[Wittrs] Re: I Experience in Ordinary Language

  • From: "SWM" <SWMirsky@xxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 07 Mar 2010 03:43:13 -0000

--- In Wittrs@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Gordon Swobe <wittrsamr@...> wrote:
<snip>

> I think our favorite philosopher Searle will agree that we cannot assign 
> consciousness based only on speech behavior. We need also look at the 
> physical structure of the supposed conscious person.
>
> If that person reports subjective experiences and if that person also has a 
> nervous system like ours and sense organs like ours then we may conclude 
> rightly that the person has a conscious mind.
>
> -gts

Actually, as I recall, Searle is on record as saying that there would be no 
basis for suggesting that an alien with what appeared to be green slime in its 
head (or whatever passes for that) wasn't conscious if it acted in a conscious 
way. While he presumes there is some physical arrangement that makes 
consciousness possible, he doesn't take the stand that there can only be one 
type of arrangement, namely brains or what we take to be brain-like, that can 
do it. I don't recall the source of this example but it is probably to be found 
in one of the following:

Minds, Brains and Science
Language, Mind and Society
The Mystery of Consciousness
Language and Consciousness

I recall him making this point and these are the main books of his touching on 
questions of consciousness in any substantial way that I've read so I'm 
guessing it's in one or more of these that I saw that particular reference.

SWM

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