"Stathis Papaioannou" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:
> I am reminded of David Chalmer's paper recently mentioned by Hal Finney,
> "Does a Rock Implement Every Finite State Automaton?", which looks at
> the idea that any physical state such as the vibration of atoms in a
> rock can be mapped onto any computation, if you look at it the right
> way. Usually when this idea is brought up (Hilary Putnam, John Searle,
> the aforementioned Chalmers paper) it is taken as self-evidently
> wrong. However, I have not seen any argument to convince me that this
> is so; it just seems people think it *ought* to be so, then look around
> for a justification having already made up their minds.
I tend to agree. People find the conclusion unpalatable and then they
try to come up with some justification for why it is not true. As I
mentioned, at least some people like, I think, Hans Moravec, accept the
> Now, if any
> computation is implemented by any physical process, then if one physical
> process exists, then all possible computations are implemented. I'll stop
> at this point, although it is tempting to speculate that if all it takes
> for every computation to be implemented is a single physical process -
> a rock, a single subatomic particle, the idle passage of time in an
> otherwise empty universe - perhaps this is not far from saying that the
> physical process is superfluous, and all computations are implemented
> by virtue of their existence as platonic objects.
Yes, I think this is close to Moravec's view. He believes in the platonic
existence of all conscious experiences, and sees the role of physical
implementation as just to allow us to interact with those other entities
who are instantiated in our universe.
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