[ExI] Is the brain a digital computer?

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Wed Feb 24 13:53:12 UTC 2010

On 25 February 2010 00:42, Gordon Swobe <gts_2000 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> --- 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.

That's not an argument, it's just rhetorical posturing. It's like
saying Turing was wrong because how could a device made of beer cans
and toilet paper ever run a PS3 game?

Stathis Papaioannou

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