Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> Brent meeker writes:
>>>>>I think it goes against standard computationalism if you say that a
>>>>>computation has some inherent structural property. Opponents of
>>>>>have used the absurdity of the conclusion that anything implements any
>>>>>computation as evidence that there is something special and
>>>>>about the brain. Maybe they're right.
>>>>Why not reject the idea that any computation implements every possible
>>>>(which seems absurd to me)? Then allow that only computations with some
>>>>structure are conscious.
>>>It's possible, but once you start in that direction you can say that only
>>>implemented on this machine rather than that machine can be conscious. You
>>>hardware in order to specify structure, unless you can think of a God-given
>>>language against which candidate computations can be measured.
>>I regard that as a feature - not a bug. :-)
>>Disembodied computation doesn't quite seem absurd - but our empirical sample
> I don't have a clear idea in my mind of disembodied computation except in
> rather simple cases,
> like numbers and arithmetic. The number 5 exists as a Platonic ideal, and it
> can also be implemented
> so we can interact with it, as when there is a collection of 5 oranges, or 3
> oranges and 2 apples,
> or 3 pairs of oranges and 2 triplets of apples, and so on, in infinite
> variety. The difficulty is that if we
> say that "3+2=5" as exemplified by 3 oranges and 2 apples is conscious, then
> should we also say
> that the pairs+triplets of fruit are also conscious? If so, where do we draw
> the line?
I'm not sure I understand your example. Are you saying that by simply
apples and 3 oranges compute 2+3=5? If so I would disagree. I would say it is
comprehending them as individual objects and also as a set that is the
Just hanging there on the trees they may be "computing" apple hanging on a
apple hanging on a tree,... but they're not computing 2+3=5.
>That is what I mean
> when I say that any computation can map onto any physical system.
But as you've noted before the computation is almost all in the mapping. And
just in the map, but in the application of the map - which is something we do.
action can't be abstracted away. You can't just say there's a physical system
there's a manual that would map it into some computation and stop there as
computation has been done. The mapping, an action, still needs to be performed.
>The physical structure and activity
> of computer A implementing program a may be completely different to that of
> computer B implementing
> program b, but program b may be an emulation of program a, which should make
> the two machines
> functionally equivalent and, under computationalism, equivalently conscious.
I don't see any problem with supposing that A and B are equally conscious (or
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