Brent meeker writes:

> >>>I think it goes against standard computationalism if you say that a 
> >>>conscious
> >>>computation has some inherent structural property.
> > 
> > 
> > I should have said, that the *hardware* has some special structural 
> > property goes 
> > against computationalism. It is difficult to pin down the "structure" of a 
> > computation 
> > without reference to a programming language or hardware. The idea is that 
> > the 
> > same computation can look completely different on different computers, the 
> > corollary 
> > of which is that any computer (or physical process) may be implementing any 
> > computation, we just might not know about it. It is legitimate to say that 
> > only 
> > particular computers (eg. brains, or PC's) using particular languages arev 
> > actually 
> > implementing conscious computations, but that is not standard 
> > computationalism.
> > 
> > Statthis Papaioannou
> 
> I thought standard computationalism was just the modest position that if the 
> hardware 
> of your brain were replaced piecemeal by units with the same input-output at 
> some 
> microscopic level usually assumed to be neurons, you'd still be you and you'd 
> still 
> be conscious.
> 
> I don't recall anything about all computations implementing consciousness?
> 
> Brent Meeker

OK, this is the basis of our disagreement. I understood computationalism as the 
idea that it is the 
actual computation that gives rise to consciousness. For example, if you have a 
conscious robot 
shovelling coal, you could take the computations going on in the robot's 
processor and run it on 
another similar computer with sham inputs and the same conscious experience 
would result. And 
if the program runs on one computer, it can run on another computer with the 
appropriate emulation 
software (the most general case of which is the UTM), which should also result 
in the same conscious 
experience. I suppose it is possible that *actually shovelling the coal* is 
essential for the coal-shovelling 
experience, and an emulation of that activity just wouldn't do it. However, how 
can the robot tell the 
difference between the coal and the simulated coal, and how can it know if it 
is running on Windows XP 
or Mac OS emulating Windows XP?

Stathis Papaioannou
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