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Cognition

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Gödel's incompleteness theorem has been used to claim that the human mind cannot be modeled with a computer. The outline of the argument is that humans have an inexplicable ability to intuitively recognize certain statements as true, even though, per Gödel's theorem, we have no logical basis to know such statements are true. The argument was first proposed by John Lucas in 1959, and since then many philosophers, mathematicians, and cognitive scientists have argued for and against his reasoning.
Scientists seek to understand how lower level functions of the brain such as neurons firing relate to higher level functions of the brain such as language comprehension and complex feelings such as love. Objectors claim the reductionist approach is flawed in principle.
A technological singularity is a super-human intelligence made possible by technological advances. Several technologies are potentially heading in this direction, the most notable being artificial intelligence, but also others such as computer-brain interfaces and genetic engineering. Such an intelligence could in turn create an even greater intelligence, leading to an explosive, unpredictable, but undoubtably radical change to society.
Information-theoretic death is defined as the moment when the neural structures in your brain are destroyed. At that point, it becomes theoretically impossible to bring a person back to life. Some philosophers and scientists regard this as a more real interpretation of death than legal death.
Optimism is an attitude where a person believes things will generally turn out well, often with the assumption that the mindset is self-fulfilling. In contrast, realists (often viewed by optimists as pessimists) tend to believe that the optimists' wishful thinking leads to broken expectations and bad consequences.
The philosophical zombie is a hypothetical person whose behavior is indistinguishable from an ordinary person, but who lacks conscious experience. The zombie might say "the strawberry is red" but they would not experience the qualia of red, that is, the sensation of red. Some philosophers allege that the theoretical possibility of such a zombie undermines physicalism.
Peripheral theorists in the study of consciousness have suggested that quantum mechanical phenomena (e.g. superpositions, entanglement) may be required to explain the workings of the human mind. Skeptics suggest that there is no reason to go to a substantially lower level than a neural network for an explanation of the mind, and that neurons are orders of magnitude too large to be affected by such quantum events.
Art is a form of expression that is purely creative with the purpose of stimulating our imagination rather than being obviously useful to us. Art is often used synonymously with visual art, but the term also applies more generally to other mediums, such as music, literature, and dance. Anyone who is passionate about art feels that there is good art and bad art, but is that feeling objectively justifiable in any way?
Anyone who is passionate about music feels that there is good music and bad music, but is that feeling objectively justifiable in any way?
Whether it's ignorance or a lack of intelligence, the older generation often thinks the younger generation embodies it. With respect to intelligence, at least some empirical studies seem to validate the youthful, showing that the average IQ of the population increases over time at about 3 points per decade (though recently it appears to have stagnated). This has prompted researchers to investigate the underlying causes and whether there is an issue with how intelligence is measured.
Time Magazine
...even though it sounds like science fiction, it isn't, no more than a weather forecast is science fiction. It's not a fringe idea; it's a serious hypothesis about the future of life on Earth. There's an intellectual gag reflex that kicks in anytime you try to swallow an idea that involves super-intelligent immortal cyborgs, but suppress it if you can, because while the Singularity appears to be, on the face of it, preposterous, it's an idea that rewards sober, careful evaluation.
George Orwell
In reality there is no kind of evidence or argument by which one can show that Shakespeare, or any other writer, is "good". .... Ultimately there is no test of literary merit except survival, which is itself an index to majority opinion. Artistic theories such as Tolstoy's are quite worthless, because they not only start out with arbitrary assumptions, but depend on vague terms ("sincere", "important" and so forth) which can be interpreted in any way one chooses.
Martin Gardner
I belong to a small group of thinkers called the "mysterians". ... We mysterians are persuaded that no computer of the sort we know how to build—that is, one made with wires and switches—will ever cross a threshold to become aware of what it is doing. No chess program, however advanced, will know it is playing chess anymore than a washing machine knows it is washing clothes.
Steven Weinberg
Some nonscientists seize on certain developments in modern physics that suggest the unpredictability of natural phenomena, such as the advent of quantum mechanics or chaos theory, as signs of a turn away from determinism, of the sort that would make an opening for divine intervention or an incorporeal soul. These theories have forced us to refine our view of determinism, but not I think in any way that has implications for human life.
Paul Z. Myers
Neuroscience does not propose that molecules merely combine randomly in the brain. There's also the additional element of organization. ... The salt and water and membrane aren't conscious, but they do generate patterns of activity that contribute to that property of the whole brain, consciousness.
David Chalmers
Will there be a singularity? I think that it is certainly not out of the question, and that the main obstacles are likely to be obstacles of motivation rather than obstacles of capacity.
Deepak Chopra
...the brain being a physical organ cannot process real creativity as per Gödel's Theorem ... or even have free will.
David Chalmers
...the assumption that we know we are sound leads to a contradiction. [This is] the deepest flaw [in Penrose's position]. ... A reader who is not convinced by Penrose's Gödelian arguments is left with little reason to accept his claims that physics is noncomputable and that quantum processes are essential to cognition...
Robin Hanson
Reviewers [of Penrose] knowledgeable about Godel's work ... have simply pointed out that an axiom system can infer that if its axioms are self-consistent, then its Godel sentence is true. An axiom system just can't determine its own self-consistency. But then neither can human mathematicians know whether the axioms they explicitly favor (much less the axioms they are formally equivalent to) are self-consistent. Cantor and Frege's proposed axioms of set theory turned out to be inconsistent...

