- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Siliconisation1' during my Thesis research, as from 2011.
- For the actual time recorded, click on "Paper Statistics" above.
Write-up2 (as at 27/05/2020 19:43:41): Siliconisation
- “Siliconisation” is a name – there may be others – for thought experiments4 such as, Peter Unger’s “zippering5”, the gradual replacement of neural tissue by silicon.
- This is a subtle argument. We don’t – of course – know whether this TE is metaphysically possible. We don’t know whether silicon can sustain consciousness6, though functionalists7 assume that it can. Gradually, it is said, we no longer have a human animal8, but one that will – behaviourally at least – will be indistinguishable from one.
- I think the situation is best viewed as an increasingly mutilated human animal with an ever-growing prosthesis. The term for such is “Cyborg9”.
- I doubt that the silicon would maintain phenomenal consciousness, but just be a “zombie10” simulacrum.
- Any replacement that would maintain phenomenal consciousness would be indistinguishable from natural part-replacement. But I think this is a contingent, empirical matter, a long way off from an answer.
- A question I’ve considered is whether siliconization would preserve the FPP11, irrespective of whether it impacts on consciousness.
- I have included a few papers in the reading list that might naturally be better at home in one or other of my other Notes.
- In this regard, there is also an overlap with – and references from – my Notes on:-
→ Bodily Continuity13
→ Homo Sapiens19,
→ Non-Human Persons20,
- I just note here that “silicon” is used as a proxy for any non-carbon-based intelligence. Germanium, or Qubits might do as well (or better), though quantum-computing might change the game somewhat.
- For a Page of Links23 to this Note, Click here. I included “silicon” in the search, but ignored anything to do with Silicon Valley and the future of silicon as the semi-conductor of choice.
- I’ve found it difficult to come up with a reading list for this topic, though it must be covered in multiple papers. So, I’ve listed anything vaguely relevant.
- Works on this topic that I’ve actually read24, include the following:-
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - When Do Persons Begin and End?", Baker.
- "Claxton (Guy) - Intelligence in the Flesh - Limbering Up: An Introduction", Claxton
- "Haugeland (John) - Programs, causal powers, and intentionality", Haugeland
- "Marshall (John C.) - Artificial Intelligence - the real thing?", Marshall
- "Pigliucci (Massimo) - Consciousness is real", Pigliucci
- "Price (Huw), Cave (Stephen), Iida (Fumiya), Etc. - Preparing for the future: artificial intelligence and us: Part 1", Price, Etc.
- "Searle (John) - Breaking the Hold: Silicon Brains, Conscious Robots and Other Minds", Searle
- "Searle (John) - Minds, Brains, and Programs: Author's Response to Peer Review", Searle
- "Thomas (Janice L.) - The identity theory", Thomas
- A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
- "Campbell (Neil) - Anomalous Monism", Campbell
- "Chalmers (David) - Absent Qualia, Fading Qualia, Dancing Qualia", Chalmers
- "Olson (Eric) - What Are We? Brains", Olson
- "Papineau (David) - Prospects for the Scientific Study of Phenomenal Consciousness", Papineau
- This is mostly a place-holder25.
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (27/05/2020 19:43:41).
- Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020