In what sense is Descartes's dualism wrong?

Is the mind the same as the body? What is consciousness? Can machines have it?

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Satyavan
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Re: In what sense is Descartes's dualism wrong?

Post by Satyavan »

Scott Mayers wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:44 pm That is one person's paper and from what I read (insuffient to determine the actual experiments) the conclusion doesn't follow.
If you look this up you will find several other similar accounts.
Scott Mayers wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:44 pm The brain is not cut all the way through and thus communication between them still exists but through more basic parts of the lower brain.
Yes, but the most important communication is cut and no sign of self-awareness split occurs. This seems to me something one can not just sweep under the carpet.
Scott Mayers wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:44 pm If you placed those clocks I mentioned as an example I gave above on the wall, you could assure them quicker rates of getting in sync from randomized initial conditions when closer to each other. This is like the period when one is just initiating consciousness (from sleep, say) to when they awaken.
I don't consider myself unconscious when sleeping. Maybe we have to clarify the meaning of words we are using.
Scott Mayers wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:44 pm But by the time of the sync, the rest of consciousness is connected.
Unclear to me what a "rest" of consciousness should mean. I don't feel myself as a sum of "parts of consciousness" with eventually some "rest" missing.
Scott Mayers wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:44 pm The connections only confirm the activity later about what occurred in separate parts of the body. But once they are in sync, the brain 'feels' the whole.
Ok, that might well be. So what? Why should synchronization produce the feeling of being a whole with a conscious awareness? I don't see the connection... perhaps can't synchronize... ;
Scott Mayers wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:44 pm I urge you to also look at the people who had these split brains react when the right side is in conflict with the left. [Example: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-12225163]
Yes, but also this confirms that one thing is motory control another the subjective feeling to be ONE conscious being.
Scott Mayers wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:44 pm In demonstrates the capacity of non-thinking activity to become in sync. "Consciousness" is something we refer to by animals like us. As to calling the underlying physics "consciousness" might be like comparing a protein to a whole cell's activity demonstrating organized life. But the physics are the same and why we'd have to defer to quantum mechanics to deal with and understand. The clock example is related to the brain's activity as having a common frequency formula. Where the lengths of the pendulum differ, this effect doesn't occur. [By implication given the experiments only assert THAT they go in phase when having the same exact structure and pendulum lengths, there may be degrees of this and effects of harmonic frequencies that might trigger some resonant effects.]
Again, this does not in the least explains why a conscious awareness arises due to sync? Speaking of sync is a functional description of something which does not explain why it produces the effect of making a subject become conscious.
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bahman
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Re: In what sense is Descartes's dualism wrong?

Post by bahman »

Satyavan wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:39 am I read of everyone saying that modern neuroscience has shown Descartes was wrong on the mind-body problem. As I understand it he posited mind as a non-material substance that is not identical with the brain. I don't want to convince anyone to take a particular metaphysical position, but I don't see how science has falsified this point of view. The mind-body problem remains a highly controversial and debated issue among philosophers of science and scientists. But when it comes to Descartes they seem all to agree he was wrong. So, this seems to me contradictory. Can someone explain?
He was very correct in making a distinction between mind/soul, the mind is the essence of any being with the ability to experience, decide and cause and matter/body, the stuff we experience, deform...
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Re: In what sense is Descartes's dualism wrong?

Post by Scott Mayers »

Satyavan wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 7:34 pm
Scott Mayers wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:44 pm That is one person's paper and from what I read (insuffient to determine the actual experiments) the conclusion doesn't follow.
If you look this up you will find several other similar accounts.
Scott Mayers wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:44 pm The brain is not cut all the way through and thus communication between them still exists but through more basic parts of the lower brain.
Yes, but the most important communication is cut and no sign of self-awareness split occurs. This seems to me something one can not just sweep under the carpet.
You come across as too confident when this just is NOT the accepted view. I also gave you reasons why the author's reasoning is flawed on a logical basis.

For some reason I get the feeling that you are attempting to get agreement on your favored position to get onto something else? You just reasserted "no sign of self-awareness" occurs to which begs why you might think the majority thought they had this evidence. That is, if there is no evidence, it requires you expressly demonstrate what you mean by being so adamant to denying ANY EVIDENCE universally that even remotely suggests the split conscious hypothesis.
Scott Mayers wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:44 pm If you placed those clocks I mentioned as an example I gave above on the wall, you could assure them quicker rates of getting in sync from randomized initial conditions when closer to each other. This is like the period when one is just initiating consciousness (from sleep, say) to when they awaken.
I don't consider myself unconscious when sleeping. Maybe we have to clarify the meaning of words we are using.
We require sleep so that the neurons may go into its cleanup phase that takes the 'flags' of short-term memory and builds it up while diminishing those cells that lack activity (pruning). This stage requires shutting down the awaken conscious state by stopping normal communications for this.

