On Oct 9, 6:35 pm, "1Z" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

> What is a "computation itself"? A process? And algorithm?

Bruno covers what he means by 'comp' pretty comprehensively in his
various posts and papers.

> Using supplementary assumptions -- such as "only activity counts".

Not sure what you're getting at - do you mean that, under materialism,
the mere existence (not specific activity) of physical properties
suffices to generate conscious experience? If so, I don't follow. I
assume (see below) that, under materialism, experience -> psychological
activity -> physical activity.

> Yes, but it is still quite possible that a class of phsyical
> systems picked out by some computational(but ultimately physical)
> set of properties are conscious/cognitive in veirtue of those
> proeprties -- ie computationalism is a sort of convenient
> shorthand or shortcut to the physically relevant properties.

But this is the very nub. And it may be dead wrong, so would you
address this directly? What is being claimed (in this form, a general
appeal to the class of arguments referred to by the UDA 8th step) is
that under materialism, 'computationalism' (i.e. the 1st variety in my
taxonomy) precisely *can't* 'pick out' a set of 'physically relevant
properties' in any stable way, because the physical instantiation of
any given 'computation' is essentially arbitrary, and can extend to any
number of diverse physical properties, to choice. Under materialism,
specific conscious experiences should presumably map, or reduce, to the
activity of an equivalently stable set of physical properties (in an
analogous sense to, say, specific neurological processes reducing
stably downwards through the physical substrate). And this can't be the
case if I can change the physical properties of the computational
substrate at will, from step to step of the program if necessary. So
the claim is that, under materialism, some other schema than
computationalism must ultimately be deployed to explain any stable
*general* mapping from consciousness to physics. I agree that this is a
bold claim, but it does appear to stem from a basic dislocation in the
supervention scheme consciousness -> computation -> physicalism. Its
consequence is that if we wish to claim that consciousness does in fact
supervene stably on computation, as opposed to the physical itself,
then such computation must itself be defined in a manner unconstrained
to specific *physical* properties. This is a reductio devised to show
the consequences of the starting assumptions. You pays your money.....

> The point is that computationalists can continue to believe in matter
> so long as they don't believe in numbers.

But if I'm right, they can't also believe that 'computation' - which is
only arbitrarily constrained physically - is an adequate explanatory
schema for consciousness. It's just a metaphor, and metaphors per se
(as opposed to their instantiations) aren't 'real in the sense that I
am real'.

