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Anthony Cerrato tcerrato at optonline.net
Wed Nov 12 02:56:05 EST 2003

"Matthew Kirkcaldie"
<Matthew.Kirkcaldie at removethis.newcastle.edu.au> wrote in
news:Matthew.Kirkcaldie-D642A3.16314812112003 at seagoon.newcastle.edu.au...
> 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
> > 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
> 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.

I'd go even further and say, consciousness (whatever it is)
is also inseparable from the (unique) body it "inhabits."
There are substantial contributions from the nervous system,
and the functional condition of the sensory organs--and of
course, the moment-to-moment chemical composition of the
brain (i.e., neurotransmitters and other biochemical
mediators which affect, for example, emotions.) Again, IMO.

> 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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