2010/1/7 Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com>: > 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.
That could be and in fact it is probably closer to what Plato himself meant. But mathematical objects seem to have a special status in that they necessarily exist, whereas everything else (including God) exists only contingently. You can't imagine the number 7 not existing or not being prime. The special sense in which mathematical objects and relationships exist (maybe not the right word) independently of any material world is their Platonic realm, but it doesn't follow having accepted this that other objects also exist in a separate Platonic realm. However, if consciousness supervenes on computation and it does not require actual physical implementation of the computation, then consciousness piggybacks on the Platonic existence of computation. -- Stathis Papaioannou
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