Re: Mindless Thought Experiments

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Thu Mar 06 2008 - 22:06:30 MST

Matt wrote

> The argument fails because it is based on the unproven assumption that
> consciousness exists.

Wikipedia defines it this way:

     "Consciousness is regarded to comprise qualities such as subjectivity,
     self-awareness, sentience, and the ability to perceive the relationship
     between oneself and one's environment. It is a subject of much research
     in philosophy of mind, psychology, neuroscience, and cognitive science."

Surely you believe, to start with the easiest part, that some systems
have the ability to perceive relationships between themselves and
their environment?

Surely you also think of yourself as self-aware, and surely you acknowledge
that you are quite different when asleep or dead. We use this term to
communicate to others these characteristics something has.

> What exists is a universal belief in consciousness. But there is no objective
> test for consciousness.

Is there an objective test for anger? What about for humor? What
about for democracy? Just because objective tests for these things
do not exist does not mean that they are not useful concepts.


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