From: Christian Szegedy (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Jul 08 2002 - 03:48:28 MDT
David Cake wrote:
> I find Penroses far more irritating, though. I guess its where
> they end up - Edelman really wants an analogue computer substrate, and
> is just mistaken about how this might be digitally implemented, but
> Penroses reasoning about quantum computing comes uncomfortable close
> to a scientifically literate explanation for a version of vitalism to
> me. He takes all the Chinese room stuff seriously, and then grasps for
> something special about the human brain to justify it, and settle on
> quantum computing because of its known computational properties, but
> his reasoning to get there is very sloppy.
At least he does not ignore obvious mathematical facts. I don't know
whether he is right, but I think
sloppy reasoning is much better than merely emotional attitudes. (i.e.
yours) I don't believe
anyone on this list (or at all) could rule out the possibility that
Penrose could be right.
I also think the Chinese room analogy should not be treated as a
complete nonsense. It is
not a strict argument, but, for me, an intuitive hint, that
consciousness may have more substance
than it appears at the first sight.
There is some mystical about self-consciousness (if you meditate about
it a bit),
there is some mystical about quantum mechanics (if you think abbout it a
and there is strong link between these two (phase reduction).
I agree that the reasoning of Penrose is not convincing, because it is
I've got the impression that he simply tries to find an explanation how
related things (self-consciousness and QM) are really connected. Perhaps
he is wrong in the
details, but there is a good chance that he's got the correct overall
My point : It is not a correct to say that argument A must be wrong
since it is similar to
the wrong statement B (vitalism in your case). This leads to nowhere.
Best regards, Chrtistian
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