[ExI] The alleged existence of consciousness

Dave Sill sparge at gmail.com
Sun Feb 21 17:34:11 UTC 2010

On Sat, Feb 20, 2010 at 7:47 PM, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
> There may be other ways to make a zombie (although there are separate
> arguments against that possibility also) but following the
> architecture of the brain is not one of them. Any structure that
> reproduces the pattern of neural firing in the brain will also
> reproduce the intelligence and the consciousness of the brain.


> If the brain's intelligence would remain intact despite changes that
> would eliminate consciousness, then consciousness would be a useless
> complication.

But what if the changes required resulted in more complication? Then
removing consciousness would be a useless complication.

>>> The best explanation is that the brain we happen to
>>> have ended up with is not specially blessed, and any other brain based
>>> on similar patterns resulting in similar behaviour would have also had
>>> a similar consciousness.
>> Intuitively, that seems likely. But we just don't know.
> We do know. The partial brain replacement thought experiment makes it
> true as a matter of logical necessity; in other words more certainly
> true than any mere empirical fact, which could be proved false
> tomorrow. I would really like to hear a rebuttal, but no-one has yet
> attempted one.

The partial brain replacement thought experiment only covers the case
of a brain that works exactly like ours. It seems possible to me that
evolution could have taken a different path, and conceivable that one
or more of those paths might have resulted in intelligence without


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