Russell Standish wrote:

> Maudlin say aha - lets take the recording, and add to it an inert
> machine that handles the counterfactuals. This combined machine is
> computationally equivalent to the original. But since the new machine
> is physically equivalent to a recording, how could consciousness
> supervene on it. If we want to keep supervenience, there must be
> something noncomputational that means the first machine is conscious,
> and the second not.
>
> Marchal says consciousness supervenes on neither of the physical
> machines, but on the abstract computation, and there is only one
> consciousness involved (not two).

Is there not a more general appeal to plausibility open to the
non-supervenience argument? We are after all attempting to show the
*consequences* of a thoroughgoing assumption of comp, not prove its
truth.  Under comp, a specific conscious state is taken as mapping to,
and consistently co-varying with, some equally specific, but purely
computationally defined, entity. The general problem is that any
attempt to preserve such consistency of mapping through supervention on
a logically and ontically prior 'physical' reality must fail, because
under physicalism comp *must* reduce to an arbitrary gloss on the
behaviour at an arbitrary level of arbitrarily many *physical*
architectures or substrates. In other words, a 'computation' can be
anything I say it is (cf. Hofstadter for some particularly egregious
examples).

So under physicalism, comp is condemned to be the ghost in the machine
- merely a *metaphor*, entirely dependent on physical implementation
for any 'reality': it's always the physics that does the work.
Consequently, if we would rescue comp, we must perforce reverse the
fundamental assumption, such that some set of logical/mathematical
entities and operations must be logically and ontically prior. The
project (e.g. Bruno's UDA) is then to show that some version of this
generates both the consistent mapping from consciousness to
computation, and a consistent 'physics' that is emergent from
computational psychology.

You pays your money and you takes your choice.

David

> If I can sumarise George's summary as this:
>
> In order to generate a recording, one must physically instantiate the
> conscious computation. Consciousness supervenes on this, presumably.
>
> Maudlin say aha - lets take the recording, and add to it an inert
> machine that handles the counterfactuals. This combined machine is
> computationally equivalent to the original. But since the new machine
> is physically equivalent to a recording, how could consciousness
> supervene on it. If we want to keep supervenience, there must be
> something noncomputational that means the first machine is conscious,
> and the second not.
>
> Marchal says consciousness supervenes on neither of the physical
> machines, but on the abstract computation, and there is only one
> consciousness involved (not two).
>
> Of course, this all applies to dreaming machines, or machines hooked
> up to recordings of the real world. This is where I concentrate my
> attack on the Maudlin argument (the Multiverse argument).
>
> Cheers
>
> --
> *PS: A number of people ask me about the attachment to my email, which
> is of type "application/pgp-signature". Don't worry, it is not a
> virus. It is an electronic signature, that may be used to verify this
> email came from me if you have PGP or GPG installed. Otherwise, you
> may safely ignore this attachment.
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> A/Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
> Mathematics
> UNSW SYDNEY 2052                       [EMAIL PROTECTED]
> Australia                                http://parallel.hpc.unsw.edu.au/rks
>             International prefix  +612, Interstate prefix 02
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------


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