[ExI] Digital Consciousness .

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Wed Apr 24 14:50:21 UTC 2013

On Wed, Apr 24, 2013 at 03:57:09PM +0200, Anders Sandberg wrote:

> Eugene, part of this is merely terminology. Power in philosophy is  

Yes, I realize that some of it is jargon. However (and not for
lack of trying) I have yet to identify a single worthwhile
concept coming out of that field, particularly in the theory of mind.

You used to be a computational neuroscientist before you
became a philosopher (turncoat! boo! hiss!). What is your professional
opinion about the philosophy of mind subdiscipline?

> something different than in physics, just as it means something very  
> different in sociology or political science.
> Then again, I am unsure if intentionality actually denotes anything, or  
> whether it denotes a single something. It is not uncontroversial even  
> within the philosophy of mind community.
>> "The word itself, which is of medieval Scholastic origin,"
>> ah, so they admit it's useless.
> Ah, just like formal logic. Or the empirical method.

Ah, but philosophy begat natural philosophy, aka the sciences.
Unfortunately, the field itself never progressed much beyond
its origins. The more the pity when a stagnant field is 
chronically prone to arrogant pronouncements about disciplines
they don't feel they need to have any domain knowledge in. 

>> See, something is fishy with your concept of consciosness. If we look  
>> at at as ability to process information, suddenly we're starting to  
>> get somewhere. 
> Maybe. Defining information and processing is nearly as tricky. Shannon  
> and Kolmogorov doesn't get you all the way, since it is somewhat  
> problematic to even defining what the signals are.
> Measurability is not everything. There are plenty of risks that do not  
> have well defined probabilities, yet we need and can make decisions  
> about them with above chance success. The problem with consciousness,  
> intentionality and the other theory of mind "things" is that they are  
> subjective and private - you cannot compare them between minds.

I really like that the Si elegans has identified the necessity of
a behavior library. 

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