Bruno Marchal writes:

> Le 30-oct.-06, à 14:15, Stathis Papaioannou wrote (in part):
> 
> 
> > A computationalist would add that a computer analogue
> > of a person would also have the same mental states, but this is more 
> > controversial.
> 
> 
> Is it really? With the notable couragous exception of Penrose I don't 
> know people who object to comp.
> Of course someone like Searle could gives the feeling that he dislike 
> comp, but its own reasoning, if you read it carefully, proves that he 
> accept comp, albeit only for low substitution level unlike most 
> "functionalist".
> Now as you know comp is my working hypothesis so this is for me just a 
> bit out of my topic. Remember that for postulating "not-comp" you have 
> to introduce high infinities in the third person description of the 
> brain/body. In particular you have to abandon QM, or any theory ever 
> proposed in physics and cognitive science.

Most people I know accept that consciousness is due entirely to physical 
processes in the brain. I think that this should commit them to this minimal 
functionalism: that a perfect copy of a person, as in quantum teleportation, 
should have the same kinds of conscious experiences as the original and should 
feel himself to be continuous with the original. However, many do not accept 
this conclusion, and even more puzzling, some accept but still claim that "the 
copy won't really be me" and that therefore teleportation = suicide.

On the other hand, there is nothing contradictory in believing that 
consciousness 
is due to physical processes but only the kind of hardware we carry in our 
heads 
will provide the correct sort of physical processes. A computer may or may not 
be 
able to copy the behaviour of a person, but it won't have the same experiences 
as 
the person, or it won't have any experiences at all. It is even possible to 
come up 
with a non-computationalist theory of computer consciousness: two computers 
apparently carrying out the same computation may differ in their conscious 
experience 
if their case is a different shape or the insulation on their wiring a 
different colour. It 
isn't very plausible, but it isn't logically contradictory.

Stathis Papaioannou
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