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← The raw deal of determinism and reductionism

Steve Zara's Avatar Jump to comment 246 by Steve Zara

Comment 233 by Bernard Hurley

I have a computer that can print stuff out but it has no scanner or ocr software so it cannot read the stuff. It can print out a spreadsheet and then print out the message 'This is a print out of a spreadsheet'. It can go on and then print out a pie chart based on this information and print out 'This is a print out of the a pie chart based on the print out of the spreadsheet'. Now just how did the printout's knowledge about itself get into the printout?

That's not the argument. That is a coincidental truth. You will see that for much of the time I have been using the phrase "justified belief", a belief based on evidence and reason, not one that is co-incidentally true.

For me, this whole argument is about beliefs and why we have them, and how we can justify positions based on evidence and reason. We base beliefs about consciousness on introspection. That would be equivalent to the computer using its scanner and ocr software.

In order for the system to justifiably have a belief that there is a print out of the pie chart, it would have to have evidence that the print out actually came into existence - it would have to have used the scanner and ocr software.

The only way we can have any confidence that something is (1) real and (2) what we think it is is to have actual evidence for it.

Sun, 22 Jul 2012 13:54:36 UTC | #949832