Re: Uploading

Hagbard Celine (
Sun, 13 Jul 1997 11:12:27 -0400

Hara Ra wrote:

> = Definition: Consciousness
> = A system is conscious if:
> = 1. It is capable of lingusitic communication (it can talk)
> = 2. It can discuss its own existence (it knows it exists)

Why does the ability to talk have anything to do with consciousness? A
computer can talk, but someone with cerebral palsy might not be so able.
Hobbes (?) would agree that the use of language is what separates man
from animal. I don't think he went so far as to say it is what makes us

As far as the second criteria, I agree that self-awareness is necessary
to consciousness, indeed I think it is the definition of consciousness.

In order to be self-aware, a system must have two things 1) will and 2)

Will is the ability to self-direct (L. volo) according to one's own

Power is the abilitiy to warp (L. inflecto) the normal course of events.
If something exists it by definition must have a certain measure of

> = -------------------------
> = The second condition is the tough one, of course. Let me propose a
> = Turing style test by saying that a human using a teletype could not
> = distinguish between a human (or other system presumed to be known as
> = conscious) and the system under test, with the discussion limited to
> the
> = topics we usually consider to be "about consciousness". If that is too
> = general, how about "experience of existence".

So a system is self-aware if it can discuss its experiences? I think the
more distilled version of this is if a system can understand and use the
first person singular. I think, I feel, I did, I was, etc.