Re: Free will/consciousness/ineffability

From: <>
Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2001 11:18:53 -0700

>>> Bruno:Your desktop computer cannot be conscious, nor can my brain.
>>> If you succeed putting my mind (software) in your desktop
>>> computer, your desktop computer will still not be conscious, but
>>> it will make possible for me to talk with you (as my brain does
>>> now). Only a person can be said conscious. And person, like
>>> nation, or game are immaterial (with comp), and not absolutely
>>> "singularisable" (only relatively).
>> Brent:This confuses me, Bruno. You always postulate 'comp', i.e. that
>> the brain can be emulated. I had always assumed that this entailed
>> the emulation being conscious.

I would say to this that consciousness is a property of a program, not
of a computer. When a computer runs a program, the computer does not
thereby become conscious.

By analogy, other properties of programs include "being well written"
or "having N^2 running time". When a computer runs such a program we
wouldn't say that the computer is well written, or the computer has
N^2 running time. In the same way we wouldn't say that the computer is
conscious when it runs a conscious program.

Received on Mon Oct 08 2001 - 11:20:56 PDT

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