1Z wrote:
> 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
> identical.

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.

Brent Meeker

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