We have many 'conscious' substates and I would go so far as to say that ANY cells that have the same structure are also relatively 'conscious' as I mentioned above in different words. If we lack sleep, the long term memory cannot transfer those 'flags' of activity and why lacking sleep does cause memory problems.

We can also have different forms of consciousness. The shut down state is entangled but may still communicate in an alternate but relatively weaker form of consciousness. We at least need some emergency trigger to awaken us when danger occurs. As such, some part(s) of the brain definitely remain actively 'alert'. But our awakened consciousness is basically limited to the upper brain and this particular function is only a servant to the cells of the body as an interface to an unpredictable world. If we lack a reason to require seeking anything we want for being able to get it upon 'wanting' it, our conscious state would shut down altogether for lack of need. [ie, we reduce to vegatables]
Scott Mayers wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:44 pm But by the time of the sync, the rest of consciousness is connected.
Unclear to me what a "rest" of consciousness should mean. I don't feel myself as a sum of "parts of consciousness" with eventually some "rest" missing.

The process of awakening from sleep or the first time the brain turned on the brain gains consciousness by continuous degrees. The neurons are not sharing consciousness UNTIL they have the same DYNAMIC relationship as they do the same STRUCTURE. Thus, they require at first to get in phase for the resonance of the common neurons to 'feel' one another as one.
Scott Mayers wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:44 pm The connections only confirm the activity later about what occurred in separate parts of the body. But once they are in sync, the brain 'feels' the whole.
Ok, that might well be. So what? Why should synchronization produce the feeling of being a whole with a conscious awareness? I don't see the connection... perhaps can't synchronize... ;
Scott Mayers wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:44 pm I urge you to also look at the people who had these split brains react when the right side is in conflict with the left. [Example: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-12225163]
Yes, but also this confirms that one thing is motory control another the subjective feeling to be ONE conscious being.
Scott Mayers wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:44 pm I[t] demonstrates the capacity of non-thinking activity to become in sync. "Consciousness" is something we refer to by animals like us. As to calling the underlying physics "consciousness" might be like comparing a protein to a whole cell's activity demonstrating organized life. But the physics are the same and why we'd have to defer to quantum mechanics to deal with and understand. The clock example is related to the brain's activity as having a common frequency formula. Where the lengths of the pendulum differ, this effect doesn't occur. [By implication given the experiments only assert THAT they go in phase when having the same exact structure and pendulum lengths, there may be degrees of this and effects of harmonic frequencies that might trigger some resonant effects.]
Again, this does not in the least explains why a conscious awareness arises due to sync? Speaking of sync is a functional description of something which does not explain why it produces the effect of making a subject become conscious.
When electons in a conductor are 'sitting' still, the electrons normally are out of phase. When a potential difference of electrons exist on the ends of such a conductor, electrons begin to flow. But they don't immediately get there due to resistence and other factors. As they are speeding up (accelerating), they align and form a magnetic field around the wire. All the electrons during this stage are increasing that feild only while they are accelerating. Once the flow becomes constant, the are "in phase" in a similar way. The effect of a magnetic field existing at all that 'act at a distance' outside of the wire itself demonstrates an example of how resonance of many of the same things (same 'structure') increases the power of 'induction' and act as having the identical 'dynamic (structure)'. While I can't tell if this helps, that invisible stretch of magnetism has power to induce current elsewhere at a distance [or 'impede' the flow of another wire or conductor close by].

This is a form of 'consciousness' but without the complexity given we are made up of more than just electrons, etc.

I have drawn images to help explain this before. If I find them I'll see if I can attach them to help express this in a visual way.
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Re: In what sense is Descartes's dualism wrong?

Post by Satyavan »

Scott Mayers wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:44 pm For some reason I get the feeling that you are attempting to get agreement on your favored position to get onto something else?
Don't you think we are all affected by a personal bias? Are we not all (more or less unconsciously) conditioned by our ideological background, belief system and unaware ussumptions? The question is not if we are, but if we are aware of it.

