RE: Consciousness and falsifiability

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Fri May 28 2004 - 10:39:31 MDT

> >It does not address the question of the "ultimate reality"
> >of the reported experiential phenomena.
> I agree, it does not tell you if the subjects are actually
> conscious or not. So what's the point?
> John K Clark


Are you saying there is no point in understanding the relationship
between brain-dynamics (human or AI) and the reported experience of the
mind embodied in that brain?

Personally, I think it's clear why this is interesting for science and
AI engineering.

But if this doesn't interest you, of course, you're welcome to your own
disinterest ;-)

I don't think that "whether consciousness really exists" is a scientific
question, I think it's a philosophical question. This doesn't make it
meaningless. I don't think that "whether gravity really exists" is a
scientific question either. I think that science is about finding
patterns between observations, and creating theories that explain these
patterns. We can say "the assumption that consciousness exists is
useful in understanding or predicting these observed patterns" but that
doesn't mean consciousness "really exists", and it doesn't mean someone
can't argue that the assumption isn't useful.

-- Ben G

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