Re: Qualia and the Galactic Loony Bin

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Mon, 21 Jun 1999 13:26:17 -0700 (PDT)

> I see no part of this scenario that makes me feel that the dismantled brain
> is any more alive than any other dead brain. Basically, people are
> pretending that the dead brain is still alive, and they have divided
up that
> dead brain's functions among a lot of people, each who do the function for
> the dead brain and give the dead brain credit. Put all these things
> together, and it looks like the dead brain is really functioning.

So to continue this thought experiment, suppose that after your roomful of living engineers have used their memories of the oncelive brain to contruct a robot ("dead brain") that exhibits all its apparently conscious behaviors, after which a virus wipes them all out. Are those apparently conscious behaviors of the surviving robot going to go away, or do they no longer qualify as conscious simply because no conscious-by-definition human is around to judge? Suppose that robot then uses its knowledge to construct a human genome from recordings, mechanically generates DNA from it, implants it into a cow egg and grows a new human. Where, then, does that person's consciousness come from, if it is not simply a consequence of the biochemical activity of the meat machine?

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
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