RE: computer pain

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 09:57:11 +1100

I think there is a logical contradiction here. You say that the physical models
do, in fact, explain the 3rd person observable behaviour of a physical system.
A brain is a physical system with 3rd person observable behaviour. Therefore,
the models *must* predict *all* of the third person observable behaviour of
a brain. When a person is handed a complex problem to solve, scratches his head
and chews his pencil, then writes down his proposed solution to the problem, then
that is definitely 3rd person observable behaviour, and it is definitely due to the
motion of matter which perfectly follows physical laws. So you can in theory build
a model which will predict what the person is going to write down, or at least the
sort of thing a real person might write down, given that classical chaos may make
it impossible to predict what a particular person will do on a particular day.
Now, you would no doubt say that the model will not experience the qualia. That's
OK, but then the model will effectively be a zombie that can behave just like a
person yet lack phenomenal consciousness, which you don't beleive is possible.
The only way you can retain this belief consistently is if the model would *not* be
able to predict the 3rd person behaviour of a real person. And the only way that is
possible is if there is some aspect of the physics in the brain which is inherently
Stathis Papaioannou
> Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 07:42:38 +1100
> From:
> Subject: RE: computer pain
> To:
> Stathis said....
> >
> > I'll let Colin answer, but it seems to me he must say that some aspect of
> > brain
> > physics deviates from what the equations tell us (and deviates in an
> > unpredictable
> > way, otherwise it would just mean that different equations are required)
> > to be
> > consistent. If not, then it should be possible to model the behaviour of a
> > brain:
> > predict what the brain is going to do in a particular situation, including
> > novel situations
> > such as those involving scientific research. Now, it is possible that the
> > model will
> > reproduce the behaviour but not the qualia, because the actual brain
> > material is
> > required for that, but that would mean that the model will be a
> > philosophical zombie,
> > and Colin has said that he does not believe that philosophical zombies can
> > exist.
> > Hence, he has to show not only that the computer model will lack the 1st
> > person
> > experience, but also lack the 3rd person observable behaviour of the real
> > thing;
> > and the latter can only be the case if there is some aspect of brain
> > physics which
> > does not comply with any possible mathematical model.
> >
> > Stathis Papaioannou
> Exactly right....except for the bit where you talk about 'deviation from
> the model'. I expect the EM model to be perfectly right - indeed MUST be
> right or I can't do the experiment because the modelling I do will help me
> design the must be right or they won't work. It's just that the
> models don't deliver all the result - you have to "BE the chips" to get
> the whole picture.
> What is missing from the model, seamlessly and irrevocably and
> instrinsically... is that it says nothing about the first person
> perspective. You cannot model the first person perspective by definition,
> because every first person perspective is different! The 'fact' of the
> existence of the first person is the invariant, however.
> So....All the models are quite right and accurate, but are inherently
> third person descriptions of 'the stuff', not 'the stuff'. When you be
> 'the stuff' under the right circumstances there's more to the description.
> And EVERYTHING gets to 'be' forced, implicitly to uniquely be
> somewhere in the universe and inherits all the properties of that act,
> NONE of which is delivered by empirical laws, which are constructed under
> conditions designed specifically to throw out that
> perspective...and...what's does it by verifying the laws using
> the FIRST do all scientific measurements...not only that, if
> you don't do it with the first person (measurement/experimental
> observation grounded in the first person of the scientist) you get told
> you are not doing science!
> How screwed up is that!
> My planned experiment makes chips and on those chips will be probably 4
> intrinsically intermixed 'scientists', all of whom can share each other's
> "scientific evidence" = first person experiences...whilst they do 'dumb
> science' like test a hypothesis H1 = "is the thing there?". By fiddling
> about with the configuration of the scientists you can create
> circumstances where the only way they can agree/disagree is because of the
> first person perspective....and the whole thing will obey Maxwell's
> equations perfectly well from the outside. Indeed the 'probes' I will
> embed will measure field effects in-situ that are supposed to do what
> Maxwell's equations says.
> cheers,
> colin hales
> >
Be one of the first to try Windows Live Mail.

 You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at

Received on Sun Dec 17 2006 - 17:57:28 PST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:12 PST