[ExI] Zombie glutamate

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Tue Feb 17 05:10:43 UTC 2015

On 17 February 2015 at 14:16, John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 16, 2015  Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > you would HAVE to behave normally, by definition. The artificial
>> visual cortex receives input from the optic tracts, processes it, and
>> sends output to association cortex and motor cortex. That is its
>> design specification.
> Then behavior would be the same. And I assume that, although functionally
> identical with the same logical schematic, this artificial visual cortex
> uses a different substrate such as electronics; otherwise the thought
> experiment wouldn't be worth much.


>> > That is its ONLY design specification: it is made by engineers who think
>> > consciousness is bullshit. My point is that such a device would, as an
>> > unintended side-effect, necessarily preserve consciousness.
> I think so too, I would bet my life on it but I can't prove it. I can't
> prove or disprove that blind people aren't conscious because it's the
> biological visual cortex itself that produces consciousness. And I can't
> prove or disprove that people lacking a left big toe are not conscious
> because it is that toe that generates consciousness. I think both logical
> possibilities are equally likely.
>> > If it were possible to make a brain implant that did all the mechanistic
>> > stuff perfectly but lacked consciousness then you would end up with a being
>> > that was blind
> The being had a working visual cortex, how could it be blind?

Because the visual cortex is perfectly functional according to any
test you do on it but lacks consciousness. It is made by engineers who
think consciousness is bullshit.

>> > but behaved normally and thought it could see normally.
> And the being was correct, it could see; it was probably conscious too but
> it could certainty see.
>> > But that is absurd
> I'm still not seeing what's absurd.

If it is possible to separate consciousness from function then it is
possible to make a visual cortex that has normal function but lacks
consciousness, so if you put it into your brain you would lack all
visual perception but function normally and believe you could see
normally. That would be absurd - I think you have agreed. Therefore,
it is not possible to make a functional analogue of your visual cortex
that lacks consciousness. The conscious comes as a necessary
side-effect, whether you want it there or not.

Stathis Papaioannou

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