Re: Interpretations, subjectivity

From: Hans Moravec <>
Date: Thu, 08 Jul 1999 17:50:25 -0400

SLP <>:
> Passing the Turing Test is a necessary but not sufficient condition
> for a consciousness. A sufficiently responsive mechanism, but lacking
> self-awareness with qualia, could "outwit" any possible Turning test.
> A proper definition of consciousness must await our understanding its
> physical and computational basis.
> Talking about "interpretations" and "consciousness" ( or "subjectivity")
> at this point therefore seems wholly premature.

 NOT !!!!
I intensely disagree with these (common, philosophically orthodox)
statements, having resolved the issue self-consistently to my own
satisfaction. My resolution makes the existence of subjective
experience an attribution, always. It is very easy and natural to
make the attribution to any Turing-test passer from the outside. The
attribution maps an abstract model of thoughts, feelings and beliefs
onto the behavior. Subjective awareness of existence and of self
are found in that abstraction, and nowhere else.

Our own personal subjective life is such an abstraction, which we
map upon ourselves (working within the abstraction!), and nothing
else. Our brain and body connects that abstraction to the physical
world in a standard way, so "we" are able to interact with one
another physically, and pass each other's Turing tests, for instance
by discussing our thoughts, feelings and beliefs.

This makes our own self-awareness a circular object: its causes
only exist when we already admit to its existence.

But isn't a tenet of the larger discussion that existence itself
a similarly circular business: universes exist because beings
within them perceive them. But those beings exist only if
you admit the existence of the universes that contain them.

Works for me.
Received on Thu Jul 08 1999 - 14:52:28 PDT

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