[Serious Phil] Eray's Essay on Brain Simulation
examachine at gmail.com
Thu May 31 09:42:32 CDT 2012
On Thu, May 31, 2012 at 2:52 PM, walto <Philscimind at undergroundwiki.org>wrote:
> --- In Phil-Sci-Mind at yahoogroups.com, Eray Ozkural <Philscimind at ...>
> > On Mon, May 28, 2012 at 1:31 PM, walto <Philscimind at ...>wrote:
> > > Eray writes:
> > >
> > > "Think of it like this. If today, some evil alien came and shuffled all
> > > the connections in your brain, would you still be intelligent? I think
> > > However, you should accept that even in that state, you would have an
> > > experience, an experience that is probably meaningless and chaotic,
> but an
> > > experience nonetheless. So, perhaps that's what a glob of plasma
> > > experiences."
> > >
> > > Is there an argument here
> > >
> > There isn't an argument, I'm just explaining what I think about my
> > experiment shortly, because I believe it to be obvious.
> > It's the thought experiment that counts. If you have any good arguments
> > the below explanations do not hold, please do not conceal them from me.
> > > First, there is the question-begging "you" in "...you would have an
> > > experience" Even if this pan-psychist speculation is true and there
> > > still be experiencing--would it be "me" having them? Maybe I'd have
> > > died.
> > >
> > No, you would still be living, but having undergone a very extensive
> > surgery :) You would have of course changed completely psychologically
> > lost all your memories and thinking essentially, you would probably be
> in a
> > vegetative state by then. So you are you but in a coma like state, even
> > worse actually, just having nonsensical neural signals in your brain. The
> > alien would probably have to turn off your motions, or you would just act
> > erratically (randomly).
> > Why isn't this obvious?
> It's obvious only if one subscribes to animalism (a position with which I
> happen to be sympathetic), but it isn't obvious to many (actually, probably
> most) people who write about personal identity. That is, it just
> contradicts the prevailing view (which requires some sort of psychological
> continuity) without any argument whatever. That's not a very good
> strategy, IMO.
Has no relevance to the argument I believe. You don't have to "continue",
to make this thought experiment stand. You can assume that the evil alien
"killed" yourself. It doesn't matter. What matters is that there is a
brain, with a functioning neurophysiology, but with no coherent thought, no
recognizable consciousness, no intelligible nothing.
> > Second, why should we take your assertion that such experiencing would
> > > continue ("However, you should accept that...") any more seriously than
> > > somebody else's contrary assertion that there would be no more
> > > after this shuffling.
> > Because I make it clear in the essay that I do accept neurophysiological
> > identity theory of mind, is there any need to elaborate why that follows
> > from this admission. I do not debate that theory, it's a fact of
> > neuroscience I believe. So I think that should be obvious as well.
> An token identity theory requires that every mental event be identical to
> some physical process, not that every physical process be identical to some
> mental process. You can try to claim support from the neurophysiological
> community for panpsychism, but I'm afraid it's just sci-fi at this point.
That doesn't follow. For the thought experiment, I do not assume that every
physical process is identical to some mental process. Just the identity
thesis as usual.
Eray Ozkural, PhD candidate. Comp. Sci. Dept., Bilkent University, Ankara
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