[ExI] Do digital computers feel?

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at gmail.com
Wed Feb 8 21:33:32 UTC 2017

Hi Stathis,

You said: "You talk about a 'detectably different behaviour awareness' but
you agreed above that the observable behaviour is the same."  But I only
said it would be the same for external behavior that can be qualia blind,
like, picking strawberries.  If you include the internal behavior or the
qualitative behavior of the knowledge itself that is required when asking
questions like: "Does your knowledge of red behave like my redness, or like
my greenness?" the behavior will be opposite for the invert.

And since you will be able to tell the difference when half of the
glutamate has been replaced with glycene, before replacing the single
awareness neuron, all the glycene that has been substituted for glutamate
will have to be interpreted back to glutamate to be fed to the not yet
replaced binding neuron that binds all the knowledge together to make one
composite experience be the same.  As you said, you will not be able to
replace any of the glutamate, being fed to the binding system (as you will
be aware of the difference), until you replace the entire binding system
with something that knows how to interpret glycerine, and behave as if it
was glutamate.

If the binding system that enables you to experience all your diverse
knowledge as one compositely experience is more complex than one neuron,
describe whatever different way you will achieve the singular composite
experience.  With that we will be able to predict in a falsifiable way,
exactly when the qualia will dance (until you  correctly provide
interpretation hardware that will interpret that which is not red, as if it
was), and you will only be able to finally reproduce the same external
behavior when the entire binding system has been substituted - resulting in
a detectable (via whatever binding system you use) qualia invert.


On Wed, Feb 8, 2017 at 11:40 AM, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com>

> On Thu., 9 Feb. 2017 at 4:25 am, Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Hi Stathis,
>> You said:
>> "Anyway, these are peripheral considerations to the central argument. I
>> have asked you to state what you think would happen if a substitution were
>> made with a component that has the same *observable behaviour* as the
>> neural component you think is essential for particular qualia."
>> I thought I have answered this many times, so thanks for letting me know
>> that I'm still not communicating.  Let me try to clearly answer this
>> specific question:
>> Absolutely, yes, according to a qualitative blind definition of
>> "*observable behaviour*" the behaviour would be the same.  That is why I
>> always talk about two people behaving identically (finding and picking
>> strawberries), yet they have inverted red/green qualia.  Since the
>> "*observable behaviour*" is qualia blind, it sees the identical behaviour
>> of the two people behaving the same, but it is blind to the different
>> behaviors of the inverted qualitative awareness.
> If changing the glutamate receptors changes red qualia to green, then
> changing the receptors in half the brain should invert the qualia that half
> of the brain is responsible for. So if the subject sees a field of
> strawberries after the change, one half if the strawberries will look red
> and the other half will look green. Yet the subject will not notice a
> change, and will tell you that all the strawberries look red, just as
> before. Or to change the experiment slightly, as a result of some neural
> substitution all of the visual qualia disappear, but the subject doesn't
> notice, continues to describe red strawberries as before, and is able to
> pick the strawberries as before. Would you still insist that the qualia
> have been inverted or eliminated even though the subject can notice no
> internal difference and the experimenter can notice no external difference?
> In what sense is a change in qualia a change if there is neither a
> subjective nor objective difference?
> When you include in the system, the behaviour that is the redness
>> awareness, and the detectably different behaviour that is the greenness
>> awareness - the external behaviour is the same, but they are finding the
>> strawberry for inverted behavioural reasons or they are finding the
>> strawberry for qualitatively inverted initial causal behaviours.
> You talk about a "detectably different behaviour awareness" but you agreed
> above that the observable behaviour is the same.
> Again, what is required is some well defined or testable way to
>> qualitatively eff ineffable qualities.  What makes something ineffable is
>> the fact that an abstracted representation like the word red, does not have
>> a redness quality.  So without having some kind of way to  know how to
>> interpret an abstracted representation to get back to the original quality
>> of the composite knowledge being observed to know the intended qualitative
>> meaning of a word like red, one remains qualia blind.
>> So, you must have some kind of minimal awareness behavioural requirements
>> like including two qualitatively diverse representations of knowledge, and
>> a way to bind them together to form a composite qualitative conscious
>> awareness.  This diverse composite qualitative awareness behaviour needs to
>> be the behavioural mechanism that enables the system to answer questions
>> like:  "No, my qualitative knowledge of red is more like your qualitative
>> knowledge of green."
> That would be difficult, if I can't even notice when my own qualia change
> or disappear!
> There are many testable theoretical ways one might achieve this kind of
>> detectably diverse qualitative composite awareness with materialist
>> theories.  I only use glutamate, because it is the simplest and most
>> straight forward to understand.  I've tried to find some functional way the
>> behaviour of redness knowledge could have distinguishable from greenness
>> behavioural properties, but not only can I not do it, it seems impossible.
>> You said: "I don't see why you should consider this 'miraculous'".  To me,
>> if it is impossible to come up with any theoretically testable way to to do
>> this kind of detectable effing of the ineffable within a functionalist
>> theory, then the only conclusion a reasonable person can come to is that it
>> is some kind of "miracle."  In order for one to not think it is simply
>> magic, someone must falsify the belief that it can't be done, by providing
>> any kind of theoretically possible way to observe qualitatively diverse
>> awareness behaviour in a detectable effing of the ineffable way.
> You've said you don't find it problematic that qualia might be associated
> with a substance but you do find it problematic that they might be
> associated with a process. I don't see why you would have this intuition.
>> --
> Stathis Papaioannou
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