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How Virtual Machinery Can Bridge the “Explanatory Gap

By Aaron Sloman


We can now show in principle how evolution could have produced the “mysterious ” aspects of consciousness if, like engineers in the last six or seven decades, it had to solve increasingly complex problems of representation and control by producing systems with increasingly abstract, but effective, mechanisms, including self-observation capabilities, implemented in non-physical virtual machines which, in turn, are implemented in lower level physical mechanisms. For this, evolution would have had to produce far more complex virtual machines than human engineers have so far managed, but the key idea might be the same. However it is not yet clear whether the biological virtual machines could have been implemented in the kind of discrete technology used in computers as we know them. Keywords

Topics: Architecture, Body, Causation, Cognition, Consciousness, Darwin, Designer Stance, Evolution, Explanatory Gap, Huxley, Mind, Virtual Machinery
Year: 2013
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