On Nov 22, 2008, at 6:24 PM, Stathis Papaioannou wrote: > Similarly, whenever we > interact with a computation, it must be realised on a physical > computer, such as a human brain. But there is also the abstract > computation, a Platonic object. It seems that consciousness, like > threeness, may be a property of the Platonic object, and not of its > physical realisation. This allows resolution of the apparent paradoxes > we have been discussing.
For reasons that are (mostly) independent of all of these thought experiments, I suspect that there's something deeply correct about the idea that an "abstract computation" can be the substrate for consciousness. Or at least, I think there's something deeply correct about replacing the idea of "physical existence" with "mathematical facts-of-the-matter". This immediately eliminates weird questions like "why is there something instead of nothing", which seem unanswerable in the context of the normal view of physical existence. But what I'm realizing is that I still don't have a clear conception of how consciousness is supposed to relate to these Platonic computations. (Or maybe I don't have a clear enough picture of what counts as a "Platonic computation".) In a way, it feels to me as though I still have "partial zombie" problems, even in Platonia. Lets imagine a "block universe" in Platonia - a 3D block of cells filled (in some order that we specify) with the binary digits of PI. Somewhere within this block, there are (I think) regions which look "as if" they're following the rules of Conway's Life, and some of those regions contain creatures that look "as if" they're conscious. Are they actually conscious? The move away from "physical existence" to "mathematical existence" (what I've called "mathematical physicalism") doesn't immediately help me answer this question. The answer I *used* to give was that it doesn't matter, because no matter what "accidental order" you find in Platonia, you also find the "real order". In other words, if you find some portion of the digits of PI that "seems to be" following the rules of Conway's Life, then there is also (of course) a Platonic object that represents the "actual" computations that the digits of PI "seem to be" computing. This is, essentially, Bostrom's "Unification" in the context of Platonia. It doesn't matter whether or not "accidental order" in the digits of PI can be viewed as conscious, because either way, we know the "real order" exists in Platonia as well, and multiple "instantiations" of the same pain in Platonia wouldn't result in multiple pains. I'm uncomfortable with the philosophical vagueness of some of this. At the very least, I want a better handle on why Unification is correct and Duplication is not in the context of Platonia (or why that question is confused, if it is). -- 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 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---