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 I originally made).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
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