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> -----Original Message-----
> Sent: Tuesday, May 11, 1999 6:40 AM
> Subject:      Re: Marchal Thesis
> Bruno Marchal's paper,
> Computation, Physis and Cognition
> English translation 1st draft
> Introduction
> The computationalist hypothesis, or more simply,
> *mechanism*, which I consider here, is the
> hypothesis according to which *I* am a machine or
> *you* are a machine. The precise way in which I
> am interested in the hypothesis that we can
> survive, not just with an artificial heart or kidney,
> etc., but also with an artificial digital brain (finitely
> describable) assuming it is suitably configured at
> an adequate level.
> The aim is not to defend this hypothesis but to
> examine the consequences, notably concerning
> the mind-body problem.
> In particular I shall show, contrary to a very
> widespread belief, among philosophers and
> doctors as much as the layman, that mechanism is
> incompatible with materialism.
> I will demonstrate that mechanism is incompatible
> with materialist monism, which claims that is only
> one universe, which can in principle be described
> entirely in terms of physics. On the way I will
> demonstrate that mchanism is also incompatible
> with dualism, which holds that there is
> simultaneously a tangible world (described by
> physics) and a mental world.
> Hence I will show that mechanism necessitates a
> monist idealism incompatible with any form of
> materialism. This proof will not resolve the mind-
> body problem, but will lead towards a new
> formulation of the question. Essentially, with the
> computationalist hypothesis, the mind-body
> problem is transformed in the research deriving:
> 1. a phenomenology of mind - capable of
> explaining the origin and nature of knowledge and
> belief; and
> 2. a phenomenology of matter, capable of
> explaining the origin and nature of  our
> observations and our theories of physics.
> The first point can hardly be considered original.
> With computationalism, psychology is, *in
> principle*, trivially reduced to information theory.
> The originality is in the demonstration that to
> resolve the body-mind problem, one is obliged to
> derive the phenomenology of matter from the
> phenomenology of mind. That is, physics is *in
> principle* a branch of psychology.
> This is precisely the reverse of our usual attempts
> to reduce or try to understand psychological
> phenomena from the substrate of the brain -
> physical, or even cosmic or universal.
> On the contrary, mechanism demands a
> psychology which eliminates all materialist
> ontology rather than a materialism which
> eliminates mental ontology.
> Mechanism therefore requires us to consider
> physics as a branch of psychology, itself a branch
> of information theory, which is in turn a branch of
> number theory. The word, "branch" is used here in
> a slightly more general sense than normal; this will
> be clarified during the course of the proof.
> An attentive logician will note that matter is not
> *logically* eliminated. But he would fail at any
> attempt to explain physical sensations through
> physical science alone.
> There is a certain irony in this situation.
> Mechanism is generally invoked by reductionist
> materialists to debunk the spirit and to counter
> dualism and other spiritualism. And it works in
> practice, but on closer examination (as proposed
> here), the dematerialisation does not stop with the
> spirit but extends to the body, matter and the
> universe.
> This work is not speculative. It stands up well to
> demonstration or hypothetico-deductive argument:
> IF mechanism is true THEN physics *must* be
> derived from psychology. I clarify this point in
> Chapter 2.
> Note on methodology
> To help the reader keep track of the proof, I
> decided to be as brief as possible. The poof, which
> starts in Chapter 3, finishes by the end of Chapter
> 4. It does not assume any specific knowledge,
> except a familiarity with Church's Thesis and, of
> course, a smattering of high-school classical
> philosopy (good treatments are given in Huisman
> and Vergez, 1996 or Nagel, 1987). Appendix D
> provides an introduction to the mind-body problem
> as well as some supplementry definitions on the
> concept of sufficient conditions for mechanism.
> Chapter 1, which defines the hypotheses of the
> *entire* work, raises some technical points which
> are not ued in the proof. This additional material
> will be used before Chapter 5.
> Chapter 5 examines the search for a solution to
> the mind-body problem in the light of the proof
> given here. Unlike the proof, this research has a
> few prerequisite techniques. You may consult the
> technical report (Marchal, 1995) or the appendices
> of this paper, or certain works such as Boolos,
> 1995, Webb, 1980, as well as Albert, 1992 and
> Maudlin, 1994 on physics.

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