[ExI] Fwd: Mental Phenomena

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Sat Feb 15 21:44:50 UTC 2020

On Sun, 16 Feb 2020 at 06:12, Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> Right, but what you are telling people is that all we need to do to upload
> and fix something, is to put it all in a computer that only has 1s and 0s.
> What you are effectively telling people is that all we need to do is to
> restore the ability of the robot to pick the strawberry.  Nothing else
> matters.

No, humans do not just pick strawberries, they also see them, smell them,
have emotional responses to them and so on. A human who had a brain implant
that allowed them to pick strawberries without these other experiences
would immediately tell us that there was something seriously wrong with
their perception. A human who had artificial neurons that perfectly matched
the I/O behaviour of their biological neurons, on the other hand, would not
only pick the strawberries but also report that they looked, smelled,
tasted and so on exactly the same.

But, when you go down that rat hole that ignores so many of the facts (beng
> like Mary, not know the color all our abstract descriptions of physics are
> describing)  You are telling the experimentalists you don’t need to step
> out of the room, and find out what color things are.  You are telling them
> it is perfectly OK to remain “qualia blind”.  You are telling them the only
> thing that matters is restoring the ability to pick the strawberry.

You seem to miss the fact that I keep saying it is impossible for the
subject to become qualia blind when a qualia blind scientist does the
neural replacement correctly.

In that world, as Chalmers has become famous for, there is a “hard” (as in
> impossible) problem.  "fading dancing absent" qualia don't make any sense.  There
> is an “explanatory gap”.  And this huge “gap” is where all the religious
> and sloppy crap emerges.  There is no experimental way to falsify any of
> these crap theories.  Nobody can know what consciousness is, nobody can
> know what uploading will be like.  They think that if they can pick the
> strawberry, the upload will be a success, but they have this (very
> justified) uncomfortable feeling that maybe this will not be the case,
> because they realize that they don’t even really know if someone else is
> conscious or not, or if anything else really exists or not.  They can't
> really know if there is "The Island
> <https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0399201/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1>"  or if they are
> more likely like Logan in "Logan's Run
> <https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074812/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0>".

But you can be confident that if the experimentally verifiable behaviour of
the neuronal model is all in order, then the consciousness will also be in
order. Isn’t that exactly what you want?

The only reason experimentalists are still so qualia blind (like Mary) is
> precisely because of functionalist using their sloppy sleight of hand,
> leading them away from what is important:  The real color of things.

Experimentalist are still often contemptuous of philosophy and of the idea
of qualia, which they think is philosophy rather than science.
Nevertheless, this does not stop them doing a good job of elucidating and
perhaps one day replicating the function of neurological tissue.

> --
Stathis Papaioannou
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