Does Inteligence require conciousness?

Raphael Jolly raphael.jolly at
Fri Nov 3 17:44:42 EST 2000

mejqb at wrote:
> In article <39FF3E8F.F3011DF3 at>,
>   Raphael Jolly <raphael.jolly at> wrote:
> > mejqb at wrote:
> > > [...]
> > > That may well be, but such ad hominem poisoning of the well
> > > is not a good tool for rational thought.  For instance, Murray
> > > wrote in this thread:
> > >
> > >  IMHO intelligence does not so much *require* consciousness
> > >  as inescapably give rise to, or *cause* consciousness as
> > >  a natural by-product of knowledge about self and the world:
> >
> > I think this is the great mistake of the present a.i. paradigm. I
> think
> > consciousness has more to do with matter itself than with it's
> > organization.
> All the evidence is counter to your belief.

All the evidence was counter to Galileo's belief.

> > In my view *intelligence* is a by-product of
> > consciousness, it is not required to it.
> Human-level intelligence probably requires consciousness,
> contra Chalmers' zombie notion -- the work of Bernard Baars
> and others shows the role that consciousness plays, or may play,
> in intelligence.  But the human model isn't the only possible
> model, and non-conscious intelligence seems quite possible.

There would be a possibility of zombie-ants, for instance ?

> > Intelligence would be some kind
> > of entropy decrease in complex systems,
> That's mumbo-jumbo -- intelligence is effective use of
> information.  That is, that's how we *use* the word.

I think intelligence is just a matter of self-organization.

> > whereas consciousness would only
> > be some kind of impredictibility, "free will", thus affordable even at
> > the simplest levels of organization.
> That is *not* what we mean by the word "consciousness".
> In _Elbow Room_, Daniel Dennett discusses extensively

I will read it as soon as possible (do you know the french title ?)

> why "free will" doesn't depend upon either indeterminism
> or unpredictability.  That I predictably steer my car within
> the lane does not threaten my free will,

The fact is that the *exact* final position of your car isn't

> and someone who
> drives down the wrong side of the street has likely lost
> their will and quite possibly their consciousness.

Often people do such things because they took the wrong direction and
they (consciously) want to spare time.

More about the exactness issue : I don't know if you have any automatic
train in your town. But if you have, take it for the purpose of a trial.
The effect is maximal (to me) when the train slows down. If you pay
attention, it never does it *exactly* the same way : sometimes it first
breaks hard and then lets go to the final position, some other times it
breaks at the last moment... due to fluctuations in the feedback loop,
and it's perfectly unpredictable. Then try to imagine it is conscious
(the way you may think of the consciousness of a horse you're ridding,
for instance). It works. There is nothing objective to contradict this


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