On 19 Aug, 13:03, David Nyman <david.ny...@gmail.com> wrote:
> 009/8/19 Flammarion <peterdjo...@yahoo.com>:
> >> 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.
> Not in this instance.  The whole thrust of the paraphrase argument is
> precisely to show - in principle at least - that the reduced concept
> can be *eliminated* from the explanation.  You can do this with
> 'life', so you should be prepared to do it with 'computation'.

Showing that a word can be removed from a verbal formulation
by substitution with s synonym is not *ontological* elimination.
Substituting H2O for water does not show that water is non-existent,
just that
is is non-fundamental.

> >> (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.
> My point is that claiming - *a priori* - that 'life' caused
> consciousness would shed as little light as saying that computation
> did so.

I don't think anyone is doing that. For one thing, there is quite
a body of research on computationalism. For another, it is being
discussed as a hypothesis, which is different from assuming its

>  In either case, a successful paraphrase must be capable of
> pointing out precisely *which* specific physical entities - in
> precisely *what* relation - to precisely *which* other specific
> physical entities - are deemed responsible for the paraphrased concept
> in any specific case.  I freely concede that - *if* it turned out a
> posteriori that a reduced physical theory capable of explicitly
> attaching specific mental descriptions to specific physical processes
> could be shown, in all cases FAPP, to be equivalent to some explicitly
> specifiable program interpreted purely in terms of functional
> relations of its physical instantiation - I would indeed be impressed.
>  But this would be a world away from a brute a priori assumption.
> IOW, the justification for any paraphrased concept is posterior, not
> prior.

Err...yeah. I'm not particularly commited to the CTM as  a categorical
I just don't think it has the implications Bruno thinks.

> In the context of the foregoing, MGA makes a direct attack on "CTM +
> PM = true" via reductio: i.e. by demonstrating at least one class of
> physical reduction of a computation where any physical attachment
> theory must evaporate.  To emphasise: it isn't per se an attack on PM,
> only on the a priori conjunction of PM and CTM.  At what step do you
> say it is invalid?

Where he says computation can happen without any physicial process at
all. I don't see any evidence for that

> >> 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?
> That PM theory isn't justified in making an a priori claim to a
> 'computational' theory of mind,

No-one has maintained that CTM is an implication
of PM

>or indeed *any* a priori claim to
> organising principles transcending

Only Bruno thinks computation trancends matter.

>the underlying physical processes.
> All conceptual overlays in this context must be, and indeed - with the
> outstanding exception of CTM - in practice always are, accepted as
> requiring justification a posteriori.

Have you read *any* of the literature on the CTM?

> >> > 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.
> MBP??  

Mind body problem

>At this stage, I'm really unclear on the basis of the above
> whether or not you actually wish to defend "CTM + PM = true" on a
> priori grounds.  Would you please clarify?

CTM *implies* materialism, and the MGA doesn't work.
CTM might still be false though.
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