2009/8/18 Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com>:

>> 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).  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.
> No less, but some more.  Compare the concept that chemistry gives rise to 
> life.  As we
> have come to understand life we see that it has lots of sub-processes and 
> there are
> different kinds suited to different environments.  We can manipulate some 
> aspects of life,
> e.g. genetic engineering.  So we did get more than just certain chemical 
> processes give
> rise to life in virtue of being the processes they are.  The very concept of 
> life is now
> seen to be a fuzzy abstraction with no definite meaning.

Yes, I agree completely, in terms of insight and explanation.  But
notwithstanding this - in terms of a primary matter ontology - it does
nothing to weaken the 'paraphrase' physical reduction argument with
respect to either 'life' or 'computation' - does it?


> Brent
>> Am I still missing something?
>> David
> >

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