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machine brains

Michael Edelman mje at mich.com
Thu Feb 18 11:27:04 EST 1999

Ray Scanlon wrote:

> ..."Thinking" occurs in mammals. It is the interpolation of extra synaptic
> events between sensory input and motor output. ....) Don't waste time talking
> about our
> awareness of the brain's thoughts. That belongs to religion.

You're  defining the problem down to a much simpler, and much less interesting
one. Self-awareness is the heart of conciousness.

We all know we're self-aware, and there's no need to invoke metaphysics to
realize that humans and many other animals can plan- which is to say they can
create internal, counterfactual models in their mind and experiment with them.

 You seek to explain the brain as a robot with a strict mechanistic theory. But
if that's the case, who is writing this note?

-- mike

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