Consciousness probably does not exist after our braincells stop living, but if we let some form of multiply realizable functionalism be the basis for our emerging selves, then there does not seem to be any logical prohibitions for a consciousness to be able to find some other system to emerge from.

Of course the consciousness has to survive when moving from one machine to another, but, given multiple realizability, that is just a technical problem, similar to the problem of implanting hearts.

Another question is whether this leads to some form of dualism. Accusing philosophers of dualism seems to be a popular way of trying to shut them up, and most philosophers of mind seem to be able to account for how just about every theory but their own lead down that path. And this proposed copying of content from one consciousness-machine to another will most probably lead to the same accusations as any other theory (until dualism is in the vogue again, and the theory will be accused of being materialistic).

Anyway, I believe that consciousness is no more or less than self-awareness, and that (the philosophical term) intentionality is the lower level faculty that consciousness has to be built upon. When the complexity of the Intentional faculties reach some treshold, consciousness will emerge, and there will be free agents (if nature allows)!

consciousness.txt · Last modified: 2011/05/11 03:36 by aksel