Hi Colin,

    It seems that to me that until one understands the nature of the extreme 
Idealism that COMP entails, no arguement based on the physical will do...

    "I refute it thus!"
-Dr. Johnson http://www.samueljohnson.com/refutati.html



  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Colin Hales 
  To: everything-list@googlegroups.com 
  Sent: Tuesday, August 11, 2009 9:51 PM
  Subject: Re: Can mind be a computation if physics is fundamental?

  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:
           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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