Take this level of abstraction much further and what you have essentially is the 'dust theory' from Greg Egan's Permutation City. -------------------------- - Did you ever hear of "The Seattle Seven"? - Mmm. - That was me... and six other guys.

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2008/11/15 Kory Heath <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> > > > On Nov 14, 2008, at 9:29 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote: > > 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". > > Ok, I see your point. Computations are actions that people (or > computers or whatever) perform in our world. So it's still not quite > right to refer to "persons represented by unperformed computations". > But I still want some concise way of correctly saying what I'm trying > to say. > > Imagine an infinite two-dimensional lattice filled with the binary > digits of PI. (Start with any cell and fill in the digits of PI in an > outwardly-expanding square spiral.) Imagine the rules of Conway's > Life. We can point to any cell in this infinite lattice, and ask, "At > time T, is this cell on or off?" For any cell at any time T, there's a > mathematical fact-of-the-matter about whether or not that cell is on > or off. > > My essential position is that these mathematical facts-of-the-matter > play the role that "physical existence" is supposed to play for > materialists. If, within that mathematical description of Conway's > Life applied to the binary digits of PI, there are patterns of bits > (i.e. patterns of mathematical facts) that describe conscious persons, > I claim that those persons are in fact conscious (and necessarily so), > because those mathematical facts are as real as anything gets. They're > "all you need" for consciousness, and they're "all you need" for what > materialists call "physical reality". We can perform acts of > computation in our world in order to view some of those mathematical > facts, but those acts of computation don't create consciousness. > > That's not an argument. It's just a position statement. All I'm > looking for at the moment is a good one-sentence summary of this > position. For instance: > > "Mathematical facts play the role that physical existence is supposed > to play for materialists." > > Or > > "All persons described by mathematical facts are necessarily conscious." > > Or even just > > "Collections of mathematical facts can be conscious." > > Incidentally, I'd also like a name for this position. My top pick is > "Mathematical Physicalism". > > -- Kory > > > > > --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED] To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED] For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---