RE: The implementation problem

From: Higgo James <>
Date: Tue, 26 Jan 1999 09:29:31 -0000

Jacques's point about there being no input or output unless an observer
defines them is crucial to this debate. As Gilles further points out, there
is nothing at all - including consciousness - unless an observer defines it.
So you cannot define consciousness without reference to itself.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Gilles HENRI []
> Sent: 25 January 1999 09:20
> To:
> Subject: Re: The implementation problem
> À (At) 15:33 -0500 23/01/99, Jacques M Mallah écrivait (wrote) :
> >
> > No. If you rearrange the order, you change the information, just
> >like you would change the information of a string if you rearrange it.
> >Also, if you rearrange the connections, you change the causal
> >relationships that also define a computation. Your 'new implementation'
> >would be totally different from the old computation.
> > Also, there is no such thing as input or output. These concepts
> >only apply when you predesignate one part of the universe as 'the system'
> >and the rest as 'the environment'. It is an artificial distinction,
> >not known to nature.
> Ok, this has to be refined. I agree with the last proposition. But this
> holds also for "brains", "consciouness", "computers", "measurements", and
> so on...So let us assume that we have conventionally adopted a distinction
> between a "system" and its environment", and that we are looking for an
> definition of when the system can be considered as "conscious" in the
> sense
> that we apply commonly to a human brain (does anybody have a better
> definition?)
> What I mean is that this property cannot be defined by considering only an
> abstract computation, string , and other mathematical object. The point is
> that the sense that we commonly adopt for the word "consciousness" is not
> directly related to some objective complexity, but rather to the
> adequation
> of mental objects to the outer world. The complexity is only a requirement
> for that adequation to be correct. Of course it is in principle possible
> to
> simulate adequately a brain by a computation, but this computation will
> take its meaning only with the help of a relevant "mapping" to an actual
> brain. I defy anybody to look at a list of 10^(what you want) digits 0 or
> 1
> and to say : "oh, that's a brain of somebody dreaming of (put here your
> favorite actress)". But that could be in principle possible by inspecting
> the state of a all neural cells and recognize those neurons that react to
> pretty images and so on. However this mapping requires also the knowledge
> of the connections to I/O devices, that are our only way to know the
> world.
> Gilles
Received on Tue Jan 26 1999 - 02:01:06 PST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:06 PST