2009/9/24 Flammarion <peterdjo...@yahoo.com>:
>>if it can't, we need another strategy to
>> disambiguate its actual relation to the physical account. The latter
>> conclusion is what motivates the reversal of matter and mathematics in
> There is no ambiguity in the reduction of computation
> to physics.
How long can you go on arguing what is not disputed? Keep clearly in
mind the third-person, first-person distinction. There is no
ambiguity in the physical reduction of any realisation from a
third-person perspective. From this perspective, the homogeneity of
state that supervenes on the physical heterogeneity is merely one of
interpretation - i.e. it is an abstraction and immaterial to the
physical account. The problem is in introducing a mental type that
equates to the computational one; now you have an actual homogeneity
of experience to explain, not merely a metaphor.
But there is no way to explain it on the basis of any consistent
physical low-level account of a mental type; only a different one for
each occasion of realisation. We're not only talking about small
differences between brains, we're talking about any arbitrary level of
physical heterogeneity that falls within the type. This is an
ineluctable consequence of MR. But it is unrelated to the process of
consistent hierarchical reduction that is central to physical
This leaves CTM entirely devoid of any physical basis for attaching a
homogeneous first-person experience to heterogeneous physical
processes other than its own brute general posit; and circularity can
count as explanation in nobody's book. This point is never argued in
detail by supporters of CTM - rather anyone who points it out is
denounced as unenlightened and unworthy of a reply in kind. Certainly
they don't get one.
Whether this motivates abandoning PM rather than CTM depends on how
strongly one is committed to PM. If the fishy smell left by the
shoulder-shrug that passes for physical justification in CTM
nonetheless leaves one with a residual appetite for computationalism
as an explanation for mind, then the switch in metaphysical posit may
be preferable, at least as a working hypothesis.
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