[ExI] Is the brain a digital computer?

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Mon Feb 22 15:15:59 UTC 2010

On 23 February 2010 01:29, Gordon Swobe <gts_2000 at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> What is it about consciousness that makes it unique among all the
>> qualities in the universe?
> I consider consciousness unique only in so much as we can know about it only from the first-person perspective. Aside from that, it differs in no important way from any other material biological process.

But everything aspect of the world except consciousness can be
duplicated by a computer.

> The reason for all the befuddlement about consciousness through the ages comes down to this simple brute fact that consciousness has a subjective first-person ontology vs. everything else in the world that has a third-person objective ontology. This difference confuses people; the mind wants to find significance in the difference. It wants to make something out of it.
> Unfortunate that so many philosophers and theologians tried to make something out of it. They only made a huge mess of it.
> Then about 100 years ago came the birth of analytic philosophy and with it a new respect for sanity and common sense.

Most philosophers with a bias towards functionalism are in the
empiricist/analytic/positivist tradition. Those who claim that the
brain has properties that make it unique in the universe are sometimes
lumped together with the vitalists and the dualists. It's perhaps
name-calling, but it's what happens.

Stathis Papaioannou

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