New Comments

0 Points       dionisos       22 Aug 2016     Could a computer ever be conscious? Agree
Yes, we are one example.

0 Points       dionisos       22 Aug 2016     Is the unconscious philosophical zombie possible? Agree
It could seem strange to some, to imagine philosophical zombies talking about consciousness, the important thing to understand, is that they wouldn’t really be speaking about consciousness.
It is only us, seeing the thing with a external conscious view, that put concepts on the words they use.

Their brain would contain the exact same model of themselves that our brain, with the same self-referential structures, they would speak about consciousness (in the exact same way i did) because of these self-referential structures, but without any conscious understanding of it.

I am not speaking of consciousness because i have consciousness, i am speaking of consciousness because of the self-referential structures in my brain.
So, how am i able to speak differently of my consciousness and of my brain self-referential structures ?

I am NOT capable of it, i am only going one level up in the self-referential structures.

Without the self-referential structures, i would not be able to speak at all about consciousness, but it would not mean i am less conscious, i would still have a subjective reality, but i would not be able to understand that, because there would be no self-referential structure in this subjectivity.
When you correctly understand the first level : being conscious without any understanding of it, without any way to speak about it, you can understand the level up, when there is self-referential structures, which create a understanding in the subjective reality, but is still not equal to the self-referential structures.

0 Points       MTC       23 Feb 2013     Is the unconscious philosophical zombie possible? Disagree
No, there is no difference between a philosophical zombie and a normal person.

0 Points       MTC       23 Feb 2013     Could a computer ever be conscious? Agree
It is theoretically possible, given powerful enough computers (among other requirements), to create a computer replica of the human brain in enough detail to emulate the consciousness of a human being. If that was done, the computer would be, in every way that matters, conscious.

0 Points       MTC       23 Feb 2013     Is a technological singularity likely? Agree
The question makes no mention of time. Given enough time, one of the definitions of the singularity will happen, it is inevitable.

0 Points       MTC       23 Feb 2013     Is information-theoretic death the most real interpretation of death? Agree
Of course. You are not dead until it becomes completely impossible to revive you, independent of currently available technology.

0 Points       Nashhinton       23 Jan 2013     Is optimism rational? Mostly Agree
Optimism increases mental health and decreases anxiety. In this sense, it can augment rational thinking especially if someone is taking a test during class. However in certain scenarios, "optimism bias", as it is so called, can deceive someone to see life through rose colored glasses or to analyze possible events with sheer delusional anticipation.

