[ExI] [Exl] Digital Consciousness

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Fri May 3 05:44:22 UTC 2013

On Fri, May 3, 2013 at 3:16 PM, Gordon <gts_2000 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Apart from the scientific problem, the philosophical problem with
>> these theories is that they make consciousness substrate dependent, as
>> Brent and Gordon have been arguing, and that leads to absurdity. It
>> would mean that if the microtubules in your visual cortex could be
>> replaced with functional equivalents you would be blind but you would
>> not notice you were blind and you would behave as if you had normal
>> vision.
> If you are saying here that consciousness cannot be substrate dependent then
> that leads to the absurdity of multiple realizability. As one philosopher
> observed, we could in principle train a massive group of pigeons to peck in
> a manner analogous to how the brain supposedly acts like a digital computer.
> We could say a peck = 1, and a non-peck = 0. Would that group of pigeons
> really be a mind?

Why do you think a bunch of dumb atoms being a mind is more plausible
than the pigeons?

> Multiple-realizability is a sort of unspoken doctrine here on ExI with
> respect to matters of the mind, at least among many of us here. I have
> problems with it.
> http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/multiple-realizability/
> Gordon

Stathis Papaioannou

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