2009/9/22 Flammarion <peterdjo...@yahoo.com>:

>> So what did you mean the reader to conclude from your original
>> argument?
>
> I wasn't trying to settle the whole issue in one go.
>
>>You concluded that the realisation of a computation doesn't
>> cause consciousness.  But did you also mean to imply that nonetheless
>> the realisation of a computation IS consciousness?  If so, why didn't
>> you say so?  And how would that now influence your evaluation of CTM?

Would you respond to this please?

>> > I find them both quite contestable
>>
>> If you would risk saying precisely why, you might have a counter-argument.
>
> e.g.
> http://philpapers.org/rec/KLEDIS

Klein's criticism of Maudlin is concerned with constraining what might
be considered a valid computational realisation.  Were this accepted
as reasonable, he could attack that particular reductio by disputing
the adequacy of the realisation.  This is however a separate question
to the lack of any consistent justification of the association of
homogeneous experiential states to heterogeneous physical ones, which
does not depend on any particular reductio argument.  Klein does not
set out to address this issue, but tips his hand by remarking that "I
remain neutral between identifying the disposition with the
first-order property or treating it as a second-order property that is
realized in each case by some first-order property".

The problem with CTM as a physical theory is that it violates normal
standards of physical explanation.  The very notion of computation is
based not on a consistent self-selection of a specific
physically-defined class of events, but rather on an external
interpretation of a functionally-defined class. This is not
problematic in the third-person sense, but if a first-person
experiential state is to be considered equivalent merely to what we
could say about something, then it is not a physical state in any
normally understood sense. What would make a theory of consciousness a
physical theory would be a normal causal account of a succession of
physical states, the experience that accompanies them, and the precise
relation between them.  Such a theory would of course escape the
vulnerability to accusations of lack of meaningful physical commitment
inherent in MR.

>> The point at issue is not whether there is only one way to realise a
>> computation, or to get from A to B.  The point is that in the case of
>> the journey, the transition from physical irrelevance to relevance is
>> at the point where the physical result emerges as identical - i.e. as
>> the same journey form A to B.  In the case of the computation, no such
>> physical identity of result ever emerges;
>
> Instead there is functional identity and functional relevance...

Sure, and that makes CTM a functional theory, supervening on
functional relata, and appealing to a purely functional association
with consciousness.  In what remaining sense that makes any difference
can CTM claim to be a materialist theory?  To say that nonetheless it
must be materially instantiated is no answer; it is merely begging the
question.

>>all you have is a collection
>> of heterogeneous physical processes, each merely *formally* identical
>> to a given computation.  It is a further - and physically entirely ad
>> hoc - assumption that this heterogeneity of physical states is
>> homogeneous with a single experiential state.
>
> It is not entirely ad hoc because not every physical system
> implements every computation.

The fact that "not every physical system implements every computation"
doesn't reduce the ad-hoccery in the slightest, because the whole
notion of implementation is immaterial from the outset.  There's
nothing physically fundamental about a computationally-defined
'realisation' - it is merely an externally-imposed interpretation of a
physical state of affairs that is perfectly capable of causing
whatever lies within its powers without such aid.  The only
interesting question from a physical perspective is what those powers
might be.

>> > THat would be because they make no computational difference,
>> > if CTM is correct.
>>
>> If all you have to offer is circular arguments we shall simply go
>> round in circles.
>
>
> Saying CTM is wrong because it is based
> on computational equivalence not physical equivalence is circular.

I've made it abundantly clear that I'm not saying that CTM is wrong;
I'm just saying that if it's right, then ex hypothesi this cannot be
in virtue of the standard sense of physical causation invoked in any
other context.  That is not circular.  What you're resisting is the
conclusion that this has any necessary entailment for the direction of
inference from the mathematical to the physical, or vice versa.  I
think that in common with reflexive believers in CTM - though you say
you're not of their company - you are surreptitiously and
unjustifiably conflating merely functionally-defined classes of
physical events with primary physical causation, in order to ignore
the intractable problem of justifying a consistent linkage between the
specifically experiential and the specifically physical.

>> Hence CTM entails that one experiential state reduces to
>> multiple physical states, without being able to give any consistent
>> physical, as opposed to formal, criterion for such identity.
>
>
> You say that';s a problem. It's like saying
> the problem with bananas is that they are
> yellow and long not red and round

If you're saying that I'm demanding something of CTM that it doesn't
- and cannot - set out to explain, you're right.  I also concede that
it's reasonable to propose such a hypothesis, but not that it's
reasonable to avoid the conclusion that terminal violence has thereby
been done to the fundamental project of physical justification.  I've
consistently and clearly stated why this is a problem for CTM on a
primitively material basis.  I'm hardly the only person who takes this
view, and AFAICS the justified objections are all on this side.  The
usual response - including yours - seems to be no more than "according
to CTM the impossibility of standard physical justification doesn't
disqualify CTM as a physical theory".  That is merely circular.

