2009/4/20 Kelly <harmon...@gmail.com>:
> What is the advantage of assigning consciousness to computational
> processes (e.g. UDA), as opposed to just assigning it to the
> information that is produced by computational processes?
> For example, to take Maudlin's "Computation and Consciousness" paper,
> if you just say that the consciousness is found in the information
> represented by the arrangement of the empty or full water troughs,
> then that basically removes the problem he is pointing out.
> Similarly, associated consciousness only with information seems to
> resolve problems with random processes interfering with the causal
> structure of physically implemented computations which then, despite
> having the causal chain interrupted, would still seem to produce
> consciousness.  (more on the irrelevance of causality:
> http://platonicmindscape.blogspot.com/2009/02/irrelevance-of-causality.html)
> Bruno Marchal has mentioned this in his movie graph argument, where a
> cosmic ray interrupts a logical operation in a transistor on a
> computer that is running a brain simulation, but due to good fortune
> the result of the operation is still correct despite the break in the
> causal chain that produced the answer.
> Conscious being associated with information would also seem to address
> the problems with Davidson's "swampman" scenario, and the related
> quantum swampman scenario (http://platonicmindscape.blogspot.com/
> 2009/03/quantum-swampman.html).
> So, many different programs can produce the same information, using
> many different algorithms, optimizations, shortcuts, etc.  But if all
> of these programs all accurately simulate the same brain, then they
> should produce the same conscious experience, regardless of the
> various implementation details.
> The most obvious thing that all such programs would have in common is
> that they work with the same information...the state of the brain at
> each given time slice.  Even if this state is stored in different
> forms by each of the various programs, there must always be a mapping
> between those various storage formats, as well as a mapping back to
> the original brain whose activity is being simulated.
> Therefore, it seems better to me to say:  Consciousness is
> information, not the processes that produce the information.
> What are the drawbacks of this view when contrasted with
> computationalism?

The drawback is that any physical system (which could be mapped onto
any information or any computation) would be conscious. This is only a
drawback if you believe, I guess as a matter of faith, that it is

Stathis Papaioannou

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