[ExI] Possible seat of consciousness found

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Tue Feb 18 13:36:07 UTC 2020

On Tue, 18 Feb 2020 at 05:18, Dave Sill via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On Sun, Feb 16, 2020 at 12:08 PM John Clark via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> It's all about Evolution! If what you say about consciousness is correct
>> then Evolution would have never produced it, and yet I know for a fact
>> that it did at least once.
> You keep saying that, but that doesn't make it true.  Evolution isn't some
> omniscient overseer tweaking genes to achieve a desired result. It's
> random mutations that have completely unintended consequences.
> Consciousness happened not because "Evolution" wanted it to, but because
> the right pieces came together the right way. Maybe human-level
> intelligence requires consciousness, maybe it doesn't: it's possible that
> both intelligence and consciousness improve fitness but they're basically
> independent.

The problem is that we can imagine a being that behaves the same way but is
not conscious (a philosophical zombie), so why would a conscious being
evolve rather than this non-conscious one? The most plausible answer seems
to be that consciousness is a necessary side-effect of the type of
behaviour that conscious beings display, rather than an optional extra.
Another possibility is that this is the case for biological beings but not
every possible intelligent being; but this is less plausible, as it would
mean that we have this elaborate but superfluous quality purely by luck.

> --
Stathis Papaioannou
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