Science is not a democracy. What the majority says is not necessarily true. I subscribe to a differnt view because I don't share the belief system with which the majority of neuroscientist work. Fortunately the minority is growing. There are many now who interpret the above data differently.
Scott Mayers wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:44 pm When electons in a conductor are 'sitting' still, the electrons normally are out of phase. When a potential difference of electrons exist on the ends of such a conductor, electrons begin to flow. But they don't immediately get there due to resistence and other factors. As they are speeding up (accelerating), they align and form a magnetic field around the wire. All the electrons during this stage are increasing that feild only while they are accelerating. Once the flow becomes constant, the are "in phase" in a similar way. The effect of a magnetic field existing at all that 'act at a distance' outside of the wire itself demonstrates an example of how resonance of many of the same things (same 'structure') increases the power of 'induction' and act as having the identical 'dynamic (structure)'. While I can't tell if this helps, that invisible stretch of magnetism has power to induce current elsewhere at a distance [or 'impede' the flow of another wire or conductor close by].

This is a form of 'consciousness' but without the complexity given we are made up of more than just electrons, etc.
This explains the conscious experience? It seems you are not aware of what the problem with consciousness is in the philosophy of mind. By consciousness one means **phenomenal consciousness** not just a neural correlate with a waking state. Phenomenal consciousness is that what allows for a subjective qualitative experience, so called 'qualia'. The problem is why should a neural network or whatever machinery give rise to a perception of colors, pain or pleasure of a subject with the emotions and the feeling of being an "I"? There is an explanatory gap that all the above leaves completely unexplained.
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Re: In what sense is Descartes's dualism wrong?

Post by Scott Mayers »

Satyavan wrote: Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:49 pm
Scott Mayers wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:44 pm For some reason I get the feeling that you are attempting to get agreement on your favored position to get onto something else?
Don't you think we are all affected by a personal bias? Are we not all (more or less unconsciously) conditioned by our ideological background, belief system and unaware ussumptions? The question is not if we are, but if we are aware of it.

Science is not a democracy. What the majority says is not necessarily true. I subscribe to a differnt view because I don't share the belief system with which the majority of neuroscientist work. Fortunately the minority is growing. There are many now who interpret the above data differently.

I don't disagree with this in principle. Motive is not relevant to a specific argument but it CAN be. I was just noticing that you were potentially biased because of such potential motive. If one is more motivated for defending some other unspoken argument, they tend to appear as advocating FOR some position with trivial supports and denying the 'normal' position. You pointed out one case that is news to me and non-representative of the present average. When you assert CLOSURE with certainty as though we all should agree as though it were obvious, it raises a red flag that makes one concerned to require more precision when speaking on the issue.
Scott Mayers wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:44 pm When electons in a conductor are 'sitting' still, the electrons normally are out of phase. When a potential difference of electrons exist on the ends of such a conductor, electrons begin to flow. But they don't immediately get there due to resistence and other factors. As they are speeding up (accelerating), they align and form a magnetic field around the wire. All the electrons during this stage are increasing that feild only while they are accelerating. Once the flow becomes constant, the are "in phase" in a similar way. The effect of a magnetic field existing at all that 'act at a distance' outside of the wire itself demonstrates an example of how resonance of many of the same things (same 'structure') increases the power of 'induction' and act as having the identical 'dynamic (structure)'. While I can't tell if this helps, that invisible stretch of magnetism has power to induce current elsewhere at a distance [or 'impede' the flow of another wire or conductor close by].

This is a form of 'consciousness' but without the complexity given we are made up of more than just electrons, etc.
This explains the conscious experience? It seems you are not aware of what the problem with consciousness is in the philosophy of mind. By consciousness one means **phenomenal consciousness** not just a neural correlate with a waking state. Phenomenal consciousness is that what allows for a subjective qualitative experience, so called 'qualia'. The problem is why should a neural network or whatever machinery give rise to a perception of colors, pain or pleasure of a subject with the emotions and the feeling of being an "I"? There is an explanatory gap that all the above leaves completely unexplained.
I am. I just disagree with certain conventional definitions by some of the discussions among the philosophy involved. I prefer that if one argues a philosophical argument using terms elsewhere that they redefine them in context because you cannot be sure they even share the same meanings as those philosophers who initiated those terms for their own arguments.

