> On Sun, Jul 23, 2006 at 04:38:01PM +0200, Bruno Marchal wrote:
> >
> >
> > Functionalism is the same as comp, except that functionalist
> > traditionally presuppose some knowable high level of substitution (and
> > then like materialist presuppose a physical stuffy level).
> > So I would say comp is just the "old functionalism" corrected for
> > taking the UDA consequence into account (the level of substitution is
> > unkowable, and physical stuff is either contradictory or devoid of
> > explanation power and redundant).
> >
> Hmm - you use the term functionalism quite differently to my
> understanding. My take is that functionalism implies if you replace
> the parts of my brain with things which were functionally equivalent,
> you would end up with a copy of my consciousness. The description
> given by Janet Levin on plato.stanford.edu seems to be in agreement
> with this notion (even though she uses different words).
> Nowhere in this discussion is an assumption of a level of
> substitution, nor of stuffy matter.
> Suppose I had a non Turing-emulable soul, composed of identical non
> Turing-emulable particles called "soulons". Functionalism would imply
> I can copy my brain by adding in an appropriate arrangement of
> physical particles, as well as an appropriate arrangement of
> soulons. Yet, by construction, this theory is not computationalist!
> So I stand by my remarks that computationalism is a specialised
> variant of functionalism.

I would like to heartily agree and indeed generalise the whole argument. As
soon as you do _any_ computation you are 

a) invoking an 'as-if' domain of description
b) Totally throwing away any intrinsic property of parallelism (in the quest
to render the computation instantiated).

No abstract mathematical domain is ever actually implemented within our
domain (=reality, whatever it is). That 'domain', that 'mathematics that is
reality' if you like, that is the actual universe does not have to _be_
'stuffy' to those constructed of it who find it useful to behave 'as-if' it
was...and furthermore....as a domain of interacting rules of whatever sort,
it is intrinsically highly parallel. For parallelism think lots of
mathematicians all working at once. 2 mathematicians working in lockstep
from the same axioms actually prove 2 theorems but generate 3 truths...

Corollary: If the 2 proven truths/theorems are what we call matter, then the
3rd, proven 'as-if' or 'virtually', is virtual matter.

So.... computationalism, functionalism, UDA and all systems of that ilk
throw away this basic property of parallelism. ERGO talking about these as
if it has anything to say about self awareness, 1st/3rd person etc is simply
meaningless. All I hear here is blah blah blah and the real issue gets
missed constantly. The whole domain of discussion is fundamentally flwed
from the outset. Very interesting....but not about reality.

Colin Hales

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