Grush's framework has epistemological implications and explains how it is possible to acquire offline empirical knowledge. It also complements the extended-mind thesis, which says that mind leaks into the world. Grush's framework suggests that the world leaks into the mind through the offline deployment of emulators that we usually deploy in our experience of the world.
How can a pain wake you up? You were not dreaming, nor did any bodily stimuli filter into your consciousness. You did not just wake up and realize you were in pain, as you might wake up and realize it is Saturday. You were deeply, dreamlessly asleep, and suddenly you were awake, and in pain. How is this possible? If pain exists only inasmuch as it is experienced, it seems that the pain did not exist when you were asleep, and (...) so could not have woken you up. I shall argue that you were woken by a pain sensation that you did not know you had, so that the distinction between what is and what is known holds even for the contents of consciousness. This illuminates the relationship between consciousness and attention, and casts light on the Classical Empiricist tradition that identifies the foundations of knowledge with direct experience. (shrink)
The confusion between cognitive states and the content of cognitive states that gives rise to psychologism also gives rise to reverse psychologism. Weak reverse psychologism says that we can study cognitive states by studying content – for instance, that we can study the mind by studying linguistics or logic. This attitude is endemic in cognitive science and linguistic theory. Strong reverse psychologism says that we can generate cognitive states by giving computers representations that express the content of cognitive states and (...) that play a role in causing appropriate behaviour. This gives us strong representational, classical AI (REPSCAI), and I argue that it cannot succeed. This is not, as Searle claims in his Chinese Room Argument, because syntactic manipulation cannot generate content. Syntactic manipulation can generate content, and this is abundantly clear in the Chinese Room scenano. REPSCAI cannot succeed because inner content is not sufficient for cognition, even when the representations that carry the content play a role in generating appropriate behaviour. (shrink)
Clark & Thornton's “superficially distinct ploys and mechanisms” are in fact very different: there is a deep difference between (a) filters and feature detectors, which “let the information in,” and (b) contentful representations and theories, which reconfigure it into a computationally tractable form. (a) is bringing abilities to experience whereas (b) is bringing content to experience. Both have well known problems. I outline an evolutionary story that avoids these problems and begins to explain how representations and theories developed out of (...) feature detectors and filters. (shrink)