2009/8/18 Flammarion <peterdjo...@yahoo.com>:

>> >> 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 I originally made).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.

I completely agree that **assuming primary matter** computation is "a
physical process taking place in brains and computer hardware".  The
paraphrase argument - the one you said you agreed with - asserts that
*any* human concept is *eliminable* (my original point) after such
reduction to primary physical processes.  So why should 'computation'
escape this fate?  How would you respond if I said the brain is
conscious because it is 'alive'?  Would 'life' elude the paraphrased
reduction to physical process?

BTW, let's be clear: I'm not saying that physicalism is false
(although IMO it is at least incomplete).  I'm merely pointing out one
of its consequences.

> 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.

Yes, of course, this is precisely my point, for heaven's sake.  Here's
the proposal, in your own words: assuming physicalism "the class of
consciousness-causing processes might not coincide with any proper
subset of the class of computational processes".  Physicalist theory
of mind urgently required.  QED

David



>
>

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