[ExI] Consciouness and paracrap

Gordon Swobe gts_2000 at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 19 00:15:40 UTC 2010

--- On Wed, 2/17/10, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:

> The thought experiment involves replacing brain components
> with artificial components that perfectly reproduce the I/O
> behaviour of the original components, but not the consciousness. 
> Gordon agrees that this is possible. However, he then either claims that 
> the artificial components will not behave the same as the biological
> components (even though it is an assumption of the experiment that they
> will) or else says the experiment is ridiculous.

You make what I consider an over-simplification when you assume here as you do that that the i/o behavior of a brain/neuron is all there is to the brain. To you it just seems "obvious" but I consider it anything but obvious. On your view, artificial neurons stuffed with mashed potatoes and gravy would work just fine provided they had the right i/o's. 

It does not even seem occur to you, for example, that consciousness may involve the electrical signals that travel down the axons internal to the neurons, or involve any number of a million other electrical or chemical processes *internal* to natural neurons. 

When pressed you say that your argument applies to the whole brain and not only to individual neurons, so let's take a look at that:

Let us say that we created an artificial brain that contained a cubic foot of warm leftover mashed potatoes and gravy. Only the neurons on the exterior exist, but they have the i/o's of the neurons external to a natural brain so the brain as a whole has the same i/o behavior of a natural brain. 

Would your mister potato-head have consciousness? After all it has the same i/o's of a natural brain and you think nothing else matters.

Food for thought. 



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