Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> Brent Meeker writes:
> 
> 
>>Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
>>
>>>Brent Meeker writes:
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>>>It is consistent with Maudlin's paper to say consciousness supervenes on 
>>>>>no 
>>>>>physical activity - i.e. on computation as Platonic object - but it is 
>>>>>also consistent 
>>>>>to say that it supervenes on a recording, or on any physical activity, and 
>>>>>that 
>>>>>perhaps if there were no physical universe with at least a single quantum 
>>>>>state 
>>>>>there would be no consciousness. Admittedly the latter is inelegant 
>>>>>compared to 
>>>>>the "no physical supervenience" idea, but I can't quite see how to 
>>>>>eliminate it 
>>>>>completely.
>>>
>>>
>>>>But note that Maudlin's argument depends on being in a classical world.  
>>>>The quantum 
>>>>world in which we live the counterfactuals are always realized with some 
>>>>probability.
>>>
>>>
>>>I assume you are referring to the MWI interpretation, in which the 
>>>counterfactuals are 
>>>always realised in some branch with certainty; in a classical world, the 
>>>counterfactuals 
>>>are realised with some probability just as in the CI of QM. In any case, I 
>>>don't see that 
>>>it makes much difference to the argument. Consider this model of the MWI 
>>>case. A machine 
>>>is made up of two parts, a1 and b1, such that a1 is active at a particular 
>>>time and b1 
>>>comes into play from an inert state to alter the activity of a1 only if a 
>>>counterfactual is 
>>>realised. It seems absurd to say that a1 is conscious when it undergoes some 
>>>physical
>>>activity with b1 hovering over it inertly (because the counterfactual is not 
>>>realised) but not 
>>>conscious when it undergoes the same activity without b1 in place. But it 
>>>seems no less 
>>>absurd to me to say that a1 or a1b1 is conscious with an identical machine 
>>>next to it, a2b2, 
>>>in which the counterfactual is realised, but not if a2b2 is not present. For 
>>>how would a1/a1b1 
>>>know or care about a2b2, whether in the next room or in another branch of 
>>>the multiverse?
>>
>>It's not a question of whether the "counterfactual" occurs.  If it occured it 
>>wouldn't be counterfactual.  The point is that in QM what occurs depends on 
>>what 
>>could have occur but didn't; c.f. quant-ph/9610033, or seach arXiv.org for 
>>"interaction free measurment".
> 
> 
> Doesn't this refer to quantum interference effects? Otherwise what would be 
> the distinction between 
> a quantum computer and a classical computer in what we know is a quantum 
> world?
> 
> Stathis Papaioannou

Yes, it does depend on quantum interference.  But a "classical computer" in 
this 
quantum world can only be *approximately* classical.  So I'm wondering how that 
affects Maudlin's argument and others that depend on counterfactuals making no 
difference.

Brent Meeker

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