Consciousness

Matthew Kirkcaldie Matthew.Kirkcaldie at removethis.newcastle.edu.au
Wed Nov 12 00:31:48 EST 2003


In article <8e53rvs4p64t9ba1njjfb2e3n7ufpnk6e2 at 4ax.com>,
 r norman <rsn_ at _comcast.net> wrote:

> However, if it is true that consciousness is nothing more than the
> working out of laws of physics and chemistry given a particular albeit
> highly complex arrangement of molecules, organelles, and cells, then
> once we understand the mechanisms it should be conceptually possible
> to produce an artificial device that uses the same laws of physics and
> chemistry with a rather different arrangement of non-biological
> components to acheive the same effect.

So, to exaggerate that line of reasoning, it should be possible to build 
a hydrogen atom out of other non-elementary components and have it 
behave the same way?  Or make a working atomic bomb out of Meccano?

I know these extrapolations are ridiculous but I make them to point out  
that the assertion that a process is created by the physical properties 
of its consituents does not imply that it could also be created by 
different materials.  Right or wrong, I simply do not believe that 
consciousness is seperable from the biological nature of the brain. 

Most AI and connectionist approaches seem to me to be like piling up 
large heaps of components and hoping that they will become a 747 
somehow.  Actually, more like piling up large heaps of sandwiches and 
hoping they will become a 747 somehow.

      Yours provokingly,

         Matthew.



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