Re: Chalmers: Computational Foundation

From: HARNAD Stevan (
Date: Mon Mar 26 2001 - 17:13:30 BST

On Thu, 22 Mar 2001, Joe Hudson wrote:

> Hudson
> Well if there is a performance requirement in real-time functionality
> then its not implementation independent is it? If it is not then it
> can't be pure computation can it?

Actually, others have singled out real-time processing constraints as
implying that cognition may not be implementation-independent
computation. But that just sounds like it's waiting for more speed and
capacity, rather than something different from computation itself.

> Hudson
> I wasn't talking about THOUGHTS of the "I am feeling X" kind. I was
> refering to FEELINGS that can only be described using words as "I am
> feeling X". I quite agree being able to reflect on being able to reflect,
> or on a particular feeling is unnecessary for something to feel.
> If a pinch causes pain to a worm then a pinch means pain to a worm. The
> meaning IS the feeling in this case.

I can't quite follow your point. A worm feels, right? If we could get a
computer to feel too, a lot of our problems (about whether it's really
thinking, really intelligent, really has a mind) would be solved.

So, in a nutshell, the answer to the question "Is the computer really
thinking, or just performing as if it were thinking?" is: "If it's
feeling, it's thinking; if not, not."

> Hudson
> There needs to be a 'sense' (not
> necessarily a reflective thought!) of self for a creature to feel.
> The creature must associate the feeling with itself (again not
> necessarily at the "cogito ergo sum" level) or rather the creature's
> experience of feeling is fused with its identity (conscious or not).

I don't know what all this means. It seems to me all a system needs in
order to feel is to feel! All these other conditions sound like

> Hudson
> I say awareness starts with self-awareness but by self-awareness I don't
> mean the ability to reflect on ones own existence, I mean the 'sense' of
> existence, and the existence of an identity.

But I don't understand what you mean. Can you translate it into the
language of feeling -- but without making any extra speculative

> Hudson
> I agree this feeling ability is what gives us minds but not what makes us
> intelligent.

How about:

T3 capacity + feeling


T3 capacity - feeling


Stevan Harnad

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