Le 05-janv.-07, à 05:55, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :
Bruno: If consciousness supervenes on all physical processes a case
can be made that matter could be relevant for consciousness. (I see
Peter Jones makes a similar remark).
Stathis: Except that you could say the same for the Maudlin example,
in which it is shown that conscious can differ in two objects which do
not differ in physical activity: it does not strictly show that
physical activity (or more generally, matter) is unnecessary, just
that the usual definition of supervenience does not apply.
OK, I guess that by "usual supervenience" you mean "physical
supervenience". Both Maudlin and the movie graph show that the comp hyp
is incompatible with usual (physical) supervenience. We both show (~
comp OR ~ physical supervenience). This is equivalent with (comp -> ~
physical supervenience) or with (physical supervenience -> ~ comp).
Now I take comp, and I prove more (the UDA + Movie graph) gives more
information than just the movie graph or Maudlin, and the acomp
shows more and less. More in the sense that it gives the precise logic
of comp-physical proposition; less because without much remaining work
it gives only that. But the puzzle pieces fit enough together to expect
some quantum computing provable to appear in the neighborhood of any
You take comp and supervenience as two separate theories, but I would
bet that most computationalists take them as a package deal.
Of course. But they are wrong. That package deal is made of sand. That
is my point. Comp and physical supervenience is a bit little "molecular
biology" + vitalism.
The point of the UDA in 8 steps (that is UDA including the
movie-graph/maudlin point) is really that nobody can be serious by
keeping both comp and physical supervenience. But physical
supervenience is obviously an invention of materialist (monist or
If we keep comp you can easily understand that we have to go back on
computational supervenience, and then we have to explain the origin of
the physical laws from that.
> I wonder if we are talking about the same thing, because it doesn't
> seem to me that an empirical proof is needed to show that any
physical > process could be seen as implementing any computation.
This is not obvious at all. You need both empiry + a physical theory
about that empiry, just to say that there is a physical process
implementing if only one computation (to say nothing about all
All you need is one physical process.
That is enough for my point.
If consciousness is in no way dependent on the details of this
physical process, then the actual physics is irrelevant.
What does that means? If physical supervenience is correct
consciousness has to be described by a non turing emulable *physical
process* whatever details are needed or not, a part of it have to
include an infinity of details (or it will be computationalist).
Do you see how, aside from one small detail, this is equivalent to
saying that consciousness is not dependent on any physical process at
I don't see this (but I see that this is going in the direction I argue
it should go).
It doesn't matter if the machine loops, because the one physical state
can map to many different computational states.
I can only *imagine* this, and this only together with some physical
assumption. Remember that one of my goal is to explain what a "physical
state" can possibly be. As you know I do not assume physics. I do not
assume any physics.
Semantics is arbitrary.
Hmmm... here I see what you mean, but I disagree. You consider some
physical state (a fuzzy thing imo) and then *you* consider all the
semantics, which *you* interpret as any or many computational states.
Perhaps we should go back on the basic assumption.
But if you consider a physical computer the actual states
corresponding to the steps of the computation can be arbitrary. They
will be ordered in a certain consistent way, so we can utilise the
machine, but that is just a practical requirement. The natural number
3 does not have to be written as "3" nor even as "III"; it could be
written as "II" on a Wednesday, "IIII" if the moon is full and "I" the
rest of the time. This has no effect on the platonic object 3, but it
does affect our ability to communicate and do arithmetic unless we
keep track of the notation. Similarly with a computation, we need to
be aware of the meaning of the states on a physical computer in order
to use it, but our awareness of the computer semantics does not
"create" the computation or imbue it with consciousness (if
computations can be conscious) any more than our awareness of
mathematical notation creates the number 3.
The computational states just need to be *relatively* coherent. I have
no idea what you mean by a "physical computer" for the reason that the
term "physical" denotes different things relatively to the assumption
Why can't the black page contain everything that can possibly be
written, i.e. it can be a superposition of an infinite number of pages
with an infinite amount of ink?
You mean a quantum superposition? (then with comp such a superposition
really describes an infinity of immaterial computational histories in
which each page contains a finite amount of ink. Well it is rather
similar with the quantum mechanical superposition).
The only sense in which (both with quantum field theory AND with the
comp-physics) I can accept an infinite information on a black page is
related to renormalization problem, spurious infinite energies ....
But then why to assume a physical world with all those infinities when
comp forces us to deal with already enough infinities?
You loss me I'm afraid. Are you trying to save both comp AND the
physical supervenience? We have not yet derive the whole of physics
from comp, but we can already expect the "mind-matter" mapping to be
something quite complex. For me it is obvious that to a mind state
there will be an infinity of "computational states and histories" going
through that mind state. The reverse is harder because we are unable
(assuming comp) to singularize a "comp-physical states". Physical
states *are* already first person plural (inter-subjective) appearances
emerging from the gluing and overlapping of infinities of computations
(and thus immaterial(*)). Unless I am wrong, standard computationalism
is flawed, like both the monist and dualist doctrine of materialism are
It would be wrong to say that comp makes materialism refutated, but for
a similar reason that it is wrong to say that bilogy has proves that
vitalism is refutated. But biology has made vitalism
explanation-useless, and computationalism makes materialism explantion
Of course it remains the possibility that comp is incorrect. If comp is
true, we have to live with that possibility forever.
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