The room was filled with cigaret smoke, so filled that you could barely see or even keep your eyes opened.
- I think it’s safe to affirm that there is no such thing as a mental process without being accompanied by a physical one, thus we have a flag.
- By physical process I expect you mean that something moves in our cranium, like an electron from one place to the other, every time you have a thought or make a decision.
- Certainly. But my question is the fallowing: Is the physical process preceding the mental process, or the other way around; the mental process, like having a thought or making a decision, haves a physical effect, a movement in the brain?
- I believe is concomitant, exactly at the same time… And I sense that the physical process, happening by its self, has as effect you having a mental process, like a thought; being just a byproduct.
- I don’t agree… I consider that the physical process is simply a shadow of the mental process. It is happening from up to down sort to speak, despite being concomitant as you sustain. Nevertheless, maybe we approach the problem wrongly.
Hearing this, the glass of whisky was shattered between the fingers, as in not being able to tolerate anymore the discussion about the subject.
- Let’s restate our definition: Consciousness, the ensemble of mental activities, the counciouss experiencing, and not only, is an emergent aspect of matter, of the brain. But my question is, can our consciousness be moved on a computer, experiencing a virtual environment?
- There is no such thing as something to move, a self to be moved per see. Just imagine that your brain activity is slowly reduced until there is no activity. Or better… abruptly reduced.
- At that moment you can say that you are defunct, vanished.
- Yes… But if the neural activity is revived, you would be yourself again, because of your memories encoded in the neural connections. You wouldn’t say that you have been somewhere else; in a fairy land of some sorts and just came back in your body. You were simply absent, no experience of any sort.
- So you say you wouldn’t have a feeling of discontinuity of experience, just like after a very profound sleep; you’ll have the sensation that you have just slept.
- I’m not sure if that would be the sensation…Maybe you’ll just say that an hour just slipped of the clock. But the point is, even if the topology of your brain is obtained at some point, your neural data; replicating your persona in a virtual environment on computer hardwa..
- Is not actually a transfer of your self in the new medium, but just a copy of you as you were at that moment, behaving as you would have been behaving; it wouldn’t be actually you opening your eyes, but a clone of you. But there is no “you” in that sense to start with…
- But that clone would be perfectly sure that is him(him being you), as you are convinced that you are yourself now; because of the memories, being perfectly fine while being informed that is in a virtual environment, living without the prospect of death. He would perfectly remember that once he was in the physical world. He would say that he(you) closed his eyes in the physical world and opened them in the virtual world.
- But I’m not even sure if consciousness… the counciouss experiencing aspect, the act of being aware that you exist, can be based on silicon.
- So replicating computationally just the structure, the topology of the network of cells, the function of each cell, isn’t sufficient to obtain artificial consciousness. The actual physicality, meaning the composition of the brain, the stuff of which the actual cells and synapses are made of, plays an important role.
- You could say that the brain it’s a form of a biological hardware, silicon based hardware being improper to give rise to consciousness; even if the human brain and the traditional computer are both machines performing computations, they differ drastically in composition.