[ExI] Some new angle about AI

Aware aware at awareresearch.com
Thu Jan 7 21:51:07 UTC 2010

On Thu, Jan 7, 2010 at 8:28 AM, Aware <aware at awareresearch.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 7, 2010 at 6:40 AM, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I agree with Hofstdter's, and your, epiphenomenalism.
> But it's not most people's idea of epiphenomenalism, where the
> "consciousness" they know automagically emerges from a system of
> sufficient complexity and configuration.  Rather, its an
> epistemological understanding of the (recursive) relationship between
> the observer and the observed.

Relevant to this discussion is an article in New Scientist, just today:


Note all the angry righteous commenters, defending Science against
this affront to reductionist materialism.  Note too, if you can, that
they didn't understand the content that they attack.  Only after more
than twenty angry comments, someone posted the following:

"Sorry, I'm not the best at explaining these things, but read up on
phenomenology or qualitative research's epistemology and you should
see the thrust of his argument. And to the person who argued that we
can't understand a computer according to this argument, that was a bit
of a straw man fallacy. The computer, both as the machine and the
appearances on the screen are objects or phenomena to be observed, not
an observer. Unless the computer is trying to address it's own
ontology, it is an observed object being observed by an outside
subject making it still under the usual rules of quantitative
epistemology. It is when you try to observe the observation of the
object that things would get complicated. I can't say whether or not
he's correct, but I think it is a useful critique on the epistemology
of neuroscience."

- Jef

- Jef

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