Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> ----------------------------------------
> > From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
> > To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
> > Subject: Re: computationalism and supervenience
> > Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2006 04:43:54 -0700
> >
> >
> >
> > Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> > > Peter Jones writes:
> > >
> > > > Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> > > > > Brent meeker writes:
> > > > >
> > > > > > >>>I think it goes against standard computationalism if you say 
> > > > > > >>>that a conscious
> > > > > > >>>computation has some inherent structural property. Opponents of 
> > > > > > >>>computationalism
> > > > > > >>>have used the absurdity of the conclusion that anything 
> > > > > > >>>implements any conscious
> > > > > > >>>computation as evidence that there is something special and 
> > > > > > >>>non-computational
> > > > > > >>>about the brain. Maybe they're right.
> > > > > > >>>
> > > > > > >>>Stathis Papaioannou
> > > > > > >>
> > > > > > >>Why not reject the idea that any computation implements every 
> > > > > > >>possible computation
> > > > > > >>(which seems absurd to me)?  Then allow that only computations 
> > > > > > >>with some special
> > > > > > >>structure are conscious.
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > It's possible, but once you start in that direction you can say 
> > > > > > > that only computations
> > > > > > > implemented on this machine rather than that machine can be 
> > > > > > > conscious. You need the
> > > > > > > hardware in order to specify structure, unless you can think of a 
> > > > > > > God-given programming
> > > > > > > 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 argues
> > > > > > for embodiment.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Brent Meeker
> > > > >
> > > > > 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?
> > > >
> > > > No, they are only subroutines.
> > >
> > > But a computation is just a lot of subroutines; or equivalently, a 
> > > computation is just a subroutine in a larger
> > > computation or subroutine.
> >
> > The point is that the subroutine does not have the functionality of the
> > programme.
> >
> >
> > > > >  If so, where do we draw the line?
> > > >
> > > > At specific structures
> > >
> > > By "structures" do you mean hardware or software?
> >
> > Functional/algorithmic.
> >
> > Whatever software does is also done by hardware. Software is  an
> > abstraction
> > ofrm hardware, not something additional.
> >
> > > I don't think it's possible to pin down software structures
> > > without reference to a particular machine and operating system. There is 
> > > no natural or God-given language.
> >
> > That isn't the point. I am not thiking of  a programme as a
> > sequence
> > of symbols. I am thinking of it as an abstract structure of branches
> > and loops,
> > the sort of thing that is represented by a flowchart.
> >
> > > > > That is what I mean
> > > > > when I say that any computation can map onto any physical system. 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.
> > > >
> > > > So ? If the functional equivalence doesn't depend on a
> > > > baroque-reinterpretation,
> > > > where is the problem ?
> > >
> > > Who interprets the meaning of "baroque"?
> >
> > There are objective ways of decifing that kiond of issue, e.g
> > algortihmic information
> > theory.
>
> Aren't you getting into the realm of the Platonic forms here?

No.I am getting into the realms of abstaction. Platonistists think
abstracta exist plantoically. Extreme nominalists reject abstracta
completely. All points in between accept abstracta, but not as having
Platonic existence.

> Flowcharts are a representation of an algorithm, not
> the algorithm itself, even if we are talking about the simplest possible 
> flowchart. Three marks on a piece of paper,
> or three objects, might be the simplest possible representation of the number 
> "3" but that is not the same as the number
> "3".

Yes. I only said that what a computation reality is , is something
*like*
a flowchart. The point is that what a computaton really is doesn't
require inpteretation. It is is just *that* particular construction
of loops and branches, in the same way that a square is a
four-sided figure.

> However, this does raise an important point about measure when every possible 
> computation is implemented, eg.
> as discussed in Russell Standish' book, some recent posts by Hal Finney, 
> giving a rationale for why we are living in an
> orderly universe described by a relatively simple set of physical laws, and 
> why our conscious experience seems to derive
> from brains rather than rocks.

Why should I worry about what happens when every computation is
implemented,
when there is no evidence for it ?


> Stathis Papaioannou
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