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Old 05-20-2019, 01:11 PM
RaftPeople is offline
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Originally Posted by Half Man Half Wit View Post
If I understand you correctly, then this reply doesn't work: what matters with respect to the environment is what I've earlier on called the stimulus-response behavior; but that's just given by a line of causality connecting both. The computation, such as it is, doesn't change it, but---again---is merely an interpretive gloss over and above the physical behavior.

So in my box example, stimuli come in the form of switch flips, and responses are given in the form of lights either lighting up or not. No matter what computation I take the system to perform, this stimulus-response behavior remains the same; so the interaction with the environment is blind towards anything else.

The same goes for things like the circadian rhythm. Nothing is, ultimately, being computed; it's merely the physical evolution in response to causal factors that triggers, say, time-sensitive hormone release. Picture one of these old wind-up kitchen timers: they don't compute the time to ring, the spring merely winds down after a certain time (response), provided it's been wound up (stimulus).

But, how do we know consciousness isn't just a set of transformations that just happen to help the machine successfully respond to it's environment in the same way that the circadian rhythm function does? It may feel to us like it's something more, but maybe it's not.