2009/9/2 Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com>

> > I'm afraid that still doesn't work.  I realise it's counter intuitive,
> > but this is the point - to recalibrate the intuitions.  'Standard' CTM
> > postulates that the mind is a computation implemented by the brain,
> > and hence in principle implementable by any physical process capable
> > of instantiating the equivalent computation.  Bruno's 'version' starts
> > with this postulate and then shows that the first part of the
> > hypothesis - i.e. that the mind is computational - is incompatible
> > with the second part - i.e. that it is implemented by some
> > specifically distinguishable non-computational process.
>
> That's the step I don't grasp.  I see that the MGA makes it plausible
> that the mind could be a computation divorced from all physical
> processes - but not that it must be.  Maybe you can explain it.

Well, I'll recapitulate what insight I possess.

As I see it, both MGA and Olympia are intended to show how
postulating, on the basis of PM, that invariant mental states
supervene qua computatio, as Bruno would say, on non-invariant
physical causes is flatly incoherent - i.e. it leads to absurd
consequences.  This, as you know, has always been the brunt of my own
argument: i.e. that *any* plausible ascription of 'state' under PM
must be justified physically and hence the postulates are prima facie
self-contradictory.  The whole notion of computational invariance in a
physical, as opposed to mathematical, sense seems to me a confusion
arising from the failure to distinguish outcomes from processes.

Anyway, MGA/Olympia proceed by reducing the foregoing to a
demonstration that a formally invariant computation putatively
implementing a correspondingly invariant mental state can ex hypothesi
be shown to supervene on either minimal or zero physical activity.
This is an absurd conclusion, so the hypothesis that motivates it -
i.e. CTM+PM - is thus shown to be contradictory and must be abandoned,
not merely in this case, but in general: i.e. the exception has broken
the rule.  This is forced unless you can show where the logic goes
wrong.

Given the foregoing, the contradiction can in principle be resolved by
abandoning one or the other component of the conjunction.  That is, we
can retain PM, but with the proviso that mind can no longer be
attached to matter qua computatio.  Alternatively, we can retain CTM,
explicitly extended to a comp theory of mind-body, but with the
realisation that it can't be justified as such qua PM.  Your preferred
choice is not forced by the argument, but the choice itself is forced
else the contradiction can't be resolved.  That's it.

Actually, because of my prior queasiness about CTM+PM, I don't find
this dichotomy so very surprising, because CTM+PM always struck me as
an unjustifiable attempt to conjure a ghost from the machine to stand
in for mind.  It only seems odd because the coherence of the a priori
assumption of CTM in the face of PM is not usually challenged and
destroyed in so explicit a manner.  Nonetheless, if it's a ghost we're
after, we can still snare one by abandoning any appeal to the machine
(the physical one that is).  And in so doing, we can if we like, and
in denial of Occam, go on imagining a primitively physical machine out
there somewhere, but since ghosts and machines can't interact, this
turns out to be the sort of difference that makes no difference.

David

>
> David Nyman wrote:
> > On 1 Sep, 17:09, Flammarion <peterdjo...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> >
> >
> >>> If you don't like this, you have the option of abandoning CTM and with
> >>> it the notion of a virtual ontology.  This is so clear cut that I
> >>> would expect that you would welcome the opportunity either to accept
> >>> it or refute it with precise counter-argument.  Which is it to be?
> >>>
> >> You have slipped into Bruno's habit of confusing CTM with comp.
> >>
> >> comp=CTM+Platonism.
> >>
> >
> > I'm afraid that still doesn't work.  I realise it's counter intuitive,
> > but this is the point - to recalibrate the intuitions.  'Standard' CTM
> > postulates that the mind is a computation implemented by the brain,
> > and hence in principle implementable by any physical process capable
> > of instantiating the equivalent computation.  Bruno's 'version' starts
> > with this postulate and then shows that the first part of the
> > hypothesis - i.e. that the mind is computational - is incompatible
> > with the second part - i.e. that it is implemented by some
> > specifically distinguishable non-computational process.
>
> That's the step I don't grasp.  I see that the MGA makes it plausible
> that the mind could be a computation divorced from all physical
> processes - but not that it must be.  Maybe you can explain it.
>
> Brent
>
> >

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