[ExI] Is the brain a digital computer?

Gordon Swobe gts_2000 at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 24 13:42:47 UTC 2010

--- On Wed, 2/24/10, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:

> My claim is that this effect on behaviour *is* the NCC, so that if it is 
> reproduced, whether by a digital computer, beer cans and toilet paper or 
> a little man pulling levers then the consciousness will also be 
> reproduced. 

It seems to me totally absurd to assign consciousness to a pile of beer cans and toilet paper, or to a billion men pulling levers, or to a nation of Chinese people talking to one another on the telephone (Block, 1978) or to an arrangement of cats chasing mice, or to pigeons trained to peck as Turing machines (Pylyshn, 1985) or to any number of other such theoretically possible "Turing equivalent" implementations.

Functionalists of the computationalist persuasion need to defend those kinds of bizarre notions to support their philosophy. It looks to me like they have fallen prey to an ideology.



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