Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> Brent Meeker writes:
>>David Nyman wrote:
>>>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. 
>>There is another possibility: that consciousness is relative to what it is 
>>*of* and any computation that implements consciousness must also implement 
>>the whole 
>>world which the consciousness is conscious of.  In that case there may be 
>>only one, 
>>unique physical universe that implements our consciousness.
> Do you believe it is possible to copy a particular consciousness by emulating 
> it, along 
> with sham inputs (i.e. in virtual reality), on a general purpose computer? 

That would be my present guess.

>Or do you believe 
> a coal-shovelling robot could only have the coal-shovelling experience by 
> actually shovelling 
> coal?

Probably not.  But from a QM viewpoint the robot and the coal are inevitably 
entangled with the environment (i.e. the rest of the universe); so I don't 
it a knock-down argument.

Brent Meeker

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