On 14 Nov 2008, at 01:19, Kory Heath wrote:
> On Nov 13, 2008, at 9:38 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> Be careful with the term. The MGA is subtle and to explain it we will
>> have to be more precise. For example here it is better to remember
>> that only *person* are conscious. Computations are not conscious (be
>> it soft or hard wired).
> Good point. What's the most concise way to say it? "I believe that
> persons represented by unimplemented computations are conscious"?
Hmmm... I am afraid this is not yet OK, but take it easy, it helps to
realize the presence of some difficulties here. I got the same
impression with the discussion about zombie.
For someone who believes explicitly in naturalism or materialism, all
your definitions are correct (and will be used in the MGA reduction ad
absurdo which will follow). But now we can "redefined", or even just
*use* the *same definition* (of term like zombie, or implementation)
without interpreting them necessarily in a materialist background.
For example, a zombie is just some entity which looks like you and me,
i.e. has all the appearance of a human, and who has no consciousness.
There is no *need* to make them a priori fundamentally material. Now a
materialist can and even should interpret this as a zombie in the
sense of Dennett, but the definition continues to make sense for a non
materialist, who for example just consider itself that physics is
implemented or emerge from something else. It shows that the notion of
zombie does not depend on the materialist or non materialist belief. A
zombie is just something NON conscious despite it has all the
appearance of a human like you and me (and thus is material for a
materialist, and immaterial for an immaterialist).
The same for implementation or incarnation, or instantiation of a
program or an idea. A materialist will interpret (by default) the term
as "material implementation", but a non materialist can still believe
in the (very important of course) notion of implementation, even of
sort of quasi-"material" implementation: this would mean for him/her
"implementation in or relatively to the most probable computations".
So we agree that a computation is not conscious.
That only a person can be conscious (accepting that eventually we have
to make the notion of person a bit more precise)
Now a computationalist cannot say "I believe that persons represented
by unimplemented computations are conscious" for the reason that all
computations have to be implemented". Indeed, most computer programmer
used the term "implementation" followed by "in Fortran" (or java,
A machine A can implement machine B, when there is a number (program)
x such that the machine Ax behaves like B. Universal machine are
machine capable of implementing all machines.
(and UDA+MGA shows the necessity of something like "arithmetic
implement all universal machines whose "dreams" (sharable first person
stories) cohere into "physical histories" which then locally implement
these universal machine into person.
To economize conflict of words it is useful to put large
interpretation of those words, so that we can extract the genuine
difference of understandings. A zombie is material only for someone
who take for granted matter, like an implementation is material only
if you take matter fro granted.
I think I could be clearer. But I will stop here. Except for:
>> Perhaps the time has come I explain the MGA on the list? Would you be
>> interested? It seems that both you and Stathis already accept the
>> conclusion. So ...
> No need to do it just on my account, but yes, I'm interested.
With pleasure.. Thanks for telling me. I have no more choice
apparently! I will think about and send MGA step 1, .... asap.
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