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Afterthoughts on Observer-relativity…

After today’s class I started to think more about this observer-relativity. According to the definition, something is observer-relative if it would not exist if minds did not exist. Or that the something COULD still exist (I think this version is more valid). But, what I was thinking about was: by the word “mind” are we speaking of “consciousness”? Or of the “brain”?

It has been argued that intelligence can exist independent of consciousness (as, for example, when we drive home without thinking about it). So, if for observer-relativity if we were to equate “mind” with “consciousness” we would be saying that we can still be intelligent without having a concept of semantics? (I’m assuming that consciousness is a prerequisite for semantic usage – or even syntactical awareness for that matter.) Furthermore, in the development of artificial intelligence – assuming we don’t need a conscious robot to produce intelligence – how can we expect the robot to grasp semantics? The artificial being would not have any sense of meaning – but only syntactical application.

This dualist sense of consciousness seems like a problem to me.

McDermott speaks of an objective computer, which seems to be a more monist approach to the issue of consciousness…

-RW

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