5 Answers

  1. And how does a person generally have a problem with the definition of consciousness in other people?

    Q has been pushing the topic of solipsism and philosophical zombies for several months now, and in those months not a single author of questions on this topic (and sometimes it seems that it really is one person asking the same thing) has explained: what good is it if we get an answer to this question?

    Because in practical terms, this question does not make sense. If you really think that everyone around you is a zombie, just try to act as if other people are unconscious and will not do anything to you for, for example, going into their house and taking their things. Just try it – and you will see so much consciousness in their eyes that there will be no more doubts.

    And since practically this issue is solved quite simply – by checking-it is not clear what is the point of talking about it.

  2. I can't say about the sensations. Regarding consciousness, it can be defined based on its functions, phenomenologically. Evolutionarily, consciousness is an instrument of adaptation and survival of an organism. Therefore, consciousness allows you to solve complex problems, adapt to new situations and, ideally, anticipate some consequences of certain events and actions. One of the most difficult tasks is the ability to communicate effectively. Those who can do this may be endowed with consciousness. This is the Turing criterion. Maybe because this condition is necessary, but maybe not enough. Computers with modern algorithms already cope with a number of similar tasks, and the presence of qualia in them is a big question. On the other hand, people who have qualia by default do not always solve such problems. I.e., the consciousness of a living being manifests itself on a set of phenomena that, on the one hand, are a subset of phenomena that satisfy the Turing criterion, and at the same time are accompanied by qualia (see the picture about the Turing criterion in Wikipedia). However, I would also add that technical tools, sign systems, knowledge and writing allow us to think much more efficiently and behave more consciously, which in principle indicates that for consciousness, data and the algorithmic component are significantly more important than the presence of qualia. Moreover, mathematical reasoning is much easier to perform on paper or in a computer, rather than in the mind. That is, qualia is not effective enough as a thinking medium, and modern advances in our consciousness would be impossible without writing and instrumental mathematical calculations. So it turns out that qualia is primary and absolutely necessary in the context of sensations, but secondary in the context of consciousness, and computers can be arbitrarily intelligent. If we assume that consciousness manifests itself as self-reflection and self-reflection, i.e., the ability to accumulate and use one's own thought experience, then any computer with a memory of its own states and efficient algorithms that use such data has something similar to reflection (neural networks, for example). Although it is not a fact that consciousness can be reduced to reflection, and that reflection is not a consequence and only one of the manifestations of consciousness.

    Continuing, we can probably add that we call consciousness a set of psychic abilities that may or may not have one common source. If they have one such source, then a computer that reproduces individual mental abilities using separate algorithms, and applying them alternately, may exhibit intelligent behavior, but it will only be a collection of models of individual parts of consciousness, not having consciousness in the usual sense. But for this artificial consciousness, as well as for an external observer, such a difference may not actually be significant. If a person has an artificial leg, i.e. his body is assembled from parts according to purely functional criteria, like artificial consciousness in the discussion above, then for this person there may not be a significant difference between the leg and the prosthesis after a while, if they are comparably effective in the set of tasks for which they are needed. At the same time, a satisfactory result does not require their complete indistinguishability, as in the idea of a “philosophical zombie”. Complete indistinguishability may not be technically possible. It may not be possible due to the fallacy of the zombie idea itself. Therefore, it is important to understand that it may not be required. Animals have a different brain, a different efficiency, but nevertheless have consciousness (higher primates for sure). So for consciousness in the absolute similarity with a person philosophical zombie is not necessary.

    In conclusion, the following conclusion: qualia is a natural unavoidable property of a person, his nervous system. And consciousness is a function of the nervous system. Artificially reproduce qualia as a property, you can probably only understand its mechanism. And it is probably possible to artificially reproduce a function, i.e. consciousness, by any sufficiently effective technical means.

  3. The brain has several “intelligent” layers.

    For a life like a cat or mountain goat, there are enough deep layers of the brain (which are similar to the brain of amphibians), when we are guided by deep instincts – to survive, to eat, to assess the danger: – to fight or run,or to hide.

    For life in the pack, the upper parts of the cerebral cortex are already involved, which also unconsciously force us to fight for the best place in the pack – closer to the hearth and food, so as not to get hungry. And closer to the chieftain, so that they don't send him to slaughter or leave him to finish his scraps.

    And this is also consciousness. Staynoe.

    For a person, Awareness is more important.

    A person can be guided either by his “cockroaches” (psychologists can also call them Patterns, and esotericists-egregors, or spirits, or even demons, when something “pisses us off”)

    Or a person can consciously choose how to react right now. Well, an example of conscious behavior is when we pass a test and honestly try to find the right answer, moving our rusty convolutions.

