On 06 Dec 2009, at 20:35, soulcatcher☠ wrote:

>> Are you physicalist?
>
> I just don't know.

OK.


> All my everyday experience points towards physicalism: I'm a brain,
> embodied in a physical body, embedded in a physical environment and
> evolved via several billion year selection process.

Below, I see that you are open to the idea that you could be a  
conscious robot. But then you can understand that you are not your  
brain/robot's computer. Indeed, each morning the conscious robot could  
change the entirety of its hardware. So you ¨have* a brain. You are  
not a brain. If you are a conscious Robot you are already an  
immaterial living number (living relatively to a probable  
computational histories).




> All the
> constituents of my mind could be explained in the evolutionary terms
> as "devices" that promoted the survival of my ancestor's genes.

An explanation which I find plausible, but which has nothing to do  
with physicalism.



> From the other hand, all the scientific knowledge imo points towards
> some kind of "digital physics".

Here I disagree. Even for physicists it is a complex open problem. And  
then I have given a proof that if I am a machine, then physics cannot  
be entirely computational. I now that it is a bit amazing and  
counterintuitive, but then that is why I explain the UD argument.


> For example, it's much much easier to
> just accept modern high-energy physics as a elaborate pure
> mathematical theory than try to understand it in the everyday terms of
> "material world".

It is an advantage of comp, it solves the question of the amazing  
reliability of math in physics.


>
>> Have you read Everett? There are already physicists who describe  
>> "reality"
>> as a flux of information which differentiate in many histories,  
>> sometimes
>> recombining by amnesia, etc.
>> You may read the book by Russell Standish theory of Nothing.
>> The book Mind's I, ed. by Hofstadter and Dennett is a good  
>> introduction to
>> computationalism.
>> Stathis mentioned Parfit's "reasons and persons" recently on the  
>> FOR list,
>> where we discuss on similar "many-reality" conception of reality. I  
>> would
>> recommend it too. In particular you may read David Deutsch's book  
>> "the
>> fabric of Reality".
>> Gunther Greindl has put some more advanced references on the web  
>> page of the
>> list.
>> Are you aware of computer science and mathematical logic?
>> You could be interested by my own contribution, which I explain on  
>> this
>> list, see
>> http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/publications/SANE2004MARCHALAbstract.html
>
> I didn't read Everett and Deutsch but I'm aware of MWI.
> I skimmed over Theory of Nothing some time ago and, to be honest, I
> didn't like to, partially due to Quantum Immortality thing - it was my
> first encounter with the subject and it seemed like a worst kind of
> unscientific wishful thinking.

I would call that "terrifying" thinking. There is no way out for  
consciousness.




> But maybe I should give it another,
> this time more serious try.
>
> I'll make an attempt to follow your UDA steps and can accept comp as a
> _hypothesis_, but now I'm highly skeptical about computationalism as a
> valid theory of consciousness.
> Every time I think about it I come to the "simulated thunderstorm is
> NOT a real thunderstorm" argument (I don't know the other name, for
> the first time I read about in some interview with Searle). It's easy
> for me to accept the possibility of conscious robot (I'm such a robot)
> but it's hard to accept the possibility of conscious "pure" (as in CS
> i.e. without side effects) computer program, as computationalism
> implies (if I understand it right).


I think that Jason did provide the correct answer. If you agree you  
are a conscious robot/Turing-machine (or just Robot, + Church thesis)  
then you know in advance that there is a level of description of [you  
+ the thunderstorm] such that you cannot distinguish the "real"  
thunderstorm from its simulation. So, from the point of view of the  
emulated "you" the simulated thunderstorm will seems as real as a real  
one, for at least a time, and the rest of the reasoning depends only  
on that.
Comp = "I am a conscious robot". The falsity of physicalism is an  
arithmetical consequence of comp.

Bruno

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/



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