Re: A Universe of Consciousness.

From: Christian Szegedy (
Date: Mon Jul 08 2002 - 03:48:28 MDT

David Cake wrote:

> I find Penroses far more irritating, though. I guess its where
> they end up - Edelman really wants an analogue computer substrate, and
> is just mistaken about how this might be digitally implemented, but
> Penroses reasoning about quantum computing comes uncomfortable close
> to a scientifically literate explanation for a version of vitalism to
> me. He takes all the Chinese room stuff seriously, and then grasps for
> something special about the human brain to justify it, and settle on
> quantum computing because of its known computational properties, but
> his reasoning to get there is very sloppy.
> Regards
> David
At least he does not ignore obvious mathematical facts. I don't know
whether he is right, but I think
sloppy reasoning is much better than merely emotional attitudes. (i.e.
yours) I don't believe
anyone on this list (or at all) could rule out the possibility that
Penrose could be right.

I also think the Chinese room analogy should not be treated as a
complete nonsense. It is
not a strict argument, but, for me, an intuitive hint, that
consciousness may have more substance
than it appears at the first sight.

There is some mystical about self-consciousness (if you meditate about
it a bit),
there is some mystical about quantum mechanics (if you think abbout it a
and there is strong link between these two (phase reduction).
I agree that the reasoning of Penrose is not convincing, because it is
not founded.
I've got the impression that he simply tries to find an explanation how
these appearently
related things (self-consciousness and QM) are really connected. Perhaps
he is wrong in the
details, but there is a good chance that he's got the correct overall

My point : It is not a correct to say that argument A must be wrong
since it is similar to
the wrong statement B (vitalism in your case). This leads to nowhere.

Best regards, Chrtistian

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