0 Points       Benja       23 Nov 2011     Are people getting stupider? General Comment
"However, I would say that willful ignorance is more rampant and more abundant than ever before"
See The Good Old Days Pitch.

0 Points       Nashhinton       23 Nov 2011     Are people getting stupider? Mostly Disagree
According to the Flynn effect, people living across the world are dramatically increasing their IQ. The reason for this is possibly because of an increase in online education or better nutrition for people living in 3rd world nations. However, I would say that willful ignorance is more rampant and more abundant than ever before. But of course, ignorance and intelligence are two different things.

By the way "stupider" isn't a word.

0 Points       Nashhinton       06 Oct 2011     Is a technological singularity likely? Mostly Agree
The technological singularity is likely to happen in the middle of the 21st Century.

1 Point       Brian Smith       17 Aug 2011     Could a computer ever be conscious? General Comment
Does a human have consciousness?
Your current consciousness is made up of absorbed data and experiences.

Does a Computer have consciousness?
A computer Absorbs data through a webcam, collects data through the microphone ect.
Does it think or not think?
The microphone will adjust the level of volume, based upon the level of input. Is that via choice? Did it decide to do that? Is it conscious because it changed its settings? A lot of people would say that a person is different from a computer, because they can think.

Well, defining thinking? I could say that the computer is thinking because its taking my voice and adjusting the volume accordingly. Its no different from a human thinking about having chicken tonight instead of pork. Or thinking about going to go pay there bill, or do whatever. Its ultimately just a more complex version of a computer. A program response. Functioning under the specific programs, one has accumulated from there upbringing and society.

If you ask someone a question and they give you a response, does that make them conscious? No. its still a function. Based on a programmed thought process.
When the computer adjusts its volume automatically. Who defined what level of sound would be ‘medium’. it was programmed with a opinion of someone’s idea, of what they thought ‘medium’ was.

We are all programmed with different opinions based on our individual life experiences. Ultimately our decision is made by someone else. Parent values/political values ect. Which were programmed into us, though out the years. No different from a computer being programmed.

Humans are not conscious. They Automate through life.
When your on the computer can you see outside of it? The wall behind it? can you feel the chair your sitting on? the temperature of the room, the breeze as it touches your skin? Are you aware of your body right now?
No, your completely absorbed in the reading these words. Your not aware of any of those things, unless its brought to your attention.

Bio-chemical organic reactions are patterned sequences the body learns to repeat. Such as seeing the face of a romantic partner, you feel overwhelmed with love because the brain releases a specific sequence of bio-chemicals every time you see that particular person. When that person goes away for a work trip for example you will withdraw from the emotional high your used to experiencing from having that person around and having them trigger that sequence. so the brain adapts by releasing a depressive combination of chemical reactions so that you (the combination of personality which make up your automated consciousness) go out of your way to resolve this problem by calling your partner or asking them to come home etc. So the body can have its 'love high' pattern repeated, which its become accustomed too.

Emotion is a programmed behavioral response for humans, just like it is for robots.
The human body is an organic machine.
Robots with equal intelligence to humans deserve equal rights.

0 Points       Benja       06 Apr 2011     Is the unconscious philosophical zombie possible? General Comment
"software instructs the hardware what to do"

Does your mind/consciousness instruct your brain what to do?


Cognition Question Index

Is a technological singularity likely?
Is the unconscious philosophical zombie possible?
Is "good" art purely subjective?
Could a computer ever be conscious?
Is quantum mechanics needed to explain consciousness?
Can reductionist methods help explain consciousness?
Do Gödellian arguments refute a computational model of the mind?
Is information-theoretic death the most real interpretation of death?
Is optimism rational?
Are people getting stupider?
Is "good" music purely subjective?
Are there 500 Eskimo words for snow?