This is a post I wrote yesterday, but apparently did not go through.

Le 23-oct.-06, à 15:58, David Nyman a écrit :

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> Here I disagree, or if you want make that distinction (introduced by
>> Peter), you can sum up the conclusion of the UD Argument by:
>> Computationalism entails COMP.
> Bruno, could you distinguish between your remarks vis-a-vis comp, that
> on the one hand: a belief in 'primary' matter can be retained provided
> it is not invoked in the explanation of consciousness,

Imagine someone who has been educated during his entire childhood with 
the idea that anything moving on the road with wheels is pulled by 
invisible horses. Imagine then that becoming an adult he decides to 
study physics and thermodynamics, and got the understanding that there 
is no need to postulate invisible horses for explaining how car moves 
Would this "proves" the non existence of invisible horses? Of course 
no. From a logical point of view you can always add irrefutable 
hypotheses making some theories as redundant as you wish. The 
thermodynamician can only say that he does not need the invisible 
horses hypothesis for explaining the movement of the cars , like 
Laplace said to Napoleon that he does not need the "God hypothesis" in 
his mechanics. And then he is coherent as far as he does not use the 
God concept in is explanation.

The comp hypothesis, which I insist is the same as standard 
computationalism (but put in a more precise way if only because of the 
startling consequences) entails that "primary matter", even existing, 
cannot be used to justify anything related to the subjective 
experience, and this includes any *reading* of pointer needle result of 
a physical device. So we don't need the postulate it.
And that is a good thing because the only definition of primary matter 
I know (the one by Aristotle in his metaphysics) is already refuted by 
experiments and theory (QM or just comp as well).

> and on the
> other: that under comp 'matter' emerges from (what I've termed) a
> recursively prior 1-person level. Why are these two conclusions not
> contradictory?

'Matter', or the stable appearance of matter has to emerge from the 
"mathematical coherence of the computations". This is what the UDA is 
supposed to prove. Scientifically it means that you can test comp by 
comparing some self-observing discourses of digital machines (those 
corresponding to the arithmetical translation of the UDA (AUDA)) with 
empirical physics. Again this cannot disprove the ("religious") belief 
in Matter, or in any Gods, for sure.

>> You will have to attach
>> consciousness to actual material infinite.
> Why is this the case?

Because it is a way to prevent the UDA reasoning (at least as currently 
exibited) to proceed. It makes sense to say that some actual material 
infinity is not duplicable, for example. To be sure, the AUDA would 
still work (but could be less well motivated).


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