Bruno Marchal wrote:
Le 08-oct.-06, à 08:00, George Levy a écrit :

  
Bruno,

Finally I read your filmed graph argument which I have stored in my
computer. (The original at the Iridia web site
http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/bxlthesis/Volume3CC/3%20%202%20.pdf
is not accessible anymore. I am not sure why.)
    

Thanks for telling. I know people a reconfiguring the main
server at IRIDIA, I hope it is only that.



  
In page TROIS -61 you describe an experience of consciousness which is
comprised partially of a later physical process and partially of the
recording of an earlier physical process.

It is possible to resolve the paradox simply by saying that
consciousness involves two partial processes each occupying two
different time intervals, the time intervals being connected by a
recording, such that the earlier partial process is combined with the
later partial process, the recording acting as a connection device.
    

I mainly agree. But assuming comp it seems to me this is just a 
question of "acceptable" implementation of consciousness.
Once implemented in any "correct" ways, the reasoning shows, or is 
supposed to show, that the inner first person experience cannot be 
attributed to the physical activity. The "physical" keep an important 
role by giving the frame of the possible relative manifestations of the 
consciousness. But already at this stage, consciousness can no more 
been attached to it. On the contrary, keeping the comp hyp, the 
physical must emerge from the coherence of "enough" possible relative 
manifestations.



  
I am not saying that consciousness supervene on the physical substrate.
All I am saying is that the example does not prove that consciousness
does not supervene the physical. The example is just an instance of
consciousness operating across two different time intervals by mean of 
a
physical substrate and a physical means (recording) of connecting these
two time intervals.
    

In this case, would you take this as an argument for the necessity of 
the physical, you would change the notion of physical supervenience a 
lot. You would be attaching consciousness to some history of physical 
activity. 
I agree with all this. I would be changing the notion of physical supervenience such that the physical substrate can be split into time intervals connected by recordings. . But why stop here. We could create an example in which the substrate is maximally split, across time, space, substrate and level.

On the other hand, widening the domain of supervenience (time, space, substrate and level) does not seem to eliminate the need for the physical. Here I am arguing against myself... We may solve the problem if we make supervenience recursive, i.e.. software supervening on itself without needing a physical substrate just like photons do not need Ether.

In addition, if we are going to split consciousness maximally in this fashion, the concept of observer becomes important, something you do not include in your example.

To observe a split consciousness, you need an observer who is also split, in sync with the split consciousness, across time, space, substrate and level (a la Zelazny - Science Fiction writer). In your example, for an observer to see consciousness in the machine, he must be willing to exist at the earlier interval, skip over the time delay carrying the recording and resume his existence at the later interval. If he observes only a part of the whole thing, say the recording, he may conclude that the machine is not conscious.

But if you keep comp, you will not been able to use genuinely 
that past physical activity. If you could, it would be like asking to 
the doctor an artificial brain with the guarantee that the hardware of 
that brain has been gone through some genuine physical stories, 
although no memory of those stories are needed in the computation made 
by the new (artificial) brain; or if such memory *are* needed, it would 
mean the doctor has not made the right level choice.
Now, when you say the reasoning does not *prove* that consciousness 
does not supervene the physical, you are correct. But sup-phys says 
there is no consciousness without the physical, i.e. some physical 
primary ontology is needed for consciusness, and that is what the 
reasoning is supposed to be showing absurd: not only we don't need the 
physical (like thermodynamicians do not need "invisible horses pulling 
cars"),  but MOVIE-GRAPH + UDA (*) makes obligatory the appearance of 
the physical emerging from *all* (relative) computations, making twice 
the concept of primitive matter useless.
OK? ...I realize I could be clearer(**)

(*) Caution: in "Conscience et Mecanisme" the movie-graph argument 
precedes the UD argument (the seven first step of the 8-steps-version 
of the current UDA). In my Lille thesis, the movie graph follows the UD 
argument for eliminating the use of the "existence of a universe 
hypothesis"; so there are some nuances between the different versions.

(**) I am open to thoroughly discuss this, for example in november. 
Right now I am a bit over-busy (until the end of october).
  
OK. Take your time.

Bruno

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/

  

George

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