On 18 Aug, 22:46, David Nyman <david.ny...@gmail.com> wrote:
> 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 I originally made).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*

No, reducible, not eliminable. That is an important distinction.

> (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?

I don't see your point. Either claim may  or may not be true
and may or may not be paraphraseable.

> 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.

Which is what?

> > 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

I am arguing with Bruno about whether the eliminaiton of matter
makes things easier for the MBP. I think it just give you less to work
with.
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