[ExI] digital simulations, descriptions and copies

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Mon Jan 25 06:52:58 UTC 2010

2010/1/25 Gordon Swobe <gts_2000 at yahoo.com>:

>> Yes, but the claim that it is impossible for matter other
>> than that in brains to produce consciousness is irrational.
> You should know by now that I don't make that claim. I claim that matter configured in the form of digital computers won't produce consciousness, and that natural selection configured organic brains in a manner different from how we have configured digital computers.

OK, I should have said that you claim it is impossible for matter
configured in the form of a digital computer to produce consciousness,
even though you have no reason to say this. Your assertion that syntax
cannot produce meaning, which (though wrong) does purport to be a
logical proof that programs can't think, does not prevent the matter
implementing the programs from thinking. After all, the neurons in the
brain do engage in signal processing, something like artificial neural
nets, and you claim that it is not this which leads to the conscious,
but the intrinsic activity of the neuron. So even by your own lights,
it should be possible to say that the computer behaving intelligently
is conscious not because of the software it is running, but because of
the electrical activity in its circuits. That you won't even consider
this possibility is due to a prejudice you have, and not due to any
argument (even one that turns out to be wrong) that you have

Stathis Papaioannou

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