Single Idea 2109

[catalogued under 15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 3. Privacy]

Full Idea

If a conscious machine were increased in size, one might enter it like a mill, but we should only see the parts impinging on one another; we should not see anything which would explain a perception.

Gist of Idea

Increase a conscious machine to the size of a mill - you still won't see perceptions in it


Gottfried Leibniz (Monadology [1716], 17)

Book Reference

Leibniz,Gottfried: 'Philosophical Writings', ed/tr. Parkinson,G.H.R. [Dent 1973], p.181

A Reaction

A wonderful image for capturing a widely held intuition. It seems to motivate Colin McGinn's 'Mysterianism'. The trouble is Leibniz didn't think big/small enough. Down at the level of molecules it might become obvious what a perception is. 'Might'.

Related Idea

Idea 7522 A full neural account of qualia will give new epistemic access to them, beyond private experience [Churchlands]