On Nov 21, 2008, at 8:15 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
> On 21 Nov 2008, at 10:45, Kory Heath wrote:
>> However, the materialist-mechanist still has some grounds to say that
>> there's something interestingly different about Lucky Kory than
>> Original Kory. It is a physical fact of the matter that Lucky Kory is
>> not causally connected to Pre-Teleportation Kory.
> Keeping the comp hyp (cf the "qua computatio") this would introduce
I'm not sure it has to. Can you elaborate on what magic you think it
ends up introducing?
In the context of mechanism-materialism, I am forced to believe that
Lucky Kory's consciousness, qualia, etc., are exactly what they would
have been if the teleportation had worked properly. But I don't see
how that forces me to accept any magic. It doesn't (for instance)
force me to say that Kory's "real" consciousness magically jumped over
to Lucky Kory despite the lack of the causal connection. As a
mechanist, I don't think there's any sense in talking about
consciousness in that way.
Dennett has a slogan: "When you describe what happens, you've
described everything." In this weird case, we have to fall back on
describing what happened. A pattern of molecules was destroyed, and
somewhere else that exact pattern was (very improbably) created by a
random process of cosmic rays. Since we mechanists believe that
consciousness and qualia are just aspects of patterns, the
consciousness and qualia of the lucky pattern must (by definition) be
the same as the original would have been. I don't think that causes
any (immediate) problem for the mechanist. Is Lucky Kory the same
person as Original Kory? I don't think the mechanist is committed to
any particular answer to this question. We've already described what
happened. Now it's just a matter of how we want to use our words. If
we want to use them in a certain way, there is a sense in which we can
say that Lucky Kory is not the same person as Original Kory, as long
as we understand that *all* we mean is that Lucky Kory isn't causally
connected to Original Kory (along with whatever else that implies).
However, I do start getting uncomfortable when I realize that this
lucky teleportation can happen over and over again, and if it happens
fast enough, it just reduces to sheer randomness that just happens to
be generating an ordered pattern that looks like Kory. I have a hard
time understanding how a mechanist can consider a bunch of random
numbers to be conscious. If that's the kind of magic you're referring
to, then I agree.
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