[ExI] The Upload Game

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Tue Apr 29 12:07:59 UTC 2008

2008/4/29 The Avantguardian <avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com>:

>  I disagree with Lee about the importance of substrate to identity. In many
>  cases, the substrate is very important. The "Lord of the Rings" on film could
>  never be *identical* to the books no matter how well it was made. McLuhan said,
>  "The medium is the message" and when it comes to life, identity, and
>  consciousness, I would agree.

A film is not identical to a book because they're different types of
things entirely. When we say the substrate doesn't matter, which is
perhaps the central tenet of functionalism, we mean that a
functionally equivalent analogue would have the same experiences as
the original. For example, if your brain tissue were replaced with
functionally equivalent computer chips, you would not notice any
difference. "Functionally equivalent" means that the chip would
produce the same outputs as the brain tissue would have if it had been
given the same inputs. This is perhaps not immediately obvious"
peoples' immediate objection is that the cyborgised brain might *feel*
different to the original brain, even if it behaved the same. However,
there is a famous argument in support of functionalism
(http://consc.net/papers/qualia.html) which shows that the cyborgised
brain that behaved the same *would* also feel the same. I have not
come across any reasonable attempt at rebuttal of this paper.

Stathis Papaioannou

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