Re: Qualia and the Galactic Loony Bin

Harvey Newstrom (
Mon, 21 Jun 1999 18:06:50 -0400

I answered your new examples in a separate posting, but I must ask, "Why continue with this thought experiment?" I have stated that it is obvious that the disembodied neurons are inanimate objects. They do not trigger, communicate, experience or "think" except as controlled by the engineers of your experiment. How can you call this brain conscious by any stretch of the definition? This "brain" can't hold an independent thought. It cannot answer any question until the engineers determine the answer and physically manipulate the neurons to trigger that answer. How can you claim that the "brain" is doing anything if your example requires other humans to perform the function first?

I don't think that leading me down the slippery slope of varying levels of brains will help explain the situation. Why don't you answer objections to your first thought experiment before going on to build further thought experiments?

Harvey Newstrom <mailto://> <>
Author, Consultant, Engineer, Legal Hacker, Researcher, Scientist.

----- Original Message -----
From: Lee Daniel Crocker < (none)>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, June 21, 1999 4:26 pm
Subject: Re: Qualia and the Galactic Loony Bin

> > I see no part of this scenario that makes me feel that the dismantled
> > 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
> > dead brain's functions among a lot of people, each who do the function
> > 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, [....]