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Posted by Paul R. Martin on November 24, 2001 01:17:38 UTC

Hi Alex,

Thanks for answering my question about the difference between your experience of pain and a robot's experience of pain.

It leaves me wondering if there is a difference between the way you experience pain and the way I experience pain. I am convinced there is no way to know, so I won't try to find out.

As for neurobiology, you will not be surprised to learn that I am not sufficiently educated to be able to read and understand a textbook well enough to satisfy my curiosity.

On the other hand, I read Roger Penrose's "The Emperor's New Mind" and "Shadows of the Mind" and I was able to form some fairly firm opinions on the question. Penrose convinced me that there is more to the function of the brain than classical computation.

When you say there is nothing more to consciousness than chemistry (including QM), you allow the possibility of non-classical processes playing a part. Since some of these processes obey mathematical laws only in a statistical sense, it seems to me there is still the possibility that individual quantum actions, are both unpredictable by mathematics and instrumental in the function of thought.

If you are familiar with Penrose's position, you can tell me if I am understanding the implications incorrectly. Otherwise, I think we understand each other about as well as we can without a lot more work on my part. Thank you for your patience and the time you have spent on responding to my posts.

Warm regards,

Paul

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