Friday, June 24, 2011

I Am a Strange Loop -- Conclusion

      In an interesting twist, in chapter 22 Hofstadter reveals that David Chalmers was a doctoral student of his.  It so happens that Chalmers has made a career out of taking positions opposed to that of his former advisor.  Chalmers is a champion of philosophical zombie thought experiments.  Chalmers lectures on the notion that an unconscious copy of each of us is conceivable: it may take an alternate universe, but it is conceivable.  As a result, there is a gap between the physical and mental.  Hofstadter does a lot of poking good-natured fun at his former student, but he never adduces a single argument of any power.

     In the end, I am a strange loop, as interesting a read as it has been, has not convinced me ot any of Hofstadter's distinctive positions; I have to say I agree more with John Searle.  In the end, and here I disagree with John Searle, I am pessimistic we will be able understand consciousness beyond the level of correlation with physical substrates; I suspect it is a limitation of our condition.

1 comment:

  1. Yes to last two clauses of last sentence. Dad

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