getting past emergentism

Arthur T. Murray uj797 at
Thu Apr 12 14:27:32 EST 2001

winghorse at (WingHorse) writes on 12 Apr 2001:

> In article <3ad4d969 at>,
> uj797 at (Arthur T. Murray) writes:
> WingHorse:
>>> Do you really mean to say that data-streaming-inwards is
>>> the same as consciousness?
>> ATM:
>> No.  What the brain-mind _does_ with the "data-streaming-inwards"
>> is consciousness.
>>> Even if you do, how do you equate data-streaming-inwards
>>> with self-recognition?
>> ATM:
>> Please see the various "Mentifex" brain-mind diagrams online at
>> -- an original model
>> of the mind.
>> Incoming data are shunted orthogonally into the semantic memory,
>> where conceptual nerve fibers hold the concepts behind the data
>> by gathering together all the associative tags that define concepts.
>> The concept of self grows in depth and breadth along with all
>> the other concepts of non-self, of other, of the external world.
> This time I haven't been to that website, but you would need
> to define "concept of self," first.  Also, what criteria you
> use to assess that something has it.
Self is primitive core concept no. 50 in the AI Standards at (proposed).

In the Artificial Mind, words in the auditory memory channel
are associatively linked to lexical fibers in the
semantic memory channel for the control of English words,
and to concept fibers in the deep "Psi" mindcore.

Concepts build up by the accretion of associative tags.
The mindcore #50 concept of "self" is tagged to all sensory
and conceptual knowledge about the self of the organism,
and to lexical items such as "I" and me" which the self
uses both to think and to communicate about itself.

The main criterion for the assessment that an entity has a
sense of self is the ability of the entity to discuss itself.
In the JavaScript Artificial Mind, but not yet in Mind.Forth,
there is in the "Oldconcept" module (discussed online at -- for Mind.Forth)
a snippet of code which has been commented with the remark that
"// This code has a bearing on emerging consciousness:" because
the two if-clauses shunt incoming personal pronouns to either
"self" or "other" as concepts, depending on who is speaking.
Therefore, the JS AI Mind already correctly differentiates
between "you" addressing it and itself addressed as "you."

>> To perceive self amid the various streams of data, and to
>> succumb to the illusion that the self is conscious, is
>> in fact to _be_ conscious -- because consciousness is the
>> illusion of consciousness.
> There seems to be a flawed syllogism in this paragraph.
> Also, you have not specified why consciousness is an illusion,
> in the first place.  It may be, but it may not be, or both,
> depending on what criteria you are using.
Consciousness is an illusion because an intense vortex of
associative processing becomes aware of itself as a mind,
as a subjective ego calling itself "I" and having both
waking states and dream-states.  The process is an illusion
because nothing epiphenomenal is really happening; only
information is being routed, and rapidly, as if in a whirlwind.
When the mind perceives its own consciousness, it is perceiving
the trickery that wherever it looks or listens, it sees or
hears something.  A virtual light goes on, Rene':  Cogito, ergo sum.

>>> I have visited your websites and find nothing that in any way
>>> duplicates or even resembles cognition, much less "consciousness."
>> ATM:
>> A limited form of rudimentary cognition occurs in the
>> Artificial Mind
> Cognition may "process" information, but not all
> information-processing is cognition.  One (of many)
> distinctions is that cognition uses information for IDEA,
Let us call the associative interrelations among concepts
the "idea."  Mind.Forth and the JS AI Mind preserve such
"ideas" as temporal clusters of associative tags.
Conversations with the Artificial Mind reactivate its ideas.
As a novice programmer I confess that my three AI variants
(in Amiga ARexx, Win32Forth, and Internet Explorer JavaScript)
still have difficulty keeping concepts straight because of
hard-to-control shiftings in the spreading-activation levels,
but I remain confident that the Mentifex AI programs are on the
right track and are based on sound neuroscientific principles.

> a metaphysical entity (there is not so much as a nutrino's
> worth of mass-energy in an idea).  Machines cannot distinguish
> one idea from another, or idea from nonidea (thing, or res).
Thank you for the Latin; I have a degree in Latin and Greek.

> The way current flows through any information-processing
> machine "discerns" from among strictly physical phenomena---
> such as sound waves or circuit-breaking keystrokes;
> such as patterns of light photons and no or few such photons---
> via physical current shifters, and, if the machine's programmer
> has accommodated it, it mechanically takes "appropriate" actions.
> In a very specious way, this can SEEM to resemble organismic
> (see below) thought and behavior.  But it takes the observing
> human to grasp the IDEA(s) involved.  (True) cognition, whether
> at  "conscious" or "unconscious" levels, grasps IDEAs.
And a mentifex-class AI grasps IDEAS by assigning their
associative tags to concepts linguistically mediated by
verbs in most cases, and in future (I hope) by prepositions, etc.
The original theory of the Mentifex AI design was created in (q.v.).
> No, I do not mean "biological" or "corporeal," and that sort
> of view is just what is wrong with so-called "cognitive science."
> An organism---perhaps even a nucleotide, but certainly at the next,
> or viral, level---can do more than process information; it seems
> to be able to "think"; i.e., to get ideas.  An organism is a
> psychobiological entity.  But it would take too long here to
> trace the factually available but ignored evidence for this.
>> Please also see
>> -- Assoc. for the Scientific Study of Consc.;
>> -- Consciousness Studies
>> All the various Mentifex webpages present an original theory of mind.
> I will look them up, but based on the info  (only info)
> you have so far presented, the theory is not of mind,
> but of infomation-processing, alone. Just because  the
> hand shovel or bull-dozer can do many of the tasks that
> a human with only hands and limbs can do, and more of it
> in shorter time, does not mean that the hand shovel or
> bull-dozer IS a human limb with hands. Likewise, with our
> current technology, machines can be made to process
> information to just about any end that humans might
> wish their brains could do, but this does not mean that
> such machines are brains; most especially, they are not minds,
> for it still takes humans to grasp the IDEAs output by the machine.
Or it takes another machine running similar AI software.
Thank you for the discussion.

Arthur T. Murray
-- : consciousness; -- Home Page; : Mind.Forth AI; : Mind.REXX AI.

More information about the Neur-sci mailing list