Rex Allen wrote:
> If computationalism is true, and computation is the source of
> conscious experience, then shouldn't we expect that what is
> ontologically real is the simplest possible universe that can develop
> and support physical systems that are Turing equivalent?
> Does our universe look like such a universe?
> If our universe doesn't look like such a universe, then wouldn't it be
> reasonable to assume that ours is not the "real" universe, and that a
> simpler reality underlies it?
Perhaps we have our wires crossed. The definition of computationalism
you have _is not what is in the literature_.
This is the distillation I have formulated from the literature (in my
This is the shorthand for computationalism as distilled from the various
sources cited above. The working definition here:
"/The operational/functional equivalence (identity, indistinguishability
at the level of the model) of (a) a sufficiently embodied,
computationally processed, sufficiently detailed symbolic/formal
description/model of a natural thing X and (b) the described natural
The refs...Beer, Pylyshyn^ , Putnam^ , Horst and many others.
This definition of COMP therefore has nothing explicitly to do with
However, if COMP is true, then if you compute some kind of model of
cognition, then you may expect that model to be equivalent to a mind. An
attribution of experience, however, is completely spurious. If COMP (as
defined above) is true, then _all you need_ is abstract symbol
manipulation of the Turing machine kind to get equivalence. You can
remain completely mute/agnostic on the existence of experience in the
COMP entity. This is the origin of the of the catch phrase "cognition is
You may be confusing COMP with 'strong AI', which says that a COMP model
of cognition is actual cognition (a mind, from which you might infer
consciousness). Constrast this with "weak AI" which says that a COMP
model of cognition is not an instance of cognition.
Refuting COMP the way I have means "strong AI" is false, "weak AI" is true.
Refuting COMP the way I have means your idea of 'Turing Equivalence" is
The very best I can say of COMP is that it is trivially true in the
sense that you can 'compute' a mind if you already know everything (and
I mean everything, everywhere) .... in which case the mind operates akin
to a flight simulator.....you compute the brain and the entire
environment. Totally pointless .... and inconsistent with the logic of
being ignorant of the universe in the sense that scientists are
ignorant. You do not know the environment, hence you can't compute it.
Amazing how many different views you can get of this stuff.
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