machine brains

Bloxy's Bloxy's at hotmail.com
Sat Mar 6 05:33:06 EST 1999


In article <36e08a1f.480850 at news-server>, ZZZghull at stny.lrun.com (Jerry Hull) wrote:
>On Fri, 05 Mar 1999 20:02:57 GMT, malcolm at pigsty.demon.co.uk (Malcolm McMahon)
>wrote:

>>On Fri, 05 Mar 1999 14:14:42 GMT, ZZZghull at stny.lrun.com (Jerry Hull)
>>wrote:

>>>>>Which makes consciousness part of what?

>>>>God? Why does it have to be a part of anything, for that matter, why
>>>>can't it be just another part of the universe which "just is", like a
>>>>photon or an electron. Not everything is made of something.

>>>Everything is made of something;

>>No, only composite things are made of something. Elementary particles
>>are not. What's an electron made of?

>> if they were made of nothing they wouldn't be
>>>anything.

>An electron is made of itself.  What you want to say, I think, is that not
>everything is made of SOMETHING ELSE.  But "made of" is a misleading notion in
>this context.  It would be most proper to say that both consciousness and mind
>are made of BRAINS, &c.

Yep, sure.
And the final ruler is DNA, right?
So, you are just a host for the dna.
Why so much fuss here then?

>  That is, surely Descartes was wrong to suppose that
>mentality involved a different kind of SUBSTANCE that things could be composed
>of, separate from physical things.

Even to this day there is no evidence to dismiss it.

>>>        The puzzle is the relation between conciousness and mind, on your
>>>view.  Why suppose, as you seem to, that consciousness is not mental?

>>Because it's not really _like_ any kind of mental processing. Thinking
>>is something we _do_, consciousness is something we _are_.

Oh, they think they are perfect bio-robots
and you come here and tell them that they ARE
the consciousness.

Hey, good luck.

--------------------- end of input -------------------

>This supposes that everything mental is "processing".  But why believe this?
>It is obviously arbitrary.  Mental things include moods, desires,
>dispositions, states of belief, fundamental convictions, twinges, sensations,
>intentions, proclivities, attitudes, &c. &c.  Some of these things obviously
>involve processes, but not all of them.  There are also states, capabilities,
>properties, &c.

>But I would agree that consciousness does not FEEL like a process, i.e.,
>unlike digestion, it is not something that we sense going on.  But vision need
>not feel like a process either, but that does not keep it from being USEFUL to
>regard vision as a process.  How things feel, and how things are best
>analyzed, are two separate issues.

>>>  Is
>>>there no "mental"? 

>>Yes, but it's probably just the information content of the brain. It's
>>not a separate thing but as aspect, a way of looking at, the brain.

>You obviously CAN regard mental things as a way of looking at the brain, but
>you NEED NOT look at them that way.  Aristotle, e.g., thought the brain was
>for cooling the blood.  He associated thought with the heart.  Are then mental
>things just a way of looking at the heart?

>You need to distinguish between what mental things are IN THEMSELVES, and what
>provides the best CAUSAL explanation of their existence.  In themselves,
>mental things have nothing ESSENTIALLY to do with either brains or hearts,
>which is why both theories of their causal underpinings are LOGICALLY
>conceivable.

>>> Is consciousness yet a third thing, in addition to minds
>>>and bodies?  I mean, the metaphysical problems in this area are in part
>>>taxological, so the denial of a connection between consciousness & mind only
>>>seems to make them worse.

>>Yes, but consciousness exists, requires explaning and is not adequately
>>explained by the mind.

>But "mind" is not an EXPLANATION of consciousness -- it's just a NAME for the
>various phenomena associated with consciousness.  If you are rejecting "mind"
>as an EXPLANATION of consciousness, then I entirely agree with you.  It is not
>that kind of thing.



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