Brent meeker writes:

> Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> > Peter Jones writes:
> > 
> > 
> >>>>With physical supervenience, it is possible for the same person to
> >>>>supervene on multiple physical objects. What is disallowed is multiple
> >>>>persons to supervene on the same physical object.
> >>>
> >>>That is what is usually understood, but there is no logical reason why
> >>>the relationship between the physical and the mental cannot be
> >>>one->many, in much the same way as a written message can have
> >>>several meanings depending on its interpretation.
> >>
> >>There is a reason: multiple meanings depend on external observers
> >>and interpretations. But who observes the multiverse ?
> > 
> > 
> > I'm not sure how the multiverse comes into the discussion, but you have 
> > made the point several times that a computation depends on an observer 
> > for its meaning. I agree, but *if* computations can be conscious (remember, 
> > this is an assumption) then in that special case an external observer is 
> > not 
> > needed. In fact, that is as good a definition of consciousness as any: it 
> > is 
> > that aspect of an entity that cannot be captured by an external observer, 
> > but only experienced by the entity itself. Once we learn every observable 
> > fact about stars we know all about stars, but if we learn every observable 
> > fact about bats, we still don't know what it is like to be a bat. 
> Why not?  Can't we map bat conscious-computation to human 
> conscious-computation; 
> since you suppose we can map any computation to any other.  But, you're 
> thinking, 
> since there a practical infinity of maps (even a countable infinity if you 
> allow 
> one->many) there is no way to know which is the correct map.  There is if you 
> and the 
> bat share an environment.

You're right that the correct mapping is the one in which you and the bat share 
environment. That is what interaction with the environment does: forces us to 
one mapping out of all the possible ones, whether that involves talking to 
another person 
or using a computer. However, that doesn't mean I know everything about bats if 
I know 
everything about bat-computations. If it did, that would mean there was no 
between zombie bats and conscious bats, no difference between first person 
and third person or vicarious knowledge.

Stathis Papaioannou
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