Message info From:Evgenii Rudnyi Subject:Re: Primitive Awareness and Symmetry Date:Thu, 05 Apr 2012 22:43:22 +0200

On 05.04.2012 21:39 David Nyman said the following:
> On 5 April 2012 19:56, Evgenii Rudnyi<> wrote:
>> Yet, this does not change his hypothesis about why "consciousness display"
>> could be advantageous for evolution. We do not know what it is, but if is
>> there, it certainly can help to organize servomechanisms in the body.
> Sure, if it is there, it could indeed be advantageous, if not
> indispensable. But such notions of course do not avoid the Hard
> Problem. Many independent considerations converge to suggest that -
> as it bears on macroscopic physical evolution - consciousness in the
> Hard sense will always be externally indistinguishable from
> sufficiently intelligent behaviour, as Brent argues. The problem with
> "display" ideas about consciousness (compare, for example, Johnjoe
> McFadden's EM theory) is that they must, in the end, be fully
> justified in impersonal terms, and hence once again appeals to the
> additional hypothesis of consciousness, at the relevant level of
> description, will be redundant.
> I confess this smells to me like the wrong sort of theory. On the
> other hand, if comp is true the story can be somewhat more subtle.
> Comp + consciousness (the "internal view" of arithmetical truth)
> implies an infinity of possible histories, in which natural selection,
> of features advantageous to macroscopic entities inhabiting a
> macroscopic environment, is a particularly consistent strand. It also
> entails parallel strands of "evolutionary history" - i.e. at the level
> of wave function - which need make no reference to any such macro
> features but nonetheless imply the same gross distributions of matter.
> But such a schema does entail a "causal" role for consciousness, as
> the unique integrator of discontinuous subjective perspectives, but at
> a very different logical level than that of "physical causation" (i.e.
> the reductive structural relation between states).
> David

Gray's book is not a theory of consciousness, this is rather an
empirical research with an outcome that the modern science cannot
explain observation in that research. Gray also confesses that

There are no behavioral tests by which we can distinguish whether a
computer, a robot or a Martian possesses qualia.

At the same time, he shows how to bring consciousness into the lab:

These experiments demonstrate yet again, by the way, that the privacy
of conscious experience offers no barrier to good science. Synaesthetes
claim a form of experience that is, from the point of view of most
people, idiosyncratic in the extreme. Yet it can be successfully brought
into the laboratory.


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