As to a perception of something like a particular color, these are illusive ways any mechanism of nature assigns in common by STRUCTURAL factors. But to actually understand that requires even more basic understandings. Color is NOT the simplest type of sensation. Touch/contact is. For this, you should start at how anything receives the minimal inputs and ouputs. Computer Logic is necessary to start from and much of the philosophical discussions are like beginning with Application Logic in order to understand how the hardware operates. By "Application Logic", one can think of using a particular computer program, like a video game, to start from and then try to use that to figure out how computer hardware interprets and operates to make this illusion successful. [Note that color of a computer screen is a 'peripheral' device.

To the underlying computer, it interprets color as a "data structure", such as "color=#000000" means "Black" for the Html on this site. Each two bits for this example defines a mere degree of light that gets through one pixel. It doesn't care what the pixel actually means. The three conventional pixels we use are the red/green/blue pixels for monitors that are standardized. These are arbitrary to the computer but only become apparent as color when that data is combined with the structure of the hardware as well.
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Re: In what sense is Descartes's dualism wrong?

Post by Satyavan »

Scott Mayers wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:32 am I don't disagree with this in principle. Motive is not relevant to a specific argument but it CAN be. I was just noticing that you were potentially biased because of such potential motive. If one is more motivated for defending some other unspoken argument, they tend to appear as advocating FOR some position with trivial supports and denying the 'normal' position.
But if one thinks that the 'normal' position supports a thesis which tells that something pops out of nothing, just by magic, which is the physicalist claim, then I will tend to doubt that 'normality'.
Scott Mayers wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:32 am You pointed out one case that is news to me and non-representative of the present average.
That is no news. Can't it be that it appears as news because of a biased selection of what is already known?
Scott Mayers wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:32 am When you assert CLOSURE with certainty as though we all should agree as though it were obvious, it raises a red flag that makes one concerned to require more precision when speaking on the issue.
Did I assert closure? I ask for evidence that the brain is the the cause for phenomenal consciousness.
Scott Mayers wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:32 am As to a perception of something like a particular color, these are illusive ways any mechanism of nature assigns in common by STRUCTURAL factors. But to actually understand that requires even more basic understandings.
Precisely, it needs more than structural factors. What are these?
Scott Mayers wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:32 am Color is NOT the simplest type of sensation. Touch/contact is.
When it comes to the experiential quality of colors or whatever kind of qualia I wonder what determines being one more 'simple' than the other. What means that a feeling of temperature by touch is simpler than seeing redness? I can't even understand what it means in principle.
Scott Mayers wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:32 am For this, you should start at how anything receives the minimal inputs and ouputs. Computer Logic is necessary to start from and much of the philosophical discussions are like beginning with Application Logic in order to understand how the hardware operates. By "Application Logic", one can think of using a particular computer program, like a video game, to start from and then try to use that to figure out how computer hardware interprets and operates to make this illusion successful. [Note that color of a computer screen is a 'peripheral' device.
To the underlying computer, it interprets color as a "data structure", such as "color=#000000" means "Black" for the Html on this site. Each two bits for this example defines a mere degree of light that gets through one pixel. It doesn't care what the pixel actually means. The three conventional pixels we use are the red/green/blue pixels for monitors that are standardized. These are arbitrary to the computer but only become apparent as color when that data is combined with the structure of the hardware as well.
And HOW does it become 'apparent' as a conscious experiential quality of color IN US? The above is again the usual magic. It doesn't explain anything when it comes to how subjective qualitative sentience pops into existence. Just a miracle?
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Re: "How does this vaporous, ethereal thing, the mind, cause a neuron to emit a neurotransmitter that causes the arm to

Post by Gary Childress »

henry quirk wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:27 pm Circling back to my comment up-thread: how does a program (information, immaterial, ethereal) cause a computer to work?
That's a really good question. "Software" is not conscious. It's all mechanical instructions etched on a disc or represented by electrical impulses. If I understand computers correctly the software reads the digital 1s and 0s etched on the hard drive which causes electrical currents to be channeled in different ways. It's ALL physical in nature. The interesting question, I think is whether a computer is or can be made conscious. I mean, my inclination is to believe that they are not. In other words, I don't think a computer feels pain if I hit it with a hammer. I don't think a computer with a camera hooked to it experiences colors like red in the same way I do.

I'm inclined to believe that there's no inner "experience" at all. In a sense a computer is maybe on a similar level (consciousness-wise) to a manual typewriter. It's all gears and pulley's (or in this case electron particles moving around) as it were or metal striking metal and paper and whatnot (or in the computer's case 0s and 1s being represented by electrical currents or notches on a CD-ROM or something).

