Le 14-juin-05, à 03:15, Russell Standish a écrit :



On Mon, Jun 13, 2005 at 11:45:52AM +0200, Bruno Marchal wrote:

To Russell: I don't understand what you mean by a "conscious
description". Even the expression "conscious" machine can be misleading
at some point in the reasoning.

A description could be conscious in the same way that with
computationalism, a program might be conscious.


OK but it can be misleading (especially in advanced stuff!). neither a program, nor a machine nor a body nor a brain can think. A person can think, and manifest eself (I follow Patrick for the pronouns) through a program, or a machine or a brain, .... In some reasoning it is like cutting the hair, but once we tackle more subtle questions it is important to make the distinction, imo.


With computationalism,
a certain program is considered conscious when run on an appropriate
UTM.

Actually: not necessarily. dangerous way to present the things.


However, as you showed in chapter 4 of your thesis it is not
necessary to actually run the program on a physical
machine.

OK.


 Church-Turing thesis and arithmetical platonism (my all
description strings condition fulfills a similar role to arithmetical
platonism) are enough.


I am not so sure. You are not always clear if the strings describe the equivalent of a program (be it an universal program or not), or describes a computations (be it finite or infinite). Consciousness eventually is related to bunch of (sheaves of) infinite computations. they can be coded by infinite strings, but they are not programs.


Furthermore, if the conscious program _is_ a
UTM in its own right, it can run on itself (actually this is pretty
much what my reading of what the Church-Turing thesis is).

I am not sure I understand this.


This obviates
having to fix the UTM. Perhaps this is the route into the anthropic
principle.


? Church's thesis just say things does not depend on which UTM you choose initially (and then my chapter four says you don't need to run it, but this is because the "runned" UTM already exists in arithmetical truth (a very weak subpart of it actually).




This is a model of a conscious description, under the assumption of
computationalism. Perhaps this model can be extended to
not-computationalism, where a description is conscious if it is able
to interpret itself as conscious.


This makes sense indeed. (Modulo what I have just said).



I do not have problem with observers
being capable of universal computation as a necessary precondition
here, should it be necessary.


Like me. OK.




Finally, there is the possibility that a concrete observer (the
noumenon) exists somewhere, and that "conscious descriptions" are
merely the anthropic "shadow" of the observer being observed by itself.


Again this is to fuzzy for me. I can agree and I can disagree.




It is really some person, which can be
(with comp) associate relatively to a machine/machine-history, who can
be conscious.
Imo, only a person can be conscious.

Isn't this the definition of "person"? Or do you define personhood by
something else.


It is generally agreed that a sleeping 3-person is not conscious (unless in the dream phase). It is still a person. It is ambiguous to ask if a 3-person can be conscious. This is because in natural language we use the same expression for a person description and the first person we infer and relate to the 3-person. It is akin with what I said above about the expression "a program can think". But such talk makes harder for many people just to grasp the "mind-body" problem, for example. Note that it is an open question, with comp, if something can be conscious without being a person. Some description of both mystic and people suffering big brain injuries can look like that. But I was excluding in my comment "pathological" case like that. I was just saying that we say with "a machine can think " it is an abuse of language for "the person associate to that machine is thinking".

Bruno


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


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