> Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
>>I've never really understood why computationalists insist that a system
>>must be able to handle counterfactuals in order for consciousness to occur,
> I've explained that several times: computer programmes contain
> if-then statements.
>>other than that otherwise any physical system could be seen as implementing
>>any computation, which does not seem to me a good reason. In any case,
>>Maudlin shows that the requirement for handling counterfactuals leads to
>>a situation where of two systems with identical physical activity, one is
>>conscious and the other not.
> If two systems differ counterfactually, they are not physically
I don't think I understand this either. Computer programs contain if-then
statements which branch the process depending on the data input to the program.
But there is no real distinction between data an program. So if you insist
that computed intelligence or consciousness depends on counterfactuals in the
program that seems to me to be the same as insisting that the computation is
implemented in some way that divides it from input data, i.e. it is in an
I'm sympathetic to this view. I think intelligence is relative to an
environment. But I'm not sure what computationalists think of this; I believe
they suppose the environment can be simulated too and so then the whole thing
a closed system and there are no conuterfactual branchings.
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