Jesse Mazer writes:
 
> Anyway, without tying my argument to closely to Chalmers' beliefs, what I 
> meant when I talked about "psychophysical laws" was just a rule for deciding 
> when a copy of a particular computation has been instantiated physically, 
> with each instantiation contributing to the total measure of that 
> computation. You don't even have to postulate a special "physical universe", 
> you could just ask how frequently copies of a smaller computation are being 
> instantiated in a larger computation (like a computation representing the 
> evolution of the universal wavefunction, or a computation representing the 
> universal uovetailer). For example, let's say I identify a given 
> observer-moment with a particular computation O which represents all the 
> computations going on in the observer's brain during that moment (with a 
> 'moment' of subjective experience presumably corresponding to computations 
> spread out over tens or hundreds of milliseconds in the physical brain) 
> which are relevant to what the observer subjectively experiences in that 
> moment (and there might be plenty of things going on in the physical brain 
> that *aren't* relevant, like random thermal vibrations of atoms in neurons). 
> Suppose I also have a larger computation E which is a detailed simulation of 
> a physical environment that happens to include a brain that seems to be 
> doing what appears to be a similar set of computations; in this case the 
> "psychophysical laws" would be some rules that would tell us whether the 
> larger computation E does in fact contain an "instantiation" of O within it. 
> And if we postulate some ultimate base-level computation representing 
> "objective physical reality", like the simulation of the universal 
> wavefunction or the universal dovetailer, this might contain instantiations 
> of every possible program, but it might instantiate some more frequently 
> than others, thus giving some observer-moments higher measure than others. 
> Finally, even if we reject the idea of a single base-level computation, the 
> idea of larger computations containing instantiations of smaller ones within 
> them might still be relevant, since if you identify observer-moments with 
> particular computations, some observer-moments might contain copies of 
> smaller ones within them, and this would have to be taken into account in 
> the sort of "measure battle" that you talk about in other posts.
>
> So, do you think that the idea of "psychophysical laws" whose sole purpose 
> is to decide if larger computations contain instantiations of smaller ones, 
> and therefore contribute to their overall measure, violates 
> "computationalism" as you understand it? If so, why?

What you seem to be suggesting is that not all computations are equivalent: some give rise to mind, while others, apparently similar, do not. Isn't this similar to the reasoning of people who say that a computer could never be conscious because even if it exactly emulated a human brain, it is a law of nature that only brains can be conscious?
 
Stathis Papaiaonnou


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