Re: [asa] (asa) Re: Robot Minds

From: Murray Hogg <>
Date: Thu Dec 10 2009 - 14:12:50 EST

> Hi all,
> Bernie writes:
> "Consider:
> 1. A robot with power turned off.
> 2. A robot with power on and doing his programmed dance.
> Physically, they are 100% the same. No parts were added or removed."
> Tehcnically, that's not true. In step #2 you're adding energy to the mechanical medium. Therefore, the two scenarios are not physically the same.
> In Christ,
> Christine

Which would appear to bring us to the crux of the problem.

I think we would all broadly agree that consciousness is the product of brain + something else - just as a dancing robot is the product of "robot + power".

The question would be: what is this "something else"?

And as an observation it seems that Bernie's robot analogy only works if one assumes reductive materialism.

Sure, it MIGHT be the case that consciousness is just an emergent property of brain - just the "robotic dance" we get when we apply power to the circuits. But it might also be something else again - something for which there ARE no good materialistic analogies because it's not a materialistic process. In which case, hypothetical arguments about artificial intelligence and robot consciousness would simply be shooting wide of the mark.


To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Thu Dec 10 14:13:25 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Thu Dec 10 2009 - 14:13:25 EST