Bruno Marchal wrote:
> On 25 Nov 2008, at 20:16, Brent Meeker wrote:
>> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>>> Brent: I don't see why the mechanist-materialists are
>>>> logically disallowed from incorporating that kind of physical
>>>> difference into their notion of consciousness.
>>> Bruno: In our setting, it means that the neuron/logic gates have
>>> some form of
>> Brent: I'm not sure I agree with that. If consciousness is a
>> process it may be
>> instantiated in physical relations (causal?). But relations are in
>> general not
>> attributes of the relata. Distance is an abstract relation but it
>> is always
>> realized as the distance between two things. The things themselves
>> don't have
>> "distance". If some neurons encode my experience of "seeing a rose"
>> might not
>> the experience depend on the existence of roses, the evolution of
>> sight, and the
>> causal chain as well as the immediate state of the neurons?
> With *digital* mechanism, it would just mean that we have not chosen
> the right level of substitution. Once the level is well chosen, then
> we can no more give role to the implementations details. They can no
> more be relevant, or we introduce prescience in the elementary
But is causality an implementation detail? There seems to be an implicit
assumption that digitally represented states form a sequence just because there
is a rule that defines that sequence, but in fact all digital (and other)
sequences depend on causal chains.
>>>> Bostrom's views about fractional
>>>> "quantities" of experience are a case in point.
>>> If that was true, why would you say "yes" to the doctor without
>>> knowing the thickness of the artificial axons?
>>> How can you be sure your consciousness will not half diminish when
>>> doctor proposes to you the new cheaper brain which use thinner
>>> or half the number of redundant security fibers (thanks to a progress
>>> in security software)?
>>> I would no more dare to say "yes" to the doctor if I could loose a
>>> fraction of my consciousness and become a partial zombie.
>> But who would say "yes" to the doctor if he said that he would take
>> a movie of
>> your brain states and project it? Or if he said he would just
>> destroy you in
>> this universe and you would continue your experiences in other
>> branches of the
>> multiverse or in platonia? Not many I think.
> I agree with you. Not many will say yes to such a doctor! Even
> rightly so (with MEC). I think MGA 3 should make this clear.
> The point is just that if we assume both MEC *and* MAT, then the
> movie is "also" conscious, but of course (well: by MGA 3) it is not
> conscious "qua computatio", so that we get the (NON COMP or NON MAT)
It's not so clear to me. One argument leads to CONSCIOUS and the other leads
NON-CONSCIOUS, but there is not direct contradiction - only a contradiction of
intuitions. So it may be a fault of intuition in evaluating the thought
> I keep COMP (as my working hypothesis, but of course I find it
> plausible for many reasons), so I abandon MAT. With comp,
> consciousness can still supervene on computations (in Platonia, or
> more concretely in the universal deployment), but not on its physical
> implementation. By UDA we have indeed the obligation now to explain
> the physical, by the computational. It is the reversal I talked about.
> Somehow, consciousness does not supervene on brain activity, but brain
> activity supervene on consciousness. To be short, because
> consciousness is now somehow related with the whole of arithmetical
> truth, and things are no so simple.
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