Hi Stathis,
 
    The paper is found here:
 
 
 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, June 21, 2006 9:55 PM
Subject: RE: Re: Only Existence is necessary?

Stephen,
 
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. 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.
 
Stathis Papaioannou
 
    Ok, if I am following your argument here, it seems that we are required to have a non-circular explanation for the existence of a *single* physical process, not an excuse to ignore the explanatory gap between this requirement and the claim that none exist. Again, How is an implementation, which is an obvios process, considered to be identical to the existence of a Platonic object?
 
 
    Frankly, I am wondering why we have such unquestioned faith in the entire theory of Platonic Forms given the plethora of unanswered questions that it leads one to!
 
Onward!
 
Stephen


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