Quantity of experience: brain-duplication and degrees of consciousness
First Online: 26 August 2006 Received: 06 December 2005 Accepted: 24 July 2006 DOI:
Cite this article as: Bostrom, N. Minds & Machines (2006) 16: 185. doi:10.1007/s11023-006-9036-0 Abstract
If a brain is duplicated so that there are two brains in identical states, are there then two numerically distinct phenomenal experiences or only one? There are two, I argue, and given computationalism, this has implications for what it is to implement a computation. I then consider what happens when a computation is implemented in a system that either uses unreliable components or possesses varying degrees of parallelism. I show that in some of these cases there can be, in a deep and intriguing sense, a fractional (non-integer) number of qualitatively identical phenomenal experiences. This, in turn, has implications for what lessons one should draw from neural replacement scenarios such as Chalmers’ “Fading Qualia” thought experiment.
Keywords Computation Mind Consciousness Implementation Duplication Fading qualia Chalmers Searle Program Probabilistic Deterministic References
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