Bruno Marchal writes:

> I'm not sure that this is what you meant, but there is in a sense an > objective basis to the personal or subjective, which is simply that > when I say I feel or desire something, this is an empirical statement: > either I do feel it or I am lying. Also, there is an objective > explanation for why I have the feeling in terms of neurophysiology, > evolution and so on. But this is not enough for some people and they > think, for example, that there must be more to "love" than just > particular feelings and the scientific basis for these feelings. But > this mysterious love-substance would appear to make no difference > whatsoever. The evidence is that if certain chemical reactions occur, > the love feeling also occurs, and these chemical reactions occur > because they have evolved that way to assist bonding with family, > community and so on. That explanation covers everything, and the > love-substance remains superfluous and undetectable, inviting Occam's > Razor to cut it down.

I can agree completely but as you expect I will ask you to cut *any* substance once you bet on comp. Not just love-substance, but neuron-substance as well.

(Or explain me at which step of the UDA reasoning you feel unconvinced, thanks ;-)

... of course we can believe in neurons and ... love. No need of any substances ... (more exactly, with comp, substances can't help).

The bit about computations not supervening on physical activity (or alternatively supervening on any physical activity) could be seen as a reductio ad absurdum against comp. I'm not entirely convinced either way; I'd bet even money on the hypothesis at present, although that changes from day to day.

In any case, it becomes cumbersome to qualify everything with "given the appearance of a real world" or some such. There is a computer on my desk at the moment, but there is no gold bar. You could say that the computer and the gold are equally insubstantial, so what is the difference between them? The difference is that one produces a very good illusion of being substantial, whatever test you throw at it, while the other does not. The special immaterial love-substance is more like the gold bar on my desk than the computer.

Stathis Papaioannou
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