David Nyman wrote:
> On Oct 10, 2:51 am, "1Z" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
>> It's a claim of computationalism. I am just explaining how computationalism 
>> is
>> compatible with physicalism. You are complaining about circularity, not
>> contradiction!
> So you're saying that this variety of computationalism merely claims that 
> whatever
> 'physical properties' happen to be picked out by the 'right sort of 
> computation'
> must be the ones that are responsible for consciousness? But this is just 
> dogma
> masquerading as explanation.

It's not dogma if it's just offered as a possibility; a possibility that 
refutes the 
claim that computationalism is incompatible with materialism.

>> But remember that I have a narrowish view of what is a computer. And 
>> remember 
>> that consciousness is not held to be any old computation.
> Yes, but are you saying that *any old instantiation*, provided it implements 
> to
> your satisfaction the 'right sort of computation', must by that token be
> conscious, whatever 'physical properties' it employs? If you are, then AFAICS
> you're either claiming that *any old physical properties* that implement the
> computation are fact doing the work of creating consciousness, or that *none* 
> are.
> Either option is effectively abandoning materialism as the explanation for 
> why the
>  computation is deemed to cause consciousness. If you aren't in fact claiming
> this, then your appeal to 'computation' as picking out the relevant 
> properties can
> be valid only in the context of *specific*, not generalised, instantiations, 
> and
> thus becomes merely a shorthand for decribing tightly constrained activities 
> of
> just *those* physical systems. In this case, you retain your appeal to 
> materialism
> as causally relevant, but mere 'computational equivalence', in the 
> implementation-independent mathematical sense, ceases to predict which 
> physical
> systems will be conscious, and which not.

Just replace "be conscious" and "consciousness" with "be a calculation of pi".  
a calculation of pi is picked out among all instantiations of all computations 
- but 
it is still possible to calculate pi many different ways on many different 
systems.  And it is possible by inspection of these systems to determine 
whether they 
calculate pi.

Brent Meeker

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