Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> 
> Peter Jones writes:
>  
> 
>>Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
>>
>>>Peter Jones writes:
>>>
>>>
>>>>Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>>>>Now, suppose some more complex variant of 3+2=3 implemented on your 
>>>>>>>abacus has consciousness associated with it, which is just one of the 
>>>>>>>tenets of computationalism. Some time later, you are walking in the 
>>>>>>>Amazon rain forest and notice that
>>>>>>>****under a certain mapping****
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>>of birds to beads and trees to wires, the forest is implementing the 
>>>>>>>same computation as your abacus was. So if your abacus was conscious, 
>>>>>>>and computationalism is true, the tree-bird sytem should also be 
>>>>>>>conscious.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>No necessarily, because the mapping is required too. Why should
>>>>>>it still be conscious if no-one is around to make the mapping.
>>>>>
>>>>>Are you claiming that a conscious machine stops being conscious if its 
>>>>>designers die
>>>>>and all the information about how it works is lost?
>>>>
>>>>You are, if anyone is. I don't agree that computation *must* be
>>>>interpreted,
>>>>although they *can* be re-interpreted.
>>>
>>>What I claim is this:
>>>
>>>A computation does not *need* to be interpreted, it just is. However, a 
>>>computation
>>>does need to be interpreted, or interact with its environment in some way, 
>>>if it is to be
>>>interesting or meaningful.
>>
>>A computation other than the one you are running needs to be
>>interpreted by you
>>to be meaningful to you. The computation you are running is useful
>>to you because it keeps you alive.
>>
>>
>>>By analogy, a string of characters is a string of characters
>>>whether or not anyone interprets it, but it is not interesting or meaningful 
>>>unless it is
>>>interpreted. But if a computation, or for that matter a string of 
>>>characters, is conscious,
>>>then it is interesting and meaningful in at least one sense in the absence 
>>>of an external
>>>observer: it is interesting and meaningful to itself. If it were not, then 
>>>it wouldn't be
>>>conscious. The conscious things in the world have an internal life, a first 
>>>person
>>>phenomenal experience, a certain ineffable something, whatever you want to 
>>>call it,
>>>while the unconscious things do not. That is the difference between them.
>>
>>Which they manage to be aware of without the existence of an external
>>oberver,
>>so one of your premises must be wrong.
> 
> 
> No, that's exactly what I was saying all along. An observer is needed for 
> meaningfulness, 
> but consciousness provides its own observer. A conscious entity may interact 
> with its 
> environment, and in fact that would have to be the reason consciousness 
> evolved (nature 
> is not self-indulgent), but the interaction is not logically necessary for 
> consciousness.

But it may be nomologically necessary.  "Not logically necessary" is the 
weakest 
standard of non-necessity that is still coherent; the only things less 
necessary are 
incoherent.

Brent Meeker

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