>>  Prima
>> facie this renders any claim that consciousness is identical with
>> physical states physically empty (i.e. without significant commitment)
>> and under further analysis, renders it grossly implausible.
>
> What does "empty" mean? You can still
> have token-identity. And Computationalists
> don't even want type identity.

For pity's sake, you surely already know the answer to this.  I don't
care what computationalists say they want, I'm concerned with what
they are justified in laying claim to.  And token-identities or
type-identities are not to be conflated with parallel accounts of
physical and experiential processes in any standard sense of physical
commitment.  To say that the association can be anything that the
external imputation of functional equivalence says it can be, is to
depart from any substantive commitment to explicit physical
justification whatsoever.

This is obvious - why do you dispute it?  Actually, sometimes you do
and sometimes you don't.  So far as CTM as a theoretical approach is
concerned, this lack of commitment to a material base may be a
strength not a weakness.  But this entails entertaining a different
intuition about the relative primacy of physical and mathematical
accounts of states of affairs.  But since appeals to the 'substantive'
nature - as opposed to the theoretical and methodological constraints
- of any putative metaphysical primitives are so devoid of
consequence, such reluctance can perhaps be overcome, surely?

>> Is this materialism's last gasp?  A materialist theory requires a
>> materialist approach to explanation, else its commitment to
>> materialism is, shall we say, somewhat non-committal.
>
> YOu may see materialism as an endangered species,
> but the truth is the other way round. Hardly anyone thinks
> that the multiple realisability of computation makes
> computation somehting ghostly. Well, Bruno does,
> but he is in the minority.

I do not, in fact, see materialism in this way.  My concern is simply
the fit or otherwise between CTM and PM, and in this sense to claim
CTM as a plausible materialist hypothesis merely on the basis of the
otherwise unsupported indispensability and effectiveness  of a
material substrate is an entirely circular argument.  The analysis
does not, of course, depend on consensus, but on correctness.  And my
argument doesn't hinge on the ghostliness of computation, but its lack
of consistent association with physical causation of experience, in a
context where no other justified causal account is offered.

