Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
2010/1/6 Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com>:

  
I can understand that view, but in that case why consider them
computations?  Why not just suppose all states of your consciousness (and
even other parts of the world) exist.  If they can be glued together by
inherent features or simply experienced without even an implicit order,
then computation seems irrelevant.  Of course that leaves the apparent
lawfulness of physics even further from possible explanation than the UD
theory.
    

We start off with what we observe: apparently there is a physical
world, and some parts of this physical world, called brains, seem to
give rise to consciousness. There is reason to think that computers
running a program can also give rise to consciousness. Taking this
hypothesis of computationalism seriously then leads to interesting
questions, such as whether there is a reason to suppose that
consciousness happens only when the computations are physically
instantiated (and what exactly that means), or whether their status as
platonic objects is enough to generate the associated consciousness.
In other words, there is a series of rational steps starting from what
we observe, and if any step is faulted the whole edifice falls;
whereas imply assuming idealism from the start is ad hoc and
unfalsifiable.


  
I think what I asked about is different from simply assuming idealism.  It is carrying your thread of reasoning a few steps further. Suppose Platonic objects exist.  Suppose computations, as Platonic objects, are enough to instantiate consciousness.  Suppose consciousness consists of discrete states of this computation.  Suppose the fact that the states are connected by the computation is irrelevant to their instantiation of consciousness.  The states are themselves Platonic objects.  So if we assume Platonic objects exist we will already have assumed these states to exist and consciousness to have been instantiated by them - with no reference to computation.

I think Bruno avoids this by saying consciousness consists of computationally connected sequences thru a given state - not the state itself - but I'm not sure why that should be.

Brent
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