Brent Meeker wrote:
> 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.

Either that, or counterfactuallity is  asupernatural phenomenon.

> 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.

There is a difference between data and process --i.e. running

Standard computationalism says mentation (as an activity)
is computation (as  a process). It is a rare computationalist
who think that a spool of tape gathering dust in a cupboardi
is mentating. (Not much of a Yes Doctor).

>   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
> environment.

Well, it is divided -- by the programme/process distinction.

> 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 
> is
> a closed system and there are no conuterfactual branchings.
> Brent Meeker

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