I don't think a type-writer feels pity if someone types "My dog died today" on it. We could program a typewriter to mimic human behavior somewhat, for example when someone types the phrase, "My dog died today" on the typewriter, we attach an additional set of gears and pulley's that cause the typewriter to pick up a tissue from a specially placed box and then extend it toward the person operating the machine. Would that indicate the typewriter feels pity for the person? I'm inclined to think not. By extension, if we created a super sophisticated machine of pulleys and levers that imitated human behavior even more precisely, would we say that it was conscious, feels pain, see the "redness" in an object, etc? Or would we say it's just a dumb lump of metal gears, pulleys, etc that only does what we are able to program it to do?
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Re: "How does this vaporous, ethereal thing, the mind, cause a neuron to emit a neurotransmitter that causes the arm to

Post by henry quirk »

Gary Childress wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:36 pm
henry quirk wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:27 pm Circling back to my comment up-thread: how does a program (information, immaterial, ethereal) cause a computer to work?
That's a really good question. If I understand computers correctly the software reads the digital 1s and 0s etched on the hard drive which causes electrical currents to be channeled in different ways. It's ALL physical in nature. The interesting question, I think is whether a computer is or can be made conscious. I mean, my inclination is to believe that they are not. In other words, I don't think a computer feels pain if I hit it with a hammer. I don't think a computer with a camera hooked to it experiences colors like red in the same way I do.

I'm inclined to believe that there's no inner "experience" at all. In a sense a computer is maybe on a similar level (consciousness-wise) to a manual typewriter. It's all gears and pulley's (or in this case electron particles moving around) as it were or metal striking metal and paper and whatnot (or in the computer's case 0s and 1s being represented by electrical currents or notches on a CD-ROM or something).

I don't think a type-writer feels pity if someone types "My dog died today" on it. We could program a typewriter to mimic human behavior somewhat, for example when someone types the phrase, "My dog died today" on the typewriter, we attach an additional set of gears and pulley's that cause the typewriter to pick up a tissue from a specially placed box and then extend it toward the person operating the machine. Would that indicate the typewriter feels pity for the person? I'm inclined to think not. By extension, if we created a super sophisticated machine of pulleys and levers that imitated human behavior even more precisely, would we say that it was conscious, feels pain, see the "redness" in an object, etc? Or would we say it's just a dumb lump of metal gears, pulleys, etc that only does what we are able to program it to do?
In the context of this thread, I do too, but, other than you, apparently no one else does.
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Re: "How does this vaporous, ethereal thing, the mind, cause a neuron to emit a neurotransmitter that causes the arm to

Post by Gary Childress »

henry quirk wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:47 pm
Gary Childress wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:36 pm
henry quirk wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:27 pm Circling back to my comment up-thread: how does a program (information, immaterial, ethereal) cause a computer to work?
That's a really good question. If I understand computers correctly the software reads the digital 1s and 0s etched on the hard drive which causes electrical currents to be channeled in different ways. It's ALL physical in nature. The interesting question, I think is whether a computer is or can be made conscious. I mean, my inclination is to believe that they are not. In other words, I don't think a computer feels pain if I hit it with a hammer. I don't think a computer with a camera hooked to it experiences colors like red in the same way I do.

I'm inclined to believe that there's no inner "experience" at all. In a sense a computer is maybe on a similar level (consciousness-wise) to a manual typewriter. It's all gears and pulley's (or in this case electron particles moving around) as it were or metal striking metal and paper and whatnot (or in the computer's case 0s and 1s being represented by electrical currents or notches on a CD-ROM or something).

I don't think a type-writer feels pity if someone types "My dog died today" on it. We could program a typewriter to mimic human behavior somewhat, for example when someone types the phrase, "My dog died today" on the typewriter, we attach an additional set of gears and pulley's that cause the typewriter to pick up a tissue from a specially placed box and then extend it toward the person operating the machine. Would that indicate the typewriter feels pity for the person? I'm inclined to think not. By extension, if we created a super sophisticated machine of pulleys and levers that imitated human behavior even more precisely, would we say that it was conscious, feels pain, see the "redness" in an object, etc? Or would we say it's just a dumb lump of metal gears, pulleys, etc that only does what we are able to program it to do?
In the context of this thread, I do too, but, other than you, apparently no one else does.
Well, it could be that they are too immersed in side conversations in this thread and didn't notice. I didn't notice your response until today when I perused the thread. I usually find things when someone quotes me in a reply or if I'm particularly interested in a particular topic and paying close attention. But it is a very pertinent and astute question.
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"But it is a very pertinent and astute question."

