExI] evolution of consciousness

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Fri Feb 12 02:52:47 UTC 2010

On 12 February 2010 12:26, Gordon Swobe <gts_2000 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> --- On Thu, 2/11/10, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
>> But you have clearly stated that consciousness plays no
>> role in behaviour...
> I can hardly believe you wrote that. I spent hours explaining to you why and how I reject epiphenomenalism.
>>... since you agree that the brain's behaviour can be emulated
>> by a computer and the computer will be unconscious.
> I argued that we can program an artificial brain to act as if it has consciousness and that said artificial brain will still lack consciousness. This is not the same as arguing that consciousness plays no role in human behavior!
> By the way what exactly do you mean by "behavior of brains", anyway?
> When I refer to the brain's behavior I usually mean observable behavior of the organism it controls, behavior such as acts of speech.

A computer model of the brain is made that controls a body, i.e. a
robot. The robot will behave exactly like a human. Moreover, it will
behave exactly like a human due to an isomorphism between the
structure and function of the brain and the structure and function of
the computer model, since that is what a model is. Now, you claim that
this robot would lack consciousness. This means that there is nothing
about the intelligent behaviour of the human that is affected by
consciousness. For if consciousness were a separate thing that
affected behaviour, there would be some deficit in behaviour if you
reproduced the functional relationship between brain components while
leaving out the consciousness. Therefore, consciousness must be
epiphenomenal. You might have said that you rejected epiphenomenalism,
but you cannot do so consistently.

The only way you can consistently maintain your position that
computers can't reproduce consciousness is to say that they can't
reproduce intelligence either. If you don't agree with this you must
explain why I am wrong when I point out the self-contradictions that
zombies would lead to, and you simply avoid doing this, which is no
way to comport yourself in a philosophical debate. I asked if the
thought experiments I proposed were clear to everyone else and no-one
contacted me to say that they were not.

Stathis Papaioannou

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