Bruno Marchal wrote:
> On 10 Aug 2009, at 09:08, Colin Hales wrote:
>> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> On 06 Aug 2009, at 04:37, Colin Hales wrote:
>>>> Man this is a tin of worms! I have just done a 30 page detailed 
>>>> refutation of computationalism.
>>>> It's going through peer review at the moment.
>>>> The basic problem that most people fall foul of is the conflation 
>>>> of 'physics-as-computation' with the type of computation that is 
>>>> being carried out in a Turing machine (a standard computer). In the 
>>>> paper I drew an artificial distinction between them. I called the 
>>>> former NATURAL COMPUTATION (NC) and the latter ARTIFICIAL 
>>>> COMPUTATION (AC). The idea is that if COMP is true then there is no 
>>>> distinction between AC and NC. The distinction should fail.
>>> Why? COMP entails that physics cannot be described by a computation, 
>>> but by an infinite sum of infinite histories. If you were correct, 
>>> there would be no possible white rabbit. You are confusing comp (I 
>>> am a machine) and constructive physics (the universe is a machine).
>> This is the COMP I have a problem with. It's the one in the 
>> literature.  It relates directly to the behaviour (descriptive 
>> options of) of scientists:
>> *COMP*
>> 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 thing X/”/./
>> If this is not the COMP you speak of, then this could be the origins 
>> of disparity in view. Also, the term "I am machine" says nothing 
>> scientifically meaningful to me.
> This is not comp. Actually the definition above is ambiguous, and 
> seems to presuppose natural things.
I did not make this up. I read it in the literature in various forms and 
summarised. 'Mind as computation' is a specific case of it. If I have a 
broken definition according to you then I am in the company of a lot of 
people. It's also the major delusion in many computer 'scientists' in 
the field of AI, who's options would be very different if COMP is false. 
So I'll use COMP as defined above, for now. It is what I refute.

'presupposing natural things..." ?? hmmmmmm....

Natural things........You know... the thing we sometimes call the 'real 
world'?  Whatever it is that we are in/made of, that appears to behave 
rather regularly and that we are intrinsically ignorant of and 'do 
empirical science on'. The 'thing' that our consciousness portrays to 
us? The place with real live behaving humans with major brain and other 
nervous system problems who could really use some help? That natural 
world that actually defined COMP as per above. That 'thing'.Whatever 
'it' is... that will do for a collection of  'natural things'.

The idea that the "presupposition of natural things" is problematic is 
rather unhelpful to those (above, real, natural) suffering people. 
Sounds a bit emotive, but .. there you go .. call me "practically 
motivated". I intend to remain in this condition. :-)


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