Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> Brent Meeker writes:
> > > > OK, but that means "observer moments" are not fundamental and the
> > > "illusion" of their continuity may be provided by the continuity of
> > > their underpinning. But I don't see how a strictly stepwise discrete
> > > process as contemplated in the UD can provide that continuity. It
> was my
> > > understanding that it assumed consciousness could be provided by a
> > > series of disjoint states.
> > > >
> > > > Brent Meeker
> > >
> > > It's an assumption of computationalism that the discrete computational
> > > steps will lead to continuity of consciousness. Moreover, it's an
> > > assumption of computationalism that a discontinuity in substrate of
> > > implementation (i.e. from brain to digital computer) will preserve
> > > continuity of consciousness.
> > Maybe that assumption is inconsistent.
> > Computational steps have an order in Platonia. In implementing them
> in the material world, as in a computer, the sequentiallity (is that a
> word?) of the steps is provided by the underlying physics just as the 1s
> and 0s are provided by switches. But without the continuity of the
> substrate it seems the states need some axiomatic, inherent order as in
> Platonia. So then it is not clear that states can be chopped arbitrarily
> finely and still function as computations - or a stream of conscious states.
> > Brent Meeker
> I don't see how it is possible to mix up something any more thoroughly
> in the real world than it is already mixed up in Platonia.
Sure. In the real world I can write 1 2 4 7 6 3... But in arithmtic Platonia
(a small part of the kingdom) there's no spacial or temporal order that can
conflict with the inherent order.
>It's not as
> if God has to explicitly put the integers in line one after the other:
> they just naturally form a sequence, and they would no less form a
> sequence if they were written on cards and thrown to the wind. Explicit
> ordering in the physical world is important from a third person
> perspective. If the putative sequence has a first person experience, and
> the substrate of its implementation is transparent to that first person
> experience (eg. an entity in a virtual reality environment with no
> external input) then the implicit ordering in Platonia is sufficient to
> create the first person impression of continuity.
> Stathis Papaioannou
I don't disagree with that. But that means that a conscious, 1st person, pair
of experiences, i.e. pair of numbers can have no order other than the inherent
order of the numbers. And if an experience corresponds to just a number, then
experiences are discrete and can't be chopped finer than some limit.
I guess I need a more explicit idea of how experiences occur in arithmetic
Platonia. Are we to imagine that some large number 3875835442... is a single,
atomic experience and another number 3876976342... is another single, atomic
experience and they have no other relation than their natural order? In that
case, they would be experiences in a certain bundle of streams of consciousness
just in virtue of having some digits in common or having factors in common or
what? Or are we to imagine another Platonic object, a Turing machine, that
generates both these numbers in a certain sequence (maybe the reverse of their
natural order) - and that's what makes them parts of the same experience bundle?
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