If we were getting different information, our conscious experience would be different. If we had infra-red receptors, the world would look different to us.

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]]>There’s a mathematical theory of how to reconstruct a topological space from the properties of the continuous functions on that space. The classical book on this is Gillman & Jerison: “Rings of continuous functions” (I am not suggesting that you buy the book). The idea would be that our perceptual system constructs functions on reality (such a redness) which we use in observing the world.

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]]>So we could ask how does the mind of the scientist seem to find a consistency in his observations ? Can it all be in the mind ? Surely not there must be something ordered going on in the world.

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]]>If chess was a logic game then how can computers play so well ? they are only number crunchers.

Computers are logic machines. Many of the basic components of the computer are logic gates (AND gates and OR gates, for example). The computer does arithmetic because logic can be used to do arithmetic.

We can also ask since we know that humans cannot carry out millions of calculations per second how do they play chess?

Some people (philosophers and AI theorists) hold the view that the human brain is actually doing millions of calculations per second. I disagree view. I think the human chess player is using a geometric model of the chess board and pieces, and does only a small amount of logic about particular moves that he can contemplate.

Is consciousness required for logic ?

It is widely agreed that computers can do logic. So no, consciousness is not required. However, there is also disagreement about what we mean by logic. Some people equate logic with human thinking. And human thinking is conscious activity.

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]]>A few of the higher mammals react to the mirror test but I’m not too sure what that signifies.

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]]>Chess is a logic game, and computers do logic very well. But chess is also somewhat of a geometric game. And humans are better at geometric thinking. A good chess player combines logic with geometric thinking. The computer mainly uses the logic, but it can do that at very high speed.

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]]>Regarding computers Penrose stands out as not believing they have , or will have , consciousness in the future.

An interesting example is the game of chess which they now play far better than any human players , yet smart humans have composed chess problems they cannot solve. The inference Penrose makes is that humans play chess computers simply calculate at phenomenal speeds. ]]>

I sometimes think of Einstein’s thought experiments on relativity. And I see those as thinking about measuring and observing behavior, as in measuring and observing mass, force, length, time. You probably look at it as thinking about the concepts of mass, force, length and time. And maybe that’s not really very much different from how I look at it. Our concepts are connected with our behavior.

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