[ExI] The alleged existence of consciousness (was: Semiotics and Computability)

Spencer Campbell lacertilian at gmail.com
Tue Feb 16 01:09:29 UTC 2010

Stefano Vaj <stefano.vaj at gmail.com>:
> On 15 February 2010 19:43, Spencer Campbell <lacertilian at gmail.com> wrote:
> > If you're going to bring the scientific method into this, then the
> > burden is on you to provide an experiment which tests for the
> > existence of consciousness.
> This is an unreasonable demand. The scientific method cannot offer
> evidence of something which in somebody's view s not phenomenical by
> definition, but is an a priori of his worldview.

For reference, the remark that spurred this reaction from me was:

Gordon Swobe <gts_2000 at yahoo.com>:
> I consider it a scientific fact that consciousness arises between the nematode to the human.

To demand that a person provide a scientific basis for what they
themselves consider a scientific fact is the very definition* of

If he had said "objective fact" instead, I would only have been very
dubious about it. It's very close to synonymous, but just fuzzy enough
to avoid the fundamental error made by conflating "scientific" with,
say, "inarguable".

In case it isn't clear: the fact in question is not objective,
scientific, or inarguable. Certainly not inarguable. Not on
Extropy-Chat, at least.

*No not really. I'm being... metaphorical! Yeah, let's go with that.

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