David Nyman wrote:
> 
> 
> On Oct 10, 9:12 pm, Brent Meeker <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> 
> 
>>Then
>>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 
>>physical
>>systems.  And it is possible by inspection of these systems to determine 
>>whether they
>>calculate pi.
> 
> 
> But it isn't possible to determine by inspection that they are
> conscious. 

Are you claiming it's impossible in principle, or just that we don't know how?

>'Calculating pi' in the final analysis can be satisfied by
> the system in question externalising its results (e.g. printing out the
> value of pi). But it isn't so simple to test a system that is claimed
> to be conscious. Be that as it may, would you be content with the
> conclusion that the 'properties' of materialism claimed to be jointly
> relevant to both computationalism and consciousness are purely
> relational? In this case, we needn't argue further. But this conclusion
> is, I think, why Bruno thinks that 'matter' has no real explanatory
> role in the account of conscious experience. This isn't quite
> equivalent to claiming that it can't be the primary reality, but rather
> to claim that it adds nothing to the accounts of computationalism or
> consciousness to do so, beyond the role of 'relational placeholder'.

I would think that identifying the relata would be relevant to explaining a 
relation. 
  But I agree that computation is mostly a matter of relations.  What matter 
adds is 
that it allows the computation to be instantied.  To dismiss it from the 
explanation 
seems like dismissing hydrogen and oxygen from an explanation of water.

Brent Meeker


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