• Bearden
    19
    In a talk between Chalmers and Dennett on the theme of possible minds and AI, Chalmers introduces the concept of the space of all possible minds. "Think about the space of possible minds. It’s absolutely vast, all the minds there ever have been, will be, or could be. Starting with actual minds, you might think there are a lot of actual minds. There have been a hundred billion or so humans with minds of their own. Some pretty amazing minds have been in there: Confucius, Isaac Newton, Jane Austin, Pablo Picasso, Martin Luther King, on it goes. A lot of amazing minds. But still, those hundred billion minds put together [span] just the tiniest corner of the space of possible minds." (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHN_o6RqrHY, 5:06)

    With the exception of this example, I haven't been able to find any discourse on the subject of possible minds or possible conscious experiences. If you know of any literature on this subject it would help me tremendously if you would point me to it.

    The reason I'm asking is that I'm considering writing a paper for a phd program application on the subject. Part of the project I've formulated so far is to attempt to make conclusions about the set of all possible conscious experiences (or else answer why such conclusions cannot be drawn at this time), and to analyze whether those conclusions can give us any constraints on theories of consciousness. I'm evaluating the prospects of using an approach described in Chalmers' Two Dimensional Argument against materialism of "reason[ing] from epistemic premises to modal conclusions (about necessity and possibility), and from there to ontological conclusions." I'm wondering, for example, whether there is a way to get from "it is inconceivable that X" to "'conceiving of X' is not an element of the set of all possible conscious experiences". If you have any insight into this please do share. I appreciate it.
  • tim wood
    2.9k
    the concept of the space of all possible minds.Bearden

    Maybe think about what it is that minds do, that is interesting in this context. Assign numbers, quantify, and then see how big the numbers get.

    For a guess, a mind is akin to a black box, and there may be no profit in approaching its inner workings on this path. That leaves the product of minds, arguably reducible to propositions.

    Hofstadter's Godel, Escher, Bach, an Eternal Golden Braid, works this territory. And Kurt Godel's theorem is remarkably readable, even for a layman. "This remarkable paper is not only an intellectual landmark, but it is written with a clarity and vigor that makes it a pleasure to read." - The Undecidable, Martin Davis Ed. (translator E. Mendelson).

    If by possible minds is merely meant the permutation of about 10^11 brain cells and their interconnectedness, that's just number play.

    As to cataloging "conceivable" ideas and experiences, that would seem at the outset a considerable problem of adequately defining the topic and its terms.
  • SteveKlinko
    387
    In a talk between Chalmers and Dennett on the theme of possible minds and AI, Chalmers introduces the concept of the space of all possible minds. "Think about the space of possible minds. It’s absolutely vast, all the minds there ever have been, will be, or could be. Starting with actual minds, you might think there are a lot of actual minds. There have been a hundred billion or so humans with minds of their own. Some pretty amazing minds have been in there: Confucius, Isaac Newton, Jane Austin, Pablo Picasso, Martin Luther King, on it goes. A lot of amazing minds. But still, those hundred billion minds put together [span] just the tiniest corner of the space of possible minds." (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHN_o6RqrHY, 5:06)

    With the exception of this example, I haven't been able to find any discourse on the subject of possible minds or possible conscious experiences. If you know of any literature on this subject it would help me tremendously if you would point me to it.

    The reason I'm asking is that I'm considering writing a paper for a phd program application on the subject. Part of the project I've formulated so far is to attempt to make conclusions about the set of all possible conscious experiences (or else answer why such conclusions cannot be drawn at this time), and to analyze whether those conclusions can give us any constraints on theories of consciousness. I'm evaluating the prospects of using an approach described in Chalmers' Two Dimensional Argument against materialism of "reason[ing] from epistemic premises to modal conclusions (about necessity and possibility), and from there to ontological conclusions." I'm wondering, for example, whether there is a way to get from "it is inconceivable that X" to "'conceiving of X' is not an element of the set of all possible conscious experiences". If you have any insight into this please do share. I appreciate it.
    Bearden

    Some thoughts on Conscious Space, which may be related to the Space of Possible Minds, can be found at: http://TheInterMind.com
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.