I think I can get around your objection by pointing out that the
structure of counterfactuals is quite different for a recording vs. a
full human who is wired to be killed if they deviate from a recording.
Someone could fairly easily disarm the killing device, whereas it
would be quite difficult to reconstruct the person from the recording
(in fact there is not enough information to do so).

A related way out would be to point out that all the computational
machinery is present in one case (merely disabled), whereas it is
totally absent in the other case.


On Fri, Dec 5, 2008 at 3:05 AM, Stathis Papaioannou <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> 2008/12/1 Abram Demski <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>:
>> "Yes, consciousness supervenes on computation, but that computation
>> needs to actually take place (meaning, physically). Otherwise, how
>> could consciousness supervene on it? Now, in order for a computation
>> to be physically instantiated, the physical instantiation needs to
>> satisfy a few properties. One of these properties is clearly some sort
>> of isomorphism between the computation and the physical instantiation:
>> the actual steps of the computation are represented in physical form.
>> A less obvious requirement is that the physical computation needs to
>> have the proper counterfactuals: if some external force were to modify
>> some step in the computation, the computation must progress according
>> to the new computational state (as translated by the isomorphism)."
> So if you destroy the counterfactual behaviour by removing components
> that are not utilised, you end up with a recording-equivalent, which
> isn't conscious. But what if you destroy the counterfactual behaviour
> by another means? For example, if I wear a device that will instantly
> kill me if I deviate from a particular behaviour, randomly determined
> by the device from moment to moment, but survive, will my
> consciousness be diminished as a result? You might say, no, because if
> the device were not there I would have been able to handle the
> counterfactuals. But then it might also be argued for the first
> example that if the unused components had not been removed, the
> recording-equivalent would also have been able to handle the
> counterfactuals; and you can make this more concrete by having the
> extra machinery waiting to be dropped into place in a counterfactual
> universe.
> --
> Stathis Papaioannou
> >

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