Well, I think I have a better understanding now of the ideas leading me to 
start this thread - thanks to Bruno, Quentin and the other contributors. 
Moreover, I am leaning towards fundamentally changing my views on the 
implementation problem: if computationalism is true, then it doesn't seem to 
make much sense to say that computations are implemented as a result of 
physical processes, even if a separate physical reality did exist. It may yet 
be the case that consciousness is only the result of special physical 
processes, perhaps brains and digital computers but not rocks or the mere 
existence of computations as mathematical objects, but then this would entail 
giving up computationalism. Putting constraints on which computations 
contribute to the measure of consciousness, as I understood Jesse Mazer's 
suggestion to be, may also be true, but it is debatable whether this preserves 
computationalism either.

Stathis Papaioannou

> Subject: Re: Bruno's argument
> Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2006 16:32:03 +0200
> To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
> Le 26-juil.-06, à 07:55, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :
> >
> > Bruno Marchal writes (quoting SP):
> >
> >>> But certain computations are selected out through being isomorphic
> >>> with physical structures and processes (or simulations thereof):
> >>
> >>
> >> I would have said that certain computations are selected out by giving
> >> high relative measure for locally stable consciousness experiences, 
> >> and
> >> then those relative computations will defined what is physical from
> >> inside. this explains (or at least makes it possible to explain) why
> >> apparent physical laws are isomorphic to mathematical laws. The
> >> physical would be the mathematical as seen from inside by mathematical
> >> entities.
> >
> > I think I understand what you mean. If we say there is a physical 
> > world for the sake of argument, and then the whole thing suddenly 
> > disappears, there would be no way for a conscious being to know that 
> > anything had changed, because the computations underpinning his 
> > consciousness are unaffected: they still give the impression of a 
> > physical world.
> With comp it have to be so. If it is actually is still an open problem, 
> despite some results.
> > So the existence of a physical world somehow separate from mere 
> > mathematical entities is an unnecessary hypothesis.
> >
> >>> a parabola, the number three, a mind. We are happy to say that the
> >>> first two of these are not "caused" by physical processes even when
> >>> they manifest as if they are, and I think the same consideration can
> >>> be applied to mind. What physical structures consciousness is
> >>> isomorphic with and why is another question.
> >>
> >> Consciousness would be isomorphic with relative or conditional average
> >> on *all* computations, which can be made matematical by Church Thesis.
> >
> > This sounds right, but I have absolutely no idea where to start when 
> > we are talking about computations underlying consciousness. As Russell 
> > asked, why does it appear that they emanate from complex structures 
> > called brains? Why don't we perceive ourselves to be disembodied 
> > spirits, or to have heads solid like a potato?
> stable "brains/ body/universes" are locally needed only to make it 
> possible for a consciousness or a first person to manifest 
> him/her/e/self with respect to a stable (high measure preserving) 
> history.
> So comp have to explain why Harry Potter and first person white rabbits 
> are relatively rare. This is still an open problem, but comp (Church 
> thesis mainly) makes it mathematical. What I have done is only a 
> reduction of the mind/body problem to a mathematical problem, + timid 
> advances toward a solution of that math problem, making comp testable 
> (and partially tested).
> You are near the difficult questions which remains to be thoroughly 
> worked out ...
> Bruno
> http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/
> > 

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