[ExI] Is the brain a digital computer?

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Tue Feb 23 01:08:10 UTC 2010

On 23 February 2010 03:20, Gordon Swobe <gts_2000 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> --- On Mon, 2/22/10, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 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.
> You and others here, not I, give the brain special status.
> You think the organic brain differs from other biological organs. You will agree with me for example when I assert that a digital simulation of a complete heart running on a computer does not equal a real complete heart capable of pumping real blood through its chambers. Yes? But then you will disagree with me when I assert the same exact principle with respect to brains: you will disagree when I assert that a digital simulation of a brain running on a computer does not equal a real brain capable of having real thoughts.
> Can you or anyone here explain why you think the brain deserves that special status without asserting mind/matter dualism? I don't think so.

You're setting yourself up for the obvious reply: it is possible to
make an artificial heart that pumps blood just as well as a biological
heart, but out of completely different materials. The same goes for
any other organ: there is no obligation to replicate the actual cells
in order to replicate the function. The brain should not be different
in this respect.

Stathis Papaioannou

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