David

>
>
>
> On 13 Sep, 17:51, David Nyman <david.ny...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> 2009/9/11 Flammarion <peterdjo...@yahoo.com>:
>>
>> >> I'm not sure I see what distinction you're making.  If as you say the
>> >> realisation of computation in a physical system doesn't cause
>> >> consciousness, that would entail that no physically-realised
>> >> computation could be identical to any mental state.
>>
>> > That doesn't follow because causation and identity are different
>> > The realisation could be consciousness (fire IS combustion)
>> > without causing it (fire CAUSES smoke but it not smoke)
>>
>> So what did you mean the reader to conclude from your original
>> argument?
>
> I wasn't trying to settle the whole issue in one go.
>
>>You concluded that the realisation of a computation doesn't
>> cause consciousness.  But did you also mean to imply that nonetheless
>> the realisation of a computation IS consciousness?  If so, why didn't
>> you say so?  And how would that now influence your evaluation of CTM?
>
>
>
>> >> This is what
>> >> follows if one accepts the argument from MGA or Olympia that
>> >> consciousness does not attach to physical states qua computatio.
>>
>> > I find them both quite contestable
>>
>> If you would risk saying precisely why, you might have a counter-argument.
>
> e.g.
> http://philpapers.org/rec/KLEDIS
>
>> >> I agree.  Nonetheless, when two states are functionally equivalent one
>> >> can still say what it is about them that is physically relevant.  For
>> >> example, in driving from A to B it is functionally irrelevant to my
>> >> experience whether my car is fuelled by petrol or diesel.  But there
>> >> is no ambiguity about the physical details of my car trip or precisely
>> >> how either fuel contributes to this effect.
>>
>> > One can say what it is about physical systems that explains
>> > its ability to realise a certain computation. One can't say that
>> > there is anything that makes it exclusively able to. Equally
>> > one can explain various ways of getting from A to B, but
>> > one can't argue that there is only one possible way.
>>
>> The point at issue is not whether there is only one way to realise a
>> computation, or to get from A to B.  The point is that in the case of
>> the journey, the transition from physical irrelevance to relevance is
>> at the point where the physical result emerges as identical - i.e. as
>> the same journey form A to B.  In the case of the computation, no such
>> physical identity of result ever emerges;
>
> Instead there is functional identity and functional relevance...
>
>>all you have is a collection
>> of heterogeneous physical processes, each merely *formally* identical
>> to a given computation.  It is a further - and physically entirely ad
>> hoc - assumption that this heterogeneity of physical states is
>> homogeneous with a single experiential state.
>
> It is not entirely ad hoc because not every physical system
> implements every computation.
>
>> >> Yes, I agree.  But if we're after a physical theory, we also want to
>> >> be able to give in either case a clear physical account of their
>> >> apprehensiveness, which would include a physical justification of why
>> >> the fine-grained differences make no difference at the level of
>> >> experience.
>>
>> > THat would be because they make no computational difference,
>> > if CTM is correct.
>>
>> If all you have to offer is circular arguments we shall simply go
>> round in circles.
>
>
> Saying CTM is wrong because it is based
> on computational equivalence not physical equivalence is circular.
>
>> >> I can only suppose that complete arbitrariness would be a random
>> >> association between physical states and mental states.  This is not
>> >> what is meant by arbitrary realisation.  What is meant is that the
>> >> requirement that a physical system be deemed conscious purely in
>> >> virtue of its implementing a computation rules out no particular kind
>> >> of physical realisation.  Consequently a theory of this type is
>> >> incapable of explicating general principles of physical-mental
>> >> association independent of its functional posit.
>>
>> > It isn't. Why is that a problem?
>>
>> The problem is that theories which aren't reducible to fundamental
>> physics don't warrant consideration as physical theories.
>
> It is reducible, since you can give an account
> of why a particular physical system implements a particular
> computation. What you don't have it type-type identity.
> You can;t say that  a particular type of system --electronic,
> organic, etc-- is associated with particular types of computation
> or mentation. Compuationalists see that as an advantage.
> It is not clear why you do not.
>
>>This is
>> amply demonstrated by the fact that, when reduced to a physical
>> interpretation, CTM is in fact shown to entail gross implausibilities.
>
> SO it is alleged.
>
>> >> Yes, but the upshot is that CTM is reduced to the theory that
>> >> conscious states can be associated with material systems only in a
>> >> manner that ex hypothesi must obscure any prospect of a general
>> >> reduction of their detailed material causes, because any such causes
>> >> could only be specific to each realisation.
>>
>> > You can have as many material details as you like
>> > so long as they are relevant to explaining the computation.
>>
>> > Maybe you are hung up on causes. CTM is really an identity theory--
>> > mental
>> > states are identified with functional states. It's not fire-causes-
>> > smoke causation.
>>
>> I'm fine with mental states being identified with functional states.
>> The problem is one functional state reduces to multiple physical
>> states.
>
> You say that';s a problem
>
>> Hence CTM entails that one experiential state reduces to
>> multiple physical states, without being able to give any consistent
>> physical, as opposed to formal, criterion for such identity.
>
>
> You say that';s a problem. It's like saying
> the problem with bananas is that they are
> yellow and long not red and round
>
>>  Prima
>> facie this renders any claim that consciousness is identical with
>> physical states physically empty (i.e. without significant commitment)
>> and under further analysis, renders it grossly implausible.
>
> What does "empty" mean? You can still
> have token-identity. And Computationalists
> don't even want type identity.
>
>> >> Doesn't that make CTM
>> >> somewhat spurious as a materialist theory of consciousness?
>>
>> > It's materialist because it doesn't require anything immaterial.
>>
>> Is this materialism's last gasp?  A materialist theory requires a
>> materialist approach to explanation, else its commitment to
>> materialism is, shall we say, somewhat non-committal.
>
> YOu may see materialism as an endangered species,
> but the truth is the other way round. Hardly anyone thinks
> that the multiple realisability of computation makes
> computation somehting ghostly. Well, Bruno does,
> but he is in the minority.
>
>> >> I can only suppose that complete arbitrariness would be a random
>> >> association between physical states and mental states.  This is not
>> >> what is meant by arbitrary realisation.  What is meant is that the
>> >> requirement that a physical system be deemed conscious purely in
>> >> virtue of its implementing a computation rules out no particular kind
>> >> of physical realisation.  Consequently a theory of this type is
>> >> incapable of explicating general principles of physical-mental
>> >> association independent of its functional posit.
>>
>> > It isn't. Why is that a problem?
>>
>> Well I'm glad we agree that it isn't capable of so doing.  This would
>> consequently be a problem if in fact we wished to elucidate such
>> general principles of physical-mental association, wouldn't you say?
>> It would be even more of a problem if following CTM to its logical
>> conclusion in fact showed its implied physical-mental associations to
>> be grossly implausible.  Wouldn't you say?
>
>  If you would risk saying precisely why, you might have an argument.
>
> >
>

--~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to 
everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en
-~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---

Reply via email to