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machine brains

William Thomas wthomas at mint.net
Sun Feb 7 17:49:23 EST 1999

Tom Norback wrote in message ...
>"That there is a close connection between a state of consciousness and the
>brain we do not dispute.  But there is also a close connection between a
>coat and the nail on which it hangs, for, if the nail is pulled out the
>falls to the ground.  Shall we say then that the shape of the nail gives us
>the shape of the coat, or in any way corresponds to it?"
>--Henri Bergson, "Matter and Memory"
>(Just another person who believes representationalism is a dead end.)

So, does a virus have consciousness? what about a tree? do they function
without this thing consciousness? and if consciousness is the ability to be
aware of oneself, and the tree is not aware of itself, how does it interact
with its environment? does it think the environment is an extension of
itself? and if so, isn't that ironically Zen - a complete connection with
the universe, and a function beyond the bounds of ego. perhaps the brain is
the problem, and the roadblock to higher function ..... then again perhaps
consciousness is an overrated attempt by man to create special attributes
for himself in order to justify his pillaging of other species .....
whatever consciousness is, it is obvious that if we are the only things that
have it, it is not a function of a brain, because plenty of other creatures
have enough brain power to recognize their separation from the world, so if
it is not a function of the brain, then it is either a function of the
"soul" or an illusion created in the brain.

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