Post by henry quirk »

Mebbe I'll relay my thinkin' on it later in the evening.
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Re: "How does this vaporous, ethereal thing, the mind, cause a neuron to emit a neurotransmitter that causes the arm to

Post by Impenitent »

Gary Childress wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:36 pm
henry quirk wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:27 pm Circling back to my comment up-thread: how does a program (information, immaterial, ethereal) cause a computer to work?
That's a really good question. "Software" is not conscious. It's all mechanical instructions etched on a disc or represented by electrical impulses. If I understand computers correctly the software reads the digital 1s and 0s etched on the hard drive which causes electrical currents to be channeled in different ways. It's ALL physical in nature. The interesting question, I think is whether a computer is or can be made conscious. I mean, my inclination is to believe that they are not. In other words, I don't think a computer feels pain if I hit it with a hammer. I don't think a computer with a camera hooked to it experiences colors like red in the same way I do.

I'm inclined to believe that there's no inner "experience" at all. In a sense a computer is maybe on a similar level (consciousness-wise) to a manual typewriter. It's all gears and pulley's (or in this case electron particles moving around) as it were or metal striking metal and paper and whatnot (or in the computer's case 0s and 1s being represented by electrical currents or notches on a CD-ROM or something).

I don't think a type-writer feels pity if someone types "My dog died today" on it. We could program a typewriter to mimic human behavior somewhat, for example when someone types the phrase, "My dog died today" on the typewriter, we attach an additional set of gears and pulley's that cause the typewriter to pick up a tissue from a specially placed box and then extend it toward the person operating the machine. Would that indicate the typewriter feels pity for the person? I'm inclined to think not. By extension, if we created a super sophisticated machine of pulleys and levers that imitated human behavior even more precisely, would we say that it was conscious, feels pain, see the "redness" in an object, etc? Or would we say it's just a dumb lump of metal gears, pulleys, etc that only does what we are able to program it to do?
a computer might not feel pain but it can have sensors to measure the impact and give a programmed response...

lights come on when they sense it is too dark... are they "seeing" the light?

how much of your automated responses are preprogrammed or "hard wired"? reflex muscle actions...

how many of your automated responses are artificially imposed or "programmed"? you were born with linguistic ability but you had to learn English versus Spanish ect… taught to feel pity, taught to have certain "manners"...

the anthropomorphic fallacy applies to all non humans (animals and computers)

one could argue that humans are programmed not unlike computers...

"Excellence [or virtue], then, being of two kinds, intellectual and moral, intellectual excellence in the main owes its birth and its growth to teaching (for which reason it requires experience and time), while moral excellence comes about as a result of habit…."

"We are what we repeatedly do... excellence, therefore, isn't just an act, but a habit and life isn't just a series of events, but an ongoing process of self-definition."- Aristotle

where do we draw the line? drawing the line itself is the act that matters...

-Imp
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Re: "How does this vaporous, ethereal thing, the mind, cause a neuron to emit a neurotransmitter that causes the arm to

Post by Gary Childress »

Impenitent wrote: Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:19 am
one could argue that humans are programmed not unlike computers...

-Imp
But we are conscious; at least I am. Are computers conscious? Would a super sophisticated mechanical typewriter-like machine be conscious if it could overtly mimic various behavioral responses that LOOK (from the outside) like a human's?
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Re: "How does this vaporous, ethereal thing, the mind, cause a neuron to emit a neurotransmitter that causes the arm to

Post by Impenitent »

Gary Childress wrote: Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:34 am
Impenitent wrote: Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:19 am
one could argue that humans are programmed not unlike computers...

-Imp
But we are conscious; at least I am. Are computers conscious? Would a super sophisticated mechanical typewriter-like machine be conscious if it could overtly mimic various behavioral responses that LOOK (from the outside) like a human's?
no, not all humans are "conscious"

many humans have relatively limited intellectual abilities...

is the person who cannot add numbers less conscious than the calculator?

less conscious or less human?

we know how they are treated in society in general...

