Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Stephen Hawking is reductionist

I haven't heard the reductionist paradigm on consciousness expressed as forcefully as by Dr. Stephen Hawking. In his own words

What do you believe happens to our consciousness after death?Elliot Giberson, SEATTLE

I think the brain is essentially a computer and consciousness is like a computer program. It will cease to run when the computer is turned off. Theoretically, it could be re-created on a neural network, but that would be very difficult, as it would require all one's memories.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2029483,00.html#ixzz14miSAfvu

Dr. Hawking's opinion is that consciousness is nothing but a peculiar sequence of symbols. This gives rise to the same kind of philosophical dilemmas as I have discussed in my post on Kurzweil's horcrux - opening up, amongst other things, the possibility of achieving immortality.