Bruno Marchal writes:
> > I think I have more basic difficulties also, like the Maudlin
> > argument re the handling of counterfactuals for consciousness to
> > occur:
> It is a bit harder, no doubt. And, according to some personal basic
> everything philosophy, the Maudlin argument is important of not ....
> > is this requirement just to avoid saying that everything implements
> > every computation?
> Jacques Mallah makes that point some years ago (in this list), and I
> think Hal Finney has developed that point. I think their argument are
> valid. But then I don't think the Putnam-Mallah-Chalmers is really a
> problem once you get the idea that the physical world emerge from the
> mathematical world of computations. Personally I have never seen a
> convincing argument that everything implements every computations, just
> perhaps some tiny part of some computations.
> I will postpone saying more on the movie-graph/Olympia type of argument
> (if only to avoid to much simultaneous threads and to modulate the
It seems to me trivially obvious that any sufficiently complex physical system
implements any finite computation, just as any sufficiently large block of
marble contains every marble statue of a given size. The difference between
random noise (or a block of marble) on the one hand and a well-behaved computer
(or the product of a sculptor's work) on the other is that the information is
in the latter case presented in a way that can interact with the world
containing the substrate of its implementation. But I think that this idea
leads to almost the same conclusion that you reach: it really seems that if any
computation can be mapped to any physical substrate, then that substrate is
superfluous except in that tiny subset of cases involving well-behaved
computers that can handle counterfactuals and thus interact with their
environment, and we may as well say that every computation exists by virtue of
its status as a platonic object. I say "almost" because I can't quite see how
to prove it, even though I suspect that it is so.
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