X-Message-Number: 8321
Subject: Consciousness defined?
Date: Mon, 16 Jun 1997 10:08:23 -0400
From: "Perry E. Metzger" <>

> From: Hara Ra <>
> > From: "Perry E. Metzger" <>
> > Absent a definition, its hard to even begin reasoning about the
> > property. Things which are so slippery that they have no good
> > definition should arouse our suspicion.
> > 
> OK. Let's get some definitions going here. Get out your nits and pick
> away, but the price to join the picking is to offer a definition of your
> own:
> -------------------------
> Definition: Consciousness
> A system is conscious if:
> 	1. It is capable of lingusitic communication (it can talk)
> 	2. It can discuss its own existence (it knows it exists)
> -------------------------

Well, at this point, as you agree that passing the Turing test means
something is conscious, so your definition isn't "interesting" in the
sense that it isn't a definition that a number of members of the local
"the Turing test can't possibly test for consciousness" crowd would
agree to. *I* don't have any trouble with the Turing test, mind you,
but *they* do. So long as *THEY* won't define what they mean by
"Consciousness" it is a problem discussing the question with *them*.


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