-Imp
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Re: "How does this vaporous, ethereal thing, the mind, cause a neuron to emit a neurotransmitter that causes the arm to

Post by Gary Childress »

Impenitent wrote: Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:58 am
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:34 am
Impenitent wrote: Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:19 am
one could argue that humans are programmed not unlike computers...

-Imp
But we are conscious; at least I am. Are computers conscious? Would a super sophisticated mechanical typewriter-like machine be conscious if it could overtly mimic various behavioral responses that LOOK (from the outside) like a human's?
no, not all humans are "conscious"

many humans have relatively limited intellectual abilities...

is the person who cannot add numbers less conscious than the calculator?

less conscious or less human?

we know how they are treated in society in general...

-Imp
Do you think computers can be given consciousness, and if so, how would we make a computer conscious? It's not like we can pick up a unit of consciousness by tweezers and add it to a computer. In fact, no one seems to have much idea of what constitutes consciousness. It can't be seen, touched, or observed outside of our own private experiences. So how would we know if we succeeded in making a computer conscious versus just making a computer that LOOKS externally like it is acting conscious?

And going back to the example of the super sophisticated mechanical typewriter-like machine; if such a machine were created thus that it could overtly mimic every observable behavior of a human, at what point would we say such a machine is conscious? Suppose you started out with a machine that simply played a recording that said "ouch" whenever you struck it with enough force. Perhaps when you strike it, it causes a lever to drop a phonograph needle on a vinyl record producing the sound of the word "ouch". Did such a mechanical system feel genuine pain?

My point is that my first impression seems to be that mechanical devices are not conscious and computers are ultimately just very sophisticated mechanical devices. Humans OTOH possess consciousness, or at least I do. I can say that I feel a burning sensation when my hand touches a hot stove. The pain is excruciating and unbearable. Do computers experience something like that? If I programmed a computer to say "ouch" when a sensor attached to a thermometer reaches a certain temperature, is that the same as feeling the excruciating and unbearable pain that I feel?
Impenitent
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Re: "How does this vaporous, ethereal thing, the mind, cause a neuron to emit a neurotransmitter that causes the arm to

Post by Impenitent »

Gary Childress wrote: Sat Feb 01, 2020 3:36 am
Impenitent wrote: Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:58 am
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:34 am

But we are conscious; at least I am. Are computers conscious? Would a super sophisticated mechanical typewriter-like machine be conscious if it could overtly mimic various behavioral responses that LOOK (from the outside) like a human's?
no, not all humans are "conscious"

many humans have relatively limited intellectual abilities...

is the person who cannot add numbers less conscious than the calculator?

less conscious or less human?

we know how they are treated in society in general...

-Imp
Do you think computers can be given consciousness, and if so, how would we make a computer conscious? It's not like we can pick up a unit of consciousness by tweezers and add it to a computer. In fact, no one seems to have much idea of what constitutes consciousness. It can't be seen, touched, or observed outside of our own private experiences. So how would we know if we succeeded in making a computer conscious versus just making a computer that LOOKS externally like it is acting conscious?

the appearance is everything isn't it? I think it boils down to what you believe... virtual reality is real only to the one experiencing it... is the "thought" of the group more "true" than the individual's thought?


And going back to the example of the super sophisticated mechanical typewriter-like machine; if such a machine were created thus that it could overtly mimic every observable behavior of a human, at what point would we say such a machine is conscious? Suppose you started out with a machine that simply played a recording that said "ouch" whenever you struck it with enough force. Perhaps when you strike it, it causes a lever to drop a phonograph needle on a vinyl record producing the sound of the word "ouch". Did such a mechanical system feel genuine pain?

certain sensory devices respond from stimuli... does their being made of biological parts make them less mechanical? does their being made of biological parts in a "human" make the mechanical response more genuine?


My point is that my first impression seems to be that mechanical devices are not conscious and computers are ultimately just very sophisticated mechanical devices. Humans OTOH possess consciousness, or at least I do. I can say that I feel a burning sensation when my hand touches a hot stove. The pain is excruciating and unbearable. Do computers experience something like that? If I programmed a computer to say "ouch" when a sensor attached to a thermometer reaches a certain temperature, is that the same as feeling the excruciating and unbearable pain that I feel?
biological systems act mechanically... mechanical sensors are only different from biological sensors in form, not function...

programming a computer to say ouch

programming a person to say ouch

but some humans can program themselves... or can they?

one is programmed to give sympathy to similar appearing objects, e.g. other people, over objects that don't appear so similar...

different sexes, different colors, different constructions...

-Imp
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