Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> Peter Jones writes:
> > There is a very impoertant difference between "computations do
> > not require a physical basis" and "computations do not
> > require any *particular* physical basis" (ie computations can be
> > physical
> > implemented by a wide variety of systems)
> Yes, but any physical system can be seen as implementing any computation with 
> the appropriate
> rule mapping physical states to computational states.

I don't think such mappings are valid
a) without constraints on the simplicity of the mapping rules
b) without attention to counterfactuals/dispositions

>  Attempts are made to put constraints on what
> counts as implementation of a computation in order to avoid this 
> uncomfortable idea, but it
> doesn't work unless you say that certain implementations are specially 
> blessed by God or something.

I don't know where you get that idea. Dispositions are physically
respectable. Simplicity constraints are the lifeblood of science.

> So at least you have to say that every computation is implemented if any 
> physical universe at all
> exists, even if it is comprised of a single atom which endures for a 
> femtosecond.

Hmmm. So much for the quantitative issue. What a strange view of
physics you have.

> That's an absurd
> amount of responsibility for a little atom, and it makes more sense to me 
> (although I can't at the
> moment think of a proof) to say that the atom is irrelevant,

Any finite quantitiy is infinitely greater than zero. I *can* think of
a disproof!

> and the computations are implemented
> anyway by virtue of their status as mathematical objects.

Assuming Platonism has been proved, whcih it hasn't.

(NBB "implemented" means a lot more than "theoretically true" !!!)

> Stathis Papaioannou
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