Book recommendation Re: [FoRK] Re: anybody remember...
<lionkimbro at gmail.com> on
Mon Jul 9 15:06:16 PDT 2007
On 7/9/07, Lion Kimbro <lionkimbro at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 7/9/07, Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> wrote:
> > Yeah, yeah... Chalmers will deny being a computationalist on some
> > level, but if you read the actual arguments, he's toeing the line.
> I'm a computationalist as well;
> I believe that computational states are mental states.
Let me clarify, in order to avoid confusion:
There is a question, "Can a brain be conscious?
Can a computer be conscious? Could a bunch of
cogs and machinery be conscious?"
My own belief is that there can be something that it is like
to be a brain, (such as our own experiences,) and that there
can be something that it is like to be a computer brain,
and that there can be something that it is like to be a
giant cog-works, and so on.
My belief is that there might even be something that it
is like to be a thermostat, though I wouldn't wish that
experience on any thermostat. (Then again, the
post-human super-intelligence may say the same about
the poor pitiful normal humans of today. Or at least,
I hope that they do..!)
I think this is what you mean by "computationalism."
I don't think there's anything particularly special about
What I do *not* believe, is that computation itself
has explanatory power. For example, I need some story,
true or false (I'll reserve judgment, until I hear the story,
and then may grant it only conditionally, or as a "perhaps,")
-- to account for experience. You can't just show me
a thermostat, and say, "Ah, here; A thermostat--
see how it moves? See how it responds? Ergo, there's
something having an experience in there!" I need
some **story** about why you think it's having an
experience. And even then, I will make a step of
exercising judgment about that story. You don't just
get experience "for free."
"Thermostat, ergo, experience. Proven!" No.
That's my position. I'll call it "computationalist,"
vs. "biology-ist," or some other label.
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