On Nov 12, 2008, at 9:33 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
> First, I have never stop to work on that and try to share the argument
> with people interested in the matter.

True. You're tireless! (That's a complement.)

> Second, it happens that sometimes I think the burden his on him to
> tell us what he means by a physical universe.

I totally agree. But most people will just wave their arms and say,  
"What do you mean? We're obviously in a physical universe. What's  
problematic about that?" And then the burden is back on us to explain  
why the concept of "physical existence" is more problematic than it  
seems. Burden Tennis.

> It is not a question of taste. It is a question of acknowledging use
> of logic and assumptions, and finding either hidden assumptions, or
> imprecise statements or invalid argument step(s).

I see your point. But there are issues of clarity or focus, and to  
some extent those are a matter of taste. I'd like to read an essay (by  
anyone) that lays out a clear argument in favor of the position that  
computations don't need to be implemented in order to be conscious. I  
believe this argument can be made without reference to Loebian  
machines, first-person indeterminacy, or teleportation thought- 
experiments.

I hope you don't find my criticism too annoying. It's easy for me to  
sit on the sidelines and take potshots, while you've done a lot of  
actual work. And remember that I do, in fact, believe that  
computations don't need to be implemented in order to be conscious, so  
you're usually preaching to the choir with me. My point is that, I can  
imagine Dennett reading your posts, and saying "Ok, that makes sense  
*if* we accept that computations don't need to be implemented in order  
to be conscious. But I still don't see why I should believe that."

I guess what it comes down to is that the Movie Graph Argument on its  
own doesn't seem fully convincing to me. But it's quite possible that  
I don't fully understand that argument. (I have my own reasons for  
believing that computations don't need to be implemented in order to  
be conscious, and sometimes I think some of them are functionally  
equivalent to the MGA, but I'm not sure.) Where is the clearest  
statement of the MGA?

-- Kory


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