On 18 Aug, 00:41, David Nyman <david.ny...@gmail.com> wrote:
> 2009/8/17 Flammarion <peterdjo...@yahoo.com>:
> > Yep. I have no problem with any of that
> Really? Let's see then.....
> >> The "paraphrase" condition means, for example, that instead of adopting a
> >> statement like "unicorns have one horn" as a true statement about reality
> >> and thus being forced to accept the existence of unicorns, you could
> >> instead paraphrase this in terms of what images and concepts are in
> >> people's mind when they use the word "unicorn"; and if you're an
> >> eliminative materialist who wants to avoid accepting mental images and
> >> concepts as a basic element of your ontology, it might seem plausible that
> >> you could *in principle* paraphrase all statements about human concepts
> >> using statements about physical processes in human brains, although we may
> >> lack the understanding to do that now.
> I presume that one could substitute 'computation' for 'unicorn' in the
> above passage? If so, the human concept that it is 'computation' that
> gives rise to consciousness could be "paraphrased using statements
> about physical processes in human brains". So what may we now suppose
> gives such processes this particular power? Presumably not their
> 'computational' nature - because now "nous n'avons pas besoin de cette
> hypothèse-là" (which I'm sure you will recall was precisely the point
> I originally made).
That's completely back to front. Standard computaitonalism
regards computation as a physical process taking place
in brains and computer hardware. It doesn't exist
at the fundamental level like quarks, and it isn't non-existent
like unicorns. It is a higher-level existent, like horses.
Standard computationalism is *not* Bruno's claims about
immaterial self-standing computations dreaming they are butterflies
whatever. That magnificent edifice is very much of his own
making. He may call it "comp" but don't be fooled.
>It seems to me that what one can recover from
> this is simply the hypothesis that certain brain processes give rise
> to consciousness in virtue of their being precisely the processes that
> they are - no more, no less.
> Am I still missing something?
It's prima facie possible for physicalism to be true
and computationalism false. That is to say that
the class of consciousness-causing processes might
not coincide with any proper subset of the class
of computaitonal processes.
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