If consciousness is 100% physical, we would have to conclude that the same kind of consciousness that we experience as humans can be generated b
Feeling like a functionalist? The substrate doesn't matter. The internet could be conscious in its own weird way. Consider the consciousness of bees. How hard can it be to drum up a consciousness in a chip?
Describes the human brain as a recursive set of cybernetic control systems. The role of synapses are explained as well as the genetic guidance of the brain's development. Some of the founding fathers of Cybernetics set the stage for the fantastic discoveries of neuroscience in the past thirty years. Brains are universal machines.
Reality and the Extended Mind is a non-profit documentary by Adrian Nelson. As an increasing number of academics acknowledge the findings erupting from psi research, quantum mechanics and many other areas of science, thinkers are coalescing on a new description of reality.
Featureteaser: Could the datasphere be an extension of our collective consciousness? If so, could an intentional organization of this data have a profound effect via our unconscious agents of empathy and evolution, mirror neurons?
"And just who are these people in the machine, anyway? The answer will depend on who you ask. If you ask the people in the machine, they will strenuously claim to be the original persons. For example, if we scan–let’s say myself–and record the exact state, level, and position of every neurotransmitter, synapse, neural connection, and every other relevant detail, and then reinstantiate this massive data base of information (which I estimate at thousands of trillions of bytes) into a neural computer of sufficient capacity, the person who then emerges in the machine will think that “he” is (and had been) me, or at least he will act that way. He will say “I grew up in Queens, New York, went to college at MIT, stayed in the Boston area, started and sold a few artificial intelligence companies, walked into a scanner there, and woke up in the machine here. Hey, this technology really works.”
Is this really me? For one thing, old biological Ray (that’s me) still exists. I’ll still be here in my carbon-cell-based brain. Alas, I will have to sit back and watch the new Ray succeed in endeavors that I could only dream of."
"Some say in fifty years or so we'll have enough neuro-scientific evidence to completely describe the functioning of the brain. The question is, will this mountain of evidence be enough to explain the emergence of human consciousness? Consciousness. This familiar yet indescribable experience we all have, an awareness, something we can't physically point to nor experience from another's viewpoint."
"Being a hypothetical question about some future state of our knowledge, it has mainly been of academic interest to philosophers. But I actually think it's relevant to all of us because it accesses two fundamental questions about what it means to be human. First, on a practical level, is consciousness amenable to explanation? Second, on a mystical level, if consciousness can be explained, will its essence be lost?"
"Would I still count as a human without the fleshy bits or as a electronic recreation of a biological process? And is that really any different than our physical consciousnesses being the result of electrical impulses bouncing around in our skulls?"
Graziano has developed a new theory of consciousness he calls the "attention schema theory" that suggests that specialized systems in the human brain compute information about the things of which a person is aware, and project the property of consciousness onto ourselves and others. In that sense, the puppet's consciousness is every bit as real as that of anyone wincingly laughing at his jokes about living atop Graziano's hand.
"Every past theory of consciousness has a gap. Even the most modern theories at some point just point to a circuit and say, 'And then awareness appears.' But understanding where the magic comes from is pointless," Graziano continued. "The phenomenon that scientists can say with certainty happens is that the brain attributes the 'magic' to itself. We can understand how that happens and the computations behind it. And that's what this theory attempts to do."
If a conscious automaton discussing consciousness is impossible, then consciousness must exist. In syllogistic terms, we say that “If there is no consciousness, there will be no discussion of consciousness,” and conclude with modus tollens that since there is discussion of consciousness, there is consciousness.” Je pense, donc je pense.
You might object that automatons can be designed to talk about consciousness. This is true, but the designing can only be done by someone who knows the experience of consciousness. If this is another automaton, the question is begged who designed this automaton, and so on. No one likes an infinite regress. It cannot be automatons all the way down. There must be the experience of consciousness at the bottom.
"Dennett argues that the ‘hard problem‘ is a red herring – the whole question of how conscious first person experience arises from the biological function of the brain assumes that consciousness is a single thing that needs explaining.
He suggests that there isn’t a single thing that is consciousness, just a collection of mental components, but the fact we’ve named it as a single thing fools us.
In his article Explaining the “Magic” of Consciousness, he gives a great analogy of how the use of the word ‘the’ was used in a card trick to make it seem completely mysterious even to fellow professional magicians."
"The amoeba seems to know a great deal and it moves and acts with direction and purpose, all without nerves, sensory organs, or any obvious internal structure. There is probably no better demonstration that knowledge and intentionality, key parts of our notion of mind, are characteristics of the simplest of bodies."
"... we may be putting too much emphasis on the brain itself. Brains not only aren't minds, it seems possible to act as if you have a mind without any brain at all."
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