Oops. Read: IF (Input = 27098217872180483080234850309823740127)

George Levy wrote:
Bruno, Stathis,

Thank you Stathis for the summary. I do have the paper now and I will read it carefully. Based on Sathis summary I still believe that Maudlin is fallacious. A computer program equivalent to Maudlin's construction can be written as:

IF (Input = -27098217872180483080234850309823740127)
THEN (Output = 78972398473024802348523948518347109)
ELSE Call Conscious_Subroutine

If the input 27098217872180483080234850309823740127 is always given then the ELSE clause is never invoked. The point is that to write the above piece of code, Maudlin must go through the trouble of calculating perhaps on his hand calculator the answer 78972398473024802348523948518347109 that the Conscious_Subroutine would have produced had it been called. (Notice the conditional tense indicating the counterfactual). He then inserts the answer in the IF clause at programming time. In so doing he must instantiate in his own mind and/or calculator the function of the Conscious_Subroutine for the particular case in which input = 27098217872180483080234850309823740127,

If the single numeral input is replaced by a function with multiple numerical inputs, Maudlin trick could be expanded by  using tables to store the output and instead of using an IF statement, Maudlin could use a CASE statement. But then, Maudlin would have to fill up the whole table with  the answers that the Conscious_Subroutine would have produced. In the ultimate case you could conceive of a huge table that contains all the answers that the Conscious_Subroutine would ever answer to any question. This table however must be filled up. In the process of filling up the table you must instantiate all state of consciousness of the Conscious_Subroutine.

Bruno, says:

BTW I thought you did understand the physics/psychology (theology/computer-science/number-theory) reversal. What makes you changing your mind? (just interested).

I did not change my mind. I just believe that Maudlin's reasoning is faulty.

By calculating the output Maudlin inserts himself and possibly his calculator in the conscious process. To understand the insertion of Maudlin into the consciousness of The Conscious_Subroutine, you must agree that this consciousness is independent of time, space, substrate and level. This Maybe is the Moral of Maudlin's Machinations...mmmm?


Bruno Marchal wrote:

Le 03-oct.-06, à 21:33, George Levy a écrit :


I looked on the web but could not find Maudlin's paper.

Mmh... for those working in an institution affiliated to JSTOR, it is available here:

I will search if some free version are available elsewhere, or put a pdf-version on my web page.

So I just go by what you are saying.

I still stand by the spirit of what I said but I admit to be misleading in stating that Maudlin himself is part of the machine. It is not Maudlin, but Maudlin's proxy or demon, the Klaras which is now parts of the machine. Maudlin used the same trick that Maxwell used. He used a the demon or proxy to perform his (dirty) work.

It seems to me that if you trace the information flow you probably can detect that Maudlin is cheating: How are the protoolympia and the Klaras defined?

Maudlin is cheating ? No more than a doctor who build an artificial brain by copying an original at some level. Remember we *assume* the comp hypothesis.

To design his protoolympia and the Klaras he must start with the information about the machine and the task PI. If he changes task from PI to PIprime than he has to apply a different protoolympia and different Klaras, and he has to intervene in the process!

Yes but only once. Changing PI to PIprime would be another thought experiment. I don't see the relevance.
I know you got the paper now. It will help in this debate.

Maudlin's argument is far from convincing.

BTW I thought you did understand the physics/psychology (theology/computer-science/number-theory) reversal. What makes you changing your mind? (just interested).



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