David


> David Nyman wrote:
> > On Oct 8, 6:29 pm, "1Z" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
>
> > Yes. But he says he isn't assuming Platonism, although he must be.
>
> > Well, if he is, so what? If we allow him this, what then follows -
> > isn't this more interesting?
>
> > He claims that computationalism is incompatible with
> > > materialism. That is not modest (or correct AFAICS)
>
> > I think the 'modesty' part is meant more to relate to provability
> > vs.believability, per Goedel/Lob - that we must live with doubt (i.e.
> > empiricism is ineliminable). As to computationalism, there seems to be
> > some confusion on the list (and elsewhere) between (at least) two
> > varieties.At least four!
>
> > The first might I suppose be characterised as minimalist
> > comp, dealing with programs as instantiated in (as one might say) real
> > - i.e. material - computers. Clearly it would make no sense to say that
> > this kind of computationalism is incompatible with materialism - i.e
> > that physical processes can 'compute'.
>
> > So how does he get "computationalism is incompatible with
> > > materialism" out of such interviews?
>
> > >From the 8th step of the UDA argument. This attempts to show that if
> > one (but not you, I think?) starts with the much stronger assumption
> > that *consciousness supervenes on computation itself*,What is a 
> > "computation itself"? A process? And algorithm?
>
> > then it can't
> > also supervene on the physical.Using supplementary assumptions -- such as 
> > "only activity counts".
>
> > AFAICS, this stems fundamentally from
> > the inability to stabilise the instantiation of a computation, given
> > the lack of constraint on the material substrates that can be construed
> > as implementing equivalent computations. Given materialism, in other
> > words, 'computation' is just a metaphor - it's the physics that does
> > the work.Yes, but it is still quite possible that a class of phsyical
> systems picked out by some computational(but ultimately physical)
> set of properties are conscious/cognitive in veirtue of those
> proeprties -- ie computationalism is a sort of convenient
> shorthand or shortcut to the physically relevant properties.
>
> > I have to say that I think this may really point to a fatal
> > flaw in any assumption - within materialism - that consciousness can
> > supervene on the physical *per computation* in the standard AI sense.
> > However, consciousness may of course still be shown to supervene on
> > some physically stabilisable material process (e.g. at the neurological
> > or some other consistently materially-reducible level of explanation).
>
> > Bruon's empirical prediction require a UD to exist. That
> > > is an assumption beyond computationalism.
>
> > But not beyond 'comp', which is a horse of a different colour.A Trojan 
> > horse with Plato in its belly...
>
> > The UDA
> > argument attempts to establish, and show the consequences of, a 'comp'
> > constrained to CT, AR, and the 'modest empiricism' of 'yes doctor'. It
> > *assumes* that putative stable conscious experiences are associated
> > with certain types of machine thus defined. From this stems the claim
> > that the consciousness of such machines can't simultaneously supervene
> > on an unstabilisable externally-defined 'material' substrate - in fact,
> > the 'material' also has to be an emergent from the computational in
> > this view.You are presenting the conclusions, not the argument.
>
> > Comp and materialism start from radically different
> > assumptions, and have diametrically opposed explanatory directions.The idea 
> > that materialism is not compatible with computationalism
> is a bold and startling claim.
>
> If comp is not "standard" computationalism, the fact that it is
> incompatible with materalism may be a lot less impactive.
> comp might simply beg the question.
>
> > However, I don't think they treat the *observables* in any essential
> > way as less 'real', but differ radically as to the source - and here
> > its does get difficult, because one can no longer simply appeal
> > directly to those observables - as Johnson failed to note in stubbing
> > his toe on the stone.The Johnsonian argument can be used as a wayof 
> > establishing the meaning
> of "exist". It answers the question "what definition of existence
> is there other than the mathematical one".
>
> > How can he come to conclusions about the uneality
> > > of matter without assuming the reality of something
> > > to take its place?
>
> > Well, in the end we can only believe that whatever it is must be 'real
> > in the sense that I am real', or where are we?The point is that 
> > computationalists can continue to believe in matter
> so long as they don't believe in numbers.
>
> > No, it's really easy. I am real, or I would not
> > > be writing this. What you mean is to
> > > establish it by abstract argumentation is difficult.
> > > Well, it is. That is why empiricists prefer empiricisim.
>
> > Well, as you know, I've also had some discomfort with aspects of
> > platonic or other possibly implicit assumptions in this approach, but I
> > think now that it's interesting and fruitful enough to suspend
> > judgement on this pending further (preferably empirically refutable)
> > results, without fully committing as a believer - but then that is not
> > what is demanded. However, I acknowledge the robustness of your
> > Johnsonian approach to refutation!
> > David
>
> > > David Nyman wrote:
> > > > On Oct 7, 1:16 pm, "1Z" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
>
> > > > Numbers that haven't been reified in any sense,
> > > > > don't exist in any way and therefore don't behave in any
> > > > > way.
>
> > > > Forgive me for butting in again, but is there not some way to stop this
> > > > particular disagreement from going round in circles interminably,
> > > > entertaining though it may be? For what it's worth, it seems to me that
> > > > Bruno has been saying that you get a number of interesting (and
> > > > unexpected) results when you start from a certain minimum set of
> > > > assumptions involving numbers and their relations.Yes. But he says he 
> > > > isn't assuming Platonism, although he must be.
>
> > > >  As he often
> > > > reiterates, this is a 'modest' view, making no claim to exclusive
> > > > explanatory truth,He claims that computationalism is incompatible with
> > > materialism. That is not modest (or correct AFAICS)
>
> > > > and - dealing as it does in 'machine psychology' -
> > > > limiting its claims to the consequences of 'interviewing' such machines
> > > > and discovering their povs.So how does he get "computationalism is 
> > > > incompatible with
> > > materialism" out of such interviews?
>
> > > > In achieving these results, AFAICS, no
> > > > claims need be made about the fundamental 'ontic realism' of numbers:
> > > > rather one is doing logic or mathematics from an axiomatic basis in the
> > > > normal way.How can he come to conclusions about the uneality
> > > of matter without assuming the reality of something
> > > to take its place?
>
> > > > The question of which set of 'ontic prejudices' we in fact employ as we
> > > > go about our daily affairs is of course another issue.And yet antoher 
> > > > issue is whether the conclusions of
> > > a valid arguiment must be contained in its premises.
>
> > > > It may of course
> > > > eventually turn out that theoretical or, preferably empirically
> > > > disconfirmable, results derived from comp become so compelling as to
> > > > force fundamental re-consideration of even such quotidian assumptions -
> > > > e.g. the notorious 'yes doctor' proposition.Bruon's empirical 
> > > > prediction require a UD to exist. That
> > > is an assumption beyond computationalism.
>
> > > > But as Bruno is again at
> > > > pains to point out, this won't be based on 'sure knowledge'. It will
> > > > always entail some 'act of faith'.
>
> > > > To establish what is in some ultimate sense 'real' - as opposed to
> > > > knowable or communicable - is extraordinarily difficult,No, it's really 
> > > > easy. I am real, or I would not
> > > be writing this. What you mean is to
> > > establish it by abstract argumentation is difficult.
> > > Well, it is. That is why empiricists prefer empiricisim.
>
> > > > and perhaps at
> > > > root incoherent. The debate, for example, over whether the
> > > > computational supervenes on the physical doesn't hinge on the 'ontic
> > > > reality' of the fundamental assumptions of physicalism or
> > > > computationalism. Rather, it's about resolving the explanatory
> > > > commensurability (or otherwise) of the sets of observables and
> > > > relations characteristic of these theoretical perspectives. Indeed what
> > > > else could it possibly be for humans (or machines) with only such data
> > > > at our disposal?
>
> > > > David
>
> > > > > Bruno Marchal wrote:
> > > > > > There is no need to reify the numbers.[...]
>
> > > > > > I don't think so. Once you accept that the number theoretical truth 
> > > > > > is
> > > > > > independent of you (which I take as a form of humility), then it 
> > > > > > can be
> > > > > > explained quite precisely why "numbers" (in a third person 
> > > > > > view-view)
> > > > > > are bounded to believe in a physical (third person sharable) reality
> > > > > > and in a unnameable first person reality etc.Numbers that haven't 
> > > > > > been reified in any sense,
> > > > > don't exist in any way and therefore don't behave in any
> > > > > way.


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