    So, according to research by British scientists, 98% of people in 99% of the waking time act automatically, that is, guided by their habits and patterns. ))

    And how can you tell who is acting consciously and who is acting automatically?

    That is the Que!

    As Hamlet put the question in the pre-Petrine era.

  4. I know what is called the term “qualia “(a synthetic mixed abstracted term denoting” representations “of any kind formed in” consciousness”), but I do not know what it is (“nature “does not know” qualia”, neither do I).

    I understand what “images” are (sensory, mental: “horse”, “movement”, “space” , etc.) and I understand what “emotional assessments” are (“Wow”, “good”, “beautiful”, etc.). Alas, even within each group there is very different and formed in different ways.

    If you need information specifically “about how qualia work”, then it is better not to read further (I will talk about images mainly, because” emotional assessments ” can be made by both annelids and even amoebas).

    “Consciousness” is also a mixed term that includes a lot of completely different processes (from the initial processing of an image, to the semantic operation of its relationships and the synthesis of a new semantic construct involving this image). The PC or smartphone on which you typed the question can also do most of them.

    Therefore, I will continue to use the term “mind” (more intuitive).

    Let's see what the computer can already do (hereinafter referred to as “comp”):

    • Build images (images) of any kind according to formal rules (from images and verbal constructions, to sound and even algorithmic ones, including their mixtures in static and motion). Almost any movie (cartoon) will show you this clearly.
      • According to some formal rules, it is situational to process, branch, and control various images in a common “environment”. An example is any interactive video game (there are a lot of them now).

    Is the Copm endowed with intelligence (or even “consciousness”) in your opinion? – In my opinion, definitely not.

    It performs only “programmed” actions (roughly unconditional and / or conditioned reflexes = formalized symbolic connections that can be implemented even by a “system of levers and gears”).

    But we have described the work with images that goes far beyond the scope of “qualia”! Hence my conclusion – all of the above is purely formalized processes (including” qualia”) already implemented hardware-algorithmically (technically) by people and it is clear that reason (and even an indefinite” consciousness”) is not observed in them.

    Now let's ask ourselves what the computer can't do? – They do not know how to “understand” (what they do and why they do it), make sense of images and their actions, make meaningful decisions, etc.

    What is “meaning”? – This is, roughly speaking, a life purpose (“things”, images of things, actions, decisions, etc.).

    Maybe this will help us “emotional assessment” that we “forgot”?

    Yes, of course, if I start insulting you, for example (meaningfully, to humiliate you, to “assert myself” at the expense of this, for example) then you will be “bad”, and I (if I manage to do what I want) will be “good”. Please note that you may perceive my actions as devoid of any common sense (rudeness) or simply “gratuitous”, and I will very much ” see “meaning in them. I.e., some connection of “emotions” with meaning can be traced. But will this meaning be the purpose of life? No, only by ” assignment “(actions with a goal). A goal doesn't always make sense in life.

    You've probably heard it said, ” Love your enemies, bless those who curse you…” At first glance, it's funny (some kind of foolishness). But if you understand that negative emotions strongly interfere with understanding not only the meanings but also more primitive goals and reasons, then it turns out that someone who loves even his enemies is able to understand the whole gamut of the semantic content of the situation. Sorry for the small digression (just an important “thing”).

    The simplest emotions (pain, fear, hunger, etc.) can be “programmed” (by creating a system of criteria for them). But how to create a system of criteria, for example, “insults” to check the situation for compliance – if it fits with “insult” then- “good”, if not – “bad”? – Try to figure out how to formally distinguish, without understanding the meaning of what was said (and therefore formulate criteria), for example, two phrases (in them I replaced “forbidden word” with “dark-skinned”):

    • “A dark-skinned monkey that broke its tail in a fall from a tree.”
    • “I'm black and proud of it.”

    Did you understand that emotions, although somehow connected with the capabilities of the mind, do not determine it?

    Twitch, for example, will automatically ban both phrases, just because they are “unformalizable”.

    I have a very simple criterion – if something is able to understand situational life meanings, then it has at least the rudiments of reason (consciousness), if not, then not. The level of intelligence is determined by the level and complexity of meaningful constructions that the creature can process and “build”. But this is a different and very difficult topic, I'm sorry.

  5. This is what Thomas Metzinger tells us in great detail, or at least tries to tell us, in the book “Brain Science and the Myth of the Self. Ego Tunnel”. Here you can get acquainted with its main ideas.

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