Necessary conditions for consciousness

Hans Blom j.a.blom at
Wed Feb 7 10:32:32 EST 2001

Jeffrey Kazuo Yoshimi wrote:

> Hi,
> I am a philosopher studying consciousness and the brain, which tends to be
> sort of annoying (the experimentalists do all this hard work and then
> arm-chair cowboys speculate about it and get it wrong in the process) but
> I appeal to your patience and ask some questions.
> Assume that for a brain to produce conscious experience, it is necessary
> that some set of conditions obtain.

Here is one engineer's answer. Your question is akin to: assume that for
a TV to produce a Ronald Reagan movie, it is necessary that some set of
conditions obtain. Quite a complex question. Some conditions are
easy to state (e.g. no breakdown of any transistor inside the TV),
others are not. We have answers (i.e. explicit models) for the easy
questions but not for the more difficult ones such as what you consider
to be a Ronald Reagan movie.

Define consciousness in sufficiently technical terms and I'll build you
a machine that implements consciousness :-).

J.A. (Hans) Blom
Eindhoven University of Technology
Dept. of Electrical Engineering
Signal Processing Systems group, EH 3.02
PO box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Phone: +31 40 2473287/88; fax: +31 40 2466508
E-mail: j.a.blom at

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